Good morning and welcome everyone to our church! I pray that you would be blessed as you worship, pray and fellowship with us today. Today marks the fifth Sunday of Lent, the season in the church calendar where we look forward to and prepare for Easter when we celebrate Christ’s resurrection.
Each Lentan Sunday is marked by particular passages from the Bible, and I would like to highlight today’s and show the wonderful progression of God’s proactivity in bringing us into salvation. The passages are Jer. 31:31-34; Psalm 51:1-12; Heb. 5:5-10; John 12:20-33.
The problem begins because we have a holy God who desires to bless us and to be in right relationship with us, which is a relationship where we are without sin. Sin can be defined as “life without God.” We more easily understand sin to be violations of the Ten Commandments, like lying, stealing, murdering and the like. And, no matter our efforts, we can never fully be without sin (cf.Macbeth Act 5, scene 1, 26-40). So, what can we poor humans do?
In Psalm 51, King David, whom God favored highly and was in right relationship with God, nevertheless sinned and strayed from God’s ways. So, even though God desires to be in right relationship with us, we still are incapable of keeping up our end. So, Jeremiah tells us that God would make a new covenant with us, unlike anything God had ever done before. God would put innate knowledge of God in us and claim us for God’s own. How can this be?
Well, John tells us that Jesus would accomplish this through his death and resurrection. Jesus explains that when a kernel of wheat “dies” it produces many seeds, so shall it be with Jesus that his very real death and resurrection would bring about a great work where the Father is glorified and many people are saved.
So, in Jesus, Hebrews tells us that we have a great high priest, or you could say, the very best advocate, best friend, character witness you could possibly have, before God who is always dailyinterceding on our behalf, taking our prayers and petitions before God, and making sure that our sins are forgiven. What a friend we have in Jesus! Amen.
Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?—Abraham Lincoln