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John Moore
 
May 2, 2022 | Inspirational | John Moore

The Week of the Cross – Part 2 – True Repentance

Jesus has been both instructing and illustrating greatness in the Kingdom, and great crowds began to follow him.  Most recently he has, for the third time, specifically predicted his death and resurrection, though most did not understand this was the redemptive fulfillment of His life. What is coming is a sham trial, public beating and mocking, and the death of a condemned criminal among criminals. We are now in the last week of Jesus’ life. His entry into Jerusalem, his final instructions to the crowds and to the disciples, and the courage to face the cross contrary to his will but in obedience to the heavenly Father, and as such, modeling the true nature of salvation.

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this,  and it is marvelous in our eyes’[a]? 43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”[b]   Matthew 21:42-44.

1. The Promises of the Sermon on the Mount to Be Accomplished.  At the beginning of Jesus’ first ministry in Galilee, he promised, that to those who were poor in spirit, who would mourn, the meek, who would hunger and third for righteousness, to the merciful, to the pure in heart, to the peacemaker, and to those who were persecuted for righteousness – to them, they would receive the kingdom of heaven, would be comforted, would inherit the earth, would be filled, would be shown mercy, would see God, would be called the sons of God, would have the kingdom of heaven.  Now, because of the rejection of Jesus by Israel, the non-Jews – the Gentiles – would be grafted into the church, would become part of the foundation of the church, upon which the message of Jesus and the resurrection would expand.

2. Looking at Loss in Perspective.  There is no question that the Christian life is looking at the eternal, not the temporary, the spiritual, not the physical, the eternal residence in heaven with God, not the temporary presence as aliens and strangers in this world.  No better illustration than the thief on the cross, who upon his request to "remember me." received the promise, "Today you will be with me in paradise."  As Christians, because we have chosen to believe in Jesus and follow Him, we have exchanged the temporary for the permanent, the mortal for the immortal, the things we cannot keep for the life we cannot lose, and as such, we continue to persevere.  By the grace of God, th promise of salvation from the Garden of Eden, through Abraham and Israel, is now our full portion as well.

3. From Ashes to Glory.  In the midst of the condemnation to those who rejected Jesus, do you see the promise – GIVEN TO A PEOPLE WHO WILL PRODUCE ITS FRUIT (21:43).  It is true that Christianity is Jewish, but it doesn’t stop there.  Even to the Samaritan woman with the demon possessed daughter, who argued that the dogs (the non-Jews) received the crumps of the bread given to Israel – Jesus both healed her daughter and commended her faith!  Matthew 15:21-28.

53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”[a]55 “Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?”[b]  56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.  1 Corinthians 15:53-58.

We will continue to see the promise of God in Jesus during this passion week of the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus.  Stay well.

- John Moore

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