Day 4: People
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24 NIV
WHAT WE SEE IN THE FILM: One particular powerful moment in the film is where Jesus draws a line in the sand for Mary Magdalene, being persecuted for committing adultery. In John 8:7-11 it says, “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sinbe the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’” The amazing part about Jesus is He does not condemn nor judge us. Yet He doesn’t condone our sin either. He loves us and reminds us that we are already forgiven, thanks to what He did on the cross.
PURSUE THE PASSION: People are the passion of Jesus Christ. While living here on Earth, Jesus spent time with all kinds of people, especially those who were seen as outcasts -- prostitutes, lepers, tax collectors, etc. He healed them, He forgave them, He taught them by speaking truth, He listened. He knew all their flaws but saw them as beautiful. When He died, He did it for ALL people. EVERYONE.WHAT WE LEARN FROM JESUS:
- God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things! In the Bible God constantly uses regular people to do the most amazing miracles. He took a peasant girl and made her the mother of the Messiah. He took a shepherd and turned him into a king. Even Jesus was born in a manger and lived the life of a carpenter. God uses people just like you and me to do His work. Don’t think that because you aren’t rich, don’t know enough people or may not have all the skills that God can’t use you. Because He can and He will.
- God calls us to love all people. Jesus made people His priority. He says in Matthew 22:37-38 NIV, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it; “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
- Forgive others and do not judge them. In Luke 6:37 NIV it says, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” How liberating it is when we freely forgive. Christ does not hold our mistakes against us, we too should not hold them against others. He died on the cross to do away with our sins so that we could be seen as holy and blameless. We must see others in that way.
- What do you think Jesus was writing in the sand as the religious leaders stood in front of Him ready to stone the adulterous woman?
- Do you believe that the Lord stands before you ready and willing to take your hand, leading you into truth, loving you right where you are at? If so, thank Him and praise Him. If not, ask Him how you can get to that place, what it is that is holding you back from believing it.
- These two stations of the cross are specifically noted as Jesus speaking to the women and sees Mary Magdalene. The Lord has a very specific love language for His women (and men) speaking to us and reminding us that we are His and He stands before us to take the pain and insults. Think of a recent time someone has judged you or said something offensive to you. Do you see the Lord standing before you, enduring whatever is hurled your way?
Pursue People. There are many times that we believe our sin is too great for the Lord to redeem, to use but the fact is by dying on the cross He has already redeemed you and me for all of our sins and the moment we begin to see and believe what He has done for us, is the moment He can take all the those things in our lives and use them for good. Today, step out in faith and ask God to provide an opportunity for you to share your redemption story. Share it with someone else or write it in a journal. Let Jesus show you His grace and mercy through your life to another.