Friday, April 19, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, April 19, 2019 - Good Friday

The Crucifixion of Jesus
John 18:1—19:42

The Daily Lectionary
FRIDAY, April 19, 2019 - Good Friday
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Isaiah 52:13—53:12
The Suffering Servant
52:13 See, my servant shall prosper;
     he shall be exalted and lifted up,
     and shall be very high.
14 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—
15 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.
53:1 Who has believed what we have heard?
     And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2  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.
3  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.

4  Surely he has borne our infirmities
     and carried our diseases;
   yet we accounted him stricken,
     struck down by God, and afflicted.
5  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.
6  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.

7  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.
8  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.
9  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.

10 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.
11   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.
12 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.

Psalm 22
Plea for Deliverance from Suffering and Hostility
To the leader: according to The Deer of the Dawn. A Psalm of David.
1  My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
     Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
2  O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
     and by night, but find no rest.

3  Yet you are holy,
     enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4  In you our ancestors trusted;
     they trusted, and you delivered them.
5  To you they cried, and were saved;
     in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

6  But I am a worm, and not human;
     scorned by others, and despised by the people.
7  All who see me mock at me;
     they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;
8  “Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver—
     let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”

9  Yet it was you who took me from the womb;
     you kept me safe on my mother’s breast.
10 On you I was cast from my birth,
     and since my mother bore me you have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me,
     for trouble is near
     and there is no one to help.

12 Many bulls encircle me,
     strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
13 they open wide their mouths at me,
     like a ravening and roaring lion.

14 I am poured out like water,
     and all my bones are out of joint;
   my heart is like wax;
     it is melted within my breast;
15 my mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
     and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
     you lay me in the dust of death.

16 For dogs are all around me;
     a company of evildoers encircles me.
   My hands and feet have shriveled;
17 I can count all my bones.
   They stare and gloat over me;
18 they divide my clothes among themselves,
     and for my clothing they cast lots.

19 But you, O Lord, do not be far away!
     O my help, come quickly to my aid!
20 Deliver my soul from the sword,
     my life from the power of the dog!
21   Save me from the mouth of the lion!

   From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued me.
22 I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters;
     in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
     All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him;
     stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
24 For he did not despise or abhor
     the affliction of the afflicted;
   he did not hide his face from me,
     but heard when I cried to him.

25 From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
     my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
     those who seek him shall praise the Lord.
     May your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth shall remember
     and turn to the Lord;
   and all the families of the nations
     shall worship before him.
28 For dominion belongs to the Lord,
     and he rules over the nations.

29 To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down;
     before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
     and I shall live for him.
30 Posterity will serve him;
     future generations will be told about the Lord,
31 and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
     saying that he has done it.

Hebrews 10:16-25
10:16 “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,”

17 he also adds,

   “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

A Call to Persevere
19 Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 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. 23 Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25 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.


Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Jesus the Great High Priest
4:14 Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

5:7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; 9 and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him,

John 18:1—19:42
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
18:1 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. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 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. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” 5 They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they stepped back and fell to the ground. 7 Again he asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” 9 This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, “I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.” 10 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. 11 Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

Jesus before the High Priest
12 So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people.

Peter Denies Jesus
15 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, 16 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. 17 The woman said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 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.

The High Priest Questions Jesus
19 Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. 20 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. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 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?” 23 Jesus answered, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Peter Denies Jesus Again
25 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.” 26 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?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.

Jesus before Pilate
28 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. 29 So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered, “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” 31 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.” 32 (This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.)

33 Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” 35 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?” 36 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.” 37 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.” 38 Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”

Jesus Sentenced to Death
After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no case against him. 39 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?” 40 They shouted in reply, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a bandit.

19:1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. 3 They kept coming up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and striking him on the face. 4 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.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” 6 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.” 7 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.”

8 Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. 9 He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 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?” 11 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.” 12 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.”

13 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. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” 15 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.” 16 Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

The Crucifixion of Jesus
So they took Jesus; 17 and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 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. 21 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.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” 23 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. 24 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.”

25 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. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

28 After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” 29 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. 30 When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Jesus’ Side Is Pierced
31 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. 32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. 35 (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) 36 These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, “None of his bones shall be broken.” 37 And again another passage of scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”

The Burial of Jesus
38 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. 39 Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. 40 They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. 41 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. 42 And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.

