Tag Archives: easter

Do You Get It?

 

Sandy Patti & Larnelle Harris  I’ve Just Seen Jesus

https://youtu.be/_yL

Listen to the confession of those who heard :

Matthew 28:16-17   Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
Mark 16:8, 11, 13-16
8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.
And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.
Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
Luke 24:11   And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
Jesus has risen.  Mary Magdalene has seen him.  Peter and John have seen the empty tomb. But, THEY. DO. NOT. BELIEVE. THE. REPORT!  After all Jesus told them, after all they have seen in three years of following Jesus, after Mary Magdalene reports she has seen and touched Him, they REFUSE to believe.  “Idle tales,”  hard hearts, refusing to spread the news, worshipping while doubting.  No wonder James wrote in his epistle years later about “being tossed about” due to doubt.  (James 1:6) These men did not know if “they were washing or hanging out.”  They were not even treading water.  They were drowning in a sea of doubt!

Before we speak ill of the apostles, let us look at them.  They are fearful for their lives.  Their leader is absent.  One of the inner circle has betrayed Jesus and then committed suicide.  All of this is strangely familiar and yet, sooo not normal.  It has been 72 hours of hell on earth.

What would my reaction be?  I would love to think I would be like Mary Magdalene. But the truth is I would be more like Thomas who I believe was from Missouri–the “show me state.”  Or, like Peter who flat out denied he even knew Jesus to save his own skin.  Or any of the others except John, who are all AWOL.   I wish my faith was strong enough to take Jesus at His Word.  It is more likely, I would have been locked behind a door and daring anyone to utter a sound.  I do not like the thought of prison cells, torture, starvation, or some cruel death.

They still do not get who Jesus is……………….  No miracle has been sufficient for them.  For Mary Magdalene, no other miracle would be necessary.

Jesus does scold their lack of faith.  Peter probably took it on the chin.  He knew he deserved more than a ‘talking too.”  Jesus told Thomas, “go on, stick your hand in my side, look at the light passing through my hands and feet;  go on do it. (John 20:24-29) I will prove it one more time. “  What patience He had.   “Jesus said unto him, “Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed. Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 29:20)

We can focus on their lack of faith, or we can focus on what they did after the truth dawned:  THEY CHANGED THE WORLD!

Lisa Bevere author of Girls with Swords says, “The enemy is not attacking who you were in the past, he is attacking who you can become in the future.  What he is afraid of is what is inside of you.”  (emphasis mine)   Jesus understood the spiritual battle these men were in.  Chip Ingram reminds us Heaven and Hell both have an agenda in every struggle we face.  Heaven’s agenda is God’s glory, our good, and furtherance of the kingdom, i.e., saving the souls of man.  Hell’s agenda is the destruction of our witness, defamation of Christ, and our very demise.  This is the truth of our lives as well.  But hear this:  JESUS HAS DEFEATED THE ENEMY!  We now operate from a position of victory.  The enemy has no right to us.  Anything he dishes out he does so with a specific set of parameters and “nothing can take us out of Jesus hand.” (John 10:28-29)   We were “bought with a price.”    (I Corinthians 6:20)

The apostles heard Jesus words.  They did what He said.  They waited in Jerusalem on the Spirit of God to come and make His home in their hearts.  (Luke 24:49)   Then, they always had the Spirit of the Living Lord at work in them and they did what He said.  They went into all the world to tell everyone the good news knowing they too would suffer as Christ suffered.  (I Corinthians 3:16)   The most striking reality of their confession is they admitted to us they doubted the report of the resurrection!  They could have left this admission of guilt in the past.  Think of the honesty of these three apostles as they write knowing it could be an encouragement to our times of doubt.

This same Spirit is alive and active in EVERY soul who accepts the gift of salvation as Christ provided.  It is what is in us (Jesus) that Satan is afraid of!  At the name of Jesus EVERY knee in heaven and hell  will bow and proclaim He is LORD!  (Philippians 2:10, Romans 14:11)   Do you get it?  Worship while you doubt is NOT an effective witnessing tool.  When you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, who was crucified, died, was buried, and three days later he arose, and you DO NOT DOUBT, you WILL BE SAVED!   (Mark 16:16)   And like the apostles, we will operate from a position of victory and authority for we have been given His Name, His Armor, and His Word.  What on earth could defeat us?   (Matthew 21:21)  Just because Jesus doesn’t do things according to our preconceived ideas, does not mean it is not Him.  His ways are NOT our ways.  (Isaiah 55:8-9)   I have said it before:  If it makes sense to you, it is probably NOT God’s idea!  Every single soul who has set out to discount the facts of this period of time has found Jesus and made Him Lord of their life. (example Lee Strobel The Case for Christ)   The facts are indisputable.  Jesus is Lord.  Jesus is Risen.  Jesus is Coming again.  Keep your eyes on the Eastern sky.  Your redemption is drawing near.  I cannot wait! (Luke 21:28)

