Friday, March 12, 2010

Being Lifted Up

March 12, 2010

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Sent by the Father John 8:21-30

John 8:28 BBE
28 So Jesus said, When the Son of man has been lifted up by you, then it will be clear to you who I am, and that I do nothing of myself, but say as the Father gave me teaching.

So far, when Jesus has talked to the people around Himself, He talked of going to His death.  Now He talks about not dying but to be lifted up.  There are two ways He can be lifted up here and the interesting thing is that both apply to the situation.

We all know that He will be lifted up on the cross.  It was only a matter of time till the people who hated Him and His teaching were going to put Him there, it was only a matter of when and how they would be able to do it.  And it would have to be done.  In order for our sins to be forgiven, the lifting up on the cross, a sign of torture and cruelty reserved for the vilest people, had to be done by one with no sin.  He paid the punishment for my sins.  One popular Christian song says, 'I'll never know how much it cost to see my sin up on that cross'.  And I never will.

But if we look at it that way, we loose half the perspective.  Though many translations say Jesus told them 'when you' but it does not say who will do the lifting in the Greek as best as I can tell.  Not only were they going to lift Jesus on the cross, but Jesus here was going to lift Himself on the cross.  He was willingly going to put Himself on that cross, and more importantly He was going to lift His status to be back with the Father.  Jesus did not just let them lift Him up on the cross, He, by giving up His mortal body, would lift Himself back to the status He once had with His Father.  And when they saw him again after His earthly death on the cross, they would know who it was that they had condemned to death. 

So while we can look to the  cross as a place where our sins were forgiven, and it was, we can also look to it as a place where Jesus lifted Himself.

In our lives we will have tribulations, Jesus promised that.  I concider those the cross that we will have to deal with.  What we do with them makes a difference.  We can fight them tooth and nail, or we can work our way through them.  Only in the latter one to we lift ourselves to be with the Father, as Jesus did.

Read for next time: Temple debate about father Abraham; John 8:31-59
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Who is your father?

March 10, 2010

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Light of the world - Taught in temple treasury John 8:12-20

John 8:19 NET

19 Then they began asking him, "Who is your father?" Jesus answered, "You do not know either me or my Father. If you knew me you would know my Father too."

The law makers here show just how unforgiving they can be.  We know Mary was an unwed mother when Jesus was conceived.  Even though the scriptures told of this, and the Pharisees knew the scripture that told of this, they looked at Mary as one who had broken her vows and that Jesus was an illegitimate child. So they tried to trap Him with who is your father.  Jesus could have easily lost face here.  It was clear that He could not have known a father who was never there.

But Jesus was confident in who He was and who had sent Him.  So he told them, you do not know Him, cause if you knew Him you would know why I was here.  He drew the line in the sand.  They claimed they knew God but could not even understand why Jesus had to be here to fulfill the scriptures, they did not know His Dad.

How about you?  Do you know what God has called you to do?  Are you confident that you could stand up to those who disagree with you? 

Read for next time: Sent by the Father John 8:21-30

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

If Jesus twittered

March 9, 2010

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Adulterous woman brought to Jesus; John 8:3-11

I have written in the devotionals before about Twitter.  It is fun to think about what life would be like if some of the tools of today had been around in the time when Jesus walked the earth. For those of you not familiar with Twitter is what is referred to as micro-blogging, putting all of your thoughts into 140 characters. It can take some thought if  you have a lot to say and little space to say it in.  I suspect that is what Jesus was doing into today's scripture.

John 8:5-6 BBE
(5)  Now in the law Moses gave directions that such women were to be stoned; what do you say about it?
(6)  They said this, testing him, so that they might have something against him. But Jesus, with his head bent down, made letters on the floor with his finger.

In some ways I believe that Jesus was doing a comentary on what was going on it those peoples lives. So Jesus may have been the first person to have twittered, just not on as large a scale.

Michael Card in his song Scribbling in the Sand tells his version:

It was silence it was music
It was art it was absurd
He stooped and shouted volumes
Without saying a single word

The same finger
Of the strong hand
That had written ten commands
For now was simply scribbling in the sand

So, what if Jesus was to take your life and put a twitter commentary up on it?  Would you be like the people around Jesus that wanted to condemn the woman in their judgement and quickly walked away when they were confronted.  Or would it draw you closer to Him?
Read for next time: Light of the world - Taught in temple treasury 8:12-20
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