Tag Archives: crucifixion

Deuteronomy 28; Mark 15:27-47

I have a hard time convincing some of the people I talk to that God is a loving Father who desires to give us the very best of His love through salvation, spiritual gifts, material gain, family, friends, honorable positions, victory over enemies, and just through being called His own people.  Even though anyone can read these promises in the 15 verses of Deuteronomy 28:1-15, there follows 42 verses of curses outlined by God that a majority of people identify Him with – just waiting to act out these curses on them. To be honest, when I read these curses, I shudder to think the God that I am in love with could write such horrible pronouncements. Take verses 53-57 which describe how when a town is besieged by the enemy that the fathers will eat the flesh of their own children; what could be worse? Yet, history of Israel reveals that this event actually did happen during a dark period of turning away from God.

So why does God spend only 15 lines of conversation to woo us, only to pound out 42 verses of what will happen if we try to walk away?  I think the answer lies in the story of the Crucifixion.

If we focus on the agony of the Cross which Jesus Christ suffered, we may understand the hellish torture that he withstood until all was accomplished.  The purpose of the Crucifixion, as planned by God, agreed and performed by Jesus Christ, and energized by the Holy Spirit was for Jesus to take on all these curses of disobedience for our sakes.

I hear this in the description of Christ dying on the Cross as told by Mark. Christ called out several times in a loud voice.  He did not say, “Oh, my hands, my feet, my head – they hurt!”  He cried out with a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?!” He could barely speak due to the swelling of His tongue, so He cried out, “I thirst.” When He said, “It is finished,” he did not whisper it, but “Jesus cried out with a loud voice” before breathing His last.

At least once a year, I watch the Mel Gibson movie version of the Crucifixion called The Passion. I do this, not because I enjoy watching the re-enactment of this traumatic event, but because I choose to shock my soul and mind with the reality of my Savior’s terrible death. The curses that I want to hurl at the mob, the false religious leaders, the Roman military, and the sarcastic individuals that dogged Him issue out of my helplessness to do anything about what happens to the Son of God.  Yet we are told that Jesus Christ voluntarily submitted to the torture, the travail of spirit, and the moment of earthly death.  He laid down His life when He was ready. We hear that even Pilate wondered how He could be dead so soon (Mark 15:44).

So even though it may be hard to understand how the supernatural love of God could utter the curses of old, I recognize that these curses and more, including the ones I brought on myself, were experienced in this Son of Man-Son of God who cried out in a loud voice.  A voice loud enough to be heard by the crowd.  A voice loud enough to split the veil in the Jewish synagogue from top to bottom.  A voice loud enough to wipe out the curses of old, restore the human soul, and usher in this age of Grace.  Grace to the very ones who deserved all the curses. If you fear the God who told us we would experience the consequences of disobedience through these curses, remember that this same God took on all these curses for us the day that Jesus died on the Cross.

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Deuteronomy, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament

Deuteronomy 26, 27; Mark 15:1-26

And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. And it was the third hour when they crucified him. Mark 15:12-15; 25

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And behold, now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground, which you, O Lord, have given me.’ And you shall set it down before the Lord your God and worship before the Lord your God. And you shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you. Deuteronomy 26:10-11

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And there you shall build an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones. You shall wield no iron tool on them; you shall build an altar to the Lord your God of uncut stones. And you shall offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God, and you shall sacrifice peace offerings and shall eat there, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God. And you shall write on the stones all the words of this law very plainly.” Deuteronomy 27:5-8

An altar. The Cross.

Was, and is, and always will be…

The greatest sacrifice…made by God…made for me.

Extraordinary silence against accusations spat in His face.

A broken body swathed in purple; a barbed circlet on His bloodied head.

The weight of my sin on His shoulders.

A heavy burden to carry.

The King brought low, brought to death. Perfection crucified.

Giving everything of Himself. Always willing. Always loving.

His death, His life, a gift of grace, a first fruit offering.

Redemption. Restoration. Relationship.

He gives all, and all He asks of me is all of myself.

A living sacrifice, prepared to worship, ready to rejoice.