Some of my friends don’t quite understand my eagerness for His return.  Well, when they see Him I sure hope they understand I will not be giving them my seat on the bus home.  You have to get your own ticket.  This is one ticket not for sale and not transferable!  Jesus has a ticket for you with your name on it.  You need only ask.  I pray you will because  He died for Just for YOU!

We started this  Easter season with this song.  Let’s put a period on our study by hearing it again!  The message is timeless.  It is Peter’s confession and evidence of the change Jesus brings.

 

https://youtu.be/NyPBVwOCYmM

Happy Resurrection Day

Yvonne Jones

Sadness, Silence and Sunday

Sadness, Silence and Sunday

 Luke 23:33 “When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him.”

https://youtu.be/X2fOLG-hTWU
by Hillsong, At the Cross

Matthew 27:51 “And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.”

Luke 23:44-45 “It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, because the sun was obscured, and the veil of the temple was torn in two.

Sometimes what looks like the end is only the beginning. 

The darkest moments are just before the dawn.  The cross was the darkest of moments for Jesus’ followers.  The brightest day was three days away!  As Christians, we must remember our brightest day will be when Jesus breaks through the heavens and gathers His children home to forever with Him.

HAPPY EASTER WEEKEND

 

He Has Forgiven ME!

 

https://youtu.be/R7DMXBzVH74
He Has Forgiven Me   by Damaris Carbaugh

Lapses in judgement, ignoring advice, “doing my way,” can have devastating consequences lasting longer than one believes possible.  This was the place I found myself when I first heard this reminder in song.  So much was on the line.  All I held dear hung in the balance.  I was convinced I would not be given any grace, nor did I deserve it, because I had been warned, “Don’t do it!”  And, I did it anyway.  I knew the dangers.   I thought I could handle it.

Unlike my children, who will tell you they always “have Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C and if we get caught it was worth it,” I do not have this attitude.  I am cautious.  I count the costs.  I am of the opinion the consequences are not worth the momentary pleasure.  But on this one occasion, I decided I needed to proceed despite the admonitions to stay clear.  I found the dangers others had foreseen to be real and it was NOT worth the price paid.

I suddenly knew how Eve felt in the Garden as the taste of the fruit went from succulent and sweet to suddenly bitter with an aftertaste I could not rid myself of.  Fear consumed me.  I needed a place to hide.  All I had believed could not happen………….happened.  I had listened to the lie……….”What you want to do is the right thing to do.”  (Genesis 3)  Scripture had been twisted.

Unbelievably, I too was granted grace but even to this very day, the memory of this time is painful and some of the consequences ongoing.  Knowing Jesus forgave me before the foundation of the world is all the more precious and the price He paid all the more personal. (Ephesians 1:4)   I can literally feel my sin and guilt being flung on Him and adding to His suffering.  (I Peter 2:22-24)   My experience of the consequences of my decision is nothing in comparison to the price He paid for me.
The words of this song are deeply personal and verbalize exactly how I feel.  They are my story and every time the Holy Spirit holds up the mirror and asks not, “Mirror, mirror on the wall….” but asks, “Whose reflection do you see?” I see another dark area of my soul Christ suffered and died to redeem.  (I Corinthians 11:31)

Every time I sign the song He Has Forgiven Me, as an expression of worship I am humbled by its truth and bow in thanksgiving before His throne of mercy.
“Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.  Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow,” (Chorus of song written by Elvina M. Hall and composed by John T. Grape, in 1878) a song from my childhood comes to mind as I recall surrendering my life “Just As I Am,”   at age thirteen but I am still being formed into the image of Christ.  (Romans 8:29, II Corinthians 3:18)

Life is filled with trials–God planned–and temptations–God allowed–for the purpose of revealing to us who we are and to provide opportunities to encounter the God who seeks us out and invites us to receive the forgiveness He offers.  Because He loves us so, it is our choice to decide whether we will receive His gift or “leave it on the table.”  (Matthew 4:1-11, James 1:2-4, Ezekiel 34:16. Luke 19:10, Titus 3:3-7)

I am so very thankful for His forgiveness!  Though I still must endure the consequences of my choices, I know He sees me as clean, pure, and holy. (I Corinthians 1:30, Colossians 1:22)   Not because of one thing I have accomplished but because I believe Jesus is the Son of God, who was crucified, was buried, and was raised to life conquering sin and death.  (Ephesians 2:8-9)  I put my life in His hands!  Thank you sweet Jesus for this love and mercy.

