Jesus said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” (John 19:26-27)
Jesus told John and Mary that they would be part of the same household and family from that moment on . . . but they would also become part of a forever family. To be sure, we are saved individually, but we are not to remain that way. When we were saved, we were brought into our forever family—not by human bloodlines, but by the blood of the Lamb.
In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (Romans 12:5)
Everyone who has placed their trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior has been made part of a new forever family. And, as Paul wrote, “Each member belongs to all the others.” No matter where this message finds you as we move through Holy Week, if you are in Christ, you are a member of His forever family. As Steve Brown says, “Everyone who belongs to Jesus belongs to everyone who belongs to Jesus.” And that includes you!
Because of this remarkable truth, everyone matters. Regardless of your gifting and calling, regardless of your success and station in life, you matter. God did not make us all the same to do the same thing. Each member is as valuable as the next. Each one is as needed as the next.
And as members of the body of Christ, we must always remember we are not the Head. Jesus is! When we mess that up, we mess others up. When we see ourselves as the head, rather than a member, of the Body of Christ . . .
- We criticize
- We condemn
- We control
Only the Gospel can free us from the need to be the head, rather than a member. Only the Gospel keeps us working toward the expansion of God’s kingdom rather than our own kingdom. Only the Gospel frees us from slavery to self, preoccupied with our agendas, our goals, our dreams, our plans. When the Gospel rules our hearts, it shapes our lives into the shape of a cross.
We not only have an intimate personal relationship with the Almighty (vertical), we have a family relationship with everyone in His body as brothers and sisters (horizontal). United with Christ vertically means we are to be unified with every other believer horizontally. What is amazing is we do not have to create this unity. It has been given to every believer at conversion. Our job is to maintain unity, and that can only be done when the truth of the Gospel seizes us. Only the Gospel can free us from our critical spirit. Only the Gospel frees us from our desire to be condemning. Only the Gospel frees us from our fundamental need to gain and keep control.
Nothing can ever change that truth. As Paul wrote, “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!