Living With Ourselves (And Other Imperfect People)

Dr Don Worcester
Series: The Other Hours

What a treat to get to be here, This church has blessed us, and grown us, and carried us, and covered us, and encouraged us forever. When I was first beginning my relationship with Renee, she was a member of this church. It was a really small church then, almost 30 years ago. She was a single woman, doing ministry in Young Life and I came with her to church. It was one of the first things we had done. Afterwards, one of the pastors came up—Hylan—and he goes, “So you’re, uh, you’re here with Renee.” 

And I go, “Yeah.”

And he goes, “What are your intentions?”

Which—I just go, “Well, we came to church together.”

And he goes, “Well, I just want you to know, we really love Renee.”

I go, “Good to know.”

And he goes, “I don’t know you.”

“Fair enough. I’m new here.” 

He just got right up in my grill and he thumped me and he said, “I’m checking you out.”

I go, “Awesome. That would be great. Thank you.”

And Renee goes, “Hey—did you meet Hylan?”

I go, “Yeah, Yeah, I met Hylan.”

“What did he say?”

“He was welcoming me to the church.” I guess that’s how they do it here. “I’m checking you out.”

I’ve gotta tell you. I’m friends with Hylan today. I love that. I love that. I loved it that very first morning. I go, “I think these are my people (once they check me out).” You know what—because they’re for each other and they’re with each other. And that is so critical. That’s so real. And that’s been our experience all the way through. When our lives and our relationships, highs and lows and crises and storms, and our kids … this has just been a place that people have shown up in real ways and kind of loved us and cared for us. So we feel really blessed.

We’re doing this Relationship Series, which is really great. I think Living Streams is always doing a relationship series, because we just do life. But this series is really good. And in addition to these resources—which I’m super excited about—I’m going to fly over some stuff today.

Relationship. There are so many specifics and details, that we’re not going to try to drill into those. We put a few things on our website, which is—some relationship stuff. They are just some free downloads. But if you want to go on our website, there’s a little bar on the front, and under Resources and Documents we have a little download called “How to Stay Stuck in Your Relationships.” So there are twenty things here, and if you’re doing more than five or six, you’re probably staying stuck. So this is a little list you can look up. “The Art of Asking Questions in Marriage.” These are just some great questions—twenty-five questions on how to talk to each other. And “What Healthy People Do.” There are things that we do when we’re healthy. If it would be of any encouragement, you can get those. We would love to stir, or add to, what you’re already doing. 

This morning, while I was praying, the Lord kept reminding me of a verse in Lamentations that says, “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses are new every day. His compassions never fail.” So I’m going to pray for us. And I would say that, if you haven’t sensed the lovingkindness of God in a while, that he would love for you to experience that today. His compassions never fail. They’re new today. So if you need some new kindness, or some new sense of compassion, God has that for us today, 

So let me pray for us: Jesus thanks that you keep showing up. You keep reminding us, inviting us, indwelling us. Lord, you keep bringing and you come with a kindness, God, a tender mercy, a compassion, a hope that is bigger than the hurts. So flood us, God. Flood us with your truth and your grace and your mercy and your goodness. We need to be filled up to where we can just run over. So do your good work. Visit with us. Remind us and stir us, Jesus, we pray in your name. Amen. 

We were looking through some pictures recently. My youngest daughter is now sixteen. She’s driving. I don’t know how that happens, I’m grieving that. But apparently that’s a good thing. So we were looking through some old pictures. Her first athletic endeavor was that she joined a softball team with a group of other girls. They were like in second or third grade. She was about eight years old. None of these girls had ever played athletics before. As far as we could tell, they had no discernible athletic ability. But they were excited to be on the softball team. A friend of ours was the coach. And they got to name their team, so they named their team the Hot Tamales. 

We went to the first game. They were learning the basics. Whenever anyone would actually hit the ball and it would go out into the field, they had this tendency of running from the ball. The coach was great. He gradually just kind of goes, “Actually, the goal is not to just not get hit. That’s not the goal. We actually want you to move toward the ball. This is the goal.”

It was a hard concept for these girls. Something about the ball coming at them, they just wanted to not get hit. But they gradually did that and, to their credit, they did very good cheers. They had a lot of good cheers. And they had matching socks. 

The thing is, that it was early on to go, “What is the point of the game? What are we trying to do?” Here’s the thing. You probably don’t want to get hit in softball, but if that’s all we want—to not get hit by the ball—that’s a smaller game. Right?

