Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Power of the Cross

It has been a while since I have written and for that I apologize. It is so easy for me to forget the great importance of mellow, reflective down time. Last week and the week approaching finds Tyson and I very busy with work and church, but it’s a good busy because this week is the passion week; the week of events leading up to Christ’s horribly gruesome death and glorious resurrection. (For a list of the events for this week click here.)

As many of you know, today is Palm Sunday; the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey welcomed by the Jews as their King. He was the one they had waited for. “Hosanna!” they cried (meaning: God save now), for they knew Jesus was sent to save them. But much to their surprise and dismay, Jesus was not coming to redeem them in the manner they had expected a great King to. Instead of over-throwing the Roman Empire, Jesus’ life portrayed humble submission and peace. The same Jesus they were worshipping and clinging to one day was the same Jesus they demanded crucified the next. Even pagans found no wrong in Him, yet because the people were so adamant, they ordered him crucified. (Luke chapters 22-24)
Bearing the treacherous pain and agonizing torment, the wrath of God was poured out upon the innocent lamb of God. Think about that for a second….God did not spare His own Son…His perfect Son…His beloved Son…All because of His sovereign and righteous judgement and amazing grace. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about grace. The message of the Bible is all about grace. The purpose of life is all about grace. John Piper says this about Jesus’ death and resurrection:

“Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and
savoring God. And people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will
not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people
to God. It’s a way of overcoming every obstacle to everlasting joy in God. If we don’t
want God above all things, we have not been converted by the gospel.”

Jesus did not endure what He did just so the population of heaven could rise. He came, died, and rose again for the purpose of bridging the gap between sinful man and a holy God. And in bridging that gap, He conquered death, sin, and condemnation by rising again through it all! He came to set the pace of a greater, more satisfying life of freedom from the bondage of the law. The freedom of grace. For me, it is not an option to live life without my Savior. It would be merely impossible. “If God is God—and He is—small with him is better than big with anybody. His old things are better than anybody’s new things. Being his child is better than having the world. And better to be blind with the invisible God than to see everything without him.” (John Piper) The gospel gives us a new life! It literally means for me to have a perspective change in EVERY area of my life. To refocus upon the cross of Jesus and the holiness of God. Who am I but a sinner saved by the grace of a loving and just God?
I cannot change my way of thinking, I am prone to sin.

It is the power of the Gospel that transforms lives and many of us bear witness to that.

So this Easter, what will you be celebrating?

How is the power of the Gospel transforming your life?

(Some extra reading: Romans 1:16; Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31)

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