Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
This is the simple truth that was overshadowed in Genesis 3. God’s goodness and truth were traded for moral autonomy – the chance for man to be his own god. The serpent undermined Eve’s view of God, leading her to question God’s loving boundaries. The cost of moral autonomy was and is great. Banishment from the garden and the Tree of Life, physical and spiritual death, toil and pain continue to this day.
As Americans, we talk a lot about freedom, but we rarely pause to give any definition to the word itself. What do we mean by freedom? Is freedom the just rule of law, or the lack of all rules?
Adam and Eve had freedom in the Garden to eat of every tree except one. They had the freedom of trusting in a loving God who had created them to enjoy His presence. Instead, they chose freedom from God and His rule – both His sovereign rule and His single command. They wrongly saw freedom in moral autonomy. Instead, they subjected themselves to the serpent – an animal over which Adam had been commanded to rule. The power structures of the world were turned upside-down (God>Man>Serpent became Serpent>Man>God).
This is where we find ourselves today. Our hearts (yours and mine) long for moral autonomy – the right to make our own rules. We want to be like gods. We desperately believe that we will only find true joy when we rid ourselves of the rule makers in our lives, especially if they disagree with our moral vision. This is the very heart of sin. It is a rebellion against God’s right as our Creator to rule our lives. We have declared our own sovereignty within His territory, making us His enemies. And for this, He has every right and obligation to punish us as traitors.
We are traitors and fugitives. There is no freedom for traitors and fugitives. Traitors and fugitives live in the shadows. They don’t show their face in public. They fear being exposed, and often strike out violently against those who threaten to blow their cover. Does this sound like your heart? In your search for freedom, have you found hopelessness instead?
This is where the good news comes in, and it’s free. On the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for our rebellion. He stood in our place, so that we could stand before God in his place. God’s justice and wrath were poured out on Jesus in place of all who give up their rebellion and see that he is their only hope. His resurrection guarantees the verdict, and grants freedom to rebel captives. Do you want freedom and true joy? This is the only place you will find it! Confess your rebellion and look to the Savior! Delight yourself in the Lord!
Below are some links to videos and music, as well as some local Good Friday events. If you’re looking for a place Sunday morning for Easter, come join us at Fellowship Louisville at 10 AM. We’d love to have you!
SM Lockridge’s classic “Sunday’s Coming”
We’ll be singing John Mark McMillan’s “Death in His Grave” this Sunday.
Here’s a song called Drove the Nails I wrote and performed with my band in college. (Warning: this is ROCK music!)
What happened on the first Good Friday?
A Word for this Holy Weekend
Almost two thousand years ago, a bruised and bloody half-naked man was led outside the small capital city of a tiny, but notoriously difficult Roman province to a hillside, named the skull. Together with two other criminals, he was to be executed as “the King of the Jews,” a sarcastic title meant both as a jab at those who sought his death and as the accusation against him. By all appearances, it was an ordinary Passover weekend. Lambs would be slaughtered as the Jewish people gathered together in Jerusalem to commemorate the day the Lord led them out of slavery in Egypt. Little did they know, a greater salvation was taking place just outside the city.
As we enter this weekend, does it seem ordinary to you? Does it seem like just another Good Friday service–just another Easter Sunday? Could we also be missing what is taking place before our very eyes? Right in front of us is the central event of all of history! God, in Christ, is redeeming a people and restoring the creation to a state of perfection in relationship to its Creator. The death and resurrection of Christ was a cosmic event, bringing together heaven and earth.
The hope of history was a man hanging on a tree. We proclaim that same hope this weekend as we gather together. Who will you invite? Who will hear? Who will be redeemed, and participate in the great story of the ages? How shall we live in light of the death and resurrection of the King of Glory? Let us pray and worship and wait in hope for He is risen, and we shall be raised with him!