My Life is in Your  Hands by Kathy Trocolli
Treading still
Yvonne Jones

Bookends

Pietro Perugino [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

https://youtu.be/Ywzlq2AiAuM

https://youtu.be/Ywzlq2AiAuM

Everything to Me by Avalon

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away.  Matthew 27:57-60

Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the Council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph. And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.  Mark 15:42-46

“Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid.”  Luke 23:50-53

After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.  John 19:38-42

A tale of two Joseph’s:  Two very different bookends to the life of Christ.   A man named Joseph welcomed Jesus into the world.  Another man named Joseph prepared His body after Jesus departed the world.   The first Joseph was poor.  This Joseph rich.  The first Joseph wrapped the baby in swaddling clothes and laid Jesus in a manger, the last Joseph wrapped His Savior in a clean linen shroud and laid him in his very own, never before used tomb.   The Joseph of Jesus’ youth was a carpenter, carving wood.  Joseph of the town of Arimathea, was a follower of Jesus and had a tomb carved out of the rock.  Mary’s Joseph served as a father to Jesus.  Joseph of Arimathea served as a disciple, benefactor, and friend.  Joseph of Nazareth protected Jesus from death and provided for his early years and Joseph from Arimathea was unable to protect Jesus from death but provided a respectable  burial.

Joseph of Arimathea, as a member of the Sanhedrin, was now in a precarious position.  Somehow, he summoned the courage to approach Pilate and request the body of Jesus for burial.  This was granted and he took Jesus body and out of his own wealth, he purchased the burial linen and placed Him in the tomb purchased for his own resting place, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah.  (Isaiah 53:9)  Joseph and fellow Sanhedrin member, Nicodemus, completed the task of preparing the body of Jesus for burial as best they could as nightfall quickly approached and then Joseph sealed the tomb.  Silence now follows a day of unbelievable chaos and confusion.  All will be silent until……………….

All four gospel authors took note of the service of Joseph of Arimathea.  He was well known to them.  Had Joseph stood and watched the Lamb of God take away the sins of the world and because he was “looking for the kingdom of God,”  Did he understand he witnessed the fulfillment of prophecy?  I wonder if Joseph is aware the curtain in the Temple has been ripped in two and now the Holy of Holies is open to all?  Can you sense how this rich, wise, and religious man’s mind is spinning like a top?  Did Joseph and Nicodemus utter a word as they walked away from the garden tomb?

As awful as this day was for Christ, as He felt the hate, he looked across the faces and He knew He was loved his entire earthly life.  He knew He had accomplished all the Father had given Him to do.   Not one word He was suppose to say went unsaid.   Courage had risen from deep within, not only in Christ Jesus, but the women, Joseph and Nicodemus, a man named Simon, John the beloved disciple, and even a thief.   As His body lay on the cold slab of granite, The King of Kings was completing His mission.  He was facing the enemy of God and as He held out His nail-pierced hand, the enemy accepted defeat and relinquished the keys of hell and death!   His disciples had run away, this is true.  Jesus told them they would.  He was not caught by surprise.  He knew they would return, find forgiveness, and never again be fearful.  The rest of their lives would be characterized by great boldness, incredible courage, and the faith to move mountains.

Two bookends named Joseph play a vital role in the life of Christ and assisting Mary in the care of the Son of God.  A picture of the humanity Christ came to save: rich and poor, learned and simple, blue collar and white collar, fearful and courageous, family and friend.”  Perfect love had been perfectly provided for by His Father from first to final breath.

https://youtu.be/glrQXIl_YNs

Perfect Love by Darlene Zschech

Treading in Love,

Yvonne Jones

A Barren Tree, A Fruitless Nation

DAY TWO of the Week of the Passion-The Barren Fig Tree and A  Fruitless Nation

Jesus Curses a Fig Tree and Clears the Temple Courts

Mark 11:12-29
12The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.
15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.
18 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
19 When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.
20 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”

It was the day after Jesus had been welcomed with palm branches and singing,” Hosanna, Hosanna, in the highest.” Jesus had gone to the temple the day before but because it was late in the evening he returned to Bethany to spend the night at Lazarus’ home.  Waking early in the morning was Jesus custom for prayer and fellowship with His heavenly Father. He begins His journey back to Jerusalem from Bethany.  Having been to the temple the day before, He knew what was ahead of Him.  He had seen what was going on at the temple.   Israel was in the same condition as it had been three years earlier when he had cleansed the temple of the money changers making His house a “robbers den”. (John 2:13-17)  That morning the Bible tells us He was hungry and saw the tree in the distance had leaves on it.

