Fifth Saturday of Lent

John 6:54–66, Zechariah 3:1–4, Romans 8:31–39

The how of has been a mystery of and for the church. How it works has been (and continues to be) a strong discussion point between traditions and denominations. What hasn’t been a discussion point is that it does work. The long price of ties generations to the past, communities , connects s and minds to the . At the beginning, even before on the cross, it was a dividing point. People took a very literal view of ’ wording, which turned them away from him. Those that knew him—the 12 disciples—didn’t walk away. They seemed to have some understanding that wasn’t being as literal as had assumed. That does not mean they completely understood. They did, however, know , so instead of insisting to understand, they accepted. did make accepting blood and flesh crucial to being his follower, and receiving eternal . Thus is not just something we do lightly.

is part of the transformed/transforming/being-transformed of being a Christian. It is part of our adoption into God’s . As we become, and continue to be, a part of God’s , we can rely and trust in Paul’s words about those who accuse us. The accusations of being nonredeemable and unredeemed are the same accusations that Zechariah saw Satan throw at Joshua (a high priest, not the prophet who followed Moses). The same filthy rags that were removed from Joshua (and by extensions, the Jews), are those removed from us when we accept Christ.

The Accuser (whether Satan or people who seek to pull us down) is a constant threat to a Christian (or anyone). However, when we have Christ and are in fellowship with him, the accusations are merely empty words. The words and behind them hurt, but we turn to who wipes away our tears and hurt. is that constant reminder that God is the host of the banquet. He has clothed us in white, even though we cannot see it.

1) Have you ever come across a time or place where separated, rather than joined, people to Christ and the greater body? What was it like?

2) Have you ever thought about the importance of in regards to your salvation? How do you think that works?

3) Accusations can often keep us away from the table. When you “hear” accusations, how do you deal with them? Do you bring them to , or do you bear them alone?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.