Preparing Your Heart: Acceptance

*Theme Week – Jesus: Mark 15

Old Testament Reading: Joshua 5 & 6

Psalms Reading: Psalm 97

Jesus is dead and sealed in a tomb. And Barabbas is free. 

Can you imagine waking up on the day after you were to die a deservedly horrific and public death? Waking up free? The sun is shining. Birds sing. Life continues around you. You should be dead, but you’re not. 

Mark’s account of our Messiah’s death here mentions the centurion standing guard over Jesus. This Roman witnesses something he probably didn’t know much about. Even those raised with the prophecies of the savior didn’t comprehend what was happening. But this Roman soldier sees all that happened during Jesus’ death and he says, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

I wonder what he did with that information. I wonder what you will do with it. 

Upon Jesus’ death, the heavy curtain separating God’s presence from the rest of the world was torn in two. You are no longer separated from our heavenly father. Christ is now your way to Him. And Christ was the only sacrifice significant enough to truly allow salvation. 

It’s Saturday. Barabbas is guilty but free. The centurion is ignorant of God’s plan but knows exactly who Jesus is. And Jesus is innocent but dead. 

Where are you this day? The way to God is now open. You are free. You know who Jesus Christ is. And better still, you know what happens next. So what will you do with this information?

Take some time with me today to prepare yourself by opening your heart and accepting the gift that has been given. Ask yourself:

How am I like Barrabas? I’m living today, and can be free from my sin, but am I behaving like someone who has been given another chance? 

How can I better know Jesus Christ, the Son of God? Am I spending enough time in Scripture? 

My way to God is clear, but am I seeking Him? How can I do a better job of recognizing God and acknowledging Him in everything?

Have I truly accepted the gift of salvation? And am I showing that in my words and actions and choices?

My prayer for us today is that we recognize Jesus’ crucifixion for what it was: a sacrifice that was made so that we can live free of sin, so that we could be reunited again with our God. Reflect on this today, and accept the gift that has been given. He’s in the tomb and we are not. Today we remember the sacrifice. Tomorrow we celebrate!

Jenn Haynes

(Editor’s Note: Jenn has done a great job this week preparing us for a celebration of the Resurrection! If you haven’t yet had a chance to attend or view a Good Friday service of reflection you might also find benefit in that. Here is a link to one that 3 churches in northern Indiana did last night which was set up as a memorial Celebration of Life service after the death of Jesus.)

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