The fig trees in that area would have fruit come out before the leaves would appear so Jesus seeing that the tree had leaves knew that the tree should have fruit.  Jesus never wasted a teaching moment.  The fig tree would be the illustration of what was to come of Israel because of their unfruitfulness.  It was not out of anger that Jesus cursed the tree.   It was a picture for the disciples of judgment to come.
Bethany was an area well known for its fig trees.  The village name means “house of figs”.  These trees were not bushes as we are accustomed to seeing. These are tree that grow large and have much shade.  Remember Nathaniel was under the shade of the fig tree when Jesus saw him.

The fig tree is a symbol of the nation of Israel.  Old Testament scripture used the metaphor of the fig tree to illustrate Israel spiritual health many times.

Judgment is coming! Israel has rejected their Messiah!  They have been an unfruitful nation after being given chances to repent repeatedly.
Now Jesus will enter Jerusalem, go to the temple and bring swift judgment to the retail market set up in the very place of worship, fulfilling the Old Testament prophecy from  Hosea 9:10 “When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the wilderness. I viewed your ancestors like an early fig on a fig tree in its first season. Then they came to Baal-Peor and they dedicated themselves to shame – they became as detestable as what they loved.”  Jeremiah 8:13 “‘I will take away their harvest,
declares the Lord.
There will be no grapes on the vine.
There will be no figs on the tree,
What I have given them  will be taken from them.’”
Jesus tells the disciples the parable of the vineyard to illustrate Israel’s barren unfaithfulness.
The owner of the vineyard had been patient with the fig trees.  Now judgment would come.  Isaiah 5:1-7 gives the prophecy and it is fulfilled in  Luke 13:6.  “Then Jesus told this parable: A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7 So he said to the worker who tended the vineyard, ‘For three years now, I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and each time I inspect it I find none. Cut it down! Why should it continue to deplete the soil?’ 8 But the worker answered him, ‘Sir, leave it alone this year too, until I dig around it and put fertilizer on it. 9 Then if it bears fruit next year, very well, but if not, you can cut it down.’”
Jesus had told this parable and the time had come to uproot the barren tree.
John the Baptist prophesied that this time would come.  Matthew 3:10 New International Version (NIV)  10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

After cleansing the temple of the money changers, Jesus and his disciples head back to Bethany.  When they pass the fig tree, Peter says, “Look, Rabbi! The fig tree you cursed has withered.” (Mark 11:19)

God is never satisfied with unfruitfulness.  He desires that you bear much fruit.  Israel repeatedly failed to be a fruitful vine.  But…. we fail and are just as bad as the children of Israel.

Jesus desires that our lives are full and fruitful.  In order to be fruitful, we must be connected to the true vine Himself.

John 15:8  “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples”

We must guard that we are not like the fig tree with lots of leaves that give the appearance of fruit or as Israel was with all their religious rules and traditions.  Both the fig tree and the nation of Israel were barren even though they looked right.

Remember in Genesis when Adam and Eve found they were naked?  They made their clothes out of fig leaves!  What a picture from the very beginning of man’s effort to cover himself with something that would be used by Jesus to symbolize barrenness and self effort.

This week pray God will convict hearts of the barren, fruitless lives which all of us find ourselves in so many times.

May this Passion Week Enliven our Passion for Fruitfulness!

Kari Jobe- The More I Seek You
https://youtu.be/b4crRPpqoW4

 

Last Words-Hear Cries

 

https://youtu.be/BBVzpmqnY-A

The Day He Wore My Crown, Instrumental

Seven sayings from the cross.  Jesus is hanging on to life by an invisible thread.  Every breath takes more energy than He has to expend.  Yet, seven times, He summons from the depth of His being the strength to speak.  What do these seven sayings reveal?  Dying words are memorable words:  Words of utmost importance to both the speaker and the listener.

