He's Alive and A Happy Belated Easter to you!
Easter Sunday at Bethel was very impacting and a blessing. We began with a Sunrise Service (7 a.m.) and then a wonderful presentation entitled “Mercy” at our Sunday Morning Service (10:30 a.m.) I am sure our Burmese and Hispanic services were exceptional as well. At our Sunrise Service, one of our neighboring pastors read Luke 23 and 24 of the account of the horrific scene of Jesus carrying His cross and His resurrection. He read with conviction and passion as he recounted Jesus’ last hours before the cross.
It is recorded seven times that Jesus spoke on the subject of the cross, yet when He was lead to His cross, He still manage to give Words of love and encouragement to “them” as found in this Gospel (verse 28). The Bible refers to the people as “them” for they were the ones who followed the procession escorting Jesus to His death. The “them” was not the weeping women, but the others that had some hearing of what was said. The “them” were the men standing from a distance as they lead Jesus down the road. The “them” could have been others watching and peeking in at this fragment of a Man, beaten beyond recognition and having pity for Him. The “them” could have been many young children who saw the agony this Man was going through and didn’t quite understand why.
Jesus was noticeably tired from all He had been through that day and yet He in His final steps, He manages to speak to the few frail women who were weeping on His account (I can assume those leading Him had the opportunity to listen in and hear what He said also.) In Luke 23:28, “Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me; weep for yourselves and for your children.”
In a short, but heavily-challenging word for them, He ministers to them. He ministers with words that must have taken some time for Him to speak where the women could understand what He was saying. Jesus was headed to the cross and He addresses the women but actually, He addresses the "them" also, What He was doing was not deserving of weeping but understanding. What He did was for every one of us; our families, our kin, our children and the children we’ve yet to have. He was doing this for those who believe and for the rest of “them” who find themselves being listeners and not doers.
I want you to ask yourself, “Am I like the ‘them’ that stood off and allowed Jesus’ word to touch my ears and bypass my heart? Am I like the ‘them’ who want the opportunity to follow Him but for some reason I can’t or I won’t? You should know, the cross Jesus carried had all our names on it – for some of us, we too are a part of the “them” crowd in our world right now.
I would ask that we move from the “them” crowd to the “US” crowd as we are supposed to be.
I leave you with one of my favorite Scriptures, Romans 12:1-2 ... I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.