(This is taking the place of Thursday’s post)
We are human beings and the truth is we tend to turn everything into – it’s all about me. The Bible is no exception, neither is the cross of Jesus. There is a good worship song out there that has this line describing Jesus “You took the fall and thought of me above all.” I’m not sure that’s true.
There’s a reality where the cross is about our salvation, but the truth is it’s also about so much more.
God wasn’t just saving one sinner on the cross.
God was putting to death the power of sin itself.
God was showing His faithfulness to His Covenant and to His Covenant people.
God was making right what first went wrong in the garden thousands of years before.
God was tearing down a dividing wall between Himself and His people and between His people and the nations.
God was reconciling a world and redeeming a universe.
God’s plan is so much bigger than just us!
Praise God our salvation is a part of His plan. Believe me, I am so thankful my salvation, the salvation of my children and my family are all a part of His plan. But His plan is not just about me.
His plan is not just to save sinners.
His plan is to restore what was lost, redeem what was stolen and heal what was broken.
His plan is cosmic-focused not man-focused.
Ultimately His plan is to make for Himself a kingdom on earth where He is glorified throughout all eternity by ALL of His creation.
His plan is to show Himself as Lord, King, and God.
So when Jesus was on the cross, I’m not sure I was the first thing on His mind. Maybe it was His Father and His Father’s plan that was first and foremost on His mind.
And praise God it didn’t end there. The resurrection is the crowning achievement. Good Friday is always followed by Resurrection Sunday!
Believer, may we be honest enough to admit our need for salvation but may we also be humble enough to acknowledge our place in God’s plan. Even the cross of Jesus isn’t about us, it’s all about God.
Have you ever thought that Jesus was faithful to all that God called Him to do and be. Jesus was tempted just like we are, yet He was completely without sin. He was fully obedient to His Father, even unto death. And I think ONE reason for His resurrection was to give testimony to His faithfulness. “This is My Son whom I love, with Him I am well-pleased… therefore, I will not let His body see decay” (Matt 3, Acts 13)
Bc of the faithfulness of the Son we now share the same Father. We too are sons and daughters of the Living God and are able to cry out to the Lord of the Universe.
Bc of the faithfulness of the Son we now share the same blessings. We have an inheritance that cannot be destroyed or taken away waiting for us in the heavenlies.
Bc of the faithfulness of the Son we too can now walk in full obedience and faithfulness ourselves to the God who calls us to walk in holiness.
And bc of the resurrection of the Son we can know that our faithfulness will also not be in vain! The God who raised Jesus from the dead will one day raise us.
The resurrection of Jesus is not just a nice story. It is absolutely vital to our faith as believers. If Jesus was not raised from the dead than your faithfulness is in vain and you may as well just sleep in on Sunday mornings bc it’s all just one big joke.
If however, the resurrection occurred as the Bible declares than there is no better place to be than with a community of believers, the body of Christ, learning about this God who can and does raise the dead.
The resurrection of Jesus gives hope to our faithfulness bc as Jesus was raised so shall we one day be raised by our Father in heaven.
We are upon a very important time of year in the calendar to God. From the Old Testament we learn that there are several feasts/festivals (read holidays) that will be celebrated soon.
These special days in Scripture, along with others, are called “The Lord’s appointed times.” In general Jewish people take these times very seriously. They even begin preparing for the bigger feasts weeks in advance making sure their homes and hearts are prepared to meet with God.
Taking a lesson from them – how are we preparing as Easter comes closer? Are we so focused on getting our baskets ready for our children or food for family and friends that we’re forgetting to prepare our hearts to meet with God??
So, you ask, how do you prepare your heart to meet with God? Good question 🙂 For the Jewish person the focus is on God and what He did for them as a nation. They remember how they were once slaves in Egypt toiling cruelly under the bondage of Pharaoh. They remember how God came down and did mighty works on their behalf. They talk about the lack of food, water, the plagues, Moses, and Aaron. They recount the story of Exodus blow by blow savoring all that God did on their behalf to set them free IN ORDER that they could be His people and He their God.
In other words, during this time to prepare their hearts the Jewish people focus on the fact that not only do they have a God who exists, but they also have a God who saves.
According to Paul we have been grafted in to the community of Israel so we too serve and worship the God who set Israel free from bondage to Egypt. We too can rejoice in their salvation and even add to it. We also have been redeemed.
Bc God still saves.
We have been set free “saved” from death, the punishment of our sin, from the wrath of a holy holy God, from trying to live life apart from God. We have been saved IN ORDER to become like Jesus, to become servants of the Most High God, to worship and serve this amazing God.
One simple way to prepare our hearts this season – meditate on the fact that we have a God who saves! What wonderful thing that God does not simply see sin, shrug His shoulders and say “oh darn, wish there was something I could do to make things better…” We serve and worship a God who not only cares but He is One who acts – who saves.
What an amazing and wonderful truth this is! Our God Saves!