Easter Spoken Word // Infinite Access
Hello! Welcome to the first ever Infinite Access, an online interactive blog for you to do on your own, with your connect group, as a family or with friends!
Before watching the video below, read this passage from Luke 23: 26-43 either using Bible Gateway below or in your Bible...
On the cross, Jesus is joined by two criminals. Who, as one admits, deserve the punishment they are receiving. And yet even though the world has decided neither of them is deserving of life, Jesus grants one of them eternal life with him.
The majority of the crowd and one of the criminals, however, are calling on Jesus to use his supposed power to prove who he is and save both himself and these criminals -
‘Some Messiah you are!’
Whether we like it or not, this criminal is so often us. Lost, in a mess (usually of our own doing) and crying out to God for a miracle. Give me what I want! We even try to tempt him into it - put our so-called faith on the line and barter with him. Why would I trust/follow/believe in you if you don’t give me what I want? How can I trust a God who doesn’t seem to care about me because he doesn’t give me what I want?
But this isn’t God, as revealed by Jesus. This is a genie or fairy Godmother, there to grant our every wish. That isn’t a relationship based on love, it’s a relationship based on me. In both cases, these are two characters in Disney films who are effectively slaves to their masters. The Genie only called upon out of Aladdin’s lamp when needed to sort a problem. And the Fairy Godmother calls herself the ‘physical embodiment of Cinderella’s hope’ - appearing only when she’s at her weakest point. A projection of herself, her dreams & hopes.
Reflection Question 1
Who is God to you? Does God need to grant our every wish in order to be good? When you last felt lost, how did you pray? What did you pray for?
There is another criminal on the other side of Jesus, whose response is so much different. He hears Jesus’s cries of forgiveness for those in the crowd mocking him, and recognises that this isn’t about being saved from our mess - it’s about a saviour who’s carried our mess. Someone who would take all of our mistakes as his own and make a way for us to have a relationship with God. He does nothing special in order to gain Jesus’s friendship. Simply recognising his own imperfections, something the other criminal is unable to do, then asking Jesus to ‘remember him’.
Like the other criminal, everything he’s done has led him to this punishment. A man who the world had chosen no longer deserved life, Jesus offered eternity too.
Imagine a church full of those who recognise what Jesus has done for them, ignore the crowd and what everyone else is saying about him and choose to trust him regardless of their circumstance. Who learn his will, pray for it and get in line with it.
As imperfect humans we are represented by these criminals, but which one will you choose to be?
Reflection Questions 2
How easily influenced are you by what the majority of others are doing? Does it get in the way of you trusting Jesus? Does your circumstance affect your faith? How could your prayers become more than simply a wish list?
Jesus thank you for loving and caring for me. Thank you for your sacrifice on the cross. I don’t want to follow a genie or a fairy godmother, I choose to trust you through the ups and downs. Show me your will for my life and help me to keep in line with all you have for me. Remember me, I pray. Amen.