Shall we be Friends?

Bill had always found it difficult to make friends, especially at school. He didn’t feel very clever and he wasn’t even good at sport, he felt like a nobody and it seemed like everyone treated him that way.

Life had been incredibly lonely for Bill but all that had changed when Pete joined the school and soon they became the very best of friends.

Pete’s  father had sent him to the Bill’s home town to attend the school. Despite their separation, Bill soon noticed the special bond that Pete and his father had and the way that they often talked on the phone several times a day.

Shortly after he had arrived, a video recording from Pete’s dad  saying how proud and pleased that he was with his son was played in an assembly. It provoked quite a reaction from the other students, after all people pupils were only ever honored in an assembly if they had achieved or had done something special. In contrast, this message from the father spoke of love and being pleased with his son simply because that is show the Father felt about his son and he wanted everyone to know it.

Bill was intrigued by the special relationship that Pete had with his father! Pete seemed to draw acceptance, security, strength, guidance and a purpose from his father and Bill noticed that all of these elements were also found by him in his friendship with Pete.

Pete and Bill were inseparable, they learnt together, they laughed together, they shared hopes and dreams and they even talked about the things that were worrying them.

When they left school, Bill went to work in an office while Pete continued to spend his time befriending people – he didn’t get paid for it but his father always seemed to ensure that he had enough to live on. They continued to meet up and speak each day and Bill was grateful for the fulfillment in life that he had found through their friendship.

Several months later, Pete told Bill that he was going home to his father and that one day Bill could come and live with them, but that it wasn’t time yet.

When Pete left they stayed in touch by phone (in much the same way as Pete and his father had done). It seemed strange at first but while they talked regularly, Bill felt that Pete was still with him and so their friendship continued.

A few weeks later, work was so busy that Bill forgot to phone Pete. His mobile phone had rung several times and although he could see it was Pete, he really didn’t have time to answer and in the end he switched it off as it was distracting him. Bill phoned the next day and apologized to Pete who said that it was okay and that he was always available anytime that his friend wanted to call him.

Sadly that was just the start! Bill got complacent about contacting Pete and he was so busy that he often didn’t switch on his phone for days. Bill rarely phones Pete now which is sad because Pete is always ready and waiting to talk with him.

Is there anyone that we should call?

We may say that we follow Jesus, but how much do we talk with him?

Do we need to deepen our relationship with him by speaking with him more than we currently do?

Posted in acceptance, creative communication, discipleship, Faith, Following Jesus, Jesus, Listening to God, Prayer, Relationship with God | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is growing as Disciple of Jesus more like learning to ride a bike or to drive a car?

I currently have a daughter learning to ride a bike and a son learning to drive.

My daughter is 8 and was on the bike riding happily along in no time.

My son is 17 and he has had several lessons but he is not ready to take his test yet.

Learning to ride a bike is fairly instinctive and most people who have a good sense of balance will find this easy.

Learning to drive a car is fairly complicated and takes time. Obviously the mechanics of making it move are easily learnt but then there is how to drive safely on roads, learning the Highway code and finding how to interact with other road users.

So here is the question that I am wrestling with:

Is growing as Disciple of Jesus more like learning to ride a bike or to drive a car?

I have always had a very simple view of discipleship which at its most basic involves reading the gospels and trying to follow Jesus by doing what he says and by following his example.

It is also true though that there are parts of the Christian faith and how it relates to life that can be confusing and unclear. For example, I don’t think there is a clear answer to ‘which party should Christians vote for in the UK general election?’

As we disciple one another, I wonder how we get the balance between simplicity and providing the deeper information that we all need to wrestle with various life issues?

Should we address these two sides of discipleship as equals or with different levels of emphasis?

I have always tended towards the riding a bike metaphor by emphasizing doing and living what we see plainly in the Bible. Jesus said that we should love God and love one another and that these are the two greatest or most important commandments and that all of the rest of the law and the prophets hang on these. If we can do these two things well, then we will instinctively cover a lot of the rest of Biblical truth that hangs or that follows on from these.