The Daily Lectionary is a three year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year C. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2019, we will be in Year A. The year which ended at Advent 2018 was Year B. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest on what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts.
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.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, April 19, 2019 - Good Friday

1 Corinthians 15:20-22 (NIV) But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

Read all of 1 Corinthians 15

Listen to 1 Corinthians 15

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

"It Was Nine O’clock in the Morning"

 "It Was Nine O’clock in the Morning"

"And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching; but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!" The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him vinegar, and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews." One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!" And having said this he breathed his last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, and said, "Certainly this man was innocent!" And all the multitudes who assembled to see the sight, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts." (Luke 23:34-48, RSV)

A word from the Cross: Jesus said,
"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

Forgive them, Father? For what? For nailing Him to a Cross? For spitting at Him and mocking Him and laughing at Him? Well, why not?

But who were His chief accusers? Why, His own people.!! The Jews!! They did not know what they were doing? How could they not know?? They had the scripture. They had God’s promise that a Messiah would come. But selfishly, they chose to reject Him. They chose to ignore what their own holy words told them. Oh, yes, they knew very well what they were doing.

And today, can we be as Christ and forgive the wrongs others have done to us? Now on this Good Friday, we hear and can visualize that forgiveness from the cross. Christ forgave, can we forgive when we are hurt, humiliated, wronged, scared with the unkindness of another, be it a member of the family, or a total stranger. Can we forgive?

Does our forgiveness reach out from our cross and encircle those who have hurt us? Each hurt, each pain, each broken relationship, each moment of loneliness, each moment of sorrow, each moment of guilt, each moment of hatred, each moment of selfish living, nails us to a cross by those who hurt us. And the reverse is true, also. We can be nailed to a cross by the nails of others self-centeredness, and we can use those same nails to drive into someone else as we nail them to their crosses by our own self-centeredness. There is a lot of nail pounding going on in this world by all kinds of people, BUT is there forgiveness, too???

We who claim to be the followers of Christ can we be at the same time "little Christs" in this world following His example, especially this example of forgiving love? We have had plenty of practice of nail driving and we have been used by others for practice as well, and again I ask instead of being nail drivers, can we as we cling to our cross, reach down and forgive? Can we be like Christ?

The following story illustrates beautifully the forgiveness which can be used as someone is doing the pounding of nails in our lives.

A.J. Cronin, a doctor turned novelist tells this true story.

An American family named Adams, had 2 teen-age daughters and a 6 year old son, Sammy. When WWII came, the family decided to take in a orphan boy from Italy named Paul Piotrostanalsi. They did everything possible to comfort this pale, spindly-legged, frightened refugee, but the boy responded quite negatively and showed no sign of gratitude to the family except Sammy. He adored Sammy, the two were always together.

Paul went swimming against orders in a river which was contaminated and came down with a septic infection that nearly killed him. The doctor wanted Paul isolated from the rest of the family, so they made a bedroom for him in the attic. Paul was far too contagious to see any one, except the doctor and a nurse who wore special clothing.

One morning the father had found the nurse had fallen asleep outside the attic door. He opened it and found Paul was not there. He ran to Sammy’s room and found Paul sleeping in bed with Sammy, his arms thrown over the boy’s shoulder and he was breathing on his neck. Sammy was much younger than Paul and had not been the strongest little boy. Though everything was done for him, poor Sammy never had a chance; he died.

When Dr.Cronin visited the family a year later, he was amazed to see Mr. Adams working in the garden with a small boy. It was none other than the little refugee!! Overcome by a sense of bitter injustice, Cronin exclaimed, "All I can say...he’s lucky, this Paul Piotro...whatever his wretched name is!!" Mr. Adams put his arm around the boy’s shoulder and said with a quiet half-ashamed smile, "You’ll have no more trouble with his last name. He is Paul Adams now. You see, we’ve adopted him."

I wonder if anything can come closer to being a true parable of what God in the death of his son has done for us???

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

Have you ever tried to put yourself into the place of Jesus at this moment? Think for a moment of the bitter agony he was experiencing. Agony that was more than mere bodily agony, something far, far worse--agony of spirit. We’re very glib about the Crucifixion sometimes. We say, "Well, of course it was a terrible thing, but after all, Jesus chose to die this way." True. But do you really suppose that made it any easier?

