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A Good Friday Intervention

Jesus intervenes for us—and satisfies us.

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One of my favorite Chicago landmarks is the iconic breakfast destination known as Ann Sathers, on 909 West Belmont. Ann Sathers is a good place on one level. They serve gooey and life-changing cinnamon rolls. Ann Sathers is also a good place on a deeper, more personal level for me. It's a historic landmark in my relationship with my wife Laura.

Fourteen years ago, we had one of the most painful conversations of our relationship over cinnamon rolls at 909 West Belmont. We had been seeing each other for about six months. But unless something changed, the relationship was going to end. So together, we asked each other hard questions. We identified our hurts; we spoke our doubts. Truth and tears came out at 909 West Belmont. That painful conversation saved our fledging romance.

Have you ever had a conversation like that? You're not just defining a relationship; you're actually trying to save a relationship. Some people call it an "intervention." One or both parties have to say, "I love you, but unless something changes, it's over. If our relationship is going to survive, I must speak truth. I must plead for a response. I must identify one of your blind spots." Interventions are painful; interventions are good.

On this Good Friday, Jesus is staging an intervention.

An intervention for Laodicea

We've been looking at Jesus' letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor in the Book of Revelation. Each letter contains three basic elements: a commendation for their faithfulness, a rebuke for their lack of faithfulness (in some cases), and a promise for those who endure. Commendation, rebuke, and a promise.

The letter to the church in Laodicea contains no commendation. Jesus has nothing encouraging to say. Whereas other churches ...

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