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
Jesus shows the full extent of His love and grace. Greatness in His Kingdom is demonstrated through service and love. The truth is we all need Jesus to wash us clean. Text: John 13
John Chapter 12. Love’s response to grace and truth. The Word became flesh and made his home (pitched His tent or ‘tabernacle’) among us. In the old testament, only the priests got to see the glory inside the tabernacle – the colours, the fragrance and the glorious presence of God. John said he saw the glory of Jesus and He was full of grace and truth. Mary of Bethany saw the beauty and glory in Jesus and gladly poured out her precious perfume upon Him. Today, we can still offer acceptable offerings and pleasing worship to Jesus and to Father God. Our sacrifice may seem like waste to others who don’t see or understand the ‘pearl of great price’ but God notices all we do for Him.