Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Friday, September 22, 2017
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2017.04.09

April 9 – April 15




Scripture Passage:  Then said Jesus, “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do.”  Luke 23:34


Dear Friends,


     There have been times in my life that I have felt unjustly wronged by others.  This includes family, friends, enemies and even church members.  These wrongs often came without any warning and the final result was devastating.  It left me bitter, vengeful, angry and most of all deeply hurt.  During these times deep levels of soul-searching took place.  I searched myself to see if there was some level of guilt on my part and I dissected their actions to try and extract the reason for their apparent dissatisfaction with me.  There were times to my chagrin that the fault lay with me.  (I never like to admit that.)  Other times there was no apparent reason for their actions.  The majority of the time the problem came from some type of misunderstanding where I or the other person did not fully grasp what was being said or taking place.  The malady with each of these scenarios is that even when the truth comes out, it is still hard to forgive.  I have been studying Genesis 4 where Cain slew Abel.  Abel offered a sacrifice that was accepted by God while Cain’s was rejected because of his sinful heart.  As far as Scripture gives us details, Abel did nothing wrong and even honored Cain as his older brother.  (Genesis 4:7)    Cain got just as mad at God as he did Abel and took his spite out on his baby brother.  Abel’s blood cried out from the ground.  Did it cry out for justice or did it cry out for Cain’s forgiveness?  Somehow I believe that the righteousness of Abel would have been a type and shadow of the righteousness of the Son of God as he hung dying on the cross.  Jesus did not cry out for justice against his tormentors, he cried out for mercy and forgiveness for them. They did not ask for his forgiveness but he granted it anyway.  There is a lesson to be learned here as we deal with our relationship with others.  Our tendency is to say, “I might forgive them if they asked me to.”  Jesus’ insight caused Him to forgive them regardless because He knew they were spiritually blind.   The one who has peace in the midst of the storm, is the one who can forgive.  Jesus said it best in Mark 11:26.  “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” 


     This time of resurrection celebration presents a wonderful opportunity to remember the beautiful picture of love and forgiveness Jesus portrayed on the cross.  The cross itself is an ugly reminder of the seriousness of sin.  The picture of Jesus bleeding, crying, suffering and dying on the cross is detestable and deplorable.  The grossness of his maimed body leaves me sick at my stomach and the atrocity of His innocent death with a sense of blatant injustice.  The lack of friends, a borrowed tomb and complete desertion by everyone except a group of Roman guards, breaks my heart as I think of His isolation even in death.  But let us not leave on this negative note.  The cross has gone from being an emblem of shame to a symbol of victory.  The grave has transformed from the dwelling place of the dead to the passageway to Heaven.  Satan’s victory at 3:00 one Friday evening, turned into Christ’s triumph three days later on Sunday morning.   The short delay (two thousand years) of His return has in no way diminished the absolute assurance that it will occur.  The plan has been fulfilled and the last chapter is being written.  Gabriel and Michael have been practicing their trumpets as they await His signal.  Jesus sits patiently at the Father’s right hand and listens for the words, “Go get my children.”  It will only take a moment, and in that moment, everyone will know the truth.  The table is being set, and the mansion being prepared, so don’t lose heart.  Keep an eye on the eastern sky, your hearing aid adjusted and your hand to the plow.  It is almost time.


     In our recent trip to the holy lands, there was much discussion over the actual site of Jesus’ crucifixion.  Whether it was located in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, or Gordon’s Calvary is uncertain because Jerusalem has been destroyed many times and locations of old city walls cannot always be verified.  I was disappointed in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, but something felt right at Gordon’s Calvary and the Garden Tomb.  I guess it was the peace and tranquility that I found there.  As we discussed this with our guides, I made a statement that I believe is worth repeating.  “I don’t need to see a cross to know that Jesus died for my sins, and I don’t need to see an empty tomb to know He is alive.”  The Bible is the account I trust and the proof of His resurrection is evident in my heart.  Amen!


In Christ,



Pastor Johnny