"Death is the prerequisite to resurrection, the new life God intends."
- John Ortberg
We are 4 weeks away from Easter, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. As Jesus’ died on the Cross He didn’t just surrender everything there. All along the way Jesus forfeited His power and ability. Take for example anytime he faced opposition, literally in that moment he could have sent lighting down to strike them, but chose not to. He forfeited and released much of his ability because He knew the vision the Father had set before Him. He knew the plan. We talk often about what would Jesus do when it comes to acts of service and kindness but rarely talk about showing the restraint that Jesus showed. There it is, a new bracelet, “What Restraint Would Jesus Show?” I love this quote from Daniel Webster, "Liberty exists in proportion to wholesome restraint.” In Proverbs 29:18 it says, "Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained…”(NASB) This is a better translation then what we are used to hearing that is people “ perish." The greek word literally means cast off restraint. Most leaders use this to support their vision or the organization’s vision, but the true meaning of this text can be found in the rest of the verse, "But happy is he who keeps the law(revelation).” To summarize in our context today, "where the word of God isn’t clearly understood and lived out people live unrestrained lives." How does this apply to Jesus’ walk towards the cross? Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth. Use your imagination when it comes to what Jesus could have done, but He chose restraint so He could give life. This month as we walk to the cross there are 3 things I want you to consider when it comes to Jesus’ restraint.
- You can have the same restraint, Jesus proved it when he became fully man.
- When we die to certain choices better choices are given life.
- Never forget you serve a God that loves you enough to die so you can live.
What behaviors and choices do you need to let die? What desires need to be pushed back so you can experience something greater? Dedicate time everyday to know God’s word clearly and living it out by asking the Holy Spirit for help. Watch the amazing life that comes from restraint be released.
I can’t wait to continue our series over the next few weeks looking at who Jesus says He is and then finish it off with the greatest day in history on April 1st.
See you Sunday.