About a month after I arrived at Cornerstone Bible Church, I met a man and his family who came to visit our church. It wasn't long until Ken Crabb and I had established a dear friendship as they started attending our church and later became members. It wasn't long until I became aware that Ken is the son of Dr. Larry Crabb, a popular Bible teacher. Since then, I have had the opportunity to meet Larry on several informal occasions and have really enjoyed getting to know him on a personal level. Yesterday I had the opportunity to turn my pulpit over to him, to hear a word from the Lord through Him. I was overjoyed.
His message was insightful and helpful as we think of what it means to relate like Jesus Christ. He tried to get us to think about what it would look to relate to others like Jesus in any circumstance of life or in any condition of our soul. He took as the foundation of his message, the worst time in Jesus' life and applied how he poured out love and care even while He was hanging on the cross. Many are okay to relate like Jesus and pour out of themselves when things are going well in their life, but what would it look like to do that at your worst? In order to help us understand this, he took the Seven Sayings of Jesus while He hung on the cross as the starting point of what it means to relate well with others.
I do not have time to go into all the detail of what he shared, but let me just point out one thought he had. Most likely, the first words of Jesus on the cross were "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). It is well documented that Jesus said (present progressive tense) this repeatedly. Could it have been that he repeatedly was saying this as they were nailing Him to the cross? Could it have been that as He hung there and they were dividing out his clothes, He was constantly asking the Father to forgive these men for this horrific crime? I'm fairly sure this is not the response of most of us when bad things happen to us, let alone in the mundane things of life.
What would it look like for you to commit yourself to the well-being of another at any cost of yourself? Could you pour out and serve selflessly for others, not in your best times, but in your worst? Would that change your marriage? Would that change your friendships? Would it change the way you parent?
"By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers." (1 John 3:16)
There is so much more that I could say about this sermon. His background material was extremely helpful in understanding the three hours of darkness in correlation to these seven statements. I am very thankful that he was able and willing to preach for me. If you want to listen to the sermon, you can go HERE (usually posted by Tuesday night).