Tag Archives: Holy Week

Triumph and Contrast, Part 7

Jesus crying out in a loud voice saying  “…Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” (Luke 23:46, NASB) was a demonstration that He was triumphant. His death was not the end. His death was the beginning.

Crucifixion

The Cross at Groom
Groom, Texas

The cry was a cry of Triumph and Victory, not defeat. Jesus had conquered death. The cry was a final prayer from Jesus to God that demonstrated:

Intimacy

The despair shown by Jesus’ 4th statement was replaced by intimacy. The Son and the Father have a restored relationship. Jesus knows the Father is with Him.

Trust

Jesus demonstrated He has full trust in God, His Father, to receive Him into His eternal destiny.

Surrender

Jesus surrenders His life into the Fathers hands. He had completed His mission and it was time to return to the heavenly realm.

Then Jesus took His last breath. He was buried in a borrowed tomb just before the Sabbath began. The tomb was sealed and a Roman centurion was posted by the sealed tomb because the Roman government wanted to make sure that Jesus’ followers did not steal the body at night and tell people He had risen from the dead. (Matthew 27:62-66).

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This is My Body – broken for you,
This is My Blood – shed for you.

This took place on Friday. Saturday was the sabbath and the world was silent. To be continued…


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Triumph and Contrast, Part 6

We’ve seen the deity and humanity of Jesus from the cross as He suffered because of our sins. God sent his beloved Son to this world so mankind would be saved from the wrath of sin (John 3:16). It is a gift to extended to all yet not accepted by all.

The Apostle Luke recorded an event, in Luke 19:1-10, where Zacchaeus met Jesus. I remember learning this cute little song about Zacchaeus, when I was a child.

“Zacchaeus was a very little man ,
and a very little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree
For the Lord he wanted to see.

And when the Savior passed that way
He looked up in the tree.
And said, ‘Zacchaeus, you come down!
For I’m going to your house today!
For I’m going to your house today!’

Zacchaeus was a very little man,
But a happy man was he,
For he had seen the Lord that day
And a happy man was he;
And a very happy man was he.”

The real truth to this song was much more than Zacchaeus seeing Jesus. It was Jesus who saved Zacchaeus and his family that day. This was Jesus’ mission – “The Son of Man came to find lost people and save them.” (Luke 19:10, NCV)

The message from God to mankind is one of Atonement and Reconciliation. St. Paul wrote about this Atonement when he said:

23 Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard, 24 and all need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ. 25 God sent him to die in our place to take away our sins. We receive forgiveness through faith in the blood of Jesus’ death. This showed that God always does what is right and fair, as in the past when he was patient and did not punish people for their sins.(Romans 3:23-25, NCV)

And St. Paul wrote about Reconciliation when he said:

17 If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new! 18 All this is from God. Through Christ, God made peace between us and himself, and God gave us the work of telling everyone about the peace we can have with him. 19 God was in Christ, making peace between the world and himself. In Christ, God did not hold the world guilty of its sins. And he gave us this message of peace. (2 Corinthians 5:17-19, NCV)

The Apostle John recorded the last public prayer of Jesus in John 17. This is the LORD’S Prayer. John recorded Jesus saying that He “finished the work He was given to do” (John 17:4, NCV).

Crucifixion

The Cross at Groom
Groom, Texas

In the 6th statement from the cross, Jesus uttered “It is Finished. (John 19:30, NCV) There was nothing left for Him to do. He had completed the work of redemption.

Fanny Crosby wrote the lyrics to the hymn, Redeemed, in 1882. The first verse is:

Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy,
His child and forever I am.

Jesus died on the cross so you could have eternal life. He said, “It is finished.” (John 19:30, NCV)  It is a free gift, available to all who accept the gift. Have you been redeemed? To be continued…


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Triumph and Contrast, Part 5

Thirst is a craving for fluids. A decrease in the quantity of water or an increase in the osmolite concentration causes the brain to trigger a craving for thirst. This is basic physiology from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirst.

Remember it was late in the day and Jesus had already be arrested, tried, beaten and nailed to the cross. He hung there for 4-6 hours when He uttered these two words, “I Thirst”, (John 19:28, NCV). Jesus was thirsty. His body was in a stage of shutdown and he was extremely thirst.

