Separation

Description

In this message, we learn that Jesus was forsaken so we’ll never have to be.

Was anybody excited about Jesus today? Come on I got to preach after all that man. If that don’t gets you excited, I got nothing else for you. I’m so glad that you’re here with us at Valley Creek church on this Easter weekend. We want to give a big welcome to our Denton campus. We are so glad that you guys are here with us this is our first Easter in Denton to celebrate with you, and we want to give a big welcome to all of those of you who are in our venue with us right now. We’re so glad that you guys are here, man I’m so glad that you came to celebrate Easter with us because it is all about celebrating who Jesus is and what he did.

It’s all about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, that he has the resurrection and the life and in Jesus, he can make things new. And I believe today God wants to make some new things in your life and so we’re going to start a new sermon series for the next couple weeks here on this Easter Sunday, this Easter weekend just simply call this it is finished. For the next few weeks we’re just going to talk about Jesus’s final three words on the cross.

When he said it is finished and while Jesus said lots of significant things in his life there’s probably nothing more significant than those three words. But what did Jesus mean when he said it is finished. It’ll be finished something for us it’s pretty important that we know what it is that’s finished because when something’s finished it means it’s complete. It’s done. There’s nothing left to do or to be added to it. You get to rest and receive and something’s finished. It’s a great feeling. Isn’t it, like if you’re building a house when you finish building that house and you get to move into, man that’s a great feeling or if you’ve been working on a project for months and months and months and you finish that project, it’s complete, you’re like I never want to touch that thing again or how about this one when you finally pay off the bill, and that good news, you’d have noticed in the mail this is paid in full you ain’t gonna send another check to those people, you are like that thing is finished, it is done. So what did Jesus finish for us. If you got your Bibles, turn with me quick to Mark Chapter 15.

Mark Chapter 15, Jesus here he’s hanging on the cross. He’s right at the end of his life. Let me start reading it to you while you turn that verse 33 here’s what it says. At the sixth hour, darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, and at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me. When some of those near, heard this, listen he’s calling Elijah. One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar put it on a stick and offered it to Jesus to drink, I’ll leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijahcomes to take him down he said. With a loud cry Jesus breathed his last. And when you take the gospel of John and you put it together here with the gospel of Mark, right there is when Jesus screams out, it is finished. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom and when the centurion who stood there in front of Jesus heard his cry and saw how he died, he said surely this man was the son of God. I think sometimes you know we forget how brutal and graphic the cross really was.

We get to Easter and we think about Easter bunnies and eggs and pastels and spring dresses and springtime and all that stuff is great because it’s a celebration of the resurrected life we have in Jesus, but I think sometimes we forget how brutal and graphic the cross really was. See the Bible tells us Jesus was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, he was punished. So you can have peace. He was wounded, that you might be healed. There was an incredibly graphic brutal experience that Jesus went through and aren’t you grateful today that he did that for you. That he loved you so much that he was willing to experience that kind of pain and what I love about the crucifixion story is everything around the crucifixion it’s symbolic, it’s prophetic pictures to show us what Jesus really did for us and that is what I want to you for the next few weeks and I just want to jump in. So here’s the deal. Can we just like go for it today. Can we just do it maybe a little bit different in the Easter cobwebs out of our mind when we think Easter in the past. Can we just like go for it.

Can you just go on this journey with me because if you follow me to the end I think there’s some freedom that God has for you. Are you with me. Maybe two thirds of the room is with me so we’re gonna get the rest of us and we’re gonna go for it okay. Here we go. Jesus is hanging on a cross and he says, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me. I believe that was the most painful moment in Jesus’s entire life, not because of the physical pain he was under but because of the spiritual pain, he experienced in that moment. You see you have to remember Jesus came to this earth to live as a son to show us what the Father was like. Jesus’s primary mission was to reveal to us God as Father to show us what the Father’s heart was like, who the father was, what the Father was all about. So he came to live as a son and a healthy free loving relationship with a loving father to show us that we were going to be able to live as sons and daughters with that kind of father as well. And up until this point in the gospels whenever Jesus talks about the father it’s always referred to as my father. He never references him as a distant god.

