Matt Chandler – Gravity The Weight of Pastoring to the Knowledge of Christ

April 7,2006

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More Matt Chandler Sermon messages here

At Dallas Theological Seminary from April 7,2006 att Chandler is the Pastor of The Village Church in Highland, Texas.

I want you to just take a walk with me through the life of Jesus and see some things, because I think if you see them as we walk through this, then maybe some of your broken places could get restored.

In Hebrews 2:16-17 it says  For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the[o]descendant of Abraham. 17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, tomake propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.

Abraham here means you and I. In ‘He had to be made like His brethren in all things’ we find out that Jesus was the firstborn of many brothers (you and me being the brethren) that He had to be made like his brethren in all things.

For me there was a disjoint in studying the life of Jesus. The cross of Christ, the purchasing, the propitiation for our sins and the difficulty of life in which He lived didn’t always seem to add up for me. It seems that Jesus could have been born into that manger, could have lived a normal life, a life that we’re reading here (in the Bible) not so normal. It is a life filled with betrayal, and pain, and death, and hardship, and longing, and aching. I mean, you name it, it’s an extremely difficult life and I find myself saying, „Why? Why so necessary for Him to suffer so much? Why so necessary for Him to hurt so much? Why so necessary for such darkness to be around the walkings of Jesus on earth? Could He not just be slaughtered on the cross and let us have our propitiation?

The text says that Jesus knew the gravity of hate, of loss, of betrayal, of being overwhelmed, of being exhausted and being taunted as you seek God…so when I get that phone call (of someone who died, etc) He sits there with me and says, „I know, I know”.  And that in that moment when betrayal happens, and I promise you (that) church folk are like piranha. If you look strong they’ll leave you alone, but if you have a limp they will eat you alive. At that moment when betrayal occurs and you feel so angry and frustrated He’s not in the heavens saying, „Yeah, we need to figure out that I’ve got this thing”. Instead He goes, „… I know… I know”. So I know that you and I have choices on the kind of people that we are and the kind of people that we’re becoming and I know that when gravity strikes the soul there’s the chance that bitterness and anger and hurt begin to reign in the soul and I know that because it happens all over in the Scriptures .

In Ruth you find Naomi saying, „Quit calling me Naomi, you call me Mara”, after the death of her husband and her sons, Mara (being) the Hebrew word for bitter. She began to be owned by her own sorrow. And then job’s wife, who in the middle of her husband’s great despair would say, „Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die, you fool”. I know there is this idea, there can become this pretense that happens- the gravity of the fallen world weighs heavily on our soul and there has to be this pretense that we’re ok. There has to be the gravity that the world has fallen upon us and so we bury it and the root of bitterness begins to take root. And my hope is that maybe the simple knowledge that He knows, maybe the simple knowledge that Jesus endured  difficulty and pain and hardship ‘for such a moment as this’, when you have loss, or anger, or maybe in your journey you’re frustrated because it seems in the dissecting of theology and theology becoming systematic for you, you somehow have lost your heart… that maybe in the gravity of these things we may not find ourselves running from Him, pretending, but to Him in honesty. As the Scriptures say, „He knows and is able to be faithful and merciful to His brothers”.

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