March 10, 2011
Morning - Psalm 95, Psalm 40:1-16, Genesis 21:9-21, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Evening - Psalm 31, Jeremiah 2:1-9, 13, John 8:12-36
The reading from John 8 shows the intent of Christ to go to
. He knew He was "the way the truth and the life," who had come into the world to liberate His people from our bondage to sin (verse 34). "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." He also knew the only way He could free us was by giving Himself to bear our sins and die for them on the cross. This is the reason He came to this earth, to be lifted up on the cross (Jn. 8:28). In Lent we follow Jesus on His journey to Jerusalem to be lifted up for our sins. But we do not simply follow as spectators. We follow as His disciples. He has purchased our freedom with His own blood, now live in His freedom. Like the ancient Hebrews, liberated from their bondage at Passover, we intentionally leave the land of our bondage. We intentionally stop serving sin and start serving Christ. This is called, "repentance." Jerusalem
There are two aspects of repentance. The first is turning away from sin. Perhaps “turning away” is not a strong enough word. Renouncing may describe it more accurately. In contemporary lingo we might say, “Trash it.” Throw it into the garbage can. The word really means to turn around. It means to change the direction of life. If we think of this in terms of a journey, we can imagine being side tracked, getting off course, getting lost. When that happens, a change of direction is necessary to get us to our destination. Likewise in the Christian life, we often get off course. We follow the devices and desires of our own hearts, which often lead us away from God, and we need to change our direction, and turn back to God. Lent is a time to change direction.