When it comes to tastes, what are you? Are you one of those people who like it sweet? Maybe you are one of those who like it spicy. It could be you like it a bit tangy, or garlicky, or salty, or bold, or slight, or mild or so hot it makes your eyes leak. Maybe you are a bit of a mixture where you like both sweet and zesty…or like this hot chocolate I tried that had jalapenos in it. It went in very sweet, but as it trickled down my throat, wow, the jalapenos kicked in and what a fun, unexpected experience. Yet I know some of you right now are saying that is not a full flavor I would like at all.
Well sometimes we can look at Jesus in that way. We want a sweet, loving Savior that lavishes His love on us like an amazing shepherd.
John 10:11 11 “I am the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
We want that ‘burden lifter’, ‘rest making’ Sovereign in our lives to bring peace and tranquility in troubled times.
Matthew 11:29-30 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
As well we want that ‘care giver’ God who knows us and meets our needs.
Psalm 55:22 22 Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.
1 Peter 5:7 7 Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
Yes we want that sweet loving, Prince of Peace, help-giving Jesus…and He is! Jesus is all that these Scriptures say. We can count on Him to be there for us always, never leaving us or forsaking us (Hebrews 13:5). His love is everlasting and there is NOTHING you or anyone else can do to stop Jesus from loving you (Romans 8:38-39). How sweet is that!?! How comforting is that savory reality!?!
But that is not the only flavor of Jesus. There is a bit of a harsher flavor to the reality of our loving Lord Jesus. For Jesus is like that loving father who does discipline us.
Hebrews 12:5-6 5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son.”
Oh, that’s got a bit of a bite to it! But Jesus knows our human nature and loves us enough to allow difficulties to come into our lives, and He brings in a few trials of His own design, to train us and give us a bit of a work out so we grow (See James 1:1-5).
As well, the bold flavor of Jesus demands our highest affection.
Luke 14:26 26 If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters– yes, even his own life– he cannot be My disciple.
Matthew 6:33 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Wow that is intense! But there is more, for Jesus requires obedience.
John 14:15 15 If you love me, you will obey what I command.
Luke 6:46 46 Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
James 2:17-18 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
See Jesus is not just that sweet loving Good Shepherd-Savior, He is the bold intense LORD God Almighty that commands and demands allegiance, obedience, and perseverance. That is the full flavored Jesus!
As you head into Easter week this Sunday be thinking about ALL of who Jesus is, and take in His full flavor. You may be pleasantly surprised at this unexpected experience.
Taking in the Full Flavor of Jesus with you,
Lent Bible Reading through to Resurrection Sunday. As you read think what is this passage teaching you about Jesus and how we should live and love like Jesus…
Wednesday April 9: Matthew 19:16-30 (Also see Mark 10:17-30, Luke 18:18-30)
Thursday April 10: Matthew 20:17-19 (Also see Mark 10:32-34, Luke 18:31-33)
Friday April 11: John 11:1-45 (for more to the story read on John 11:45-57)
Saturday April 12: John 12:1-11 (Also see Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, Luke 7:37-39)
Sunday April 13 (Palm Sunday): Matthew 21:1-11 (Also see Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:29-44, John 12:12-19)
Monday April 14: Mark 11:12-14 (Also see Matthew 21:18-22)
Mark 11:15-18 (Also see Matthew 21:12-13, Luke 19:45-48)
Tuesday April 15: Mark 11:27-33 (Also see Matthew 21:23-27, Luke 20:1-8)
Wednesday April 16: Matthew 26:14-16 (Also see Mark 14:10-11, Luke 22:3-6)
Thursday April 17 (Maundy Thursday): John 13:1-20
At Cypress Church we have a Maundy Thursday service at 6:30pm this night…it’s a wonderful experience for the whole family as we experience a bit of what Jesus and His disciples experienced as the ordinance of Communion was set up.
Friday April 18 (Good Friday): Matthew 26:47-68, Matthew 27:33-61
Also at Cypress Church we have a Good Friday service at 7:00pm. It will be a meaningful experience of remembering the price Jesus paid for our sin.
Saturday April 19: Matthew 27:61-66
Sunday April 20 (Resurrection Sunday!): Matthew 28:1-15
Celebration Services at Cypress Church are at 8:00am, 9:30am, and 11:00am