Friday, July 17, 2009

Tough Guy - Week 5 - Tough Love

Matthew 27:24-50
Mark 15:16-39
Luke 23:18-49

John 18:28-19:37

28 qThen they led Jesus rfrom the house of Caiaphas to sthe governor’s headquarters.5 It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, tso that they would not be defiled, ubut could eat the Passover. 29 vSo Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, w“Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” 32 xThis was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken yto show by what kind of death he was going to die.
33 zSo Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, a“Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, b“My kingdom cis not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, dmy servants would have been fighting, that eI might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, f“You say that I am a king. gFor this purpose I was born and for this purpose hI have come into the world—ito bear witness to the truth. jEveryone who is kof the truth llistens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
After he had said this, mhe went back outside to the Jews and told them, n“I find no guilt in him. 39 oBut you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, p“Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.6

Then Pilate took Jesus and qflogged him. 2 rAnd the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that sI find no guilt in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing tthe crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, u“Behold the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, v“Take him yourselves and crucify him, for wI find no guilt in him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and xaccording to that law he ought to die because yhe has made himself the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this statement, zhe was even more afraid. 9 aHe entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, b“Where are you from?” But cJesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, d“You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore ehe who delivered me over to you fhas the greater sin.”
12 From then on gPilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. hEveryone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 13 So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on ithe judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic1 Gabbatha. 14 Now it was jthe day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour.2 He said to the Jews, k“Behold your King!” 15 They cried out, l“Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 mSo he ndelivered him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus, 17 and ohe went out, pbearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 qThere they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate ralso wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for sthe place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’ ” 22 Pilate answered, t“What I have written I have written.”
23 uWhen the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic.3 But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” vThis was to fulfill the Scripture which says,
w“They divided my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”
So the soldiers did these things, 25 xbut standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and ythe disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, z“Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to ahis own home.

After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now bfinished, said (vto fulfill the Scripture), c“I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, dso they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, e“It is finished,” and he bowed his head and fgave up his spirit.
31 Since it was gthe day of Preparation, and hso that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was ia high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other jwho had been crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out kblood and water. 35 lHe who saw it has borne witness—mhis testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—nthat you also may believe. 36 oFor these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: p“Not one of his bones qwill be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, r“They will look on him whom they have pierced.”

John 15:13
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Romans 5:8

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us

1 John 4:10
10In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4:16
God is love.

We love our wives, we love our husbands, we love our children, we love our- cheeseburgers, our cars, our home, our neighbors, our football team, our city, our hairbrush, our new set of irons, or iPhone, our job. We love the smell of play dough, and the sound of rain.

We use the same word to describe our love for each other as we do our love for chocolate cake. To us love is feelings, passion, emotions, desire, lust and as long as those ingredients are present we love because we feel and our emotions are satisfied and we are served.

This is a perverted, twisted take on love that has left our society bankrupt of families and void of husbands who love their wives as Christ loves us and void of wives who lovingly submit to their husbands and void of children of honor and obey their parents.

Scripture says, 1 John 4:16, that God is love.

You and I do not know love because real love is more than feelings, more than emotions, more than lust, and desire it is so much more it is action on behalf of the one who loves for the benefit of the object of love.

This kind of love is foreign to us because it is real, it is true, and it is tough. The love of Jesus is tough because:

1. We have never seen such love in our lives.

Our lives are marked with broken families. Divorces, split homes, remarriage, abandonment, lack of commitment. Instead of serving one another we see self service and me first as the predominant theme in our marriages and marriages around us. If you don't give me what I want, if you don't serve me...then I will go somewhere else is our attitude. Our relationships are based on social contracts - you do this for me and I will do this for you and as long a each of us keep our end of the bargain then we can remain in fellowship. Because we are imperfect people such relationship rarely last.

2. We have never experienced such love before.

We have never been completely, unconditionally loved by another person. We have been ridiculed, judged, mocked, manipulated. People have turned their backs on us, they have bore false witness against us. We have been gossiped about behind our backs and insulted to our faces.

3. We are incapable of loving.

Everyone of us has a deep desire to be loved but few have a deep desire to love in a humble, self-denying, life giving, serving way.

4. We find it hard to believe in such love.

Scripture tells us that (1 Corinthians 1:18) "18...the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

Jesus' love is tough because:

1. Of who we are.
Hard hearted, stiff necked, stubborn people. Sinners from birth. Rebels against Him. Drunkards, cheaters, unholy, unrighteous, ungodly people. Lazy. Perverts, fornicators, adulterers, murderers, gossips, back biters, liars.

2. Of what we do.
We are idolaters chasing after anything and everything falsely giving our lives to everything but Jesus. We are perverted in our thinking. We lust in our hearts. We covet things, possessions, and the money of others. We bear false witness about Jesus in the way we live and our lives preach a false gospel by the things we do. We eagerly run into sin even in light of His continuous mercy and grace.

Jesus' love is tough because:

3. It is action and it is costly.
Jesus has entered into our lives, He seeks us out, He chooses us. Jesus was crucified in our place for our sins because He and the Father love us - John 3:16. Jesus gave His life, His very blood so that we might live!

Yet we continue to play games with each other. Husbands look for ways to abandon their responsibilities. Wives withhold affection. We manipulate each other to get what we want and we continue to toy around with the idea of "Jesus." And the lie is that our wives will always be there and the lie is that our husbands will always be there, and the lie is that our children and our friends will always be there never realizing that today could be the last day we have together and that tomorrow is never a guarantee!

I love the way Paul concludes Romans chapter 8 (Romans 8:38-39) 38For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Apart from Jesus you and I have no idea what love is as we are incapable of true love and as others are incapable of truly loving us.

Jesus is the ultimate Tough Guy because He said the tough things that needed to be said, He commanded the tough things that we need to do, He did and continues to do tough works to bring about His glory, plan and purposes, and Jesus continues to show each of us His tough love in so many wonderful ways.

Do you know, serve, worship, and Love Jesus as God?