Saturday, February 28, 2015

The suffering Saviour

Luke 22/23

My recent meditations of Luke have centred upon the sufferings of the Messiah. These chapters are so full of precious truth. I will recommend some of the profitable ways of meditating on them.

Highlight the verses which contain a prophetic implication – prophecy by the Lord Jesus about His impending death ( It was no accident).

Carefully study the trial of the Jesus – before the Sanhedrin, before Pilate, before Herod – all being illegal by their own standards. It is interesting to see the Lord vindicated as righteous on all occasions. Also note how the Lord controls the situation e.g. before the Sanhedrin He answers no accusations except the one concerning His personal identity. This is just what He wanted – the opportunity to declare before the highest earthly court who He really was. (link this with Daniel 7) Any false messiah would have denied , knowing that under Moses law a false claim to be messiah meant the death penalty.
Before Pilate the Lord Jesus focuses on His identity as being ‘from above’.

Trace through these chapters, the physical suffering of the Lord – being bound, buffeted, scourged and crucified.

Trace again the mental suffering of the Lord – betrayed, forsaken, unjustly tried, spit upon, lifted up on a cross as a transgressor, mocked by soldiers and those who should have given Him praise.   Then go deeper to the spiritual sufferings – the distraught prayer of Gethsemane, the denial of God’s authority in Jewish judgement, the anguish of knowing the awful consequences  for the people of Jerusalem and the  ultimate desertedness of the three hours of darkness.

It is important to observe His unbroken consciousness of God throughout the ordeal. From the prayer of the garden, to the final prayer on the cross, the Lord Jesus was not only in full command of Himself, but also in complete understanding of what was happening in the Father’s will.

His own summary is important - ‘ought not Christ to have suffered these things and enter into His glory.’ (24.26)
It is right to be touched by the tragedy of the cross, but it is so important to be converted by understanding God at work at the cross. This is why the teachings of the apostles are so important.
“God spared not His own Son, but gave Him up for us all”  (Romans 8)

For you, for me.

John McKee    comments welcome johnmckee@internode.on.net 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tomorrow

God holds the key of all unknown
and I am glad
or if He trusted it to me
I might be sad

The very dimness of my sight
makes me secure
for, groping in my misty way
I feel His hand : I hear Him say
'My help is sure'

I cannot read His future plans
but this I know
I have the smiling of His face
and all the refuge of His grace,
while here below

J Parker

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A servant role

Luke 17.7  The servant

       The story from the Lord Jesus leads us to stronger ties of discipleship. What do I mean? The story is based on the duty of a bondservant or slave. He has finished his duties in the fields, and at the end of the day returns to the master’s house. He is then expected to serve the master at meal time.
     
       The lesson : We so often expect God to bless us “for serving Him faithfully”. We expect blessing on what we have done, blessing for doing it and a reward later on. The Lord Jesus said that true discipleship response is – “We are unworthy servants ( not in the sense of failing to serve, but in the sense of mercy and grace), we have only done what was our duty.”
       Elsewhere we learn that God is good, giving and generous. In the parable of Luke 12.37, the master rises to serve the faithful servants. However it is inappropriate to trade on the goodness and grace of God. We as bondservants ‘deserve ‘ nothing or worse. As a bondservant we can expect no more than our daily bread. As those who once, and repeatedly do offend the master by wrong actions , bad words, unhelpful attitudes, we have no rights, no right to assume the master’s generosity. The Lord Jesus would have us take the lowly place so that He might exalt us at His pleasure and His time.

   Let us remember we are saved by His Grace  -  unmerited favour.

   Take a moment to read Ephesians 2 again in the light of this story in Luke  17.7. It causes us to realise that we deserve judgement, but God’s mercy and grace have brought us into the ‘Master’s house’, not only to serve, but as children, sons, saints to worship! What should be the effect of mercy and grace ? Conceit and pride -  NO, NO, -  humility and gratitude.



By God’s grace – John McKee