Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday


John 19:30 Then Jesus bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

It is tempting to look away from the cross today. It is tempting to skip the painful Passion story and go from Maundy Thursday right on to the radiant joy of Easter. But that won’t do. Today the whole world stops as we re-enter the sacred mystery of Good Friday. The whole creation wept when Jesus died.

The cross is the inevitable result of the collision between God’s perfect love and our perfected fear. Here heaven and earth meet in a gruesome instrument of torture and death. And, yet, Jesus bore this willingly. I will confess that the transactional language of paying for my sins isn’t always helpful. But what is always helpful is the knowledge that God’s love for me knows no limits, that God enters even into death for my sake. There is no part of my life that God cannot redeem, nothing that is removed from God.

Good Friday does not, as some say, expose a cruel, distant God. Rather, in Jesus’ free choice and willingness to die, we have proof that God could not love us more, for God is willing to do anything for our sake, for our souls. To receive this gift, we must gaze at the awful reality of the cross.

Seeking God?
Click HERE to find out more about how to have a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Daily Readings for FRIDAY, April 14, 2017 - Good Friday

The Crucifixion, 16th century, by Theophanes the Cretan
Morning Prayer

O God:
Give me strength to live another day;
Let me not turn coward before its difficulties or prove recreant to its duties;
Let me not lose faith in other people;
Keep me sweet and sound of heart, in spite of ingratitude, treachery, or meanness;
Preserve me from minding little stings or giving them;
Help me to keep my heart clean, and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of conscious integrity;
Open wide the eyes of my soul that I may see good in all things;
Grant me this day some new vision of thy truth;
Inspire me with the spirit of joy and gladness;
and make me the cup of strength to suffering souls;
in the name of the strong Deliverer, our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen


The Introit

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow which was brought upon me, whom the Lord hath afflicted. (Lamentations 1:12)

The Old Testament Lesson

The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Isaiah 52:13-53:12

See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. Just as there were many who were astonished at him-- so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals-- so he shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate. Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account. Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the LORD shall prosper. Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Psalms

Psalm 22 Deus, Deus meu
1   My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? and are so far from my cry and from the words of my distress?
2   O my God, I cry in the daytime, but you do not answer; by night as well, but I find no rest.
3   Yet you are the Holy One, enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
4   Our forefathers put their trust in you; they trusted, and you delivered them.
5   They cried out to you and were delivered; they trusted in you and were not put to shame.
6   But as for me, I am a worm and no man, scorned by all and despised by the people.
7   All who see me laugh me to scorn; they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying,
8   He trusted in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, if he delights in him.
9   Yet you are he who took me out of the womb, and kept me safe upon my mother's breast.
10   I have been entrusted to you ever since I was born; you were my God when I was still in my mother's womb.
11   Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help.
12   Many young bulls encircle me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me.
13   They open wide their jaws at me, like a ravening and a roaring lion.
14   I am poured out like water; all my bones are out of joint; my heart within my breast is melting wax.
15   My mouth is dried out like a pot-sherd; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; and you have laid me in the dust of the grave.
16   Packs of dogs close me in, and gangs of evildoers circle around me; they pierce my hands and my feet; I can count all my bones.
17   They stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them; they cast lots for my clothing.
18   Be not far away, O LORD; you are my strength; hasten to help me.
19   Save me from the sword, my life from the power of the dog.
20   Save me from the lion's mouth, my wretched body from the horns of wild bulls.
21   I will declare your Name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.
22   Praise the LORD, you that fear him; stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel; all you of Jacob's line, give glory.
23   For he does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither does he hide his face from them; but when they cry to him he hears them.
24   My praise is of him in the great assembly; I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship him.
25   The poor shall eat and be satisfied, and those who seek the LORD shall praise him: "May your heart live for ever!"
26   All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations bow before him.
27   For kingship belongs to the LORD; he rules over the nations.
28   To him alone all who sleep in the earth bow down in worship; all who go down to the dust fall before him.
29   My soul shall live for him; my descendants shall serve him; they shall be known as the LORD'S for ever.
30   They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn the saving deeds that he has done.


