"God be merciful to us & bless us, & cause His face to shine upon us.
That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.
Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad & sing for joy!"
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Assurance - of God's Unstoppable Love! (Good Friday Homily 2016)
What’s the big deal behind crucifixes?
Crosses and crucifixes abound on walls, rearview mirrors, and tattoos; so
what’s the big deal. And what’s the big deal behind these old words: “What can wash away my sins? Nothing but
the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of
Jesus”? Assurance - of God’s unstoppable Love!Romans 5.8.
a. Mourning, scoffing and railing: V.26-39
b. Defending, believing and exonerating: V.40-49
c. Dead and buried: V.46, 50-56
So here you have the objective, historical
fact: crucifixion. So what?
a. Mediates: 32-34 “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they’re doing” (34).
b. Expiates: 40-43 “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (43).
c. Alternates. 47 “Certainly this man was innocent” (41 and 47)!
then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He
who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also
with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against
God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the
one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God,
who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of
Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or
nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being
killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in
all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am
sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor
things to come, nor powers, nor 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” (Romans 8.31-39).
Our assurance grounded in God’s out-poured
love for us…Our assurance – no longer condemned (Thief and Romans 8.1). God
declares us “Not Guilty” or “Acquitted” of the charges. Not because of our
innocence – not because we really have none; but because of what his Son’s
innocence obtained for us and made ours! Assurance that we can finally be near
to God, clean before God, acceptable to God, acknowledged by God – all because
of Jesus crucified for us and for our salvation. Assurance that God actually
DOES want us near! How do you know? Look at the cross! “At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the
burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And
now I am happy all the day!” At the cross Christ brings the end and
begins the new!
Assurance - of God’s unstoppable Love!
Now, assured of God’s unstoppable love, we
can look outside of ourselves. We can face life, death, success, failure, injustice,
social decadence, economic failures, political chaos, and we can even the devil
himself – all without fear; because we
can now face God!
Assurance - of God’s unstoppable Love!
Do you have this assurance? There’s only one way.
Rely on Christ crucified, and submit to him. And as you do so you will find
this is true for you: “For Christ also
suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring
us to God” (1 Peter 3.18). And John 15.13!
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