It’s always, my father, because Jesus was the beloved only favorite son of God, until this moment. But it was in this moment that all the sin of all the world was piled upon Jesus. JOHN 129 says Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, and that moment everything unlovable everything wounded. Everything broken, all our failures were placed upon Jesus and because the holiness of God can’t dwell among the sinfulness of man, the father had to leave Jesus. Because the holiness of God can’t dwell on the sinfulness of man, in that moment the father literally had to move out of Jesus and for the first time, be separated from him, and it was in that moment Jesus was rejected so wecould be accepted. He was abandoned so we could be embraced. He was separated from the Father so you and I could be together with the father. In fact, here’s the big idea if you just want to write this down. It was in that moment that Jesus was forsaken so you will never have to be.

So that’s what happened in that Jesus was forsaken so you’ll never have to be. This is what in that moment. Jesus was forsaken, so you will never have to infected, if you can catch this, the father forsook Jesus for your sins, which means depend that forsake you for your sins when you’re in Jesus. In rejecting Jesus because of your sins, which means he cannot forsake you for your sins when if you’re in Jesus. In that moment the father forsook, left, rejected Jesus because of your sins, which means he cannot forsake you because of your sins, if you are in Jesus, because to do that would be to nullify the cross, would be to say it is not finished would we say there’s something else to do, and God can’t judge the same sins twice, so he became a distant God to Jesus, so he could become a loving close father to you. In fact, if you jump down to verse 38 it says the curtain of the temple was torn intwo Jesus cries out. It is finished, he dies, the curtain of the temple was torn intwo. Let me explain this to you. In the Old Testament, the people gathered together, and they worshiped at the temple, and there were three areas of the temple, the outer court, the inner core and the Holy of Holies and the people who are allowed to go to the outer court,

But they weren’t allowed into the Holy of Holies, because of the Holy of Holies was where the presence of God resided. And because the holiness of God can’t be around the sinfulness of man, there was a curtain to separate the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. In other words, maybe you heard it, it said a veil or a curtain that was hanging there to keep the distance between the two. And every year all the people would gather together on the Day of Atonement, kind of be like Easter weekend when everybody shows up together at the same time, and they would all come and they would bring bowls, goats and rams and they would slaughter those animals take the blood, and the high priest and only the high priest and only once a year would take that blood go into the Holy of Holies and offer it as a blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of the people sins. Aren’t you so grateful today that we are not slaughtering bulls, rams and goats. If you got nothing has to be thankful to Jesus for you can be thankful that we’re not in the parking lot slaughtering animals because they’re expensive and gross and, and it says that the people,

Would always leave still feeling guilty because the blood of animals can’t set you free. You can’t really forgive you or cleanse your conscience and so the people had this understanding, they knew their sinfulness kept them from the presence of God. They had no expectation to get close to God. And I think that’s how a lot of us still view church and view God. We think a few holy or a few righteous people are the only ones who are allowed to walk in and meet with the presence of God that we, we think that, that it’s only those handful of people have the ability to go in, but we forget what happened in that moment. You see when Jesus died and said, it is finished, the curtain of the temple was torn in two and it was torn, not so that we could get in but so that the father could come out. You see it says it was torn from top to bottom which is incredibly prophetic and symbolic, it doesn’t say from bottom to top. If it was torn from bottom to top it would mean you and I threw our own efforts somehow open the thing up, so we can go in and get with the Father. No, it says he was torn from top to bottom which means the father was here and he saw the distance between himself and his people

