I am short on time today so allow me to be brief. I am presently reading through the Bible in the KJV and NLT and I am picking up a lot of things that I have never notice. I’m sure you have picked up on this before, but the language of the NLT really opened this passage up for me. You can read it in the KJV but allow me to quote only the NLT.
God is not a mortal like me, so I cannot argue with him or take him to trial. If only there were a mediator between us, someone who could bring us together. The mediator could make God stop beating me, and I would no longer live in terror of his punishment. Then I could speak to him without fear, but I cannot do that in my own strength.
Jesus is the answer, Job!
He is the mediator!
He paid the price for us!
Because of him, we no longer live in terror of punishment!
Now I can go boldly to the throne of grace!
No, not because I saved myself. With man, that would be impossible. But with God, all things are possible!
Their shouts of anger have become our prayer for pardon! The irony of what they said…
“When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but [that] rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed [his] hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye [to it]. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood [be] on us, and on our children.” (Matthew 27:24-25)
They said it with hearts full of anger. Wanting only to be finished with this Jesus. “Who cares, Pilot! The blood won’t be on you. Let it be on us and on our children! Just crucify Him!”
We say it with hearts emptied in repentance. “We have failed you, Jesus. We are sinners. We need your forgiveness. Let your blood cover me and my children!”
Good Friday. Is His blood on you?
“…and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)
Jesus did not offer any conditions when He told his disciples to follow him. He didn’t give them any specifics. He didn’t tell them where they would be going. He didn’t say follow me, unless I go somewhere that you don’t want to follow. He simply said, “Follow Me.” And that meant Everywhere.
And if I may, let me suggest on this Easter week, that there are three very specific places that we must follow Him; we must follow Him to the cross, we must follow Him to the grave; and then (and only then) we will follow Him in resurrection.
1. The Cross
“Take up your cross and follow me,” is what Jesus said. There is no following Christ without a cross. There is no following Christ without repentance. Many imagine that they are following Jesus but they have not turned from their sin and toward Him. Paul knew it and understood it. He said, “I die daily,” and “I am crucified with Christ.” If we are going to follow Him, following Him to the cross will be one of the first steps that we take.
2. The Grave
Just as Jesus was buried, we also must be buried with Him in Baptism. Baptism is done by immersion (greek: baptizo) and is in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul had more to say about this in his letter to the Romans, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death…” If we have followed Jesus to the cross, it is only natural that we will follow Him to the Grave.
3. The Resurrection
Finally, if we have followed Jesus to the cross and to the grave, we are promised that we will follow Him in resurrection. “…that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection:” When we follow Jesus to the cross in repentance and to the grave in baptism, we are promised that we shall follow Him in resurrection as we are gloriously filled with the Holy Ghost!
What do you say friend? Have you followed Him Everywhere? If not, this Easter season would be a great time to fall in behind Jesus and let your heart sing, “where He leads me, I will follow.”