TD Jakes — Let Us Not Rend It
Hey, everybody, I'm so excited to have this opportunity to share the Word of the Lord with you, a powerful message called "Let Us Not Rend It". It's a fresh look at an old rugged cross on a hill far away. There, Saint John will tell us the intricate conversations of those who grabbed the garment of Jesus Christ and thought it more valuable than the flesh that they would rip. John 19:15 through 24, and there we will unfold, "Let Us Not Rend It".
The thing that stands out to me is that they brought Jesus before the courts, before Pilate, and when Pilate remanded him over into the custody of the Romans, they beat him so severely that many men died on the whipping post. They plucked the beard out of his face. I didn't say they shaved him. They plucked the beard. Every man in here who's ever grown a beard understands. They plucked the beard out of his face. He carried his cross, bleeding before he was ever nailed to it.
Isn't it funny how you have to carry stuff bleeding? Have weight on you and bleeding. They were abusive. They humiliated him. They ridiculed him. His flesh was torn. His garments were torn. The only thing that doesn't fit in the story is his robe. Everything else is poor and ugly and bruised and tattered and torn but this robe. The Bible says it was a seamless robe, rich, expensive, woven, handwoven from the top to the bottom, like the veil in the temple, from the top to the bottom.
Well, the Roman soldiers weren't particularly church people anyway. They weren't spiritual or anything like that. They were just doin' their jobs. They didn't see Jesus as anything except another thing on the punch list they had to do, like people who decided a week or two ago, "Okay, yeah, let's go to church. It's another thing I have to do". While Jesus was dying, they divided his garments amongst themselves. They didn't see anything valuable about him dying but his clothes. But when it came to this garment, it was the kind of garment that royalty would wear. What is Jesus doing with this? This bleeding, bruised, emaciated piece of flesh, this ugly scene has a beautiful robe.
And they thought it was valuable, so you know, he bled in it. He'd suffered in it, but they said, "Let's be careful with this. This might be worth something. Yeah, yes, sir. I come home with that, that'll be somethin'. That'll blow my wife's mind, I come in with this. This is valuable. This is, whoo, yeah, this is nice. Fit good too. This is valuable. Be careful with it. Be careful with this, that's somethin'". Jesus had to give it up because for what he had to do, for what he had to do. He had to come out of it, but he had come out of things before. Because before he came to earth, he was surrounded with majesty and honor and glory, and the host of the heaven and the royal diadem surrounded him, but when he saw you in trouble, he came out of it. He came out of it. He tossed it aside like it wasn't nothin', and came down through 42 generations, wrapped himself up in flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld the wonder of his glory, the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. He gave up what he had to be who he is.
When those Roman soldiers found that robe, they were so careful with it because they said, "Let us not rend it. Be careful with it, let's don't tear it. This is valuable". How in the world could you be so careful with his robe and so brutal with him? You thought nothing about tearing his flesh, but you said, "Let us not rend it". You think that is more valuable than that. You're no better than Joseph's brothers, who thought his favor was in his coat. And they thought if they got the coat, they got the favor, but the favor is never on what's on me. You foolish men, the favor is never what's on you. It's always what's in you.
The favor is not in Gucci bags and Louis Vuitton purses and finery. The favor is not in fancy hairdos in expensive clothes. That's nice, but the favor, you need a favor that if you had to be stripped out of all of that, you would still know who you are and know what you've got, and know that what's on the inside is always greater than what's on the outside.
You see, all of life is built on this one principle. Your life is a result of what you value. You will always get what you value. It's amazing to be amazing and not amaze people, though you are amazing, because they are not amazed by you. They are amazed by what they can get from you. Isn't that amazing? Isn't it amazing how they could be that close to the most precious thing that heaven had to offer and not perceive its value, and be careful with that which is corruptible, and be abusive to that which is eternal? It's amazing to me, but I don't know why I think it's amazing. It's no more amazing than men who can be good to their girlfriends and bad to their wives. It's no more amazing than people who treat other people's children better than they treat their own children. It's no more amazing.
I think, I think that when choices are about to be made, God will always send, will allow distractions to come so that you can prove what you value. This is a distraction. If you had any idea what really mattered, you would walk away from every distraction. You would walk away from everything that's held your fascination and held your attention and stopped you from gettin' the things that matter most in your life. You would walk away from that which is temporal and go to that which is eternal.
I know this isn't shiny, and I know it's not bright, and I know it's not beautiful to some of you, but all that matters is this, and all that will fade away is that. And why are you so careful with things that do not last? Why do you put so much into people that don't value you, into things that won't be there for you? Why do you go for that which is shiny and walk away from that which is rugged? They didn't understand the value of the cross. This is more than a service, and this is more than a ceremony, and this is more than a routine.
