February 28, 2018

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Lent Week 6: Not the king you think he is

Recap: 
1. Our God is King and has won the battle.
2. God entered into the pain and suffering of our world.
3. We do not need to be afraid of pain or suffering because God is with us and God came to set us free. 
4. God has filled us so that we can bring God's presence wherever we go. 
5. The goal of the cross is not just liberation on the other side of death, but liberation now on earth.

Read Psalm 150 
Thought: We are on week 6 of lent. Holy week started this Sunday--Palm Sunday. On Palm Sunday people lined the streets with their coats, and waved Palm Branches proclaiming the coming of the King, the chosen one, as Jesus road into Jerusalem. They sang their praises to Jesus much like this Psalm. But Jesus was not who they expected him to be. He didn't fit into their box or definition of what the Messiah would do. He did not ride into Jerusalem to pick a fight with the Roman Army and end the Roman occupation of Israel. His liberation was different than pictured. Instead he picked fights with the leaders of the synagogues who had set up unjust economic and religious systems. As Jesus road into Jerusalem to accomplish the most complete and extreme liberation from death itself, people missed it. In fact, during the greatest liberation in history, people thought it was a failure. God's ultimate rescue act was to suffer, die, and raise again. 

Application: This week, take some time to read Matthew 21-24 in one sitting. This was Jesus' message to his people between Palm Sunday and His arrest. Recognizing that God does not fit in our boxes, open yourself up to what God might be doing around you to bring about liberation. So often in life, when God speaks I picture it as looking a certain way. And when it doesn't pan out that way, I panic, become afraid that God isn't there, I've done something wrong, God isn't going to come through like God promised. The bible is full of the theme--promise, problem, provision. Holy Week is the problem part of that process. God had promised a Messiah that would set his people free. Jesus was it. But then the Roman's killed him. This is a major problem! Not what was supposed to happen. Yet out of the problem came provision--Jesus rose. Conquered death. Poured out His Spirit on all of us so that all of us can have access to the Father, now like Jesus did. Where in your life have you given up hope? Where have you stopped believing God's promises because it looks hopeless? Where is God showing up and working that is different than you pictured? Ask God to show you ways you have missed it, missed who God is and what He wants to do. Ask God to show you where you have given up hope, stopped proclaiming him as King because the story isn't panning out the way you thought it would. Finally, take some time to thank God, to sing His praises because God has, is and will continue to bring about liberation to us and this entire world!  

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