Remember He was the son of God and knew the power of God, the almighty power of God which could have removed Him from that cross at any moment. He knew the power of God that allowed Him to die on that cross. The power of a Father watching His son die a slow and agonizing death. The power of God to do nothing, but watch. He had to feel that tension along with the weight of all the sins and all the punishment of those sins for past, present and future generations. No wonder He cried out: "My God, My God why did you abandon me"?

"What do we mean by ’Almighty God?’ Obviously, some people think of Him as the great, all-powerful King sitting on a throne, with earth as His footstool trembling beneath His feet, getting what He wants done, miraculously, by a wave of His hand or a nod of His head or a blow of His fist.

With this idea of omnipotence, they pray their foolish prayers, and they ask their foolish questions, as they do their stupid thing. Why doesn’t God stop wars? Why doesn’t He smash the schemes of wicked men? Why doesn’t He come in power and put an end to this human tragedy? If this is His will, why doesn’t He get His will done? Maybe God is just helpless when things go wrong and cannot control what He has made.....

You wonder why evil is not put an end to? Stop to think of the implications. What would God do? Kill all evil men? How? Earthquakes? Fire? Lightning? Who? Where does He stop? If God destroys all who resist His will, how would you and I come out?

No, God has another way, the way of the loving Father. He meets man where he is, in man’s world. He suffers everything that man’s sin can bring upon the world. He does it all with a breaking heart....

What is God like?? The Cross tells that. He lets the rejection run its full course to the Cross. Since Jesus was to be the sacrifice for our sin, then He had to feel all the feelings of humankind. He had to feel and experience everything, including the bitter rejection of all, the feeling that even God had abandoned him. God let His children do their evil , because this is what it takes to reconcile His children to himself. Don’t ask me how or why the Cross has reconciled me to God. I only know that it speaks of God’s love. When they pierced His heart, they found that He had died, not of pain or loss of blood, but that He had died of a broken heart."

A poem by William Stidge entitled: "Good Friday" shows us the deep love God has for us and the power it took for Him to allow His Son to die on the cross for you and me. The power to do nothing but allow the bare soul of God through His son to be seen by everyone.

"I saw God bare his soul one day.....where all the earth might see.....The stark and naked heart of him........On lonely Calvary.........There was a crimson sky of blood....and overhead a storm;........When lightning slit the clouds...and light engulfed His form.........Beyond the storm a rainbow lent.....A light to every cloud,.......For on that cross mine eyes beheld.....The naked soul of God."

Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!" And having said this he breathed his last.

Jesus knew that ultimately the Father would save him. He knew of the relationship He had with the father was strong. He remembered the prayer in the garden He prayed the night before. So earnestly did He pray, that blood dripped from His brow. The power of that prayer, the power of God’s plan of salvation saw Him through this bitter agony on the cross, so He could call out now to the Father and ask the Father to once again accept Him into His mighty arms. Jesus could now commit himself back into the Father’s hands, not conditionally, not partially, but totally. He put all of Himself into God’s hands. And then He died.

Through the cross, through the surrender of Christ into God’s almighty and merciful hands, God showed us and expressed to us His powerful love for us.

From the "Log" the newsletter of Galilean Lutheran comes the following:

"Understand how much I love you!!...I sent my Son to show you let you see love.....hear love.....touch love....taste love.......feel love....I sent Him to you....I let Him live, die and brought His back to show you the depth of my teach you the meaning of my....grace.

"My grace is" Peace for the anxious.....Forgiveness for the guilty....Love for the hated.....Hope for the hopeless....Sight for the blind....Faith for the doubting.....Healing for the injured.....Comfort for the afflicted...Joy for the sorrowful....Life for the dying....Rest for the weary."

Not only did God show His love for us through the cross, He even took your place and my place on that cross. Remember you and I belonged on that cross, not Jesus!!! It was not His cross He died upon, it was not His sins He suffered as He hung between heaven and hell, it was your sins and my sins. It was not His punishment He took from the Father, but our punishment. Jesus took your place and my place on the Cross and let us not forget that. We can be very smug, very self=righteous when we speak about the cross. We can point fingers at others and their faults and wrongs, we can see the cross as a symbol for some else and their sin, but it is very difficult for us to accept, to admit to ourselves, to God, that you and I belong on that cross, not Jesus.

