10 Days with Jesus – Day 9

by | Apr 15, 2017

“It is Finished.”

Those 3 words echoed in the ears of the hiding disciples.  They were the very last words of the “Messiah” they had followed for the past three years.  Those 3 words didn’t make sense.  They had been waiting for a Messiah, a Deliverer, a King.  But their King was dead.

The words “It is Finished” didn’t just kill Jesus – it killed their dreams. 

The Tomb had been sealed.  The guards had been posted.  The story was over.  Now What?  Do we just go back to being fishermen?  Or tax-collecting?  Do we move-in with our parents after we abandoned the family business to follow “The Master?  Jesus taught us everything didn’t deliver us from anything.  He loved us – but he LEFT US.

Here’s the hard truth . . . The story of Easter didn’t end in SILENCE but it did INCLUDE silence.  And on this Saturday before Easter Sunday, we’re going to explore 3 Reasons Why God is Silent.

Jesus is THE PROMISE.

3 Reasons Why God is Silent.

#1 – Silence gives us space to HEAR what we’ve already HEARD.

Jesus had told the disciples on numerous occasions about the Good Plan of salvation through him.  There were no twists, turns, or surprise endings.  His message had not changed and it was clear.

“Jesus told them that the Son of Man must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law.  He would be killed, but three days later he would rise from the dead.  And he said this plainly.”  Mark 8:31-32

They heard the words of Jesus THEN but they didn’t hear them NOW. 

Now felt empty, dark, and alone.
Now felt like a whole new world.
Now felt like 1,000 miles away from then.

Jesus DID what he said he would do – but it wasn’t what they THOUGHT he would do. 

And just like them, we’re tempted to do the same.  We love God’s promises when things are going great, but we dismiss them when things start falling apart. 

When it’s all good . . .
We’re praying, and tweeting, and sharing praises with our “small group.” (Can’t we come up with a better name than that?)

But when things get a bit messy . . .
We start questioning, and blaming, and hiding out “till the storm passes by.”

Isn’t that where Faith enters?  Aren’t we called people of Faith for a reason?  If we’re so Faithful why aren’t we FULL of Faith?  Maybe one of the reasons that God is silent is that he wants us to hear what we’ve already heard?

Sometimes SILENCE is the only voice of God that we HEAR.

Jesus told his disciples at The Last Supper . . .
I tell you this beforehand, so that when it happens you will believe that I AM the Messiah.”  – John 13:19

I have told you all this so that you may have PEACE IN MEHere on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But TAKE HEART, because I have overcome the world.”  – John 16:33

Jesus told his disciples at His Ascension . . .
And be sure of this: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”    Matthew 28:20

 

#2 – Silence gives us space to GROW our FAITH.

Faith is a strange word.  It’s an even stranger question. 

“Are you a person of Faith?”
“Do you have Faith?”
“How’s your Faith?”

I mean really – what is Faith?  Is it something we get from the church?  Is it something we’re born with?  Can you have more of it than I have?  Can you see it?  Touch it?  Doesn’t everyone have faith in something?  Don’t we all believe that our way is the best way?  What is Faith?

Faith is complicated. 

The truth is that we all have faith in something.  We all see life through the lens of uncertainty.  We all have questions without answers.  We all believe in something – even if that something is ourselves, or NO thing.  We all have faith.

For the record – my Faith is in Jesus.  Not in myself, or you, or the church, or the government.  Anything other than Jesus is a shallow faith.  Anything short of a Resurrected Christ is not worth placing my faith in.

That being said – the most accurate account of Jesus is the Bible . . . so technically, I also have faith in the Scriptures.  If the pages of scripture are telling us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth (and I 100% believe they are) then my faith is formed and strengthened by the verses below.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”  Hebrews 11:1

Faith is Believing.

It’s possible that God not only allows us to enter seasons of silence, but places us into seasons of silence.  It’s possible, and I believe scripturally probable, that God uses the silent places to grow us more than the active places.  God told Moses to “Be Still and KNOW that I AM God.  And nothing seems more still than silence.  If Faith is believing God, then it’s quite possible that . . .

Faith ISN’T.

Faith Isn’t about you, or me, or anyone other than Jesus.  Faith isn’t about trying harder, or going deeper, or doing more.  Faith is the humility to stop looking for anything or anyone else to be the solution that only Jesus can be.

Faith is admitting that more of anything other than Jesus – still won’t be enough.

Looking to JESUS, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.    Hebrews 12:2

It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger.  He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.”    Hebrews 11:27

#3 – Silence gives us space to SHOW our FAITH.

Hebrews chapter 11 is hands-down the most comprehensive study of the word Faith in the entire scriptures.  It’s actually referred to by many as “The Hall of Faith” because of it’s recounting the Faith-Full acts of the OT prophets and NT disciples.  And right there at the end of the entire chapter of “Who’s Who in the Kingdom of God” . . . it ends with this truth. 

Are you ready for it?

All of these people earned a good reputation because of their FAITH, yet none of them received ALL that God had promised    Hebrews 11:39

That’s pretty cool J. – but I’m not feeling any warm and fuzzy’s from that verse!  And I’ve felt that way about this verse for years until I realized that this verse has 2 hidden meaning that may have been lost in translation

The phrase “earned a good reputation” in Greek is actually just one word. It’s the word “martyreo” that means “to witness or to testify

Martyreo is a VERB.
Martyreo is an ACTION.
Martyreo is something you SEE.

Martyreo is from the word MARTYR.
Martyreo is about offering your LIFE.
Martyreo is your FAITH on DISPLAY.

Let’s read Hebrews 11:39 applying the truth of “martyreo” . . .
All of these people (showed witness) of their FAITH,
yet none of them received
ALL that God had promised

Their Faith was on display for the whole world to see.  Their faith made people ask questions about God.  Their faith created conversations.  Their faith was proven by their actions.  Their faith was visible.  Is your faith visible?  Is mine? 

It’s possible that the silent times are when your faith is the loudest.

The second half of that same verse is just as powerful when it comes to understanding faith.  The second half of Hebrews 11:39 says . . . “none of them received ALL that God had promised.”  That means that some of the Promise is still on the way.

Faith is Believing that God isn’t DONE yet.

So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!  Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive ALL that he has promised.”  Hebrews 10:35-36

We’re almost there – hang with me . . .

It is impossible to please God without faith.  Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”  Hebrews 11:6

For in just a little while the Coming One will come and will not delay.”  Hebrews 10:37

The Apostle Paul said in Acts 13:23 . . . “Jesus is God’s promised Savior of Israel.”

Do you see it?

The reward is Jesus.
The Coming One is Jesus.
The promise is Jesus.

Jesus is the Promise that we’ve been waiting for and The Promise is on the way!

On that dark Saturday after the Crucifixion the disciples were waiting for The Promise and wondering if it was still true.  What they didn’t know then, but we know now, was that Sunday was coming.  The Promise was on the way.  Saturday felt defeated, discouraged, and alone but The Promise would show up on Sunday.

Don’t loose heart 
Don’t loose hope 
Don’t stop listening 
Don’t stop looking.
Don’t stop BELIEVING.

 

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