Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Maundy Thursday. Short, to the point: Even though God does not intervine, though he can, He is Lord, He is God, He is our salvation. I also in context of the events that happend that nigh in addition to ps 27.

Psa. 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

These words had to be going through Jesus’ mind on this night; On this cold, dark, long and desperate night. This couldn’t have been easy for our Lord Jesus. Now we can dismiss any anxiety or fear that Jesus my have had saying, “Jesus is divine, he knew the ultimate outcome, he knew the outcome before the beginning of time”….and yes that is very true, but as true as it is, it does not remove the physical pain and agony that Jesus knew he would endure nor does it remove the larger reality – the burden of sin that Jesus would take upon himself; Nor does it acknowledge the loneliness of complete abandonment that Jesus had to endure. Jesus, like us had real emotions and was not looking forward to what would be coming upon Him that night….

With all this in mind, Jesus still could stand upon this Scripture: Psa. 27:1 “The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?”

The Lord Jesus could stand on this Scripture, and we are able to stand on it as well.

Jesus wouldn’t have memorized this Scripture and then quote it as a magic charm, or a mantra, or even as the power of positive thinking and no not even as self encouragement. See all of those things are weak, they are self delusional in nature and Scripture does not lend itself very well to being used in such a way. No, The Word of God is powerful and will not return void: Is. 55:11 “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Jesus could stand upon a Scripture such as this for no other reason than, it is true. It contains truth and, it is truth. That fact right there, truth, lays a strong foundation. Here is a foundation that will not return empty. God’s Word holds strong.

Ahh, but we look at this night that Jesus endured and this night does not appear to correspond to Scripture. There were things to fear. Why even those who promised to stay with Jesus through thick and thin abandoned him…you know if God the Father is Jesus’ stronghold, his light and salvation, if that is so, why didn’t the Father have mercy upon Jesus and eliminate his suffering, his burden; why didn’t he offer Jesus his protection?

You know, we have such a tendency to read into Scripture our American culture don’t we. Our American mindset says, “We know when God is working in our lives, why that’s when everything is going well, working out, moving right along”. That may be the American mindset, but that isn’t the biblical mindset, by a long shot. If it were, we would never experience the deep love, the deep mercy, the honest flat out power of the Holy Spirit in our lives….

Here on this night, Jesus gathers with those who “know” every detail there is to be known about Jesus – or so it seems. They spent over three years of close traveling life with Jesus, experiencing some very intimate moments, and yet when Jesus presents the bread and the cup before them predicting what terrible things would occur in the next few hours – even to the point of pointing out who would betray him – in person no less, they cannot see the significance, they cannot and yet Jesus knowing this, still has the last supper with them. How powerful.

Think of how terrible the disciples must have felt later on when they realized how they had let the Lord Jesus down. How they were there, but they were not there for him. The one time Jesus needed them the most, they weren’t “there”. And yet, Jesus does it anyway. I don’t think he did it out of duty, or simply out an act of fulfilling prophecy, no - he did it out of love. It is not that God is not protecting Jesus. Come on, move beyond that shallow thinking! How shallow are we? What is reported in Scripture about Jesus on this night is not an article from People Magazine, full of speculation and gossip. We look around us and see physical evidence of what is occurring in our lives – and there we stop, and analyze, what fools are we, especially those of us who should know better.

So we take our same analysis, that which we apply to our life and place it upon Scripture. We see Jesus being misunderstood, betrayed, beaten and killed and we conclude: God was not the stronghold, God was not the salvation – because that is what we think in our lives. How we have missed the depth of the love of God if we think that.

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