“Hey—I didn’t get hit by the ball!”

“How’d it go?”

“We lost 23 to 0.” 

Which happened regularly, by the way. One day I came back and I said, “How’s it going?” It was like 21 to 1 or something like that. She goes, “Oh! Second place!” I guess that’s true. They finished top two all season long.

But here’s the deal. What’s the goal? I talk to people all the time and go, “What do you want for your kids?” “What do you want in your career?” “What are you looking for in your relationships?”

And a lot of times what I hear is, “I just want to be happy.” “I just want my marriage to be happy.” “I just want a career that makes me happy.” “I just want my kids to grow up and be happy.” “That’s what I want.”

And that is great. But if that’s our only goal, that’s a smaller game. Right? 

There’s been kind of an explosion of happiness research in the last ten years. And it kind of makes sense in our culture.

We were in Washington D.C. at the National Prayer Breakfast last month. We went into the national archives and there’s the Declaration of Independence—the original one; which is kind of cool because it’s written and they’re marking it out. But Thomas Jefferson wrote it and then it got sort of certified by the group of five. But he introduced the line, prior to that it was always, “We have these inalienable rights, life, liberty and property.” And he changed it. And he said, “…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” 

And he introduced that line. That kind of became our war cry. We are pursuing “happy.” We are chasing it. We’re birthed in that idea. And we’ve kind of followed it. Our culture has really cranked that up. That’s what we’re doing. We’re looking for happy. We’re looking for it in relationships and every place else. 

Emily Smith is in social science research and she has looked at the research over the last ten years in this. Her conclusion from her book called The Meaningful Life is that people who end up happy did not chase after happy lives. The people who ended up happy chose a meaningful life. People who chase happy don’t end up being happy. People who chase happy end up pretty discouraged and tired and exhausted. But people that choose a meaningful life actually get happy as a byproduct. Does that make sense? 

You chase happy and you chase it your whole life. You’re a greyhound chasing one of those fake rabbits around the track. Right? But if you choose a meaningful life, those folks end up with a satisfaction that’s really rich and deep. And the question becomes “What Makes Life Meaningful?” 

In Genesis 1:26, there’s this pretty radical statement where all the things that God creates, they’re all good and they’re all good, and then in Genesis 1:26 God says this, “Let us make man in our image and our likeness.” And he uses the plural, “Let us.” God is a triune God. God exists in community: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Out of that community, God says, “Let us make man like us—to exist in community.” 

We were birthed to exist in community. We were shaped. We were called into life out of community and for community. If we’re not connected that way, we’re missing something really vital. And the research kind of shows that—just the sense of priority of relationship. When they do look at what makes a meaningful life, what makes satisfaction, the single greatest predictor for what makes satisfaction, in the quote from the book: “Consistent, committed and caring relationships are the essential markers and requirements for a rich and satisfying life.” Consistent, committed and caring relationships…right? … are the number one predictor to what people call a meaningful life; which actually ends up being a happy life. The quality of our relationships, to a large degree, flows into the quality of our whole life. So how do we do that? How do we participate in that? 

Jesus said something pretty similar. In John 13:35, he said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, that you love one another.” 

Of all the things that Jesus might have said…” By your really cool buildings, people will know you’re my disciples.”  

“By your great potlucks, people will know.” 

“By your matching socks and good slogans, people will know.” 

“By your stunning good looks and amazing music, people will know.” 

There are a lot of things that Jesus might have pointed to to say, “By this people will know.” But it’s actually none of those things. “By this all men will know that you’re my followers, by the love that you show to one another. “

The thing that God created us for, to be alive in our relationships is also the thing that makes him most visible to everyone else. The thing that makes us most alive is also the thing that makes everyone else know. “What is going on there? Why are those people loving each other? How do we explain that?” So there’s a real foundational invitation there, I think, that God invites us into.

Real relationships are messy relationships. Can I get an amen? Right? Like, if you go into a model home—model homes are beautiful. There’s hardly any trash in the trash can. There’s no stains on the carpet. Everything is pristine. It smells good. You know why? Because no people live there. Right? They go, “This is a model home! All this is going to be great.” Are you going to have real people live in the model home? Oh, yeah. That would be bad. There will be all kinds of messes if you put real people into a model home. It’s going to be a different kind of model after that.

