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)
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.
During His stay on earth Jesus did many things we call miracles. John, in his account of Jesus’ life here, called them signs. Which term is correct? Both!
To us they seem to be impossible. Our knowledge is so limited we cannot explain or understand them.They remain a source of confusion for those who seek scientific explanations of Jesus’ accomplishments. And they were miraculous.
Jesus intended to ease the pain and suffering of those who were sick, hungry, frightened and demon-possessed. He cared about their conditions and He had a desire to help.
However, each of his actions had a larger, more eternal purpose. They were signs to show his followers, then and now, that He was God incarnate. Only the same God who had created the universe and instituted the laws that govern it could alter those laws whenever He chose. Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Mary and Joseph, was Jehovah. The miracles were signs of that truth.
When we read the gospels if we understand no more than the earthly results of his actions, we miss the message He intends for us. The outward, physical results were temporary. Each of the people He healed eventually died. But the larger ramifications lead us to eternal issues.
If we are not born-again children of God we have a spiritual sickness as real as the physical ailments of those Jesus healed. He offers to heal us of that sin-sickness and welcome us into his family for eternity. And that is the most wonderful miracle of all.
God wants my life to be a miracle that shows his power and love to the world.
Jesus left his home to come to earth and knock on the door of my home. He knocked gently but persistently until I let Him in. I have never regretted that decision.
Some day I will leave my home to go knock on the door of his home. He has promised He will let me in. I will live for eternity in the “room” He has prepared for me.
There is no greater assurance of future security and comfort…..never has been and never will be. All I did was open the door.
THANK YOU, LORD!
If I am not careful, yesterday and tomorrow will occupy so much of today that I can not fully benefit from God’s blessings or be of any service to Him.
Jesus loves me so much that He became like me so that I can become more like Him. “Like Him” is a goal I will never reach, but He is blessing my efforts to get there.
AT THE CROSS GOD ...
Allowed Satan to punish Jesus SO Satan can never punish me
Allowed Jesus to die alone SO I never need to feel lonely
Allowed Jesus to get thirsty SO I can drink from the well of living water
Allowed Satan's wrath to fall on Jesus SO it will never fall on me
Allowed nails to pierce Jesus' hands SO Satan's darts will never pierce me
Allowed Jesus to die SO I can live
Abandoned Jesus SO He could adopt me
We can't gain God's love by working for it.
We have to learn to accept it.
Then we are invited to enjoy it
While commanded to always share it.
Science can tell us how to live longer, but only God can tell us why to live longer.
I sin. Every Day. Sometimes my sins are by commission. Sometimes they are by omission. But they are still sins. Some of them I’m aware of. Some of them I never recognize. Some are accidental. Some are intentional.
But I do not have to ask God for forgiveness. All my sins – every one of them – were forgiven when I became a Christian seventy years ago. This included sins past, sins present and sins future.
This calls not for a request of “Please forgive” but an affirmation of “Thank you, Father.” My attitude toward his action is eternal, massive gratitude and devotion.
That forgiveness guarantees me a place in heaven where I will spend eternity praising Him. It also permits me to have an earthly relationship with Him that includes peace, protection and power.
This is a total gift. His grace precludes any action on my part. And that, my friend, is GOOD NEWS.
Jesus told the parable of the man who was forgiven a big debt by his master but would not forgive a friend of a small debt. Basically the man would not pass on something he had been given…forgiveness.
Is it a misapplication of that story for me to apply this to myself and the salvation I have been given? If I do not help others find the salvation I received as a gift am I displeasing my Master the way the ungrateful servant did his?