Friday, July 3, 2009

Worthy is the Lamb

Worthy is the Lamb.

Acts 2:36-39, “’Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.’ 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what should we do?’ 38 Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.’”

What kind of God is this?

He has forgiven the people that advanced His death. He wants them for His own.

When I was in elementary school, I had an on-again, off-again relationship with my best friend. Girls are so horrible, aren’t they? So, she wavered on whether she wanted to be my best friend or another girl’s best friend.

Not only that, but when she was this other girl’s best friend, they would make fun of me. Ironically, we moved to the same school and the feud continued but with a different girl.

But there was something new this time, at this new school, I had more friends.

Our families had been friends because of us, but my mother had watched my heart break so many times that she had little use for this drama, and was eager to see the end. She had indicated that there would be no more bickering at a new school. Therefore, it had come from the top, no more drama.

So, naturally, when it came time for my birthday party (5th grade)…you guessed it…I did not invite her. I did the most passive aggressive thing that I could think of, and I singled her out.

She cornered me at the water fountain about it one day. You know what I said? I said, “My mother was right about you”, buck passed. I followed this statement up with an about face and dramatic walk to my desk. I could only hope that my hair had swished her way with my exaggerated head turn.

I was retelling that story to my husband, not long ago. You know what? My pulse started to race a little. I couldn’t believe that I had to go back and forgive someone for being a girl in elementary school.

I carried that for 24 years. Yes I did.

We are not built like the Lamb who can go to Calvary and then turn around to offer His blood and body to those who accused Him. We do not have it in our power to turn away from hurts, emotional or physical, and ask our attackers to come be with us for eternity.

Worthy is the Lamb.

Peter does not hold back. He flat out says, “This is your sin; you rejected the Messiah and led Him to His death”. Imagine Peter standing before you, saying that. It cuts you to the heart, doesn’t it? It completely cuts me to the heart when I think of my sin adding to the burden, at the death of my Savior. It cuts me to the heart. I can only imagine what it did to the people in that audience.

It makes you feel small to realize your mistakes. It makes us want to figure out ways to compensate inconsequentially. Do you think that they expected to hear this response?

Repent. In His name, repent and be baptized. Do this so that the One that you crucified can give you a gift…the Spirit, because more than anything Jesus wants to be with you all of the time. Emmanuel, God with us.

They are responsible for His death…we are responsible for His death. In return, He wants to give us a gift so that we can be with Him all of the time.

Jesus died and rose; exalted…the debt is paid. We are free.

Worthy is the Lamb.

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