Monday, March 24, 2008
On that first day of the week,
The mourners were bewildered,
Overwhelmed, and torn by grief.
All their hopes had come to nothing,
All their dreams were crushed and gone.
They had thought He was the promised King.
How could they have been so wrong?
So many questions pierced their souls
As they neared the tomb that day.
But their grief soon turned to wonder
When they heard the angel say
He is risen!He is not dead
He is risen just as He said.
Death could not keep Him,
Tell all who seek Him,
He is risen! He is not here!
In a world that's dark and heavy
There are people who still seek,
Their hearts are still bewildered,
Confused, and torn by grief.
All their hopes have come to nothing,
All their dreams are crushed and gone.
They have not met the risen Lord,
And they wonder what's gone wrong.
So many questions pierce their souls
And they search to find the truth.
Will you lead them to the empty tomb?
Will you share with them the news?
He is risen!He is not dead
He is risen just as He said.
Death could not keep Him,
Tell all who seek Him,
He is risen from the dead!
Lyrics by Brigette Shevy
Copyright 2007 The Wilds
Found on www.biblicalwomanhoodonline.com/blog
"On your back with you!" One raises a mallet to sink in the spike. But the soldier's heart must continue pumping as he readies the prisoner's wrist. Someone must sustain the soldier's life minute by minute, for no man has this power on his own. Who supplies breath to his lungs? Who gives energy to his cells? Who holds the molecules together? Only by the Son do "all things hold together" (Colossians 1:17). The Victim wills that the soldier live on - He grants the warriors continued existence. The man swings.
As the man swings, the Son recalls how He and the Father first designed the medial nerve of the human forearm - the sensations it would be capable of. The design proves flawless - the nerves perform exquisitely. "Up you go!" They lift the cross. God is on display in His underwear and can scarcely breathe.
But these pains are a mere warm-up to His other and growing dread. He begins to feel a foreign sensation. Somewhere during this day, and unearthly foul odor began to waft, not around His nose, but His heart. He feels dirty. Human wickedness starts to crawl upon His spotless being - the living excrement from our souls. The apple of His Father's eye turns brown with rot.
His Father! He must face His Father like this!
From heaven the Father now rouses Himself like a lion disturbed, shakes His mane, and roars against the shriveling remnant of a man hanging on a cross. Never has the Son seen the Father look at Him so, never felt even the least of His hot breath. But the roar shakes the unseen world and darkens the visible sky. The Son does not recognize these eyes.
"Son of Man! Why have you behaved so? You have cheated, lusted, stolen, gossiped - murdered, envied, hated, lied. You have cursed, robbed, overspent, overeaten - fornicated, disobeyed, embezzled, and blasphemed. Oh, the duties you have shirked, the children you have abandoned! Who has ever so ignored the poor, so played the coward, so belittled My Name? Have you ever held your razor tongue? What a self-righteous, pitiful drunk - you, who molest young boys, peddle killer drugs, travel in cliques, and mock your parents. Who gave you the boldness to rig elections, foment revolutions, torture animals, and worship demons? Does the list never end! Splitting families, raping virgins, acting smugly, playing the pimp - buying politicians, practicing exhortation, filming pornography, accepting bribes. You have burned down buildings, perfected terrorist tactics, founded false religions, traded in slaves - relishing each morsel and bragging about it all. I hate, loathe these things in you! Disgust for everything about you consumes me! Can you not feel my wrath?"
Of course the Son is innocent. He is blamelessness itself. The Father knows this. But the divine pair have an agreement, and the unthinkable must now take place. Jesus will be treated as if personally responsible for every sin ever committed.
The Father watches as His heart's treasure, the mirror-image of Himself, sinks drowning into raw, liquid sin. Jehovah's stored rage against humankind from every century explodes in a single direction.
"Father! Father! Why have You forsaken Me?!"
But heaven stops its ears. The Son stares up at the One Who cannot, Who will not, reach down or reply.
The Trinity had planned it. The Son endured it. The Spirit enabled Him. The Father rejected the Son Whom He loved. Jesus, the God-man from Nazareth, perished. The Father accepted His sacrifice for sin and was satisfied. The Rescue was accomplished. ~
Taken from Boy Meets Girl, by Joshua Harris.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
The greatest example of one laying down his life for his friends is Christ. We will never be able to fully comprehend the spiritual aspect of Christ’s suffering and shame, but medical studies shed glimpses of light on the physical agony and all the horror that Jesus endured on the cross.
“For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners
against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds” (Hebrews 12:3).
Sweating Drops of Blood
The physical trauma of Christ begins in Gethsemane with one of the initial aspects of his suffering—the bloody sweat. It is interesting that the physician of the group, St. Luke, is the only one to mention this. He says, “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44).
