Do you know the thoughts of God?
Do you presume to give him advice, or to be able to speak for him?
But we know what Jesus thought because we heard his words and we saw his actions.1
We heard his words and we saw his actions.
We heard his words and we saw his actions.
It seems to me that any Christian who claims to speak on God’s behalf should say the kinds of things that Jesus said and act the way he did.
Funny thing about Jesus: he never had an unkind word for “sinners.” Jesus knew that everyone fell short of perfection and the degree of that shortage was of no particular concern to him.
Jesus understood that every human was separated from God and he knew what he had to do to fix it.
He didn’t come to enforce a moral code or to start a new religion. He came to die.
And he didn’t need our help or permission. “I’ve got this.”
Jesus lay dead in a grave for three days then stepped out and said, “I’ve defeated death and become the doorway to eternal life. Go tell the good news. Tell everyone. Ollie-Ollie All-in-free.”
We have his words and we saw his actions.
When Jesus rolled up to the Jordan River to be dipped in water by that wilderness prophet three years earlier, did John the Baptizer fully understand his own words when he said, “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world?” Did John know three years in advance that Jesus intended to be the final Passover lamb?
I’ve always wondered.
Here’s the story of that lamb: a couple of thousand years before Jesus was born, a once-free people were enslaved because they found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time; sort of like you and me, slaves to the obligations of life, the expectations of others, the tyranny of the merely urgent.
Then God sent a man to say to their captor, “Set these people free.”
The captor said, “Not happenin’.”
So they played tug-of-war for awhile, then God said to his man, Moses, “It’s time to drop Fat Boy on Hiroshima. Tell everyone to duck-and-cover.”
The atomic bomb dropped that night was to release the angel of death. To duck-and-cover, all you had to do was kill a lamb that had no defect, then slap it’s blood on the left and right doorposts and on the beam that spans between those posts. When the blood from that beam dripped down to the ground, a cross of blood would be formed in the doorway.
But no one realized that at the time. They just did what Moses told them.
Here’s where it really gets interesting: Moses told them they must also make bread without yeast. In fact, they were to make sure there was no yeast to be found anywhere in their homes.
The “unleavened bread” was to be broken and shared by all. This meal has been celebrated at Passover for 4,000 years.
Religiosity – that self-righteousness that causes a person to believe they can judge others in the name of God – is the yeast that Jesus said we must remove from our houses.
[Insert words of Jesus here about Leaven of the Pharisees and “I am the bread of Life.”]
Remember how I said Jesus never had an unkind word for “sinners?” He accepted them, loved them, attended their parties and drank their wine.
Read the Bible. Religious people were the only ones that made Jesus angry.
When Jesus walked the dirt roads of our planet, his closest friends and followers encouraged him to get political. “Rally the people. Straighten out this mess.”
But Jesus absolutely refused to do it. Political change is a fountain of false hope.
1 “Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counselor?”
– Isaiah 40:13
1 “…for, ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”
– 1 Corinthians 2:16
“John the Baptizer went without food and drank no wine and you said, ‘He has a demon.’ And now you see me eating and drinking, and you say, ‘He’s a party animal and a drunkard and hangs out with all the wrong people.’ – Luke 7:33-35
“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This wine is the new bargain bought with my blood; whenever you drink it, remember of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
– 1 Corinthians 11:23-26