If you never felt pain,
Then how would you know that I’m a Healer?
If you never went through difficulty,
How would you know that I’m a Deliverer?
If you never had a trial,
How could you call yourself an overcomer?
If you never felt sadness,
How would you know that I’m a Comforter?
If you never made a mistake,
How would you know that I’m forgiving?
If you never were in trouble,
How would you know that I will come to your rescue?
If you never were broken,
Then how would you know that I can make you whole?
If you never had a problem,
How would you know that I can solve them?
If you never had any suffering,
Then how would you know what I went through?
If you never went through the fire,
Then how would you become pure?
If I gave you all things,
How would you appreciate them?
If I never corrected you,
How would you know that I love you?
If you had all power,
Then how would you learn to depend on me?
If your life was perfect,
Then what would you need me for?
The day after Jesus’s crucifixion was the Sabbath day, a day of rest. Can you image how strange that day must have been? I wonder if those who loved Jesus just sat and starred at each other in dazed silence. Picture the confusion.
There were some who were not resting. The religious leaders, wanting to cover all their bases, asked that the tomb be secured. They needed to make sure that Jesus’s body stayed put. Pilot gave permission and the tomb was sealed and guards were posted.
I just recently watched the movie Risen. I watched the religious leaders looking on as the Roman guards anchored the stone and placed the seal on it. I smiled to myself and thought, “Well, good luck with that!”
Because I know how that story ends.
It's 6:00 a.m. and I'm really tired this morning. But how tired must Jesus have been? He has not slept. He has been beat, spit on, and accused falsely.
Let's walk in His shoes as we go about our day today. Let's be keenly aware of what was done for us.
At 6:00 a.m. Jesus is standing before Pilot listening to their lies as they yell for His death.
In the next few hours, Jesus will be sentenced to death, mocked and flogged beyond recognition, and then He will drag His cross to Golgotha.
By 9:00 a.m., He will hang on the cross for the next 6 hours as the insults and mocking continue, as soldiers cast lots for His clothes, and as a criminal is promised salvation.
Around 3:00 p.m. today, Jesus will cry out, "It is finished."
He has paid our price. He has bought our freedom. Don't let anything distract your heart and mind today. Remember what was done on your behalf and live like one who has been spared simply because you are so loved, not because you deserve to be.
Tonight Jesus will be arrested. He has just a few precious hours left. What do you say to those you love when you know time is running out?
Read John 13-17. Key in on four words-forgive, love, obey, and unity.
Jesus told His disciples to forgive one another after His example; those who have been forgiven much, should forgive much.
He gave them a new commandment, " love one another as I have loved you."
He said, "If you love me, you will obey me."
Then He prayed for their unity and for the unity of those who would come after them-He prayed for us.
That night, with only a few precious hours left, Jesus was thinking about you and me. Let that thought settle into your heart as you get ready for bed tonight. Tonight, all those years ago, Jesus did not sleep. The terror of what lay ahead for Him was just beginning. He would willingly endured it because He thought about you and He thought about me and He loved us so.
Scripture is largely quiet concerning Jesus's activity on the Wednesday before His death. Many believe that today was the day Judas approached the religious leaders and offered to help them arrest Jesus.
Why would he do such a thing? Greed, obviously, but really, when he approached them, he had no idea that they would pay him.
Maybe because Judas never really loved Jesus or believed what He said. Maybe because Judas thought himself to be better than the others. Pride, greed and love for self only opened the door for the enemy to tempt Judas to betray Jesus - to sell him for a measly 30 pieces of silver.
That's all Satan wants to do anyway. He wants to tempt us to believe Jesus is not enough; that there is something out there better than Jesus; that there is a better life than the one He has for us.
Sadly, sometimes we believe him.
But not today.
Today, let's toss the silver coins Satan hands us back at him because, today, we know that there is nothing more precious than our Savior.
Have a blessed Wednesday!
Jesus was busy today teaching in parables – lots of parables. He covered obedient and disobedient sons, greedy farmhands, wedding banquets, even paying taxes. He told them what the greatest commandment was and what the second greatest one was. He denounced hypocrisy and He let the religious leaders hold it. He warned them about the signs of the end times, and at the close of the day, Jesus talked about how He would separate the sheep from the goats when He one day returned to sit on His throne.
What an incredibly busy day! I can’t help but wonder if He was trying to squeeze in every bit of last minute teaching He could manage to squeeze in before He left them.
I found myself focusing in on two things Jesus said.
Loving God with all our hearts, souls, and minds was and still is the most important thing above all else. But then He went a step further and told them that the second most important command was to love their neighbors as themselves. (Matt. 22:34-40)
Love for God and love for others. How well do I love? How well do you love?
Jesus said, “A new command I give you; love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)
And we know how well He loved us…
Today, Jesus cleaned out the temple for the second time in His ministry. Tables are knocked over and benches are sent flying. Jesus's righteous anger is justified because of His passion for His Father's temple. It is to be kept holy because it is the Father's dwelling place among His people.
That temple is now gone, not because it was destroyed by Israel's enemies, but because it is no longer needed. God no longer dwells in a building. For those who belong to Jesus, their bodies are now the temple where the Holy Spirit of God resides. Jesus expects that they,too, be kept holy.
The question for us today is this- what tables need to be overturned in our lives? What do we need to allow Christ to drive out of our hearts so that our temples might be kept holy?
Today Christians celebrated Palm Sunday. Did you know that the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey was a very important day even before it ever became known as Palm Sunday?
The Jews called that particular day in the Passover week, “Lamb Selection Day.” On that day, Jews would come to Jerusalem to select a Passover lamb, one lamb for each family. According to Jewish historians, the lambs were brought from Bethlehem to Jerusalem through the Sheep Gate. In the late afternoon, each family selected a lamb and took it home where they cared for it until it was slaughtered for the Passover meal. (Exodus 12:3-6)
But, on that particular day, while palm branches were waving in the air and people were shouting “Hosanah”, while Jewish families were selecting their Passover lambs and taking them home, God had selected a special lamb and had sent Him to Jerusalem. His lamb also came from Bethlehem, and He also arrived in Jerusalem through the Sheep Gate in the late afternoon.
This perfect lamb would be the very last blood sacrifice that God would recognize. And because of the greatness of this lamb, God would accept the blood of this one lamb for the forgiveness of the sins of all who would place their faith in Him. No more sacrifices would ever be required. This was the last Lamb. This was the very Son of God.
So “Lamb Selection Day” became Palm Sunday because God did the unimaginable and chose His only Son to be the final sacrifice for us.
Have a Blessed Week!
What do we do when our circumstances become so difficult that they threaten to steal the last thread of hope we have left? Rebekah Yoder has been there. This is her powerful story. I know it will encourage you!
Rebekah is married to Caleb Yoder and they live in Sumter, SC.
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