The prettiest wedding I ever went to was outside of Palo Alto, California. Some friends of ours got married. Huge, beautiful house up in the hills. I don’t know how many dollar signs were associated with this house—a lot! Right off the main house there were these beautiful stables that were there and then this beautiful riding grass area that the wedding was on. I went over to the stables, and they were stunning. I would happily have lived in the stables, personally. Beautiful. Stunning woodwork and everything else. 

We had a little pre-reception area. We went out on a lawn and everything else. And I said something to the friend who was getting married here. I go, “Man, those stables are beautiful, and this whole riding area.” 

And he goes, “Yeah. You know the woman who lived here, and her husband, it was her lifelong dream to have horses.”

I go, “Where are the horses?”

He said, “Well, she had them for about six months, and then she goes, ‘You know it turns out, like, horses poop all the time. And then there’s flies and then there’s smells and then there’s all the rest of that.’ And, really, I think she liked the idea of horses, but the actual horses, they’re kind of messy and smelly, and flies…and so she got rid of them.”

And here’s what I’d say. Most of us like the idea of really good relationships. What a beautiful idea. Love one another. Come on. “Love you, Jay.” “Love you, Don.” Right? Until the (can I say ‘crap’?) starts showing up. Until the poop, until the flies, until the “Who is that?” “What is this?”  

The concept of marriage is romantic. The reality is more than that. Right? “What is this?” “Oh, my gosh!” It’s so much more, because real things are real. And real is so much better, but kind of the idea of moving in to what it means to really love and really care. They’re messy and they’re hard, and all this stuff comes out because we’re around each other all the time. And that’s part of the goodness. That’s part of the depth. We don’t need to be afraid of that. We don’t need to sanitize that or spiritualize that or romanticize that. 

Real things are the best things. Yeah, but they’re messy and they smell and you’ve got to bring a shovel  and you’ve got to bring some air freshener and you’ve got to, kind of, do some cleaning. Yeah, that’s right. Because it’s real. 

My daughter started driving last month. Here’s a little interesting statistic about driving. It’s been true for a long time. When they interview drivers and ask them to evaluate themselves as drivers, they always get this statistic. 80% of the people, when they’re surveyed nationally, consider themselves above average drivers. 80%. Now, if I asked you right now to think about your driving ability, 80% of you would go, “Yeah, I’m a good driver.”

Now, if I ask you to think about someone who’s not a good driver, I’m betting you can think of someone. I’m betting it’s not you. But guess what? Someone else is thinking of you. Maybe your spouse or your child or your friend. And you’re both going, “Oh, I know one of those think they’re a good driver.” “Yeah, I know one, too,” right? I mean, it’s this kind of thing, it’s a default in us to go—we can’t all be better than average drivers. But we think of ourselves that way, right? 

Here’s the deal. When we get into relationships, I think there’s a kind of parallel thing. Hey, how are you in relationships? “Well, thankfully, I’m very good. My spouse—they really struggle.”

“God blessed us. We’re amazing parents. Our children, though. What does the Bible say about unruly children? 

“At work, praise God! He gives me endurance for all the obnoxious people. Every day he gives me grace for all of them. I’m just happy he made me this way.” 

Wow. I’ll bet everyone at work just loves you. Or not! Right? There’s just this default setting that we have, and we sort of go there and we picture that. Part of it, in the process, is the sense of  being able to, when we find ourselves hurt or offended or bothered by something going on, invevitably, to kind of go, “Wow. Well, I’m going to do whatever I do to kind of push that back because that really hurt me. That really offended me. That really bothered me. And so I’m going to push it out.”

And the other possibility of pushing things out, is the ability of going, “I wonder what that means.” Because, most of the time, when you’re hurt or offended, or bothered, irritated or rejected, there’s a sign coming out of your heart going, “It goes right there.” Here would be a radical thing, is if you could take the sign that is pointing at the obnoxious person, the insensitive person, the clueless person, if you could take that sign and grab it and turn it right back around to go, “Wow. I wonder what’s going on in me.  I wonder what’s going on in me in the process.” That would be a really kind of challenging perspective to look back on ourselves.

Tim Keller, when he started his church in New York—New York City’s an interesting place to start a church—and Tim Keller, when he would bring people into Redeemer Press, he would say, “Hey, we’re glad you’re here. And just so you’ll know, you are more wicked than you know. And you are more loved than you can imagine. Welcome. Come on in. Oh, you’re more screwed up than you realize. We’re checking you out.” No! We do not do background checks on visitors.

