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Holy Week Easter Empty EVIDENCE FOR THE RESURRECTION

Post  Admin on Sat 11 Apr 2009, 8:23 pm

From: Dunggate original message msn: 12/04/2007
EVIDENCE FOR THE RESURRECTION

According to many resources, the resurrection of Jesus Christ of
Nazareth is one of the most well attested events in the ancient
world.

Why is this important to us? Because the resurrection was meant to
set Jesus apart from anyone else that ever lived. It would prove He
was the son of God, able to conquer death, and bring eternal life to
the world through His death.

For a 40 day period after he rose from the grave, he appeared
to many different people. Paul, in 56 AD wrote that over 500 people
had seen the risen Jesus and that most of them were still alive (1
Corinthians 15:6).

One of the greatest ways to disprove Jesus death would have been for anyone to produce his body.

Let us take a look at that part of the resurrection story.
Who would have wanted to steal Jesus body, and how would it have
profited them?

WE know that Jesus could not have survived the crucifixion.
The Romans were very thorough in checking the body of those crucified to make sure they were dead before they took them down from the cross.

Most people had their legs broken while still on the cross so that it would hasten their death. The fact that the soldiers did not do this, shows they felt he was already dead. And according to Bible prophecy this has been predicted that not one bone of his body would
be broken.

IN John, it is recorded that when Jesus side was pierced, blood and
water came out of it. That would have been a sign he was dead.
The Jews, if they had wanted to prove Jesus did not rise from the grave, would have produced the body and paraded it throught the
streets to prove that theory.

Grave robbers would have had no reason to take it, only anything worthy of selling or using would have been their interest.

The Romans had no reason to steal the body, they wanted to keep the peace in Palestine. They had accomplished their goal of putting him in the grave, they just wanted to keep the peace.

The disciples had no reason to steal the body of Christ. If you think
about it, later they all died for their belief in Christ, his life, death and resurrection. Why would they have wanted to die for a lie?

There have been many who have studied this event, who were not
christians and wanted to destroy the ancient story of Jesus and how he came to save the world. They spent hours pouring over ancient documentation, historical accounts, and through their journey,
accepted Jesus as their savior. Why? The evidence was compelled,
and verified by man.

One of those men was Frank Morrison who was a agnostic
journalist. Another was Lee Strobel. Who was according to
his investigative reporting, wanted to disprove the outrageous
theory of Christ, and the resurrection. In his desire to
disprove it, he found evidence that changed his life
and made him turn to Christ as His savior.

The apostle Paul said in 55 or 56 A.D. that there were hundreds of actual eyewitnesses of the risen Christ who were still alive and
could confirm the accounts of the Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:6).
The apostle Paul and the other disciples had to be accurate in what
they reported because these living eyewitnesses would have been the first to dispute anything untrue that Paul or the disciples may have
said. Another problem with this theory is that first-century
historians and other writers of that time period have provided us with further information about the Resurrection, whether directly or
indirectly. Here are some examples:

Flavius Josephus (Jewish historian), The Antiquities of the Jews (93 A.D.), book 18, chapter 3, paragraph 3.

Pliny the Younger (Plinius Secundus), Epistles (112 A.D.), volume 10,
p.96, in a letter written to emperor Trajan concerning the Christians
in Pliny's province (he was the governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor at the time).

Emperor Trajan's reply to Pliny's letter, recorded in Pliny's
Epistles, volume 10, p. 97

Cornelius Tacitus (senator under the reign of Vespasian and governor
of Asia from 112-113 A.D.), Annals (116 A.D.), volume 15, p.44.

Eusebius recorded in The History of the Church, volume 4, p.9, a
letter from emperor Hadrian (who reigned from 117-138 A.D.) to
Minucius Fundanus (governor of Asia) giving advice on handling
charges against Christians.

Suetonius (Roman historian), Life of Claudius (120 A.D.), volume 25,
p.4.

Suetonius, Life of Nero, p.16.

Lucian of Samosata (Greek satirist), The Death of Peregrine (170
A.D.), p.11-13.

Lucian of Samosata, Alexander the False Prophet, sections 25 and 29.