And he decided he was going to do something about it, so he decided he was going to tear it open, in other words offer Jesus the perfect final forever sacrifice. In other words he tore Jesus, and when he tore that curtain open the father exploded out of the Holy of Holies onto the earth with his heart of love and compassion and forgiveness and kindness. In fact, in that moment, there was no more separation between God and man, the unending presence of God was available. God took up new residents and all who believed on Jesus, because the father never wanted to live in a temple made by human hands. He wanted to live in hearts resurrected by Jesus’s life. We have a father who doesn’t say, I guess you can come in and see me. You have a father who says no, I’m coming to you. I’m gonna pull myself out. I will take on flesh and blood. I’ll pay the cost, I’m coming to you. We get to Easter and we always think about it’s us being separated from the Father. It was the father was separated from you and it bothered him so much that, he decided he was going to do something about it.

Listen, I realized in a room like this there’s a whole lot of you, you have a horrible view of father, because you never had a father who would come out and play with you. You always had a father who expected you to come and be with him. And even when you came to be with him, he didn’t want to be with you can I tell you, the Father in Heaven is totally different than that. In fact in Luke chapter 15, remember the story of the prodigal son. You can read about this later if you want Luke chapter 15, but this is great story. There’s a father and he has two sons, older son and a younger son and one day the younger son comes to the Father and he says, Father. He says I want my share of the inheritance, and I want it now. In other words, he says to his dad, dad I wish you were dead. I want everything that I’ve got coming to me because I know I can live my life better by myself than I can live it here with you. I wonder how many times do we say that to God. May be not with words, but maybe by the way we live. Hey God, I think I can live a better life without you, then I can live with you so why don’t you give me everything I got coming to me and let me go live my life.

And so the father brokenhearted, divides up his inheritance, he gives it to the boy, the boy goes out and the Bible says he blows it on wild living prostitutes, parties. I mean he just rips through it. One day he wakes up, he’s at rock bottom, all his money is gone. He’s gonna pigpen feeding pigs that’s the only job he could get. And while it’s feeding the pigs, the Bible says the pig food, the pig slop look good to him because he was so hungry. You know you hit rock bottom when pig food looks like a delicious meal toyou. Okay. And so the boy sitting there and he’s hungry and he’s hit rock bottom and he thinks to himself my father’s hired servants. They have a better life than I have right now. I know I can’t be my father’s son again, but maybe I could go back and take me as one of his hired servants because they’re eating better than me so notice, the boy doesn’t feel bad for what he did, he’s just hungry, he’s just trying to get some food and so he sits there and he starts rehearsing the repentance speech in his mind. Did you ever have to repentance speech in your mind. It’s not a good day when you’re going over how am I gonna say this to try to earn that forgiveness until the boy gets it figured out.

He starts walking back home and the Bible says the father saw the son coming, a long way off. In other words, it means the father was constantly looking, anticipating his son’s homecoming. And it says when he saw a son coming along way off, the father turned around, walked back inside, sat down, waiting for the boy to get hit to him, made the boy clean himself up first, then let the boy in the house. Made the boy, get on his hands and knees, grovel and beg and plead in front of them. Let the boy do the entire repentance speech that the boy had. And then when it was done he said. Okay I guess you can go be a servant and a slave in my field. You have a big debt that you need to pay off, you better get out there and start working really hard. Is that what he said, No. Is that what he said it off, that’s what we think he said, that’s probably what we would say.Its not what he said, it says when the father saw the son coming a long way off, he was filled with compassion, and ran to the sun.

In other words, when he saw his boy, he exploded off the porch, went running to his son and in those days men didn’t run. They had dignity, honor and authority. They didn’t run, but this father runs to his son, the boys is walking to the father, the father is running to the son and while you may be walking to the father today. He is always running to you, and the father runs to the son, picks him up grabs him, swings him around. The boy smells like pig slop. He’s says you smell so good. I am so glad that you are home and he hugs him, he kisses him and he sets him down and a boy tries to get into his repentance speech, he stops him halfway through, you don’t want to hear it. He says to a servant, go get a rollover, ring, and sandals, kill the fat and calf, we are having a party because the son of mine was dead is alive, was lost, is found, we were separated, we are now together forever. And when I read that story. I think that’s exactly what happened the moment the curtain of the temple was torn intwo, when Jesus died and said, it is finished, the father exploded out of the Holy of Holies, he came on this earth and when he saw you come in a long way off.

