The gift of glory.
But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit.
We walked through Lent and have reflected on Godâ€™s conviction from all sorts of angles.
We started by reflecting on the necessity of choosing differently. Confronted by our conviction, we recognize that the natural outcome of our choices is a judgment of guilty and certain death. Yet, if we chose differently, with Jesus as our model, we are acquitted and receive the abundance of grace and the gift of justification.
We learned that our acceptance of conviction leads to moving from the conviction of guilt to conviction in righteousness. That acceptance and the righteousness that comes from it, allows us to move mountains, change the world, bear much fruit, and be truly victorious.
We know that God waits to meet us. That encounter offers the opportunity to accept our conviction â€“ something that is never compulsory. If we accept our conviction we obtain immediate salvation and begin bearing the fruits that come from that acceptance. We witness and draw many to Jesus.
We found that in Jesus, wherever we come from or whatever we have done is of no account once we accept conviction. We move from who we were to being His children of light. The only reality that matters.
We realized that encounter and conviction, if accepted, provides a gift of faith so deep and powerful that not even death can diminish it. Not death, not disappointment, nothing! We develop a powerful â€˜even nowâ€™ faith that actively trusts.
This Lenten journey and exploration begins its ending today. As we reflect on the road to the cross and grave we see many seeming to work contrary to God. We see a parade of human sinfulness and its apparent consequences. Those who failed to accept conviction held onto their alleged power. Judas, holding onto the purse, betrays Jesus. The disciples holding onto their perceptions of love and faithfulness, run away because their opinions do not stand up to challenge. The religious leaders hang onto external acts of religion over deep internal change. Pilate and the Roman soldiers hold unto political power, a power that only lasts for a time. The crowds hold unto whatever opinion is popular now. Jesus alone â€“ the one who could never be convicted â€“ accepts conviction.
Jesus submitted to the Fatherâ€™s will, took up the cross, and staggered through a parade of non-acceptance powerfully displaying total acceptance. He fulfills His mission, opens the door for our ability to accept, and our entry into the powerful and glorious future we live today.