The Epistle Lesson

The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Hebrews 10:16-25

"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds," he also adds, "I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more." Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

The Holy Gospel Lesson

The Holy Gospel is written in John 18:1-19:42

After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, "Whom are you looking for?" They answered, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus replied, "I am he." Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, "I am he," they stepped back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, "Whom are you looking for?" And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus answered, "I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go." This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, "I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me." Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave's name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?" So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him. First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people. Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. The woman said to Peter, "You are not also one of this man's disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not." Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself. Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. Jesus answered, "I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said." When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, "Is that how you answer the high priest?" Jesus answered, "If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?" Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, "You are not also one of his disciples, are you?" He denied it and said, "I am not." One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, "Did I not see you in the garden with him?" Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed. Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate's headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate went out to them and said, "What accusation do you bring against this man?" They answered, "If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you." Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law." The Jews replied, "We are not permitted to put anyone to death." (This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.) Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?" Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here." Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice." Pilate asked him, "What is truth?" After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, "I find no case against him. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?" They shouted in reply, "Not this man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a bandit. Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and striking him on the face. Pilate went out again and said to them, "Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him." So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!" When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him." The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God." Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, "Where are you from?" But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore said to him, "Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?" Jesus answered him, "You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin." From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, "If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor." When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge's bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, "Here is your King!" They cried out, "Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!" Pilate asked them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but the emperor." Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but, 'This man said, I am King of the Jews.'" Pilate answered, "What I have written I have written." When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it." This was to fulfill what the scripture says, "They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots." And that is what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, "Woman, here is your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Here is your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), "I am thirsty." A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, "It is finished." Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, "None of his bones shall be broken." And again another passage of scripture says, "They will look on the one whom they have pierced." After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

A Prayer for Fridays

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

A Prayer for Mission

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God!


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.

What’s So Good about Good Friday?


by Justin Holcomb

What is Good Friday and why do we call Good Friday “good,” when it is such a dark and bleak event commemorating a day of suffering and death for Jesus?

For Christians, Good Friday is a crucial day of the year because it celebrates what we believe to be the most momentous weekend in the history of the world. Ever since Jesus died and was raised, Christians have proclaimed the cross and resurrection of Jesus to be the decisive turning point for all creation. Paul considered it to be “of first importance” that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised to life on the third day, all in accordance with what God had promised all along in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3).

On Good Friday we remember the day Jesus willingly suffered and died by crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins (1 John 1:10). It is followed by Easter, the glorious celebration of the day Jesus was raised from the dead, heralding his victory over sin and death and pointing ahead to a future resurrection for all who are united to him by faith (Romans 6:5).

Still, why call the day of Jesus’ death “Good Friday” instead of “Bad Friday” or something similar? Some Christian traditions do take this approach: in German, for example, the day is called Karfreitag, or “Sorrowful Friday.” In English, in fact, the origin of the term “Good” is debated: some believe it developed from an older name, “God’s Friday.” Regardless of the origin, the name Good Friday is entirely appropriate because the suffering and death of Jesus, as terrible as it was, marked the dramatic culmination of God’s plan to save his people from their sins.

In order for the good news of the gospel to have meaning for us, we first have to understand the bad news of our condition as sinful people under condemnation. The good news of deliverance only makes sense once we see how we are enslaved. Another way of saying this is that it is important to understand and distinguish between law and gospel in Scripture. We need the law first to show us how hopeless our condition is; then the gospel of Jesus’ grace comes and brings us relief and salvation.

In the same way, Good Friday is “good” because as terrible as that day was, it had to happen for us to receive the joy of Easter. The wrath of God against sin had to be poured out on Jesus, the perfect sacrificial substitute, in order for forgiveness and salvation to be poured out to the nations. Without that awful day of suffering, sorrow, and shed blood at the cross, God could not be both “just and the justifier” of those who trust in Jesus (Romans 3:26). Paradoxically, the day that seemed to be the greatest triumph of evil was actually the deathblow in God’s gloriously good plan to redeem the world from bondage.

The cross is where we see the convergence of great suffering and God’s forgiveness. Psalms 85:10 sings of a day when “righteousness and peace” will “kiss each other.” The cross of Jesus is where that occurred, where God’s demands, his righteousness, coincided with his mercy. We receive divine forgiveness, mercy, and peace because Jesus willingly took our divine punishment, the result of God’s righteousness against sin. “For the joy set before him” (Hebrews 12:2) Jesus endured the cross on Good Friday, knowing it led to his resurrection, our salvation, and the beginning of God’s reign of righteousness and peace.

Good Friday marks the day when wrath and mercy met at the cross. That’s why Good Friday is so dark and so Good.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny


Seeking God?
Click HERE to find out more about how to have a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ.

Verse of the Day - April 14, 2017


1 Corinthians 15:1 (NIV) [The Resurrection of Christ] Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.




Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - "Finished!"

When Jesus had tasted it, he said, "It is finished!" Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.
John 19:30 (NLT)

The cross was the goal of Jesus from the very beginning. His birth was so there would be His death. The incarnation was for our atonement. He was born to die so that we might live. And when He had accomplished the purpose He had come to fulfill, He summed it up with a single word: finished.

In the original Greek, it was a common word. Jesus probably used it after He finished a project that He and Joseph might have been working on together in the carpentry shop. Jesus might have turned to Joseph and said, “Finished. Now let’s go have lunch.” It is finished. Mission accomplished. It is done. It is made an end of.

