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Jesus' Supreme Sacrifice

(Luke 22:33-49)

Lesson 12 -- first quarter 2001
February 18, 2001

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2000, Christian Light Publications

Would a good lawyer have helped?

Well-intentioned people can say some rather silly and ignorant things sometimes. Take one of O.J. Simpson's former attorneys. Recently he commented, seriously and earnestly, I'm sure, "Think of all the trouble the world would have been spared if Jesus had had a good Jewish lawyer."

What do you think? In my estimation, had Jesus retained an attorney able enough to win Him an acquittal, then immeasurable trouble would have been heaped upon the world. Jesus' death spared us an unfathomable amount of trouble. Jesus came to die so that He might redeem us!

The attorney who made this comment obviously fails to understand and appreciate the nature of Jesus' mission. He clearly does not see that Jesus' death was purposeful and not a mere tragic travesty of justice. Looking at Calvary from the limited perspective of man, he totally missed what is totally obvious to those who trust God and His ways: Because of His death, Jesus won!

This demonstrates again that God's ways are far superior to our own. This attorney's assertion shows that often the solution that is obvious to us ends up being no solution at all. Surely we can see that too frequently our obvious human solutions complicate matters and magnify problems rather than solving them.

In that context, I challenge you to expose the fallacy of this notion common in contemporary Christianity: "Think of all the trouble our country would be spared if there were more good Christian politicians." After you finish dissecting that notion, work on this one: "Think of all the trouble God's work would be spared if there were more wealthy Christians."

Maybe you need a good lawyer!

We naturally think that we need to defend ourselves, especially in our relationships among ourselves in the church. We can see the bad that would result if we don't stand up for ourselves. And we tend to miss the reality that our perspective can be mighty puny. The previous section proves that for sure! It seems to me that I shouldn't need a "lawyer" any more than Jesus did.

Why should I not forgive?

"Well, if I forgive someone he might not repent of his misdeed." This attitude frequently comes up when someone does not see the need to repent of and apologize for some wrong which we believe he has inflicted on us. We fear that in forgiving we will somehow let him off the proverbial hook. Worse yet, we want to make our forgiveness conditional on his repentance. When the Bible commands us to forgive those who trespass against us, it does not stipulate that we can wait till the offender repents. We dare not bear the burden of unforgiveness! As Jesus forgave, so should we, leaving it up to God to deal with the unrepentant offender.

"If I forgive her, she'll just walk all over me again the next time!" How we resent having others perceive us as weak enough and vulnerable enough to be taken advantage of . . . repeatedly! So we think that we'll show ourselves strong and intimidating by refusing to forgive. My friend, the opposite is true. The withholding of forgiveness manifests tremendous weakness. God honors and shields those who in the face of wrong choose to forgive.

Do you know of other reasons to skip forgiveness? Squash those also!

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