It started so well that it is hard to understand how it came to this. One day people were calling Him a king and a few days later they were content to send Him to the executioner. What a week Jesus had. When he first entered the city, He was welcomed with cheers and praise:
As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives— the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Luke 19:37-38 (ESV)
The week would not end the same way for Jesus. He would be betrayed, arrested on charges that 2,000 years later are still difficult to understand, and executed. And why? Was it about a power struggle between the “old guard” and the new? To some, perhaps. Was it a huge misunderstanding? In some ways, yes. But ultimately, the week Jesus had resulted in the redemption of humanity from the consequences of our collective actions.
The redemption story of humanity is a story of Grace. It is the story of God Himself intentionally intervening on our behalf in such a way that we could not screw it up. It is the story of Jesus, peaking in memory of this incredible moment of sacrifice, of a Roman cross used to execute the worst of criminals. But the story continues with an empty tomb. Jesus overcomes death itself, and offers the same in a way to humanity.
What started out so well quickly turns to disaster, but ends up being the redemption of all humanity. It is not a story of guilt, but of Grace. It is not a story of shame, but of salvation. This story is not really a story of death, but truly about life. That is why the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is so powerful. It is our story; our defining moment where sin is dealt with and our humanity is restored.
It started so well, and went south fairly quickly. But now we have hope. Hope that no matter what happened yesterday or even today, you have grace. You can be free from guilt and shame, and have Jesus. It is not about manipulation, or what is required of you, or what you need to do or say. It is about what Jesus already did, and what really happened when He walked out of that tomb. It wasn’t just a happy ending… it was a new beginning entirely.
Are you ready for your new beginning? Without guilt or shame or having to meet a certain standard or set of rules and accomplishments? Are you ready to stop second guessing your decisions, and trusting in the choice Jesus made? The choice He made was this: to be the object of total justice for all the wrongs, and to extend complete mercy to all mankind. To accept the penalty for every wrong done at the hands of humanity, and to extend the reward due to nobody, freeing us from everything we’ve screwed up on this planet. That’s the story. His story, in the words of Jesus:
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5 (ESV)
This is your story! It mirrors the whole human timeline! It starts out so well but quickly falls apart. And just when it seems like we’ve screwed it up beyond all hope, He doesn’t just fix it or turn things around… He changes the rules of the game entirely in our favor.
The words “Jesus died for you” aren’t enough. He didn’t just die for you… He changed the whole story of humanity. As bad as we’ve made a mess of things on this planet, He has completely remade the entire thing. You can have this. It’s yours. Trust Him.
2 responses to “It Started Well…”
AMEN!!!! Thank you Daniel, encouraging words!
Thanks Tim. God is Good! When we reflect on this week, it can’t just be a time of shame or remorse, but overpowering gratitude and joy.