Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read of listen to Psalm 53.
Read: John 10:11-21 — As you re-read for the final time this week in the ESV translation, what did you discover new about God’s character?
Reflect: John 10:17-18 have caused several a lot of anxiety. Simply because it is read with the preconceived idea that God is cruel and Jesus is kind. God stayed in heaven and Jesus came to earth. God wanted death and Jesus satisfied God’s appetite for death. These preconceived notions come from various other legends and fictitious accounts of how the ‘gods’ exist or how humanity interacts with ‘divine’ beings. Hence Elijah mocks those who worshipped Baal and encouraged them to continue abusing themselves to appease their god. This is why the Bible is counter-cultural. Because the truth about God is unexpected in our broken world. We hang onto these human fantasies because they feed into our need for power and control. The person at the top if the pyramid is the King. Have you ever wondered, why people enter into pyramid schemes? Could it be, because they hope to be at the top and have minions work for them? This is not the image of God the Father, nor God the Son, nor God the Holy Spirit. All three are give of themselves. When read with the whole Bible as the foundation of understanding these verses demonstrate God is love. As Frederick Dale Brunner in his commentary on the Gospel of John, pages 625-626 shares:
The Father so loves his Son, and so loves his world that , out of this deep double love, the Father is thrilled that his Son is willing to lay down his life for his world…. [he goes further and paraphrases these verses] This is why the Father loves me so much: because I not only die for this world but then I will come right again through my Resurrection and Ascension to love over the world and within my Church as well.
Respond: Pray for deeper understanding of the cross.
Research: Explore the three most common understandings of atonement.