Thursday, April 20, 2017

What Jesus' Death On The Cross Means To Me

Post by: Dave Lockley

Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. Romans‬ ‭5:6-8‬ ‭MSG ‬ 

How many people are you willing to die for? If worse comes to worst, and you were confronted with choice, and in that split-second you were forced to make a decision, how many people would you be willing to lay down your life for–with no hesitation or reservation? 

For most of us, the list would be small indeed. Your parents, your children, your husband or wife, and perhaps one or two very close friends, but that’s about it. As I thought about it, my list is very small. In the first place, you never know until the moment comes, and you pray never to be put in that agonizing position. But what if you were? We’ve all read those heroic stories where someone gives their life to save others. 

Recently I read the story of Private Ross McGinnis, of Knox, PA, who was killed in a Baghdad neighborhood on Dec. 4, 2006, when a grenade was thrown into the gunner’s hatch of the Humvee in which he was riding. Mr. Bush noted that Private McGinnis had enough time to jump out and save himself but instead dropped into the hatch and covered the grenade with his own body, absorbing the fragments. He was killed instantly. All four of his fellow soldiers were saved. This one man voluntarily died so the others might live. When we hear a story like that, we feel as if we’re standing on holy ground. And indeed we are, for such sacrifice is rare indeed. 

But Romans 5:7 is telling us that God’s love is not like that. Sometimes friends do indeed die for their friends. As great as that is, God’s love is much greater. We can at least understand what those people did when they sacrificed themselves for those they loved. But God went far beyond what we would do, we would never think of doing what he did. 

The wonder of the Gospel is not that Christ should die for us, though that would be wonderful enough. The wonder is that Christ died for us while we were still sinners, still ungodly, still powerless, and still enemies of God! He didn’t die for his friends, he died for his enemies. He died for those who crucified him. He died for those who hated him. He died for those who rejected him. He died for those who cheered as the nails were driven in his hands. We would never do anything like that! We might die for our friends but never for our enemies. But that’s what Jesus did for us. 

One day, when I felt lonely, I asked, “Lord, how much do you love me?” “This much,” he replied. Then he stretched out his arms, bowed his head, and died

Dave Lockley is a lifelong Methodist who has attended Broomfield UMC for the past 9 years, with his wife Jamey and children Eddie and Anabella. He has degrees in History and Education from CU Boulder and is a teacher, for the Adams 12 School District. At BUMC, he teaches classes and small groups studies on Christian History and the Bible. You can contact him at  

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The New Covenant

Post by: Steve Laser

The world has seen many great days, none as great as the day that Jesus gave us a new covenant. It's easy to forget what Easter really means, it means that humans can be close to God again. Before Easter, sin drove a wedge between God and ourselves.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. -Romans 8 1:39

This new covenant came with great pain and suffering for Jesus; the pain of betrayal by his closest friend, the verbal humiliation and mockery at the hands of thousands of people celebrating Passover, a public trial where people he was trying to save chose to let a murderer go free in order to crucify him. Then the physical pain and torture; he was beaten and maimed until he was unrecognizable drenched in blood and covered with dirt, made to carry his own crucifix up a mountain, nails driven through his hands and feet and his abdomen slashed with a spear. 

Why?.....To save us from ourselves, to free us from the shackles of our inevitable bad choices. 

Through the endurance of the ugliest parts of humanity, Jesus performs the most beautiful miracle and rises from the dead and finally ascending to heaven. By doing so, he gave us his amazing new covenant and sowed the seeds of the Christian faith built on love, selflessness, charity, forgiveness and hope.

Steve Laser has been a member of BUMC for more than five years. He serves on the finance committee, and has previously been involved in the First Friday Fellowship, Theology on Tap, and has served as an usher. He is a native to Broomfield, Colorado, and lives here now with his fabulous wife and two awesome children. He also makes a mean smoked brisket.