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Rest Quietly

Rest Quietly

23 January 2010

Today’s Reading: Exodus 6-8; Luke 23

Scripture:

55 The women who had been companions of Jesus from Galilee followed along. They saw the tomb where Jesus’ body was placed. 56 Then they went back to prepare burial spices and perfumes. They rested quietly on the Sabbath, as commanded. (Luke 23:55-56 MSG)

Jesus’ disciples and these women who had followed Jesus during his three years of ministry were stunned and heartbroken. In the past seven days, they had seen Jesus’ popularity climax with his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and plummet to a riot of crowds shouting, “Crucify him!” They had seen the leaders of their Jewish faith unjustly accuse and ultimately kill their teacher and friend. They had seen the Jewish civil government sidestep the opportunity to bring justice, and they had seen the Roman civil government give in to pressure and allow Jesus to be horribly and painfully tortured and killed.

Yet in the midst of all this shock and horror, with everything they had trusted in gone, with the leaders their faith exposed as murderers, they rested quietly on the Sabbath as the law of Moses commanded.

We must have a foundation for our faith in Christ that doesn’t depend on the performance of our leaders. God’s word makes it clear that we should submit to our leaders. Jesus made it clear that leaders are accountable for the effect of their actions on their followers. But leaders are human and don’t always do right.

We must make sure that our faith is internalized, that we own our faith and that our consciences are our own. The time will come in the life of each Christ-follower when a leader or a church will disappoint. Many who are following the person or the church, without the deep inner work of the Holy Spirit that makes faith personal, are shaken or turn away from their faith in such a situation. Who owns your faith?

Prayer:

Father, I’ve seen leaders come and go. I’ve seen leaders fail morally and leaders whose motives were shown to be selfish and short-sighted. Thank you that I can place my faith in you, respect and submit to the leaders you appoint, but “rest quietly” in the confidence that you never fail. I trust you. Amen.

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