Bethany Lutheran Brethren Church
Staten Island, NY

Bethany Blog

Bethany Blog

Check out Sunday's Messages and Devotionals from Pastor Paul Couch!

Always Remember

I wasn’t at the event first hand.  Those who were, describe the inhumanity of it all.  It was a horrible day that deeply affected many people. 

The day Jesus died.

It is a devasting thing to come face to face with sin and death.  It shakes us to the core.  We are filled with such extremes of emotions: hatred and fear, anger and sorrow.  It empties us and leaves us hopeless.  And this feeling scars us so deeply.

The injustice of Jesus’ death angers us.  How could people be so evil as to condemn and kill a man that had done nothing wrong?  Our anger at this almost causes us to be sick.

The reality of Jesus’ death causes us sorrow.  We know that we deserved to be in that spot instead.  We have down wrong, why should He die instead of me?  Our sorrow at this almost causes us to give up.

The followers of Christ on that day watched helplessly as people crucified, mocked, and jeered their Lord.  What longing must they have had in their hearts for a miracle.  Jesus had spoken of ten thousand angels.  Could they not come on that day?  But they didn’t.  Jesus did not get His miracle.

As much pity as those who watched Jesus die may have had for Him, it pales in comparison to the love Jesus had for them in that moment.  It was they who needed something, not Him.  The reason that He laid down His life was so that they might receive what they needed. 

It is all too easy for us to look upon the suffering of another and to be undone because of the overwhelming reality of their need.  But we too are in need.  We are in need of the resurrection life of Christ.  And He reminds us again today that He chose to die so that we might live.

Hear His word: “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1b-2

Jesus is not in need of rescue.  We are!  And He comes to us in the deepest and darkest places of our hearts.  Christ is not afraid to walk in those places.  They might be places that are filled with anger and rage.  Places that ask questions like, “how could you let this happen?”  “Where were you?”  And because Christ is willing to walk there, we can look upon Him and see His face.  We see it is not hardened and uncaring.  We see that it is not laughing and mocking.  We see tears running down His face.  We see the suffering servant who mourns in the face of death and suffering just as He did with Mary and Martha at the loss of their brother Lazarus.  We see the pain in His eyes.  But then in an overwhelming flood, we see something else: LOVE. 

Hear His Word: “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” 1 John 4:9

Remember this: “I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20

Always remember!