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The Way of the Cross 1 - Planned 



How do you respond to surprises? Of course there are unwelcome surprises, none of us want those. I'm talking about the kind of surprise when someone has planned something in advance for you. They have taken the time to think about you, about what would be helpful, kind and encouraging. Then without your knowledge they've acted on it, and put in place a plan that will be a blessing to you.

When thinking about the Christian faith we can often be focused on the present moment. But a helpful way of looking at the bible is to see that it was God’s intention right from the beginning to send his son to the cross to die in our place. We made a mess of things but he had a plan to set things right. We see the first promise of this in Genesis 3:15 when God says that Eve’s offspring will crush the serpent’s head. Then almost immediately the first signs of his grace, when God clothes Adam and Eve with the skin of animals to cover their shame.

Whenever someone plans something for us, we do have a choice about how we respond. We can be blasé or even ungrateful, or we can be invested and respond with gratitude.

A man called Nicodemus comes to see Jesus. He has a view about how things work with God, and comes to question Jesus. But Jesus sets him on a different course, and in the process makes a link between what will happen to him and the very first parts of the old Testament. Nicodemus has a choice as to how he will respond and so do we.

Mark Searle, 07/03/2020