Right? “You’re more broken than you know. And you’re more loved than you can imagine. Come on in. Join the rest of us broken and loved people. Have a seat. Stick around for some coffee. Meet some other people.”

If we miss that part of our brokenness, we miss something way, way important. James 4:1 says this: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”

What causes quarrels and fights among you?" “Well, my husband who won’t get the yard mowed and my kids who won’t…”

And he goes, “Don’t they come from the battles within you?”

If we miss that part of the process, we miss something really critical. James kind of says, “Conflict and quarrels, which we point and look out—don’t they come from battles inside of you?”

If we miss that there are battles inside of us, if we miss there’s a part of us we have to account for, we’re going to have a lot of unproductive battles. We’re going to have a lot of unproductive conversations. If we miss that part of the truth, which God kind of tells us to go, “Hey, this may be uncomfortable, but it’s also true; and we don’t want to miss or avoid things that are uncomfortable and true.”

Three things that I would like to pitch out there that you might consider. Social scientists have a thing they call the Primary Attribution Error. It’s kind of our default setting. Here’s what it kind of boils down to. When someone that I don’t like, or I’m not getting along with, or I’m in a hard place with, when they do some bad behavior, and I see someone doing bad behavior, when I attribute to that person I’m not connected to—you know what your bad behavior means to me? Bad character. That thing you did proves to me bad character. 

Now if someone points out to me, or I realize that I did some bad behavior, I go, “Well, I was having a bad moment. I’m sorry I’m not perfect. And I’m glad I confess that, because I’m humble. Praise God. I give him all the glory.” Right?

You make a mistake and it’s because you’ve got bad character. I make a mistake and it’s because I had a bad moment. And you know what? That’s our default setting. 

Now, if you do something good, and I don’t like you, or we don’t get along, or we have distance, and you do a good thing, you have good behavior.

Now, here’s the deal  and I go, “No, that’s fine. That was a very good moment for you. On that particular day, right after breakfast they did a very good job. I’ll give them full credit for that moment.”

If you or I do something good, we go, “I’m just thankful for my good character. There it is again, spilling out. There’s more evidence of how amazing, pure and godly I am. It just keeps spilling out.”

Now, here’s the deal. That’s our default setting. That’s our human setting. And you know what that human setting does? It doesn’t lead us to divine relationships. It limits us. And unless you and I are aware of it, that’s what we do. That’s our autopilot. 

I am constantly, when I see people who disappoint me or hurt me or frustrate me, I go, “Well, what do you expect? There they are.” And of course, I had a bad moment, or a bad day or whatever.

And I’ve got to tell you, we’ve got to look at ourselves before the Lord on this. There is plenty of brokenness and plenty of grace for all of us. But it goes across the spectrum. Be mindful, be aware of how you’re talking to yourself about the people that you’re in relationship with; because if you’re doing that, you’re setting up the relationship to be absolutely disconnected and unproductive. Does that make sense?

Ok. We’ve got to check ourselves. We’ve got to be a little bit self aware of our own stuff.

Number two I’d say is we have a tendency to miss the biggest battle. There’s a verse in Joshua 5:13, and here’s what I’d say. The battle before the battle is the biggest battle. By the time you’re in conflict, by the time you’re fighting—there was a battle before that battle, and depending on how you did in that battle (the pre-battle) would determine a lot of what’s going on. 

In Joshua 5, Joshua, if you remember, had come into the land. He was one of the original spies and was ready to go in, he and Caleb, but the other guys voted it down, so they do a forty-year camping trip. Now they’re coming back. But he’s been waiting forty years. Moses died. He’s appointed. “Joshua, go in there and take the land.”  They cross the Jordan River. They go in. And the night before Jericho, the battle that we’re all going to sing about later in Sunday school, on his way to the road, he runs into an angel man. 

In verse 13 it says, “Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, ‘Are you for us or for our enemies?’”

When we go into a conflict, when you’re having an argument, or a fight, or a disagreement with somebody, here’s the natural position: to go in and say, “Whose side are you on? Whose side?” And it’s a battle ready. It’s hot ground. It’s contested. Swords out. Shields up. 

“Here’s my perspective. Here’s my point. Here’s my need.” 

There’s somebody over there. They have their need, their perspective and their argument. And we are face-to-face, squared off, ready to go. 

