Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Heart Rend For You

It is that time of year again. Those of us in the churches who observe the church calendar have ashes smudged on our foreheads in the shape of the cross. The minister will remind us “From dust you came and to dust you shall return.” Not very exciting is it? I mean after all we have done for Jesus in the past year! We have loved Him with our whole hearts and our neighbour as ourselves haven’t we? Well except for those times when we don’t appreciate having a specific item lacking in our lives. Oh, and how about what our brother or sister said to us the other day? And they call themselves a Christian! Whoops!

Joel 2:12 "Yet even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; 13 and rend your hearts and not your garments." Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. 14 Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD your God? ESV

Those examples above show idolatry. In arrogance our inner brat, which is actually us as I was reminded just yesterday, think we know better than God. Thanks brother Andy! The pride one can feel at how wonderful one has become can really appear dirty. Oh the heart wants to be puffed up. Even in repentance one wishes to arrogate to him or herself the act of repenting. How can one tear a heart? Jesus tore His in our stead.

Matthew 27: 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? KJV

The physical torture was certainly severe. The shame of being put on display in front of your mother and friends naked, beaten and condemned. He was in the company of thieves and murderers yet innocent personally of all transgression. None of us can come near to fully appreciating this no matter if we were to tear our clothes and flog ourselves. But imagine the One that is loved with all your heart turns His back on you! What a heart rending thing! This is all done for me and you because there is no way our pride and self love would allow us to rip our hearts in humility.
Thank you Jesus for the forgiveness we have because of your broken body and shed blood. Amen †

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