over to the Fair Grounds for a Gathering and ate (of course), shared some stories,
and generally enjoyed doing some music and hanging out together.
The Historical Society building was nice......it had plenty of room inside, and outside, ...but of course it wasn't as homey as our houses. Even so, we shared some of the amazing things that God is up to among us, and it was a great party! The topic of the night was: "Why did Jesus need to Die?" - looking at Easter just a couple of weeks ago.
So, Why? Was it to prove what God was willing to give? He had one son that was His - an amazing leader and teacher who healed and transformed lives wherever he went. God was excited about Him - In fact the only times He spoke out loud in the New Testament part of the Bible, He was bragging about Him; like "Look at My Son, I am really happy about Him!" and "Here is My Son; listen to Him!" So why did God send Him to a cross to die?
He had asked us all through the Old Testament to make HIM our greatest treasure - to show it by giving up the things we needed most for our security (the best of the sheep, the harvest, our "treasures"). Was giving His Son a way of showing that He was making US HIS greatest treasure? That He would trade His Son's life for us?!?!?! That's sure what it looks like to me.
It says that Jesus, "for the joy set before him, endured the cross..." Hebrews 12:2. It seems the Son of God had joy in opening the way for us to find His Dad - God didn't make Him do it. So that had something to do with it as well. But it seems so drastic...wasn't there another way? Jesus asked God the same thing (Matthew 26:39). There wasn't. Our sin problem was really that bad. That's what I don't think we can get somehow: that it's really that hard to get a new heart - a new life - a clean slate. We can't do it ourselves. So, it's either let what Jesus did be enough for me - 'cause God said it was - or sit in my stew and try to keep adding things to make it taste right.
So, once I accept God's help - the Jesus solution - I have to keep asking God to help me out of my stew on a regular basis. I still add things that mess it up. But that's what grace is for: not a one time event, but a lifestyle of giving back to God. I am one thankful guy!