As many of you know, we are coming upon Easter quickly. Next Sunday, we celebrate Palm Sunday. Today, I want to look at a scripture that introduces Jesus’ purpose for the sacrifice
Lots going on…first, people are asking to see Jesus – to talk with Him, ask Him questions – so Philip goes to Jesus to tell Him. This must have signaled something important for Him – the Greeks are asking, not the Jews – and He knows His time is near. As He identifies that His time is near, Jesus takes the time to explain to His disciples the importance of what is happening. He explains clearly His purpose. Jesus talks about what happens with wheat. He is talking about His own life and the importance of His death. Because of His death, lives are saved! He then explains to them that it is essential that they not place importance on this earthly life and the things contained in it. Think about it…what do we hold so dear in this life? We hold money and power and prestige very high. Jesus tells us to put this life aside – to do the opposite of loving the life. He then explains that if we want to serve Him, we follow Him…we allow Him to lead and guide and direct. This selection ends with Jesus acknowledging that by His death, the devil is cast out and He opens up the doors for His people. So, why is this important? It is important because as we approach Easter, we must remember that Jesus’ death was not insignificant. This should begin to open our eyes to the magnitude of what He has done for you and me. Jesus didn’t die just so that we are saved – to open up the gates of heaven for us as sinners who come to Him. He also did it so that we have a different perspective. We live in this world, but long for the next. We have a dual citizenship. We know where our home is, with Jesus – wherever He is, that is where we want to be. We also live in this sinful, cruel world. Yet, we are here as citizens of this world to make a difference. Jesus came and fulfilled His purpose that God sent Him for. But, we probably don’t often think about how we are or are not fulfilling the purpose that He has set for us while we are still here. Lent should be a time of reflection…where God wants you to be and where your relationship is with Him. I pray that you are reflecting on your walk with Him and listening to Him as He is guiding and directing your life! Give up the things of this world…surrender all to Him. Jesus is being clear that we are not to love this life and the things in it. Yet, these are the things we hold most dear. But, if indeed we are dual citizens, it makes sense that we want to do what is best for our King, even while we are here. Part of doing that is giving up the things of this world to Him – our eternal King. Why does this matter? Most of us are not poor. We do not have things for the reason of having them so we live a great life. We have things so that we can help those who do not have. We are called to be good stewards. We could have easily been born in a poor home, in a poor country. We would not be any less blessed. We would not be any less privileged. We have been given things so that we use what we have for Him and His glory. We have a responsibility because of what we have been given…for to whom much is given, much is required. We are called to be good stewards which means surrendering this earthly life completely to Him. Our ultimate destination is with Jesus. What we do in the meantime means something…is of importance…YOU are of importance to the Kingdom of God. It isn’t about our comfort here…it is about our mission until we reach the ultimate place of peace and comfort – our heavenly home with Jesus. What are you doing with what He has given YOU until you reach the home with HIM?