An August Note from Pastor Rich


Some kids convinced their mother to let them get a hamster. She reluctantly agreed knowing full well she would end up caring for the animal. Her fears came true and she soon shouldered the responsibility when the kids quickly defaulted on the upkeep. One evening she began ranting about the children not pulling their weight and yelled, “How many times do you think your hamster would have died by now if I hadn’t been looking after him?” One youngster replied, “I don’t know, once?”

Jesus only had to die once and the cross upon which He died stands as the defining line of perfection. He was perfect and that is why He was on the cross and not you or me. We are not perfect, which explains why Jesus had to die in our place. Children are not perfect and that is why mother ended up taking care of the little critter instead of the kids doing it.

Last year, sports enthusiasts salivated when Warren Buffet offered to give one billion dollars to anyone who could submit a perfect NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket. The enormous prize simply required the correct prediction of the winning team in each of 63 games. You didn’t have to predict the score, just the winner, and you only had to be right 63 times. The odds of such a feat were 1 in 128 billion — and that is if you knew something about college basketball! If you didn’t, the odds were 1 in 9.2 quintillion (1 quintillion is 1 million times 1 trillion). Stated another way, you were 500 times more likely to win the lottery (and much more likely to be struck by lightning, don’t you know!). It took just 25 of the 63 games to eliminate everyone’s hope for the perfect prediction. You see, perfection is far more impossible than we can imagine and that is why our need for Christ is imperative.

When you rise and walk to the communion table every Sunday morning, what are you thinking? Are you feeling pretty good about yourself? Of course, through Christ, you are holy and blameless, you are redeemed and forgiven, you are sealed and you have an inheritance. Not only that, God says that you are to the praise of His glory. But what was it that made it necessary for Jesus to go to the cross? Yes, it was our imperfection, our sin, not having any of the above without the death of Christ. You see, Jesus was perfect and we are not.

The author of Hebrews, speaking of Jesus, puts it this way, “...and having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 5:9-10). He goes on to say in chapter 6 that Jesus died once and only once, and we cannot crucify him a second time. All of that because He is perfect and His death (broken body, shed blood and all) is sufficient to save every one of us imperfect people who have placed our faith in Him and then rise and walk to that communion table every Sunday morning.

So, the next time you begin feeling pretty good about yourself, just stop to think about the kind of perfection it took to put you in that mood. It took the perfection of a broken body and shed blood. “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow!”

Serving Christ together,
Pastor Rich