The Co-mission

God’s Word: Matthew 28:16-20

Last words are worth listening to. When someone leaves this world we sit up and pay attention to the message they leave us with. The words that Jesus left us with are true to this, “go and make disciples”. If we ignore what Jesus has to say here we haven’t fully grasped what the Christian life is all about. We don’t live life for ourselves; we live to please God and fulfil His purposes. Good news should be shared, so if we keep the Good News that Jesus lives, to ourselves, then we’ve got some explaining to do on the Day of Judgement. If we fall short of sharing Jesus, can we really call ourselves Christ followers?

Jesus made it clear that we should GO and spell out the Gospel as we travel through this life, sharing with everyone what God has done for us and what He can do for them. If there was such a thing as an eleventh commandment it would be this: the Commission. God takes this seriously. We’re to tell all people everywhere about His death and resurrection. We’re not only to share the Gospel but we’re to be Gospel. Every word we speak and movement we make should support the Gospel story. We should preach Jesus’ death and resurrection by dying to our old lives and living in the new.

The Gospel isn’t just good news but it’s the greatest news there is. We should spell this out in word and witness. The Gospel of Salvation is life and breath to all that hear it. We may be tempted to keep the Gospel as a hidden secret, choosing to keep our mouths shut and our heads down but we can’t travel through life like this. We have to speak of the Gospel story.

The Great Commission is our mission in life. We should pass this baton on to anyone who grasps it and wants to run with it. The process of making disciples involves ‘going’, which can be translated “as you go on your way”. As we journey through life, our paths cross and we rub shoulders with many people who don’t know Jesus for themselves. You don’t have to go far to find someone who doesn’t know the Truth, maybe even just crossing the street is as far as you need to go. We are all called to mission; Jesus asks some of us to stay where we are and others to go to the far corners of the world.

The Commission is His command and our calling. Jesus commands us to “go… make disciples… baptise… and teach”. This is what we’re called to do, and be. We’re called to first be disciples, followers of Jesus Christ, before He ordains us in carrying the Gospel to our world. Spelling it out can be accomplished through living it out. We have the assurance that Jesus is our driving force; He empowers us in this mission. We are co-workers with Him in the co-mission; we have His authority and His presence with us wherever we go. We aren’t tackling a mission of a global scale on our own because we have the Holy Spirit with us; Jesus left us with this promise. Jesus is faithful; He promised us that His Presence would be with us, always. “I AM with you” echoes “Immanuel, God with us”.

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The Day God Died

God’s Word: Matthew 27:32-54

God’s love for you is irrational, and illogical. His love refuses to let go, God’s love for you refuses to die. He stubbornly refuses to stop loving you. God holds Himself to this for all of eternity. His love is deeper, wider, and higher than you can ever imagine. When Jesus hung on the cross with His arms outstretched He was saying, “I love you this much”. Jesus love for you is higher than Heaven. His love for you is unimaginable, no measuring tape or weighing scales can tell you its height or weight.

The day that God died was the greatest day in history. Jesus, God in flesh, gave up Himself for the entire human race. Jesus died with everyone who ever walked this earth in mind; your face and name were before Him when He took His last breath. In sacrificing His own life He saved you (verse 42). He could have aborted the plan and ran away from the Garden of Gethsemane. In the trial Jesus could have denied who He was and who His Father is, getting off with little more than a warning. Or, Jesus could have called down an army of angels to take Him down from the cross. But the Saviour of the world chose to give up His life so that you could have a chance to taste eternal life.

His last words, “it is finished”, are the three most beautiful words you could ever wish to here. “It is finished” is translated as “paid in full”. Jesus cleared your debt, and to top that He gave you eternal riches in Heaven. Jesus redeemed you; He bought you back, paying the price with His blood. Jesus paid every last penny that the devil demanded for your soul. He set you free. You are redeemed!

Jesus endured more than we can imagine. Condemned prisoners were forced to carry their own cross to their execution, and Jesus wasn’t given a sick note even though He had 39 lashes of the whip and a cruel beating behind Him. The soldiers had no empathy; they were as inhumane as they could have possibly been. We can’t forget that Jesus was fully human; He struggled under the weight of the cross. Jesus didn’t have superhuman powers that allowed Him to pick up the cross and march up the hill as if it was ‘a walk in the park’. Every step was agony. Every breath He took caused Him pain. Every second lengthened His suffering.

And then Jesus was stripped of every last shred of dignity. He hung naked on the tree, bearing our sin and our shame. When passers-by stopped to mock and stare, they thought to themselves, He’s cursed. Forgotten by God. People thought God turned His back on those who hung on a cross. The day that Jesus died wasn’t any different from this. God turned His face away from His Son; He couldn’t bear to look at Him. This was torture for the Father; He couldn’t even stand to look at sin in all its ugliness, so He had to turn His back on His Son. God left Jesus to suffer and die alone, because a Holy God can’t face bare naked sin. For the first time in their lives the Father and Son were separated from each other. Abandoned, that’s how Jesus must have felt. Jesus felt what it was like to be without Hope for a day so that you wouldn’t have to go without Hope for the rest of our days. Both the Father and Son had never felt this loneliness before; Jesus didn’t have His Father to turn to in His greatest hour of need. God didn’t come running.

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