“Raised from the Ashes”: First Friday, The Power of the Cross

“Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins shall die.”

Ezekiel 18:4

Read Ezekiel 18: 1-9


Lent 2016 Daily Devotions-4

The Power of the Cross

Have you ever felt as though you were living with some sort of family curse? That may sound strange to you, but many people do. Perhaps it’s stems from a cycle of abusive behavior, or even a hereditary trait. In the Old Testament, scripture taught the people of Israel that the sins of the fathers were visited on the 3rd and 4th generation (Ex. 20:5). Clearly we see this throughout history. Many family members have suffered due to the consequences of their fathers’ and grandfathers’ sinful actions. But, that isn’t a curse; it’s a consequence, not a punishment.

Sadly people often misunderstood what God was teaching in the several verses of the Old Testament that speak to the consequence of sins affecting future generations. We see this even in Jesus’ day as His disciples asked if a man’s blindness from birth was because of his father’s sin, or of his own (John 9:1-3). Jesus, set them straight. The man’s blindness was not a result of sin, but to show that God is sovereign over all things, even birth defects that happen in a sinful world.

The Prophet Ezekiel had some very important words for a people who seemed lost in superstition. He told them they could no longer use their old saying of a father eating sour grapes and his child’s teeth being set on edge. God is sovereign over every soul. There is no such thing as superstition. Each person is ultimately responsible for his or her own sin. He also made it clear that there are consequences to sin, natural ones, not superstitious curses.

So what are we to make of what seems like family curses passed down in our world today? First we need to understand that a curse can only be spoken into existence by one who has supernatural power over the forces of our world, and the only one with that power is God. While we do see God putting a few curses on subjects in the Bible (the serpent in the garden, and Jesus cursing the fig tree), we know that His curse is given out of his divine knowledge of what is needed.

So What Are We to Do With Curses?

Scripture teaches us God is love, and in Him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). God loves us so much, that when nothing else could save us from sin and darkness, at the right time He sent His only son to die for us on a cross. And, as the powerful hymn “Before the Throne of God” says, “sin’s curse has lost it’s grip on me”. Jesus, our great High Priest whose name is Love, has saved us so completely, we can give our lives over to him and his sovereignty, such that even death cannot touch us.

To enter a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, our Savior and our God, is to enter everlasting life. Jesus tells us in John 5 that those who believe have passed out of death and into life. One day, when our body is laid to rest, then we will live as never before. A wise man once said, “If you die, before you die, you’ll never die when you die.”

Friday’s in Lent are a day for dying. We remember and honor Jesus’ death on the cross by meditating on his cross, and how He broke the curse of sin and death. Has your curse been broken? It’s your choice. Don’t live blaming your ancestors any longer for things you know you shouldn’t do, things God’s power can help you overcome.

Won’t you click the link below and listen to this powerful hymn of faith by one of my favorite artists, Selah? Then spend some time today meditating on the power of the cross that can raise you from the ashes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoPyLcY6Zv4

Grace & Peace for a Holy Lent,

Pastor Brad

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

Matthew 5:6

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