As we enter this season of reflection and renewal, let’s rediscover God calling to His children, revealing His goodness, and transforming each one with Perfect Love. "This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins" (1 John 4:10) ~ Donna Oswalt
We have seen what we are not, and what God wants us to be, but are we willing to be battered into the shape of the vision to be used by God? The beatings will always come in the most common, everyday ways and through common, everyday people. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His HighestThe account of the trial and crucifixion of Christ is in all the Gospels. Like reading the story of Jesus' birth in Luke each year at Christmas, this is the day we remember, listen to, or read ourselves the recorded history of Jesus' last hours on earth. Unlike the Christmas story, this one is harder to hear. Full of partial truths and truths ignored, betrayals and beatings, cowards and cynics, guilt and innocence, this story let us walk the Via Dolorosa with Jesus and the crowd, and hear Crucify! Crucify!.
Jesus fulfills the Scripture, lives God's plan of salvation for us in detail, willingly and obediently. He is crucified between two thieves, a picture of disgrace and disillusionment for those who doubt Him, those who believe in Him, those who love Him. And the crowd? From Hallelujah! to Crucify! in a week's time, the crowd scatters and scorns with uncertainty. Who are those standing in the crowd, both watching and wondering, fickle and frightened, confused and concerned?
Today, we are standing in the crowd - we are the everyday people. We either endure the everyday beatings or participate in them. We determine our worth and either applaud our own plans, or we confess our sins and need for Grace. We seek the world's approval or humbly accept God's plan. We are arrogant or obedient, either rolling the dice for a piece of Jesus or embracing the completeness of Perfect Love. We are the everyday reasons that Jesus is broken bread and poured out wine.
READ John 18:28-19:42
- Why did the Jewish leaders say they wanted Jesus put to death?
- Did Pilate find Jesus guilty?
- Matthew 27:35-44; Mark 15:25-32; Luke 23:32-42; John 19:18-27: These are the Gospel's accounts of Jesus being nailed on the cross. List all the people around the cross. What names are missing from the list that you would have expected?
Holy Father! My heart comes to the foot of the cross and recognizes Jesus as the Son of the Most High, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. I kneel and bow and week that my sins nail Him to the cross, place the crown of thorns on His head, mock Him and reject Him. And still, He loves me more than I can understand. He willingly is battered and endures the beatings for me, for all of us. Forgiveness in mine. Grace reigns. Help me seek Your vision for my life. Let me endure what I must to honor You, to give You glory. Holy! Holy! Holy! You are LORD! Amen. -dho
Check out BibleGateway.com available online/app! Multiple versions of the Bible are available. I use this to link all the Scriptures in my blog.
All rights reserved; copyright 2017 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author; Breathing Room For My Soul (blog)~ Follow on Twitter @soulchat
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