Belief!

2000 years ago, give or take a few decades, a man hung on a cross for all mankind. He didn’t do it because he had to or needed to or was required to do it to show who he was. He did it because he wanted to. Simple actually. He was sent by his father to be the sacrifice that for centuries had been a goat.  An unblemished goat that was perfect in every way or at least as perfect as they could find.

This man was perfect in every way. He had in no way ever committed a sin. He never spoke a cross word to anyone nor did he ever swear. He loved with a righteous love that was so overwhelming that people flocked to him.

Why did they flock to him you might ask. He had a charismatic way about him. He was not overbearing. He didn’t speak in fancy words that no one could understand. He spoke in simple terms so that no man would be left out. He spoke in parables that he didn’t explain as to leave the people wondering what he meant. Wait that’s wrong, sorry..it’s early. He spoke in parables and then he explained the parable afterwords so that no man was left out in understanding.

He enjoyed being around people but like all of us, he needed time to himself so that he could decompress and talk to his father. When children came around he didn’t send them away, rather he encouraged them to come and play. I think he enjoyed the unbridled laughter and enjoyment.

Unfortunately the enjoyment ended and he found out how fickle people are. At the time he needed them, they turned their backs on him and threw him under the bus. He could have lashed out and cursed them. He could have screamed and yelled and called them all kind of names but he didn’t. he did the one thing that although he had told them many times would happen, he let them take him and torture him. 

He didn’t put up a fight nor did he cry out for help. He could of. He could have called down an army of angels to free him from a death so horrible, we would faint at the thought of it. He was punished so bad that he even his punishers were affected.

Who is this man I speak of. Well, it is Jesus Christ. The only Son of the Most High God, Jehovah. Jesus, the name above all names. The holy and complete sacrifice. He did what no other God of this world had the nerve to do. He put his life on the line for ALL of mankind. He did so willingly. 

This blog is about belief. What do i believe. I will tell you. 

The Apostle Creed

I believe in God the Father, maker of heaven and earth 
And in Jesus Christ His only Son 
I believe in the virgin birth 
I believe in the Man of Sorrows bruised for iniquities 
I believe in the Lamb who was
Crucified and hung between two thieves
I believe in the resurrection on the
Third and glorious day 
And I believe in the empty tomb and the
Stone that the angel rolled away 
He descended and set the captives free 
And now He sits at God’s right hand
And prepares a place for me
This is my creed, the witness I have heard 
The faith that has endured 
This truth is assured 
Through the darkest ages past 
Though persecuted, it will last 
And I will hold steadfast to this creed
I believe He sent His Spirit to comfort and to reveal 
To lead us into the truth and light, to baptize and to seal 
I believe that He will come back the way He went away 
And receive us all unto Himself, but no man knows the day
I believe He is the Judge of all men, small and great 
The resurrected souls of men receive from Him their fate 
Some to death and some to life, some to their reward 
Some to sing eternal praise forever to our Lord
That is what I believe! Jesus Christ. King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Master of my soul. the only way to the Father. The only one that is going to get you there. He has and always will be the only one for me!

The Passion Of The Christ!

“Note! Before reading this blog, please understand that the videos used are not my property. I use them because they fit the best for the purposes of the blog. If you know of any songs that might fit better please do not hesitate to mention them.”

After watching The Passion on Palm Sunday, March 20, 2016, and after hearing the songs that were used, I decided to write my own version, with the songs I would have chosen. I would not have chosen those songs, mainly because they had nothing to do with the events that played out.

Where to start, well let’s start on Palm Sunday. The day Jesus rode into town on a donkey. The people were chanting “Hosanna, Hosanna In The Highest!” Jesus was riding into Jerusalem. He was going for the same reason that everyone else was, To prepare for the Passover feast.

The Passover Feast was observed because it was the day that the Israelite’s  were freed from Egypt because though Moses, God did so. The bread was baked without yeast because, well quite frankly, they didn’t have time. They were given only so much time so they took what they had and they escaped Egypt.

Exodus 12:21-55

When God implemented the Passover feast, he did so, so that it would never be forgotten. He wanted his people to remember where they came from. How they had suffered and how they had survived the yoke enslavement. For if you forget where you came from, you will be forever lost.

Now if we skip a few centuries we come to one of the most known prophecies of the Christ.

Isaiah 53:13-54:12

I suggest you read this to understand that this was not just about the Christ but also the pain and the suffering that he would go through. It was not an easy thing to go through.

Jump forward a few more centuries and we come to Triumphal Entry. When Jesus would ride on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden, into Jerusalem.

Matthew 21:1-3

When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”

Two places in the old testament speak to the triumphal entry.

Isaiah 62:11

Behold, the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth,
Say to the daughter of Zion, “Lo, your salvation comes;
Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.”

Jesus rode a colt.The movies always display the colt as white and perfect. Perfect I believe but not so much the white. The colour doesn’t really matter all that much. It could have green with white polka dots for all I know. As he rode into the city, people were throwing down their robes and palm leaves for Jesus to ride over. They sang “Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!”(Matthew 21:9)

At this point some of the Pharisees cried out “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”(Luke 19:39). To which Jesus replied “I tell you, if they become silent, the stones will cry out!” (Luke 19:40)

Now I use this video mainly because it does talk to the scripture that I quoted from Luke. This takes place on Palm Sunday.

Jesus has entered Jerusalem adored by the crowd. He was, to them, the Messiah that God had promised for centuries. When he entered Jerusalem, he wept for the city.

Luke 19:41-44

41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you [a]when your enemies will throw up a [b]barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, 44 and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

Matthew 23:37-39

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 39 For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

Jesus predicted Jerusalem’s destruction. He made no bones about it.

Jesus enters the temple and sees the way that it is used. It is no longer a temple rather a marketplace for swindlers and thieves. He saw red..a righteous anger and proceeded to turn all the tables over and set the animals free. Money scattered and people we screaming at him.

Matthew 21 : 12-13

12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. 13 And He *said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbersden.”

 

After Jesus cleansed the temple, the Pharisees started plotting the death of Jesus. They could not stand the idea of someone taking their prey away. The religious leaders of the day had the Jews right where they wanted them and for some rabble rouser to come in and upset the nature of things was a slap in the face to the establishment. So they devised a plan that would get rid of this Jesus once and for all and instead of doing it in in the daylight, they did so at night. They skulked around at night time and did everything they could to get it done without people knowing what was going on.