Though very rare, the phenomenon of Hematidrosis, or bloody sweat, is well documented. Under great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with sweat. This process alone could have produced marked weakness and possible shock.
After the arrest in the middle of the night, Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin and Caiaphas, the High Priest. A soldier struck Jesus across the face for remaining silent when questioned by Caiaphas. The palace guards then blindfolded Him and mockingly taunted Him to identify them as they each passed by, spat on Him, and struck Him in the face.
In the early morning, Jesus, battered and bruised, dehydrated, and exhausted from a sleepless night, is taken across Jerusalem to the Praetorium of the Fortress Antonia. It was there, in response to the cries of the mob, that Pilate ordered Bar-Abbas released and condemned Jesus to scourging and crucifixion.
Preparations for the scourging are carried out. The prisoner is stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. The Roman legionnaire steps forward with the flagrum in his hand. This is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each. The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back, and legs.
At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then as the blows continue, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles. The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows.
Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped.
Mocked by Soldiers
The half-fainting Jesus is then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with His own blood. The Roman soldiers see a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be a king. They throw a robe across His shoulders and place a stick in His hand for a scepter. A small bundle of flexible branches covered with long thorns is pressed into His scalp.
Again there is copious bleeding (the scalp being one of the most vascular areas of the body). After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp. Finally, they tire of their sadistic sport and the robe is torn from His back. This had already become adherent to the clots of blood and serum in the wound, and its removal, just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, causes excruciating pain—almost as though He were again being whipped, and the wounds again begin to bleed.
The heavy beam of the cross is then tied across His shoulders, and the procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves, and the execution detail, begins its slow journey. The weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious blood loss, is too much. He stumbles and falls. The rough wood of the beam gouges into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders. He tries to rise, but human muscles have been pushed beyond their endurance.
Nailed to the Cross
At Golgotha, the beam is placed on the ground and Jesus is quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The beam is then lifted in place at the top of the posts and the titulus reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” is nailed in place.
The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each. As He pushes Himself upward to avoid the stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet.
As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.
Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins. A deep crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.
The compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues—the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues send their flood of stimuli to the brain. Jesus gasps, “I thirst.”
He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. With one last surge of strength, He once again presses His torn feet against the nail, straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters His seventh and last cry, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”
Apparently to make double sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. Immediately there came out blood and water. We, therefore, have rather conclusive post-mortem evidence that our Lord died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.
Jesus said, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
This article is condensed from The Crucifixion of Jesus by C. Truman Davis, M.D., M.S.; March 1965. Found on www.iblp.org
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
~ He is the Giver of grace and peace
~ The Father works through Jesus in these ways:
*He blesses me with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ
*He has chosen me in Jesus before the foundation of the world and given me this purpose: to be holy and without blame before Him in love
*He adopted me by Jesus Christ to Himself
~ Jesus is the Beloved
I am accepted in the Beloved
~ In Jesus is redemption through His blood - the forgiveness of sins! - according to the riches of His grace
~ Jesus abounds in grace toward me in all wisdom and prudence
~ Jesus made known unto me the mystery of His will because it pleased Him to do so. This is the mystery: in the fulness of time, He will gather together as one whole all things in Himself.
~ In Jesus, I have obtained an inheritance
~ Jesus works all things after the counsel of His own will
~ He has predestinated me to fulfill this purpose: that I should be to the praise of His glory
~ Jesus is trustworthy
I trusted in Him after I heard the word of truth
~ After I believed in Him, He sealed me with the Holy Spirit of promise
~ The Holy Spirit is the earnest (or reality) of my inheritance
~ My Father can give me the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. He can enlighten the eyes of my understanding so that I will know:
*the hope of His calling
*the exceeding greatness of His power to me and the working of it
~ Jesus was raised from the dead by this mighty power and set at the right hand of the Father
~ Jesus is far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion, and name
~ All things are under the feet of Jesus
~ Jesus is the head over the church (which is His body)
Writing down all these descriptions and details pertaining to my Great Savior provided such rich insight from the Word of God! I hope you are as blessed as I was by reading them...
Thursday, March 6, 2008
This year, my aunt had an extra ticket and invited me to accompany her. I had a blast! We started out at the livestock show admiring all the ranchers' various breeds of cattle, oohing and aahing over the new baby farm animals (I got to "pet" a brand new piglet for the first time ever!), watching a modern-day milking demonstration, and in general, just enjoying the sights and sounds (notice I didn't say smells?) of the festive event.
Now that's a Texas long horn!
After wandering around in the livestock show, we entered the stadium and found our seats. The actual rodeo events were my favorite part of the evening - everything from bull riding to barrell racing!
There go the chuck wagon races!
It was a delightful evening spent with my aunt.
And now, I'm back to being a true Texan.
That's a comforting thought.