What a Week!

The world has always been in crisis. Yes, I know there have always been wars, rumors of wars, nations rising against nation, famine, flood, pestilence, and all sorts of things like that. Our generation is no different. With the Outbreak of Corona Virus, it's just solidified that fact. Consider what most of our fellow citizens of the world are going through right now, we're seeing much of the world on lockdown, people being arrested for being outside, golfing, kayaking alone in the ocean, adding a second stop to their grocery run, many Christians have stopped talking about how mighty their God is, and people who were once opposed politically (from freedom of speech, choice, and the government can't tell me what to do) are, by and large, waiting for government intervention to calm their fears. We don't handle crisis well, do we? Yet, there's an underlying crisis that goes largely ignored, even at the best of times: the problem of Sin. Today is a day that, during the course of what is considered Holy Week, is a day we don't hear from Christ in the Scriptures. We know on Wednesday Jesus was at Bethany, but that was it. We know that He entered Jerusalem on Sunday riding a Donkey in Triumph, that He chased out money changers and sellers of animals, that He was anointed at Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, that Thursday He would celebrate Passover (and begin celebrating by washing His disciples feet), be betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter, sent from trial, to trial, beaten, chastised, humiliated, nailed to a tree, buried in the ground, and would rise again on the Third Day. I know if I was to have a week like that, I'd want one day (at least) of silence as well. What a week this was, not simply for humanity, but for the Lord of everything! Jesus, for us, suffered shame, humiliation, and died a rebels death. Jesus, for us, was abandoned by his 11 best friends, and betrayed by 1. Jesus, for us became the spotless Passover lamb, prepared from before Time began. And we complain about a little virus upsetting our plans. The fact is, we can't upset God's plan, and Jesus, glorified on a cross unto death in obedience to His Father's will became the first fruits of the New humanity. Jesus was humiliated, suffered and died, and is now reigning in Victory, bearing scars for all eternity at the right hand of the Father, that we, too, may be glorified with Him. This isn't for some future day. This is a resurrection life we're called to live, filled with the Holy Spirit in obedience to the Father's will now! This is the hope for humanity, the hope you bear, oh Image Bearer of Christ! Let us then stop chaining ourselves to the fear of pandemics, wars, and the rest (there will surely be another one after this), but clutch on to the victorious right hand of the Father, crying out "have mercy on me, Son of David!" and watch the Father's Victory! What a week this is, because this week is not a surprise to God. He has placed You, oh Christian, in your place for just this time. The Son has set you free, not so that you can use your freedom for your purposes, but to be a witness, and an image bearer for the King. Hebrews 11:17-12:3 English Standard Version

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. 20 By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.

29 By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. 32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two,[a] they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 11:37 Some manuscripts add they were tempted


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