If you have come here today to find out more about what the Christian faith is about then you have come to the right place because this story that we remember every Easter is the central crux of our faith. It is the story of the power of God’s intense love for the people that he made.
Over the past few weeks we have been looking at True grit including “The Art of Showing Up”, “The Hard Thing Rule” and “Purpose and a Passion”. The Easter story is about just this. Jesus demonstrates real grit. He shows up. Jesus leaves the glory of heaven and comes here to earth to live amongst people just like you and me. He demonstrates the hard thing rule throughout the years of his teaching and ministry. He challenges the stuff that is wrong: and speaks out against injustice and defies the religious authorities who were misrepresenting God and sides with the poor and the marginalised. But at Easter he demonstrates above all that he has a purpose and a passion. He heads for Jerusalem knowing what awaits him. We can read about his anguish in his prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane. “If it is at all possible let there be another way!”
Easter is also about Jesus closest friends letting him down.
I don’t know about you but in my life, I regularly let Jesus down.
I even let myself down. I set myself goals or standards that I fail to live up to. I guess that you would say the same. Every time I mess up it is like a stain in my life. Each time I say, do, or think something that I shouldn’t. each time I upset someone or ignore God’s commands, another stain appears. The disciples try to follow Jesus. They turn up at the last supper and go with him to the garden of Gethsemane. But when he asks them to stay and pray, they sleep. Maundy Thursday ends on betrayal with a kiss. When Jesus is hauled before the court most of them flee for their lives. One of those who stays is afraid to admit that he knows Jesus. Not exactly demonstrating grit. When trouble comes, they lose their sense of purpose and their passion is washed away. But Jesus faces the humiliation and the Cross because of his purpose and passion.
His purpose in coming was revealed in many prophesies that we can read in the Old Testament. Follow the link to one that was written about 700 years before Jesus birth.
You can read this here.
He was despised and rejected. So here we are bearing in our lives the stains of our sin; all the things that we regret.
What can we do to make ourselves right or earn our forgiveness? Maybe by doing good things or making little sacrifices.
What can the disciples do to make up for how they have let Jesus down? You can read what happens here.
The reality is that nothing really works. Guilt can eat us up if we let it.
Our sin has to be paid for our rebellion dealt with. That is exactly why Jesus came. He was pierced for our transgressions,
But as we think on the Easter story, we remember that; beyond sin there is love inexhaustible and forgiveness incomprehensible. Beyond brokenness there healing and mercy. Beyond death there is life unimaginable and grace eternal. The stains that we carry are washed away in Jesus blood.
As you read this prophesy written hundreds of years before Jesus was born what is it that strikes you? Is there anything that shocks you or that you find difficult to understand?
What does this prophesy tell us about what Jesus achieved on the cross? Make a list. Are there any surprises?
How is he able to achieve all this?
When you think of what Jesus was prepared to go through for us how does that make you feel?
Thinking of those qualities of true grit, when and what does Jesus demonstrate in the passion story?
If you were Jesus how do you compare? How would things have panned out if Jesus demonstrated the sort of true grit that you demonstrate?
What is the thing that you find most challenging when you read this passage and think of what happened to Jesus on that Thursday to Sunday?
As a result of looking at this passage is there anything that you would like to change in yourself. What are you going to do about it?