Life happens fast, doesn't it?
No, I'm not talking about how quickly time flies, I'm talking about how things can change in an instant. One moment you're living your best life, and then something dramatic happens that changes everything.
For 400 years in between the end of the Old Testament (Malachi) and the New Testament (Matthew), there was absolutely nothing from God. No prophets, no wrath, no voice from the heavens, and then all of a sudden something miraculous happened. A young girl from Nazareth got a call from the Angel of the Lord, and the next thing we know, there's a star in the sky, angels are singing, and shepherds are coming to visit a baby in a cattle stall.
Fast forward 12 years and the young boy, Jesus, not quite a man in the eyes of the Jews, is sitting in the temple, teaching men twice, perhaps 3-times his age about God.
Fast forward about 18 more years, and Jesus comes around the corner to the Jordan River, is baptized by John, and a dove appears, coming down from heaven and a voice shouts, "This is my son, with him I am pleased."
Now, fast forward 3 more years and Jesus has entered into Jerusalem, riding on a young donkey to shouts of Hosanna! God Save us! Now it's Wednesday; the middle of the week...the calm before the storm.
You see, Jesus knew everything that was about to happen. He knew that he would have his last Seder meal with his disciples, he knew that Judas was going to sell him over to the Romans for 30 pieces of silver, he knew that he was going to be taken back and forth between the Romans and the Religious leaders, that they wouldn't find any real fault him him. He knew that he was going to be exchanged for Jesus Barabbas, a common criminal, whom he also was going to die for. He knew that he was going to be whipped, scorned, mocked, and killed. He knew it was all going to happen, and yet..
...He was so passionate about you that even knowing all of it, he did it anyway. He could have, at any moment throughout the whole ordeal said, no...this isn't worth it. But that's not what he did. He stayed there. He stayed in Jerusalem. He stayed handcuffed. He stayed on the cross. But there is one place he didn't stay...but that's a story for another day.
It was certainly our sickness that he carried,
and our sufferings that he bore,
but we thought him afflicted,
struck down and tormented.
He was pierced because of our rebellions
and crushed because of our crimes.
He bore the punishment and made us whole;
by his wounds we are healed.
Like sheep we had all wandered away,
each going its own way,
but the Lord let fall on him all our crimes.
(Isaiah 53: 4-6)
Growing up in the United Methodist Church, I have always had a passion for ministry. Now, I have been called to serve the people of Llano at an awesome place called Lutie Watkins Memorial!