40 Days with Jesus – Part 1

So last Sunday began our first look into the 40 days with Jesus series that will be leading up to Easter in April. Like everything here I have felt strongly led to do everything in my power to get underneath the “cutesy” side of Christianity and into seeing Jesus for who he truly is. I believe with all my heart when we get a glimpse of the risen savior, what he did for us on the cross, and the power of the blood that was shed for us, it changes everything!…
I set in a youth room years ago and heard Daniel Hancock unpack the Gospel in way I had never heard before. It not only changed my life but I truly got a glimpse of Jesus in a way that forever changed everything including the direction of my life. I said from that day that when people see the Lord I saw that night it’s life changing and this has been my mission from that day to do everything in my power to show the amazing grace that Jesus offers.
We began this journey into the 40 days with Jesus looking at the story through the eyes of John the Baptist. We saw that in Matthew 3 and in John 1:29, when he saw Jesus coming he knew without a shadow of a doubt that THIS was the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world! We took this snapshot and asked ourselves do we see Jesus in this light? Do we see him as the Lamb of God who takes away ALL our sins? Or do we find ourselves trying to create a better version of ourselves that he might like?… Which led us to the next part in the text in Matthew 3 where John warns the religious to be careful finding their identity in religious behaviors…Lost in the imaginations of their hearts. Religion sends hundreds of thousands to hell because the miss the whole point that its all about Jesus! (Matthew 7:14)….Church is good, and would even encourage folks to get plugged in and serve the local church as we are the bride of Christ. But… We can’t find our identity in the church. It must be found in Jesus.. That we gain Christ and THAT be our anthem first and foremost. 
We then see Jesus give us the model of baptism as he climbs down into the Jordan to be Baptized by John. Not to wash away his sins but to show us (by example) what he would do for us on Calvary. That he would die on the cross for the forgiveness of sins, raise up from the dead 3 days later, and then send his Spirit to us to help us in the broken Genesis 3 world we live in! It’s such a  beautiful picture of what he did for us creating the most unbelievable love story mankind has ever seen! We then took time partaking of communion as we challenged the church to spend the next 56 days, and 8 Sunday’s in a season of Lent where we are running hard after Jesus, finding time to be in his word and opening our hearts before him while asking him to reveal our hearts to us. The challenge was also to fast from anything that stands in the way of that! I can’t wait to hear the amazing testimonies that will come out of this study! Please make sure to come as often as you can so nothing is missed! I look forward to the days ahead as we make this journey in an intentional pursuit of Jesus!!! C’mon Lord! 
Ryan Hurt