Cloaks made for Jesus, not Jedi Knights.

Happy Star Wars Day! I am a nerd. Wore my Star Wars socks today. Fun times!

And, since I can’t think of a good segue into my post, here we go!


A long time ago, in Galilee, far far away…

There lived a man. His name was Jesus. And he came to save the world. He was the only person that could even bring the possibility of passing the sin test.

You and I could not even have any chance at passing this test. It was completely out of our reach. And there was nothing we could do about it.

Recalling back to last week, I spoke on the subject of tests, specifically the COVID test and the sin test.

Here is the last line of that post:

“Over the next two or three weeks, I will explore this idea of ‘testing negative for sin”.

Ideas like righteousness, salvation, grace, and hope.”

Click here to read the whole post.


Remember taking tests in school? Did you have a favorite type?

Multiple choice or fill-in-the blank?

True/False or Essay?

Short answer or Matching?

How about the bubble tests?

The sin test is different than all of those. It is a pass or fail test. You don’t fill in blanks or circles or write an essay. There is no matching word banks or T/F questions.

You either have it in you to pass…or you don’t.

What is it, referring to that last sentence? In a word, righteousness.

There are multiple verses in both the New and Old Testament scriptures that explain the righteousness of God and how we obtain it.

I am only going to share 2 today.

In the Old Testament, Isaiah 53:6 and from the New Testament, II Corinthians 5:21

Is 53:6, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him

the iniquity of us all.” NIV

II Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

If we look at these verses, there is a similarity. Isaiah says that our iniquity was “laid on him”. Its as if our sin, guilt, and punishment of sin were a great cloak. It was heavy and cumbersome so we shrugged it off and turned away from God. So, God being loving and holy, picked up the discarded cloak and laid it on His son, Jesus, while he was on that cross.

Now compare that to the N.T passage.

Jesus became sin so we could become righteous. We emerged or transitioned out of a sinful state into something that now, God would approve of. Again, we sloughed off that old, sinful cloak for a new, righteous one. Jesus took the old one to the cross with him.

In both examples, we see an exchange.

We start with the sin and end with righteousness.

Jesus is the opposite. He starts pure and free from sin but ends up taking our sin.

God is holy and just. He cannot abide sin. He hates it. He can’t even look at it.

But He also loves us!

So making Jesus take our sin was the only way he could be holy and just and loving at the same time!

So, in light of the sin test, do you see how we would fail 100% of the time?

But Jesus makes it all possible for us to pass!

For our part, we need to accept his gift and live for him.

Our salvation motivates us to love others and do good works.

We love because He first loved us.

See you next week for a post about grace.

And yes, it is amazing!

Negative is Positive

Are you tired of hearing about COVID?

Annoyed by the mask mandates?

Have you had your nose scraped enough?

We are all in this together so hang in there!

I bring up COVID because last Saturday night, I took my son to get tested.

We went to the drive-thru and received a test kit. My son swabbed his own nose, put everything in the right bag and placed it in the collection container. It took less than 10 minutes.

And then we waited.

And waited some more.


Let me back up a little. Here is the timeline leading up to the test on Saturday night.

Thursday: son said throat was a little soar

Friday: son awoke feeling sore throat, cough, and fatigued; stayed home from school

Friday night: son still symptomatic and now, can’t really taste

Saturday morning: son couldn’t taste or smell banana

Saturday night: took son to get tested

Now you are up to date.

More waiting.

The worst part about waiting is that we excluded ourselves from a few social events.

My wife and daughter missed a wedding shower.

We all stayed home from church.

My daughter could not go to soccer practice.

We were in limbo while we waited for the test results. Everything hinged on that result.

It came back Monday afternoon. And it was negative.

That’s one test I am glad my son failed!

But it did me an idea.

There is a test that all humans have taken or will take at some point.

It is the sin test.

We are born with sin. It is our nature. So, when it comes time to take the sin test, we will test positive for sin.

Just like the COVID test, the results will be positive if we have the virus.

There is a silver lining. We don’t need to wait for the results.

We can take a sin test right now instead of waiting until we die.

Jesus is the vaccine. He eradicates sin. Blows it away! Sin has no chance.

Ephesians says we accept Jesus by faith, not by works. This is how the vaccine is administered.

There is no copay. No lines. You don’t need insurance. And no waiting for results.

So really, a negative (for sin) can be a positive (righteous in Christ).

Over the next two or three weeks, I will explore this idea of ‘testing negative for sin”.

Ideas like righteousness, salvation, grace, and hope.

Hope you don’t mind a little waiting. (Insert winking emoji here)

Remember?

Jesus is risen! Yes!!!

Easter celebrates the empty tomb. Our faith rests on this fact. Jesus is not in the grave anymore.

The Power of An Empty Tomb —

And that brings me to a question:

Why do you look for the living among the dead?

