|Theme:||Jesus draws people to himself. 5th Sunday in Lent, Year B|
|Object:||Several metal objects and a strong magnet|
|Scripture:||"But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." John 12:32 (NIV)|
As you see, we have several small metal objects today. Here's are some paper clips, a washer, a nail, some staples, and a lid from a jar. What else do we have? (Hold up the magnet.) We also have a magnet. What do you think will happen if we hold the magnet over the different objects? Let's try it and see. Oh my! Look how those paper clips are drawn to the magnet! The entire stack is clinging to the magnet. Let's try some of these other items. Do you think the magnet will draw the washer? You are right. How about the staples? Right again. You can probably guess what will happen with the lid from the jar, can't you? Well, you are right. The lid is attracted to the magnet too. The magnet has great power and will draw many objects to itself.
The drawing power of this magnet reminds me of something that Jesus taught about himself. The people who were following Jesus didn't understand why Jesus had come to earth. They thought that he had come to set up an earthly kingdom. But Jesus didn't come to build up an earthly kingdom. His kingdom is in heaven. He came to earth to die for our sins so that we could join him in his heavenly kingdom. Jesus knew that the day of his crucifixion and return to heaven was near, so he spoke to his followers, "I am very troubled," Jesus said. "What should I do? Should I pray to the Father and ask him to save me? No, this is the very reason that I came, and when I am lifted up, I will draw everyone to myself." The Bible tells us that he told them that so that they would know how he was going to die.
The drawing power of this magnet is very strong, but it is nothing compared to the drawing power of Jesus. He willingly died on the cross to pay the price for our sin. When we see his great love, we are drawn to him and when we trust in him, we receive the right to become the children of God.
Even after we become God's children, there may be times when we stray from his teaching and do things that we know are not pleasing to him. Does Jesus stop loving us? No. His love for us is so strong that he draws us back into what he wants us to do.
There is no power stronger than the love of Jesus. He was lifted up on the cross so that everyone would be drawn to him -- and everyone includes you and me.
Father, we thank you that Jesus was willing to be lifted up on the cross of Calvary so that we might have eternal life. In his name we pray. Amen.
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