Every broken place in our lives is an opportunity for healing, and no healing is impossible. Broken relationships are some of the most painful places we inhabit in this life. That’s why, when we’re confronted with broken relationships, we can take courage and find great comfort in knowing Jesus is the great Reconciler. He reconciled us to God, and he is more than able to reconcile our relationships with other people too. Check out this weekend’s message for more!
1. The cross brings reconciliation
- For all of us, relationships are such an important part of life––in fact, they’re life-defining. So one of the hardest things we encounter in life is when a relationship that’s supposed to build us up falls apart or becomes hurtful. Whether you hash it out or you never talk about it, when relational discord happens, the only way to move forward is reconciliation.
- Jesus reconciles our broken relationship with God. That relationship was not broken because of God, who is perfect, but because we broke covenant with our Maker.
Describe your life before walking with Jesus. How has the reconciliation of Jesus transformed you?
2. Jesus reconciles his enemies
- For reconciliation to work, someone has to pay the price for what’s been broken. It’s like if someone showed up at your house and broke a physical object––someone has to pay to get it fixed. Either the person who broke the object has to pay to fix it, or maybe you are generous and offer to just fix it. Either way somebody pays. If the offending person never owns up to what they did, things just stay broken. It becomes an elephant in the living room, an issue that is very much present but which no one acknowledges.
- Jesus reconciles enemies. It’s one thing for people who are close to reconcile––it’s unthinkable for us to “make up” with our enemies by paying for them. But that’s what Jesus did for us. We were enemies of God, and because of God’s love for us, Jesus reconciled us to God. He died for his enemies.
- Romans 5:8-10 tells us that Christ was willing to die for us while we were still his enemies. There is nothing that can keep us from redemption in Jesus if we put our faith in him.
- There’s nothing worse than being reconciled and then drifting away…we need to keep on believing in Jesus and pursuing deeper relationship with him. Our relationship with Jesus isn’t a cold agreement to get us into Heaven. It’s the beginning of a new relationship that we invest in for the rest of eternity.
Is there any part of your life in which you have slipped into distance from Jesus? What steps do you need to take to pursue a deeper knowledge of his Word and his heart?
3. The message is Christ in you, the hope of glory
- When Jesus takes over your life, we should become living, breathing witnesses of the glory of God. We should live lives that glorify God, and we should be seeking to see others know God’s glory too. It’s an automatic progression: our reconciliation with God should naturally lead to a hunger to lead others to him as well.
- God’s work is to take individuals who are far from God, transform them into the likeness of his Son, and place them in his body, so that together we might be the fragrance of Christ to a dying world. God’s purpose is to shine light into darkness in all things.
- Paul was willing to suffer to see Christ formed in others, and that is our role too as followers of Jesus. That is part of the self-sacrifice that we are called to as believers, to bear with one another in love. As followers of Jesus, God is calling us to be workers of reconciliation, to be at peace with all “as much as it is up to you.”
- Because Jesus went first in reconciling us to God, he invites his people to be those who “go first” too….even if the other person isn’t coming along yet. When we live lives of forgiveness and peace with others, we are telling the story of Jesus through our actions.
Who is God calling you to “go first” to reconcile with? How do you need to “pay” for what has been broken in your relationship with that person?
Optional Follow-up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- How do you feel about that?
- How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
- Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
- What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
- Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?