Matthew 26:1-5

When Jesus had finished all these words, He said to His disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion.”

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him. But they were saying, “Not during the festival, otherwise a riot might occur among the people.”

 

Before I continue, you might notice that I am using songs from Jesus Christ Superstar a lot. It seems that finding songs done by Christian artists are hard to find. The songs from JCSS are actually close to the biblical telling of Christ’s last days. Sure they have taken some literary license, but truth be told they are pretty spot on. You don’t seem to find a lot of songs about Judas’s betrayal or Peter’s denial or the religious leaders of the time plotting the death of Christ. So now back to the blog.

The religious leaders have decided to kill Jesus but now they had to find a crime.  Jesus has not committed any crime that would warrant death. They had to trump one up. They also had to find someone that would betray Jesus, someone who had a reason or could be easily convinced. Someone that had a cause or something against Jesus. In walks Judas!

But let’s set the stage. Jesus and the disciples are in Bethany.

Matthew 26:6-13

Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me. 11 For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me. 12 For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. 13 Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

Judas Iscariot is by all accounts the treasurer of the disciples. He held the money bag. He seemed to be the perfect one aside from the fact that Matthew was a tax collector so he knew how to keep money as well. Anyways, the apostles were all upset with the waste of the perfume. It could have been sold to help the poor.

The movie Jesus Christ Superstar paints Judas as the one that was upset and he might very well have been the one that was upset the most. Nevertheless, I feel that it was at this point that Judas had decided to betray Jesus. It was a waste of money that could have been put elsewhere. All the other disciples were upset too but not to betrayal. Was Judas already in the hands of the Evil One.

 

Judas was so upset, as were the other disciples, that this woman had wasted that perfume instead of selling it for money to help the poor. I think that Judas especially had a burden for the poor. I also feel that this was the time that Judas decided to do what he felt he needed to do. The devil had entered him and made him see that was not really there.But notice what Jesus says.

Matthew 26:10-13

10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me. 11 For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me. 12 For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. 13 Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

11 For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me.

Jesus pointed out that no matter what we would always have the poor. He was here for a little while. The poor had been around since time since time immemorial. So it seems that although all the disciples are incensed but Judas seems more incensed. The bible says the devil  entered him and persuaded him to betray Jesus.

Luke 22:1-6

1Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. 2The chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people.

      3And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. 4And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. 5They were glad and agreed to give him money. 6So he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them apart from the crowd.

We have no way to know what was going through Judas’s mind at the time. We can only assume. I would think that he did it to stop the waste. To him Jesus seemed fine with it. It was just perfume but a burial preparation. So he went to the Priest and Pharisees. The bible does not go into detail about what was said. I have no doubt that Judas came up with reasons to do so that didn’t involve his betrayal. “For the good of the disciples.”

 

 

Judas has agreed to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. It was blood money but the Priests made sure to make it seem more like a fee. This all happens before the Passover Feast.

For centuries after centuries, the Jews had celebrated the day. Jesus did something that not a lot of Jews did at the time. The washing of the feet. It was not uncommon for the head of the household to wash the feet of his guests. It not only showed humility it also showed the servant in him. Jesus washed his disciples feet. Some of them declined. to which Jesus said.

John 13:4-11

So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.

When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”

“No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”

Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”

Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”

10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet,[a] to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

Jesus knew that he was going to be betrayed. He washed even his betrayers feet as well. After the washing of the feet, the Passover feast is observed, but Jesus forever changed it.

Luke 22:14-20

14 When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. 15 And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.

They celebrated the Passover and then Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper. He did so that we might remember the sacrifice that was made for all of us.

Now remember back a bit that I said that Jesus knew his betrayer. He did. He knew who and when it would happen. In John, Jesus shows the disciples the betrayer but they don’t understand.

John 13:21-30

21 When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will [a]betray Me.” 22 The disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking. 23 There was reclining on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24 So Simon Peter *gestured to him, and *said to him, “Tell us who it is of whom He is speaking.” 25 He, leaning back thus on Jesus’ bosom, *said to Him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus then *answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He *took and *gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus *said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one of those reclining at the table knew for what purpose He had said this to him. 29 For some were supposing, because Judas had the money-box, that Jesus was saying to him, “Buy the things we have need of for the feast”; or else, that he should give something to the poor. 30 So after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night.

Judas is gone and Jesus talks about several things. They finish the meal and then after singing a hymn, they head over to the Mount of Olives. Jesus predicts Peter’s denial. Now most are going to say that it was coincidence that it happened at the same time but Jesus was very specific to when it would happen. “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” (Mark 14:30)

Peter kept saying that he would no do it. He would not deny Jesus. He in fact said in Mark 14:31 “Even if I were to die with you, I will not deny you!”    He loved him too much. All the other disciples said the same thing. Judas had already gone to finish his betrayal of Jesus. They went on to Gethsemane.

They got to Gethsemane and Jesus took Peter, James and John a little further in, leaving the other disciples to back where they entered the garden and told them to sit there till he had prayed.. To John, James and Peter he said to them in Mark 14:34 “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.

At this point, Jesus moved up a ways further and prayed to God that the cup of poison he was to drink be taken away, Mark 14:36 “Abba! Father!. All things are possible for thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou will.” He came back to the disciples and found them sleeping and said to them in Mark 14:37-38 “Simon are asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Keep watching and praying, that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

Jesus goes back to pray and when he comes back they are back to sleep. He went back a third time to pray and came back to find them still asleep. He roused them and asked then why they could not stay awake and they could not answer him. He looked at them and said

Mark 14:37

“Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Arise, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays me is at hand.”

 

Jesus is betrayed in the same garden that he pleads to God to take the cup of poison away. Judas walks up to him and kisses him on the cheek.

Mark 14 43 -45

43 Immediately while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, *came up [a]accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who were from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 Now he who was betraying Him had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him and lead Him away [b]under guard.” 45 After coming, Judas immediately went to Him, saying, “Rabbi!” and kissed Him.”

Jesus is not surprised. He knew that Judas would betray him.

Luke 22:47-48

“While he was still speaking, behold a multitude came and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss him and Jesus said “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

They took him away to the High priest. Caiaphas was the High Priest. He was the son-in-law of Annas. There was quite the crowd and it seemed everyone was there, including some of the apostles.

