This book of the Bible maybe the hardest one to read. This book records the weeping and bitterness that comes from the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon. For the Jewish people, Jerusalem was the very home of God, it was the temple. And for this to be destroyed meant, to them, that God had abandoned them.
And why had God done this? Why did this destruction come? Because of there sin. All the pain and loss they were experiencing was because of their sin.
That is what we remember this week. We remember and we live the pain that our sin has caused. How much pain has your sin caused for others? How much pain has your sin caused for yourself? How much pain has our sin caused for God? We have much to repent over, much to sorrow over, much to seek forgiveness us. In this Holy Week, let us remember that our forgiveness was bought with a price. Let us remember the pain we have caused all that we love and ourselves through our sin.
New Testament Lesson
2 Corinthians 1:1-7
Until we feel sorrow for our sins, we can't receive the comfort that comes from God. Until we realize how much we need forgiveness, we can't truly know what it is like to be forgiven. We take for granted God's grace, and we forget just how amazing it it. The reason why God's grace is amazing is because He forgives us. For this sentence to produce joy in you, you must first know how much need that forgiveness. Sometime we forget. The Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman has a song "Remember Your Chains" where he writes these words:
There's no one more thankful to sit at the tableThis week, thank God for your salvation and forgiveness, but do not forget what He has saved you from.
Than the one who best remembers hunger's pain
And no heart loves greater than the one that is able
To recall the time when all it knew was the shame
The wings of forgiveness can take us to heights never seen
But the wisest ones, they will never lose sight of where they were set free
Love set them free
On Monday of Holy Week, we see Jesus clear the Temple. The Temple was supposed to be a place to worship God; a place to offer prayers. Instead people turned it into a place to make money, a place to get what they wanted out of it.
Church is supposed to be a place to worship God; a place to offer prayers. What have we turned it into? Is church more about God, or more about us? Is church more about what we want or what God wants? In our church, aer we more focused on the mission of God, or our we more focused on our preference. In our church are we more focused on the call of the Gospel, or are we more focused on doing things the way we want. In our church, are we more focused on obedience to God, or doing it our way. If Jesus came to our church today, would He come with arms wide open, or would He come with a whip?