Friday, April 18, 2014

The Magnificent Defeat - “Jesus didn’t die to save me from God. Jesus died to save me from myself.”

Some people think the Crucifixion only took place on Calvary. They better wise up! Taking Joey Doyle's life to stop him from testifying is a crucifixion. And dropping a sling on Kayo Dugan because he was ready to spill his guts tomorrow, that's a crucifixion. And every time the Mob puts the pressure on a good man, tries to stop him from doing his duty as a citizen, it's a crucifixion. And anybody who sits around and lets it happen, keeps silent about something he knows that happened, shares the guilt of it just as much as the Roman soldier who pierced the flesh of our Lord to see if he was dead. – Father Barry (Quote from the movie On the Waterfront - 1954)

Scripture Text: (HEB 4:14-16; 5:7-9)
Brothers and sisters:
Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus, the Son of God,
let us hold fast to our confession.
For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but one who has similarly been tested in every way,
yet without sin.
So let us confidently approach the throne of grace
to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.

In the days when Christ was in the flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

How many times in our lives have we felt lost in darkness, overwhelmed by sorrow, experiencing a pain or loss that tries our faith? As we think back on this difficult time, even in our blackest hour, what was the resolution? It is likely that, despite the hopelessness we may have experienced, we eventually found healing, peace, or understanding. Christ’s crucifixion, although cast in darkness, has the promise of light, hope and life, as we will see on Easter Sunday. As we carry the suffering of Christ in our hearts today, let us be reminded to live out the promise of hope in our daily trials and share the light of Christ with others in our actions, service, and words.

In Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” a man faces a fork in the road and has to choose which way to go. Reflecting on his choice, he says,

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Life has many different roads. The road of discipleship is not well traveled today. But those who do follow it find treasures beyond compare: salvation and eternal life. They discover God’s unconditional love. And they are moved to love other people as Jesus loves them. This road makes “all the difference” in our lives—simply because Jesus said, “It is finished.”

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