Sunday, April 1, 2012

Following Jesus to the Cross - Day 1

Today is Palm Sunday. Next Sunday morning we will celebrate the one event that separates Christianity apart from all other "religions" - Jesus' resurrection from the dead. He is alive!!! No other religious leader was raised from the dead before Him, nor has there been another since Him. Jesus stands alone as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

Today we begin a journey to look at what it means to follow Jesus from Palm Sunday to the Cross. It may seem odd to you to begin in Luke 3 but hopefully you will agree that from this passage of Scripture moving forward through the rest of this gospel, Jesus' eyes were on the cross. What caused His eyes to focus on that reality?

Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. That is not news to many of you. You also probably remember that there was a voice from heaven that spoke at this event. God the Father spoke from heaven saying, "You are My beloved Son. I take delight in You!" (Luke 3:22). Honestly, don't we all desire to hear those words from our Heavenly Father? Why did Jesus hear them? Perhaps the answer is partially found in the very next words: "As He began His ministry" (Luke 3:23). Is it possible that the delight that the Heavenly Father took in Jesus was the fact that Jesus was beginning an earthly ministry that would take Him to the Cross? Certainly the Father knew the events that were about to unfold for the Son. He knew that Jesus would die that cruel and unjust death on the Cross. Yet, when Jesus began His earthly ministry God the Father said, "I take delight in You!"

Do you desire to hear those words from God the Father? Certainly! What must we do? We come to Jesus for salvation, the forgiveness of sin. We follow Jesus in daily surrender of ourselves to become more and more like Him. We minister to others like we witness Jesus doing throughout His earthly ministry. We can't do this alone. This life is only possible through faith and depending upon Jesus for everything.

Praying Today For:
(1) The Lake O' the Pines Community of Mims & Avinger Cutt-off
(2) The State of New Jersey
(3) The Nation of New Zealand
(4) The South Asian Peoples throughout the World

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