The Sanhedrin was the council of the elders of the people. That included the High Priest and all the other priests and so forth. They tried Christ but they actually did it illegally but try Him they did. They questioned him and I would assume belittled him. They brought in false witnesses to say false things.

Matthew 26:57-68

57 Those who had seized Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together. 58 But Peter was following Him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and entered in, and sat down with the [a]officers to see the outcome.

59 Now the chief priests and the whole [b]Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death. 60 They did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, 61 and said, “This man stated, ‘I am able to destroy the [c]temple of God and to rebuild it [d]in three days.’” 62 The high priest stood up and said to Him, “Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I [e]adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are [f]the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, [g]hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

65 Then the high priest tore his [h]robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; 66 what do you think?” They answered, “He deserves death!”

67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others [i]slapped Him, 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, You [j]Christ; who is the one who hit You?”

Jesus was beaten up by the same people who tried him. Then they took him to Pilate.

Right after this the prediction of Peter denying Christ three times came true.

Luke 22:54-62

54 Having arrested Him, they led Him away and brought Him to the house of the high priest; but Peter was following at a distance. 55 After they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter was sitting among them. 56 And a servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking intently at him, said, “This man was with Him too.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” 58 A little later, another saw him and said, “You are one of them too!” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59 After about an hour had passed, another man began to insist, saying, “Certainly this man also was with Him, for he is a Galilean too.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.”

Judas saw what they had done to Jesus. In the morning he went to them. He felt remorse for what he had done. He tossed the thirty pieces of silver at their feet.

Matthew 27:1-10

27 Now when morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus to put Him to death; and they bound Him, and led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate the governor.

Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty [a]pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” And they conferred together and [b]with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “And [c]they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one whose price had been set by the sons of Israel; 10 and [d]they gave them for the Potter’s Field, as the Lord directed me.”

Now let me be very plain. Not a lot of singers actually talk about Judas. It seems that he is taboo and that is shame. He played a very important part in the Passion Play. Jesus knew what he was going to do and even told him to do it quickly.

John 21:26-30

Jesus then *answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He *took and *gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus *said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one of those reclining at the table knew for what purpose He had said this to him.

Judas was so remorseful that he took his own life. Before that he repented (Matthew 27:3-5). Some would say that he took the cowards way out and I think they might have been right. Was he a coward, I don’t know, only God can say that.

 

Judas is dead and now Jesus is taken to Pilate, the Governor of Israel. He questions him but because he is a Galilean and on being told yes, Jesus is sent to face Herod. Herod questions him but Jesus remains silent. Herod gets nothing out of Jesus and sends him back to Pilate after mocking him and treating him with contempt. They put a purple robe on his back and send him back to Pilate.

Luke 23:8-12

Now Herod was very glad when he saw Jesus; for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had been hearing about Him and was hoping to see some [a]sign performed by Him. And he questioned Him [b]at some length; but He answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and the scribes were standing there, accusing Him vehemently. 11 And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate. 12 Now Herod and Pilate became friends with one another that very day; for before they had been enemies with each other.

We can only imagine the conversation that took place between Herod and Jesus. What the questions were like. Herod wanted to see miracles like Jesus was some kind of magician. He expected Jesus to perform on command. Jesus was not a trained monkey. He didn’t do things on demand. He did miracles out of love. He did them to prove who he was. Herod got frustrated. Easy to do when you are always getting your own way and no one questions you. So Herod sent him back to Pilate.

Notice one thing. When Jesus was before Caiaphas, after all the words and the posturing, Jesus was beaten and mocked. Before Annas, Jesus is given a blow. Now whether it was a slap or a punch nevertheless, before both of them, Jesus was hit at some point. When he comes before Pilate the first time, Jesus is not hit at all but during the second trial, he is whipped and beaten. Now look at Herod, there were no beating only mocking. The never \

laid a hand on him. Herod was a Jew and treated Jesus, for the most part , with some kind of respect.

So Jesus is sent back to Pontius Pilate for a second time. The Sanhedrin and the Pharisees could find nothing wrong. Herod could find nothing wrong. So back to Pilate we go. Pilate tries Christ and finds nothing wrong. so he decides to flog him and send him on his way.

Luke 23:13-25

13 Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. 15 No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. 16 Therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” 17 [[e]Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner.]

18 But they cried out all together, saying, “Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!” 19 (He was one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection made in the city, and for murder.) 20 Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, 21 but they kept on calling out, saying, “Crucify, crucify Him!” 22 And he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” 23 But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail. 24 And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted.

 

If you notice something in the video, you see a woman shaking her head. That is Pilate’s wife. Her name, even though it is not mentioned in the Bible, is Claudia. She had a dream that Pilate should not harm the man Jesus.For More information on Pilate’s wife, please click the link. Pilate’s Wife Claudia .

Matthew 27:19

19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for [a]last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.”

Pilate condemned Jesus to death! Did he have a choice, not really. Not only because of the jews lording over him what would happen if he didn’t but also because unbeknown to him it was all part of God’s divine plan. He could have set Jesus free because he found no guilt in Jesus.

Jesus is sent to die. He starts to carry His cross to Golgotha (the place of the skull) and falls. He has been whipped and beaten and then has a half ton cross on his back and is expected to carry it ti the skull. When He falls a man is pulled out of the crowd to carry it for him. Simon of Cyrene.

Luke 23:26 

26 When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.

For More information on Cyrene, you can go here.

Cyrene

As he is going up the hill to Golgotha, there is a large crowd following him. In the crowd there are women weeping for him. He stops and speaks to them.

Luke 23:27-32

27 And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were [f]mourning and lamenting Him. 28 But Jesus turning to them said,“Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things [g]when the tree is green, what will happen [h]when it is dry?”

32 Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him.

Jesus made his way up the trail of sorrows. The street that winded it’s way up to Golgotha, the place of the skull. There Jesus would be crucified. He would lay his life down for all mankind. He did so not because it was expected of him. It was a not a requirement. God didn’t make him do it. He could have at anytime said no. He could have called down an army of angels to protect him but he did not do any of it. He simply did the will of his father. He freely gave his life.

A sacrifice made out of need is a not a sacrifice. It means nothing. It is empty and without merit. A sacrifice made of willingness means more that anything. Jesus did that very thing.

