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Motley Crew, The
by Brenda Kern 
10/04/04
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The Motley Crew

Jesus died for us.

We know this well. His death was the central key to God's plan of salvation. We can have forgiveness because Jesus took our place on the cross and bore the punishment for our sins in our place.

But how did He do it? How could He allow Himself, a fully human man, to be tortured and killed, but also be aware that He was Almighty God?

We know Jesus was familiar with the scriptures we think of as the Old Testament, and He quoted scriptures many times. I wonder if He was clinging to a certain passage of scripture in order to get through that terrible Thursday night and Friday...maybe Psalm 73:23-28:

"Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And being with you, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds."

We also know that God was pleased with His Son even before Jesus "did" anything: His voice boomed from heaven at Jesus' baptism, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." How much more than pleased He must have been when Jesus saw things through to the bitter end, absorbing the pain, bearing the anvil-weight of sin, giving up His very life for us...

For what? Just because He was "supposed to?" Because it was God's will, and part of the plan? Because He wanted to please His Father? What did His death buy? What did Jesus GET out of it?

His reward, in part, was us.

And what a motley crew we are! He died for crummy old you, cruddy old you there in the back, and, most amazingly, crappy old me. I shake my head in wonder at the thought, and know that I am SO-O-O-O not worth it! What could He possibly have seen in me to make my redemption seem like something to be purchased at such a cost?

Perhaps He saw potential in me, and, by extension, in all of us--He saw potential somewhere, somehow, underneath layers of stuff-only-worthy-of-being-scraped-off.

I think He must have seen the same potential in the twelve He hand-picked as His disciples, though at first glance they are not "most likely to succeed" types. He chose a (hated) tax collector, a religious zealot, some fishermen, a thief who eventually betrayed Him, and John, who most scholars seem to think was VERY young, probably a teenager. Oh, and Peter, who had problems controlling his mouth and his impulses.

But what a job they did of spreading the word! We all were exposed to the Gospel because of the efforts of these very few men who worked two thousand years ago in an obscure region on the other side of the globe.

They lived up to their potential, and with God's thumb ever in their backs, they even far surpassed what could have been expected of them.

Can we live up to our potential, as well, and be rewards for Jesus?

Could be, with a lot of work!

Maybe, eventually, we can face the end of our lives with the same quotation on our lips...

"Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And being with you, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds."

See you on the other side, fellow crewmembers.

Brenda Kern
October 3, 2004


If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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