Perhaps though the learning to drive is a better metaphor? After all, Jesus discipled people by talking and sharing life with them as they drove wandered around together. They talked on the way and he showed them how to live as his disciples in a similar way to a driving instructor teaching a learner. A driving instructor has brakes and a clutch on their side and they can reach the steering wheel but they need to use these things less and less as their students become competent. The disciples watched Jesus talk about God and minister to people and then he sent them out without him to have a go. Like learning to drive, maturing as a disciple of Jesus takes time!

Should discipleship be instinctive and simple or does it require a detailed approach with a test at the end before we let new Christian take off their spiritual L plates?

I’m not sure that this question has a straightforward answer unless the answer is ‘elements of both’! I do believe though that if we neglect the basics to focus on something deeper then we are not living as disciples of Jesus.

The first few verses of 1 Corinthians 13 explains this well:

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

All of the things in this passage are things Christians should aspire to but if we don’t have love then we have missed the point. Christianity isn’t a practical faith that is given to be lived. Discipleship is about so much more than what we know, it is about how we love Jesus by living in a way that is honourable to him as a our Lord and Saviour.

I think the place I currently am regarding the issue of simple or complex discipleship is that it can and should include anything that helps us to love and to follow Jesus more effectively. Discipleship should start with the things that are central to our relationship with Jesus and spread out to look at other areas as our faith develops. Hebrews 5 explains this well:

11 There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen.12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

The sign of spiritual maturity is to be able to feed yourself and others spiritually as well as to recognize the difference between right and wrong. It is interesting to note that their immaturity wasn’t to do with not knowing enough, rather it was about them not living out the basics of God’s word.

What does discipleship mean to you?

Do you think that it is more like learning to ride a bike or to drive a car?

Perhaps you can think of an alternative metaphor?

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You don’t want to read that!

I was talking with a minister recently who was preparing a Sermon about Zacchaeus and his encounter with Jesus. She mentioned she was reading a commentary for background information about the Bible passage in Luke 19.

My instinctive reaction was to say ‘you don’t want to read that’ (that’s the commentary, not the Bible!)

The Zacchaeus story is so simple:

  • An outcast who everyone hates is trying to see Jesus but he is pretty sure Jesus won’t want to see him.
  • Jesus sees him and invites himself to the man’s house for a meal
  • The people who saw this were very unhappy, “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.
  • Zacchaeus responds to Jesus’ grace by giving half his money to the poor and repaying four times as much to anyone who he had cheated.

In a nutshell the Zacchaeus story teaches us that Jesus loves and welcomes outcasts and that when they encounter him their lives will be changed.

Now to be fair to my friend who was about to read a commentary, if you understand that as a tax collector in Roman occupied Israel that Zacchaeus would have been a collaborator. He was hated because he cheated people but also because he was helping the Romans to gather taxes from the Jewish people for themselves. This information (that you will find in a commentary) will help you to understand the story but it is not essential to the understanding. You see from my bullet points above that in this passage that the Bible gives all the important background information eg ‘notorious sinner’ and the ‘crowd is shocked’ that Jesus speaks with him.

One of the things that worries me in life is the way that we have theological colleges which are producing Ministers to present well researched information rather than the straightforward meaning of a Bible passage. I do think that it is possible to do both and I hope that comes across in my sermons but in my view the emphasis should always be on the simple straightforward meaning of what the Bible is saying where that meaning is plain in the passage.

Just in case she reads this, ‘To my friend who was reading a commentary on Luke 19. You are awesome and I hope that what you read has helped you. This post isn’t about you or you doing anything wrong, our conversation simply sparked a thought about something that I have been dwelling on for a time’.

Also, for the record, I do sometimes read commentaries for Sermons, but I pick and choose which Bible passages and themes that I read around the most.

I guess my biggest concern is not what we read or how we prepare but how we present information.

Most people who come to church aren’t academic and we need to make sure that we present the truth of the Bible in as straightforward and as a creative way as possible.

The crowds flocked to Jesus because the was saying something profound and life changing in an understandable way.

May God help us to see that our priority is to share the good news about Jesus and what it means to be his disciple in as simple and as accessible a way as possible and if using a commentary helps us to do this then that is great!

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I don’t remember reading this bit before

On Good Friday, some of us gathered to read through the Bible account of the days and hours leading up to and including Jesus’ death.