Crucifixion

The Cross at Groom
Groom, Texas

The same Jesus that asked for a sip of water is the same Jesus who called Himself, the Living Water and demonstrated the He was the agent of God who uses the symbol of water to bring life.

  • The first miracle Jesus performed was turning water to wine at a friend of the family wedding celebration. (John 2:1-11)
  • Jesus met with Nicodemus to discuss being born of water. (John 3:1-21)
  • Jesus met with a Samaritan women at a water well where He offered her to drink from “living water” (John 4:1-14)
  • Jesus healed a sick person who had been waiting for help to get into the waters of the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-9)
  • Jesus walks on water and brings calm to a group of His followers who were in a stormy situation on a boat on the Lake of Galilee. (John 6:16-21)
  • Jesus announced that He was the source of “Living Water.” (John 7:37-39)

Psalm 42:1-2 says,

As a deer thirsts for streams of water,
    so I thirst for you, God.
I thirst for the living God.
    When can I go to meet with him?

Jesus cried out with the psalmist; He was thirsting for the presence and fellowship of God the Father during their separation on the Cross.

The Apostle John wrote in Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Let the one who hears this say, “Come!” Let whoever is thirsty come; whoever wishes may have the water of life as a free gift.

Are you thirsty? Have you received the Living Water? To be continued…


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Triumph and Contrast, Part 4

One of the most difficult things to understand about Jesus is the contrast of His dual nature – fully God and fully man. How can Jesus be God’s Son and human at the same time? This paradox about  Jesus is difficult for many people to fully understand and accept.

Hebrews 2:5-18 describes how God took on the form of mankind through His Son, Jesus, so that mankind could be saved from sin and wickedness that permeates this world.

Crucifixion

The Cross at Groom
Groom, Texas

 

Despair

In yesterday’s post, we saw Jesus demonstrating humanity and compassion. Today we see Jesus exhibiting despair. Another contrast to His deity.

The Gospel of Mark records the 4th statement uttered by Jesus while He hung on the cross. In a loud and strong voice, He shouted, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Mark 15:34)

Why in the world would Jesus, the Son of God, utter such a thing? Jesus became the sacrificial lamb who bore the sins of the world. The Apostle Mark recorded in verse 33 that at noon, the sky became very dark. And it remained dark for three hours before Jesus shout the question of despair. What caused this unexplained darkness?

God is morally perfect and holy. He hates sin and cannot be in the presence of sin. When Jesus took on the sin of the world, God could no longer look at him. The sky went dark. God essentially turned His back on His only begotten son. The pain of that momentary separation was more agonizing than the physical torture Jesus endured.

Have you ever uttered the question, “God, why have you forsaken me?” If you are a Christian, God will never turn His back on you. Jesus has paid the price for your sin. “I leave never you; I will never forsake you.” (Hebrews 5:13 NCV). To be continued…


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Triumph and Contrast, Part 3

Jesus interceding for those “who know not what they do” and announcing assurance are examples of Jesus’ deity.

The Apostle John, the one Jesus was closest to, wrote:

But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.” 1 John 1:9 NCV

Forgiveness and assurance go hand in hand. Jesus demonstrated that from the cross by His first two statements.


Crucifixion

The Cross at Groom
Groom, Texas

 

Compassion and Humanity

With the third statement from the cross, Jesus demonstrates His compassion and humanity, a contrast to His deity.

25 Standing near his cross were Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the follower he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son.” 27 Then he said to the follower, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, the follower took her to live in his home. (John 19:25-27, NCV)

Jesus’ expression of concern for Mary was beyond that of a Savior. His expression demonstrates compassion as a son would have for his mother. This act demonstrates Jesus not only cares for His mother Mary, but also for our well-being and direction in life, even if we do not understand God’s plan. Jesus call us His friend (John 15:9-15). As friends of Christ, we should demonstrate a similar compassion of others on His behalf.

Have you experienced the compassion and humanity of Jesus? Is Jesus your friend? He is mine.  To be continued…


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