The people cheered “Hosanna!” at Christ’s entrance into the Holy City because of a archaic promise that though we are incapable of faithfulness, God remains faithful, and God will do the work to ensure death does not have the final word.
While John 3:16 is often used without context, it should be seen as an invitation to see Christ as the focus of recovery from a life that would otherwise lead to death. Recovery begins with having a vision of what new life could look like. Recovery starts by having a path set out before us.
Achsah is a little known woman, who was given as a spoil of war by her father to be the wife of her uncle. Yet, even in a world where she was wanted only for her beauty, she persisted to stand up for herself that she could share in the care of God’s creation.
Women have been neglected by society, left out of our historical narrative, and have been given little more than tertiary roles. Sadly, the Church has also limited the role of women, ignoring the Biblical stories of women in leadership. Yet, many women of faith have persisted in following God, even when it meant speaking out, standing up, and risking their lives amidst a patriarchal hierarchy. Miriam offers us such an example.
Our nature is to read what makes us feel good about our faith. We stop reading when we feel like we’ve got our life right with God, and skip the hard texts that teach true holiness. This is one of those texts, which calls us to more than just a ‘personal relationship with God.’
Sometimes, our fear of the other prohibits us from loving them as Christ commands. We need to stop giving credence to misperceptions that prohibit us from experiencing the fullness of God’s love in community.
Too often we play a guessing game with Christ’s identity, in which we force our perceptions and our desires of a Messiah upon Christ. But Christ didn’t come just for you, Christ came for all people, so stop claiming an infallible opinion of the Messiah, or you’ll be rebuked, just like Peter.
There is an ancient debate in the religious community that pits the law against God’s grace. Which is more important? Is the law still important given Christ’s sacrifice? John Wesley tackles these hard questions in this sermon.