Re:Verse reading–Luke 15:1-2, 11-32 (day six)
“I didn’t come into the world to condemn every sinner, I came to forgive and give life even to the worst sinner.”-Jesus, (John 3:17, my own paraphrase)
The older son wanted his dad to condemn his brother, rather than rejoice in his restoration. The whole point of the story is to expose the disparity between the pharisees’ condemnation of sinners and God’s mercy and grace towards sinners (that’s us). In keeping with the story, Jesus’ purpose in telling it was not to stick it to the pharisees. He wanted them to come to their senses too; he wanted them to repent and know the grace and mercy of the Father that the younger son enjoyed.
The question for us is the same Jesus had for the pharisees, will we rejoice when God redeems the most unworthy of sinners (for sometimes we think somehow we are worthy) and gathers them in our church family? Are better yet, should we repent (as a church family) of our indifference towards sinners?
Re:Verse reading–Luke 7:36-50 (day six)
What I admire most about this woman is her shear guts, her no-one-is-keeping-me-from-Jesus courage. She wasn’t walking into friendly territory; she had been marked with a letter s, for sinner. The pharisees were smug; they would never come in contact with such a sinful woman. She was a dark stain, the other, the one that doesn’t belong; she was the, “that’s what wrong with our society.” She was walking into a room full of daggers for eyes,..and she couldn’t have cared less, because in the heart of that room was her Jesus!
I don’t know what having her kind of guts would mean for me; I know I would likely be different in how I talk about Jesus to others, how I worship, how I love the least of these. All I know is that I want more of it! Guts!
Re:Verse reading–Joshua 7, Mark 15:16-20, 24-40; Mark 16:1-8 day six)
Achan’s sin is catastrophic. Thirty-six people died, not including he and his family, as a result of his disobedience. Like a cancer it spread, and although it began with him, he could not control it or contain it. A whole people were left demoralized because of one man’s moment of greed. And it resulted in death.
Jesus went to the cross for Achan. Holy Week is a searing reminder that we are no better off than Achan. We are worthy of being stoned; we are worthy of the cross, and yet while we were still enemies of God Christ died for us. In the cross and resurrection we discover the cure for that uncontrollable, uncontainable cancer. And so we lament at the great cost of our sin, and yet we also rejoice knowing that it is finished!
He is risen!