If the world was not surprised that God himself would come to us in Jesus Christ, then what he came to do would certainly have been unexpected. Jesus Christ was not born in a palace, raised with privilege, given an army, nor did he march upon Jerusalem and then Rome to conquer the world. Our coming king came to save us and to rule but he followed the path that led him to the cross. Our God is king and our king wore a crown not of gold, but of thorns.
This was foolishness. How could the Almighty be weak? How could our Victor suffer such apparent defeat? How could our Savior not save himself? But on the cross Jesus Christ showed his power over sin and death and sacrificed himself so that we may be saved. He was the ultimate sacrifice, sufficient in every way to atone for our sins.
At the crucifixion the curtain in the temple that divided God’s presence from a sinful people was torn in two. Behind that curtain was the Holy of Holies where only the select few could enter. But now we are chosen in Christ, we are the select who can be in God’s presence because Christ opens the way. He has reconciled God and humanity. Our sin divided and pushed us away. Our sin alienated us from God and made us his enemy. But God loved us even when we were enemies. And now in Jesus we can boldly go before the throne of grace.
So I was talking with someone this morning in my small group about scripture memorization. It seems like that is something many do when we’re young, but as we get older it we stop. I wonder if subconsciously we think memorization like that is childish.
If I remember getting prizes for knowing my memory verse along with stars for attendance, and then have few instances where I memorize later in life, it’d be easy to think it is something for children. But that would be a failure on our part. We are to store up God’s Word in us. We should meditate on the Bible. It’s as though we should marinate our minds with it, taking on its flavor. (How’s that for a fun mental image?)
When we do so, and the words dig their roots deep into us, God will use it to continue to shape us after the likeness of Jesus Christ. When such life-giving words saturate our minds our entire personalities will come under their influence.
So in light of this, and in light of the conversation I had this morning in which I said I wanted to do something about it, I’m going to put up some verses on the right hand side of the site as memory verses. Every week we read many chapters, then we focus in on one passage during our focus passage, and now (if you’re so inclined) we can try to commit one even smaller selection to memory.
This is new, ie. easy for me to forget, so if it doesn’t get updated regularly–OR if you have suggestions for the verses for the week, let me know. For this week I thought we’d use:
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.