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Lent - Day 3

Day 3  Tuesday


That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1: 3).


John 1: 11 
He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
John 3: 19 
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light, because their works were evil.
Mark 7: 20-23  
What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.


Another central character in the drama of Passion Week is the collective heart of a humanity that opposes God. This shared resistance takes center stage through various characters we will meet. But it is important to realize that each antagonist in this story draws from the sinful nature in which we all share.
The eternal Son came to us as the man Jesus in order to restore humanity to our intended place of intimate fellowship with God. He came to give us abundant life (John 10: 10).
For the most part, though, humanity did not respond positively to Jesus. The world at large did not recognize him as the Son of God (John 1: 10). His own particular people, those who knew the Scriptures, did not receive him as Lord and Savior (John 1: 11). The light entered the world but people preferred darkness (John 3: 19). 
Our self-will, embedded deep in every soul, persisted in declining God’s love even when God showed up personally as Jesus.
The source of resistance to God is the in-curved heart of sinful humanity. We prefer not to acknowledge God nor give him thanks (Rom. 1: 21). We have ever wanted our lives to be “our will, our way.”
This collective resistance to God in each heart has become the “spirit of the world” (1 Cor. 2: 12) which sweeps us away from “your will be done” to “my will be done.”
Where do you see your self-will show itself most often? 
When are you most likely to stay in the dark rather than come into the light of God? 
What draws you out of the dark of self-will and toward your Redeemer?


In 1630, Johann Heerman penned one of the most devastatingly accurate Passion Week hymns. Try on these verses as a means of prayer:
Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
That we to judge thee have in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted!
Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus hath undone thee.
‘Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee;
I crucified thee. 
Join your mind and heart to this prayer based on Romans 1: 18-32:
Gracious Triune God, full of steadfast love and mercy, we agree with Scripture’s honest assessment of us. We confess that what can be known about you is plain to see: your eternal power and divine nature shine through creation.  
Yet although we know in our bones that you exist, we do not honor you as God day to day, nor do we give sufficient thanks. 
Trying to live without you, trying to make sense of the world while forgetting you, has led to futility in our thinking. Without you to enlighten us, our foolish hearts are darkened. 
Claiming to be wise, we exchange your glory for tokens of created things. We devote ourselves to art, sports, business, medicine, construction, family, education—all good things, except when we make them ultimate goals. In the end they cannot fill the ache we have for you. 
But still we try to live without you. We exchange the truth of God for lies, time and again. It never works. So we, personally and as a human race, have been filled with all manner of destructive unrighteousness: covetousness, malice, disordered sexuality, envy, murder, strife, deceit, gossip, slander, insolence, rebelliousness and arrogance. 
We are inventive in evil and creative in disobedience, but dead, flat and boring in connecting to you. We have become foolish, faithless, heartless and ruthless. We are the opposition you met in your days among us. We are the enemies who resisted you and finally put you to death. Oh, how we need a Savior! 
Conclude your prayers aloud with the last two stanzas of Heerman’s hymn:
For me, kind Jesus, was thine incarnation,
Thy mortal sorrow, and thy life’s oblation,
Thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion,
For my salvation.
Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee,
I do adore thee, and will every pray thee,
Think on thy pity and the love unswerving,
Not my deserving.
These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (John 20: 31).



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