The day before the first Christmas Jesus and Michael were visiting. Michael...Are you going to earth tomorrow? Jesus...Yes. Michael...Are you sure you want to do that? Jesus...Yes. Michael...Isn't the earth still full of anger and hatred and cruelty? Jesus...Yes. Michael...Do you think they might misunderstand you? Jesus...Yes. Michael...They might even ridicule you and beat you. Jesus...Yes. Michael...They may even try to kill you. Jesus...Yes. Michael...Then why are you going? Jesus...Because I love (insert your name here)
He said "Don't," but I did. He said "Do,", but I didn't. He said "Stop," but I kept going. He said "Keep going," but I stopped. He said "Give," but I kept. He said "Keep," but I spent. He said "Go," but I stayed. He said "Stay," but I went. He said "Louder," but I stayed silent. He said "Be quiet," but I shouted. He said "Now," but I waited. He said "Wait," but I did it anyway. Over and over I sinned. Over and over He forgave. And that is "Good News"!
JESUS DIED TODAY (Friday) Nailed to a cross, held up in the air So his enemies could see Him there. Beaten and tortured, bleeding and bare Jesus died today. He did not cry out, did not complain. Like a lamb at the altar He was slain, So my sins with me would not remain. Jesus died today. He chose to die...the time and the place. He did it for the human race, the example of God's loving grace. Jesus died today. JESUS IS BURIED TODAY (Saturday) His place is a tomb, cold and alone, A borrowed grave instead of a throne To pay for sins like my very own. Jesus is buried today. There is no marker, no special way To see where Jesus lays today Because He said "Father, I obey." Jesus is buried today. Draped with cloth from his head to his feet The great sacrifice is now complete. Proudly all his enemies repeat Jesus is buried today. JESUS ROSE TODAY (Sunday) Women were first to see it was true. They went to the tomb while day was new. They told others. Soon everyone knew Jesus rose today. He left the tomb so cold and so bare. No need to look, Jesus is not there. The news is joy to men everywhere. Jesus rose today. Death is defeated. Jesus has won. This is the proof that He is God's son. He's the Messiah, the Promised One. Jesus rose today.
Mark 15:23 records that Jesus refused to drink a mixture of wine and myrrh that would have reduced the pain of his crucifixion.
Why? Was there a certain level of physical pain He had to suffer in order to accomplish the purpose of his death? Did the Father require a minimum amount of physical trauma before salvation’s plan would be complete? I don’t think so. For Jesus the physical aspect of the cross, with all its horror, was not the worst part of his sacrifice.
Jesus refused the myrrh because He still had work to do, even after the nails had been driven through his hands and feet. He needed a clear head to to stay sinless until his death.
For thirty-three years He had lived a life of sinless perfection, always obedient to his Father’s will. Even though the crucifixion had begun He still had six hours during which He had to continue to resist temptation. To sin at this late stage would have been to negate all previous acts of service and obedience. He had to remain the perfect Lamb right up to the moment of his death.
The myrrh might have clouded his determination. (He was, after all, still fully man.) By refusing it, He was choosing spiritual purity as a higher priority than the relief of pain and placing obedience to the Father’s assignment above comfort. He could not allow a chemical crutch to interfere with his most important task.
The temptations of those six hours on the cross must have been greater than all the other temptations of his entire life. Truly He was a man among men, masculine, heroic and courageous in every sense of the terms.
Last night, in a dream, I saw Jesus. Not Jesus the God, but Jesus the man. I was surprised. He looked normal. Not unusual. Just normal. Short and stocky, Strong and solid, with Black curly hair. Almost instantly I realized I was Disappointed. Here was Jesus, and He looked so very Human. Then I met Him and Shook His hand. And there, Face to face, Arm's length away With His hand in mine I first looked Into His eyes. And immediately I knew I was meeting More than a man. In His eyes I saw Love. Total, open, complete Love. Love with no exceptions Or limits. Love that does not Have to be earned Or even returned. Pure love. Enormous love. Powerful love. Tender love. Giving love. But in those eyes I also saw Compassion and Acceptance and Forgiveness. I saw calmness and Understanding and Power. I saw peace and Courage and Purpose. Then I knew I was also looking Into the eyes of God.
Recently received this from David Martin. He gave me permission to use it. Well, it finally happened. Violette, our granddaughter, took her first steps. They were halting and unsure, but still independent. She was so proud of her little self. Even though she has a few dozen independent steps under her diaper, she still needs our assistance almost 100% of the time to get around on her own two feet. As I was making the umpteenth lap around the house yesterday holding her chubby little hands, I realized that the death-grip she had on my fingers was not at all necessary. I had a firm grasp on her hands that would not allow her to fall. But that did not lessen the need she felt to hang on tightly to my forefingers. All too often that is how I treat God. I think I must hang on to Him with all my might, grasping his hands as tightly as possible. My ability to hang on to God with my strength is so insignificant as to be worthless. It is His grasp on my hands that keeps me from falling. Isaiah 41:13 For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, I am the one who helps you." His children can rest in the fact that it is El Shaddi, God Almighty, who holds our hands to keep us safe and upright. How thankful I am that I am in His hands.
Which is the greatest prayer in the Bible? The answer to this question is usually based on which prayer had the largest, most impressive result. Elijah's prayer in I Kings 17:20-22 brought life to the body of a young boy. Joshua's prayer in Joshua 10:12-13 resulted in altered movement of the sun and an Israelite victory. Moses' prayer in Exodus 32:11-14 caused God to "repent" of His idea to "consume" the Hebrew people. Each of these, in some way, worked for the benefit of the person praying. I maintain, however, that the greatest prayer of all was offered by Jesus in Matthew 26:39 when He said "...not as I will, but as you will." Simple and short, from a totally submitted heart, this prayer was answered by Jehovah God and ended in Jesus' torture and death. They both knew that death was imminent and both accepted it. The result was the offering of salvation to untold numbers of people throughout the world. And it serves as the type of prayer that Christians should be offering every day. The greatest prayer resulted in the greatest sacrifice and the greatest resurrection the world has ever known.