This Holy Week has been unusual. Confinement not congregating is the new normal. As we celebrate Resurrection Sunday through innovative worship experiences, I want to share three lessons from the last 24 hours of Jesus’s life that will inspire you to stay focused and committed to making NJ better in the months ahead.
Lesson 1: God is involved in government – you should be too!
Many well-intentioned believers fail to live up to Christ honoring biblical citizenship because of early 20th century fundamentalist beliefs. In their eyes, government and other public institutions such as schools are inherently part of this fallen world. Therefore, Christians should avoid any effort to improve these institutions because they are irredeemable.
Jesus had a different perspective on the government. As he stood before Pontius Pilate, he appealed to the sovereignty of God that reigned over human government.
Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
Lesson 2: Religious liberty might suffer under the disguise of social justice
Judas was guilty of the greater sin referenced above because he willingly handed over Christ for his own personal benefit. Judas attempted to leverage feelings of guilt that the poor could have been better served with the money Mary dedicated by using expensive ointment to worship Jesus. Motivated by financial self-interest, Judas would betray the Savior hours later for 30 pieces of silver. I am alarmed that many today are intrigued by socialism, despite the potential loss of religious liberty at the hands of extreme left-wing political leaders who enshrine erotic rights above constitutional religious rights. Jesus instructed us to help the poor, but not at the expense of silencing gospel preaching.
Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He [Judas] said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.
Lesson 3: Stand-alone if you must
Jesus not only experienced the betrayal of Judas but the pain of his closest friends refusing to stand with him in times of distress. Today, many people silently agree with our Biblical values that have helped society to flourish for centuries. Tragically, they are afraid to stand with us on the front lines to promote better public policies. We must stay encouraged and engaged notwithstanding the response of others.
Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.
Happy Resurrection Sunday! Our redeemer lives!
Director of Advocacy