The Word In Motion:
You know that scene in a movie where it is inevitable that something bad is going to happen? You are watching the main character driving down the road, heading to see his family. Then the director reveals another car heading towards his car, driving fast and with obvious intent to harm the main character.
You keep watching as the director gives clips of the main driver just driving down the road excited with the prospect of seeing his family; the other driver careening down the road fixated with his intent to kill. We go back and forth between clips. Each one bringing us closer and closer to that inevitable moment.
The suspense is building. The main character sees the other driver, but he can’t change his course. Then, it happens. The inevitable moment when they collide. We watch in horror as the main character is killed. The other driver has fulfilled his goal...our character is dead.
But just before the collision, there is a moment that the director revealed something. It was that moment where everything goes into slow motion and at the point of impact the music stops, and for a second the filming pauses as we see a smile on our main character's face, and the other driver sees it, too, and his expression turns from victory to confusion. Then the scene increases back to full speed, the collision resumes, and death.
We are shocked and angry. Sadness comes over us in waves as we see our character killed and the other driver escape the scene unharmed... What has the director done? What was he thinking? He has killed off the hero.
Then we remember the smile.
It causes us to wonder and reflect. To start imagining other outcomes. What if he isn’t really dead. What if this was his plan all along? What if…? We start hoping and remembering other elements in the whole story to see if it is possible that the director will bring him back…alive.
Why the smile?
We have a true story, not a movie, a story that really happened. The main character, Jesus came to seek and save the lost. His whole desire was to spend time with his family, to reveal his love for us. The other driver, the Devil, excited by a plan to kill Jesus, with an intent that couldn’t be quenched.
The collision: Jesus condemned, beaten, scorned, ridiculed, and wounded. Nailed to a cross, pierced in his side, suffocating, and then… death. The devil fulfilled his purpose...Jesus is dead.
Yet…right before that death, in that moment when all stood still, the devil glimpsed something. A smile. And for a brief second, he is confused…then the scene resumes, Jesus draws his last breath. “It is finished.”
Yet…why the smile?
What if he wasn’t really dead. What if this was the plan all along? What if…? But Jesus is dead. They buried him, and they mourned.
Kill Jesus? Who is directing this story anyways? The director is Jesus’ father, God Most High. He’s also the author and finisher of this story. And the story is not done yet. There is still more to be revealed. This is only the beginning - not the end. It is setting the stage for the biggest reveal in all of history. An ending that will change the course of history!
Remember the smile? It was a smile of secrecy. Jesus knew something the devil didn’t. Yet, Jesus is dead and…but the devil didn’t win.
For God had a secret plot in the story.
He had a plan that had been in the works since before time. He knew that at price had to be paid for sin. God’s law was the penalty of sin is death and a pure sacrifice had to be made for it. Jesus, who was without sin, had to die to pay the debt, once and for all, for our sin. Jesus willingly gave his life for us. He came to seek and save the lost, to spend time with his family, to reveal the depth of his and God’s love for us. His death made the way for our forgiveness. This is real love that He gave his life for us. A sacrifice to take away our sin. All this was a gift. God was making a way to bring us to himself through Jesus’ death, no longer counting our sins against us. Jesus died for our sins, our choices, once and for all. A single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. He paid the debt.
Through Jesus’ death, He forgave all our sins, having canceled the charge which stood against us and condemned us. He has taken it away and nailed it to the cross. His death rescued us from the kingdom of darkness, purchased our freedom, and forgave our sins.
He is our hero.
So why the smile? The smile was the inside knowledge that the price had been paid for your sin. A gift given and all you have to do is receive it.
His death was the plan along.
Yet it doesn’t end there, there was more to that smile.
God did raise our hero from the dead. Jesus is alive! He came back more powerful, with all authority, all dominion over life and death. Our Hero. Our Savior!
He is alive!!!!!!!!!!
The Living Word:
…For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:2-3
Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 15:55-57
God so loved the world that He sent His only Son. John 3:16
…when Christ came into the world, he said to God, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given me a body to offer. Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time… Our High Priest (Our Savior) offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy. Hebrews 10:5-14
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
When you were dead in your sins and in your sinful nature of your flesh that had not yet been cut away, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all your sins, having canceled the charge of your legal indebtedness, which stood against you and condemned you; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities of this world, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Colossians 2:13-15
Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit. I Peter 3:18
For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Colossians 1:13-14
We know what real love is because Christ laid down His life for us. I John: 3:16
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. He declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. Romans 3: 23-24 & 26
Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. Colossians 1:22-23
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15