So what was finished? Finished and completed were the horrendous sufferings of Christ. Never again would He experience pain at the hand of wicked men. Never again would He have to bear the sins of the world. Never again would He, even for a moment, be forsaken of God. That was completed. That was taken care of.

Also finished was Satan’s stronghold on humanity. Jesus came to deal a decisive blow against the devil and his demons at the cross of Calvary. Hebrews 2:14 says, “That through death he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is the devil.” This means that you no longer have to be under the power of sin. Because of Jesus’ accomplishment at the cross, finished was the stronghold of Satan on humanity.

And lastly, finished was our salvation. It is completed. It is done. All of our sins were transferred to Jesus when He hung on the cross. His righteousness was transferred to our account.

So Jesus cried out the words, “It is finished!” It was God’s deliberate and well-thought-out plan. It is finished—so rejoice!

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

Seeking God?
Click HERE to find out more about how to have a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ.


Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation®, NLT® copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Devotion by Greg Laurie © 2017 Harvest Christian Fellowship; all rights reserved.

Un Dia a la Vez - Lo mejor para mí


De este modo todos sabrán que son mis discípulos, si se aman los unos a los otros.
Juan 13:35, NVI

Dios a veces tiene que mover fichas para llamar nuestra atención.

En mi caso, aunque ya estaba segura que escribir este libro era una idea de papito Dios y se reconfirmaba con la Biblia en Jeremías 30:2, yo me negaba.

Hasta un día que llegó a mi vida una personita muy especial que Dios ha usado en serio para que le diera inicio a este proyecto. Se trata de Pedrito, como le digo cariñosamente. Pedrito Lancheros es un hombre inteligente, sencillo, preparado y con un lindo hogar. Además, forma parte del equipo de Conexión USA, la revista.

Hacía ya un tiempo que me venía escuchando por la radio, y cuando entró a trabajar en la revista, empezamos a tener algunas conversaciones. Entonces, un día, entra a mi oficina y me dice que sentía de Dios decirme que lo que hacía por los oyentes era excelente, que la oración de la mañana era muy poderosa y un tremendo testimonio. Acto seguido me preguntó si no pensaba escribir un libro. Cuando me dijo esas palabras, pensé: «¡Dios mío, otra persona que envías para que reaccione!». Tuvimos varias conversaciones serias en las cuales me dijo cosas que me hicieron reflexionar y sentir incómoda, pero todo para bien. Más tarde, me entregó un cronograma y el resultado hoy es que tú y yo estamos leyendo este motivador libro lleno de testimonios.

Gracias, Pedrito, por ser obediente a Dios y hablarme, y gracias por tu paciencia.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - FAMINE CANNOT SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF CHRIST

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall…famine…?

The question asked is a personal one. Not “what” can separate us but “who”? The inference is our enemy, Satan, who tries every tactic he can garner to make us think we can be separated from Christ’s love. Today we look at his tactic of “famine.”

Wilson Chen from Vietnam spent five years in one of those harsh and primitive re-education camps. He was forced to spend long hours of hard backbreaking work clearing jungles for farmland, cutting trees for lumber and farming the fields. He had looked forward to a successful secular career and also to marrying his lovely girlfriend. In his final year in camp, he received the crushing news that his girlfriend had given up hope, married another and escaped from Vietnam.

The camp food was barely enough to keep him alive. “The constant brutality attacked our minds and spirits; the malnutrition attacked our bodies,” he recalls. The constant hunger drove them to eat anything. He would search the ground with other prisoners for rats, toads, worms, snakes, insects and birds to supplement their diet and keep them alive and to simply ease the feeling of constant hunger.

Wilson remembers companions who went insane from the pressure of hunger. Others committed suicide. Many died from diseases caused by the malnutrition.

That very night they were subjected to mental torture and political indoctrinat. Always in their minds were thoughts of escape. But Wilson Chen says, “It was hope in the Lord Jesus that kept me alive. I fed this hope by secretly reading the Scriptures...” In that camp situation, Wilson promised the Lord that he would serve him if he ever received the opportunity. The Holy Spirit whispered to him, “You have opportunities right here!” Very soon three fellow-prisoners came to know the Lord.

Camp experiences helped him reflect on the significance of the sufferings of Jesus. In that context he found refreshment and exhilaration in his own weakness. And he says, “...Jesus gave me peace in the midst of tribulation.”

RESPONSE: I will live this day aware that famines can never separate me from Christ’s love.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord that You give peace in the midst of tribulations.