We read a section together, paused to reflect on what we had read and then there was space for anyone to say anything if they wanted to.

During the comments a few people said something like:

I don’t remember reading this bit before.

This makes you wonder if we really read the whole Bible with enough time and space to take it in? I’m sure that every Christian reads the Bible and we might also hear it read in church but what we are not always so good at is stopping to think about what we have read and to let it sink in. Sermons are often the worst examples of this, where we fling a large amount of information at people, sing a closing song and end the service.

For those of us who preach and lead in church, we need to consider how we build reflective space in to the teaching elements of the service so that we can help people to learn.

Do we try to read the whole Bible over time or do we repeatedly just read our favourite bits?

Do we know what the Bible says about who Jesus is or do we just assume that we know who he is? Do people seriously think he is just nice and pleasant as this cartoon suggests?

Finally, how can we give ourselves the space we need to consider what we are reading in the Bible? What would work for you, being silent, writing notes, being creative eg drawing or painting, discussing with others or perhaps something else?

Any thoughts? How can we read and digest the Bible in a more effective way? Please comment below with any suggestions.

Of course, another way of looking at this is that something new leaps out at us every time we read a Bible passage and for this we thank God.

 

 

 

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Are we Living like Easter Saturday Believers in an Easter Sunday World?

Cleopas and his friend trudged along the road towards Emmaus trying to process what had happened. They had been so sure that Jesus was the Messiah but now he was dead.

If Jesus was the Messiah, he appeared to be a broken and defeated one!

As they walked along in disbelief trying to make sense of the everything that they had witnessed a stranger approached them and started walking with them. He asked them what the matter was and they told about of the death of Jesus. They told him of their hurt and pain that they were feeling about what had happened and of the confusion and disappointment that was filling their every waking moment.

Finally the confessed their deepest and darkest secret:

Some women went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find the body of Jesus. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive.  Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus. (Luke 24.22-24)

These disciples had heard a rumour that Jesus was alive but instead of finding out more, they were walking away from the only place where the truth could be found.

We can only guess what their motivation was in leaving Jerusalem. Perhaps they simply had responsibilities in Emmaus or possibly their disappointment and hurt ran so deep that they couldn’t face getting their hopes up only to be dashed again?

The stranger began to explain to them that Messiah had to suffer and die and as he talked, the brokenness that these men felt seemed to melt away. It was replaced by awe and they began to feel excited as they understood that Jesus had died to save them and that he hadn’t failed at all!

Jesus was the Messiah and his suffering and death had been a key part of rather than the end of his mission.

As they arrived at Emmaus, Cleopas and his friend invited the stranger to stay and later as they shared a meal together he broke the bread and in that moment they saw that he was Jesus. (The Bible passage in Luke 24 says that God had kept them from recognizing Jesus until that moment).

One of the things that struck me as I was thinking about this journey to Emmaus was the way that these men were living like it was still Easter Saturday when in fact it was Easter Sunday and Jesus was alive again.

How about you?

As you look honestly at your life and faith, does it feel more like you have an Easter Saturday or Sunday faith?

On Easter Saturday it looked like God was powerless and it felt like the powers of evil had won.

On Easter Sunday it was clear that God is more powerful than anything else and that he had won!

Sometimes, Christians and churches are stuck in an Easter Saturday mindset. Prayers are offered but there is no real expectation that the God, who feels incredibly far away, will act in power.

The good news is that Jesus wants to walk with us through life!

Jesus promises to be with his followers but we have to ask ourselves whether we want to be with him? When we do acknowledge that he is with us, do we talk with him or just at him?

Cleopas and his friend talked at Jesus. They poured out their hearts to him about everything they were feeling but then they listened as he spoke to them. If they had just talked at him rather than with him then they would have continued in their brokenness and hurt and nothing would have changed.

Caravaggio painted two works based on the supper at Emmaus. This is the later one that he created towards the end of his life. Both paintings are almost identical in terms of the characters. Jesus, the two disciples and a kind of innkeeper figure appear in both of the paintings. The one difference is the servant girl who is listening in. Some people think that this was Caravaggio’s way of representing himself in his painting, that he felt like an outsider listening in wondering if Jesus would talk with him and accept him as well.

