Pastor’s Blog – April 2nd
Dear Family of Christ,
In this season of Lent we have reached the focal point of what Jesus was leading up to during his entire ministry in the events of Good Friday and Easter. In tonight’s service we are going to contrast 3 times people spoke about Jesus at this time with the seven times recorded that Jesus said from the cross. The first of these are the words spoken even to the soldiers who crucified Jesus are here in the Gospel of Luke.
Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals–one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. (Luke 23:32-34)
I have heard it said you learn a lot about a person when you see them facing adversity. I think being crucified counts as an adverse situation in life. I can hardly think of anything that might be worse. In these first words of Jesus we find out what the whole purpose of the cross was with Jesus, forgiveness. You can imagine he was thinking of the soldiers who were only following orders and doing what they were told to do. You can also imagine He was thinking of the crowds in Jerusalem who were swayed by others to shout “crucify Him, crucify Him.” From all of His words you can even say that He was thinking of those who arrested him and led to Him getting this death sentence. The forgiveness of Jesus, in all of the Gospels is not bound to those you would expect but reaches out to all people.
The cross is powerful as an enduring symbol because it speaks of God’s grace in Christ. It also is a symbol of where the vertical and the horizontal intersect. In Jesus we have God speaking and dealing with humanity. First of all Jesus taught us to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is the Vertical relationship we need. He also gave us the new commandment to love one another as he has loved us. This is the horizontal relationship of loving our neighbor as we love ourselves, but even more as Jesus loves us. Listen to Jesus speak tonight in person or online.
In Christ’s Service, Pastor Dave