The Great Convergence

We will be reading the events that surround Christ’s crucifixion this Sunday.  There is no way to cover that much text and subject matter and do a thorough job of exegesis…so suffice it to say that we will be looking at the major themes of what the cross means to us as followers of Christ.

As I read it, all of the sacrifices, prophecies and narratives of the Old Testament lead in a line, converging at the cross of Christ.  All of the effects and consequences of mankind’s great rebellion against God and His plan converge there as well.  In the crucifixion of Jesus, we have pictured not only the judgment and pain of sin, but also the grace and forgiveness of God.  It is a literal cross-hair on which the meaning of life is focused.

As you read this account, you’ll see a wide variety of characters in Luke’s narrative.  From mourners to soldiers to religious leaders to crooks.  If you try any of these characters on for size, which ones can you relate to your own life and response to God?  Which character’s interaction with Jesus upsets you?  Which one comforts you, and why?

What comes across so clearly to me is the sheer magnitude of God’s grace revealed in the cross.  I’ve been contemplating the sacrifice of Jesus a lot this week.  I once questioned a friend’s destructive and self-destructive choices in light of their Christian confession, and the person reprimanded me saying “Remember what you teach Rob, it’s not about being legalistic, it’s about grace!”

As I think about what Jesus suffered in paying the price for my sins…I’ve been contemplating a right response to his love.  His love is never in question…and I will never move from the torn curtain of God’s grace.  But what should OUR response be to that love?  Does our response reveal anything about what we believe and what we consider real?  If I’m a rebel forgiven by great love, is further rebellion a reasonable reaction?  I guess my question is, where’s the love?  Guess I’m just thinking out loud.

Hope to see you Sunday.   Leader’s guide for small groups can be found here: leaders guide 23-26-49

6 responses to “The Great Convergence”

  1. I love the challenge of which character I fit into? This is a very convicting post. Wish I was there Sunday to get the full-blown teaching!

  2. Wow, these thoughts along with last week’s message together make for a real “rubber meets the road” kind of message… Last week Jesus stood there quietly waiting, wondering what we will do in every situation we face with His Lordship over our lives….This week He hangs there hoping we will comprehend His amazing love and embrace Him in these same choices…I believe this is where the working out our own salvation with fear and trembling comes in…There is absolutely no better way to put it than “where is the love”? When I look back over my life as a Christian I still shutter at some of the past choices I’ve made, most of the worst one’s were after maybe just one too many drinks, judgement skewed, sin begets sin, etc. ..I am encouraged by the repentant thief on the cross but determined to embrace Him now and prove my love for Him today while I still have life before me.

  3. One other thought about the I step into his shoes on his cross that day, there is great relief for him but possibly a good deal of grief too. I don’t know about his whole life story but obviously his recent choices before death were less than praiseworthy…I can imagine him there full of regret for maybe the way his life could have he could have left a better legacy for his children and those in his sphere of influence..yes, he is going to make it in to heaven, Praise Jesus but to face death with that kind of regret would be heavy. I know the regret I felt and the possible stumbling block I may have been for others given past decisions and it grieves my heart deeply. Those choices mocked Jesus and His claim on my life just as the soldiers did. I don’t take that lightly nor do I ever want to be back there with my back turned on my King again. I’m so grateful I did not face death during that time in my life. His love and sacrifice cover me and Move me to lead a life that will hopefully leave a legacy of His love. (don’t do it well but really want to)

  4. Very thought provoking post Rob…am I willing to surrender my “stuff” my hurts,habits,ego,pride ect. on a daily response to what He did for me on that cross? Can’t wait to hear your thoughts Sunday!

  5. “Where is the love?” That’s sort of the question of the ages isn’t it? Lot’s to read here. I don’t know about anyone else, but I have played most of these parts. Perhaps it’s my predilection for split personalities. I think most of us share too much in common with Humpty Dumpty. It is the cry of humanity, “we’re broken, can’t someone put the pieces back together.” I have been the religious dudes, demanding that you pledge allegiance to my brand of Christianity. I have been the thieves, questioning God and at the same moment begging for his deliverance. I have been the crowd, watching from a distance. Thinking I knew what was going on, only to see (too late) that things were not as the seemed. The only constant has been Jesus. What do you do with Jesus? I guess that’s the other question of the ages. To the end he is a redeemer, when doubted and mocked he forgives. Understanding that he was the only force in the universe that could actually put humankind back together, he became the bridge between the creator and his creation. At Skull Hill, in one final act of rebellion, humanity does its worst but God says, “you’re confused, you don’t know what you’re doing, I forgive you.” In the cross, we ask the question and get the answer. There is the love.

  6. We were paid for with a price. How come the payer of the bill has never presented me with a request for repayment? It is another of those upside down things that Jesus does. If I truthfully accept that Jesus died on the cross for me, is a request of repayment really required?

    Just last week some old friends of mine and I were trading polticial opinions and such. One of my friends shared our discussion with his sister. His sister is an athesit and an avowed socialist. She emailed me back and said that her remembrance of the new testament did not include hatred. She then said she forgot that Jesus=hatred and thanked me for the reminder. I was completed taken back. I realized that although I meant no hatred she knew me as a christian, and judged Jesus by my actions as she percieved them. I realized that this must be addressed in my life. I emailed her back and thanked her for the correction and stated that she was correct that Jesus does not include hatred. Once I am stained with the blood of Jesus, I cannot take it off and put it on when it pleases me. I was reminded that we don’t represent the Max Sydow character of Jesus with the bad haircut, but we represent a crucified Christ. She emailed me back and said “I still love you”

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