He ran to you and picked you up in Jesus and swung you around and said, even though you might smell a little bit like pig slop, I’m so glad that you’re here, you were lost, you are now found, you were dead, you’re not alive. We were separated, we are now together forever. There is no more separation between you and me. [Audience Applause]. That’s what happened, the father came to us, listen, some of you aren’t you’re tired of feeding yourself the slop of this world. Aren’t you tired of satisfy the desires inside of you with the garbage the world has to offer you, don’t you want to come to the father’s feast, and let him do it for you. You see we got to get this right, we don’t come to God, he comes to us. We reverse this thing, he comes to us. In fact some of you sitting in this room, right now, and you are like, I have no idea why I am here man. Somebody invited me, I got suckered into here, I wish I would have said no, right about now. Listen, do you know why you’re here, you’re here because the Father has come to you.

Your marriage may be falling apart, your kids may not be talking to you. You may have found out you recently got cancer in your body or your finances are falling apart, you’ve got anxiety, fear worry, doubt, you got problems in your life, nobody knows anything about. You’re here today because the father has come to you. You don’t have to find God, he’s found you. Look 1910 for the Son of Man came to seek and save that which was lost. John 1010, I have come, you want to life and have until full. John 1516, you didn’t choose me, Jesus says I chose you, while you may be walking to the Father, the Father is currently running to you, somebody needs to hear that today. But here’s the problem. If God only dwells in holy places. How does he dwell in and with us.If he only dwells in holy places, how doeshe dwell in with us, right like he dwelled with Jesus before the cross and he dwelled in the Holy of Holies because they were Holy. How does then the father dwell inside of us. It can only mean one thing.

Every person who is in Jesus, it must mean there’s no other explanation, it must mean you are Holy. Listen to these verses, First Peter 29. But you are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, people belonging to god. He chose you, he came to you. You’re a priest. He says, which means you have unending access to the presence of God and your holy nation. Isaiah 118 says though your sins may be a scar that they will be washed white as snow. Though you may feel like your life is so stained from the pig sties that you’ve been in, he says I will make you white as snow. Colossians 122, but now he the Father has reconciled you, got rid of the separation by Christ physical body through death. It is finished, to present you holy in his sight without blemish and free from accusation. In Jesus, the father says you are holy, blemish free, and free from accusation. You see Jesus didn’t die to change your behavior, he died to change your identity, to raise you to a new life to make you a new creation to take out your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

You seethe father could dwell anywhere he wants in the world. Would you agree with that. He could dwell anywhere on the top of the highest mountains, the bottom of the oceans on the most beautiful pristine beaches and yet he chooses to dwell in us. If we were dirty, don’t you think he would leave. I remember when Collin and I first moved to Texas. We’ve been here about a year and we had a weekend off, and everybody’s been telling us about how great San Antonio was. So we decided we were gonna take a weekend, kind of get away together to San Antonio. Anybody like San Antonio. You are not going to like it after I tell you this story. So, we are excited we get packed up and just the two of us we got in a car, drove on five hours down and we are going to have this romantic weekend together and so we had reserved the hotel online before we left and it was a decent hotel and we get there and we check in in the front desk and we are all excited, we’re newly married, we’re newly living in Texas.

