Leviticus 21-22, Matthew 27:1-31
As humans, we strive deeply for relationship. Relationships seem to be the things that empower or devastate us in this world. There is one relationship we can have that is unchanging, unconditional, and ever solid, however. Today, we'll take some time to explore the dynamics and power of this very special relationship available to any and all.
As kids, we don't necessarily love rules. I even know some adults that hate them. But as parents, we set rules for our kids because we love them and want them to grow into decent adults. As we read through Leviticus, we encounter all of these rules and requirements of the people from God. These may seem steep to us, but if we ponder these, and think about the bigger picture and intention of them, we can see why God laid those out. That is a unique relationship. God knows us deeper than our own parents, friends, spouse, etc. He knows what we need in the long run and cares enough to create us into lovely hearts that long for Him. As He shows us time and time again, His plans are always better than our own.
We also read repeatedly in Leviticus as God communicates with the people is "I am the Lord your God." He reminds the people Who He is in their lives and why they should listen to Him. He is reminding them of His faithfulness and His goodness. It is hard to trust in something you can't see all the time, but God is the One you can put your full trust in. There is something quite unique and powerful about that kind of relationship.
As we read about Jesus' trial play out, we see how symbolic it becomes of His relationship and sacrifice for us. Judas and Peter both stumbled in their relationships with Jesus. Even though they both messed up, they both react differently. Judas decided it was too much and took his own life, while later we'll see Peter thrive as a key leader in the church. Both of these men had an opportunity for redemption and Peter was the only one who took it. We have a unique relationship with a God of second chances and third chances and fourth chances...He will always take us back because His love is unconditional, yet we may continue to mock Him like the soldiers did.
The symbol of the people cutting Barabbas loose, is a great one in Jesus taking our place. He was perfect and Barabbas was a notorious criminal. As Jesus was betrayed and crucified for us, we are the Barabbas He took that spot for. While some of our friends would "take a bullet for us", that is a deeper kind of love. We weren't even born yet, and Jesus did that for us! He did that for you!
Can you walk through this day, this week, this life and remember who the "Lord your God" is? Remember the special relationship you have with Him. He takes you back again and again after you fall and stumble. He went as far as taking our place on death row and closing the gap between us and God in eternity. What other relationship can do that for you? If you ever have questions of need help with this, message me. I would love to share that hope I have because of this amazing relationship with Christ!