Remembering Jesus’s Death on the Cross

Today we remember Jesus’s sacrifice on our behalf. He died to take on our penalty for sin. He did so out of his great love for us. There is nothing we can do to earn God’s forgiveness. We can only trust in what Jesus has done for us and believe in him.

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Becoming a Christian means to humble ourselves before God at the cross of Jesus. It does not matter what our station in life is. Rich or poor, educated or uneducated, successful or unsuccessful, there is only one way to receive God’s forgiveness and eternal life. That is to humbly come to God realizing we needed Jesus to die for us. The cross of Jesus is truly the most equalizing place. No one is rich, poor, educated, uneducated. successful, or unsuccessful at the foot of the cross of Jesus.

Likewise we cannot earn God’s love. God loves us because he is God. He wants relationship with us. His love is a free gift for any who will receive Jesus. But it came at a great cost, Jesus dying on the cross for us.

Jesus loves us so much, so deeply, it is amazing to ponder.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Jesus Understands Emotional Turmoil

Jesus knew all along that his mission was to become our Savior by dying on the cross for us. The night he was arrested, he knew what was about to happen, all of it, the rigged trial, the torture, and his crucifixion. So he spent time with God the Father. In Matthew 26 we read:

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”  He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

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His anguish was such that we read in Luke 22:


And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Jesus knew he was about to experience being brutally tortured and suffer the agonizing slow death of crucifixion. Yes he did so out of his great love for us, but he experienced emotional turmoil.

When we experience emotional turmoil, we can come to Jesus knowing that he understands. He is our sympathetic high priest as it says in Hebrews 4:

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Communion by Brooke Ligertwood

When we partake of communion, we remember the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf. This week we remember Jesus dying on the cross for us.

Forgiveness from God is freely offered to any who will receive Jesus as their Savior, but it came at a cost, which was the suffering and death of Jesus our Savior.

Let us take time this week to reflect on the love and sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Palms Sunday Is Here

Palms Sunday is here and today in many churches children will enter worship carrying palm leaves made out of paper. It makes for a cute heartwarming scene for parents. The first Palms Sunday was anything but a cute heartwarming scene.

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The people of Israel were looking for their Messiah, promised one, to deliver them from the Romans, restore the kingdom of Israel, and sit on David’s throne. Jesus had brought Lazarus back from the dead. That along with his many other miracles had the people thinking it was time for Jesus to enter Jerusalem to be their Messiah.

Jesus rode in knowing what would happen. He knew the crowds shouting out Hosanna would turn around five days later and shoutout crucify him. Jesus knew what awaited him. Jesus knew the plan all along. He knew he had come to suffer and die for us to become our Savior.

There will be a day Jesus returns to earth and reign from Jerusalem. That day will come and nothing can stop it. The question is whether we will have joy that our Savior has returned or have sorrow knowing we missed our opportunity to embrace Jesus as our Savior.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

The Slap That Echoes Through The Ages

Monday morning I saw the news and at school I commented to people, “I read that an actor whose movies I don’t watch slapped a comedian who I also don’t watch on an awards show I never watch.” My post is not about that slap which in the grand scheme of things is inconsequential.

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There was a slap about 2,000 years ago that that echoes through time. It is a slap that is part of the drama of the Passion Week when Jesus allowed people to arrest, torture and crucify him. We can read about it in John 18.

“I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret.  Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.”

 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.

 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” 

Jesus was unjustly arrested and in the midst of a farce of a trial. When he was slapped, he did not back down. He called on the person to give the reason. Throughout the whole ordeal of his arrest, torture and crucifixion Jesus spoke the truth. He endured all of it because of his great love for us.

This is the slap that has echoed through the ages.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

While Dying On The Cross Jesus Said- John Chapter 19

When someone is dying, they tend to share what is most important to them. Family is often a chief concern for those who are dying. I have witnessed that myself as I visited people in hospice care.

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While Jesus was dying on the cross, he looked down at his earthly mother Mary and his disciple John and said:

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,”  and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

In that time and culture, a widow was taken care of by her oldest son who in this case was Jesus. Normally if something happened to that son, she would go live with the next oldest son, so why did Jesus give her over to the care of his disciple John?

In John chapter 7 we read

Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

This would have been about six months before Jesus was crucified. His own brothers mocked him. For Mary to be a part of the soon to be fledgling church, she would need to taken care of by someone who believed in Jesus. Also Jesus knew that John would outlive James his half brother who eventually came to faith. We have no record of his other half brothers or sisters coming to faith.