Remembering His goodness. Recalling His faithfulness.

No longer bruised and battered. No longer a slave.

Suddenly, His reaffirmed treasure.

Suddenly, holy unto Him.

Walk into the land of milk and honey.

Enter into God’s promises. Enter into His peace.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan)

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Leviticus 18-19; Matthew 27:32-66

The description of the world’s inhumanity towards Jesus is dark and horrific. There’s pure meanness directed towards this sinless man who had been beaten, tortured and now has his body hanging from nail pierced hands and feet. First it comes from the Roman soldiers, then the passersby, the chief priests, rabbis and elders. Lastly, the insults come from the two thieves dying next to him on their crosses. What was to be gained from such cruelty? The extent of Jesus’s suffering is too much to comprehend. I can’t even begin to understand the pain of those who loved him and followed him to his death on the Cross. When I read and meditate on these passages, I am overcome with personal sorrow.  This is the God I love tortured and  hung to die on a cross.

Our earthly lives are precious, measured and finite. Two years ago, I sat beside my father-in-law as he fought for every breath before dying. He treasured his life on earth and did not want to die. His death left me realizing the enormity of what Christ has done for me. It would be unthinkable to ask an ordinary man to give his life for mine, yet the very the Son of God did that for me. Jesus chose the path of suffering and death so that those who put him on the Cross could choose eternal life and enjoy the blessings of knowing God. His death and resurrection broke the power of all the cruelty man could heap upon him. Everyday, His love for me breaks the power of the sin that once claimed my life.

Matthews words send my heart back to an old hymn I remember sung during Good Friday services, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross. Isaac Watts says so well what my heart knows to be true.

When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it Lord, that I should boast save in the cross of Christ my God;

All the vain things that charm me most- I sacrifice them to his blood.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down;

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown.

Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small:

Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life my all.

klueh

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

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Ex. 40; John 19; Prov. 16; Phil. 3

Please indulge me for a time as I want to focus my work on John 19 and the meaning behind this writing and its timely description of this season of life and rebirth…

In John 19:1-18, it has amazed me over the years what key decisions made that day of Christ’s death had from that day forward, particularly that of Pilate, to be thought and spoken of by so many great men. What my Lord endured for me was brought to life in the 2004 Mel Gibson film The Passion of the Christ… willing to be exposed to such scorn. While many of the scenes were incredibly difficult to witness, I believe that they helped strengthen my faith exponentially… to behold Christ Jesus in his sufferings… to behold Him, and fall in love with Him even if for the first time; to be still looking unto Jesus in utter helplessness. There was a scene in the film when Jesus was being whipped and the witnessing Pharisees needed to turn away at the sight of Jesus’ suffering… what were they thinking then having help to put Jesus in this place? Even Pilate seemed to have thought that Jesus might be someone above the common order. In the end, our Lord was made to suffer the sins of both Jews and Gentiles; that the Jews should first purpose his death, and the Gentiles carry that purpose out. But, had not Christ been rejected by men that day, we would have been forever rejected of God! Now the Son of man was delivered into the hands of wicked and unreasonable men. He was led forth for us, that we might escape. He was nailed to the cross, as a human Sacrifice bound to the altar. That day, Scripture was fulfilled; he did not die at the altar among the sacrifices, but among criminals sacrificed to public justice.

John 19: 19-30 articulated many amazing events surrounding the circumstances of Jesus’ death. Pilate refused the chief priests that the writing above Jesus be altered… perhaps God dwelling within his heart? That this statement “Jesus of Nazarath, King of the Jews” describing our Lord’s character and authority might continue? Additionally, the many things done by the Roman soldiers were fulfilments of the prophecies of the Old Testament including how Christ tenderly provided for his mother at his death. Sometimes, when God removes one comfort from us, he offers another in ways and places we never considered. Christ’s example teaches us to honor our parents always… providing for their needs, and to provide comfort whenever possible. Observe the dying words of Jesus as He breathed His last… It is finished; that His sufferings were now fulfilled… that all prophecies of the Old Testament, which pointed at the sufferings of the Messiah, were accomplished… that the ceremonial law is abolished; the substance is now come, and all the shadows are done away… that an end is made of transgression by bringing in an everlasting righteousness… that His sufferings were now finished in both soul and body… that the work of man’s redemption and salvation is now completed. His life was not taken forcibly from Him but freely given up.

