Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Monday, April 6, 2015

He Did It!

I think probably one of the most insulting if not threatening gestures a person can make to me or anyone else is a simple one that involves one finger. Not the one done with the middle finger pointed up, though that is a bad one too. I mean the one that involves the first finger pointed towards me. Yes, that gesture of accusation and blame, the pointing of the finger directly that says "HE DID IT!".
I remember when I was a kid, my cousin, nephew and I were playing in my room. With all of that lil boy energy we were just about bouncing off the walls. We were passing a ball around in the room, trying to have as much fun as we could without keeping too much noise. But, our excitement grew with our giggles and the play got out of hand. I threw it too hard and broke a ceramic bowl my mom had actually made herself in a class she took. Well of course, the next sound that followed the crash of that bowl was a loud "What was that!?" from momma. Then the next sound that followed was her footsteps down the hallway; and the next sound after that was my door swinging open. She looked at us, we looked at each other; she looked at the broken pieces on the floor; we looked at the broken pieces on the floor; she said "Who did it?". When I looked back up, I was staring at the tips of their fingers pointed right at me. And there I thought that we would band together, brother I got your back kind of stuff. But I found out that when the possibility of a spanking is looming, it's every boy for himself.
I have to admit that the sting of the spanking wore off relatively quickly, but the piercing of those little finger tips lingered for a while. To have gestures of blame hurled at me like stones hurt more than momma's hand on my backside. And I guess that's natural. No one wants to bear the blame. No one wants to be the target of anyone's accusations. I guess I use it as motivation. I don't want to be blamed for failing at work, so I work hard. I don't want to be the blame for my kids running a wild, so I try to be a good dad. I don't want to be the blame for my family not having what it needs to live so I watch my money and sometimes sacrifice things I'd like to buy for myself. No one wants a blaming finger pointed at their face, and neither do I.
In thinking about that, I think about how Jesus, over 2000 years ago, had many fingers pointed at Him. After He was arrested, He was drug down to the High Priest who pointed a finger in His face accusing Him of blasphemy. Then they drug Him to Pilate, then to King Herod, both not finding anything He had done wrong, then back to Pilate. Pilate said he found no reason to kill Him, so he said he would just whip Jesus and send Him back. But many of the religious leaders pointed their fingers at Jesus and shouted "Crucify Him!". Pilate was reluctant because he knew it was wrong, but he was afraid not to because he thought the Jews would start an insurrection. He remembered it was their custom to let a criminal go at Passover; so he asked if they wanted him to let Jesus go. They said they wanted him to release Barabbas instead, a murderer, then they pointed at Jesus again and said "Crucify Him!". And so he did.
I deserved to have those fingers pointed at me because I did break that bowl, and I have deserved fingers pointed at me many, many other times since then. But Jesus did not. He had done no wrong. But I am grateful that because of God's love for me, and Jesus' obedience to Him, our Lord stood before all of those pointed fingers...for us.
I thank God that at the Cross Jesus took away all my sins and all the guilt that came with it. With confidence and gratefulness, I can point my finger to Christ and say "He Did it!".

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