- Deuteronomy 21:1-22:30
- Luke 9:51-10:12
- Psalm 74:1-23
- Proverbs 12:11
Today is Good Friday, the day we recognize that Jesus, the son of God, was crucified on a cross to pay the price of repentance so that our sins would be forgiven. All we have to do is believe and trust in the fact that Jesus is Lord and then follow him. I am praying for each of us to grasp how deep and how wide the love of God!! Not only did he suffer the cruelest of deaths, but then Jesus rose again on the 3rd day. Today we celebrate that day as Easter!! He is currently seated at the right hand of the Father for YOU, my friend. He’s calling to YOU today.
As an illustration of what Jesus has done for us….let us consider some examples of sons and daughters. Some of these were before Jesus came to die for our sins in the Old Testament, and some are after Jesus paid the final price in the Gospels.
Who amongst us hasn’t been a drunkard or a glutton at some point or another. Who amongst us hasn’t kept on doing the wrongs over, and over, and over, and over again, even thought we KNEW that we knew that we KNEW that it was wrong? The evil in this world is overwhelming, and Satan is its ruler. We all fall into temptation. If you are recognizing a sinful behavior in your life, trust me when I say, you are not alone. You are not alone.
The word “sin” is a term used in archery to mean, “missed the mark”. No matter how far off the bullseye an archer is, its a sin. There’s no big sins or little sins, they’re just sins. Often we might find ourselves saying, “well, at least the thing I did wrong isn’t as bad as his/her wrong doing”. That’s off limits folks. Its not our place to judge, only repent for our own.
In the Deuteronomy readings today, there are various laws that Moses lists and the punishment is that the evil doer must be brought before the elders, and the person stoned to death. “You must purge the evil among you” is insisted upon for each.
But then Jesus came.
Jesus didn’t use the term REBELLIOUS Son, Jesus calls him “lost” in the Parable of the Lost Son. Oh, and the term “son” can be used for daughter too…..so ladies, this is for us, as well.
The son asked for his half of the estate inheritance. The only time we get an inheritance, is when someone dies, right? Well, so in essence, the son was telling his father, “you are dead to me! Just give me my money! I don’t need anything from you but my possessions.” Total rejection of the Father. How sad the father must have felt, right? How rejection of a child can be overwhelming. I know this from experience, its the worst feeling in the world, the rejection from a child.
But then, as could be predicted, the son squandered off all his possession in “wild living” in the distant land of drunkardness and gluttony. Just the way the first son did in Deuteronomy. He partied with his buddies in a way of life that was foreign to that in which he was raised. Then, of course, when it was all gone, where were his friends? Poof. Gone. So with no money and no possessions, the boy was forced to get a job. He took a job feeding pigs.
Nothing like feeding pigs to bring you to your senses, right? Have you ever fed pigs friends? Ugh, its the worst. My daughter had pigs in 4-H, and man-oh-man, those animals have a whole new level of stink. But, a man’s gotta eat right? When you get to the point of wanting to eat pig food….that my friends, is what we call rock bottom. The desperation of no where else to turn. Unfortunately, that’s what it takes sometimes to draw us back to the Father. Sometimes we have to experience the consequences of our choices. Our very own pig food and pig pen.
He came to his senses. He decided to swallow his pride and go home to the father. Maybe dad wasn’t so bad after all. Maybe dad had been right about a few things. Maybe this way of living isn’t what he thought it would be. Perhaps its time to go home. This son knew that he deserved to be purged from the family, as the reading from Deuteronomy describes. But he was willing to just go home and eat the crumbs of the servants.
But Jesus says something different. Jesus died to pay the ultimate price of stoning and purging and NOW…..while the son was still a long way off, his Father saw him, and was filled with compassion for him; he RAN to His son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20)
When we get up and go to the Father, He RUNS TO US, friends! By giving the son the best robe and putting a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet, the Father restored him to his place in the family. When we repent and turn to the Father, we are no longer outcast. When we go off and are doing our wild living, God calls us lost, and when we return, God calls us found. We were dead in our sinful behaviors, and now we are alive, in Jesus.
Friends, are you lost? No matter the sinful decisions, in sin, we are lost. We are all lost, but Jesus came to let us know that no matter what, we can just say the word, think the thought of returning to the Father and he runs to meet us. We don’t have to make a big production of it, go to a special place, put on a strong exterior, quit the bad habit, get cleaned up, go anywhere, do anything. All we have to do, right now, in each of our quiet hearts, say the words, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son/daughter.” (Luke 15:21) And God will come running to wrap you in His arms. Please do that today, friend.
Lord, I come to you in praise and gratitude for this Good Friday. I thank you that you came to seek us lost souls and redeem us to the family of God. Lord I pray for the person reading this right now. I pray that Peace be on their house. I know that those who promote peace, your peace will rest on them, and if not, it will return to me. I pray that if there is any illness or sin in which needs healing that You would heal them and cause them to follow you. I seek the same for myself, if there is any evil or sickness in or around each of us, that in Jesus name it would quietly leave and that the Holy Spirit fill its place. The kingdom of God has come near. The kingdom of God is near, I pray that this knowledge would cause us to get up, and go to You, Father. In Jesus mighty name. Amen.
How can I be praying for you today?