I have been so blessed over the past week. The Glory of Easter has come and gone and we are still basking a little in its effect on us and our church. We had one precious person who prayed to receive Jesus (that we know of). All that work and labor, heavy lifting and sewing, cooking and watching kids, practicing lines and harmonies – is all worth it if even one person comes to Christ.
That’s kind of how I see the cross. God knew what the outcome would be when He sent His Son to die for our sins. He knew who would come. Yet somehow I feel as though He would have done it if you were the only one.
So what did we learn this year? Well, we start with Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was amazing (and Diane was pretty incredible also) and I think I gained some fresh insight to how she might have felt at various points along the way through the story of her son. She displayed great grace and courage in the limited views we have of her in Scripture.
The thief on the cross reminded me of some precious truths. One is that I am just like him. Well, I would rather be like him than the other thief. Really, we are all going to identify with one or the other. Either we turn to Christ and receive Him as our Savior and Lord (Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom) or we reject Him and choose our own sin and suffering (If you are truly the Messiah then save yourself and us!).
What about Jesus? Did we find anything new or different in the Son of God? For me, I can only say that Daniel’s portrayal of Jesus this year helped me to better sense how Jesus might have felt as He offered Himself to Israel and was rejected by their leaders. It is somewhat horrifying to think that their true king, their Messiah, came and stood before them… and they killed Him. They rejected Him and what He stood for. They crushed Him.
Yet I also see that Jesus is the Cornerstone, the Rock, the builders rejected. Yet He was the Chief Cornerstone. All who stumbled on Him would be broken but all upon whom He falls will be crushed. Jesus confronted the evil in those men. He didn’t avoid the battle. He welcomed it.
The story of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection is so powerful. Each year we try to tell it from a different perspective. But it is the same story. It is the same story that you heard when God spoke to your heart and called you to be saved. It is the same story for all who come. God has no favorites. We all come the same way. The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
One older gentleman who came shared with me after the service, “You just can’t imagine what an impression this program has made on me.” Well, if we are truly hearing it with the eyes of a sinful, condemned man then it made quite an impression on us as well. The only ones who weren’t impressed were the Pharisees who thought they didn’t’ need anything from Jesus.
So I can imagine this older man’s impression. I still can feel the weight of my sin, my hopelessness, my loneliness, my confusion – when Jesus saved me. I still feel it and I still kneel before Him to say, “Thank you.”
Bro. Tim Hobbs