Luke 23:33-49

33 When they came to the place called [i]The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 34 [j]But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. 35 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the [k]Christ of God, His Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” 38 Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

39 One of the criminals who were hanged there was [l]hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the [m]Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving [n]what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come [o]in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

44 It was now about [p]the sixth hour, and darkness [q]fell over the whole land until [r]the ninth hour, 45 [s]because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn [t]in two. 46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was[u]innocent.” 48 And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, [v]beating their breasts. 49 And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things.

Here is the thing. Jesus chose the time to die. He could have probably gone of for days but again it would be for naught. He chose when to die. The romans were sent up to break the legs of the crucified and when they came to Jesus, he was already dead. The other two were still suffering. He was gone. They shoved a spear into his side and blood and water flowed. It had all pooled in his chest. He chose to die at that time.

He cried out “IT IS FINISHED!” and he died

John 19:28-30

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, *said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. 30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”

 

 

 

There are hundreds of songs about the crucifixion. So many that I could fill pages but I really don’t want to do that. Rather just a couple. Ones that I think tell the story beautifully.

Jesus is dead. He is on the cross hanging. His body is but a shell. His spirit has gone to be with the Father. But that is not what God has planned for Jesus. His job is not done yet. Joseph of Arimathea claims the body.

Luke 23: 50-56

50 And a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man 51 (he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; 52 this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain. 54 It was the [w]preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to [x]begin. 55 Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

In Isaiah it reads thus.

Isaiah 53:9

His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

Joseph was the the rich man that Isaiah speaks of in verse 9. He predicted that the Son of Man would lay in a rich man’s grave because he had no money to buy his own. Joseph believed that Jesus was who he said he was.

John 19:38

38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but asecret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of JesusThe 

The Sabbath started at  around 6 pm so they did not have a lot of time to prepare the body for burial and much as they would have liked. They wrapped him a linen cloth and sprinkled his body with the spices then put him in the tomb.

John 12:38-42

38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but asecret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. 39 Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a [a]mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred[b]pounds weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Three days later Jesus rose from the dead. Mary Magdelane was the first to the tomb. She found it empty. She ran back to the disciples and told them of the stone being rolled away and Peter ran to the tomb.

John 20:1-18

20 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she *ran and *came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and *said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; andstooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. And so Simon Peter also *came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he *saw the linen wrappings lying there, andthe face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple whohad first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed.For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 So the disciples went away again to their own homes.

11 But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 12 and she *saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 And they *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She *said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and *saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she *said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus *said to her, “Mary!” She turned and *said to Him in [a]Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher).17 Jesus *said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene *came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.

Many other sightings of Jesus happen. You can find them in John 20:19-30 and 20:1-25. Matthew 28:1-10 and 16-20. Mark 16: 1- 20. Luke 24:1-53. John 20:1-31 and John 21:1-25. He did not only appear to Mary. Many of his disciples saw him after he had died. My favorite and where we get the term “Doubting Thomas” from.

John 20:26-29

26 [a]After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus *came, the doors having been [b]shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus *said to him,“Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

Thomas doubted a lot. He did it every day. He had to be see it to believe it. He would not believe that Jesus had risen from the grave unless he had proof. We are a lot like Thomas at times. We need to see it to believe it. But Jesus said “Because you have seen me, have you believed but Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.

If you don’t know this Jesus I speak of, then you can ask me on twitter @menionazalee or on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/william.ley.90 . Jesus loves you more than you will ever know. He loved you so much that he died for you. He rose from the grave to defeat death and show us that he was who he said he was.

Before I end this blog (finally) I want to leave you with the following video. It sums up this blog and the passion of Jesus quite well. I hope you enjoy it.

Prayer and Faith!

I am a Christian. I am not religious. I don’t live my life as a Christian on only some days of the year. I pray to my Lord when the mood hits me and sometimes it is a simple “I love You Lord.” prayer. I don’t always go through a 20 year prayer (you know the kind..they go on and on and on and on!) I don’t do what other Christians do cause well I want to love My Lord not make him into a Santa Claus.

Unlike a lot of religions in this world, I don’t bow before my Lord nor do I have to address Him like I would a leader of a country or a king. I talk to Him. I don’t lay a rug down nor do I face a wall to pray. I don’t have to. I can be sitting in a chair as I am right now and offer up my prayers to Him, laying them at His feet.

So many religions have way to many rituals. They have to do this and they have to do that. They have to sit or kneel or dance in a certain way. They have to say all the right words and in the right way. Everything has to be perfect. If it isn’t perfect then it isn’t right. Now don’t get me wrong, I respect that. They have their ways and have been doing it for centuries that way. But that is not my way.

Sometimes I go through the formality of proper prayer. The invocations and the ritualistic words. Most of the time I just just say something normal. I don’t pray to my Lord, I talk to Him. I don’t ask Him for things, I let him know what I need. It’s not material things normally. I ask for healing for myself  or friends or family.  I ask for Him to touch someone or put me in their path so that they might know that someone is praying for them.

Prayer should be offered in such a way as to not be boastful. Prayer should be humble and gentle. It’s good to ask for those things that you need but do so in a way that is not prideful. Do not go to church and stand in every one’s view and show what you have and how good you have had it. Rather be mindful of where you are. Be not like the Pharisee that got all dressed up and stood showing off what he had. Rather be like the tax collector, a sinner and cry out to the Lord! (Luke 18:9-14)

We all do it. We all pray in a boastful way and the funny thing is is that we know that is wrong but we do it anyways. It’s hard to stop when it is human nature to boast. It is even harder to be humble and ask for little or nothing. I have prayed often for things that I needed, not wanted, and received them. It might be that day or the next but they did come. The Lord does hear and does give us the things we need. It is just on His time not ours.

Jesus said “Ask anything in My name and I will give it to you.” (Matt 7:7, John 14:14). Ask and it shall be given but it may not come in the manner that you expect or the time that you expect. “Lord I need a new car.” Nothing wrong with the car you have,  sure it is not as classy as the neighbours car but you asked for a new car. You shall get it when the Lord thinks it time. “Lord I need money for gas.” You don’t have a dime on you but you search your pants that are to be washed and you find twenty bucks. To some it might be coincidence but a man of faith will say “Thank you Father.”

