THE MUTTON RESET BUTTON
John 1:29-34 says, “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the One I meant when I said, ‘A Man who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know Him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that He might be revealed to Israel.” 32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on Him. 33 I would not have known Him, except that the One who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The Man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is He who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.” (NIV 1984)
A reset button is needed when an electronic device has the possibility of error or corruption. Designers put the reset button into the design so that the device can reset and function well afterward. Loss happens, but in losing, the device is restored.
ERROR AND CORRUPTION
As people, we do deal with error and corruption which lead to many problems in our lives. Every single one of us deals with issues that break our life to pieces and cause chaos. Errors can cause more error. Corruption leads to guilt and poor choices.
Romans 3:22b-23, “There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” And even more, Romans 5:12 says, “and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” The Apostle Peter says (2 Peter 3:17), “be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.” Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” James, brother of Jesus reminds us, “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell” (3:6).
What do all these verses (and certainly other verses) tell us? The Bible describes to us that human living is fraught with error. We mess up. We all err, but do so differently in different situations. We all can be corrupted by our own thoughts, people around us, and situations we put ourselves in. We all sin.
Everyone from A – Z sins:
Adam is a 23-year-old college graduate who came home from college and lives in his grandmother’s basement because he has no job and doesn’t plan on getting one. Gran Gran pays for everything.
Bart always wants what everyone else has. He got a boat, an addition to his garage, and put in a backyard patio in order to keep up with all his neighbors.
Cory decided he would go to church with his family so he could find new clients for his business.
Ellen just couldn’t help it when she fell in love with Rosie and everyone else should just accept that this is who she loves. She divorced her husband and now lives with Rosie.
Fred told the preacher who stopped by his house that he just didn’t have time for God. Golfing, fishing, Disney, his grandkids, and working on his car all kept him pretty busy.
Georgia loved that she got a raise at work. She even told people and used the words “Praise the Lord.” When the offering plate came by at church, she still put in her quarter, just like she had since she was 8 years old.
Henry screamed and yelled at the other driver and gave her a double-fisted middle finger as he tail-gated her through downtown. He decided to follow the other driver all the way to their destination and then glowered at her as she parked.
Ingrid just loved it when the men stared at her. That’s why she wore short tight skirts and low-cut tops. God created her curvy and beautiful and she loved to show it off.
Lulu uses curse words non-stop and really doesn’t care. Lulu is 12.
Mona knew it was wrong, but she took the packages off of her neighbor’s porch anyway. They always had stuff being delivered and they needed to share the wealth.
Nancy knew that her rent was due, but she also knew that the Powerball Jackpot was up to 545 million. She spent all of her rent money on lottery tickets and was so angry when she did not win.
Odie turned on his computer late at night after his wife and kid went to bed. He put his computer in private mode and typed in the words “XXX videos” and wished he had a life like the real lives he saw in the videos.
Quentin hears the news about violence and angrily fires off a tweet disparaging police which affects his brother-in-law who is an officer. Turns out, none of what he was angry about actually happened and he has a huge apology to make.
Veronica gets emotional. When she is emotional, she eats and eats and eats until her emotions change.
William looked at the woman across the table from him and wondered two questions. First, how he could ask her out on a date? Second, how could he hide this from his wife?
You see all of us no matter who we are or where we come from have issues that corrupt us and lead us into error. It is called sin. We all do it. Jesus isn’t, which is why we need Him.
THE RESET BUTTON
John the Baptist, prophet of God, pointed Jesus out to the crowds who were following him and confirmed for all of them who Jesus Christ was. John the Baptist labeled Jesus’ identity in two important ways.
First, Jesus was the “Lamb of God.” He is the “mutton reset button” to put it crudely. What does that mean? John the Baptist was using Old Testament language to describe Jesus Christ. A lamb is used in sin offerings in the Old Testament by Abel, Noah, Abraham, and others. In Exodus 12, those that wished to be passed over and live to escape Egypt had their homes marked by the blood of the lamb. Another Old Testament passage, Isaiah 53, directly states that when the promised Messiah comes that He will be like a lamb led to slaughter. By stating that Jesus is the “Lamb of God” John is directly tying Jesus of Nazareth to the sin offerings in the Old Testament, Exodus 12, and Isaiah 53 saying He is the Messiah. He is the Christ. He is the reset button for our souls that was promised all throughout the Old Testament.
