A Sad Friday Made Good

Imagine that you were awake early this morning praying when all of a sudden the police entered your home and arrested you on false charges.  Instead of taking you to the police station, they take you to the private home of a judge’s assistant for questioning.  After the secret questioning, they take you to the Chief of police, also in secret, who then convicts you of a crime without a trial.  With a fabricated conviction in hand they take you to the court house, awaken the judge and demand that the judge sentence you to death.

In a matter of a few hours, you go from a free citizen to death row inmate.  What would you say to the judge if you were in that position?

Maybe you would demand your rights.  Or, demand that you see an attorney.  Possibly, you would be live streaming the debacle hoping the legions of social network followers would cry foul and start a national boycott.  More than likely, you wouldn’t feel calm.

Nearly 2,000 years ago, on a Friday morning similar to yours, Jesus was caught in this scenario.  What did he say when he stood before the Roman judge who had the authority to set him free or sentence him to death?

“Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.'” (John 18:37)

That. is. powerful!

Jesus had the moral and the legal right to demand justice.  He was arrested in secret, tried illegally, and given a criminal’s sentence.  His crime?  Testifying to the truth and showing everyone that the love of God is the answer to every evil.

Jesus was focused on his mission.  He came to rescue you from the affects of sin.  People often blame God for the evils of the world without ever acknowledging that it is we who cause the evil.  The human race, collectively and individually, continue to cause evil and suffering yet Jesus came to fix the problem.  He came to die so that you might “be reconciled to God. [For] God made him who had no sin to be sin for [you], so that in him [you] might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).

Remember his sacrifice today.  The murder of Jesus makes this Friday so terribly sad.  And yet, it is his voluntary death that makes this Friday so unimaginably good.

Have a reflective and joyful Good Friday as you prepare for an even Greater Sunday.

Stories from IF

The IF Gathering women’s conference offered a weekend full of inspiring insight aimed at encouraging women to be mighty women of God.  Listen as some of the Life’s Journey family shares what they learned at IF.

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Supernatural Sight – A sermon worth remembering

One year ago today, Pastor Rod Benner preached his last sermon.  The previous year saw Rod survive through a massive heart attack and then God’s amazing, wondrous healing power in Rod’s life.  Still recovering from the months of rehab and doctors’ visits, Rod entered the pulpit on Sunday morning, January 21, 2018, to preach as if he had many, many more Sundays ahead of him.  This sermon now stands as the perfect farewell sermon from a pastor who changed the lives of so many.

This sermon is worth remembering not only because it contains an encouraging message, but it is yet another example from Rod Benner of how to live the Christian life well.  Rod could have retired once the heart attack hit.  He could have decided it was God’s way of telling him to stop.  He could have quit, but instead he kept serving and fulfilling the call of God on his life.  Rod and Sherry were able to watch their years of training and development paid off as the people of Life’s Journey Christian Fellowship continued to be a team and continued on with the vision and mission the Benners helped us form.  Rod always had his focus on today with a look to the future.  To Rod, life was not measured by what happened yesterday but by what Jesus is doing today.

If you couldn’t see God’s purpose yesterday, today is the day to receive new vision.  If you didn’t feel God’s love yesterday, today is the day to receive it.  If you didn’t know Jesus yesterday, today is the best time to meet your new best friend.

Be encouraged by the legacy of Rod Benner, so well summarized in his last sermon “Supernatural Sight”.