A poem says:

"Jesus took my place that I may take His place....He became the Son of man that I may become a Son or Daughter of God...He bore my sins that I may live without sin.....He came to earth that I may go to heaven...He became poor that I may become rich....He was bound that I may be set free...He went down that I may go up....He tasted death that I may escape the sting of death...He tasted of eternal death that I may have eternal life....He went to hell that I may someday go to heaven....He arose that I may have Spiritual power....Jesus took my old filthy robe that I may wear His new robe of righteousness....I was poor, He marked the books paid...because I could not pay it....."

With that last poem, we now look ahead, ahead to Easter, ahead to Pentecost, ahead to the power of God’s Spirit and Christ’s love coming to this earth to be with each of us as we journey through life. It is Good Friday, because we know that Easter follows. It is Good Friday, because Christ came back, He lives.

Today we are filled with the stark reality that the cross is a symbol of death, death which was meant for us. On Easter, we see the joyous glory that the cross is a symbol of hope as we walk the road of life.

A closing poem by Calvin Wright says:

"One day I met a stranger while traveling down life’s road. He said, "If you will trust me I’ll help you bare your load." Since then through the valleys and over mountains steep, He has stayed so near and proved His promise He would keep.

When my way is dark and stormy, He tells me not to fear. And when it seems I need Him most, I find He’s always near. He’s no more a stranger but a friend is He....

Since often I commune with Him and He speaks to me. In a still small voice I hear Him speak so tenderly. Saying, "Don’t forget I am the One who died on Calvary."

The more I learn about Him....The more I want to cry, "Dear Lord, how could You ever love such a worm as I?" Then it seems that I can almost see Him smile. And I hear Him whisper, "Because you are my child."

Almighty and everlasting God, You willed that Your Son should bear for us the pains of the cross, that You might remove from us the power of the adversary: Help us to remember and give thanks for our Lord’s Passion that we may obtain remission of sin and redemption from everlasting death; through the same, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Seeking God?
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The Bible texts are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the 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. Sermon contributed by Rev. Tim Zingale.
How do you think the disciples felt when Jesus died on the cross?
The disappointment, fear, and sadness is hard to imagine.

Un dia a la Vez - Oración por ayuda familiar

Oración por ayuda familiar

Tú eres mi socorro y mi libertador; ¡no te tardes, Dios mío!
~ Salmo 40:17 (NVI)

Señor, hoy vengo delante de ti porque sé que muchas personas están conmovidas.

Reconocen que se encuentran en vicios. Reconocen que han tratado de avanzar por sus propias fuerzas y no han podido. También hay muchas mujeres que me han pedido oración por sus hogares a punto de destrucción. Dios mío, son mujeres que quisieran dejar sus casas porque ya no resisten más abusos. Incluso, han pensado regresar a sus países con tal de no seguir sufriendo, y ver a sus hijos tristes y sin esperanza.

Te pedimos, Jesús, tu intervención milagrosa. Toca en este momento a las personas que necesitan ser libres de esas ataduras hoy mismo. Además, dales, mi Señor, la libertad que desean.

A las familias que sufren con un ser querido esta tortura de aguantar abusos, golpes e insultos, Señor, dales hoy mucha valentía y sabiduría para dar los pasos de acuerdo con tu voluntad. Glorifícate, Señor.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Oración por ayuda familiar

Standing Strong Through the Storm - THE BELT OF TRUTH


Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…

The Roman soldier’s wide leather belt held the various garments and pieces of armor securely in place. Loose armor was not only uncomfortable, but also unsafe. The belt also held the scabbards for swords and daggers. It was foundational to keeping everything balanced and in place.

Truth secures everything in our spiritual life. We can’t know what is truly right or wrong apart from truth. In this spiritual warfare we wage, we “put on” Christ, Who Himself is the “truth” (John 14:6). This is our positional application of the belt. Putting on Christ Himself who is the truth enables us to talk, walk and “fight” proclaiming Christ, the truth.

On another application level, buckling the belt of truth around your waist is more than just seeking truth to find out facts. The servant-soldier of Christ who puts on the armor of God must be willing to overcome his own prejudices to find out the truth. He must struggle against his pride, which clings to his preconceived ideas and makes him unwilling to re-examine them and change his opinions.