Check out San Antonio, thinks it’s amazing. So we’re having a great time together. We go up to the room and we got our key and we check in and we open up the door and I kid you not, this is a true story. It was the most disgusting hotel room I’ve ever walked into my life, like I’ve stayed in hotels in Pakistan, India and Africa, this was worse. Okay. Walk in a door, cockroaches crawling across the floor. There’s like a layer of dust on everything in the room and you don’t like that nasty skin dust with kind of like that humans,just want to get the nasty picture here, you know I am talking alright. Don’t act like you don’t know what that is. It’s like it’s everywhere. I mean the sheets looked like they had not been washed. The bed was like barely made. The bathroom, looked like nobody had cleaned it in six months. I mean it was so, I didn’t want to set my bag on the ground, the wheels of my bag, I did not want to sit them on the ground in the room and I remember looking at that bed thinking to myself, if I’m actually gonna sleeping in that thing. I’m gonna have to put a hoodie sweatshirt on, keep my shoes on, a hazmat suit with a gas mask.

Colleen you look lovely tonight. You know like what kind of romantic getaway weekend is this gonna be and so we were so disappointed. We turned around, we walked out we left and it was so bad that it literally turned us off so much that we got in the car and drove the five hours back home and we never been San Antonio since. I’m just telling you if that’s how great that San Antonio is, you can have it mam, I’m good, I’ll go somewhere else. So, we left and came all the way back home. And honestly, I think that’s how we view our heart and the Lord. We think that when we invite Jesus into our life, he is all excited and he’s gonna show up or like Jesus, keep your distance man, because if you open the door, you are not going to like what’s inside. And we think God opens the door, excited and he walks in and sees the dirtiness of our heart and repulse by and turns around and leaves. Can I tell you something when you’re in Jesus when God puts that key in your door and opens it up, and pushes it inside, he doesn’t see you as a nasty, youth hostel, he sees you as a five star diamond resort because you’re a new creation in Christ Jesus.

You are a new creation, you now look like Jesus looks, is what the Bible tells us, so God loves where he dwells, where he lives inside of you, he has moved in, never to leave again and I realize, a lot of you, you’re looking at me, you are like but I don’t feel that way. I got you, but you got choice. You can let your feelings or the Word of God, have more authority in your life, which one. Your feelings are the Word of God are gonna have more authority. See the Bible says that when God speaks he creates. He says, Let there be light, there’s light. There’ll be plants and animals, plants and animals, let there be land, there’s land. When God looks at you and says you’re righteous and holy and Jesus, he creates righteousness and holiness within you, even though you don’t feel like it, and it’s so important to understand your identity because you’ll always live up to your level of perceived identity. Who you are will always determine what you do. So if you walk through life, kind of open around, ah bro, I am just like sinner saved by grace man.

Then you are going to live like a sinner, just barely saved by grace man, but if you over hear saying, in Jesus, I’m righteous holy, blemish for your beloved son or daughter, because of what Jesus did, he died in sin and raised to a new life, so I have died the sin and raised to a new life then I’m going to start living righteously up to my identity, because it is finished. I never have to be separated from him again because Jesus was forsaken, so I’ll never have to be. Yet, we don’t believe that at all do we? We don’t believe that. We certainly don’t live that. We come to Easter year after year and we gather in this place and we kind of hear about Jesus and we walk out and we kind of miss the whole point. We think God will kind if I do good, but he will certainly leave when I do bad. In fact I can remember being a kid, I hated Easter services as a kid, I couldn’t wait to get out of there. Somebody of you like I am not feeling, I am getting out in a few minutes. I remember that feeling, so we’ll take care of it for you.

And I remember sitting there and listening to the preacher tell me how bad I was disappointed God was in me and he died for you, so you should live better for him and this was my favorite one, like if you’ve sinned, you’ve lost fellowship with God. Anybody ever hear that one. You’ve lost fellowship with God and I remember being a kid listening to all this stuff and then we could leave the ushers would have boxes of candy for kids at the door and so I can remember one time walking out and the organizer hands me a box of candy and I just remember thinking to myself like you just told me God was disappointed me and I lost fellowship with him. Here’s a box candy, kid Happy Easter, you know. Okay, I’ll be back next week, there’s no problem. I will you candy. I’ll keep coming back. So let’s go ahead and settle this one together once in for all. Okay, can we, so we don’t have that experience. You ready for this. Can you get God’s approval by doing good things, yes or no? No.