Faith is a big part of prayer. It is important because without faith, the prayer is just talking. Without faith the prayer falls on dumb silence. It falls onto the ground with a thud. But the same prayer, lifted up in faith and love, falls on the ears of God and He listens. Faith is the acceptance of things not seen yet hoped for (Hebrews 11:1).

As Christians, we walk by faith not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). We could walk like others walk but we would get lost. We would wander from the path and find ourselves in so much trouble but asking in prayer, the Lord brings us back on the path of righteousness. It is so easy to fall off the path, specially in the world we know today. We walk the path and then…ooooo something shiny catches our eye. The problem is the shiny thing gets us into trouble.

Prayer is so important in a Christians life. It is the glue that holds our lives together. We fall and we reach up in prayer to the Lord and He reaches down and picks us up. He dusts us off and kisses our forehead, tells us that He loves us and sends us on our way. We fall off the path and He does it all again. He does so in love and patience. He is so patient and so understanding. He loves us as if we were the only ones. Just like any earthly father.

Faith and prayer work hand in hand. They help us come to an understanding that we need them both. Prayer is our direct line to the Father. We don’t have to go through anyone else. No high priest or priestess. We don’t have to bow rather we can walk right up to God, climb into His lap, get comfy and talk to Him. He pulls us close and listens with love and patience. He doesn’t have to write anything down. He already knows what we need but He also knows that we need to ask.

I started off this little tirade with the words “I am a Christian.” but I am more than that. I am a treasured child of the Most High God. I am His and His alone. He holds me when I cry and rejoices when I am happy. He scolds me when I am bad but loves me still. He watches over me and guides me even when I don’t want to be guided.

I offer up my prayers to the Father and He doesn’t go “Oh it’s him again.” He listens with patience and love. He smiles as I tell Him what has been going on. He nods His head and smiles as I ask for those things that I need. Not want. As I said before, He doesn’t have to write anything down cause he already knows what I need. When I am done, I walk away knowing that He is my God!

“I’m not religious, I just love the Lord!” I am in love with my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!. Am I perfect, nope. I’m forgiven. You can be too!

“Keep Looking Up…His Coming Is Soon!”

Fool’s Gold!

“Some may call me foolish, some may call me odd
But I’d rather be a fool in the eyes of man than a fool in the eyes of God!”

1 Corinthians 1:21-25

21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

A man walks down the road and sees another man preaching the word of God. He calls that man a fool and the man preaching smiles. He was called a fool and takes it as a compliment. The man who called the other man a fool, looks at him. He stops and asks.

“I just called you a fool and you smile. Why?”

“You call me a fool and yet you are the fool for you speak to me and understand what I am saying. You call me a fool and yet through that foolishness, men have come to know the King of Fools. The one who died and rose again. He did so that when the time comes, you will become the same fool that you just called me.”

The man stood in dumb believe. He looked at the ground and then back up.

“How can I know this King of Fools that you speak of?”

The fool smiled and sat with the foolish man and in time..they both became fools. Fools for the same man who died for both of them.

When Jesus was dying on the cross, the Jews mocked Him and asked for signs. They asked that if He was the Saviour, that He save himself and them. They begged to be shown proof the He was who He was. They need to be shown that and yet He had said it over and over again. Thomas was one that had to have proof.

John 20:24-25

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called [a]Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

Thomas had to have proof. He had to see a sign. Yet blessed be the one that believes and yet has not seen.

The Greeks on the other hand searched for wisdom. They picked a part everything and had to see the wisdom in the passage. They couldn’t take the passage at face value, which in some cases is not a bad thing.

The gospel of Christ to the Jews is a stumbling block cause again they needed proof. To the Greeks, foolishness. It was folly to preach the teachings of a dead man. They didn’t see the wisdom in it. To God it was foolishness as well but foolishness in a different way. It was so simple and so humbling. A man that didn’t do anything wrong. That taught the Kingdom of God and taught love for mankind was killed because it didn’t make any sense. These people stood around and waited for signs and understanding. The understanding and the signs were right there. Jesus died for fools such as I. He didn’t do it cause He had to. He did it cause He wanted to. The signs that the Jews needed was right there hanging on the cross.

The wisdom of the cross is easy to receive and it really is. But then you need to understand it and to a certain point that is pretty easy as well. What is the wisdom of the Cross….that a man who did no wrong, died for you and me. Period.

I am a Fool For Christ. I am proud to be the Fool.

Someone will read this and go “only a fool would believe in a Dead Man.” The difference between me and him or her is that I have proof that Jesus is not dead and that He reigns on high with the Father. The bible tells me so.

Acts 2:33

33 Therefore having been exalted [a]to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.

1 Peter 3:21-22

Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God [a]for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.

Luke 22:69

Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.

The Cross is pure foolishness to those who choose not to believe.

Through these blogs I preach the Gospel of Christ. I present Jesus and pray as I do so that you , the reader, might, if you have not already, come to know the Jesus that I know. The Man that laid down His life so that you might live!. In centuries gone by, they didn’t have the net or the ability to reach the masses like we do today. They didn’t have television. They didn’t have the wonder of radio or the telephone. These are all relatively new inventions. They had to go out and preach the gospel. They had to do it on their feet. Now we can do it through blogging.  We reach millions through the wonder of television. The ability to spread the gospel has become so much easier.

We spread the gospel through music and movies. Live concerts and even recorded ones. Things have changed since Jesus gave that command.

Matthew 28:18-20

18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 [e]Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you [f]always, even to the end of the age.”

But the command stays the same. To preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone that will listen. To preach the love that He had for all mankind. To present the only One worthy of our praise. To take the name calling. To smile when someone calls us a fool and to acknowledge that the gold waiting for us is not the gold we can’t afford but fool’s gold. To stand proud and say

“This fool will put his faith in a fool’s errand. To preach the foolish cross of Christ. To stand firm in the belief that Jesus is the only one worthy of praise and glory. He is the only one that showed His love for us, that when He died for you and me, He did so with a love that is so unconditional that He did it for everyone. Not just for the Jews but the gentiles as well.

When you present Christ and they call you a fool. Smile, and say… “I would rather be a fool in the eyes of man, than be a fool in the eyes of God!”

“Keep Looking Up! His Coming Is Soon!

John 14:2-6

“5 Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Oneness with the Father

If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

Let’s look at this set of verses and dissect them. Verse 6 is one of the most well-known verses in the bible but most people really know it but they don’t know what it means.

