It’s been a long year, and it’s only March. I’ve been on the road 47 of the last 65 days, spent over 220 hours in meetings, been on 35 airplanes for over 100 hours and waited no telling how long in airports between flights. I’m tired. I mss my family. I’m ready to go home.
I was the first one on the plane to Bangkok, and I had been in my seat for about ten minutes when a flight attendant came to see me.
“Are you Mr. Kientz?”
“Yes, I am.”
“May I see your boarding pass?”
“Sure, here it is.”
“Here’s your new boarding pass. You’ve been upgraded to business class.”
Weary travelers the world over long to hear that word. Thos who frequent business class don’t understand the envy we economy class fliers feel when they draw the curtain between us and the priveledged. Bigger seats, more leg room, fancy meals, better movies on bigger screens, a better blanket, a bigger pillow….ahhhh….Upgrade!
As I settled into my seat, very thankful for the unexpected blessing, I opened my Bible to John 2. It begins with Jesus attending a wedding. The host of the wedding ran out of wine, and Jesus’ mother brought the problem to Jesus. In his first earthly miracle, Jesus turned as much as 180 gallons of normal water into wine that was even better than what the party-goers had been drinking before.
The very next story tells of Jesus chasing all the money changers and those selling animals for sacrifice out of the temple. He was incensed that they had turned His Father’s house into a market where people profited off the worship of the Lord, so he put together some cords to fashion a whip and began cleaning house.
Chapter 2 ends with the Jews asking Jesus to perform a miracle to prove His authority. He tells them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days, I will raise it up.” Of course, He wasn’t talking about the building He had just cleaned out. He was talking about the temple of His body. Jesus knew that His purpose was to die for our sins. But His death was just the end of the beginning, because He would raise His body back from death to life. He would still have a body, but the new body could fly and walk throught walls!
But that’s just the smallest part, because Jesus’ death did so much more! It paid for every sin we have ever committed or ever will. It bought us life with God for all eternity if we will just leave our economy class seat and agree to move to first class, where we will get our own new bodies one day – bodies that won’t get sick or die – bodies that won’t be tempted to sin – bodies set free to love God without reservation or selfishness and love each other without resentment, bitterness, or jealousy and love ourselves without guilt or shame!