Come to the Feast!

Yesterday I was privileged to ‘join’ a few hundred others from around the world in an online prayer meeting.  At one point I knelt in my living room, face down to the floor, in humble acknowledgement of God, my heart broken by the sin and Self that is rampant in this time, and in earnest prayer for spiritual renewal – starting with me!  

There are many millions of people who are trying so hard to satisfy their soul’s hunger with hobbies, pleasure, diversions, and even achievement. The Spirit moved me with the heart of Jesus Who was, Himself, broken-hearted by the refusal of people to receive His love.  So, I prayed for eyes to be opened, hearts to be stirred, that we might know Him and find, as He promises, “eternal life.”

Jesus told a story that reveals the peril of living without God, ignoring His invitation. Take a look. “God’s kingdom,” he said, “is like a king who threw a wedding banquet for his son. He sent out servants to call in all the invited guests. And they wouldn’t come! “He sent out another round of servants, instructing them to tell the guests, ‘Look, everything is on the table, the prime rib is ready for carving. Come to the feast!’ “They only shrugged their shoulders and went off, one to weed his garden, another to work in his shop. The rest, with nothing better to do, beat up on the messengers and then killed them.

The king was outraged and sent his soldiers to destroy those thugs and level their city. “Then he told his servants, ‘We have a wedding banquet all prepared but no guests. The ones I invited weren’t up to it. Go out into the busiest intersections in town and invite anyone you find to the banquet.’ The servants went out on the streets and rounded up everyone they laid eyes on, good and bad, regardless. And so the banquet was on—every place filled.” (Matthew 22:1-10, The Message)

Come to the feast! Be part of His kingdom celebration!

Holy Week is an invitation to us to walk with Jesus to the Cross where we see the heart of the Father. There we see that His response to the sins and suffering of His Creation was to extend the gift of Grace and Salvation. John reminds us of the love that is behind the whole story – “So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father.” (John 1:14, NLT) “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NLT) 

Jesus Christ is God come to earth, God becoming Man, God warring with Evil, God defeating sin.  Our churches are decorated by crosses, but do we understand the love they symbolize? Yes, the Cross is amazing and key to our hope.  There we see Jesus becoming sin for us, bearing the guilt of the world. 

It is of great hope to us to know that our journey this week will not stop at the Cross! Thank God!  

The ‘rest of the story’ includes the Resurrection morning. The Empty Tomb is the evidence that sin’s power is broken.  We are invited to be like Jesus in that we choose to ‘die’ to Self, engage with a suffering world at great cost, all with the hope that there is more beyond – an assurance of our resurrection!  

Along the way, God asks us to become His people, saints,  joining in the work of bringing a message of hope to a broken Creation; to tell the lost that they can be found, the dead that they can live.  We may shed tears, we may bear the weight of the work, but we go steady on. “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58, NIV)

Christian friend, come to the feast He has prepared. Life will offer us a million distractions. But, only One can give us Life eternal.

Here is a word from the Word. Take hold of its promise by faith. “It was for us, too, assuring us that God will also declare us to be righteous if we believe in God, who brought Jesus our Lord back from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised from the dead to make us right with God.

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” (Romans 4:24-5:2, NLT)

“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” (Romans 8:11, NIV

______________

Living Hope

How great the chasm that lay between us
How high the mountain I could not climb
n desperation I turned to heaven
And spoke Your name into the night

Then through the darkness Your loving-kindness
Tore through the shadows of my soul
The work is finished the end is written
Jesus Christ my living hope

Who could imagine so great a mercy
What heart could fathom such boundless grace
The God of ages stepped down from glory
To wear my sin and bear my shame

The cross has spoken I am forgiven
The King of kings calls me His own
Beautiful Savior I’m Yours forever
Jesus Christ my living hope

Hallelujah praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ my living hope

Then came the morning that sealed the promise
Your buried body began to breathe
Out of the silence the Roaring Lion
Declared the grave has no claim on me

Jesus Yours is the victory whoa
Jesus Christ my living hope
Oh God You are my living hope

Brian Johnson | Phil Wickham

© 2017 Phil Wickham Music (Fair Trade Music Publishing

[c/o Essential Music Publishing LLC])

Sing My Songs (Fair Trade Music Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

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