Second, to wear the belt of truth means binding one’s whole nature together with inner integrity. The belt of truth refers to the knowledge of one’s own inherent wickedness, weaknesses and propensity to sin (Matthew 15:19; 7:4). King David said, Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; You teach me wisdom in the inmost place.(Psalm 51:6). This is why a servant of Christ must review the basics of having a humble spirit, mourning to God, seeking His meekness and hungering for righteousness.
Truth directly opposes Satan, the father of lies. His first challenge to Eve was to even question God’s truthfulness. When we know and walk in God’s truth, it sets us free (John 8:32).

Wuillie Marcelino Ruiz, an attorney and an evangelical Christian, was wrongly accused of and sentenced to twenty years at the maximum-security Castro prison in Lima, Peru for the crime of “terrorist collaboration” by a special faceless court. Growing up in a close-knit family, his mother’s death during the first year of his imprisonment was a cruel blow for him.

During a visit by an Open Doors team, Wuillie said, “Not everything inside the prison is sadness. Many of our fellow inmates are receiving Jesus Christ as the deliverer of their souls... God is touching the hearts of the authorities in Peru; here in the prison we are not treated so harshly anymore. As the scriptures tell us, we are not confined because the truth makes us free.”

Jesus is the Truth. Truth is on your side. Truth will win over the enemy’s lies. Fill your heart with truth and stand by it. Put on the belt of truth!

RESPONSE: Today I put on the belt of truth so I can stand strong against Satan’s lies.

PRAYER: Lord, help me fill my heart with truth today for it will set me free. May innocent Christian prisoners know that freedom also.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

Men of the Bible - Samuel


His name means: "The Name of God"

His work: Priest, prophet, and judge, Samuel helped transform Israel from a nation led by charismatic figures called "judges" to one ruled by kings, who were to exercise their authority not as other kings did, but as men who belonged to God. He anointed Israel's first two kings: Saul and David.
His character: Samuel was eager to hear God's voice and willing to speak his word, even when doing so meant rebuking a king and risking his life. A spiritual leader who won military victories against the Philistines, he reminded the people of God's faithfulness and of the vital importance of their obedience. Sadly, he failed to pass on these same character traits to his sons, who acted corruptly as judges in his stead.
His sorrow: That Saul, Israel's first king, failed to obey God.
His triumph: To help shape Israel into a monarchy whose kings were to be God's servants.
Key Scriptures: 1 Samuel 1:1-28; 2:18-26; 3:1-20; 7:2-16; 8:1-10:26; 12:1-25

A Look at the Man

Years had passed since the death of Eli and his sons, and Samuel was growing old, his own sons more like Eli's than he cared to admit. He had judged Israel faithfully for many years, but the elders were clamoring for a change, insisting Israel needed a king like the other nations of the world.

This demand for a king seemed to Samuel like more evidence of their waywardness. This stiff-necked people were impossible to lead, always so certain they knew what was best for them. So Samuel railed against the idea until the people became so adamant that he made it a matter for prayer. He heard a surprising answer from the Lord: "Samuel, listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do."

So Samuel described in frightening detail all the demands a king would place on them—drafting their sons and daughters to work and die for him, devouring the fruits of their labor, requiring so much that they would feel enslaved by him. But the leaders insisted, "We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations with a king to go out before us and fight our battles."

So God gave them a king named Saul, a man who stood a head taller than most other men, yet a man who was no better at following the Lord than they had been. This was the king Samuel had to anoint. The king he had to guide. The king he finally had to pass judgment on, delivering a message any man would fear to render a king—that God intended to tear the crown from him and give it to another man.

Then the Lord told Samuel to fill his horn with oil and go to Jesse of Bethlehem, because one of his sons was to be king. Though Samuel feared Saul's wrath if he were to anoint a new king, he did as the Lord commanded, and as soon as he saw Jesse's eldest son, he was certain he had found Israel's next king.

But the Lord thought otherwise, saying to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." Six more of Jesse's sons passed before Samuel, but each one was rejected. And then came David, the youngest of Jesse's sons, a shepherd boy, as strong and solid on the inside as he looked on the outside. Samuel took the horn and poured the oil over David's head, anointing him king in the presence of his brothers.

Years passed before David finally ascended to the throne of Israel. By then Samuel was dead. But the man who had been an answer to his mother's prayer and who had been dedicated to God in a special way for the whole of his lifetime had fulfilled God's purpose, helping Israel make the transition from the chaotic period of the judges, when every man did what was right in his own eyes, to the period of the kings of Israel, when the Lord God searched for a ruler who would be a man after his own heart.

