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Friday, April 22, 2011

Thoughts on the Day of Days

It was the most decisive day not merely in human history but in the history of the universe. Every created being in the spirit world held its breath, transfixed by the sight of the Son of Man bruised and bloodied, carrying His cross, weighed down more by the sins of mankind than the weight of the cross itself. He had come to the end of His journey here on earth, and every being in heaven stood in awe of He who came to do the will of the Father. They knew that victory was at hand, that the powers of darkness would be overrun on that day, that death and the grave would be conquered and God’s beloved creation would have its redeemer.

Justice and love were reconciled on that day, and the full measure of God’s love was on full display for the universe to see. The enemy trembled for he likewise knew what this meant, and try as he might to keep Jesus from going to the cross, promising Him the world itself, the greatest love and the greatest obedience was made manifest in Christ that day.

We have come upon the season of remembrance, the season wherein we remember Golgotha, the season wherein we remember what Jesus did for us, and although this knowledge of God’s perfect love for His creation, and Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for us ought to be in our hearts in perpetuity, it is in this time that we seem to remember all the more.

For the past few days I’ve been alone with God, taking advantage of the few free days I had and heading off into the wilderness, or as into the wilderness as I could get within a day’s drive which put me in the badlands of South Dakota. I’ve been spending my time reading the Word, praying, and driving up to a local coffee shop with free Wi-Fi to post these teachings. It was inevitable that my scripture reading would gravitate toward the trial, the crucifixion, the death and the resurrection of Christ, and today I just wanted to share some thoughts on that day of days, and some of the individuals that stood out as I re-read certain scripture passages.

The first thought I want to share with you, is that it is a truly disastrous thing to be tethered to a religion and not to Jesus. The priests condemned Christ. They accused Him falsely, they lied about Him, they mocked Him, they wanted to see Him dead, and this bothered them not a bit. They did however keep themselves from entering the Praetorium for fear of defiling themselves; only then were their sensibilities aroused. That is the difference between worshiping Jesus, and worshiping a religion. When you worship religion rather than the living Christ, it is inevitable that you will become a hypocrite, one who has no qualms about stabbing another in the back, but takes umbrage when someone in their presence eats a slice of bacon. Now before this discussion derails, and I have to answer thirty e-mails on why I advocate the eating of the swine, I do not, but I do not condemn it either. So will eating a slice of bacon send you to hell? No! Is it probably wise to cut back on it if your cholesterol’s pushing the upper triple digit echelon? Yes!

The second thought I want to share with you is that it is tragic to confess only to men and not to Jesus. Judas realized his mistake, he went back to the priests, trying to give back the thirty pieces of silver the chief priests and the elders had paid him. He made an impassioned speech saying ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood!’ And their response was, ‘What is it to us? You see to it!’ Throwing down the silver pieces in the temple, Judas departed and summarily hanged himself. While Judas is dangling from a tree branch, the priests pick up every silver piece, and with a detachment that I found deeply troublesome decide to buy a plot of land with it.

‘We can’t put it back in the treasury, these coins are the price of blood’, they reasoned to themselves. But you’re the ones who paid Judas to betray his Master, you’re the cause of all this, and now you act pious? Now, the law matters? Now after all you’ve done, now you grow a conscience?

You will always find forgiveness at the foot of the cross, you will always find grace at the foot of the cross, you will always find mercy at the foot of the cross, and you will always find compassion at the foot of the cross. If men you trusted have hurt you, go to the cross, talk to Jesus, He is there to listen.

The third thought I want to share with you today, is that no good can come of following after the crowd and not after the truth. We see this played out in our modern era, just as we saw it played out two thousand years ago. Men are drawn to crowds, and if enough people get behind a movement, if enough people get behind a preacher, then at a certain point men don’t question whether it’s the truth anymore, they just follow the crowd. Seek the truth, know the truth, live the truth, and follow the truth even if you remain alone on your journey. The path is narrow, we walk single file toward the eternity that God has prepared for us.

Of all the things I’ve listed however, none hold a candle to the final thought I want to share with you, the fact that the greatest disaster of one’s existence is to one day stand before God without having had their sins forgiven. Jesus bore our sins, in fact 2 Corinthians tells us that He was made sin for us, and as such we see how the justice of God treats sin. If we reject His forgiveness, if we reject His grace all that remains is the fearful expectation of God’s eternal judgment.

Love compelled Jesus to suffer, love compelled Jesus to die, love for you and love for me, and for all those who believe in Him. Thank God for His love; thank God for His Son; thank God for His mercy; thank God for His grace;

Matthew 27:29-35, “When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. Then when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified. Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross. And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink. Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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