Intentional Progress in 2022: Life Lessons From Jesus (Part 47) – Your LIfe Should Make Jesus’ Sacrifice Worth It!

by Rick

This morning we continue our journey into this year, focusing on making “Intentional Progress.”  I shared six steps to intentional progress with you, and I will continue to walk through them over the next few months.  Here are the six steps.

Here are the steps again:

1.  Pray/Discern

2.  Plan/Prepare

3.  Wait/Discern God’s Timing

4.  Execute/Measure Progress

5.  Wait/Faith & Patience

6.  Receive When Harvest Time Comes

In this series, we have sought to glean life lessons from Jesus. We looked at John 5, 6, 8, 12, and 14-18. We are now in chapter 19. Let’s pick it up where we left off.

I was about to get the scripture where Jesus said, “It is finished.” Before I get there, I want to back up a moment. Let’s think about what Jesus did for us.

So what does this mean for you today?  Let’s talk about the fact that Jesus died for you!  I know this is not Good Friday, but you will remember this message on Good Friday.

1.  Take a few moments to consider what Jesus endured FOR YOU!

Jesus had the Last Supper with His disciples; He washed their feet, went into the Garden of Gethsemane, and prayed for hours. He prayed for Himself, the disciples, and all believers who would come through the annals of time. Shortly after that, Judas betrayed Him with a kiss.

The police officers and soldiers present tied Jesus up and arrested Him like a dirty criminal. They dragged Him from mock-trial to mock-trial in the middle of the night, under cover of darkness. They pleaded with Pilate to have Jesus convicted. Once convicted, they ordered a skillful torturer to take a cat-of-nine-tails (a long leather whip with nine lashes on it that had bits of metal and bone tied to it) and hit Jesus with it 39 times. Every time he hit Him once, it was like he was being hit 9 times. Every time the lashes hit His back, the bits of bone and metal sunk in. When the torturer pulled it back, he ripped chunks of Jesus’ flesh off His back. This process was repeated 39 times.  

They punched Jesus in the face. They put a hood over His head, slapped Him, and chanted for Him to prophesy who hit Him. They twisted up a thorn branch and drove it into His head as a supposed crown, in mockery of Him being the King of the Jews. Blood came dripping down His face.  

They then took Jesus’ battered and bruised body and made Him carry the same cross that they would soon nail Him to. Jesus had to carry that cross up to Golgotha’s hill while the crowd yelled at Him, mocking Him along the way. As Jesus looked out at the crowd, I am sure He saw some of the same faces that were praising Him (singing Hosanna, Hosanna) just a few days prior, as He made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Jesus’ disciples had scattered, the people had turned on Him, and they sentenced Him without one witness and without ever doing anything wrong.  

Can you picture Him?  He has been beaten silly. His face is almost unrecognizable. His back has been ripped open. His skull has been pierced with the crown of thorns. He is painfully carrying His own cross. He finally makes it up the hill, and they then take the cross He was carrying and lay Him down on it. They stretch out His hands, take huge (railroad-like) spikes and drive them through His flesh. Have you ever heard a large hammer? Can you hear the sound now? Bang, bang, bang, bang, as they drive the nails through our Savior’s hands. Can you imagine? They then bring His feet together and repeat the process.

Why all of this? Why did Jesus have to endure this pain? Why this torture? Why this crucifixion? The answer is simple: it happened FOR YOU!  Think about that for a minute. Jesus looked beyond all that pain and looked forward some 2,000 years, and He saw your face.  Jesus died for you, and thought of you is what kept Jesus through it all.

2.  Jesus paid a great price for you.  

— Whatever you are going through for Jesus, it will always pale in comparison to what Jesus went through for you.  

(1 Cor 6:19,10 ERV)

19 You should know that your body is a temple[b] for the Holy Spirit that you received from God and that lives in you. You don’t own yourselves. 

20 God paid a very high price to make you his.

— Your life is not your own.  

— If you are Born-Again, you were bought with a price.  

(1 Peter 1:18,19 ERV)

18 You know that in the past the way you were living was useless. It was a way of life you learned from those who lived before you. But you were saved from that way of living. You were bought, but not with things that ruin like gold or silver. 

19 You were bought with the precious blood of Christ’s death. He was a pure and perfect sacrificial Lamb.

— To redeem means to purchase with an equivalent value.

— Jesus considered you worthy of His own blood.

— All the gold in Fort Knox could not pay for ONE DROP of His blood, and that is what He paid for You.

— Once you realize that, you walk around with your head held high. You look at life through a different lens.

— Jesus saw you as worth it. You now must see yourself in the same way.

— You must grow to the point where you believe what God believes about you!

— Jesus redeemed you with His own blood. You are supposed to live the life that you now live FOR Him and BY Him!

3.  Jesus understands.  

— If you are in pain this morning, you can go to Jesus. He knows about pain.  

— If you are dealing with problems right now, you can go to Jesus. He knows about problems. He dealt with a lot of them.

— If you are hurt by two-faced people, you can go to Jesus. He knows what it is like to be betrayed.  

— Jesus went through all of what He went through, so He could meet you where you are and identify with your every struggle.  

— No matter what you are facing this morning (still dealing with the pandemic, maybe dealing with economic challenges, or dealing with relationship issues), one way to receive wisdom and strength to deal with what you are dealing with is by spending time with Jesus. Jesus knows what you are going through. He understands, and He cares!

4.  Live your life in a way that makes His death worthy of the sacrifice.  

When you think about Jesus and all He suffered FOR YOU, you should want to make every second of every day count. After everything He did for you, what will you do for Him today? When you get to heaven, you want to be able to look at Jesus and say, “Here I am, Lord. Your death for me was not in vain. I did what you wanted me to do. Your grace was not wasted on me!

Declaration of Faith

Father, I thank You for reminding me of the price Jesus paid for me.  Jesus was bruised, beaten, tortured, and crucified FOR ME.  Jesus willingly took the pain associated with the cross for the joy that was set before Him.  I am part of that joy.  He did it for me!  

Jesus redeemed me with His own blood.  Jesus paid for my sin with His own life.  I am saved from hell because of Jesus’ sacrifice.  I am free from the power of sin and the fear of death because Jesus died for me.  

Jesus paid my debt.  Jesus saved me from sin, satan, hell, and the grave.  Jesus took my place on the cross.  I now take His place in this world.  The world can’t see Jesus, but they can see me.  And they will see Jesus THROUGH me!  I will be Your legs to walk, Father.  I will be Your hands to touch and Your mouth to speak.  Jesus died for me, and I now live for Him!  This is how I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper.

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