This is Joshua going in to take possession of this promised, amazing land; and he’s appointed by God. He’s doing God’s work and so, to ask this man angel, “Whose side are you on—us or the enemy’s?” 

The response in verse 14 is, “‘Neither,’ he replied. ‘But as commander of the army of the Lord, I have now come.’

“Then Joshua fell face down to the ground in reverence and asked him, ‘What message does my Lord have for his servant?’”

I think one of the most shocking lines in the whole Bible is the angel of the Lord, when he goes, “Whose side are you on—us or the Canaanites and the Jerichos?” And the angel goes, “Neither.”

I think it rattled Joshua’s world. I think it should rattle ours, too. Because, really, what God was saying to Joshua was, “If you think you have a side and I’m going to get on it—time out. I’m not going to get on your side.”

Matter of fact, if you think you have a side going into the conflict—time out. The only one who has a side worth getting on is God. The only side worth getting on is God’s—not yours. And if you think you have it, and you’re protecting it and you’re advocating and you’re praying, “God, come on in here anytime,” —you’re not going to enter the Promised Land. You’re not going to take possession of the best. You’re going to be fighting and taking territory—hot and bloody. That is not the fullness of the promise.

So the very first thing Joshua has to do is go, “Man, if I’m going to take possession, I need to surrender. I need to surrender to God’s side.”

What happens when we surrender, we see in verse 15 the response from surrendering: “The commander of the Lord’s army replied, ‘Neither,’ he replied. ‘But as commander of the Lord’s army I have now come.’ 

“Joshua fell face down to the ground in reverence and asked him, ‘What message does my Lord have for his servant?’”

And in verse 15 it says, “The Commander of the Lord’s army replied, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you’re standing is holy.’”

That posture changed to kind of going, “I’m going to quit fighting for my side. I’m going to drop and say, ‘God, what’s your message to me?’”

And the angel goes, “You’ve just made this ground holy. Because you dropped your sword. You dropped your side. You dropped your argument. You dropped your hurt. You dropped it all and said, “Wait a minute. God, I’m your servant. You’re my Lord. What’s your message to me?”

And the angel goes, “Take those sandals off. This is holy ground.”

Nothing heals on hot ground. If you’re in an argument and you’re pressing ahead and you win the argument by power or influence or domination, you did not win anything worth having. You didn’t. I promise you. Somebody on the other side of that relationship—if you care about them—is wounded and shut out and shut down and you’re in a relationship with them. 

Things heal and resolve on holy ground, not hot ground. Holy ground is humility. Holy ground is dropping your sword and going, “Ok, Lord, what do you have? What do you have?” That’s holy ground. That’s a posture of humility. That’s a posture of listening. That’s a posture of de-arming ourselves. 

It’s the same posture that we see in Jesus. In Matthew, as Jesus is going into the garden, in Matthew 7:26-39, Jesus is also going to wrestle. Joshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus. And as Joshua had to wrestle and get aligned with the Father, Jesus now in Matthew is having the same wrestling match. 

Here’s what it says in Matthew 7: 

“Going a little further, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it’s possible may you take this cup from me. But not as I will, but as YOU will.”

This is a posture change that Jesus takes. If we are going to be aligned with the Father, we have to have this same wrestling match. He went a little further. You know what? He left the multitudes behind, but he took friends to the garden. Then he took his best friends further into the garden. Then he went a little further.

When we do this work with God, it’s past our general friends and our good friends and our close friends, When we do this work with God, it’s always a little further. It’s with us and him. It’s alone. It’s personal. It’s deep. It’s holy and horrible and hard and beautiful and confusing. It’s all of those things to go, “God, I want to want what you have for me, but it also terrifies me.” 

And Jesus confesses honestly to go, “I don’t think I want what you have for me. I have a way. I have a will.” Because he was a man, like us. But in the wrestling out, he goes, “I want your will more than mine.” And here’s the biggest shift in all of our lives. When we show up, we have a way and we have a will. We are willful. And the biggest shift and the biggest struggle in all of our lives is to go from willful to willing. That shift changes everything. 

And that’s just not some intellectual, theological, abstract shift.

Twenty-five years ago, my life had melted down. I was in a crisis, and everything about my past and my future were uncertain, and I was spending a lot of time in the prayer garden on 40th Street and Shea. Several times a week, over six or seven months, I was in that prayer garden, asking God to sort out what he was doing in my life. It was a really horrible, hard, holy time. I remember, at one juncture, I got to the place where the Lord said, “I want you to do this.” 