Jesus was heading past Emmaus but Cleopas and his friend invited him to stay and Jesus did.

Whether you are Cleopas, Caravaggio, a servant girl or someone else, if you invite Jesus to stay then he will!

Cleopas and his friend were walking in the wrong direction! They were heading away from God’s plan for their life but Jesus still followed them and walked with them!

You may be heading the wrong way like Cleopas but Jesus will still come and walk with you. As he does will we welcome and talk with him?

We may be past Easter Sunday but Jesus is still alive and he is willing to walk and talk with us. How will this affect the way you live today?

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They hoped they could move the Stone but what they Found was so much Greater!

A few days after his death, Mary and her friends went to Jesus’ tomb to embalm his body. As they got closer they began to wonder how they would move the large stone that was blocking the entrance.

We can only imagine the bizarre mix of emotions that they felt as they approached and saw that the stone had been moved. The brief joy that the stone had been moved would ahev been eclipsed by worry, shock and surprise as they found that the tomb was empty. Their despair at the loss of the body of Jesus was soon overwhelmed with Joy (and plenty of confusion!) as they realized that Jesus was alive.

The large stone couldn’t be moved easily by people but for God it was easy!

What are the things you are finding difficult? Do you have the faith to believe that God is greater than those sitautaions?

God had raised Jesus from the dead which was way, way, way beyond the expectations of the people who had come to the tomb that morning!

What are the things that you have decided are impossible? Do you have the faith to believe that God is greater than them and that he can do all things?

The women who went to the tomb 2000 years ago, left shocked and surprised and my hope and prayer is that God would continue to shock and surprise us today.

God really is stronger and greater that anyone or anything else and he can still do more that we might ask or think.

If you are interested in finding out more about the events surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection then you might like to look at the other posts I have written about Holy week.

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Don’t forget in the Dark what you have seen in the Light

It had been less than 24 hours since they had watched their friend, mentor and lord die in agony and the disciples couldn’t believe that Jesus had failed!

The agonizing and humiliating death of Jesus filled and consumed their thoughts leaving them feeling numb, desolate, disappointed, confused and alone!

They had thought Jesus was the Messiah but now he was dead and buried they assumed that he couldn’t have been! Their hopes were dashed and their lives were in pieces.

Jesus had told his disciples that he would rise from the dead but in the midst of the roller coaster of circumstances and emotions that they were on, this had got lost and was not in their thinking.

Whilst it looked to the disciples like Jesus had failed, they were soon be reminded that he had in fact won his greatest victory as he defeated death and sin through his sacrifice on the cross and his resurrection from the dead.

Sometimes it feels like we are living in an Easter Saturday world!

We believe that God is good, loving and all powerful but when we watch the news, it can be so full of evil and despair that it can leave us wondering where God is and why he isn’t fixing things in the way that we would try to?

Do you ever feel like God is failing?

Do you ever feel like God has lost control of the world?

As I have been reflecting on this I remembered a prophecy that was given to my father in law. God said to him:

‘Don’t forget in darkness what you have seen in the light’.

Have you ever been left in a pitch black room as the result of a power cut? As you consider where the nearest torch or box of matches is you also have to think about where the furniture and doors are around you.

Those things don’t cease to be there because you can’t see them!

When our lives and circumstances are full of light it’s easy to see who God is but in the darkness of an Easter Saturday experience, it is easy to forget God and what he has promised!

We need to continue to believe that God is still good and at work even when it doesn’t look that way from our limited perspective.

On Easter Saturday, Jesus was dead and buried. Everyone was certain it was all over but the next day Jesus rose from the dead and everything changed.

If you feel like you are living in dark times then rather than despairing, perhaps you need to pray to see more of God’s light. If as we pray, we don’t see more of his light then I hope we can still cling to the reality that the light of Jesus is still shining and that God is still good even if we can’t see it.

Jesus had promised to rise from the dead, but in the darkness of Easter Saturday the disciples had either forgotten or had lost faith in this promise.

May we look to the light and not be consumed by the darkness and may God increase our faith as we trust in him in this dark world.

If you would like to consider this some more you could try reading A light in the darkness or the light shines the brightest in the darkest of places.

