Romans 5:6-8 (New International Reader's Version)
6 At just the right time Christ died for ungodly people. He died for us when we had no power of our own. 7 It is unusual for anyone to die for a godly person. Maybe someone would be willing to die for a good person.
8 But here is how God has shown his love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Job 33:27-29 (New International Reader's Version)
27 Then the person comes to others and says, 'I sinned. I made what was wrong appear to be right. But I wasn't punished as I should have been.
28 God set me free. He kept me from going down into the grave("pit" in the NKJV). So I'll live to enjoy the light that leads to life.' 29 "God does all of those things to people. In fact, he does them again and again.
What are Sunday's all about? Hey its the weekend! This is our time to relax and enjoy the fruit of our weekly labor. Why all this fuss about getting up, getting dressed up and driving to a building, just to sing songs and listen to people reading from the world's best selling book? Why take the time to hear some guy standing above us all, trying to lecture us on what we should and shouldn't do? Does it actually do anything for us? Does it just make us feel good?
I am sure that everyone of us have either felt or thought this way sometime in our lives. For me, it was when I was an intellectual super star; you know, when I was in college. Unfortunately I listened to this message in my head much too long. It took some serious life changing moments to get me to listen to a much different message.
This is what Paul is hinting at in this chapter of Romans. Jesus, at the right time in our dismal lives, reveals himself to us. For each person, this occurs at different times. For some, it may be when we are children and we lead a life of meaning and purpose, giving glory to God in the process. For others, it may have be in church camp, when we hear a convicting message and take that step of faith. Unfortunately for many, it has to be when we are at our lowest, in our deepest "pit" as we read in these verses of Job.
This is the real meaning of our "rituals" on Sunday: Jesus offers us a way out. A way to climb out of the muddy, sticky pit that we have gotten ourselves into with our sin and disobedience. He gives us the opportunity to make ourselves clean again, and to make our lives new and whole again. He restores a right relationship between us and God, and because he died, taking on our deserved punishment onto himself, we can be forgiven for all the bad that we have done.
No wonder we gather on this very special day! No wonder we sing hymns and praises of joy for being redeemed! No wonder we listen for every hopeful and joyful word from a God and Father who extremely loves us! No wonder we want to learn how we can live godly and righteous lives in thanks for what Jesus has done!
If you haven't gone lately, why not next Sunday? Go to a church near you and give Him glory He deserves!