Reflect On: 1 Samuel 3:1–10
Praise God: For speaking to us.
Offer Thanks: For the way God has revealed himself to you.
Confess: Any failure to listen to what God is saying.
Ask God: To help you listen for his voice.

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.
Samuel helped transform Israel from a nation led by charismatic figures called "judges" to one ruled by kings.

Girlfriends in God - Friday, April 19, 2019

Trading In Your Green Stamps

Today’s Truth

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Friend to Friend

When I was a little girl, my mom did her grocery shopping at White’s Supermarket on the corner of Tarboro Street and Pearl. Other grocery stores were close by, but only White’s gave out S&H Green Stamps with every purchase. On shopping days, I stood on tiptoes, bug-eyed as the cashier push the buttons and rang up my mom’s purchases. My mom’s eyes lit up every time she heard the cha-ching, knowing that meant more stamps were on the way. After the cashier tallied the purchases, she pulled a lever and the register spit out two streams of large and small stamps. We never put the stamps in books right away. Mom stuffed them in a brown paper bag and stored them in a cabinet over the oven.

About every six months, Mom pulled down the grocery bag swollen with S&H Green Stamps. “Okay, Sharon,” she’d announce as she spilled the contents on the kitchen table. “Today we’re going to paste the stamps in the books.”

For hours it was lick, stick, lick, stick, lick, stick. The large stamps representing fifty cents spent went one to a page. Smaller stamps representing cents spent went fifty to a page. I liked doing the big ones.

After six months of collecting stamps and hours of pasting them in the books, my mom and I excitedly drove down to the S&H Green Stamp Redemption Center. With bags filled like a Loomis Fargo transfer, we plopped our day’s work on the clerk’s desk.

“Whatcha gonna get?” I’d ask as we strolled up and down the aisles of housewares.

“I don’t know,” my mom would reply. “But it’ll be something good.”

After much consideration, Mom would decide on a treasure such as an electric can opener, a steam iron, or a shiny set of stainless steel mixing bowls. Oh, it was an exciting day when we made the trek to the Redemption Center to trade in our S&H stamps for a fabulous find.

Redemption. It can be a daunting church word. One of those fuzzy concepts that leave us pretending we know what it means as the seasoned saints toss it about like common knowledge. The dictionary defines redemption as “the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil; the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt; to exchange something such as a coupon for something else.” Each of these definitions can be boiled down to trading one thing for another.

The S&H Green Stamp Redemption experience is a very simple picture of a complex word. We took our stamps to the center and exchanged them—redeemed them—for tangible items. That’s what God can do with our scars if we lay our wounds on the counter of trust, and allow Him to exchange them for tangible stories of triumph. He can heal our hurts, and redeem or exchange them for someone else’s hope. But it requires our cooperation. He will never pry our stories from our clenched fists and force us to tell how He brought us through the most shameful or painful parts of our lives. But He woos us to make the exchange because He knows it is only when we turn our pain into purpose that we will be truly free.

Beth Moore once said, “Satan will do everything he can to tempt you not to trust God because he knows your willingness to place yours stories in God’s holy hands will lead to full redemption where the pain is treated and turned around so thoroughly that it not only loses its power to do you harm but also gains the power to do some good.”

Paul wrote: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV)

Those two little words, “so that” are poignant. So now it’s time to trade in that pain, and use it for something good. Redemption at its best.

Let’s Pray

Father, there are some parts of my story I would rather have been left out. But I know that You can turn a bad story into a good purpose. Give me the courage to tell others about how you have healed my broken places, especially the ones that have been wrought by my own decisions.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Why do you think those two little words “so that” are important in today’s truth?

What is a difficult story, one that you are now on the other side of, that you think God is calling you to share so that someone can have hope?

More from the Girlfriends

We all have pain in our past, but we can turn that pain around and use it for good. God doesn’t want to remove our pasts, but repurpose them. Sister, when you begin to use your past mistakes and hurts for the glory of God, Satan has no more power over you! He can’t use it against you any longer. I don’t know about you, but that makes me want to shout! Are you ready to turn your hurt into hope, your pain into purpose, and your messes into ministry? Then see my book, Your Scars are Beautiful to God: Finding Peace and Purpose in the Hurts of Your Past. I’ll be cheering you on!