If you are interested in finding out more about the events surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection then you might like to look at the other posts I have written about this.

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Jesus died to make it possible for Enemies of God to become his Friends

I was reading the part of the Easter story where Peter cuts off the ear of the High Priest’s slave. Usually this is a part of the account that gets missed out but as I thought about it, I began to see how clear a picture that what happened next is of what Jesus accomplished through his death on the cross.

This poor slave was a part of the group who were arresting Jesus and as a slave he almost certainly had no choice about being there. This makes it especially unfortunate that he was struck by Peter.

Can you imagine the headline if this happened today?

Church Leader Dismembers Man in Savage Attack?

Peter panicked and lashed out. He saw his friend, mentor and lord being arrested unfairly and so he attacked. It is fairly astonishing that Peter went on to become one of the key leaders in the early church despite having a record for GBH. Peter though, learnt a lesson that day and later in life when he was arrested he handled the situation very differently by choosing to speak about Jesus rather than by lashing out!

James Tissot [No restrictions or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

What is more astonishing though is Jesus’ response.

Jesus reached out and healed the man.

As Jesus was being arrested and taken away, he healed the person who was with his enemies!

The moment is captured perfectly in this painting by James Tissot. Jesus is in chains and is being pulled forcefully in one direction whilst he stretches out in the other to heal.

Although Jesus was surrounded by hatred, his heart’s desire was to heal.

This act of grace is incredibly inspirational and challenging  all at the same time. Whilst we are in awe of the way Jesus behaves here, we also have to pause and ask whether we would be willing to heal and to bless our enemies even when they are trying to do us harm?

This picture of Jesus suffering whilst reaching out to heal is a reminder of why he died.

Jesus died to make it possible for Enemies of God to become his Friends.

The Bible says

Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2.13)

Jesus died to break the separation and enmity between humanity and God. He took the sin of the world on himself in order to give us the opportunity and the freedom to turn to God for ourselves.

Good Friday is Horrendous Friday for Jesus!

He suffered and died in agony and whilst this is very bad for him, it is really good for us as he removed the barrier of sin that separated us from God.

Good Friday reminds me why I follow Jesus. If he is God and he was willing to go through everything that he did to save a world that had rejected him then he is worthy of our admiration, worship and our everything.

Jesus is worthy of all these things but will we offer them to him?

If you are interested in finding out more about the events surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection then you might like to look at the other posts I have written about this.

You might also find this song helpful if you want to reflect further.

Posted in Bible, Easter week explained, Faith, Holy week, Holy week explained, Jesus, salvation, Saved by Jesus | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pushing through the Pain Barrier

Those of you who know me well will realize that I am far from athletic!

I may not have run a marathon but I know that in order to complete one that you have to persevere and to push through the pain barriers and exhaustion that are felt at various points in the race.

As I have been thinking about the days leading up to Jesus’ death, it occurs to me that there were lots of painful barriers that Jesus had to push through and past in order to save us.

I’m astonished by how well that Jesus coped and dealt with the foolish questions that he was asked by the religious leaders. Jesus was trying to prepare himself for the cross but the religious leaders wanted to trip him up and make him look foolish (you can read more about that here). Jesus must have been so frustrated with their actions but he persevered to the cross.

One of his closest friends Judas betrayed him and led the Roman soldiers to arrest him.

As Jesus shared the last supper, he told his disciples that he was going to die and that they should remember him. In response, the disciples started arguing about who was the greatest (you can read more about this here) which must have been so, so disappointing.

Jesus was feeling real emotional turmoil as his arrest drew closer and so he asked some close friends to pray while he too cried out to God. These friends fell asleep nearby (you can read more about this here) leaving Jesus without any human comfort and support.

Peter, who was Jesus’ closest friend denied knowing him.

Jesus was tortured and executed despite being innocent.

At any of these points Jesus could have given up but he didn’t. You would probably expect a well-balanced and secure individual to cope with most of these individual circumstances but to have to face all of them in a few days must have been absolutely horrific.

Jesus had so much that could have caused him to give up but instead he persevered and pushed through these pain barriers.

