To... the desert, the wedding, the crowds, the place of shame, the outsider... and to the cross!
This week's sermon didn't tape. So here's a quick synopsis!
Christ's first miracle, turning water into wine at a wedding reception, is one of many for all of us. BUT --- for the disciples, this story isn't one of many miracles, it is the first and only miracle thus far! Before Jesus does anything in his ministry, He takes his disciples to a wedding. And the first miracle He performs... keeps the party going!!!!
Do you experience Jesus this way?
And if you are a Christian, does the world experience you in this way?
IN THE BEGINNING - THERE WAS NO SHAME!
Genesis 2:25 says Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame...
WITH SIN, SHAME ENTERED THE PICTURE
In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve hide from the LORD because they realize they are naked...
Nothing had changed... they had always been naked...
but now Adam and Eve interpret their nakedness differently, through the lens of judgment on their sin.
BUT - THERE'S GOOD NEWS: God does not leave us in our shame. Roman crucifixion was designed not only to be horribly painful, but to be terribly humiliating. The cross was a place of shame. The victim was stripped naked, beaten, and mocked by the crowds.
Yet, Hebrews 12:2 tells us. "For the joy set before him [Jesus] endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand [place of honor] of the throne of God." At the cross God takes on our shame, and He undoes the curse. The cross reveals the character of God, that He loves us unconditionally. We were worth dying for IN SPITE OF our sin...
THE CROSS EXPOSES SATAN'S LIE... WE ARE NOT WORTHLESS TO GOD...
The contemporary praise hymn, AT THE CROSS, by Christ Tomlin says it all...
There's a place where sin and shame are powerless
Where my heart has peace with God and forgiveness
Where all the love I've ever found comes like a flood comes flowing down
At the cross, at the cross I surrender my life
I'm in awe of You, I'm in awe of You
Where Your love ran red and my sin washed white
I owe all to You, I owe all to You, Jesus
An explanation of the Word for Children's activity referred to at the beginning of this sermon: