Saturday, March 15, 2008

Turning Point of Christ

Welcome to the first installment of the Holy Week Devotional. I'm hoping this will encourage you during this special time of the year when we think back to a dusty hill in Jerusalem where the curse upon the earth was broken by a man some thought was too insignificant to ever be more than a day laborer.
The Scripture I want us to think about is Luke 9:51 which says: As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem
Jesus' ministry up until this point was based on teaching, healing, ministering, and seeking disciples. Many great things happened during this time, thousands were fed, the blind were able to see, the lame were able to walk, tax collectors and sinners were converted, and Jesus modeled for us the way to live. During this time we truly see what it means to live as a child of God, by loving those who are unloved, and weeping for those who are outside the joy of salvation. We see a selfless life lived, one that is focused on the Kingdom of God. Jesus showed us how to love one another. He also was a miracle worker who displayed His power over creation and demonstrated that He came from God to do the work of God. Only God could forgive sin, and Jesus told many people that their sins were forgiven them. Only God could control the weather, and Jesus quieted storms.
And for many people, this is where the story ends. Many people believe that Jesus was only a good moral teacher who lived the exemplary life. And if this was where the Bible stopped, that would be true. But that isn't where the Bible stops. Luke says that Jesus turned and made a straight line for Jerusalem. The reason Jesus came was not just to show us to live and heal the sick, but more so He came to die. Jesus' ministry would not be complete without the cross. If He did not come to die, all we have is a cute baby at Christmas. But not only did He come to die, He came to die and conquer death! If He doesn't rise from the dead, all we have is a rotting corpse and no hope for salvation. But because the tomb is empty, we can have confidence that there is hope for us to be saved and spend eternity with God.
Jesus turns to Jerusalem and makes His way there because He knew that was His mission. We should not feel sorry for Jesus on the cross. He willingly and gladly the punishment for our sin. God was pleased to bruise Him, it says in Isaiah. Jesus turned to the cross and turned to death because that was the only way that we as lost sinners could ever come to God. He had to die in order to tear down the curtain that separated us from being with God.
This week as we look at what happened during those 7 days in Jerusalem, remember that Jesus gladly went to the cross for us and gladly bore our sin. I hope you are encouraged by the fact that the sinless Son of God, though He was meek and mild, held within Himself an amazing power to conquer sin, Satan, and the grave. He was no mere teacher, He is God! While many people thought He was just a man, there was power and strength beyond comprehension in Him, that He withheld on the cross, so that He could be led like a lamb without fighting, as One willing to be sacrificed for us.
Thank you for reading this, I pray that God blesses you during this Season.

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