So, last night at Monkey Barrel we started a new focus that we will continue from now until the end of May…and then all the grade 8s will be graduating on to Emergency Ministries!!! (but that is another story).

To sum up our new focus in one word, it would be PURSUE. We are talking about pursuing a relationship with the Messiah; Jesus Christ. The present focus in the world of Christianity is the season of lent where Christ followers do a variety of things (the most common is give up something) as they get ready to celebrate Easter. Our focus will be on understanding the ‘mystery of the messiah’ as this mystery pertain to our life.

My first observation from the evening last night was this: Jr. High students are not nearly as obsessed with Justin Beiber as I thought they would be! We talked about how God had created each one of us as a perfect masterpiece in his very own image (NOTE: being in the image of God does not mean that we all ‘look’ like God because we obviously all look different. The image of God means that deep inside us we have a connection or a link with God that is different than every other thing in creation). Imagine if you really liked Justin Beiber and someone took your nice poster (like on the left) and wrecked it (like on the right).

Again, IF you liked Justin Beiber you would probably be devastated. This is the same devastation that God felt when his perfect masterpiece (you and I) was messed up by sin. (SIN = doing my own thing my own way without any care about what God thinks or feels about it). This ‘sin’ changed our relationship with God; it made it more distance. God, however, has never stopped loving us. In fact, God is so devastated about his wrecked masterpiece that he has spent his entire existence since that point attempting to fix what was broken.

This is when our discussion got a little more disgusting…because God used animal sacrifices in the Old Testament as a means of demonstrating to us that the problem of sin in our life was just as ugly (i.e. Leviticus 5:5-10). When you think about it, if God is life and has created us, walking away from him logically leads to death. This is why animal sacrifices were associated with ‘atoning’ for our sin (that means to make amends for or fix a broken situation).

Animal sacrifices however were not a solution for fixing the broken masterpiece (i.e. you and me), they only point out how broken things were. This is the mystery of the Messiah; he came with the purpose of providing a fix to our brokenness.

And the Messiah was……….JESUS CHRIST of course!

Hebrews 9:11-12

“But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.”

Jesus is the new and permanent High Priest that not only points out how we are broken but also gives us a way to fix it. If we invite God to be the leader of our life his Holy Spirit with dwell within us and begin a repair process that will be complete when Jesus Christ returns to this earth.

I challenge you to PURSUE the mystery of the Messiah: begin a journey with Jesus Christ this season of Lent.

More on this next week!

p.s. Don’t forget about the 5 for 5 world tour challenge. Your first challenge is in your inbox today!