TITLE: Unexpected Results
DATE: October 1, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT:. John 11: 48, 53 – ESV – 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 ....53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.
Have you ever noticed that things don’t always work out the way you think they should? For example baseball, the national past time, is a pretty friendly sport. It’s the place we can go to teach our children about how to be good sports.
Well, not always.
In the spring of 1894, the Baltimore Orioles came to Boston to play a routine baseball game. What happened that day was anything but routine. The Orioles' John McGraw got into a fight with the Boston third baseman. Within minutes all the players from both teams had joined in the brawl.
In support for their teams, the warfare quickly spread to the spectators in the grandstands. Among the fans the conflict went from bad to worse. Eventually, someone set fire to the stands and the entire ballpark burned to the ground. You might think things would have stopped there.
If you thought that you would be wrong.
The fire from the burning stadium spread. By the time the conflagration was put out more than 100 other buildings had been reduced to smoldering piles of hot ashes. Yes, sometimes things don’t work out the way you think they should.
When Jesus raised His friend Lazarus from the dead, it was an impressive miracle. It was a miracle that got people talking. Including the priests. They felt that if Jesus kept this kind of thing up, soon they would be out of a job. The lambs they were selling in the temple, the money changing, their monopoly over the people would evaporate. They couldn't let that happen.
They decided on a course of action. Jesus had to be eliminated. .
They started a plot which is being continued today. Atheists who say they don't believe in God talk far more about Him than Christians do. Agnostics who say it's impossible to know whether God exists spend more time in proving their point than Jesus' followers do theirs. Communists who thought God would destroy their system invested more money in erasing Jesus' Name than Christians did in promoting it.
That's what jealousy toward Jesus has done.
Amazingly, God can use humankind’s jealousy of Jesus to change things. God used the priests' jealousy to have His Son crucified. There He paid for our sins and continued to completion the Father’s plan to save us.
Today the Lord has used the jealousy of unChristian countries to strengthen His underground church. And whether the time be then or now, God has continued to send His Spirit so that more and more people: "believe in Him."
THE PRAYER - Lord Jesus, the world has always been jealous of You. As one of Your saved people, grant that I may always be proud of You and what You have done for my soul's peace. This I ask in Your Name. 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