That is easy right? 289, for you have been saved by grace through faith. This is not of yourself, it’s just the gift of God, not by works, no matter how much good stuff you do, so that no man can boast. That’s easy. How about this one. Can you get bad disapproval by failing.

Yes or No. That one’s a little harder to answer and the answer is No, because of the same two verses, you have been saved by grace undeserved favor through faith. This is not of yourself. It’s not about you. It’s a gift of God, he gave you Jesus and he can’t take his gifts back, not by works good nor bad so that no man can boast. See it’s finished, all of your sin was put on Jesus, past, present, future sins put on Jesus. In that moment, it’s finished, he forsook Jesus so he would never have to forsake you. It’s done. In fact, we couldn’t tear the curtain open, and God can’t sew it back up. You can catch that that’s deep, but we couldn’t tear it open and God can’t sew it back up. He comes and stays in our lives because of Jesus. Hebrews 135 says, Never will I leave you never will forsake you. Sure. Sounds like never. What if I fail.Never. What if I fall. Never.

What if I do that one thing, I am not supposed do that. I just keep doing that. I just keep messing up. Never. I don’t have a box of candy for you when you leave, but I’m certainly going to tell you that in Jesus, you will be loved and favored, he is for you and he will never leave you, because he forsook Jesus, so in Jesus, he cannot forsake you. Because those sins have already been paid for. Okay. My little girl, she’s four years old and in our family, she’s our resident artist, okay. Every family’s got to have at least one creative type. It brings a whole lot more joy to life and so she’s a four year old little artist and like any good artist, she doesn’t like to stay within the lines, you know I am talking about, and what that means for a four year old, she doesn’t like to actually draw on paper she likes to draw on the table, and on the floor, and the walls on her clothes, my favorite was, we were driving someone with a penthe inside of the car, she drew this beautiful picture while we weren’t paying attention we got there was a beautiful picture.

So we’ve had lots and lots of really good conversations about what you can and can’t draw on and what the consequences are and behavior modification and different kinds of things. And about six months ago, Colleenwas out and I was at home with the kids and I hadn’t heard from Emma in about an hour. Parents, how many of you want to agree with me that when you don’t hear from your kids. There’s usually a problem, it’s very peaceful in the moment, but the aftermathis usually a nightmare and so I had not heard from an hour, and so where is she, and could hear music in a room and so I kind of walk up the stairs and I crept around the corner and I peeked in a room so she couldn’t see me and she’s in a room, she’s singing with her music, and she’s got a tube of red chap stick in her hand and she is going to town on the wall, making this mask this beautiful masterpiece, all over the wall and the chair. Do you know how hard it is to clean red chapstick off a white wall just painted and it ain’t going to work is what I am telling you.

So, so she’s just having a great time singing and I’m sitting there doing, oh my god, Emma what are you doing, but she hasn’t seen me so I’m like, alright, what’s the best parenting move here. So I kind of back out. I go back down the stairs, and I come back loud this time, you know, like Emma, where are you. I want to see, how she is going to respond. And so I just burst into a room and I come around the corner and she’s over here doing a little deal. And the moment I walked in the room she turns on when she sees me she starts going like this, as fast as she can, with the chap stick. Hey daddy, what’s up daddy. So what’s you doing babe. Nothing daddy, just putting on chap stick daddy. Just want to look pretty for you daddy and she takes the cap and she likes whips it across the room and she tries to run out the door. I am going to stop here, Hey, hey what are you doing here. Nothing daddy, just putting on chap stick daddy. Is that all you are doing. She says yes daddy, don’t you want kiss daddy. I know you like chap stick, daddy. Let me give you a kiss. No, I don’t want a kiss right now. Actually, I don’t want a kiss at all. What are you doing. Putting on chap stick. Is that all you are doing, yep daddy. You know the fast nervous, yep, yep, yep.