Words of forgiveness.    Words of promise.    Words of compassion and care to His mother and disciple, John.   Words of heart wrenching pain.    Words of need.    Words of accomplishment.  Words of relinquishment.

  • Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. Luke 23:34. …
  • Today you will be with me in paradise. Luke 23:43. …
  • Behold your son: behold your mother. …John 19:26
  • My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? …Mark 15:33-34
  • I thirst. …John 19:28
  • It is finished. …John 19:28
  • Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.  Luke 24:36

What do these say to us today.   Oh so much!

What love and compassion Jesus expressed as He asked His Father to not hold to our account the sins being laid on Him both in that moment and from eternity past into the future until His return.  So often, we do sin without even realizing we are:  Our eyes are so blinded by the enemy.  In I John we are reminded we too can ask the Father to  forgive the sins of others! (I John 5:14-16)  How often do I do this?  Not as often as I ask Him to heap coals on their heads.  (Proverbs 25:21-23)  I tend to be more interested in recompense than redemption.

Ahhhh, today, I can be with Him in Paradise.  My salvation is not dependent on performance only on acceptance of who He is and the price He paid.  This is HOPE!  This is LOVE!  This is Salvation!

John 19:26 records Jesus words to His disciple John and His mother, Mary.  John is the only disciple near the foot of the cross.  Jesus four brothers (Mark 6:3) are nowhere to be seen.  There is no mention of His sisters.   Mary, is alone in her grief.  Her firstborn son is dying a cruel, and gruesome death.  She is helpless to intervene and her heart has been pierced.  Jesus speaks tenderly to her as John stands next to her.  He tells her to lean on John.  He transfers to John the responsibility of caring for His mother as an eldest son, charged with her care after the death of His earthly father, Joseph.    Why would Jesus transfer His sonship to John?  I have two theories.  One is, His brothers are not sympathetic to Jesus (Mark 3:20-21) and would not be supportive of His precious Mother’s loss because they were jealous of Jesus and His relationship with His mother and they think Jesus is “touched in the head,” as we say in the South.   The other theory is this:  His brothers would also be martyred (James, Brother of Jesus, Wikipedia)  and this would provide for His mother until her death consistently.  Jesus already knew His brothers would soon come to faith (Acts 1:14) and also die for the cause of Christ before Mary’s life would come to an end.  I tend to now lean on the second.  Jesus knew the suffering His mother’s heart would endure for the sake of the Kingdom.

We are told John took Mary into his own home and cared for her tenderly (John 19:27) as if she were his own sweet mama.  John escorted Mary to the tomb and he made sure she was among those watching and waiting for the gift of the Holy Spirit.  (Acts 1:15)

February 20, 2017’s post, When Heaven is Silent, covers this saying.  Jesus too experienced the silence of Heaven.  Was Jesus forsaken?  Yes, in that moment it felt like abandonment but the reality was God simply could not rescue His Son and accomplish all THEY desired to be accomplished at the cross—our salvation, the restoration of our relationship with our Heavenly Father, and the redemption of the world.

Jesus thirst was physical and spiritual.  He was past the point of dehydration based on blood and fluid loss from trauma.  The fact He is still conscious is miraculous and speaks of the physical condition of the Son of God.   His spiritual thirst is based on His trials of the past week.   The sins of the world are heaped upon His mutilated body and ravished soul.  His thirst will not be quenched with vinegar (this is just plain cruel) nor can it be quenched by His Father’s presence, for He has turned away.  (Matthew 27:34 and Matthew 27:46-47)

At this point, Jesus has given all He had to give and taken on all the sins of the entire world for all eternity.  He has done what He came to earth as God incarnate to do.  Nothing else is required of HIm.  He need only enter the spirit realm and retrieve the keys of hell and death…………..they belong to HIM!  He does this and once the keys are firmly in His holy hands He says for all the world to hear  IT. IS. FINISHED!  Sins debt is paid in full.  The serpent’s head has been crushed. All God’s children can come home!   Heaven sings!  The earth rejoices!  God smiles!  The veil is torn (Matthew 27:51) and we are invited into the throne room of Almighty God.  Let this soak into your sweet soul.

