How are shortcuts CRUSHED? If you want to strike fear into the hearts of my children. Tell them, don’t worry your dad knows a shortcut. For the most part smart phones and the internet have done away with my native navigating abilities, but once in a while we’ll go off the beaten path… and sometimes my shortcuts don’t always work.
We want to take the easy road, the shorter path? Is that so bad? Jesus didn’t take the easy route. He knew that he was going to have to die for our sin. Cutting and running wasn’t an option. He knew that he would have to give up his life for us. That’s how great his love is! No shortcuts!
The story is told of forest rangers making their way through Yellowstone National Park after a forest fire. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes with its wings outstretched. The ranger knocked it over with a stick only to find three baby chicks scurrying away from under their dead mother’s wings. The loving mother keenly aware of impending disaster, had shuffled her offspring to the base of the tree protecting them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the fire did arrive, her body was scorched, but because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.
The story of the fire in Yellowstone is heart warming because lives were saved. What if the story was changed, and the mother bird was found charred and so were the chicks a few feet from her body? How sad, yet this is how it ended for Jesus.
In Jerusalem the fox was having his way with God’s little chicks. As Jesus weeps for them and calls them to come under his arms but they either ignore his call or have strayed so far from his side that they can’t even hear his voice. Even though Jesus uses the picture of a hen, he’s no chicken. Jesus wasn’t afraid to die. He wasn’t afraid to comfort.
Have you ever been taken advantage of? One of my professors told us a story of how he went and purchase diapers for a young family who needed help. The next day his wife witnessed them returning the diapers for the money. How many times would you allow yourself to be taken advantage of? Maybe once. Think of it… Every time we forgive we’re allowing someone to take advantage of us. Now Satan’s voice sounds a little more persuasive – Jesus what are you doing? Why will you give up everything for these people who don’t want your help?
Think of the times that you have run from God and refused the mercy and forgiveness. It is for you that he wasn’t afraid to die nor was he afraid to comfort.
The most vulnerable position for a person or a bird to be in is with arms or wings outstretched. It is from that position that Jesus shielded us from the fires of hell that we deserved for our sin. Jesus bore our punishment on the cross. We are forgiven.
Want to hear more? Watch this week’s message taken from Luke 13: Shortcuts CRUSHED.
Speaker(s): Fred Guldberg