Is that all you are doing. No. A bit teary. So what where you doing. I drew a picture on the wall. I said why did you do that. I don’t know. I just wanted to draw. Oh my God, I am you know trying to think like how I am going to respond in this moment. So, say, okay here is the deal. I am going to take away your sage doll. This is the doll that she sleeps with dresses like love sage. So, I’m going to take that away for a whole week that’s your consequence. Starts sobbing, I can never ever back. I said a week, not never, but is her mine is never. It all takessage and I bring her down and I put her on the top shelf in my office that’s her consequence and for the rest of that day and whole next day, she wanted nothing to do with me. I would walk in the room, she would walk out. I would sit on the couch and try to watch TV with her, she’d get up from the couch and go to the other couch. She didn’t want me to tuck her in, didn’t want me to take her to school,didn’t want me to help with food.

I mean she literally was done with me and it bothered me so much because Emma is like my buddy, like I don’t just love her, I like her, we see the world the same, we have, the you know some say, like you not just love, I like her, we see the world the same, so together her and I are usually able to defeat Colleen and Trey kind of in the home. And so because she has left me, I was losing like every battle, everything was kind of falling apart in home and solike it is bothering me. And I am thinking, I don’t want your failures to create distance between you and me and so the whole next day I am at work, she didn’t want anything to do with me and I’m thinking about it and honestly, I would never come up with a somehow and this was the Holy Spirit. And so I came home and she was still hiding from me, so I had to go find her and bring her down and I put her in my office and sit her down and when she got that look when she’s ready for the wrath and the condemnation and I reach over and take the sage doll off the top of the shelf and I come down and I look at her. And I say, Emma, I love you, and reached out I gave her sage and she took in her hands and she looked at me.

She started crying, but daddy, you said I couldn’t her for a whole week and it’s only been one day daddy, you know that. Yeah, I know itsbeen one day. And she says, does that mean you’re not mad at me. I said I’m not mad at you baby. And she looked at sage, and she turned around and she walked out my office and I could still see her she got right outside my door and she stopped as if she was thinking about something. And she dropped sage on the ground, she turned around, she ran back in my office jumped in arms, kissed me, hug me and we wrestled for a few moments, she went out singing laughing, dancing, picked up sage and do you realize, in the last six months, she has not one time drawn on anything except paper.

I tell you that story, because that’s the gospel of Jesus Christ. He shows up and he finds us in our worst failures. In the worst moments of our lives, he comes andhe finds us, and we want to pretend like he doesn’t know, we want to make things up about what we’re doing.

He knows. But he shows up with this incredible kindness and grace and the Bible says it’s his kindness that leads to repentance. It’s his grace that actually changes and transforms something inside of us and I remember sitting there, just kind of the Lord saying to me Johnny that’s how I view you, like your failures create a distance between you and me and it bothered me so much that I did something about it I forsook my son Jesus, so I wouldn’t have to forsake you. And when you finally understand how much I forgiven you, you can’t help or run and jump back into my arms, because he has been forgiven much loves much. And when you understand that I’m not mad at you and I will never leave you nor forsake you. That is the very thing that will transform your behavior, because grace empowers us to live the life that God has called us to live. And all you need to do is receive it. Do you realize the same is true for you, that your failures created a distance between you and the father and it bothered him so much he decided, he was gonna do something. You couldn’t do anything about it.

He did something about it. So he forsook Jesus so we wouldn’t have to forsake you. And when you finally get how much he’s forgiven you. You can’t help but run into his arms and kiss him and hug him and worship him and live with him because he has been forgiven much loves much, and when you get he’s not mad at you anymore because the wrath was finished on Jesus on the cross and he will never leave you nor forsake you. That is the thing that changes your life and changes your behavior, Grace doesn’t give us the empowerment to sin, it gives us the power to overcome sin. It changes everything inside of us, and oh by the way God doesn’t just love you, he likes you. He misses hanging out with you. Bible says, you are his masterpiece, his child, his friend or his dream. So my question for you is, have you been hiding from God. Do you feel distant from him.Do you feel lonely and helpless and hopeless today. You got to do it by yourself. God misses you. He is not mad at you. He loves you. He’s for you and while you may be walking to him.