Jesus overcame great pain and suffering so that he could win the prize and astonishingly that prize is us lot. Jesus died to save the world and to offer humanity a way back to God.

The Bible compares a life of faith to a long distance race:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.(Hebrews 12.1-3)

The key to persevering is?

  1. To focus on and to be inspired by Jesus. If we think about all that he overcame then we ‘won’t become weary and give up’.
  2. To throw off the things that slow us down, especially sin
  3. To remember the prize: We can join Jesus in his mission to rescue humanity by being honest about our faith and telling people what Jesus has done and is doing for us.

As I reflect on all that Jesus put up with as he approached the cross it is really quite astonishing that he went through with it. Jesus was willing to give his life for people who included those who were betraying, letting him down and hurting him!

If you are going through a tough time then I hope and pray that you will be inspired by Jesus and that you would be wiling to throw off any negative emotions and hurts that are holding you back. I also pray that you would know Jesus with you and that you would experience him alongside you, inspiring, guiding, equipping and strengthening you.

If you want to think more about this Bible passage and perseverance then you might find The one about the race helpful.

I am hoping to write something each day this week to explore aspects of what happened during the lead up to the first Easter Sunday. If you are interested in finding out more, then you might like to look at the other posts I have written.

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Is Jesus more like a Lion or a Lamb?

As I drove along I was reflecting on how I had been called an angry and aggressive person. Although I felt frustrated about what had happened, I wasn’t angry (perhaps that’s not who I am after all?)

I was praying about what had happened (don’t worry, I had my eyes open) and then the song ‘He’s coming on the clouds (The Lion and the Lamb)’ started playing and I listened to these words:

Our God is a lion
The Lion of Judah
He’s roaring with power
And fighting our battles
Every knee will bow before Him

Immediately I felt better, after all God was going to fight for and vindicate me! Anyone who knows me will know that this particular accusation against me is wrong.

I began to hum along as I listened to the next words:

Our God is a lamb
The lamb that was slain
For the sin of the world
His blood breaks the chains
Every knee will bow before the lion and the lamb
Every knee will bow before him

My bubble of smugness and self-righteousness popped (actually, I think it exploded) as I was reminded that although Jesus is the all powerful God that he is also called the lamb of God.

During Holy Week we especially remember the days surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Jesus rode into Jerusalem, not as a lion who would defeat the Romans but as a lamb who had come to give his life as a sacrifice to save us.

Jesus was more like a lion when he trashed the temple courts (read yesterday’s post for an explanation about this).

Jesus was arrested, beaten, tortured and executed. The Bible says that he was led like a lamb to the slaughter.

I am so grateful Jesus came into Jerusalem as a lamb, not a lion.

I am so grateful that Jesus was willing to give his life to save us. He did this even though he could have asked God to take him back to heaven at any point to escape the suffering he was enduring.

I  guess that we all find Jesus the lion pretty awesome, but do we find Jesus the lamb so attractive?

I love the way that the song reminds us that people will kneel before Jesus the lamb. We won’t kneel because we are a afraid or because we have to. We will kneel in silent awe because this is the God who sacrificed himself to save us, this is Jesus who laid aside his majesty and status to rescue us!

What kind of lion would choose to become a lamb?

The answer is ‘One like Jesus!’

As I though about the names that I had unfairly been called, it gave me the tiniest speck on insight into the attacks that Jesus had endured and it reminded me that defending myself wasn’t important.

The Lion of Judah stood on trial. He could have said ‘Don’t you know who I am’ or roared or displayed his power in some way but instead he surrendered like a lamb being led to the slaughter. Jesus didn’t retaliate or feel the need to defend or justify himself, ultimately his confidence was in God and not in himself or in what other people thought of or were saying about him.

So, how about you? Would you prefer to be like a Lion or a Lamb? Whichever we would prefer, are we willing to be like both at different times as we serve Jesus?

So, my thanks to Leeland Mooring, Brenton Brown and Brian Johnson for writing and providing us with such an inspirational song that reminds us of who Jesus is.

I am hoping to write something each day this week to explore aspects of what happened during the lead up to the first Easter Sunday. If you are interested in finding out more then you might find the other posts I have written helpful.

You can listen to the song here:

 

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