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Palm Sunday

 
 
“99 is Not Enough: Why Jesus Pursued the Cross”
Pastor Greg Finke
 
As we journey through these holy days between Palm Sunday and Easter, it is smart to remember exactly why God ordained these events to happen. Why was Jesus given over to this suffering and death? Why was this the Father’s will? What’s the point to the empty tomb? These events – the suffering and dying and rising of Jesus – are means to God’s greater end. You see, God has a mission and the death and resurrection of His Son for the forgiveness of your sins are key means to His end.
 
So, what’s the point of the cross? What’s the point of the empty tomb? What’s the point of your being forgiven and freed from sin? The point is the mission of God. You see, simply put, God wants His world back. All of it. Not some of it. Not most of it. The WHOLE thing. That’s the mission, that’s the goal, that’s the point. Jesus leaves no ambiguity when He says in
John 3:16 that God so loved the WORLD that He gave His one and only Son. Paul leaves no ambiguity when he says in
Colossians 1:20 that through the blood of Jesus shed on the cross, the Father was reconciling ALL THINGS to Himself. There is no ambiguity in the words spoken by the One seated on the throne in Revelation 21:5, “Behold, I am making EVERYTHING new!No fooling. That’s the point! And you get to help.
 
Come, follow Me,” Jesus says to you. “Join Me on My Father’s mission to get His WHOLE world back. Not just you, not just your church, the WHOLE THING! For God so loved the WORLD. I got you back. I got your church back. But I want all your neighbors, too. I want everyone you work with, too. I want everyone in your classroom, too.So, now you know what you get to do this week. Walk with Jesus through Holy Week, yes. Worship Jesus for who He is and what He has done for you, yes. But don’t forget why He did these things. It is so that you could be freed from your sin and join Him on His Father’s redemptive mission as part of everyday life.
Remember the story Jesus told about a shepherd with 100 sheep? It seems that one of the 100 wandered off and got lost (see Luke 15). What’s the big deal, right? The shepherd still had 99 left. Isn’t 99 out of 100 enough? Nope. Not for this Shepherd. Not for Jesus. He essentially says, “I started with 100 and I want all 100 back. Every one of them. Every. One. Of. Them. So, who will join Me as I head back out to seek and save what is lost?” (See Luke 19:10).
 
Will you head out with Jesus this week? There’s a lost sheep in your neighborhood, at your workplace or in your school. Jesus already got you back. Now He wants them back, too. All of them. 99 isn’t enough. Your sins are forgiven, the tomb is empty, and His invitation stands. “Come, follow Me.”
Where should we look first?