Quarter At A Glance
by Jon Weatherly
Do you prefer to plan or to
improvise? Do you lay out steps in advance, or do you make
things up on the fly? Most of us probably move back and forth
between planning and improvisation, depending on circumstances.
But when someone else is in charge, we
like to know that this person has a plan. Starting a
construction project, we need detailed drawings and blueprints.
Riding in a car, we expect the driver to have a route
thoughtfully laid out. Invited to a meal, we hope to be served
something other than "whatever falls out of the refrigerator."
Likewise, we hope for a plan in the big
picture. Does God have a plan for life, or is it all just
random? We hope that there is a plan, especially when life's
events seem especially chaotic.
The Bible vigorously affirms that God
has a plan for human life. This quarter's lessons remind us that
God's plan has the cross of Christ at the center. As we
experience life, we find it filled with discouragements,
injustice, and suffering. In Christ God takes all of that on
himself, enabling us to have meaning, purpose, and hope that
reach beyond the worst of the world and welcomes us into God's
eternal kingdom (lesson 1.
God's plan is to rule the world
through the promised king and son of David, Jesus (lesson
2 March 9).
That king was promised as one who would build the house for the
true worship of God, whose own throne God would establish
forever. Through generations of hope and disappointment, God's
faithful people held fast to that promise.
With Jesus' miraculous birth,
marvelous life, torturous death, and triumphant resurrection,
God fulfilled His promise. He sent a king who, like His people,
was lowly, who ascended the throne as king by freely
surrendering His life to those who presumed to rule God's world
3 March 16).
Riding a lowly donkey, Christ approached
Jerusalem as its king (lesson 5 March
30). He entered Jerusalem's
temple as the one who builds the true temple (lesson 6
Yet He allowed a pagan ruler to mock His royal status and
condemn Him to death (lesson 7
What Christ suffered was the
punishment that really belongs to us, His people. He lived and
died not just in solidarity with His lowly people but as a
substitute for His guilty people. They had failed in the face of
temptation, but He was victorious (lesson 10
May 4). Their
rebellion brought them into bondage, but He brought liberation (lesson
May 11). Attempts at self-purification brought them only more
blame, but He brought genuine purity (lesson 12
May 18). Only in
Christ can a person find the way to fulfill the very purpose for
which God created humanity: to love God with all that one is and
to love one's neighbor as oneself (lesson 13
When Christ arose from the dead,
He revealed the mystery of God's plan (lesson 8
April 20). Several
despairing women went to His tomb, believing that His death was
but another disappointment, another random event in a world
where nothing seems to go according to plan. But Christ was
triumphant. He had done what He promised, what God had promised.
His death and resurrection fulfilled Scripture, for in His death
and resurrection every need and hope of humanity, expressed
throughout the story line of the Bible, was met by the fulfilled
promise of God (lesson 9 April
In the end, all of humanity will
bow to the king, the Christ enthroned in the highest place. He
alone can open the scroll that represents God's plan for the
world. He does so as the lamb once slain, now forever
triumphant, one day to stand as judge over all (lesson 4 March 23).
Indeed, life is not random. God
has a plan. The plan is Jesus Christ. Everyone needs to know
The Bible vigorously affirms
that God has a plan for human life.
Diligent study of these lessons will not only bless you
spiritually, but also aid you in discovering God's plan
for your own life!