a glimpse towards Sunday 3.25.16
How much do my sins cost? Is that a strange question?
The Bible says the wages of my sin is death (Romans 6;23a). The term “wages” reflects what a soldier was paid for combat duty. In the first century it was often broiled fish. Sometimes Roman soldiers also received salt as payment. However, fish was the preferred compensation. It sustained life and economics. Without fish in the first century, life was all but impossible. Fish would have been great pay for a day’s worth of fighting. Fish would have been appreciated for the battle endured. Salt kept the fish fresh and brought out the great flavors. Fish and salt together, as battle reimbursement, would have made a soldier’s day!
So often life can feel like combat duty. We fight polarizing politics. Fears of terrorism pound us like never-ending artillery. Our battles deal with people who are usually wrong when we are always right. The combat would include pride, money, sex, power, and laziness. We do what we’re not supposed to do. We don’t do what we should. It’s a dogfight. Do I get fish as payment? Nope. On my own, I get death. What a lousy deal. I fight as best I can, and I die. I fight, lose, and then I die.
Laws consistently point to my inabilities to fight well. God’s laws never were designed to save, but they do point out what a bad warrior I am in combat. And so my payment is not fish. It’s death.
But… the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23b). THAT is good news!
My horrific fighting is matched only by the horrors of Jesus’ death. He pays my failed combat duty with life. Fish. Everything. He becomes my sustainer.
The bloody nature of the cross reflects the bloody spiritual battle I cannot fight nor win. And with the exchange of Jesus fighting the battle that I can’t, I get fish. Life.
This Good Friday is only good because we are offered fish. Life. We get EVERYTHING in Him. The “good” of this Friday is about Christ’s hard, difficult, bloody, grotesque work of taking on my sin and future of Hell so that I could have life. Fish. Everything.
Tonight at 7 p.m. we remember the darkness of Jesus taking on my anemic combat pay.
But on Sunday… watch out! We will celebrate our Lord defeating death, proving He is God, and guaranteeing our satisfying payment of fish.
Interestingly, for those of us taken over by the good news of Good Friday, we are called to be fishers of men and salt of the earth. What was paid to us through Jesus, we now have a soldier’s duty to point others to.
Will you point somebody to the Jesus of Easter? This Sunday could be earthshaking for your invite. There is tremendous relevance of the resurrection we’ll be considering at our 9 & 11 a.m. Easter services. Our services will be powered by the Holy Spirit and will prove to be quite memorable for those trying to find what they’re searching for. In fact, I’ve written a little booklet dealing with that very search, and we’ll be giving those away to all who attend this Sunday.
I’m excited. I can’t wait. I’m praying for what God will do this resurrection Sunday.
And maybe the friends you’ve invited to church for Easter will be a part of the festive ham and eggs afterwards. Of course… a little fish and salt might be even more appropriate.
Blessings & Happy Easter!
Weekly Giving | 3.20.16
Weekly Need $39,700.00