Monday School: Chew On This
Here is the most beautiful thing that I’ve been chewing on all day. It is so simple that my 8 year old daughter gets it. Thanks so much to Pat Hood – my pastor – for pointing this love out.
So let’s set the stage. Jesus is being crucified….scratched that…the word is too graceful compared to the act. Jesus is being literally humiliated and tortured in ways that not many people could ever nor would ever imagined being tortured. His skin has been
torn (there I go again with the “nice words”)…His skin has been yanked away from the muscle and bone as well as parts of muscle and fragments of bone by being whipped with a cat-o-nine-tails….He has been hung on a cross and left for dead with huge gaping holes in his body. He has to struggle to breath by lifting Himself up on his on weight…supporting everything on a spike driven through his legs or feet…and takes His last breath.
Lets stop for a moment. Don’t focus on Jesus for a moment. Focus instead on everyone else in the picture. Focus on the guys who beat Jesus who have stood there sneering at Him…focus on the men who bid on His clothes. Think of the man who mocked Him and put a crown of thorns on His head. Think of the man who mocked Him as a “king” by offering Him a “wine” that was sour. Think of all these people. Imagine what they are feeling. Nothing, right? Jesus is just some idiot who claims to be the Son of God, right? What do they care about what is happening? Now let’s read…
By now it was noon. The whole earth became dark, the darkness lasting three hours—a total blackout. The Temple curtain split right down the middle. Jesus called loudly, “Father, I place my life in your hands!” Then he breathed his last. (Luke 23:44-46 The Message)
Three hours…dark. Im not talking the power went out and they had to crack the blinds…we’re talking there was no sunshine! It was dark!
Lets go back to being in the place of the soldiers. How are you feeling now? Jesus takes His last breath as He screams out “Father, I place my life in your hands!” Such drama! Such passion! Do you go about your day now as if nothing happened? I would imagine you would be much like the Captain in verse 47…
47When the captain there saw what happened, he honored God: “This man was innocent! A good man, and innocent!”
Now let’s bring this all into perspective as we prepare for Easter…and as we prepare our congregations to focus on Jesus’ death and resurrection:
The very first believers after Jesus’ death were made…right then and there…and they were made out of the same people who had destroyed His body, mocked Him, laughed at Him, cursed Him, and murdered Him…
…and He bled for them…and His blood saved.
Don’t miss that! Don’t let a moment of that slide by you! He could have just as easily held a grudge against those select people who did these inhumane things to Him…yet He gave them the same saving grace and blood as He gives you.
Have you done anything as vile as these men? Why is it, then, that we tend to forget that His love is that awesome…that if He could save men who were this gruesome and hateful to Him…that He wouldnt do the same for you.
Chew on that.
(Editor’s Note: Monday School is based off of things I garner from the Sunday sermons at LifePoint Church in Smyrna, Tennessee. While my post may be stimulated by the sermon, the words I express should not be taken as a reflection of or commentary of LifePoint Church, Pat Hood, or The Sending Church. I do, however, use the opportunity to invite you to join us at a truly amazing church each Sunday. Visit LifePoint at www.lifepointchurch.org for more details.)