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

Girlfriends in God
S&H Green Stamps with every purchase.

LHM Daily Devotions - SATISFIED


Apr. 19, 2019

Out of the anguish of His soul He shall see and be satisfied.
~ Isaiah 53:11 (ESV)

Have you ever wondered why Jesus chose to suffer and die on the cross? I don't mean the usual answer, the easy answer: "Because He loved us." That, of course, is true. But if you are like me, there's something in the back of your mind that occasionally whispers: "You can love someone and still be disappointed in them. You can love someone but not like them very much. What if Jesus only puts up with me because He HAS to—because that's His job? What if He takes care of me because he's that kind of a person, but not because He really wants to? What if he's just patiently putting up with me and would secretly be glad if I vanished off the face of the earth?"

Perhaps you don't think these sort of things in the most secret, darkest, innermost part of your mind. In that case, this devotion is not for you. But if you have ever thought this way—Isaiah gives us a glimpse of Jesus' mind toward us—how He thought of us when He was walking toward the cross, and how He still thinks of us now that His suffering, death and resurrection are all accomplished.

And this is what Isaiah says: "Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush Him; He has put Him to grief; when His soul makes an offering for guilt, He shall see His offspring; He shall prolong His days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. Out of the anguish of His soul He shall see and be satisfied" (Isaiah 53:10-11).

"He shall see and be satisfied"—with what? With you! You are the fruit of His cross. When He looks at you, He sees His offspring—the child He has given life to. You are the result of the anguish of His soul. And He is satisfied.

This is why you don't ever have to be afraid that God is secretly disappointed in you. He has told you already what His mind is toward you. He thought you worth the cross. And He will never change His mind.

THE PRAYER: Lord, I'm so glad that You're satisfied with having me. Keep me always with You. Amen.

  • Whose opinion of you means the most in your life? Name one or two people.
  • Have you ever tried to please someone, only to find out that you were never good enough? What did you do in the end?
  • What does it mean to you, knowing that God saved you because He wants you, not because He felt obliged to do it for some reason?

Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Have you ever tried to please someone, only to find out that you were never good enough?

Devocional de la CPTLN del 19 de Abril de 2019 - Satisfecho



19 de Abril de 2019

Viernes Santo

Verá el fruto de su propia aflicción, y se dará por satisfecho.

¿Te has preguntado alguna vez si Jesús eligió sufrir y morir en la cruz sólo porque TUVO que hacerlo y no porque realmente QUISO hacerlo? ¿O si nos tiene paciencia por obligación, pero en realidad se alegraría si desapareciéramos de la faz de la tierra?

Quizás nunca te hayas hecho ese tipo de preguntas, pero si alguna vez has pensado de esta manera...

Isaías nos permite vislumbrar los sentimientos de Jesús hacia nosotros no sólo cuando iba camino a la cruz, sino también ahora que su sufrimiento, muerte y resurrección están cumplidos. En el capítulo 53 Isaías dice:
Pero el Señor quiso quebrantarlo y hacerlo sufrir,
    y, como él ofreció su vida en expiación,
verá su descendencia y prolongará sus días,
    y llevará a cabo la voluntad del Señor.
Después de su sufrimiento,
    verá la luz y quedará satisfecho...
(Isaías 53:10-11a)
"Verá la luz y quedará satisfecho", nos dice Isaías. ¿Pero satisfecho con qué? ¡Contigo y conmigo! Tú y yo somos el fruto de su cruz. Cuando Jesús nos mira, ve a esa descendencia acerca de la cual profetiza Isaías. Tú y yo somos el resultado de la ofrenda de su vida. Y él está satisfecho.

Es por ello que nunca debes tener miedo de que Dios esté secretamente decepcionado de ti. Ya sabes lo que él piensa sobre ti: piensa que valías tanto como para ir a la cruz. Y nunca va a pensar de otra manera.

ORACIÓN: Señor, ¡estoy tan agradecido porque estés satisfecho de tenerme! Mantenme siempre contigo. Amén.

  • ¿Qué haces cuando, por más que te esfuerzas, no logras complacer a alguien?
  • ¿Qué significa para ti saber que Dios te salvó porque te ama, y no por obligación? 

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Qué haces cuando, por más que te esfuerzas, no logras complacer a alguien?