He’s running to you. Romans: 8:39. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the president nor the future nor any powers nor height nor depth nor anything else in all creation will never be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. He says I am convinced that nothing anymore because of Jesus can separate us from God. Are you convinced yet.Are you convinced yet, because if you’re not convinced, then you don’t believe Jesus said, It is finished, you believe Jesus said I’m working on it, and oh by the way you got to work on it too and if you don’t do your part this thing ain’t going to work out. No he said, it is finished, the death, burial and resurrection is more powerful than anything else in all of creation. Jesus defeated sin, death and the grave when he rose again, nothing can keep you from him. In fact, the only thing that can keep you from the presence of God is not your sin. It’s not your sin.

It was pain for on the cross.It’s unbelief. It’s not your sin. All sin was put on behold the lamb of God. It takes away the sins of the world. It’s done. All the sin was paid for. It’s our unbelief. Because the Bible says to all who believe on Him and received him, he gave right to become the children of God to all of those who said I want to step into Jesus, and believe that he is who he says he is and he has done what he said he has done. That is the thing that cleanses me. My sins already paid for. I need to now believe in Jesus. In fact salvation is the unending presence of God. And right about now in most of the Easter services you and I have been to the pastor starts to share and do this thing you know sign a card, raise your hand, pray a prayer as if that’s what it’s all about in the end, and maybe you’re here and you’ve done that somewhere along the way and yet you still feel like God is a million miles away. Like he’s mad at you, condemning you. Luck is left you. You’ve missed it. Salvation is not about getting us into heaven. It’s about getting heaven into us.

It’s the unending presence of God because in his presence is fullness of joy. In his presence is righteousness, peace and joy, faith, hope and love, healing, wholeness, redemption, forgiveness is found in his presence. It’s finished. Jesus was forsaken. So you’ll never have to be. You can be as close to God as you want to be. Are you ready to receive His grace and step in the new life. So you close your eyes with me and bow your heads. Let me just ask you, what do you sense the Holy Spirit, saying to you. Maybe a better way of saying that was just what are you sensing, what’s churning in your heart right now. I guess would be that there’s a lot of us here and maybe we feel like the prodigal son or daughter.

We found ourselves in a mess we never intended to be in. And being in that mess we think there’s no way we could come back home. What can I tell you, you may be walking to him but he’s running to you right now. And he’s not asking you to clean yourself up first, he’s asking you to let him pick you up. And he will clean you up. Some of you need a new beginning, you need a new start, you need a resurrection of your own life and your own soul and the things that are going on in your life that’s what Jesus did. And it’s not about praying a one-time prayer and going back to live our lives, it’s about the unending presence of God and it’s as simple as this inviting Jesus and just like Jesus, I believe and receive everything that you did for me. I believe you did die on the cross and took all my sin, I believe you did raise again from the grave and because you died to sin and rose to new life. I am now dead to sin, and been raised to a new life.

I’ve been cleansed and redeemed and renewed, you see me as a five star diamond resort you want to move into me. You’re never gonna leave, because you forsook Jesus for my sins, so you will not forsake me because of my sins, it’s already done, it is finished. I don’t know what kind of hope you need today. But I know if you put your hope in Jesus, everything in your life will change. He’s here church. He is real. The father is running to you. Will you let him pick you up.

It is finished church, it is finished. Jesus paid it all, it is done. I pray that you believe that, and you receive that. Nothing you have to do, just receive it. If you want prayer for anything, you want to start a relationship with Jesus, come up here, let the people pray you and you would love to introduce you to Jesus. For those of you who want to continue to worship, giving ties and offering boxes at all the doors, you believe, but I pray you go rejoicing with salvation. Then unending presence of God, because it is finished.

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