Men of the Bible - Boaz


His name may mean: "In Strength"

His work: He was a wealthy landowner.
His character: Boaz was a capable and upright man, so touched by the loyalty and generosity of a young widow named Ruth that he responded to her with extraordinary generosity, playing the role of kinsman-redeemer for her and her mother-in-law, Naomi.
His triumph: To find a well-suited wife who blessed him with a son.
Key Scriptures: Ruth 2-4

A Look at the Man

Boaz was a good man going about his everyday work when God brought an unexpected blessing into his life. Evidently, he was someone of standing in Bethlehem, a man who may have been content with life the way it was. Nothing in the legal tradition of the time required him to show the degree of kindness he displayed toward Ruth, the young widow from Moab. Boaz went out of his way to act as her protector and provider while she worked in his fields.

But marrying this foreign-born woman was something altogether different, a commitment that would entitle her to a lifetime of his protection and provision. What's more, a firstborn son would not be considered his offspring but that of her first husband's. But when confronted with Ruth's request for marriage, Boaz responded in a way entirely consistent with his character, acting as though she were doing him the favor rather than the other way around.

As a result, Boaz was blessed with a wife who must have been a pleasure to live with and a son who would become the grandfather of King David. Boaz was the living embodiment of the person who heeds the counsel of Philippians 4:8-9: "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things…. And the God of peace will be with you."

The man who sought to be a blessing to a young woman in need is memorialized not only in the book of Ruth but also in the list of ancestors included in the genealogy of Jesus Christ contained in Matthew's gospel.

Reflect On: Ruth 2:12–19
Praise God: For rewarding the goodness of those who belong to him.
Offer Thanks: That God has given you the means by which to bless others.
Confess: Any selfishness in the way you approach your belongings.
Ask God: To increase your kindness and sensitivity toward others.

Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book's title must be included when sharing the above content on social media. Coming this fall: watch for Wicked Women of the Bible by Ann Spangler.

Girlfriends in God - Once and For All

by Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5, NIV)

Friend to Friend

All who pause for reflection and allow their hearts to wander in wonder down the Way of Suffering feel the darkness of this day in history. Good Friday was anything but good – yet, because of God’s unsearchable love for you and me, it was the pathway to our hope, to our forgiveness… and to eternal life.

Injustice took center stage that day as Pilate turned Jesus over to a rowdy mob though he had found no fault in him. Roman soldiers rendered Him wounded and weak as they flogged an innocent man – the perfectly innocent Son of man – with 39 excruciating lashes.

A twisted crown of thorns was placed on his head and a purple robe draped over his shoulders as the crowd struck Him in the face and mocked God’s Son. (John 19:1-3)

“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7)

Forced, then, to carry the weight of a heavy, wooden cross through streets full of accusations and curses, Jesus, the Messiah, was led toward the hill of death to the place of the skull: Golgotha.

He was poked, prodded and provoked by angry voices that cried for his torture. For his death.

Crucify! Crucify!

“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” (Isaiah 53:3)

Nails to flesh.

Agony.

“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:4)

On that pivotal day, darkness hurled hatred at the Light of the World. The sun stopped shining and the sky grew black as night as the beloved Son of God drew His final breath and declared, “It is finished.”

It. Is. Finished.

Death.

A spear to His side. (John 19:34)

The tomb. Myrrh. Aloe. Burial. Heaven’s sorrow.

All for you. All for me. This sacred substitution.

Radical love.

To fulfill the wrath of a holy God who cannot accept imperfection into His presence, the Bible tells us that “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) and that the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf brought a new and living way of redemption to all who would call on His name. Once for all. (Hebrews 9 and 10)

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

His punishment. Our peace.

By His wounds we are healed.

Read that again: by His wounds we are healed. Made whole. Forgiven. Saved. Redeemed. Set free. Healed.

The condemnation of our failings no longer bind us to hopelessness.

It is finished because though darkness shook the earth with death that Friday long ago, the grave could not hold Jesus and death could not defeat Him! {TWEET this!}

Friday brought death, but Sunday brought life!

He is risen, friend! He is risen, indeed!

Respond with me today in worship and thanksgiving in light of the life we have in Christ alone!

Let’s Pray

Holy Father, My heart is swollen with the weight of Your love. That You would give Your only Son to make a way for me to know You – to be made right with You – to be made righteous in Jesus – is more than I could ever, ever thank You for.
All glory and honor and praise be to Your name, Jesus!
Amen.


Now It’s Your Turn

Today I want to share a SONG with you called Once And For All. Turn up your speakers and prepare your heart for a response of worship. CLICK HERE to listen.

