“They are your people still, your inheritance whom you powerfully and sovereignly rescued.” (Deuteronomy 9:29 MSG)
Moses is talking to God in this passage. Recounting a series of moments in which he interceded for the wayward Israelites. And this final verse of the chapter paints such a clear picture of God’s work. The powerful and sovereign work of God didn’t stop with the Israelites in the Old Testament.
God rescues! He is the rescuer. He comes into our mess.
Our often self-inflicted upheaval.
Our personal slavery of the soul.
And He rescues.
It may not feel that way or seem that way. Especially when life is beating you up. But God rescues. He does it powerfully. In a demonstration that declares he alone has the ability to do it. He does it sovereignly. With the dignity and veracity of the King of All.
He brings anyone who would come to him into himself. An inheritance. A part of the family.
Yeah, sign me up for that.
It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones. (Exodus 12:46 ESV)
He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. (Psalm 34:20 ESV)
Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.” (John 19:31-37 ESV)
Moses and David each prophesied that the Messiah would die without having any bones broken. Both were correct, as John’s Gospel points out. Jesus died before the soldiers began breaking the accused’s legs.
Not only were his bones unbroken, but his power was unbroken as well. His sovereignty went unbroken. Even as they pierced his side Jesus held all authority.
They killed Jesus. They bloodied him. But they never broke him. And no one ever will.
I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. (John 16:12 ESV)
“Patience is when we wait nicely.” That’s what we tell our son nearly daily when he seems to be getting antsy. Patience is a tough thing to develop. Why? Because we often think we’re ready for something when we’re not.
Jesus knew his followers better than they knew themselves. He knew that he was sharing so much with them that they were at capacity. They couldn’t handle any more profound truths that particular day. They had hit their saturation point.
I think he does the same with us. He knows what we’re ready to hear. But I don’t think He will communicate something to us that we’re not ready for. It means we are not the final authority. We’re not the ones calling the shots. Jesus does. He evaluates both instantaneously and beyond the confines of time. He sees tomorrow’s potential in today’s failings. He sees the real us, the true heart, and he is the best judge of what exactly it is that we need to know, do, and experience right now.
And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39 ESV)
The will is a powerful thing. There are moments in life when strength is diminished, opportunity is dwindling, or resources are exhausted. In those moments it seems as though will alone is what can carry you through to completion. Unfortunately we all too often focus our will on something selfish. We spend ourselves on something that is less than that which God intended for us.
Jesus knew what weighed in the balance. As he cried out to God the Father from the garden that night long ago he expressed his desire to be spared a terrible ordeal. Yet, he also communicated his truthful yearning to see God’s will through to the intended result.
It took the will of the Son to bring about the will of the Father. And I really believe that there are moments and opportunities in life where God allows us to experience what it means to partner our will with His will. I think there are things God intends to happen in our lives that can be hastened along when we take our will and subject it to His. Sometimes our most powerful prayer is, “not as I will, but as You will.”
Read: John 11:28-37
So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” (John 11:36 ESV)
One of the great themes to take away from the truth of Jesus the Son of God is that God has empathy for us. Jesus experienced pain. He felt with loss. He knew what it was to be tired, to be hungry, to be sorrowful. He was, and is, God with us.
When Jesus’ friend Lazarus died he went to see the family, knowing that Lazarus was to be raised back to life. But that knowledge did not stop Jesus from mourning with Mary and Martha. They were his friends. They were in deep lain over the loss of their brother. Jesus shared in that pain.
God has great empathy for you and I. It is a remarkable testimony to the breadth and depth of His great love for us that He feels so strongly for us in the midst of trying times, because He knows the end. God is all knowing and all powerful. He has the end and the means all within His effortless grasp. Yet, He still hurts with us. Not in a kind of way that in any way diminishes Him, but it is the kind of shared feeling one experiences between those who are extremely close.
When my close friends hurt I hurt with them. When someone I love experiences loss my heart goes out to them. I long to comfort and console them. Jesus felt that way about Lazarus’ family. He feels that way about you and I as well. Oh, how he loves us!
Read: Luke 8:40-56
And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. (Luke 8:53 ESV)
Jesus had just healed the woman with an issue of blood while on his way to Jairus’s house. Arriving at the house he found a crowd of pessimistic and skeptical mourners. They had actually tried to dismiss him from coming at all as they believed her to be dead. When Jesus informed them that the situation was not beyond hope they laughed at him.
I enjoy a good joke. I like to laugh, and try to find humor in things that are sometimes difficult. A dead little girl is not a laughing matter. Neither was Jesus’ commitment to minister to the family in the situation.
Why did they laugh at Jesus? Because he spoke with authority and confidence that the girl was going to be ok. Jesus was telling people that a dead girl was going to be fine, that they needed to merely believe and all would be fine. That seemed impossible. It was ridiculous. After all curing someone of something while they were still alive was one thing, but who has the power to make life return to a body that has ceased to function? God does.
Jesus did the inexplicable for Jairus’s family. Some of us need him to reach down from heaven and do the inexplicable for us. He can. I believe that he wants to. But if he told us the enormity of the magnitude for what he had planned would we believe him? If Jesus looked at the impossibility of our situation and declared authoritatively that he was about to undo the impossible would we believe? Or we would join the crowd of skeptics and laugh at Jesus?
It’s not enough to merely believe in Jesus. We need to move beyond the point of simply believing in his existence and begin to believe in his words. We need to believe in his power. We need to believe that he has our best interest at heart, and in hand. That’s no joke.
Read: Mark 5:21-43
For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” (Mark 5:28 ESV)
We all have our issues. I don’t know what your issue is. It may be something horrible that has plagued you for years. Or, maybe it is something recent that has came up in your life and is horribly troubling. Regardless of the duration, severity, or seeming hopelessness of the situation you can take your issue to Jesus.
The poor woman with an issue of blood was an outcast for years. She was ceremonially unclean from her ordeal. She was broken financially, socially, physically, and spiritually. Jesus helped her. But she went to Jesus.
There is no magic formula to receiving comfort and aide from Christ. For some people he inexplicably interrupts their situation with a supernatural kind of sovereign mercy. For others it does not happen that way.
The bottom line is that we are not in control and that is a big part of the big idea. God is in control. Just as the woman took her issue to Jesus we can take it to him today. We can go fearfully, reverently, and boldly into his presence and present ourselves. He is in control. No issue is beyond God.