Second, John the Baptist also says Jesus “comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me.” What does that mean? We know from Luke 1 that John and Jesus were cousins and that John was already in the womb growing in his mother when Mary gets the news that she is pregnant. John was physically older. John began his ministry first. Jesus definitely came after John in age and in beginning His ministry. So how could Jesus be “before” John? Jesus surpasses John in authority because He is God. Jesus existed eternally before John. John 1:1-4 says poetically, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men” (NIV 1984). Jesus has the authority to reset sin in our lives because He is God.
John the Baptist reveals to us that Jesus has both the authority and the nature to provide us a reset:
Reset means forgiveness from God to us because of love and grace.
Reset means freedom from guilt because God will not hold us as guilty.
Reset means a chance to change the next time the same temptation comes our way.
Reset means losing the spiritual consequences of sinful choices we’ve made.
Reset means deliverance for our souls.
LIVING THE RESET LIFE
There are three very practical ways to think, act, feel, and move towards after we reset with the Lord. I hope we understand that if change doesn’t happen, we will be right back to where we started. Many times we are worse off than we were when we started. That’s just sin nature and human nature.
God: Choose His Kingdom
Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” What does that mean? That means when it comes to our lives we need to be choosing the path God has laid out rather than our own path. God’s way of life is not hidden from us… it is explained in the Bible. Choose His way when it comes to money. Choose His way when it comes to making a decision. Choose His way when it comes to raising our children and grandchildren. Choose His way when it comes to managing our time. It is insane for us to think that we can live our lives the way we want and not end up in a place far from God.
Choose Bible reading with coffee in the morning. Choose to set aside time to pray each day. Choose to manage your time so you worship with other believers often. Choose to forgive in relationships rather than hold a grudge. Choose to consult the Bible as the plan for our lives before all else.
Self: Altered Attitudes
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
We must transform our thoughts and get rid of wrong thinking. We sometimes believe that discipline is a negative experience with God because it comes because we sin. Discipline from the Lord is certainly helpful if we avoid our sin in the future. The most loving thing God can do is to show us the error of our ways and give us an opportunity to change. That is part of grace. If God knew we were sinning and did nothing, that would not gracious on His part. We need to pursue a constant state of purification and understand that sometimes it still hurts.
Focus on the purity and not the penalty. If we have confessed our sin to God, the then we are forgiven. The eternal penalty is taken away. The Apostle Paul emphasizes this in Philippians 3:13-14 which says, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Press on away from the penalty and towards the purity… that should guide our thoughts.
Others: Relationship Understanding
Relationships with other people are difficult. People are difficult. Sometimes situations people are put in strain a relationship. As we seek to live out the forgiveness, deliverance, and reset that we have in Jesus Christ, we must we must we must give that out to the people around us.
Who does this apply to? This applies to our spouse. This applies to our parents. This applies to our spouses’ parents. This applies to our spouses’ friends. Our friends, co-workers, fellow church members, other parents at the ball game, and even our church leaders. Relationships can be difficult and it takes an effort to live this out with the people around us. It can be even more difficult the more we love the person.
The Scriptures are full of passages that teach us to have an understanding with one another. Proverbs 11:25 says, “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Matthew 7:2 reminds us, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:12 commands us, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
What does this mean for us? We forgive as many times as we are asked to forgive. We give the benefit of the doubt and turn the other cheek. We do not bring up issues in a conversation that have already been dealt with. We are patient and give people time to change. We are patient and give people time to see the error of their ways. We pray for someone with whom we are having a personal issue.
CHALLENGE OF THE RESET BUTTON
The reset button is a powerful button. In electronics and technology, a reset button is a button that can reset a device and clear out any issues we are having. I hope you understand Jesus Christ offers you the ultimate reset button. Jesus offers a reset on our soul. Jesus also offers us resets all along our lives when we find ourselves drifting into error. It happens. We need a reset in Him. We need the “mutton reset button.”