This sacrifice is personal, friend. And so is salvation. Have you ever responded on a heart level to this good news? Have you confessed your mistakes and failures to God? Have you placed your faith in Jesus Christ – trusting that what He did on the cross was for the forgiveness of your sins? If you are ready, let today be the day of your salvation by doing just this. Pray. Get right with God. Turn to Jesus. {If you pray to accept Jesus as your Savior today – or recommit your heart to Him, please CLICK HERE to go to my blog. Let me know in the comments section. We will pray for you and give you a few action points to help direct you toward what to do next!}

More from the Girlfriends

FREE EBOOK: Gwen Smith is a speaker, worship leader, songwriter, and author of I Want I ALL, which includes a Bible Study section right in the back of the book; no extra purchase required. I WANT IT ALL is easy to read yet contains compelling and challenging content. You'll connect with the stories, probably dust off a few heart dreams, think bigger thoughts of God, laugh and smile a lot, search your soul, and even cry a little ... because each page lovingly directs you to the personal grace and truth of JESUS. (CLICK HERE to get a FREE Downloadable “7 Day I WANT IT ALL” Devotional Ebook.)

Seeking God?
Click HERE to find out more about how to have a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ.

Girlfriends in God P.O. Box 725 Matthews, NC 28106


LHM Daily Devotion - "A Miraculous Death"

Many supernatural events occur at Jesus' death. The first is a darkness...

Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries



"A Miraculous Death"

April 14, 2017

Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, "Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!" ... (Luke 23:46a, ESV)

Read Luke 23:44-49

Many supernatural events occur at Jesus' death. The first is a darkness that covered the whole land from midday until three in the afternoon. This darkness indicates God's judgment, as Jesus is punished for the sins of the whole world.

At 3 p.m. a second miracle takes place in the temple. The thick curtain dividing the two rooms of the temple is torn in two from top to bottom. This curtain represents our separation from God on account of our sins. Throughout the Old Testament only one person could pass through it-the high priest. But now God's Son-our great High Priest-has torn down the dividing barrier, so all who believe in Jesus have direct access to God the Father forever.

At this same moment Jesus cries out with a loud voice, "Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!" Jesus wants everyone to hear His intense satisfaction and joy because peace with God has now been won for all. Now that He has finished the work for which He was born, Jesus commends His spirit into His Father's hands.

Then the third miracle takes place. Immediately after uttering this loud cry, Jesus dies. The Roman centurion knows crucified criminals don't die this way. Their lungs slowly fill with fluid, and their last moments are desperate gasps for air. There is no way Jesus should be able to utter a loud cry the moment before He dies. Thinking of the unnatural darkness, the unnatural way Jesus died, and all the injustices Jesus suffered, he says, "Certainly this man was innocent."

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, when You completed Your earthly course You committed Your spirit into Your Father's keeping. Give me confidence that I am safe in Your hands now and forever. Amen

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).

Devociones de Cuaresma - Consumado es


Devociones de Cuaresma  2017

Consumado es

14 de Abril  de 2017

Viernes Santo

Cuando Jesús probó el vinagre, dijo "Consumado es"; luego inclinó la cabeza y entregó el espíritu. Juan 19:30, RVC (23-30)

Cuando era niño, los Viernes Santos sucedía algo especial en mi congregación: ¡el templo se llenaba! Yo veía a personas que de ordinario no participaban en las actividades de la iglesia. ¿Cuál era el motivo? Parecía que aun en los cristianos tibios y fríos (o nominales), la crucifixión y muerte de Jesús el Viernes Santo producía una especie de temor, o reverencia, o alguna suerte de arrepentimiento transitorio.

¿Qué produce en ti el Viernes Santo? Dejaré que tú respondas a conciencia esa pregunta con la ayuda del Espíritu de Dios. En verdad, es más importante saber lo que el primer Viernes Santo produjo: la salvación de toda la humanidad mediante el sacrificio del Hijo Santo de Dios. La clave de esto la dio el mismo Jesús cuando exclamó sus últimas palabras: "Consumado es." La palabra griega que usa el evangelista Juan para "consumado es" es tetéleszai, que se traduce mejor: "está completo o perfecto". En la cruz Jesús estaba cumpliendo con todo lo que el Padre le había pedido que hiciera; estaba también ocupando el lugar que nos correspondía a nosotros como castigo por nuestros pecados. Así, Jesús cumplió en forma completa y perfecta todo lo que hacía falta para que nosotros recibiéramos el perdón de nuestros pecados. ¡Nuestra salvación está consumada gracias a Jesús!

El Viernes Santo sigue produciendo en mí una especie de reverencia no igualada por ninguna otra cosa. Me invita a pensar en profundidad en cuánto Dios me ama, y en lo que estuvo dispuesto a hacer para recibirme como hijo suyo para siempre.

Gracias, Padre, por la perfecta obra de amor de Jesús, que me libro a mí de pasar por la cruz. Amén

© Copyright 2017 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones.  ¡U tilice estas devociones en sus boletines! Usado con permiso. Todos los derechos reservados por la Int'l LLL.

