The Word: Taken from AWANA’s Book – NKJV Luke 23:44-46
Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last.
The Story: The other day while driving my 12 year old slowly to school, he was doing his AWANA study as is our usual practice. One of the questions asked him to describe in his own words, why would the Father cause such a terrible thing to happen to His own Son? His answer was brilliant and to the point; and I quote, “So that all of our sins could be forgiven. “ I guess my energy drink had not yet taken effect as I countered. Thinking he was going down the road of the suffering on the cross I said, “But the two thieves suffered the same pain, shame and humiliation as Jesus. “ Switching gears I went into preaching mode, much to my horror having determined to stop doing so. “No” I said, “Jesus took all the sin of the world upon Himself, the shedding of His blood, laying down His life, etc. etc. bla bla.” Now don’t get me wrong, it was a good preach. It picked me right up as if that energy drink was chased by a shot of espresso. So how does a dad recover after such a humongous blunder? You go deeper. Compounding my unintentional lack of control I continued by expounding on “deep calling to deep.” (Psalm 42:7) I was good to have advanced his Biblical education this early in the morning. We would be meditating on this for the whole day. However; more importantly I was able to be proud of his efforts and told him so in no uncertain terms.
The Reflection: At this point the raging storm quieted, you could almost hear a pin drop. Father and son were mulling over other points that suddenly raised their heads and became clear. Such as denying yourself and taking up your cross. (Math 16:24-26) Walk by Faith and not by sight. (2 Cor 5:7) How BIG God is, how small our problems are. What would it be like for us to be separated from one another like we had just read? Feeling abandoned, forsaken. At that moment we really appreciated one another for who we were. Love has a strange way of making itself know under curious circumstances.
The Application: This devotional time produced a series of discussion throughout the week. However; I was ready to apply the lesson that I had learnt. To listen with more understanding of whom it is that I am listening to without cause for contradiction. Let them struggle a bit. Let them work it out on their own through their relationship with God. The results are stupendous. It causes them to snuggle with you, to draw close, learning to trust you. God did not step in to stop what was going on. He allowed the situation to continue so that we would have a picture of how a loving Father allows His Son to become victorious.
The Prayer: Father God, help us to become more like you in all our ways. Let us become one even as Jesus prayed that you and He become one. Let us prefer the other person above ourselves. Help us to see them as you see them, valuable and precious. Give us the courage to allow their relationship to develop independent of our knowledge and understanding. Create in us a broken heart and a contrite spirit we pray in Jesus Name, Amen.