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A Fundamental Divide in our World

Where is Your Focus?

Friday, February 15, 2013

5:59 AM

Luke 23:34 - "And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."  And they cast lots to divide His garments.


 There is a fundamental divide in our country, and it's not between Republican and Democrat, or between the races, or between geographical regions.  It is between living with a self-centered focus and living with a God centered focus.  You see this very dramatically on Television.

Every commercial is designed to get you to buy something to satisfy you.  I understand this to a   degree because they are designed by companies who are trying to sell a product to benefit their companies.

Past that however the plot of most television shows revolves around acts of selfishness.  Murder, adultery, drug use, …… all acts of selfishness.  Many shows are based exactly on these things.  Then take time to watch the news, almost every story revolves around the same things.  Selfishness sells, doesn't it?  There is a fundamental divide in our culture.

You see that in Luke 23:34, the soldiers who were crucifying Jesus were casting lots for his clothes, while Jesus Himself, made perhaps the most selfless statement ever made, "Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing."  Forgive the very ones, who had driven the nails into His hands and feet.  Forgive the very ones who had placed the crown of thorns on His head, forgive the very ones who had tortured Him.  Forgive the very ones who spat on Him and mocked Him.  His statement was the most selfless statement ever made.  It was God focused (Father forgive them) and it was a statement of love.  Forgiving those very people who had done all of those things to Him.  Jesus was selfless, God the Father focused and full of love.

The soldiers were selfish weren't they?  Not concerned at all with the humiliation and the pain of the man hanging on the cross in front of them.  Oblivious to His cries of agony, perhaps not even paying attention to the words that He somehow managed to speak.  They ignored it all and just gambled for his clothes.

They weren't doing this because they needed the clothes.  They were doing it because the clothes went to the one responsible for the crucifixion.  The clothes were like a trophy that they could put on their mantel so to speak.  They were a prize to be treasured because they said "you were the one responsible for this person's death."  The clothes were a badge of pride that they drastically celebrated.

So while Jesus made the most selfless statement in all of history, these soldiers committed one of the most prideful and self-centered acts in human history.  They gambled for his clothes so that they could boast that they were the one who killed Jesus.  Normally they wouldn't have had to gamble at the scene of a crucifixion because it would have been obvious which one had finished the job and killed the person being crucified.  With Jesus however all of the soldiers were involved.  They mocked Him, they put the crown of thorns on His head, they tortured Him, they whipped Him, and they drove the spikes into His flesh.  They were all responsible so who gets the clothes?  Who gets the "bragging rights"? And so they cast lots for them.

Selflessness vs. selfishness.  Love vs. hate.  God focused vs. self-centered.  We see it everywhere, we see it at the cross of Christ.  There is a fundamental divide in our world.  So which side are you on?