Friday, April 3rd

Friday, April 3rd

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. John 3:17-19

For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost. Luke 19:10

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory .... But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. Romans 5:1-2, 8-10

I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:25-27

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16:33

We began the week with the words of Psalm 24:7, "Let the King of glory enter." The followers of Christ offer a beautiful and worshipful response to Jesus by honoring him as "King" as he comes down from the Mount of Olives toward the gates of Jerusalem. Honoring Christ as "King" in the Palm Sunday event we call the triumphal entry just before he enters into Jerusalem is a nod to the future when he will come a second time to earth as "King of kings and Lord of lords. This stands in stark contrast to the response to Christ of the overall religious establishment. Truly, the religious establishment does not consider the gates of Jerusalem open for Jesus to enter in as the king of glory.

Jesus will enter Jerusalem and it will culminate in his death, burial, and resurrection. He has come to Jerusalem to fulfill his role as Savior, the "Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus weeps over the city of Jerusalem as he approaches its gates because his people as a whole do not recognize that God has visited them and they do not understand the way to peace. The words of the John 3 passage above capture this well: "Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil." Jesus weeps for their wrong response to him but it is not just because of this. He also weeps because of the consequences they will face as a result. These additonal words from John 3 above capture this well, "Whoever does not believe stands condemned already."

Jesus came into the world to free mankind from condemnation. Soon, Jesus will be on the other side of his death, burial, and resurrection and he will weep no longer. Salvation will be brought to the world. Individuals from all nations, Jewish and Gentile alike, will come to the light, believe in Christ, and be saved from condemnation. And there will still be that future time when the nation of Israel as a whole will be rescued and saved. Christ's weeping has been turned into joy. Luke 15 tells us there is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents. We need to join Jesus in weeping for the lost but with the anticipation of joy at their salvation. The joy of our own salvation stems from the blessed reality that we have peace with God (there is now no condemnationt) and we have the peace of God (I am with you to the end). With hearts filled with love and compassion for the lost we devote ourselves to knowing Christ and making him known. Sunday is Easter and there are people everywhere that need Christ who may embrace the Risen Savior on this glorious day. Ask God to help you be the bridge for someone to come to Christ. Pray, proclaim, invite!

Lord, thank you for helping me to see your heart and the things you were suffering even before you went through the gates of Jerusalem. Thank you for your heart of love and compassion that brought you through the gates of Jerusalem and to the cross of Calvary. Today is Good Friday and you gave up yourself for the world all those years ago. I still cannot comprehend all you suffered on the cross but I do know it was sufficient, you did it for me, and I stand in grace with no condemation because of it. Thank you, Lord! I pray you will help me to be a bridge for someone to come to you this weekend. Amen!

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