The suffering Servant

Isaiah 52.12

“See, my Servant will act wisely;
    He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
Just as there were many who were appalled at Him—
    His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
    and His form marred beyond human likeness—
 so He will sprinkle many nations,
    and kings will shut their mouths because of Him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
    and what they have not heard, they will understand. Isaiah 52:13-15

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Hope for today: pray to our Father

Hope

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-13

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Secure the tomb…

John 2.19

“The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, His disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that He has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.
Matthew 27:62-66

Now, how secure would that have to be?
Can finite man secure an infinite, all-powerful God?

66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal
on the stone and posting the
guard.
Matthew 27:66

Jesus did say…

“Jesus answered them,
“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19

Here it is one more time, the enemy meaning it for harm but God using it for good!
The sealing of the tomb by the Roman guard will make it impossible for anyone to seal Jesus’ body! Man – once again proving 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 to be true.

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

1 Corinthians 1.25

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The body of Christ

Luke 23.52

“Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.”
Luke 23:50-56

Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When He had said this, He breathed His last (Luke 23:46). O what a Wonderful Savior!

The above Scriptures tells us that God gave Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus the  assignment of taking care of Jesus’ body.

“Now Joseph was disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews (John 19:38b).” The above verses also lets us know that he was a good and upright man who was waiting for the Kingdom of God. We know Nicodemus had seen some of the miracles and had questions. He had previously and secretively sought Jesus out by night to get his questions answered (John 3:1-21).

We find both men in these Scriptures as proof that God is faithful to His promises. In Jeremiah 29:13 the Lord declares, You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. In spite of all the Sanhedrin and Jewish leaders had going on, Joseph and Nicodemus were drawn to Jesus as the the promised Messiah.

Mark 14:64 states that the whole council condemned Jesus as deserving death. The above passage, Luke 23:51 tells us that Joseph did not consent to the Council’s decision and action. This leads me to believe that Joseph and Nicodemus was not present for the vote to murder Jesus. These men would have all been well versed in the Scriptures including the prophecies regarding the Messiah. Most likely, they chose to stay away and were busy  preparing for the burial of the precious Lamb of God and Savior of the world.

Once Jesus died, they would need to move quickly for it was the day of preparation and no work could be done on the Sabbath. They would need wrapping cloths and spices (75 pounds) and of course, a tomb close to where Jesus died to save time.

Joseph, the secret disciple, is now bold and courageous, risks it all and goes to Pilate and asks for Jesus’ body. Pilate is surprised that Jesus is already dead but agrees.

In my mind, I see these men carefully removing the nails, and lovingly and gently removing Jesus’ battered, torn, and bloodied body from the cross and carrying him to the tomb that was in close location to the place He willingly shed His blood for all mankind.

“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. 39 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. 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 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. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.” John 19:38-42

The Sabbath is coming so they must go…they roll a stone against the entrance. The women were there…

The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.” Luke 23:55-56

Matthew 27.59-60

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Hope for today: sufficient grace

Hope

8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

Surely, this man was the Son of God

Mark 15.39

And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus,
saw how He died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
Mark 15:39

Our Lord was on the cross for six long hours, all the while being faithful to his assignment to seek and save the lost. Even as He gives up His spirit, we see man drawn to Him, conviction of sin, and belief confessed that He was the Son of God!

Jesus had stated that this would happen:

27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. John 12:27-33

As we look at the at the centurion, we have the confirmation that Jesus, even on the cross, is drawing to the world, the ‘whosoever will,’ not just the Jew. I am reminded of Paul’s description of the Jew’s blessing and heritage, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen (Romans 9:4-5).

The centurion of the Roman army knows nothing about any of this blessing. Nor, did he see even one of the many miracles, signs, and wonders that Jesus performed. At least, I would think not. 🙂 The very fact that he is a Roman centurion lets us know that he lives in a world of many ‘g’ods with altars, and temples of all types.

He just knows that he is a man of authority assigned to watch over and the prisoners and execute the crucifixions on this day. Most likely, it is not the first day he and his men had done this. He has seen many men die, it is nothing new to him…but there is something different going on here, today. Something different about this man. The centurion has seen and heard much this day!

Seven sayings

Was there ever a man like this man?!? Luke 23:47 gives us further insight, The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.”” Certainly, this statement reveals the power of Jesus’ Words to draw to Himself lifted on a cross. This is critical because Jesus also told us that “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him (Luke 23:47a).” Blessed is the Lamb of God who was drawing on this day and continues to draw men unto Himself!

The power of a cross with the Son of Man nailed to it draws man to the Son of God! Hallelujah! O What a Savior! All by the grace of God!

Recognizing Jesus as a righteous man helps us to know that apart from Jesus man is not righteous, convict us of our sins, and inform us of our need for a Savior. Man apart from God described by God in His Word:

For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;
11     no one understands; no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
    no one does good, not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14     “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
18     “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

But God so loves the world that He draws us to His Son lifted on a cross as He draws unto Himself…and man must make His choice. “”But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am? (Mark 8:29a)”

And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how He died,
he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
Mark 15:39

Blinders off, the eye of the heart opened, and Truth received. “SURELY this man was the Son of God.”

