How Luke 15 Gives us a Glimpse of the Cross and Resurrection
by Landry Franks
CRBC Young Adult Pastor
Last weekend I got the great privilege to teach at First Baptist Church in Woodward for their yearly D-Now Weekend. A former church member, Jonathan Chambers, serves as their youth pastor, and he is doing a stellar job. We should be grateful for God’s grace in the life of that church. I was challenged to teach Luke 15 three times in two days. Luckily, this is one of my favorite passages, and I believe that these three parables give great insight into the cross of Christ this Holy Week. So start your newsletter off right by grabbing your Bible and reading Luke 15.
1.) God Loves the Lost Being Found
When you briefly read this passage, the major theme that sticks out is that the lost sheep, coin and son all are found. The prodigal son even takes this a step further by saying that the son was dead and is now alive. These parables are helpful for us to see God’s heart for the lost. He cares deeply that those who are dead in their sins would come to know the goodness of his person. Many times this chapter states that there is rejoicing when a lost sinner repents. Easter provides an avenue to rejoice in why lost sinners can repent. So this week, consider your own salvation, and how God called you from death to life!
2.) God Wants the Proud to Repent
Verses 1 and 2 provide two central characters for this story, the sinners and tax collectors, and the Scribes and Pharisees. The sinners are called this because their sin was public to the community. The Scribes and Pharisees were the cultural elite and believed what your life looked like was far more important than the state of your heart. Jesus’ teaching in Luke 15 is geared toward a heart transformation. He wants us all to see that, whether sinner or Pharisee, we are all broken. The prodigal son is written for the Pharisee to see the pride they harbor in their own works, and because of this they miss the glory of God in salvation. Maybe you feel like your faith is more about your own deeds and not what Christ has done on your behalf. This Easter, repent and trust Christ’s work more than your own. We all need the Gospel, even if we act like we really don’t.
3.) The Cross Pays For Sin and Pride
Luke 15 has two polarizing characters, but really they are the same. They are both broken people in need of payment for sin. We, likewise, are the same way, broken and dead in our sin and in need of payment for the sin we committed against a holy, perfect and righteous God. BUT praise God that he gave us himself in Christ. The God-man lived the life we should have, and hung dead on a cross bearing the full wrath of God for our sins. This Friday, we celebrate Good Friday (7 p.m. in the Worship Center), and this Friday is “good” because God has made a way to atone for our transgressions against him, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
4.) The Resurrection Gives us Eternal Hope and Satisfaction in God
As we all know, the Easter story doesn’t end on the cross and doesn’t end in the grave, it ends with Jesus’ glorious defeat of death and sin by raising from the grave. The cross is what we cling to as Christians, but the resurrection is the reason why we can cling to the cross. Jesus raising from the dead proved that God has come to redeem those who would call on him as Lord. The resurrection gives hope to both the sinner and Pharisee in the fact that we can go from dead in our sins to alive in God. This Easter, consider the beauty of the resurrection, talk about it with your family, at your job and sing about it in your car. Make this week truly a week of preparation for the celebration of the most incredible and gracious event in human history.