Aloha Friday Message – March 4, 2011 – Parity

1109AFC030411 Breaking parity

Aloha nui loa, Beloved. Today’s’ Bible verse is one of the most spectacular prophecies in the Old Testament. Take a look:

Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

This echoes the words of another Old Testament prophet, Joel.

Joel 2:28 And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

While I was thinking about this pair of verses I thought of another word that sounds like “pair,” PARITY. There are more than half-a-dozen definitions of that word, but I was mainly thinking of this one: Parity as equal in terms of rank or pay. Along with that comes this verse: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. So putting them all together, “the one whom they have pierced” is the One who broke parity, paid the wages of sin, through his death on the Cross. Whereas sin earns only death, that parity for our own lives was reversed – broken – when, in place of death, we received an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and eternal Life.

The passage in Zechariah describes the sorrow earthlings will feel when they look at the extreme cost of that sacrifice. A man, pierced, beaten, suffering our penalty to zero out the balance-deficit of sin. In Psalm 130:3 we read, “If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?” The record of our sins disappears, is forgotten, is totally expiated because of “… the one they have pierced.” I thank God there is no parity for our sins. We do not have to pay the cost of them, our debt is forgiven, our life is flooded with the Light of the Holy Spirit; all the more so when we turn our eyes upon the Cross where the King of Glory died, laying down his life to make full recompense for our sins.

That terrible moment is also the moment of momentous victory over sin and death. It is a moment willingly chosen by Jesus to be the flux-point of eternity. When I look upon the one who was pierced, I feel that sorrow familiar to all of us: “I had a part in this.” But, when I look beyond Gethsemane and Calvary I see Mt. Olivet and the Tomb. It’s a long way from Gabatha to Golgotha, but Jesus took every single pain-wracked step to put an end to parity for sin once and for all – literally for all. For everyone. Even me. Even you. Even us. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis. Crucified even for us. That is what came to be known as Amazing Grace.

Turn around and see him crucified
And remember it was for you he died.
If you believe,
Then you shall live.
Kudos to Ray Repp, composer of the hymn, “I am the Resurrection.”

Share-A-Prayer
See the Praise Report section at aloha-Friday.org for some good news.
Please continue your prayers for a positive end to the serious political upheavals in Libya, Egypt, and other war-torn countries across Africa. Don’t forget Haiti, Sudan and Darfur, Chile, and Australia.

Make it your habit to find at least 30 minutes every day to intercede for others. Be as specific as you can in your prayers. Not “for all the world’s hungry” but “for my neighbor who lost his job and can’t feed his family.” God will take your hands and feet and use them to answer your prayer.

Peace be with you.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved!

Pastor speaking to the assembly after six weeks of a fund-raising campaign. “Brothers and sisters, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that we have all the funds we need to solve our present financial crisis. The bad news is, most if it is still in your wallets.”

Now, more than ever, is the time to be as overwhelmingly generous as God is. Give time, talent, and treasure until everything is paid in full.

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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