Monday, April 05, 2010

Our Anchor

Spring is in full bloom, and the Easter season is complete!  Yesterday we celebrated our Risen Savior!  I read this Scripture today and it continues to speak to these last weeks of soul-preparation and soul-renewal.  These Living Words define our hope ~ our Hope, Jesus.

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil is Jesus Christ, Redeemer of all!
Hebrews 6:19 NKJV

Our Anchor is secure in the very presence of God ~ this Holy of Holies now a place for us to seek God, the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, behind the veil. ~dho

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Grace ~ EASTER Sunday

Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, "Peace to you." But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit.

And He said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?  Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have."

When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, "Have you any food here?" So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb.  And He took it and ate in their presence. 

Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me."  And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. 

Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 

And you are witnesses of these things.  Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you . . ."

And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven.

And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen. 

Luke 24:44-53 NKJV

As believers, we are to be witnesses for Jesus.  Just as He commissioned His followers Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you, we must go. And we must go in worship and in joy and in praise for the Promise of God is everlasting.  GRACE ~ the incalculable, immutable, incomprehensible Promise of God ~ is ours!

Our sacrifice of praise ~
Take the Promise of God into the world ~ in worship and in joy and in praise! ~dho

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Silence ~ Lent 2010

Later, Joseph from Arimathea asked Pilate if he could take the body of Jesus. (Joseph was a secret follower of Jesus, because he was afraid of some of the leaders.) Pilate gave his permission, so Joseph came and took Jesus' body away. Nicodemus, who earlier had come to Jesus at night, went with Joseph. He brought about seventy-five pounds of myrrh and aloes. These two men took Jesus' body and wrapped it with the spices in pieces of linen cloth, which is how they bury the dead. In the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden. In the garden was a new tomb that had never been used before. The men laid Jesus in that tomb because it was nearby, and they were preparing to start their Sabbath day.

John 19:38-42 NCV

Buried in an empty, borrowed tomb, Jesus' body lay surrounded by darkness in the silence of earth. Separated from the Father by death, Jesus' body lay in the stillness. The Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday and nothing more can be done but honor the Sabbath.

Scripture does not say anything about this Sabbath Day. We learn nothing more about Jesus on the day after His crucifixion. As His followers go about their worship this particular Sabbath, one can only imagine the many recollections and questions that filled their minds. There is silence in the Word of God on this day!

Our sacrifice of praise ~
In the silences of life, meditate on the assurance and the glory of God ~ because you know what tomorrow brings! ~dho

Friday, April 02, 2010

Confession ~ Good Friday

Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, "Truly the Man was the Son of God!"
Mark 15:38 NKJV

Today we must look to the cross of suffering that Jesus endured as a ransom for our sin.  Until that day, the Jewish people, the Chosen of God, worshiped Jehovah with blood sacrifices and burnt offerings.  At the time Jesus breathed His last breath and died, the High Priest sacrificed the unblemished lamb, preparing for the sin offering of Passover.  Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies to place the blood offering on the Mercy seat for forgiveness of sins. 

On this day, when Jesus died, the curtain of the Holy of Holies was torn from top to bottom.  The Scriptures do not say what happened to the High Priest or the blood of the slain Passover lamb. We are not told the thoughts of the High Priest who witnessed the torn curtain that represented a veil between sinful man and the Holy God.  Until this moment, the High Priest would have taken the blood sacrifice into the Holy of Holies as an offering for the forgiveness of sins for God's people, but now, the altar of the Lord was exposed.

These historic religious customs tell the God-story of Jesus, a Perfect Lamb slain for the forgivenss of sin.  The once veiled Holy of Holies, the Presence of God, is now revealed.  To all who seek a relationship with God, Grace is given through Jesus, the True High Priest.  What remains?  Our confession, "Truly the Man was the Son of God!"

Our sacrifice of praise ~
Who will you share the God-story of Jesus with today? ~dho

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Betrayal ~ Maundy Thursday 2010

Maunday Thursday services celebrate the giving of the Lord's Supper to the Disciples of Jesus, but the evening of fellowship and teaching and prayer ends in betrayal.  As Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, leads the arresting soldiers to Him.  He identifies Jesus with a kiss ~ a kiss of betrayal.  Perhaps the ultimate betrayal always comes from someone close to our inner circle.

And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.  Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one I will kiss is the man.  Seize Him and lead Him away under guard."

And when he came, he went up to Him at once and said, "Rabbi!" And he kissed Him.  And they laid hands on him and seized Him.
Mark 14:43-46 ESV

Our sacrifice of praise ~
Let your tears celebrate the Bread and the Wine ~ like Oswald Chambers wrote many, many times, "Be the broken bread and poured out wine." ~dho