Simon ‘the Rock’ Peter really blew it when he denied Jesus three times, but Jesus saw it coming. He never makes mistakes or changes His mind. In this post-resurrection account, we see how Jesus graciously restores a broken Peter by reminding him of his original call and drawing out the most fundamental truth, ‘Do you love me?’ Peter has grown in self-knowledge and humility and will soon be right back on track, preaching boldly, catching ‘fish’ (men) and feeding sheep (the Church).
We don’t know a lot about the woman called Mary Magdalene (Miriam from Magdala), but we do know that she had seven demons cast out of her by Jesus. She lingers at the tomb, desperate to find the body of Jesus, and has the honour of being the first believer to see the risen Lord Jesus. The truth of the sins of our past do not define us or disqualify us. Through the grace of Jesus we are all equally forgiven and made holy, and Jesus is not ashamed to call us His brothers and sisters, sent out in His name to proclaim the good news that He is alive. One day we too will receive a glorious body like Jesus!
The Mystery of the Cross, the Simplicity of the Cross, the Conviction of the Cross, the Finished Work of the Cross and the Ongoing Work of the Cross.
Exactly 100 years after the First World War, we remember the sacrifice of those who fought and gave their lives for the freedom we enjoy today. 2000 years ago, Jesus, the Good Shepherd laid down his life for the flock. The message of the Bible in a nutshell is ‘Sin is the Problem (Truth), Jesus is the Answer (Grace). At the Cross, God’s infinite love and infinite justice were satisfied when God substituted himself and took our place.
In a sudden turn of events, Jesus faces betrayal, arrest, hostility and violence. The High Priest, Caiaphas, abuses his position of power to condemn an innocent man to death. The Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, is indifferent to the plight of a random Jew facing obvious injustice. Jesus maintains his courage and dignity in face of it all. He continues to stand for Truth through it all.
John records Jesus’ final prayer for his disciples. He prays for three things:
1. Protection from the evil one, by the power of the name of the Lord
2. Holiness – kept clean in a corrupted world by the Truth of God’s Word and the blood of Jesus
3. Unity – One with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and living in harmony with one another – helping the world to believe the gospel.
God, in His grace, has united us with Christ. We have been grafted into Jesus and have a new life, changing us into His likeness. But the truth is we need to remain in Him and in His love. As we hold to his teaching, obeying His command to love others, we will surely bear fruit to the glory of Father God.Text: John 15
Jesus promised the Rivers of Living Waters of the Holy Spirit to all who are thirsty. The Holy Spirit is just like Jesus – full of grace and truth. The Spirit of Grace has come to live in us – gentleness, kindness, patience are His fruits and the Spirit of Truth will lead us into all Truth. Text: John 7
Jesus tells his disciples that He is going to the Father as our advocate. He says that God’s Favour (grace) is upon them and Promises that they will be able to ask for anything in His name. They (and we) can pray with boldness and confidence free from guilt or condemnation. Jesus also Promises that the Father will send another Advocate (The Holy Spirit) who will live inside them and guide them in Truth. Jesus shows them that The Father’s Purpose for them is to carry on doing the works He began – preaching the Good News, making disciples and building His church. Text: John 14:12-17
Jesus, full of grace became a man to make a Way for us back to God, heaven and eternal life. He is the author if Life and can give us a new life. But the difficult Truth for some to accept is He claims to be the only Way. Text: John 14