March 11, 2011
Morning - Psalm 28, Genesis 22:1-14, 19, 1 Corinthians 2
Evening - Psalm 34, Jeremiah 3:11-18, John 8:45-59
In John 8 Jesus is in
for the Feast of Tabernacles. During this time He faces direct opposition from the priests and Pharisees, even an attempt to murder Him (Jn. 8:59). He will leave Jerusalem soon, to return again in chapter 12. The irony of this passage is that the people who claimed to know God most completely could not recognise Him when He stood before them. When He told them who He was (verse 58), they refused Him. They were going in the wrong spiritual direction, and were determined to continue in it. Jerusalem
We turn now to the second part of true repentance, which is also a major emphasis of Lent; turning to God. Our goal is single-minded devotion to God. If we are going in the wrong direction, it is not enough to simply change to another course. If we are in a boat heading due north, but need to go due south to reach our harbour, it is not good enough to turn to a south easterly heading. We must get on the correct course to reach our port. Likewise, it will not do to turn away from one sin only to embrace another, or to turn from a life of open wickedness to one of outward piety with no redirection of the heart and affections. To do so is to simply change our clothes while God requires us to change our hearts. If we imagine our lives as castles, and our hearts as thrones, we may legitimately ask, who rules the castle? Who sits on the throne of our lives? In sin we rule. We make the decisions. We choose the life orientation. In true repentance, we dethrone ourselves and enthrone God. He becomes our King, our Sovereign, our ruler. Lent is a special time spent intentionally enthroning God.