John 19:31-37 saw Jesus lay His life down with his body speared. The very fountain of life offered blood and water from the pierced side of our Redeemer, signifying the two great benefits which all believers partake of through Christ, justification and sanctification with blood signifying atonement and water for purification (Philippians 3). Pilate not allowing Christ’s legs to be broken fulfilled Scripture (Psalm 34:20)… the paschal lamb described in Exodus 12:46.

In John 19:38-42, just as Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus stepped up to tend to Christ’s body after his death and show value they had for Christ’s person and doctrine, we are called to do our duty daily and leave it to God to fulfill His promises in His own way and His own time. However, in order to accomplish this task, we must prepare our hearts, for where God has a throne and an altar in the heart, there is a living temple in which the Spirit will be manifested (Exodus 40, Proverbs 16).

My prayer is that we continue to look to Jesus, whom, by our sins, we have ignorantly and heedlessly pierced, who shed from His wounded side both water and blood, that we might be justified and sanctified in His name. So great was His love for us, that He endured unspeakable suffering to set us free from condemnation forever… what greater love than this exists? Let us continue to live our lives in such a way that is honoring to God for His tremendous suffering, so that when people who don’t even know our name can recognize that there is change… that when they see us, they’re seeing You! In Jesus’ name… Amen.

Happy Easter all…
Greg (gstefanelli)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, John, Philippians, Proverbs

Ex. 39; John 18; Prov. 15; Phil. 2

Filigrees and gems. Rich color and finery. Garments beautifully made. Names engraved like a seal. Holy to the Lord. This is Exodus 39.

Jesus is betrayed and he is questioned about his teaching. Pilate asks,

“So you are a king?”

Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” John 18:37 NLT.

In Proverbs 15, it’s a view of a walking path splintered at choice–on the one side, the things God detests, and fools belching, trash feasts, trouble, and crushed spirits. The other side, understanding, gentleness, a hunger for knowledge, a continual feast, life.

  • A lazy person’s way is blocked with briers, but the path of the upright is an open highway. Proverbs 15:19 NLT
  • Foolishness brings joy to those with no sense; a sensible person stays on the right path. Proverbs 15:21 NLT
  • The path of life leads upward for the wise; they leave the grave behind. Proverbs 15:24 NLT

There was a time I never thought about the path I was on. I followed the map that was handed to me, until Jesus redirected my steps.

In Exodus, the priests wore garments with the names of the tribes of Israel engraved upon the gems. And in the New Testament, Jesus, my high priest, bears my name engraved upon his hands.

Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
    he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Philippians 2:6-8 NLT

A phone call this past weekend showed me how a path can seem so far, and yet so close at the same time. That map I once held is really only a choice away from me.

Oh, God, help me to always seek and choose truth.

12 Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. 17 But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. 18 Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy. Philippians 2:12-18 NLT, emphasis mine.

Hold firmly to the word of life.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, John, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Philippians, Proverbs

Genesis 41; Mark 11; Job 7; Romans 11

Traffic was snarled and the streets of Baltimore were packed Tuesday as the Ravens returned victorious to their hometown.  Even for the non football fan (me),  the pictures of the jubilant fans warmed the heart. Young and old, black and white, rich and poor cheered their heroes on. Folks weren’t thinking about the state of the economy, the war in Afghanistan or the present healthcare situation.  Their team gave them deliverance, albeit temporary from the everyday events and pressures that dampen the spirit.

Jesus’s triumphal entry in Jerusalem appeared to have the same effect on the people of Israel. People stopped what they were doing to take notice and pay homage to their hero. They were willing to lay down their precious clothing (difficult and expensive to come by in those days) on the street for their king and risk punishment at Roman hands for causing something akin to a riot. Just as I couldn’t possibly imagine Baltimore turning on their beloved team, it’s difficult to understand  the people of Jerusalem turning on Jesus and crying out for his crucifixion just days later.

