Called to Worship – Issue #3
by Phil Mershon
The most violent act in history brought the deepest peace and serenity known to man. Ponder this…
Jesus walked the earth as a teacher, miracle-worker and friend of sinners, proclaiming the Kingdom of God in word and deed, yet was crucified for the crime of offending the religious leaders and posing a threat to Rome.
His crime was far greater, if you can call it a crime. He certainly came to upset the comfortable religious leaders. He definitely came to tumble all human organizations that set themselves up as gods – including Rome.
But his purpose was also to bring comfort to the disturbed, peace to the restless, and hope to the downtrodden. He came to befriend the outcast and mend the wounded.
When Jesus was murdered for crimes he had not committed, he accepted blame for every crime I have committed—and the rest of mankind. I’m guilty of finding comfort in my religious systems of quiet times, journaling and generous giving. I’m guilty of placing my hope in America, and not the kingdom of God. I find myself restless, looking for purpose in life and the things I do, instead of in my relationships—particularly with God.
Jesus’ death was wrong, but it was needed and ordained by God. Jesus’ death accomplished something I could never do: it tore the veil. This veil separated the very presence of God (the holy of holies) from all that was ordinary. The veil was erected metaphorically when Adam and Eve sinned, but was physically present in the tabernacle and temple. When Jesus died, the veil was ripped from top to bottom—reminding us that God ripped it, not man.
With no more separation from God, we could now approach God based on Jesus’ finished work. This relationship brings peace, hope and life.
As educated Christians, we can take this for granted, but we shouldn’t. Access to God is our only hope in the next life—and this one! I know I go through many days just asking God for help and forgetting the treasure that is mine.
Two songs remind me of this costly peace. Darlene Zschech has written a powerful song called At the Cross.
I also love Michael W. Smith‘s arrangement of You Are Holy (Prince of Peace).
That peace is ours because of an act of infinite horror. Never before has anyone been so wrongly accused, tried, condemned and executed. But never before has an execution served a greater purpose. I owe my life to Jesus, but he gave his for me.
Jesus, thank you for coming as the Prince of Peace, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Forgive me for living as a peace faker and at time a peace breaker. I follow you as my peacemaker. Amen.
How do you respond to this peacemaker?