Way out of No Way
n our story we find Jesus on vacation. He needed some down time after hearing of the beheading of his cousin John, so he went off to a deserted place, a quiet retreat place where he could contemplate the realities of the situation in which he found himself. Every now and then in the four loosely fit biographies of Jesus we see our Lord's humanity and these stories are some of our favorite glimpses. As we read about Jesus' predicament we say, “Hey, he's a lot like me!” He's a person that has lost one of his few lifelong friends, his cousin John the Baptist, who had baptized him. And we all now realize, as did Jesus, that his time to die would be soon.
Through His Divine nature Jesus was also aware that he was born to die; that the whole reason the Father sent him into this humble state was that he was to become what C. S,. Lewis called “The Perfect Sacrifice.” He was sinless and pure, as was the Lamb of the Old Testament. Throughout all of history Jesus was the one God-Man who was prepared to take away the sins of the world. Instead of each of us having to be punished in agony for our sinfulness, we have here God's perfect plan to allow us to find forgiveness by looking back unto Jesus who died for all.
Jesus understood all of this theological truth, but it still hurt him to lose his cousin and to be reminded that he would be the next to die.
I needed to get away last week so I scooted up I-85 to see my brother Eddie and to visit our parent's graves. Their headstone is pure white granite and their names are perfectly chiseled. The grass is green and well manicured and they are buried among many of their lifelong friends.
As Eddie and I continued our pilgrimage to old home sites and places from our childhood, blasting down country roads and expressways in his huge diesel SUV Excursion we were aware that what we were doing that day was sacred in our lives. That was a day that we will never forget.
sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor