May 2019   
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9AM Contemporary Service
Contemporary Service with our Praise band leading the worship, and message delivered by pastor or guset speaker
10AM Sunday School
Sunday School Classes for all ages, using Lifeway resources and others in a small class learning setting, where questions and discussions are welcomed.
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Bible Search
Living and Dying in the Shadow of the Cross

Life and Death


Luke 23:46 – “Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!’ And having said this He breathed His last.

You can tell a person’s character by what they continually think about, and by the things that come out of their mouths.  This is true on a daily basis but it is especially true when a person is under extreme stress.  On “Good Friday” when Jesus was crucified He was under extreme stress.  He had endured the beatings, and the mocking, and the betrayal.  He had endured for six hours the horror of the cross.  A death so unimaginably painful that Isaiah says “His appearance was marred beyond that of a man.” And yet even as He endured that and even as His life ebbed away, His focus was still on God the Father as He said, “Father into your hands I commit my spirit.”  What an amazing testimony.  What an amazing focus. 

It shouldn’t surprise us though should it?  When He was just 12 years old He went with His parents to the Temple.  Then when they left to return home, He stayed.  He stayed at the Temple.  When His parents finally found Him and scolded Him, His response was simple, “I must be about my Father’s business.”  It was that business and that focus that marked His life from birth to death.  He died the way He lived.  Following the Father’s plan and being about the Father’s business.

When He went into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, He  knew what lay before Him.  He knew the coming betrayal and He knew the coming torture and crucifixion, yet He didn’t pray not to have to face them, instead He prayed “Father if its possible take this cup from me, yet not what I will but your will be done.”  Again His focus was doing the Father’s business.  He lived the way He died, focused on God the Father and doing His business.

When He was 12 years old, when He was in extreme anguish in the Garden, and when He endured unspeakable torture on the cross the theme was the same, Jesus was about the Father’s business.  Everything that He did was focused on God the Father and living a life pleasing to Him. 

I remember a song that we used to sing at my home church that said, “Love is the theme”.  That sounds good, and yes Jesus’ life was marked by love but it wasn’t the theme of His life.  The theme of His life was pleasing God the Father and showing God the Father to the world.  Remember He said, “if you have seen me you have seen the Father.”  God is love, but God is also holy, and in His holiness sin must be punished.  So yes He showed love but He also will one day show the judgement of God.  Jesus is the one who judges as the Apostle’s Creed says, “the quick and the dead.”  So He did live His life in love, but the theme of His life was doing God the Father’s work.  That was the theme in the way He lived and in the way that He died, it was the theme after the resurrection and it is the theme even now.  Jesus is doing God the Father’s will. 

That was His focus when He walked the earth during His 33 years and it is still His focus today.  What an example for us.  We as followers of Jesus must be about the Father’s business.  Like Jesus we will encounter difficulty, we will be confronted by people who don’t understand, we may even go through painful times, but the focus must always be doing our Father’s business.

When you think about it, it’s a privilege isn’t it.  We get to do God, the Father’s work.  We with all of our faults, problems, and sins get to do the work of the Father.  How is that possible? Only through the blood of Christ, only through what Jesus did on the cross. Only through the love of God.  God made it possible for us to longer be His enemies but to be His friends.  He redeemed us and He saved us through the cross.  And now we have the privilege of doing His work.  The Bible says in fact that “we were created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared for us before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 2:10)”.  In other words He has work for us to do.  Work specific to us, work that He planned for us to do even before we were created.  What a privilege it is to join God in His work.

In the face of stress, pain, and confrontation, Jesus said “I must be about God, the Father’s business.”  When He went from one day to the next, it was the same thing, “I must be about my Father’s business.” 

That business was showing God the Father to the world.  That business was redeeming the people of God, that business was showing the love of God to the world, but also reminding the world that judgment is coming.  That business was making a way for you and me to be forgiven so that our sins could be redeemed and so that we too can be about our Father’s business. 

Without Jesus going to the cross and doing the Father’s business, we have no right to call God Father.  Without Him doing the Father’s business, we are still enemies of God.  We are still hopeless, and we may work, but we can’t do the work of God the Father.  Now because Jesus was committed to do God the Father’s work, you and I can as well.  What a privilege.  Jesus lived and died the same way, doing the Father’s will, may the same thing be said of us.