Good Friday service
Friday, April 18, 2014
Because of the cross, I am not my own.
Jesus often asks people to do things that, in reality, most of us would never do… or we think that Jesus really isn’t saying to do that. He just means it metaphorically.
But what if He really means these things?
Think about what Jesus might be asking you to do:
Jesus asks 4 professional fishermen to quit their jobs and follow him around.
When an amazing miracle happens, Jesus asks that it not be broadcasted (tweeted, Facebooked, or part of a lucrative book deal), but to keep it quiet.
Jesus asks his disciples to have faith when the natural world is against them.
Jesus asks the formerly demon-possessed man to not follow him around, but go tell his family what God has done.
Jesus asked his disciples who people thought he was (Old Testament prophets?), then Jesus asked them who they thought he was: the Messiah. Who do you think Jesus is?
Jesus asks: If you want to follow me you must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.
Jesus says: Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and the gospel will save it.
Jesus says: If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.
Jesus says: Whoever welcomes one of these little children welcomes me.
Jesus says: No one who has left home, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, and fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a 100 times as much in the present age and in the age to come (eternal life).
Jesus says: Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever want to be first must be slave of all.
Jesus asked the blind man: “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Jesus says: “If you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins.”
Jesus says: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.”
Jesus says: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Mark 14:32 ff.
Jesus asked his disciples to stay awake while he prayed. They couldn’t stay awake.
Jesus asked: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel (good news) to all creation…”
I am not my own
I think our American-ism perpetuates this need to defend “our rights” and, in some cases, rightfully so. However, we must step outside of our American-ism when we look at our lives and the intersection of Jesus’ gospel and what he’s asking us to do.
Often, Jesus asks us to give up our right to ourself… and allow Jesus to have free reign in our lives.
This can be very uncomfortable, can’t it? Very threatening to our own way of making life work for us, right?
However, because of the cross of Jesus Christ… I am not my own. I am now Christ’s.
LORD, I give up my right to myself and I want you to run my life. LORD, I believe…help my unbelief. Amen.