The Ultimate!

     I’m staying out of the bloglight this week again by posting something that someone else has already said better than I can. I hope some of the men out there will join us as we think out loud at ONETH1NG this Friday morning. Bring your kids to school late or just keep them home so they can talk all day about what you heard on Friday and think about what’s coming up on Sunday.

     Without further ado, I pass the blog to Jesse Whitfield:

The Ultimate Act
     Have you ever heard someone describe something as the “ultimate”? I remember years ago there was an often-used catchphrase that got added to everything that was at the peak of it’s popularity. “It’s the ultimate!” I can hear it now reverberating through the commercials. Slowly but surely the word ultimate just didn’t have the same impact when we heard it. Marketing and culture had once again cheapened a word that previously held significance in our day to day language. Kind of sad for a word that means the best, the most extreme, the utmost or the final point. 

     In our current age I have somewhat of a difficult time thinking of anything we could purchase that we might refer to as ultimate. There’s always a more advanced this, an updated version of that or a faster model of something else, right? What you thought was the ultimate turned out to be the best for just that moment in time. So is there anything that lives up to the “ultimate” description? Fortunately for us there is something that truly ascribes itself to being ultimate. It was the ultimate act that has yet to be surpassed.

     This week we find ourselves meeting together on what we refer to as Good Friday. While we may refer to it as good there were many in Jerusalem during that time that saw it as anything but good. Here was their friend, their rabbi, their Messiah…hanging from a cross as His earthly life slowly faded from His body. Not nearly a week ago He had arrived in what was deemed the triumphal entry. I’m sure they thought that finally the day had come where the Messiah had come to rule. Yet here they were, watching in disbelief and wondering what was next. Trust was replaced with fear & happiness replaced with sorrow. How soon they had forgotten His words only days before. Right before their eyes they witnessed the ultimate act. The ultimate sacrifice.

Despite the horrific nature of what Jesus Christ endured the truth is that He voluntarily gave up His life. In John 10:17-18 He says this:

“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

     The Bible tells us He gave up (or dismissed) His spirit. In other words He voluntarily yielded it to the Father. He remained sovereign over the affairs of men right up until the very end. It was the ultimate sacrifice. The final sacrifice. It laid the foundation for His resurrection on the third day. This subsequent event  would become the lynchpin of the Christian faith.

     So, right next to ultimate is another word we have watered down – sacrifice. Could any of us even imagine this level of commitment? How does sacrifice look in your life as a man? At what level is your sacrifice in light of His sacrifice?

I don’t know where you are in your walk with God or even if you
celebrate the Easter holiday. What I do know is that you have probably experienced sacrifice at some level in your life. Do you remember the feeling?

     Whatever you did give up it either became a positive or negative memory for you. What was the immediate effect? How did that affect your current outlook today?

     Please join us Friday morning [at the Cabernet Restaurant from 6:30AM to 7:30AM]  as we explore sacrifice both in what it has meant to us and what it can mean to us in light of this special day. Please invite a friend, a neighbor or a co-worker. I look forward to our time together. 

Well spoken, Jesse. – AP