Jesus last words were “Father, into Your hands I commit my Spirit.”  He took His last earthly breath.  His Spirit returns to the Father (Luke 23:43) who in three days will raise His glorified body and His Spirit will then be shared with all believers.  The Spirit of the Living Christ dwelling in the hearts of men, (I Corinthians 3:16, 6:19, II Corinthians 6:16)  teaching them, bringing to their remembrance His words, teachings, lessons, example, and resurrection power!  (John 14:26)  God the Father, sent His Spirit with the command to go into all the world preaching the good news, casting out demons, healing the sick, and raising the dead. (Mark 16:15, Matthew 10:8)   He gave us His power to open doors, open hearts, and prove He is who He said He is.  To fully recognize the power of the Spirit of God is to be able to witness with courage in the face of persecution.  Jesus said “if they hate you remember they hated me first.”  (John 15:18, Mark 13:13)

These seven sayings of Jesus prove one last time under the worst of conditions He is indeed the Son of the Living God.  HIs love, compassion, forgiveness, holiness, and power on display.  Lifted up on a pole for all to look upon and be saved:  The fulfillment of all God promised His people in the wilderness to escape the curse of the snake. (Numbers 21:8)

Glory to God in the Highest and on earth Peace toward man.   He Chose the Nails, and for Six Hours One Friday He proved His love and forgiveness and on Sunday, God Moved the Stone and He will Still move yours.   (titles by Max Lucado)  This day was The Day He Wore My Crown.

Treading in THANKSGIVING,

Yvonne Jones

Soldier at the Cross

 

Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.  Matthew 27:54  (KJV)

And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.  Mark 15:39  (KJV)

Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.  Luke 23:47  (KJV)

This month has been a study in the details of the last hours of Jesus earthly  life.  What is missing in the gospel accounts is as important as what is included.  Each writer’s emphasis speaks of the work of Christ in their lives and is evidence of how we can see the exact same events and come away with such different perspectives and yet, arrive at the same conclusion.  This happens to me all the time!  I see things TOTALLY different from my closest family and friends.  (Like I see James the writer of the book of James as kind and compassionate and tenderly speaking to us as believers of how our actions are impacting others and my sister in Christ, Freda, thinks I have lost my mind! But we both know if we live as James writes we should, we would be living as Christ lived.)  Our current heart condition and our spiritual gifts greatly affect our reading of the Word.  You can see this in this blog as Freda and I will unbeknownst to each other tackle the same scripture and the result is a more comprehensive understanding of what the Holy Spirit is conveying.  Thank you, Jesus!

The centurion saw much this day not normal at a crucifixion.  This day was like any other in the beginning.  Hardened by so many crucifixions, he and the other soldiers were numb to the pain, emotions, and verbalizations going on around them.  They were “just doing their job.”  But as the hours wore on, things began to change.  This “criminal” in the middle was different.  He did not curse them.  He spoke kindly to the other thieves, He made arrangements for His mother’s care, He cried out for His Father, He had a look of love in His eyes even for those causing Him great pain.

He died way too early; like He was somehow in control of His own breath and suffering.  The earth and sky seem to grieve and become angry when He died.

Slowly, the numbness of this soldier’s job crumbled into an eye opening and heart rending explosion of what he was witnessing.  Suddenly, the stories of this man and all He had been doing and saying throughout Judea came to his remembrance.  The puzzle pieces began to fall into place.  He no doubt had heard the tale of the centurion whose servant Jesus had healed. (Luke 7:1-10, Matthew 8:5-13) News spreads fast in a barracks of soldiers.  He had likely heard Pontius Pilate’s question: “Art thou the King of the Jews?” and Jesus response to him:  “Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it to thee?  My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not hence.  Thou sayest I am a king.  To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.  Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.”  (Luke 18:34-37)

This Roman, a hard core, tough as nails, afraid of nothing and no one, soldier is turned into a man with a softened heart and his heart recognizes Jesus for who He really is:  The Son of the Living God, a righteous man.  He stands at the foot of the cross awed by this naked, shadow of a man and He knows He has witnessed the saving of his own soul.  Luke says “he glorified God.”  Did he humbly bow before the King of kings?  I believe he could do nothing else.

Was this the last crucifixion this soldier participated in?  Did he trade his Roman armor for the armor of God?  Did he go to find the centurion whose servant had been healed?  These and a thousand other details are not shared with us. We were given all we need to know:  Jesus impacted EVERYONE and EVERYTHING in His death.

All the soldiers at the foot of the cross saw these same events.  Today, you through His Word are standing in the same place–the foot of the cross.  What do you see?  May we know “Truly this IS the Son of God.”

 

 

https://youtu.be/f4whBsh9ovI

Chris Tomlin –Jesus Messiah

Treading in forgiveness,

Dedicated to my officer and gentleman……..only God could love you more.  Happy anniversary in Heaven.