Perhaps the even more difficult thing to understand is that Jesus would continue this long, tortuous trek to his death for the love of the very people who pronounced his death sentence. He took that long, hard road for the love of you and I.  Too often, I take this for granted and yet when I consider how Jesus chose to spend the last days of his life on earth, I am amazed at how he continued forward fully knowing the pain ahead. Amazing grace, indeed.  God knows why we are rich recipients of such love.  It’s for his beautiful glory. He invites us into this celebration every day.

Kathy

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Genesis, Job, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Mark, Romans

Numbers 17, Numbers 18, Numbers 19, Mark 15:1-25

Read at –   http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers%2017,18,19;%20Mk%2015:1-25&version=NKJV

Numbers 17:5          It shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom; thus I will rid Myself of the complaints of the children of Israel, which they make  … behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds. … , “Bring Aaron’s rod back before the Testimony, to be kept as a sign against the rebels, that you may put their complaints away from Me, lest they die.”

               The Sin of Complaining is so serious that God had to physically demonstrate to His people that He deemed to “put their complaints away from Me, lest they die.” God calls those who complain “rebels”.

                Am I living in rebellion against God? Hhhhhmmmmm…… NO wonder I need the Savior the Lord Jesus Christ!!

How many thoughtless complaints do I think or mutter about the temporal without a thought to the eternal repercussions? Who is listening to me? Why do I put forth such effort when God gives me His remedy for my healthy psychology and productive spiritual life? Philippians 4:4-9, 19-20

Numbers 18             The Lord said to Aaron: “You …shall bear the iniquity related to the sanctuary, and … associated with your priesthood.  …  I am your portion and your inheritance.”

Numbers 19  a red heifer without blemish, …  it is for purifying from sin.

               “For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.” The Lord God Almighty instructed the priesthood regarding removing iniquities and giving them the highest reward, Himself for their portion and inheritance.

Leviticus 11:44-45; Leviticus 19:2; Leviticus 20:7; Numbers 15:40 

God does not change and neither does His Word. Malachi 3:6, Matthew 24:35

                Lord, these days I find myself praying harder and deeper than ever before. It seems that as I breathe, I grieve. I don’t know what You are doing in the heavenlies or what is going to happen here on earth, but the sin is escalating, the venom of people against You in governments is increasing, Oh…. You have me praying in ways I don’t even know. Thank You for not having me complain, for that does NO GOOD. In fact, when I have done that, I promote the problem instead of praying Your Word for Your purposeful, effective change for Your glory alone!

            Please move the hearts of Your people to pray without ceasing, to storm Your Throne, going to our Royal High Priest Jesus to change the spiritual climate, to make us holy as You are holy, to be fruitful in the Holy Spirit now and until You return.

               I am sick inside. The pain moves me to be surrendered to serve You wherever You place me. Please Lord Jesus, send many of Your workers. Convict us who are called by Your Name to confess You, Jesus, as Lord, to repent, to worship You and testify of You, the only Sovereign God.

Romans 8:28; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Romans 12:1-2; Proverbs 9:10

Mark 15:1-25                        Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He answered and said to him, “It is as you say.” … “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!” … Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.

                This Jesus is our High Priest Who took upon Himself the sins of the people away from the Lord God Almighty, and purified us who believe and live surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. 

                  I praise and thank you Lord Jesus Christ for Your courageous victory over sin and death out of immeasurable love for me! Please continue changing me more into Your image so many people will see You, and then surrender, love, obey and worship You now and forever! I yearn to see Your Glory here on earth as it is in Heaven!! Magnify Yourself through Your children Lord Jesus! Amen!!

John 1:29; 1 John 2:2; Romans 1:20; Romans 5:8-21; Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 4:14-16; Hebrews 5:5-6; Hebrews 7:20-28; Hebrews 8:1-6; Hebrews 9:23-28; Hebrews 10:19-23; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:4-6

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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