I had the opportunity to go for a day to a great conference in Canton, OH called Love Is Red. Check out their website at here.
This morning, youth pastor Mike Roberts Jr. spoke on the subject of the cross and it was a powerful sermon. Mike’s humor, honesty, and insight brought a new perspective to an otherwise well known passage of scripture.
He spoke from Mark 15, the portion of the Bible that outlines Jesus’ crucifixion.
He asked the question, “Where is the hope?”
In reading Mark 15 you find that Jesus is being crucified with his followers, supporters, as well as his critics all present watching as this influential man is put to death.
For the disciples it was probably the darkest time in their lives. They’ve spent the last three years of their lives following this man, working to further his mission and message and here they are on hillside watching it all fall apart as their leader struggles for breath getting closer to death with every second.
But what they didn’t realize was what was happening behind the scenes and what God was accomplishing in this, his Son’s, death.
You see, Jesus breathed three words before he died and with those three words gave all of us a hope that is beyond understanding.
“It is finished.” When Jesus said these words, what was accomplished still resonates today. You see, we’re all sinners, and we are supposed to be separated from God for all of eternity, unless of course somebody makes restitution for our sins. Unless somebody pays our way back to God.
When Jesus died, this is what he accomplished. He paid our debt to God. He covered our failures and bridged the gap.
So while the crucifixion was the darkest time in the disciples entire life, it was also the time that God was doing His greatest work.
The question Mike Roberts Jr. posed today is a great one and I want to share it with you.
Is it possible that in the darkest time of your life that God is doing His greatest work in you?
Is it possible that in the midst of your addiction, your parents’ divorce, the scars healing on your arms from self affliction, the sexual regrets you may carry – in the midst of those dark periods, is it possible that God could be doing His greatest work in you?
This question should give us hope. That’s what the cross represents. Hope.
When you are lost, searching, scared, lonely, depressed, confused, you’re not alone. The disciples probably felt all that and more as they watched their Savior struggle for breath, but it was in that moment that God was doing His greatest work for mankind.
Jesus did die. They suffered fear and some questioned their belief, but Jesus rose from the dead three days later and what was their darkest moment became their greatest joy.
What is your dark moment? Where do you find yourself that you wish you could just get away from? Look to the cross and find hope that in that moment – in that dark place – God wants to do His greatest work in you.
Rest in that hope.
Live in that hope.
Run in that hope.