There is an old saying that comes to mind when I read our focus verses for today. My dad used this phrase when he referred to something he knew was right, but hard to take. He would say “it’s a bitter pill to swallow.” The meaning of that phrase is “Something unpleasant that must be accepted or endured.”
As we approach the climax of the Lent season, we know what Jesus is facing in the days to come. It’s a bitter pill, but one He knows He must endure. He has been telling his followers that the day would come when He must die in order to save the world. Jesus knew He would have to bear the sins of the world in order to save us. That is a bitter pill, one Jesus willingly swallowed for us.
Our verses tell us that we too must swallow that bitter pill. It may seem sweet at first, reading about Jesus’ love for us. The fact that Jesus came to take away our sin, that is so sweet and something everyone of us who follow Him gets to taste. But the bitterness comes when we must face our own sins and do something about them. We must make decisions to cast away anything that will keep us from God.
The other side of these passages tell us that not everyone will accept the gospel. Everyone must face judgement, but not everyone will accept the gospel and be saved. For some, that is a bitter pill. For me, my son isn’t saved, he doesn’t walk with the Lord and if something were to happen to him, I would taste that bitter pill, the reality of his eternal state.
Lent is about giving up, but most importantly, its about preparation for the coming of our Lord. We must prepare ourselves, but I believe we must do all we can to prepare those who may not have tasted that sweetness of the gospel. So as we close in on the end of Lent, let us step up our efforts to bring others into the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Let us follow the examples of Jesus during His last days before the cross and help others see that Jesus is the way!
Rev. Wayne Cheselka – Pastor of Outreach – Midland Valley Community Church of the Nazarene – Clearwater, SC