Sunday, June 26, 2016

Love and Repentance

Today's Reading:
  • Luke 19:28 - 19:48
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Luke 19:28 - 19:48
Today's reading starts with Jesus humbling riding into Jerusalem on a donkey colt. My study bible tells me two things: first, his ride on the donkey is fulfillment of prophecy; and second, that choosing a humble donkey instead of a war horse is symbolic of the reconciliation and peace that Jesus would bring.

As Jesus rode into Jerusalem, a huge crowd gathered and threw their clothes on the ground in front of him, shouting and signing songs of praise as they followed along side. I can hardly imagine this scene. A man, riding on a donkey on top of piles of clothes thrown in front of him and crowds singing and praising all around. What a glorious sight that would be. It is hard to believe that human nature is so fickle, that many of these same people would soon be publicly demanding his crucifixion.

Jesus then wept, for he knew the people would reject his salvation and come to ruin. Jesus is there for all of us, he died for all of us, yet how many of us will refuse that wonderful gift? How many souls of the people we know and love will be forever lost and separated from God? It's a terrible thing.

We are then told of how Jesus drove the money changes and merchants out of the temple. Luke's account of this event are fairly mild. John 2:15 tells of how Jesus made a whip to drive these people out. It seems that in today's world, people only want to talk about the love of Jesus. Every sin seems to be covered by the fact that Jesus loves and forgives. It is very true - without the true love Jesus showed by dying for us, without his forgiveness, we are destined to hell. But too often it seems to be overlooked that Jesus also condemns the sin. He drove those people out with whips! The woman who was caught in adultery, whom Jesus saved from being stoned, was told to "Go forth and sin no more" (John 8:11).

Jesus came to save us. Jesus came so that we could be forgiven. Jesus loves us more than we can ever comprehend. He died for each of us - the ultimate gift one can give. Jesus is full of love and forgiveness, but we must also repent. The love does not excuse the sin, as seems to be taught today. Through repentance our sins are forgiven, but they must be repented of. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word repent as: "to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life". To repent, we turn from our sin. We then make amends for our sins by changing our ways. The Lord is gracious to forgive us, and the Lord absolutely loves us, but love does not excuse our sins.