And I was going, “I don’t want to do that.” 

The Lord goes, “I want you to do this.”

After a few weeks, I kind of go, “Ok. Well, is there anything else?”

And he said, “No. I want you to do this.”

Then I go, “You know, Lord, I think doing that is going to kill me.”

And here’s what the Lord said. “It will. It will kill you.”

I go, “Ok, this is not the answer I was looking for. This is not the reassurance.”

The Lord goes, “All right. You want to be honest, right? We’re honest, right? What I’m asking you to do will kill you in this part of your life. It will kill you. That’s correct.”

That’s what he said to Jesus, too. “If you drink this cup of judgment, it will kill you.”

Right. And then Jesus goes, “Ok. Give me the cup. Give me the cup.” Right.

But here’s what God said to me in that prayer garden twenty-five years ago. He goes, “It will kill you; but you won’t stay dead.” 

Right. Which is what he said to Jesus. “You’re going to go to the cross and descend into hell.”

And it says, “For the joy set before him, Christ endured the cross.” Because you know what Jesus knew in his heart—he knew who his Father was. He drank all the judgment. But it says, “He scorned all the shame,” and he gave himself up and experienced a horrible death and judgment, and descended into hell. But Jesus goes, “I know who my Father is. He’ll come and get me.”

He had a hope that was bigger than hell. Right? You can go to hell if you have a hope that’s bigger—you can through hell if you have a hope that’s bigger. You can go into the pit and lose everything, if you’ve got a Father that goes, “I’ll come get you.” 

That’s the gospel. That’s the foundation of our life. It’s got to be the foundation of our relationships, too. Nothing else will make our relationships alive, if we can’t do that. It just won’t. It’s a crazy invitation. And I would tell you, twenty-five years later, what God said in that prayer garden was true. He said, “It will kill you,” and it did. And I will tell you that, in some undeserved way, I didn’t stay dead. Because that’s how good he is. That’s how faithful he is. It’s not us. 

Somebody said, “Don’t be afraid of dying. You’re going to enjoy your life so much more after you die.” And I would say, “You’re right.”

I’m going to invite the worship team to come back up and we’re going to transition into communion; so I’m going to have our servers come up. We’re celebrating, at communion, the truth—the truth of that last supper. The truth of that Passover meal, where Jesus was celebrating it with his closest friends and disciples. The truth was that the last, fourth cup of the Passover was the cup of judgment. It’s the cup that Jesus drank so we would not have to. 

In 1 Corinthians 11, we read a passage where it says “For I received from the Lord  what I also passed on to you. The Lord Jesus Christ, on the night he was betrayed took bread. And when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you. You’re going to do this in remembrance of me.’”

This bread had to be broken because that was the cost—that was the reality. In Psalm 22, the very first line, it says, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And it’s the verse that Jesus utters on the cross, of the sense of being totally alone, by himself; and he says the first verse of Psalm 22. And if you read the rest of Psalm 22, it’s the description of a man in agony as he’s crucified. David wrote that Psalm a thousand years before the Romans began crucifying people. He wrote it with a picture of what was coming and what the cost would be. 

As Jesus quoted that verse, and everyone in the audience would know the rest of Psalm 22 to say, “What’s happening here is not a political accident. What’s happening here is not merely a human transaction. I’m not just caught in the crosshairs of injustice.” 

He quotes Psalm 22 to kind of say, “This is something God was planning long ago—that somebody would have to drink the cup of judgment. Somebody would have to stand in the place.”

And as Jesus is quoting that. As Jesus is yelling and praying Psalm 22, he’s letting everyone around him know that he knows what is happening. Right after Psalm 22 in the Scripture is Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

You may be in the middle of Psalm 22 right now, where you’re getting crucified in some way. And what I would say to you is, you know what? If God is taking you through something, if God is allowing you to go through something, then he will give you the provision to walk through it.

I heard a minister who does a lot of ministry in the inner city, and they asked him, “What has God protected you from?” 

And he goes, “Nothing. But he has sustained me through everything.”

Right? But he’s the God who buys us back. He’s the God who comes to us with life. 

And so, if you have the elements, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 

Let’s take the bread. 

“And the same way, after supper, he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, do this whenever you drink it in remembrance of me.'  For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes in glory.” 

Let’s remember.

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Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture marked NASB is taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®,
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By the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.