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:1-8

But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 8:8-13

WHOSOEVER WILL LET HIM COME!

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Mark 8.29a

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“It is finished.”

John 19.30

When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished,”
and He bowed his head and gave up His spirit.
John 19:30

 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:13

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

“And He has a name written on His robe and on His thigh:
King of kings and Lord of lords.: Revelation 19:16

A. W. Pink stated, “He entered the awful Darkness that I might walk in the Light; He drank the cup of woe that I might drink the cup of joy; He was forsaken that I might be forgiven!”

Isn’t this just the opposite of how it usually works? I mean look at the many wars and skirmishes around the world. I don’t see any kings dying for the subjects. Usually, it is the subjects who die to keep the king alive.

But not so with the King of kings and Lord of lords! Jesus:

  • Jesus dies so we might live.
  • Jesus is separated from the Father that we might be reconciled.
  • Jesus is forsaken so we might never be.
  • Jesus endures the Father’s wrath so we might be spared.
  • Jesus suffered loneliness so we might never be alone.
  • Jesus paid it all because He knew we could not.

“…Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8

“It is finished!” Nothing left for this servant, this body of flesh to do! I have successfully completed what I left Glory to accomplish! The debt is paid. The assignment finished. Salvation assured for “whosoever” will repent of their sin, believe in their heart, and confess with their mouth that I Am Lord and God has raised me from the dead [hold on its coming].

Personally, I am so blessed that the John 19:30 says that Jesus “gave up His Spirit” for He is God and no man or army of men or satan himself could have taken it. He did this because of amazing love, grace, and mercy.  “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father John 10:18).”

“But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin
by the sacrifice of himself.”
Hebrews 9:26b

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,
because He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

You Are My King (Amazing Love)

I’m forgiven because You were forsaken
I’m accepted, You were condemned
And I’m alive and well, Your spirit is within me
Because You died and rose again

I’m forgiven because You were forsaken
I’m accepted, You were condemned
I’m alive and well, Your spirit is within me
Because You died and rose again

Amazing love, how can it be
That You, my King, should die for me?
Amazing love and I know it’s true
And it’s my joy to honor You, in all I do to honor You

I’m forgiven because You were forsaken
I’m accepted, You were condemned
I’m alive and well, Your spirit is within me
Because You died and rose again

Amazing love, how can it be
That You, my King, should die for me?
Amazing love and I know it’s true
And it’s my joy to honor You, in all I do to honor You
In all I do to honor You

You are my King
You are my King
Jesus, You are my King
You are my King

Amazing love, how can it be
That You, my King, should die for me?
Amazing love and I know it’s true
And it’s my joy to honor You

Amazing love, how can it be
That You, my King, should die for me?
Amazing love and I know it’s true
And it’s my joy to honor You, in all I do to honor You
In all I do to honor You, in all I do, let me honor You

John 19.30a

 

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My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me…

Matthew 27.46

At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

“I and the Father are one.” No matter how this appears, we look at the context of Scripture and know that nothing is off God’s plan here. The Father and the Son are at work together for the redemption of man. Remember the prophecy in these Scriptures:

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:4

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush Him; He has put Him to grief; when His soul makes an offering for guilt, He shall see His offspring; He shall prolong His days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. Isaiah 53:10

Remember that Jesus declared, “No one takes it [life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10:18).”

This is broken fellowship but not broken unity! It the the price that Jesus was willing to pay…nevertheless Your will, Father! Yes, it is extreme, even more extreme than false trials, spitting, beard torn face, brutal beatings and whippings beyond recognition…even more extreme than nails in the flesh and being hung on a cross to suffocate and die. Jesus’ separation from the Father in whom He had enjoyed perfect being and fellowship with from before the very foundation of the world is an extreme cost…and an extreme love. For God so loved…“Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18).”

I mean, can you imagine? The Holy, Righteous, Pure and Perfect God taking the sin of all the world for all time upon His back. Selah! For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree (Galatians 3:13).

At 9:00 a.m., Jesus was hung on the cross and then at noon it turned dark. The darkness is a symbol of God’s judgment as Jesus the Perfect, Holy Lamb of God takes on the sin of the world. The Father’s wrath is poured on Him and Jesus experiences the abandonment of the Father. Habakkuk declared, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, and You cannot tolerate wrongdoing.” The Father to remain true to His person, His nature had to break fellowship. Why? Jesus was paying the debt that was due to claim many sons and daughters, He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed (1 Peter 2:24).”

The ransom is being paid. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).” Jesus becomes legally guilty of man’s sin and all who believe and trust in His finished work on the cross are now justified in God’s legal court. Case dismissed!

“But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. 16 And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. 17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.

18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.

20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. 21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:15-21

Shout now: Hallelujah to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!!!

The Lamb

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Hope for today: overflow with hope

HopeMay the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior