Sunday 7/27/2014 6:02 AM
I had a strange dream last night that reminded me a little bit of the movie, Groundhog Day. I was on a security detail to protect Jesus, a little like his Secret Service, but we carried no weapons. The same scene kept repeating, with minor details that were different. My fellow officers included Judas Iscariot, Peter and John, three of Jesus’ disciples. In the first part of the dream we were guarding Jesus and I noticed that Judas was carrying a gun. I intuitively knew he was going to assassinate Jesus so I told Peter and John and the three of us tried to stop the assassination. Unfortunately, we were too late. In the second installment of the dream Peter was the assassin with the gun. It ended with the same result. In the third installment I was surprised to find the gun in my waistband and I knew that the end result would be the same, with me as the assassin. Fortunately, I woke before I murdered him.
I mulled this over as I ran this morning and a couple of scripture verses came to mind and a song. One passage was Psalm 14:2-3, “The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good not even one.” The other verse was 1 Corinthians 6:11. In the previous verses Paul gives a list of those who will not inherit the kingdom of God and then he says, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” The song was How Deep the Father’s Love for Us, which includes these verses, “Behold the Man upon a cross, my sin upon His shoulders. Ashamed I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers. It was my sin that held Him there until it was accomplished. His dying breath has brought me life; I know that it is finished.”
I like to think that if I were alive in Jesus’ day that I would have had the courage to stand up to defend him at his trial, that I would have the courage to die with him. In reality, my dream is closer to the truth. My sin was what held Jesus to the cross and, rather than dying with him, I was in the crowd, calling for his death and scoffing at him.
The theme of my devotions this week has been The Power of the Gospel. My opening prayer for the week has been, “Almighty God, may the transforming power of your gospel be at work in my life today and always.” The good news is that 1 Corinthians 6:11 doesn’t stop with the sentence, “And that is what some of you were.” It continues, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” The transforming power of the gospel has changed me from a murderer to a forgiven, and justified, lover of God. Now my song is the last verses of How Deep the Father’s Love for Us. “I will not boast in anything, no gifts, no power, no wisdom, but I will boast in Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection. Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer, but this I know with all my heart, his wounds have paid my ransom.” Praise God for the transforming power of his love and for his mercy.