Jesus is speaking to His disciples. In the beginning of the chapter, Jesus is talking about Heaven and how that is where He is going after his death. They don’t understand. Heaven is a concept, specially the way Jesus is speaking of it, that they may have never heard before. To some heaven is a place where everyone gathers. To some it is fictional place that never has existed. But Jesus portrays heaven as something very different.

14:2

“2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.”

Okay so let’s tear this verse apart. “In My Father’s House.” So Jesus is describing Heaven as a house. Not an open area where people mill around like they show in movies and such.

“Are many dwelling places.”

So when we all get to heaven we will have a dwelling place. The King James Version of the Bible says Mansion. Either way, we will, according to Jesus, have a place to hang our hats. A place to live and abide and be showered by the pure love of God!

“I go to prepare a place for you.”

Jesus died for us and is sitting on the right hand of God and is preparing a place for us. He is building our mansions and making them ready for us. He is making sure that we have a place to live in and enjoy.

John 14:3

“3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Jesus promises that when He is finished building the mansions that He will come again.He will come to take home His own. He doesn’t say when, for only God the Father knows that date and time. We will be with Him.

John 14:4

“4 And you know the way where I am going.”

The disciples knew that Jesus would go to the Father. He had taught them many times before about it but their faith was weak. They doubted, like we all do from time to time.

John 14:5

“5 Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”

 Oh Doubting Thomas. He doubted a lot. He had to SEE to believe. Just like when Jesus came to them in the Upper Room, Thomas said ““Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” John 20:25.

It’s okay to doubt and it is okay to ask questions. So many Christians say that it is wrong to doubt. We shouldn’t doubt. I say that doubting is a good thing. Should we doubt that God is who He says He is. No! Do I say we should doubt that something is from God. Darn tootin. To go blindly into something without thinking it through and weighing the doubts is just foolish. You will know if it is from God or not. Take it to the Father in prayer.

John 14:6

Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

The Way

What does Jesus mean but “way”. Which way? What way? Well Jesus says I. Not you or me or anyone else. I. So this implies that He is the only way. There is no other. By Christ’s death on the cross, He opened the way to the Father which is direct not through another person. The veil ripped open, pulling the symbolic door down. We no longer have to knock, we can go right in.

Christ is the sinner’s Way to the Father and to heaven, in His person as God manifest in the flesh, in His atoning sacrifice, and as our Advocate. Jesus vouches for us when we come to Him.

The Truth

The truth that Jesus speaks of is His truth. Jesus is truth itself. He always spoke the truth and never said anything that was  false. In Jesus, God the Father is revealed to mankind. His truth is eternal. It doesn’t change on a whim. He is the source of truth.

He is the Truth, as fulfilling all the prophecies of a Saviour; believing which, sinners come by Him the Way.

The Life

Jesus is life. For without Him there is nothing but death. Now are we speaking of a physical life. Yes and no. While we live, we who are Christian, follow the teachings of Jesus. He gives us a reason to live this life. Spiritually on the other hand, He is the Life. He has authority over Life and Death as given to Him by the Father. In His death, He defeated death and rose from the dead

John 10:17-18

“17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

Jesus declared that He was going to lay down His life for His sheep, and then take it back again. Only He had the power to do so. No one else could take His life nor give it back to Him. He was declared dead and yet 3 days later, He lived again. He could have said “Nope I am done.” But He chose not to. He chose to take His life back and because of this He is the only way to the Father.

“No One Comes To The Father But By Me!” John 14:6

Notice that He says BUT BY ME! He didn’t say “by Buddha or Allah or Krishna or any of the other gods of this world.” Only though Him can we come to the Father. The is no other way. You can try all you like but Jesus is the only Way. He is the only Truth. He is the only Life.

Jesus Christ, the author of our Faith. He and He alone is the only Truth. He and He alone is the only Life. He and He alone is the only way to the Father. He declares us to the Father when we come to Him. He introduces us to the Father. When we come to Christ, through adoption, we become the Children of God. With all the rights and privileges that is entails.

Jesus is waiting for you. He stands at the door of your heart and knocks. He does so with patience and understanding. He does so cause He wants no one to suffer the pain of hell. If you open the door to Him, He will sup with you and you with Him. He will do all that He has promised and you will be brought into the biggest and best family ever. You will have family all over the world that you can call Sister or Brother. You will be able to do so with pride. Won’t you take that leap of faith and let the love of the Son rain down onto you and make you whole. Jesus loves you!

“Keep Looking Up! His Coming Is Soon!”

The Failure of Jesus!

“And if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and produce no fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus . . . and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, in the failure of the cross.” Pope Francis 2015 September 24th!

Can anyone explain this to me so that it makes sense. Jesus did not fail. The CROSS was not a failure. It was a victory! NO where near a failure. Jesus was perfect, and the plan for His life was perfectly planned. The ending of His life was perfectly planned out to the final painful detail.

Jesus was fully human right down to the DNA and the smallest bacterium. He was God in the flesh but still human. Jesus was put on this earth for one reason one reason only. To die for all mankind. He was literally born to die. He knew what He was to do and how He was to die. It had all been planned out. For three and a half years, He walked this earth knowing what His outcome would be. He spoke of it often.

John 2:18-21

“18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said.”

His death was going to be the final sacrifice that God would ever require. There would be none other.

To say that Jesus was a failure, humanely speaking or not, is not right. Jesus did not fail. He was a success. His death on the cross a success. It finished the plan that God had put into motion way back in the garden.

His death was the ultimate sacrifice and in so doing so, proved once for all that He was who He said He was. He was not a failure of any kind. He knew that even when He was born, He was going to die. He knew that He was born to die.

Failure is something that us mere humans do. We are flawed. Each and every one of us. Even the Pope himself is a flawed human being. Jesus is GOD Himself and could never be a failure, in any sense at all!

“Keep Looking Up…For His Coming Is Soon!”

One Father.

Father of One Please!

Will the real Father please stand up. Seems we have so many fathers that we can’t swing a cat without hitting one or scratching one. We have our natural fathers, those being the ones that helped make us and reared us and that we call dad. Then we have those fathers that are friends and that for no reason at all we call dad cause they mean something to us. Then we have those fathers that we call father cause we are expected to for they are priests. Then we have the original Father. The one that by creating the universe and our galaxy and solar system then us, is our Father in Heaven.

