Monday, March 25, 2013

Preparing for Easter ~ Mark of Suffering


[God...made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of JesusHebrews 13:20 MSG
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore the visible evidence that identifies us as faithful followers of Jesus. Can others see Jesus in our lives? ~ Donna Oswalt]

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.  Hebrews 12:2 ESV

Luke is the only Gospel to record Jesus weeping over Jerusalem upon His triumphant entry into the city on the day we now call Palm Sunday. Praises and palm branches, hosannas and hallelujahs roar as plots and hostility whisper in secret. Why does Jesus weep for Jerusalem? Jesus knows the hearts of the people. In a few days, these very people will cry "crucify!" Jesus knows the destruction of Jerusalem is coming; the rejection of the Messiah will bring divine judgment.

During the study of John, notes from Bible Study Fellowship give this insight: Indeed, throughout Jesus' suffering His joy was a distinguishing mark of character that separated Him from them. Jesus' suffering leads to joy. He accomplishes God's will on the cross of redemption and now sits at the right hand of God. Paul writes: for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus [Galatians 6:17] What does he mean? Paul bears the wounds and scars of persecution for Christ's sake. As believers, our joy is grown in trials, and our endurance is increased in difficulty. Soul-full joy in spite of suffering marks our true faith in Christ. 
  • Thinking about the sufferings of Christ, do you think Christ was ever discouraged? 
  • Can others see Christ's mark of suffering [JOY] on my life?

Jesus, my heart weeps at the suffering You endured for me. You were able to look through the suffering to the future with Joy because You knew the Father. I look with Hope and Joy because I know You! - dho 

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Copyright 2013 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
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“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”