September 16, 2021
To study the Pharisees is to discover something that is in many hearts and often in our own heart. They were aggressive unbelievers. And their unbelief took them to incredible lengths to try to prove that this Jesus was not the Messiah.
THE BIGGEST TRUTH AND BIGGEST LIE
The greatest miracle (the resurrection) called for the greatest deception. The soldiers at the tomb were the only ones who had firsthand knowledge of what had happened. They were physically present when Jesus broke from that tomb and when the angels came from heaven and literally rolled the stone away in glorious array. It was so real to them that "they shook for fear of him and became like dead men." (vs. 4)
But the Pharisees had concocted a storyline about Jesus that He was not the Messiah, just a mere imposter. So they paid the guards to lie about what they had seen with their own eyes.
Why? Why not just embrace the obvious realization that Jesus was who He said He was and bow before the Lord of heaven and earth?
The Pharisees, in their pride, had position. They were the elite in society. This afforded them money, power, and a supposed level of authority and status among the people. They were SOMEBODY, at least in their own eyes. In a sense, they were self-made LORDS, and they did not want to give that position to anyone else.
What's amazing is that they did not realize that if they would bow before the King in humility, God would exalt them to be "kings and priests" in His heavenly kingdom. If we "humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God," He will "exalt us in due time" (1 Peter 5). But these religious "leaders" wanted their piece of the pie right then.
They were unwilling to bend the knee. I hope they enjoyed their moment of self-glory, for it was all they would get for all of eternity.
There is a great value in simply believing. And out of that faith, bending the knee and acknowledging Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. There is a simple joy in accepting the risen Christ for who He said He is and proved to be. Not no need to lie and deceive and create a false narrative to tell others. Just the joy of knowing and following Him, who is Lord of heaven and earth.
Father, show me where I’m concocting my own narrative in resistance to the truth. Where I am unwilling to bend to Your Lordship. Show me the value of full surrender. Help me to listen to You and simply believe.
October 13, 2021
October 12, 2021
It could not be worse. God is gracious in His offering of forgiveness through Jesus Christ to all who believe. Those who come to know God and obey Him will experience the best in this life and the life to come.
But what of all those who ignore God? Who will not trust Him? Who never follow and obey the one true God? The Bible leaves no ambiguity about this, and its clarity should sober us.
October 07, 2021
My son, who is planting a church in a Northern Colorado city, intentionally took me for a walk through a sculpture garden recently that is located in a prominent spot in his large city. It was beautiful, convenient, and filled with people.
To my amazement, at every 30 yards or so, there was a stone statue. The whole garden was a prayer garden, and each statue was named. The farther we walked, the more I realized it was a garden designed to help you pray to ancestral spirits. This religion is called animism and is no different from the false religions we read of in the Scripture. Paul encountered this in Athens.