COLOR: PURPLE OR RED
SUNDAY APRIL 14TH 2019
TEXTS: JOHN 19: 30 1 CORINTHIANS 15: 50 – 57
THEME: TRIUMPH: SIXTH-MILE MIRACLE
We continue with Lenten study by Steven Furtick: Seven -Mile Miracle: Experiencing the Last Words of Christ as Never Before. Published by Multnomah Books 178, Colorado Springs CO.
Last week we discussed the place of Distress. We learnt that when someone is at this state, they feel hopeless and might be in need of someone to help. This Sunday we are focusing on triumphant story that can be seen in two ways. One, as Palm Sunday we mark Jesus triumphant entry to Jerusalem riding on a donkey. This was important for Jesus comes for his last time in the city where he was to be crucified. It was confusing for Jesus to ride on a donkey to some people because it was believed that a king usually rode on a horse. But Jesus was a different kind of a king. First, he was a king that comes in peace. Therefore, we refer to him as the prince of peace. Second, he was not coming to conquer Rome but to conquer sin in our lives. Third, he was coming to put to an end of animal sacrifices and as means of appeasing God. That means he came to offer his blood as once and for all sacrifice. All we need now when we come to God is to present our heart to him because the prize was already paid by Jesus on the cross. Two, this triumphant is marked by Jesus words on the cross “It is finished.” To the listener one may have heard that Jesus life had come to an end and there was nothing else he could do to save humanity. But the truth of those words meant that “the mission is accomplished.” What the father had intended for his son is accomplished.
- Jesus rides on a donkey: Jesus journey to the cross takes a dramatic turn when he chooses to enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey. We have to remind ourselves that this was Passover time and the town was filled Jews who had come for the annual festival of Passover. The traders were busy so were the religious leaders. The administration was busy making sure that peace was maintained during this time. So, when people starting to parade on the sides of the road with palm branches and laying their clothes for Jesus to pass it became a concern to the administration. The crowd were even shouting names like Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest and here comes the king. The authorities were alarmed and they had to find a way to stop this without causing any riot. Jesus rode on a donkey to teach us humility and to remind us he comes to bring peace in our hearts. He also enters Jerusalem not to conquer Rome but to conquer sin. The triumphant story of our heart comes when we embrace Jesus as the prince of peace in our heart and strive to live in peace and harmony with one another. This becomes a triumphant moment when we all Jesus to conquer sin in our lives.
- Salvation is here: Jesus came to offer us salvation that allows us to claim a place in the heavenly kingdom of God. This happens because of the atoning blood that was shed on the cross. Humans after sinning in the garden of Eden tried different ways to come back in full fellowship with God. on the other side God sent prophets and teachers to bring people back to his loving grace. But there was nothing that offered a lasting solution until when God decided to offer his only son as a sacrificial lamb or scapegoat that would take away the sin of humanity once and for all. In doing this God was offering salvation to his people. we are to respond to this free offer by faith and in his grace, we will be saved.
- Jesus restores relationship: When Jesus said it is finished, he meant the relationship has been restored. From the time of Adam and Eve humanity severed the relationship with God the creator. Over the years that followed God used many methods to bring human back but not seemed to work fully for nothing would take away that sin. By Jesus dying on the cross and shedding his blood a new covenant was created and sealed. It was the new covenant where God fully expresses his love and offers each one us enough grace to carry us through difficult times. The cross becomes the bridge that connects us with God. The New covenant that Jesus brings does not take away the old covenant but it affirms it. The new covenant is based on sacrificial love that Jesus offered us on that day which he was crucified.
- Reflection Questions: As we think of the Journey of Jesus on this sixth mile, we would like to reflect on the following questions in a personal way.
- What did Jesus mean by saying “It is finished?
- How has God used pain in your life to help you?
- How can you learn to walk in the triumph of the cross?