Our Daily Bread - Remember the Cross

https://odb.org/2017/04/14/remember-the-cross/


“Surely this man was the Son of God!” Mark 15:39

In the church I attend, a large cross stands at the front of the sanctuary. It represents the original cross where Jesus died—the place where our sin intersected with His holiness. There God allowed His perfect Son to die for the sake of every wrong thing we have ever done, said, or thought. On the cross, Jesus finished the work that was required to save us from the death we deserve (Rom. 6:23).

The sight of a cross causes me to consider what Jesus endured for us. Before being crucified, He was flogged and spit on. The soldiers hit Him in the head with sticks and got down on their knees in mock worship. They tried to make Him carry His own cross to the place where He would die, but He was too weak from the brutal flogging. At Golgotha, they hammered nails through His flesh to keep Him on the cross when they turned it upright. Those wounds bore the weight of His body as He hung there. Six hours later, Jesus took His final breath (Mark 15:37). A centurion who witnessed Jesus’s death declared, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” (v. 39).

The next time you see the symbol of the cross, consider what it means to you. God’s Son suffered and died there and then rose again to make eternal life possible.

Dear Jesus, I can’t begin to thank You enough for taking care of my sin when You died on the cross. I acknowledge Your sacrifice, and I believe in the power of Your resurrection.

The cross of Christ reveals our sin at its worst and God’s love at its best.


Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Nhớ Về Thập Giá

https://vietnamese-odb.org/2017/04/14/nho-ve-thap-gia/
Đọc: Mác 15:19-20, 33-39 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: 1 Sa-mu-ên 25-26; Lu-ca 12:32-59


Thật người nầy là Con Đức Chúa Trời! Mác 15:39

Ở nhà thờ nơi tôi nhóm lại, có một cây thập tự lớn được đặt ngay trước phòng nhóm, tượng trưng cho thập tự giá khi xưa nơi Chúa Jêsus chịu chết—là nơi giao nhau giữa tội lỗi của chúng ta và sự thánh khiết của Ngài. Nơi đó Đức Chúa Trời để Con toàn hảo của Ngài chịu chết vì cớ mọi việc làm, lời nói và suy nghĩ sai quấy của chúng ta. Trên thập giá, Chúa Jêsus hoàn tất công tác cần thiết để cứu chúng ta khỏi sự chết mà chúng ta đáng phải chịu (Rô-ma 6:23).

Nhìn cây thập tự khiến tôi suy nghĩ đến những gì Chúa Jêsus đã chịu vì tôi. Trước khi bị đóng đinh, Ngài đã bị người ta đánh đập và khạc nhổ. Những tên lính đã dùng gậy đánh vào đầu Ngài và quỳ xuống thờ phượng Ngài cách giễu cợt. Họ muốn bắt Ngài tự vác cây thập tự của mình đến nơi họ sẽ hành hình Ngài, nhưng Ngài không còn đủ sức sau những lằn roi tàn bạo. Tại Gô-gô-tha, họ đóng đinh thân thể Ngài vào cây thập tự rồi dựng lên khiến những vết thương ấy bị sức nặng của cơ thể dằn kéo. Sáu tiếng sau, Chúa Jêsus trút hơi thở cuối cùng (Mác 15:37). Một viên đội trưởng chứng kiến cái chết của Chúa Jêsus đã tuyên bố: “Thật người nầy là Con Đức Chúa Trời!” (c.39).

Mỗi khi nhìn thấy biểu tượng thập tự giá, hãy suy nghĩ đến ý nghĩa của hình ảnh đó đối với bạn. Con Đức Chúa Trời đã chịu đau đớn và chết trên thập tự giá rồi sống lại để đem lại sự sống đời đời.

Chúa Jêsus yêu dấu ơi, con không đủ lời để cảm ơn Ngài vì đã mang lấy tội lỗi của con khi Ngài chịu chết trên cây thập tự. Con nhận biết sự hy sinh của Ngài, và con tin nơi năng quyền phục sinh của Ngài.

Thập tự giá của Đấng Christ cho thấy tội lỗi kinh khiếp nhất của chúng ta và tình yêu cao cả nhất của Đức Chúa Trời.


Nuestro Pan Diario - Recuerda la cruz

https://nuestropandiario.org/2017/04/recuerda-la-cruz/

… Verdaderamente este hombre era Hijo de Dios (v. 39).

En la iglesia donde asisto, hay una cruz inmensa en frente del santuario. Representa la cruz original donde Jesús murió. Allí, Dios permitió que su Hijo perfecto muriera por cada cosa mala que hicimos, dijimos o pensamos. En la cruz, Jesús consumó la obra necesaria para salvarnos de la muerte que merecíamos (Romanos 6:23).

