Day 7

Repentance (3 of 3): Walking in Obedience

from the Lent 2016 reading plan

John 14:15-21, Deuteronomy 5:33, James 4:7-10, 2 John 1:6

When I was a teenager, I had a ’79 ‘Vette. It was a Chevette, but still. I parked it on the street in all of its USSR standard gray glory. The reverse didn’t work. It would pop out of second gear. The speakers sat in the back seat and pumped out White Lion at 100 watts. The black vinyl melted away human flesh in August. The speedometer only read up to 80.

Believe it or not, I was not popular.

One night I was in my room (probably reading a book) when I heard something outside that  sounded like a crash. I looked out my window and saw a car speeding off. That’s when I noticed a huge A-frame sign lying on the roof of my car and large rocks on my hood and roof.

I ran outside and saw that someone had used the rocks to prop up a sign from a car wash on the roof of the Matt-mobile. One rock had rolled down onto the hood, leaving scratches, dents and a busted windshield in its wake. I can’t remember if this happened before or after they egged my car.

I think I’ve already pointed out how unpopular I was.

What’s memorable about all this, though, is how the father of one of these boys called my dad and profusely apologized, asking for my dad’s forgiveness. It was clear he was doing this on behalf of his son, the jerk.

I thought of this story when I read Joel 2:17, which tells of the priests crying out to God for forgiveness on behalf of the people. It is a powerful picture, especially when you think about how the priests represented God on earth. Those priests were in charge of worship. They were key players when it came to the sacrificial system and prayer. They were in the business of calling the people to repentance and holding out the promise of forgiveness. That is what Joel calls them to in this verse.

I also thought about Jesus.

I thought about how when we repent of our sins and turn toward God, according to Hebrews 7:25, Jesus “lives to make intercession” for us. This is true whether we are repenting for the first time or, as my son says, the “bajillionth” time.

Surely, that jerk kid whose dad called my dad spent at least a moment wishing he had not done what he had done. And there was his dad, interceding for him. I was filled with hate back then because it punctuated the loneliness I felt in school. But now when I think about that story, I can follow a line from that kid’s father’s phone call up into the heavens where I know the Son is interceding for me. Jesus does for me what that boy’s father did for him. He intercedes. We are not left alone in our repentance.

Theologians talk about the place of faith in repentance. Here it is. When you lie in bed at night and look back over the day and feel the weight of moral failure and missed opportunities for kindness, you can repent knowing that Jesus, the One Who has pardoned you and finished the work of forgiveness on the cross, is interceding for you with His Dad.

We are not left alone in repentance. Jesus Christ lives to make intercession for us.

Written By Matthew B. Redmond

Post Comments (21)

21 thoughts on "Repentance (3 of 3): Walking in Obedience"

  1. Levi says:

    God forgives through through the blood of Jesus. It is by him that we are able to be right again in our Fathers eyes.

  2. Levi says:

    I pray that God will continue to work on my sinful heart and wipe away me worldly desires so that I can be closer to him

  3. Levi says:

    We are sinners to the core. As long as we are breathing on this earth there is nothing “we” can do to earn are right to be in heaven with God. Ironically, it is a free gift that we have to be willing to accept in which our satisfaction is found in him.

  4. Levi says:

    The Gospel lays out it there pretty blatantly. Repent of our sins daily and live out Jesus’s mission to love others and make disciples.

  5. Levi says:

    Make it a priority to repent thoughtfully about the days failures. Know that if it is a sin, no matter how minuscule, that God wants us to repent it.

  6. Steele Fredricksen says:

    I will come to God desperate, knowing I have not listened or obeyed. I know I have not trusted God and gotten to know Him for all He is. I need to not go about life trying to be my own god.

  7. Steele Fredricksen says:

    God intercedes for us. He wants us to draw near to Him, and will love us and be present with us. God wants us to obey Him. He’s always there, never changing, awaiting us.

  8. Steele Fredricksen says:

    Man can stray from God, not wanting to obey. We may feel alone, and we quickly forget (or do not know) who God is. He will help us and is there for me, and that is for us to embrace and understand.

  9. Steele Fredricksen says:

    The Gospel is good news about God being a constant in our lives. It gives us the freedom to take the rawness of our lives and bring it to Him, listening to him, obeying him, and being watched after and stood up for.

  10. Steele Fredricksen says:

    Lord, I can’t do this on my own. I need You. I need to know you, and how you love me. You have instructed me to listen and draw near to you. I know you love me. I need you.

  11. Jeremy Nelson says:

    I am thinking while I write. Ultimately God is the one that we are offending with our sin. But he is also the one that provided and set up the intercession of his son on our behalf. Why?? Why all the fuss? Why all the loops, twists and turns? What is accomplished by all of this? Hebrews speaks of Jesus being a high pried that can sympathize with us. This is God experiencing temptation, pain, sickness, and all this world has to offer. Not vicariously through his omniscients but though experiential living. This changes things. The God of the universe sweating blood while under temptation. What chance do we have. We need a savior and a mediator.

  12. Jeremy Nelson says:

    The gospel allows for mediation and salvation. Without it mediation would not be enough. We would still have to pay for our own sins.

  13. Jeremy Nelson says:

    We need a mediator.

  14. Jeremy Nelson says:

    With gratitude and thanksgiving. Knowing I am a restored man, a branch connected once again to the vine, I have the strength and capacity, though the Holy Spirit, to fight sin and have victory in this path to righteousness.

  15. Jeremy Nelson says:

    Lord, make these truths be like breathing, constant and life giving. Make them to me as indispensable as breath itself.

  16. Isaac Jones says:

    Man needs Christ to intercede for him. Man sins so often he needs a full-time advocate with the Father. In Christ man finds a way to obey God.

  17. Isaac Jones says:

    This is the gospel to obey God, have Christ interceding on our behalf and receiving in ourselves the Holy Spirit and forgiveness for our sins.

  18. Isaac Jones says:

    This teaches that God wants to forgive, but He seeks obedience and acceptance of Christ to intercede. If we obey the commands of the Lord and Christ is interceding on our behalf even when we fail; then God is showing His love for humanity.

  19. Isaac Jones says:

    Heavenly forgive me for my sin. Thank you for giving such a great high priest to intercede incessantly on my behalf. I ask for the Holy Spirit to lead my spirit to obedience and truth. My I honor you with my actions and my words; when I fail, may I repent to you quickly and humbly. Thank you for love; Amen.

  20. Isaac Jones says:

    I will respond in obedience. My life is to be defined not by what I do, but by who I am. Because of who I am I will seek to obey.

  21. Nathaniel Wentink says:

    Even when we feel like we are on top of the world with riches, we are in the deepest darkest pit if we do not have Christ in our hearts.

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