So Jesus while dying and in excruciating pain, made sure Mary was taken care of.

From Luke Chapter 23 we read about the criminal who came to faith in Jesus while the criminal himself was dying on a cross next to Jesus.

 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Jesus assured the criminal that he would be in heaven with Jesus. The criminal had no time to try to earn his way there, no time to do good works. It was only by faith in Jesus.

In John 19, we read what Jesus said when he died.

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

It is finished. Jesus was not referring to his suffering. He was referring to his mission which was to die for our sins, so we could be forgiven and receive eternal life. Mission Accomplished.

So while dying and in terrible pain, Jesus had the presence of mind to take care of Mary, forgave a criminal dying next to him, and then let the world know he accomplished what he came to do.

Jesus loves us, loves you, so much that he left heaven to come to earth as a human baby to become our Savior. The criminal dying next to him was granted forgiveness and eternal life, which shows that no matter how guilty we are or feel, we too can receive forgiveness.

Is Jesus someone you want to follow?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Details of Jesus’s Death and Burial Prophesied About Hundreds of Years Before- John Chapter 19

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah prophesied about the suffering of Jesus over 700 years before Jesus came. These verses are from Isaiah 53.

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Jesus was crucified. He was nailed to a cross and hung on the cross until he died. It was a brutal death that would normally take a few days. Jesus could have stopped it, but he allowed it to happen out of his love for us.

 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

Pilate, who had his doubts about crucifying Jesus, had a sign put on the cross as perhaps a jab at the Jewish leaders.

 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews.  Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 

The Jewish leaders wanted it changed. But Pilate would have none of that.

Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

Even a small detail about the death of Jesus was prophesied about hundreds of years before he came in Psalm 22.

All my bones are on display;
    people stare and gloat over me.
 They divide my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.

. The soldiers at the cross cast lots for his garment.

 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”

This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said,

“They divided my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.”

The soldiers came the break to legs of Jesus and the two criminals crucified beside him. They broke the legs of the two criminals, but when they came to Jesus, he had already died, so they pierced his side to let the blood flow out.

But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.  Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 

This fulfilled Zechariah 12:10 also written hundreds of years before Jesus came.

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son”

Even the burial of Jesus was prophesied about in Isaiah 53.

He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Jesus’s body would have been thrown into a common grave with the two criminals. but Joseph of Arimathea intervened and got a new tomb for Jesus.

Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away.  He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 

We see just from these verses that the death and burial of Jesus was in God’s plan all along. It was not some surprise and God had to quickly come up with Plan B through the resurrection. It was intentional on Jesus’s part to come and die for us.

Think about how much God loves you that he had this plan, The fact that details surrounding the death and burial of Jesus were prophesied about hundreds of years before he came is a faith builder.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Jesus Tortured, Rejected, and Sentenced- John Chapter 19

Isaiah 53:7&8- He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth
;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?

Isaiah was written over 700 years before Jesus came. The Jews were looking for the promised Messiah, the king who would sit on David’s throne. Isaiah 53 speaks of the suffering servant. In these verses we see references to Jesus being tortured and eventually killed.

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Pilate’s wife sent him a message we see in Matthew 27

While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”

Perhaps this was on Pilate’s mind as he tried to deal with the situation. The Romans were superstitious people and yet viewed the Jews as being backward and difficult. In an attempt to diffuse the situation Pilate had Jesus flogged.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.

They flogged, whipped, Jesus with a cat of nine tails which was a whip with nine leather straps with sharp pieces of rock etc at the end. The soldiers mocked him. The robe they put on him would have stuck on because of the blood from his back. The crown of thorns caused Jesus to bleed from his scalp.

Pilate had Jesus brought out and said:

Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 

But the reaction of the chief priests and their officials was:

As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”

Pilate replied

But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”

The chief priests answer?

The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”

This freaked Pilate out which is not surprising due to the Romans beliefs in many gods.

“Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer.  “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

Jesus finally replied

Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

Pilate tried to set Jesus free but the religious leaders persisted in a peculiar way.

 “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.

Interesting because the Jew despised the Romans and wanted them out of Israel. They had no love for Caesar or the Romans. Pilate presented Jesus to them saying here is your king. The religious leaders who despised Caesar and the Romans answered.

“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

Pilate gave in and consented to have Jesus crucified.

Think about what Jesus endured. Think about how he suffered. Then think about the truth that he went through all of that, the farce of a trial, the torture, the rejection, because he loves you.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.