Things are NOT always what they seem.
It sounds like a mamalie doesn't it?
You know, something your MAMA would have said to you.
Camera and map in hand,
we took a little road trip to visit our western neighbor
Montana hosts 100 mountain ranges. Wow!
There is also a herd of around 200 wild horses
in the Pryor Mountains that with their unique genetic code,
have been rescued and reclaimed from extinction.
But those are not the Pryor Mountains in the background,
nor are these wild horses.
In fact, they are horse statues created from scrap metal -
rescued and reclaimed junk.
Things are not always what they seem.
On this trip we watched one "homeless man" on the corner,
hand off his cardboard sign to another "homeless man",
grab his backpack and walk on down the street.
It seemed like shift change.
Maybe those things aren't what they seem,
because we don't know the rest of the story.
An event center seemed plenty big for an event called
But the reality was that the building was shoulder to shoulder
full of junk shoppers like me.
The road less traveled, however, seemed much shorter
and more scenic on the map.
The reality is that is was ranch country
and it was a long, lonely road.
Thursday before Easter Sunday is Maundy Thursday,
and back in North Dakota, we gathered together at the church
called Zion for an informal meal, some visiting,
and to remember the Passover 2000 years ago
that was not what it seemed.
We remembered that Jesus broke the bread and said,
"This is my body."
He gave them the wine and said,
"This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out
for many for forgiveness of sins."
(Red because Jesus said it - Matthew 26:26-56).
We remembered that He and His disciples
sang some hymns
before they left for
the Garden of Gethsemane
and prayer and His arrest.
We sat at the round tables and with our little group,
broke the pierced
and drank the dark blood red grape juice together.
And we remembered.
Two thousand years ago,
the empty cross seemed to be the end
for his followers.
But things aren't always as they seem.
Because on Sunday morning,
the tomb was empty too.
For those who have believed that Jesus is the son of God,
born of a virgin, died on the cross,
and was raised to new life in three days
- circumstances of life are not always what they seem.
Because He lives.
Those of us who have believed, have also received this great salvation.
Not just forgiveness of our sins (which is huge),
but Yeshua (Hebrew word for salvation - Jesus).
In that word, Yeshua,
we have received deliverance, help, prosperity, security, and victory.
We are rescued and reclaimed.
When our crazy lives are just too, too much,
we can just hide behind the cross.
The cross of forgiveness,deliverance, help, prosperity, security,
We can know that the heavy price has been paid.
We can hide behind the cross
and we can stand.
BECAUSE HE LIVES.
And we can know that
Things are not always, what they seem.
Now, I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you,which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, less you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures., and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. (words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved: for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation (Greek - soteria - deliverance, preservation, safety). For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." (Romans 10:9-11)
And this salvation is exactly what it seems.