Spring Break Teaching Tip

“WASH YOUR HANDS.” NOW GO BACK AND REALLY GET THEM CLEAN. FINGERNAILS TOO.” How many times have you said this over the years?

This Easter we are taking a look at Jesus’s words and actions during the weeks leading up to the cross. He repeatedly said, “Believe what I say. If that is too hard, look at what I do.”

Read John 8-12 please. Notice that there is a rhythm to his life that fits into the Jewish Calendar.

During Yom Kippur in the fall,
. He healed a man who had been blind from birth. He did this on the Sabbath and it got Him in big trouble with the religious establishment.
. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God and promised eternal life to those who believed what He said.
. He refused to condemn the adulterous woman, urging her to stop her sexual sins.

During Hanakkah, in early December,
. He said, “My sheep hear my voice and they follow Me.”
. Afterwards, He raised Lazarus from the dead.
He then went back into the Judea and stayed in Ephraim.

During Passover in the Spring,
. He returned to Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. His presence reminded everyone that He had raised Lazarus from the dead.
. He came into Jerusalem on a donkey.
. He told the Greeks who came looking for him that when He was crucified, He would draw all kinds of people to Himself (not only Jews).
. He said that He spoke the Father’s words; those who rejected Him would be judged by those words in the Day of Judgment (John 12:48).

Remember New Testament events always take place in the context of the Old Testament. These religious celebrations included Repentance, a turning away from sin; Purification–a cleansing with water so you could approach God with your sacrifice; and events that called to mind God’s deliverance and care for His people. Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, the One promised throughout the Old Testament to be a sacrifice for sin, to make atonement for the sins of people from all people groups or cultures. He said, “If you can’t believe my words by themselves, then believe me because of what I am doing….forgiving sin, showing mercy, giving sight to the blind, raising a friend from the dead.”

Do we believe what Jesus said about himself..,that He spoke what the Father told Him? that He was the only begotten Son of God?… Do you believe He healed the blind man? Gave Lazarus new life? Was without sin? Do these convince you that Jesus is the Savior promised all through the Old Testament?

As you once again try to avoid the flu, talk to the children and grandchildren about how clean we have to get our hands and how clean we would have to get ourselves if we were to come near a great King or Queen. Missing one little spot could spell disaster! It is like getting every little germ off those hands. (Hamlet could never wash the blood of murder off his hands. Peter Rabbit disobeyed his mother by going into Mr. McGregor’s garden. Narnia was frozen solid by the Wicked White Witch and could only be thawed out by Aslan.) Say, “Our hands are dirty with our sins of today. So we must turn from our sin and believe that Jesus is the Son of God, who lived perfectly for us because we can’t.” Try singing this ‘ditty’ to a tune you like:

Wash me clean as I can be
Wash me clean as I can be
And help me to be more like thee

He is our ATONEMENT, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, OUR SAVIOR. When we make hard doctrine easy enough for little ones, it makes our own hearts sing.

About Carol Brandt

I earned a B.A. in History from Florida State University and M.Ed in.Higher Education from Florida Atlantic University. I taught high school social studies before “retiring” to full-time homemaking and raising two daughters. Now I love being a grandmother to four boys and a girl. I have also raised five collies.

My husband, John, was an optometrist, who worked tirelessly for his profession through private practice and as a consultant, and served on the Board of Trustees of Illinois College of Optometry for twenty years.

Ernest Reisinger was my chief mentor in this warm-hearted application of Calvinism. He gave me many books! The Founders Journal and Founders Conferences, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and Charles Spurgeon have been other sources of Reformed thinking as well as the other warm-hearted ones listed in my book, “Warm-hearted Calvinists.”

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