Good morning everyone,
There are certain concepts which are so plain and obvious that we never give them a second thought. As toddlers we learn the directions “up” and “down.” “Up” is toward the sky and “down” is at our feet. Who would ever think otherwise? Yet, isn’t it intriguing to imagine a world where the status quo is turned upside down? What if “up” were really “down,” despair was turned into hope, death into life, and sadness into utter joy?
Challenging assumptions and reasonable conclusions is exactly what Jesus does. He turns ordinary thinking upside down. Human reason assumes that in order to be “good” with God, a person needs to be good in how they live. The thinking goes: “If I am a good person toward my family, honest and hardworking at my job, and kind toward others, I will be good in God’s eyes.” Jesus turns it upside down by emphasizing that even our best is not good enough for God: “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20). “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law” (Rom. 3:20).
We assume justice means that whoever does the crime will be held accountable and “do the time” in prison. Jesus turns that concept upside down by coming to earth to take the guilt of every sinner upon Himself and to suffer the penalty of hell for us all. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). In Jesus the status quo is wonderfully and completely upended. In Him we receive hope, life, and everlasting joy.
In your Bible reading watch for more examples of Jesus’ challenging conventional thinking and turning things upside down for the world’s blessing. Tomorrow’s sermon text (Is. 42:1-7) is another illustration showing how Jesus came not to be served, as one might expect, but to serve, even to the point of dying on the cross.
The choir will rehearse tomorrow.
The adult Bible class will continue its study of the incredible blessings of prayer.
See you tomorrow,