Jehovah, Lord God, God, Adonai, Father God. Whatever you call Him, He is the Father of us all. So why am I writing this. Well, something has always bothered me about calling someone who is not your father, father. We call a priest in the Catholic Church Father but it is not a biblical title. People say that we call them that out of respect. Poppycock. So now that I have managed to insult the Catholic Priesthood, let share something that for some, they don’t know about.

First let’s have a dictionary lesson.

Hyperbole is a word that is often misused. It is used to explain something that someone either doesn’t understand  what the word actually means or to use the word so that they don’t have to agree with you.

Hy·per·bo·le.
 
(noun)

“A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect, as in I could sleep for a year or This book weighs a ton.”

Now I know that Jesus did use hyperbole at times to explain Himself. That is why He spoke in parables but this passage is not a parable or a sort of thing. It is a command. He didn’t say the word “sorta” anywhere in the passage. He meant what He said. Jesus never minced words. He never said anything that He didn’t mean. When He said something, everyone could understand it.

“Call NO one Father but the ONE who created you, which is in heaven.” Matt 23:9

That is a very clear statement. We have ONE spiritual Father, which is God Himself. We are to call no one else Father. Not Ministers, Priests, Bishops or Pope. They are not the One that created us. They are not holy or perfect. None of them.

All through the news while the Pope was here, I kept hearing that he was the Holy Father. Have you all forgotten there is only ONE Holy Father. The One that sent His only begotten Son to earth so that He could set us free. He created you me and everything living thing on the planet. He did it so that His ultimate creation would have a place and a reason to live. HE created us. HE is our one and only Holy Father. NONE other.

“Call NO one Father but the ONE who created you, which is in heaven.” Matt 23:9

Jesus commanded it. He did not make it a suggestion or some kind of advice. He didn’t say, “Call NO one Father but the ONE who created you, which is in heaven but it’s okay to call your earthly spiritual leaders father.”

“Call NO one Father but the ONE who created you, which is in heaven.” Matt 23:9

That was what He said. It’s sad that we have forgotten who the Creator is. It’s sad that He has been pushed aside for a man who is flawed. A flawed man who is called the Holy Father. He is given the same position as the Lord God. Well hate to tell you folks, I have one Holy Father. He is not a man who lives in some castle made of man. My Holy Father, lives in Heaven and is there to comfort me. I don’t have to go through this person or that person or that ceremony. I get to go to Him directly. I get to stand before Him with all my warts and scars and call him Abba Father.

When Jesus died the veil that hung between the sanctuary and the Holy of Holies was torn in half. It’s too bad that some have erected that veil again and made it that we have to beg for an audience. I am free to God directly.

“Keep Looking Up, His Is Coming Soon!”

Love Is…….Jesus

His Love!

God is a God of love. He is not a god of Hate.

His love was shown in more than one way. It was shown in so many ways but He showed His love no more than when He spread His arms and died for mankind.

The Lord’s Supper Instituted

Matthew 26:26-29

26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

Jesus’s ultimate show of love was when He was nailed to the cross but even before that. He told the disciples that this would happen. He tore the bread and told them..”This is My body. Eat it in remembrance of Me.” Then He took the wine and said “This is My blood poured out for you. Drink it in remembrance of Me.” He loved us enough to instruct us to remember Him. He instituted something that Christians have been doing for over 2000 years. Remembering the One who died for us.

By this time Judas had already gone to lead the chief priests and Sadducee’s to where only Jesus knew where they were going. Jesus took them to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray to God and wrestle with His doubts for the last time. He prayed that God would take the cup of poison away from His lips but instead of saying no, He said “Not my will, but Your will be done!”

In the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, it shows them in the garden. The last supper didn’t actually happen there but hey, they had a limited budget. From the supper Jesus goes and prays. In the movie He is played by Ted Neeley and through song, lets God know about His doubts. At the end of the song Jesus says

” God, thy will is hard,
But you hold every card.
I will drink your cup of poison.
Nail me to your cross and break me,
Bleed me, beat me,
Kill me.
Take me, now!
Before I change my mind.”

In Matthew 26:39, 42

39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.”

Jesus could have said no. He could have walked away but He was an obedient Son and did what His Father asked of him. Even in the movie, Jesus did what His Father asked of Him.

His love for his enemy was so strong that when Peter sliced off the guard’s ear, Jesus healed him. Even in all the turmoil if an arrest, Jesus showed love.

Luke 22:49-51

49 When those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.

His love for us was so strong that when He was taken to Pilate, the first time and after He had been humiliated by not only Caiaphas but also Herod,  He was taken to Pilate a second time. Pilate still wanted nothing to do with Him but knew he had no choice. Pilate ordered Jesus to scourged. 39 lashes Jesus would take. Each one was counted off. Jesus, according to the Bible, made not a sound. Did He cry out in pain, I don’t know. He might have. It is not mentioned in the Bible but that doesn’t mean that He didn’t.

The historian of the day said that by the time the guard was done with Jesus, His back was like raw hamburger. He was beaten and battered. Bruised and hit so many times that His face was all but recognizable. Yet He carried a half ton cross up the way of sorrows till He could carry it no further and Simon of Cyrene was pulled out of the crowd to carry the cross the rest of the way. Meanwhile Jesus was expected to walk up the rest of the way. Did he cry out in pain. Maybe, I think he did but the Bible records that He only said a few words as He walked up the way of sorrows.

Luke 23:27-30

27 And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him. 28 But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Even then He shows love by telling them not to weep for Him but weep for the babies and the little ones and themselves. Not to worry over Him.

He showed more love than any other man once He got Golgotha. The place of the skull. The mountain had caves that formed the face of a skull. It was there that the ultimate show of love would be revealed. With each hammer blow on the nails, shock waves of pain would pass through His body. He screamed, I am sure of it. He was after all a man. He felt pain. Each blow on each nail, slicing through skin and into muscle and sinew. Tearing apart blood vessels. His body racked with pain and yet it was not over.

After Jesus had been nailed and then roped lashed around His arms so that they would not rip away, the cross was lifted up by winches and more rope, the cross was dropped in the ground with a thud that would have racked His body with so much pain that I think I would have prayed that they just kill me and get it over with. But I am not Jesus.

 Like a lamb led to the slaughter is dumb, Jesus stayed silent for most of the pain and suffering but he did utter some words.

