Friday, April 18, 2014

It's Friday ... but Sunday's Coming!

Yesterday was my favorite day in the church's calendar yearMaundy Thursday. We set aside this day to remember what happened the day before Jesus died. We remember the humility and vulnerability of Jesus wrapping a towel around His waist and stooping down to wash His disciples' feet. We remember the command He gave us on the night He was betrayed to love one another. 

I've often wondered ... did any of them get up and offer to wash His feet? Probably not. They were likely too stunned to think of that.

With clean, fresh feet, the disciples then enjoyed one last meal with their Rabbi, though they didn't comprehend the depth of what was taking place. In the Last Supper, Jesus shared with His disciples a heavenly secret they'd not grasp until later, after His resurrection. Jesus would leave behind a way to abide in each of them (and us!) in the mystery of the Eucharist.

After these moving acts of grace that were so packed with meaning, Jesus went to Gethsemane to engage the forces of evil in an unequaled spiritual battle. Through agonizing prayers, Jesus gave up His will entirely to His Father, reminding us that the victory against temptation begins in the mind and heart and is fueled by prayerful surrender to God. 

Yes, Jesus would go to the Cross for you and me. Why? Jesus deemed us worthy

The perfect, blameless One would give up His life for broken, imperfect, sinning you and me.

The spotless Lamb of God would fall so that this fallen race could rise.

Nothing in all of life reveals our exceeding worth as human beings like the fact that Jesus Christ, the Son of God and God Himself, would choose to give His life for each of us. 

This certainty fills me with the desire to give my life for Him, becoming a living sacrifice like Him.

This knowledge makes me want to live a life worthy of Christ's great sacrifice.

And, thankfully, the Spirit that comes to live within me as I receive Christ's sacrifice on my behalf enables me to live a life worthy of His sacrifice. As John 14:18 assures us, He did not leave us as orphans, but He left His Spirit to empower us to live for Him.

I can only imagine what it must have been like for Jesus' disciples to suddenly see Him hanging on the Cross He freely chose. This short video brings it home and points to the Hope of Easter. Before you go watch it, ponder this great truth with me:

Jesus thinks you're worthy of His death. 
How does this change you?

Dr Mari

For if, by the trespass of the one man (Adam), death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! 
Romans 5:16-18
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 
2 Corinthians 5:20-21

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him.
Philippians 3:7-9 

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:9-14 

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  
Romans 12:1-3

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house.
1 Peter 2:4-5

For more Lent reflections, read What's So Good About Good Friday?

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