Here is the origin of that question. Luke 24:1-8

1On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8Then they remembered his words.” NIV

Easter is over, at least the celebration part. But every day can be an ’empty tomb’ day.

So why do we keep going back to ‘dead’ things?

You know what I mean, right?

Old habits…

Broken relationships…

Unhealthy things…

Undisciplined living…

Note verse 8. “Then they remembered…”

The ladies recalled what Jesus had taught them. AFTER the angels spoke to them.

Is that what it takes for us? Angel visits?!?!


If you remember back to the H.E.L.P. series, you know that God is right there with us.

Through God’s assistance, we can have ‘angel visits’ on a regular basis.

  • The Holy Spirit can speak to us on a daily basis.
  • Going to church can be refreshing.
  • Reading the Bible will unlock power in your life.
  • Friends will stand by you.

These are the ‘angel visits’ that will help us remember the words of Jesus.

So while the hype of Easter is behind us and you have eaten all the chocolate from your kids’ baskets, be encouraged by the fact that we don’t need angels to visit us.

God can (and would love to) reveal Himself to you today. Look for Him even now.

God bless!

Next week starts a new series so come back for, possibly, the best two minutes of your day!

The Final Chronicle

Can you imagine what the disciples might be feeling right now? It is late Saturday night. Jesus, the teacher, mentor and friend, was crucified yesterday.

What a mixture of emotions! Fear…disappointment…failure? What about anger and loneliness?

These men and women would have thought or even expected Jesus to overthrow the Roman rule and set up His kingdom. They were supposed to be on the winning side!

But now, huddled together, in the shadows, hiding from the authorities, they wait.

Scared and confused.

What would they be waiting for? They probably didn’t know themselves.


Welcome to the Final Chronicle in this Easter series; Chronicles of Calvary.

I have written about some people and even a lamb but tonight’s post will not feature a person. Nor an animal.

It focuses on something different. Something unexpected.

A hill.

A hill called Calvary.

Calvary, also called Golgotha, is located just outside the city of Jerusalem.

Maps - New Testament Bible Maps by Generation Word

This hill, not much more than an outcropping of rock, is the turning point.

On the surface, this hill represents torture, blood, and death. In human eyes, justice is served.

But underneath all of that lies a much different story.

The script is flipped.

Yes, there is still death. Jesus dies. He had to. That was the only way.

Sin is powerful and even victorious – if left unchecked.

But God was never planning on letting it go unchecked.

He had a plan. He always has a plan.

  • Simon was part of God’s plan
  • The Centurion played his part in God’s plan
  • Both criminals were in the plan as well
  • The little lamb that represents the sacrifice for sin is central to the plan

Calvary is part of His plan.


Life is not about you or me.

It is about what God is doing and whether or not we will join Him.

And it all happened on a single hill. God won.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope it was worth your time.

Mary had a little lamb…

Can you hear the tune in your head?

Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb…

Cute little guy, isn’t he?

The next character in the Chronicles of Calvary is not about a person. It is a lamb. A one year old lamb without spot or blemish.

We focused on three people for the first three Chronicles. Click on each to read their respective posts.

Simon

Centurion

Two Criminals


There are many aspects to the cross. This post is all about one particular aspect. Sacrifice.

If you have ever tried to read the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament, I am guessing that it was not easy. More so, it could have boring or perhaps really difficult to understand.

The theme of Leviticus is about the sacrificial system that God had set up starting with Moses.

Don’t worry. There will be no Levitical readings here.

Israel, after they escaped Egypt under God’s provisional hand, set about on a journey to the Promised Land.

During that journey, God had given Moses plans and instructions for a tabernacle. This would be a mobile house of worship.

When it was set up, the Levites would be the tribe that would be responsible for the overseeing of all the tabernacle duties; mainly the sacrificing.

Leviticus (named after the tribe of Levi) is the recording of how to do all the tabernacle rituals. Here is one artist’s rendition of the tabernacle.

A Tabernacle for God: Built By The Willing Heart • Spirit Life

But a bigger question that might be looming is one of ‘why’.

Why did God require sacrifice?

Simply stated: Sin was separating God from man. But because God is holy, he could not reside where sin existed. A sacrifice was used to remove the sin from a person or even the whole nation.

It was better to kill one lamb or goat rather than a person. It would not take too long to wipe out Israel if animals were not used as a sacrifice.

For the price of sin to be paid, there must be sacrifice.

Forward into the New Testament. Specifically, John’s gospel.

Here is verse 29 from chapter 1 of John:

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” NIV


John knew who Jesus is and what his purpose was.

Jesus was to be the sacrifice for our sin.

Hebrews 9:12 states, “He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.” NIV

Jesus was the lamb that was slaughtered for our sin and he did it at Calvary.

So I guess that little song was right on.

Mary had a little lamb…