Ver una cruz me lleva a considerar lo que Jesús soportó por nosotros. Antes de ser crucificado, lo azotaron y lo escupieron. Los soldados le pegaron en la cabeza con palos y se burlaron de Él. Intentaron obligarlo a que llevara su propia cruz al lugar donde moriría, pero Él estaba demasiado débil por los brutales azotes. En Gólgota, lo atravesaron con clavos para mantenerlo sobre la cruz al erguirla. Esas heridas soportaron el peso de su cuerpo mientras estuvo allí colgado. Seis horas más tarde, Jesús exhaló su último aliento (Marcos 15:37). Un centurión que había presenciado la muerte de Jesús declaró: «Verdaderamente este hombre era Hijo de Dios» (v. 39).

La próxima vez que veas el símbolo de la cruz, considera lo que significa para ti. El Hijo de Dios sufrió y murió allí, y luego resucitó para darnos vida eterna.

Querido Jesús, ¡gracias por quitar mis pecados al morir en la cruz! Acepto tu sacrificio y creo en el poder de tu resurrección.

La cruz revela lo peor de nuestro pecado y lo mejor del amor de Dios.


Unser Täglich Brot - Denk an das Kreuz

https://unsertaeglichbrot.org/2017/04/14/denk-an-das-kreuz/
Lesen: Markus 15,19-20.33-39 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: 1.Samuel 25–26; Lukas 12,32-59


Wahrlich, dieser Mensch ist Gottes Sohn gewesen! Markus 15,39

In der Gemeinde, die ich besuche, steht vorn im Raum ein großes Kreuz. Es symbolisiert das Kreuz, an dem Jesus starb—den Ort, an dem unsere Sünde auf seine Heiligkeit trifft. Dort ließ Gott es zu, dass sein vollkommener Sohn aufgrund alles Bösen starb, das wir je getan, gesagt oder gedacht haben. Am Kreuz vollendete Jesus das Werk, das nötig war, um uns von dem verdienten Tod zu erlösen (Röm. 6,23).

Der Anblick des Kreuzes führt uns vor Augen, was Jesus für uns erlitten hat. Ehe er gekreuzigt wurde, wurde er ausgepeitscht und angespuckt. Die Soldaten schlugen ihn mit Stöcken auf den Kopf und fielen spöttisch auf die Knie, um ihn anzubeten. Sie wollten ihn zwingen, sein Kreuz selbst an den Ort zu tragen, an dem er sterben sollte, aber er war von der brutalen Misshandlung zu geschwächt. Auf Golgatha schlugen sie Nägel durch seine Glieder, damit er am Kreuz hängen blieb, wenn sie es aufrichteten. Die Wunden mussten das ganze Gewicht seines Körpers tragen. Sechs Stunden später tat Jesus seinen letzten Atemzug (Mark. 15,37). Ein Hauptmann, der Jesu Tod mit ansah, erklärte: „Wahrlich, dieser Mensch ist Gottes Sohn gewesen!“ (V.39).

Wenn du das nächste Mal ein Kreuz siehst, dann überlege einmal, was es für dich bedeutet. Gottes Sohn litt und starb am Kreuz und stand wieder von den Toten auf, damit wir ewiges Leben haben.

Lieber Jesus, ich kann dir gar nicht genug dafür danken, dass du meine Sünde weggenommen hast, als du am Kreuz starbst. Ich danke dir für das Opfer, das du gebracht hast, und glaube an die Kraft deiner Auferstehung.

Das Kreuz Christi zeigt, wie schlimm unsere Sünde und wie groß Gottes Liebe ist.


Notre Pain Quotidien - Rappelez‑vous la croix

https://www.ministeresnpq.org/2017/04/14/rappelez%e2%80%91vous-la-croix/
Lisez : Marc 15.19‑20,33‑39 | La Bible en un an : 1 SAMUEL 25 – 26 et LUC 12.32‑59

Assurément, cet homme était Fils de Dieu. V.39

Dans l’église que je fréquente, il y a une grande croix devant le sanctuaire. Elle représente la croix initiale sur laquelle Jésus est mort : là où nos péchés ont croisé le chemin de sa sainteté. Là où Dieu a permis à son Fils parfait de mourir pour le bien de chaque mauvaise chose que nous avons faite, dite ou pensée. Sur la croix, Jésus a achevé l’oeuvre qu’il devait accomplir pour nous sauver de la mort que nous méritions (RO 6.23).

La vue d’une croix nous amène à considérer ce que Jésus a subi à notre place. Avant sa crucifixion, il s’est fait flageller et cracher au visage. Des soldats l’ont frappé à la tête à coups de bâton et se sont agenouillés devant lui pour se moquer de lui. Ils ont essayé de lui faire porter sa propre croix jusqu’au lieu où il allait mourir, mais il en était incapable, étant trop affaibli par la cruelle flagellation. À Golgotha, ils l’ont littéralement cloué à la croix pour que son corps y pende de tout son poids une fois qu’ils l’auraient mise debout. Six heures plus tard, Jésus a rendu son dernier souffle (MC 15.37). Et c’est alors qu’un centenier ayant été le témoin de la mort de Jésus a déclaré : « Assurément, cet homme était Fils de Dieu » (V. 39).

