TITLE: Easy Way
DATE: October 21, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: John 18: 10 14 – ESV - 0 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” 12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.
Most people try to escape making hard decisions.
That's the way it was in the year 1209. During the 1100’s a heresy took hold in Southern France. The members of this sect believed a bad god had written the Old Testament and created the material world and a good god had replied with the New Testament and the spiritual world.
To get rid of the heresy Pope Innocent the 3rd called for a Crusade. During that Crusade against the Albigenses, a French army took the town of Beziers. Before they crashed the walls, the soldiers wondered, 'How can we tell the bad heretics from good Christians?' One of the French leaders, Simon IV de Montfort came up with an easy solution to the problem.
He said, "Kill them all, for the Lord will know his own."
Because of that unbelievably cruel statement, tens of thousands of men, women and children were murdered. There were no hard decisions which had to be made... the Crusaders decided to take the easy way out.
The night Jesus was betrayed, the disciples avoided the hard decisions When Jesus asked them to stay awake with Him and pray, they chase the easy way out and fell asleep. When the soldiers moved in to arrest the Savior the disciples promptly forgot Jesus’ words of prophecy about what would happen in Jerusalem.
They forget about what He said concerning turning the other cheek.. They avoid making the hard decisions and start fighting.
About the only one there that night Who was making hard decisions was the Savior.
It would have been easy for the Savior to escape; it would have been simple for Him to summon the legions of angels at His disposal. Instead, Jesus chose to make the tough decision which would lead Him to unfair trials and a tragic misuse of justice.
Jesus difficult decision took Him to the cross to die and win forgiveness and salvation doe sinful humankind.
Christians must admit that Satan holds out similar temptations to them. He regularly says, "Take the easy way out. Let somebody else give; let someone else witness." But when we stand at the cross and see Jesus' willing sacrifice we soon realize that the easy way out is not the best way. Not even for the Son of God.
In His love and by the Spirit's power, we can say, "Not as I will, but as Thou wilt."
THE PRAYER:: Lord Jesus, You died to be my Savior. May I live as Your faithful disciple, drinking from the sweet or bitter cup that is given to me. In Your Name I pray. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html