Saturday, April 04, 2009

Third time's the charm

Today’s Reading: John 21:13 (NIV)

13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.

Good morning!

It seems to me that salvation comes in “threes.” Take the life of John Wesley, for instance. As a young boy, he was saved from a rectory (house) fire that nearly took his life. Again, John experienced salvation as he made his profession of faith in the Anglican Church, took the vows of priesthood, and gave his heart to preaching and teaching the Gospel. His relentlessness in the pursuit of Christ-like holiness and determination to bear lasting fruit for the kingdom was the driving force of his life's work. This was John's second salvation. Yet, it took a special set of circumstances, borne from the tragedies of human weakness and failure, before John Wesley experienced what he had longed to receive for years – a very real and personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. His Aldersgate conversion occurred after John had been ordained for more than a decade! The assurance of salvation that he had sought was finally his, through NO ACT of his own. Jesus reached out and scooped John Wesley up, for a third time, and it would seem that the third time's the charm.

If we take a closer look at the life of Christ, we cannot help but see the holy mystery revealed in the intimate relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Trinity: three persons - One being, is a hard thing to wrap your mind around until you take a long, hard, look at Jesus’ life. You begin to experience the Three in One. Jesus is God: fully divine. Jesus is fully human, with real flesh and blood. Jesus is Spirit, actively moving and teaching as He leads us in the way, the truth and the life. Salvation is revealed through the Holy Trinity -Three in One.

For Christ's disciples, it is the third day that makes all the difference. After three days in the tomb, Jesus rose again, just as He said. His rising caused the gates of hell to be broken wide open, and the chains of death and separation were forever barred. On the third day, Jesus did what no one had ever done before; bringing everlasting healing and wholeness from sin and death to humanity's broken heart. In three days, the Father’s plan, the Son’s obedience, and the Spirit’s leading had birthed a brand new life for every generation, past, present and future. The third day is the charm.

It took three appearances after Christ’s death and resurrection before the disciples knew for certain Who He was, is, and is to come. Salvation definitely comes in threes. Take some time today to think about how knowing the Lord Jesus Christ impacts the direction your life. Can you identify the mystery of Three in One alive and at work in you?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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