Saturday, April 23, 2011
"I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible."-1 Corinthians 7:35 NLT
Today is Holy Saturday and I spent a great deal of the morning pondering what this day was like for Jesus' disciples. Frightened and bewildered about the events that had just come to pass, I am sure they were filled with questions. Truly, Christ's journey to the Cross is complex and mysterious. A love that big is beyond the ability of many to fully grasp. This world, with it's many distractions, keeps us far from the truth about what Christ accomplished for us all. Which is why our family attended Good Friday services at our church last night.
More than memories of Easter egg hunts and chocolate bunnies, I want my children to revere the great sacrifice that was made on their behalf, by a God who loved them too much to leave them to die in their sin. We worshiped in song and remembered in communion. We walked through stations that depicted details of what Jesus endured. And we were humbled as we wrapped our hearts and minds around what transpired that dark day when Christ willingly gave His life for the sins of Man. As our family left the sanctuary, and walked into the dark night, our hearts were truly changed as we pondered what happened that day on the Cross.
This morning, my son, Jack is still meditating on what he experienced. "I think this is the first year I really began to understand all that Jesus went through," he said sadly as we cleared the breakfast table. "Why is it that so many people forget that Easter isn't about the fun stuff?" he continued inquisitively.
Gently, Marty and I explained how the enemy goes to great lengths in order to distract us from the truth about the Cross. This year is no exception. Distractions are big and small, but they are always in our midst. The Easter Bunny, egg hunts, and Earth Day all compete for our attention this Easter. Then, there are the bigger distractions of pride, ego, and selfishness that blind us daily to the love of Christ. As Christ followers, we must choose to make it a priority to reflect on all that was done if we are to truly experience the freedom that is ours because of Jesus.
I pray this day that you, dear friend, are taking some time to meditate on God's truth. I hope you will revisit the moments before, during and after Jesus went to the Cross on your behalf. And I ask that you humble yourself and receive the grace that is given to you freely, but came at a great cost.
Jesus gave His life so that you and I may know intimacy with God for all eternity. God looked into a world gripped by sin, and in His great mercy made Himself the sacrifice that would reconcile Man to Himself. By the blood of Christ, we are redeemed and stand justified before the LORD. There is no other way. For we are told that "God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
You won't find salvation in good works, nor is grace found in a candy-filled plastic egg. But both are found in Christ. To use a word that seems to be popular amongst politicians and journalists today, it is a RADICAL love offered by a sovereign God...and it's yours.
Christ wasn't distracted when He gave His life for you. If you simply place yourself at the scene of the Cross, and let go of the many distractions, you will find His grace is enough.
Challenge: Read the following and pray for God to prepare your heart for the Cross.
Reflection: What distractions in this life keep you from fully experiencing God's grace?