Lent Day 1
Most of us haven't ever experienced the kind of pressure the Jesus experienced in the last portion of his ministry. In Matthew 26.4 we read that the chief priests and the elders of Israel assembled for the purpose of devising a way to kill Jesus. I don't know if you have ever had someone trying to kill you- but that is pressure! What provoked this diabolical plotting?
Jesus' life and ministry are the very things that provoked the talk of assassination. That makes me think that Jesus was a little different than people paint him these days. The gentle, slightly effeminate, itinerate teacher that some portray as the Christ wouldn't need to be assassinated. He would be no force to be dealt with. He wouldn't be able to command the masses. But the Biblical Jesus taught more than love your neighbor and turning the cheek. He lived out a radical gospel that was an affront to all the pretenders who spouted religious jargon and rattled off religious sounding phrases. Pretenders all! No by living the Empowered Life Jesus stirred up trouble and challenged the pretenders. Calling them out, challenging thier teaching, exposing their hypocrisy.
Some think good christians are quiet and meek. Not so. Those who follow Jesus must walk in the footsteps of their master and provoke a hatred for themselves in the lives of others just because of the stand they take. So as we begin an examination of our souls in this lenten season we simply need to ask ourselves one question. What have I done to provoke an assassination attempt on my life? If you are like me- then your answer is...not enough.