Luke 24:36-49 the scars of love

Jesus appears to His disciples and sends them out to change the world. What might He give them to do their world changing work. A commentary by John Piper, or a heart touching book from Max Lucado? He could of given them a King James edition of the Bible. No, Jesus sends them out with what they Heard Him speak and what they have seen with their eyes.

The risen Christ comes to them and says, “see my hands and feet, touch me.” The things they have heard and seen empowered by the Holy Spirit are all the tools they have.

They saw Jesus walk on water, heal the lame, raise the dead, and have now seen Jesus risen from the dead. They have heard His parables, listened to His teaching for three years. But all these things are in their head and hearts, they have no videos, no transcripts, or recordings, just what is in their head and hearts.

We also are sent to hurting world by Jesus. While we have many tools that we have as we go.

First is the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit that empowers us, teaches us, uses the other tools we are given, to apply them to our every situation.

Second Jesus sends us out with what we have seen and heard. Locked up in your head and heart is what you have learned from God’s word. You also have all the things you have seen God do. The ways you have seen Him touch your lives and the lives of others.

The third thing is motivation. Do you notice that Jesus still bears the wounds of crucifixion when He comes to them? In Revelation Jesus is presented as the lamb who is slain. Jesus bears the scars of the cross. Jesus could with less than a word remove those scars, yet He keeps them. I have wondered why?

You might think it is to make us feel guilty, see what you’ve done. I think they are they to remind us of how much He loves us and how much we are forgiven. My friend Don has a carpenters level given to Him by his dad. It’s old and beat up yet has gone to every job with him. Many years ago when his first grandchild was 2 years old, his grandson picked up a hammer and broke the glass in one of the windows of the level. Don carried that level each day to work for two reasons. First to remember his father who gave it to him and second to remember Cole his grandson who broke it. That scar on his level reminded him of his love for his grandson. Jesus’ scars remind us of how much he loves us, how much he has forgiven.

Over lent we talked about forgiveness on Wednesday nights. One thing we left out was the scars left behind. A scar can be physical or emotional. When we see the scars our sin has left behind, we are often wanting to remove or erase them. But maybe the scars are there to remind us how much we have been forgiven, to remember how much we are loved, by the person who carries them.

What scars do you carry, what reminders of your sin or mistakes do you have, maybe it’s something that could remind you not of your sin or mistake but of the love of the person who has forgiven you for them.

As you look at Jesus’ hand and feet don’t focus on the pain you have caused focus on the depth of the love that has forgiven you.

Celebrate Jesus Luke 19:28-40

Zec 9:9, Psalm 118:25, Luke 19:28-40

There was a silly little song that we sang a couple of times during Bible school called Little Red Caboose. We start with the little red caboose out in California and we sing softly in a whisper; “Little Red caboose chug chug chug, little red caboose behind the train, smoke stack on his back, back back back comin down the track track track, little red caboose behind the train. As the train travels across the country we get louder until in mass hysteria the caboose roars right through the sanctuary of the church, we scream the words as we sing, I through confetti or paper in the air while running back and forth, then finally I would collapse to the ground exhausted. There were many adults who couldn’t wait to see me sing that song, and some elders who thought we might damage the foundation of the church with it.

Could we be as excited about Jesus as we were about the little red caboose?

There are some commentators who say that the palm branches and singing were a common things before Jesus decided to hijack them for His own use. But there is nothing to support this, and if it was an annual thing at Passover then why do the Pharisees want Jesus to silence the crowd? After the resurrection this welcoming of Jesus became an annual thing.

How excited are we about Jesus? Should we be excited about Jesus?

Zechariah’s prediction of Jesus’ coming were spoken in 520BC. The Jews had looking for the Messiah to come for more than 800 years before the day Jesus rode into the town that day. The messiah was to restore Israel to her glory, right all the wrongs and bring justice to the land. This is who they thought they were celebrating that day.

We celebrate because someone loved us enough to give up everything for us, Jesus loves us so much that, He left everything in heaven, all the glory and praise to come to earth and die for us? “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.” The cross is not duty or requirement it is an act of love.

Way back in 1981, I felt God calling me to the ministry, Kathy did not hesitate but supported me and tried to figure out how we could do it. She gave up what ever idea of family she had for us. Late at night she would correct and type papers for me. She gave up financial security and we lived on little or nothing. When we went to our first church she left her family behind to go to the middle of nowhere in Indiana. She gave up her friends to live a life where you never have the same kind of friendships again. Kathy truly laid down her life for Jesus and for ministry. That is the same kind of love Jesus has for you. In a world where couples are like two unconnected ships headed in the same direction, the idea of sacrificing everything you have and are for the person you love is lost.

Jesus’ love for us should compel us to celebrate, scream and shout.

Not only has Jesus given us this love, Jesus has given us a new and everlasting life.  The Bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

God has provided for our needs, healed our wounds and restored our souls, He has walked with us through failure and success. How can we be quite about the glory of our God?

Would you sing with me “Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” Jesus is way out in Jerusalem.

 

Counting the Cost Luke 14:25-35

This passage is about what it takes to follow Jesus. This parable of building a tower can be applied to many things in life. Do we consider the cost of putting work before our family? Do we count the cost of taking that next drink? Do we really think of the cost something before we do it? I talk to way to many people who’s lives have been broken by acting without counting the cost.

But Jesus gave this parable to talk about being a disciple, being a Jesus follower, being a Christian, or what ever term you want to use. Jesus is letting us know that there are followers and then there are followers. Are we willing to pay the cost to follow Jesus?

One of the problems with the church in the United States is that there is no cost to following Jesus. We say we believe and come to church and nothing really changes. Our Job, our friends, our recreation, our values, our families, the cost to the way we live is comparatively nothing. For many the greatest sacrifice they make is to get up on Sunday Morning and come to church, if they even bother to do that.

Look at verse 26 and 33. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”

In much of the world to be known as a Christian it will cost you your family, it will cost you your job, it may mean that you are beaten while walking through town, it may even cost you your life.

This passage got me asking what has being a Christian cost me? What price have I paid to follow Jesus? And if there is no price am I really a follower or just pretending?

In verse 27 Jesus says; “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” What does He mean, “your cross”

What will you give to follow Jesus? If you are gay or you’re a heterosexual who is having sex outside of marriage will you sacrifice your sexuality to follow Jesus? If you have influence and power will you lay them down to follow Jesus? If you have homes, money, cars, finical security will you risk them to follow Jesus? Will you risk being mistreated, spoken ill of, abused, taken advantage of for Jesus? Is there a cost we are not paying?

In Matthew 7 Jesus says “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.   On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’   And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

What is Jesus saying? He is saying if you only are trying to pay some of the cost and not all of the cost to follow me it will do you no good. To get to heaven on the Jesus train we have to pay the whole fair, there are no discount tickets to heaven.

In Luke 9:59-62 Jesus says; “To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”   And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”   Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.”   Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

So I have been asking my self what have I given up for Jesus? Is there something I have been holding back? In a few minutes we will take communion reminding us that our salvation cost Jesus everything. Jesus gave everything so we could follow Him. What will we give to follow Jesus? Before you take communion today consider the cost of what your doing. Is there a price you have not paid, something you have held back? Ask our Father in Heaven to show you if there is a cost your not paying and what ever the Holy Spirit reveals to you make a commitment to pay that cost from this day forward.

Today let us count the cost.