Jesus said 7 things while hanging from the cross. Each time He had to lift himself up by his feet so that he could get enough air to do so. The pain would have been excruciating!

First Words

Luke 23:34

The Jesus said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Jesus could have spit vile at them and cursed them. Treated them like scum, as most of Israel thought of them but He didn’t . He showed them compassion and forgiveness. He loved even the people who were trying killing Him. He cried out to the Father to forgive them.

Second Words

Luke 23:43

And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Jesus was crucified with two other men. Both thieves. One joined the crowd and shouted arrows of hate at Him but one didn’t. He knew that they deserved everything that they were getting.

Luke 23: 40-41

40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”

The second thief knew he had done wrong and repented for it. He was ready to pay for his crimes. The he said the one thing that gave him salvation.

Luke 23:42-43

42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Jesus knew that this man was repented and knew that he was sincere. He promised this thief eternal life. Jesus showed His love to this man.

Third Words

John 19:26-27

26 When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

Jesus loved His mother so much. Mary was his world. He made sure that she was taken care of. He even gave her a new son. John, the disciple that Jesus loved the most, took Mary into his home as his mother. I am sure that Jesus was smiling when He said those words.

Fourth Words

Matthew 27:46

46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

He cried out to His Father. He cried out in pain and suffering. He cried out in need. He cried out in love to His Father and yet His Father turned his back on Him for God can not look upon sin. He cried out and yet nothing happened. He could have called the angels from heaven to come and save Him but it was not to be. This is what was supposed to happen. It was His destiny.

Fifth Words

John 19:28

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, *said, “I am thirsty.”

Jesus knew that everything was ready. His death was near and that no one could stop it now. He has fulfilled scripture and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that He was who He said He was. He had stayed on the path and walked the walk that He had to. All this pain and suffering to prove WHO HE WAS!

Sixth Words

John 19:30

30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

Jesus chose the time death. He always knew where it would happen. That had been laid out long ago but He chose the time. He waited for it all to be in order. He then spoke the words that needed to be said. “It Is Finished!”

Seventh Words

Luke 23:46

46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last.

The last phrase was the most important. Even in death Jesus had trust in God. He knew that God loved Him. It takes absolute trust to trust someone with your soul. Jesus had that absolute trust. At that very moment of Christ’s death, the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from all of man kind was torn. Split right down the middle. Allowing for the first time for a normal man to be able to go and talk to the Father without any fear of death.

Jesus’s love touched so many people. It touched a Roman Centurion whose child was healed (Matthew 8:5-13). It touched a woman who was too afraid to speak to Jesus directly, but rather said “If I can only touch the hem of His garment, I will be healed.” (Matthew 9:20). The blind man who was given back his sight with the use of mud (John 9 4-11).  The adulteress that was dragged out to be stoned. They were well in their rights to stone her. Jesus could have said yes, stone her but he didn’t He showed compassion (John 8:1-11).

Jesus love was so strong that not even death could stop Him. He defeated death and corruption. Jesus was as dead as a door nail. He rose from the dead to fulfill the prophecies and to show that His love was so strong. Jesus loves you. He was born to die. He lived to show the way. He died to provide the way to the Father and He rose again to prove that we can defeat death! Jesus did it all!

Jesus is Love and Love is Jesus!

 

 

The Defiant Child!

I am God’s defiant child. One of many actually. We all fall down and He reaches down to pick us up. He tells us that He loves us (even with all our scars) and brushes us off and sends us on our way. He loves us with a never ending love that is unconditional. He comforts us and disciplines us just like any other Father would do.

Romans 3:23 -24

 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;”

I am a sinner. No doubt about it. I do it everyday. I do it without thinking and sometimes I do it with full knowledge of what I am doing or saying. I fall short of the glory of God everyday. We all do. We say things and think things and do things that we either know or don’t know that we are doing.

We see a pretty lady walking down the street. We say, “oh she’s pretty.” but instead of moving on we look back as she walks away as that thought pops into our head. We have all done it. Male and female. It’s not the first look that gets you it’s the second. That infamous second look. There we go, we just committed sin and we know we did. We don’t think another lick about it. We sit and then we realize that we just did it. We beg forgiveness and we get it.

Romans 24 goes on to say “But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free.”

The free gift is salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus died for us and did so willingly. For a sacrifice to be a true sacrifice, it has to be done so willingly. So does that say that the sacrifices of the old testament are not the same. No. What it says is that Christ’s sacrifice was the last one. God sacrificed His Son so that we might be free. Free from the slavery of sin.

Does this mean that we, as Christians, have free reign to sin as we like. Not on your life. Does it mean that we can do what ever we like. Not on your life. What it means is that although we are sinners and always will be, we are not perfect, just forgiven. We follow the path that Jesus walked and sometimes we lose sight of  that path. Sometimes it is an accidental walk off the path and sometimes it is purposeful.

As Christians, we have a Living GOD. A Righteous GOD. A perfect GOD. God is is omnipresent. He is all knowing, All seeing and all powerful. He leads is in His path and yup, we sometimes stray. He doesn’t threaten us or beat us or even treats us like crap. He loves us. He welcomes us back with open arms.

Just like the father that took his son back, even though he had spent his inheritance on wine, women and song.  He could have sent him away but instead he ordered the fatted cow to be slain and cooked. The best wines and the best foods were served at a party. For his son was lost and now found again.

Putting it simply. God sent His only begotten Son, to die for us. Jesus was born to die. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. The innocent lamb. John the apostle called Jesus the Lamb of God. For the sins of the world could only be washed away by an innocent Lamb.

I took Jesus as my own almost 40 years ago. I have walked with Him and talked with Him. I surrendered my life and soul to him. He washed away my sin with His precious blood. He made me clean but I am still on this earth. I still sin for I am human. I am faulty but I have joy in the knowledge that when this earthly body is done and buried in the ground. My soul will go to be with the Father and I will sing His praise forevermore and I will do so with such gusto.

If you don’t know the Jesus I know, give Him a shot. You won’t be disappointed. He loves you!

I once asked Jesus “How much do you love me?” He said “This much.” Then He spread his arms and died for me.

Don’t let the free gift of salvation slip through your hands. Once you have it, it will be yours forever. He will never take it away from you.

“Keep Looking Up, For His Coming Is Soon!”