And some of us are simply tired of being careful with things that are gonna perish anyway. Why are you so careful with people that really don't want you anyway? Why do you put so much in the stuff that really doesn't care about you anyway? And you laugh at the cross and you hold on to the robe, but let me tell you, I'd rather have the Blesser than to have the blessing. I'd rather have the Healer than to have the healing. I'd rather have the Savior than to have the saving.
You can have your garments. You can have the robe. I will cling to the old rugged cross. I'm gonna lay my burdens down. I've been carrying too much too long. I've been trying to fix my life by myself. Give me that cross. I'm not as smart as I thought I was. I'm not as bright as I thought I was. I've clung to some dumb things, but I'm finally gettin' to the point that I know what is really valuable. Can I touch it? I know I'm not worthy and I've done some horrible stuff. I've done some things I'm so ashamed of, but can I touch it? I'm not worthy, but I want it. I need it.
There's somethin' about this. It's got my healing in it. It's got my deliverance in it. It's got my hope in it. It's got my future in it. I will cling to the old rugged cross. I need it. It's gonna have to be my daddy. You know I didn't know my daddy. It's gonna have to be my daddy. I wanna cling to it because there's still some parts of me, even though I'm grown, that's still a little boy. I need it. I need it. I need Jesus 'cause I'm broken in places and I'm hurting in places, and I don't need his stuff, I need him. I don't need his stuff, I need him. I want to touch this cross. Have mercy on me. I wanna touch this cross.
I've been in the club. I've been in the streets. I've been in the alley. I've been abused. I've been molested. I've been raped. I've been ostracized. I wanna touch it. I've been beating my wife. I've been beaten by... I need, I don't wanna go through what my daddy... I don't wanna end up like that. Can I get to the...? You know what? You know what? I don't know, no, nuh-uh. Why would I go back to what I already tried and do what I've already done? Why would I return to my own vomit? I don't want that. I've already tried you. If you we were gonna fix me, you'd have fixed me a long time ago.
That's it, I decided. That's it, I decided, made up my mind. I'm going all the way with this. I'm gonna be here when I'm strong, and I'm gonna be here when I'm weak, and I'm gonna be here when I'm right, and y'all might not like it, but I'mma be here when I'm wrong. I ain't goin' nowhere, I decided, it may be the only smart decision I've ever made. I don't know how this is gonna end. It might end with you goin' right on out the door to do your own thing.
Take your robe with you. You might be sittin' up here textin' your boyfriend right now. Take your robe with you. You might be goin' back to the same old stuff that you did before. Well, that's okay. Take your robe with you. But if you perceive the value of this cross, if I were you, I would come runnin' down this aisle and tell the devil, "I have decided to follow Jesus. I know I'm not worthy, but I've decided to follow Jesus".
It's crowded, I know it's crowded, but there's a little bit of room left right here for somebody at this cross. There's a little room left. There's just a little bit of room. I don't care what you've been through. I don't care what you did. I don't care who you did it with. I don't care how long you've been doin' it. I don't care how messed up you are. I don't care how rich you are. I don't care how many degrees you got. I don't care how successful you think you are. I don't care how pretty your resume is or how fine you are. There's a little bit of room left. At this old rugged cross, there's a little bit of room. There's a little bit of room.
If there's somethin' missin' out of your life, there's a little bit of room. I am tired of bein' careful with stuff that don't matter, and bein' frivolous with all that really matters. I'm tired of pickin' up stuff that can't pick me up. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of carryin' stuff that can't carry me. "Let us not rend it". Your priorities are in the wrong place. Everything that's been on you, everything that kept you up at night, everything that made you sick on the stomach, everything that ever made you wanna crawl in a hole and die is about to break off of your life today. Everything that promised you everything and gave you absolutely nothing is about to come off of your life today.
Today, you're coming to Christ. Today, the yoke is broken. Today, the bondage is destroyed. Today, the captive is set free. Today, somebody bound is going to be delivered by the power of God. Today, your name will be written in the Lamb's book of life. Today, God's prepared for you a place in glory, today. Lift your hands and open your mouth to God in praise. Every yoke is gonna be broken in your life. Every bondage is gonna be destroyed. Lift your hands and say: "Lord, I come to you right now. I confess my sins. I'm not hidin' it. I know I've been wrong. I know I messed up. I need you, Lord, in my life to set me free, to forgive my sins. I believe that Jesus died for my sins and that he rose up on the third day with all power in his hands. And I came to this altar to give the devil all his stuff back. We're finished, I break up, I quit. I'm giving my life to Jesus". Lift your hands and open your mouth and praise him.
I got this robe in my hand for a reason. It represents everything that ever tied you up, everything that ever held you captive, everything that's been on you that you couldn't get off of yourself, everything you've been tied up and tangled up in, every habit, every addiction, every soul tie. When I drop this robe, I want you to let go of everything. I want you to let go of everything that ever had you bound. Are you ready? Are you ready to release it? One, are you ready to turn into a new person and give your life to Jesus completely? Two, get ready to let it go. Get ready to kiss it goodbye. Get ready to be healed. In the name of Jesus.