La prochaine fois que vous verrez le symbole de la croix, considérez ce qu’il signifie pour vous. Le Fils de Dieu y a souffert et y est mort, puis il est ressuscité afin de rendre la vie éternelle possible pour quiconque croit en lui.

La croix révèle nos pires péchés et l’amour parfait de Dieu.


Хліб Наш Насущній - Пам’ятай про хрест

https://ukrainian-odb.org/2017/04/14/%d0%bf%d0%b0%d0%bc%d1%8f%d1%82%d0%b0%d0%b9-%d0%bf%d1%80%d0%be-%d1%85%d1%80%d0%b5%d1%81%d1%82/


Чоловік Цей був справді Син Божий! — Марка 15:39

В тій церкві, що я відвідую, в передній частині залу богослужінь стоїть величезний хрест. Він нагадує про розміри того хреста, на якому вмер Ісус. Там наш гріх стикнувся з Його святістю. Там Бог дозволив Своєму довершеному Сину віддати Своє життя за кожну гріховну річ, що ми вчинили, сказали або подумали. На хресті Ісус завершив Свою працю спасіння нас від смерті, що ми її заслужили своїми гріхами (Рим. 6:23).

Вид хреста спонукає мене розважати над тим, що Ісус перетерпів заради нас. Ще до розп’яття Його бичували, на Нього плювали. Воїни били Його по голові тростиною, падали перед Ним на коліна, знущаючись. Потім змусили Його нести Свій хрест до місця катування, але Він був занадто слабкий після безжального бичування. На Голгофі руки та ноги Ісуса прибили до дерева, яке потім встановили вертикально. Пробиті цвяхами рани спричиняли нестерпний біль ще й через вагу тіла Господа, коли Він висів на хресті. Через шість годин Ісус зробив останній подих (Мр. 15:37). І сотник, що був свідком Його смерті, сказав: “Чоловік Цей був справді Син Божий!” (Мр. 15:39).

Коли наступного разу побачите символ хреста, згадайте, що він справді означає для вас. Там страждав і вмирав Божий Син. Але повстав із мертвих, щоб зробити можливим для нас нове життя.

Дорогий Ісусе, не маю правильних слів, щоб навіть почати достойно славити Тебе за все, що Ти зробив – забрав мій гріх, вмираючи на хресті. Я визнаю Твою жертву і вірю в силу Твого воскресіння.

Хрест Ісуса яскраво демонструє згубність гріха й велич Божої любові.


Хлеб наш насущный - Помните крест

https://russian-odb.org/2017/04/14/%d0%bf%d0%be%d0%bc%d0%bd%d0%b8%d1%82%d0%b5-%d0%ba%d1%80%d0%b5%d1%81%d1%82/
Читать сейчас: Марка 15:19-20, 33-39 | Библия за год: 1 Царств 25-26; Луки 12:32-59


«Истинно Человек Сей был Сын Божий». — Марка 15:39

На самом видном месте в зале нашей церкви стоит большой крест. Он напоминает о кресте, на котором умер Христос, – месте, где наш грех пересекся с Его святостью. Там Бог позволил Своему безгрешному Сыну умереть за все злое, что мы когда-либо сделали, сказали или подумали. На кресте Иисус совершил труд, необходимый для спасения нас от заслуженной смерти (Рим. 6:23).

Вид креста побуждает меня к размышлениям о том, что претерпел ради нас Иисус. Перед распятием Его избили и оплевали. Воины били Его палкой по голове и, становясь на колени, кланялись, чтобы поиздеваться над Ним. Они заставили Его нести Свой собственный крест к месту распятия, но он был слишком слаб после жестокого бичевания. На Голгофе они забили гвозди в Его руки и ноги, чтобы Он повис на кресте, когда его поставят. На этих ранах повисло Его тело. Через шесть часов Иисус испустил дух (Мк. 15:37). Сотник, видевший Его смерть, сказал: «Истинно Человек Сей был Сын Божий» (Мк. 15:39).

В следующий раз, когда вы увидите крест, подумайте, что он значит для вас. Божий Сын пострадал и умер на нем, а затем воскрес, чтобы даровать нам вечную жизнь.

Дорогой Господь, я не могу достойно возблагодарить Тебя за все, что Ты претерпел за меня. Я признаю Твою жертву и верю в силу Твоего воскресения.

Крест Христа открывает наш грех в его худшем виде и Божью любовь в ее высшем проявлении.