The most plausible explanation is that Christ did rise from the grave, and all the eyewitnesses and writings about this make it a plain case in evidence of his resurrection.
The truth is the disciples knew the difference between
a risen savior and a dead friend. They knew the
reason came, the reason He died, and the reason He
rose from the grave. And they gave their lives,
and died because of their firm, real belief in Him.

Peter said: For we did not follow cleverly devised tales
when we made known to you the power and the coming
of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His
majesty. 2 Peter 1:16
Some of the source: Josh McDowell
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Holy Week Easter Empty Re: Holy Week Easter

Post  Admin on Sat 11 Apr 2009, 7:07 pm

-Luke 23:26-43 (NRSV)
As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us'; and to the hills, 'Cover us.' For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?" Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. [Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."] And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!" The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, 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 there kept deriding him and saying, "Are you not the Messiah? 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 have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

Praise God this is not the end of His Story
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Holy Week Easter Empty The Redemption For Your Thoughts

Post  Admin on Fri 10 Apr 2009, 4:26 pm

Golgotha - Calvary - The Redemption For Your Thoughts

"Thoughts are words to God, and vain thoughts are provocations." - Matthew Henry

"Many good people believe that the blood of Christ crucified did trickle down upon the scull of Adam, who was buried in the same place. Something more credible is the tradition, that this mount Calvary was that mountain in the land of Moriah (and in the land of Moriah it certainly was, for so the country about Jerusalem was called), on which Isaac was to be offered; and the ram was offered instead of him; and then Abraham had an eye to this day of Christ, when he called the place Jehovah-jireh - The Lord will provide, expecting that so it would be seen in the mount of the Lord." - Matthew Henry

Matthew 27:33 says - "And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull."
Mark 15:22 says - "And they bring Him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull."
Luke 23:33 says - "And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him..."
John 19:17 says - "And He bearing His cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha."

The word "Golgotha" is the Hebrew word meaning skull. "Calvary" is the Latin equivalent - Cranion - meaning skull or place of a skull.

Golgotha or Calvary was a small eminence on the Northwest part of Jerusalem. Most commentators agree that this place got its name from its appearance - the mount resembling in shape a human skull. Others believe that it got its name from being a common place of execution - a charnel-house - where the bones and skulls of dead men were thrown together - out of the way lest the people should touch them and be defiled.

Among the early Christian leaders - Origen, for example - it was believed that Jesus was crucified on the very spot where Adam was buried and his skull had been found. In fact, the story among the early Christians was that, at the moment when the earthquake occurred as Jesus hung on the Cross, His Blood streamed down the Cross - making its way into a crack in the stone below and fell on the skull of Adam.

Although these facts are unproven, they have been supported throughout Christian history for the last 2,000 years. If it were true, it would be absolutely amazing that Jesus, the Second Adam, would die on the very place where the first Adam - the first sinner - was buried. And to think that Jesus' Blood found its way to Adam's skull - symbolizing the covering of the sins of the human race that originated with the first man.
Is there any significance in the fact that Golgotha or Calvary was in the shape of a skull and that it was called - "a place of a skull"? We would like to think so.
Just imagine what this place looked like! In shape, it resembled a human skull. And then, as you looked around, you saw the skulls of dead men scattered about.

Throughout the Scriptures, we are told that "evil thoughts" are the firstborn of our corrupt nature as sinners. They are the beginning of its strength. Sin is birthed in the mind of man and then carried out in words or actions.

Here is Jesus dying on a Cross on an elevated place which resembles the skull - the place where the mind is located and the thoughts have their residence.
Any connection? We would like to think so.
Colossians 1:21 tells us - "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works..." Mankind's alienation toward God is seated in his mind (taken for the soul, heart, affections, and passions). There he entertains a deliberate enmity - having an understanding that is perverse and hostile toward God.

Throughout the Bible, you will find other Scriptures which relate how the sinner's mind was and is in total opposition to God. They are as follows -

Genesis 6:5 says - "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
Psalm 10:4 says - "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts."
Psalm 94:11 says - "The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity."
Proverbs 15:26 says - "The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD..."
Isaiah 55:7 says - "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts..."
Isaiah 59:7 says - "...their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity..."
Isaiah 65:2 says - "...unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts."
Matthew 15:19-20 says - "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...These are the things which defile a man..."

The sinner's every thought, purpose, wish, desire, and motive is incurably poisoned with evil. His mind is comprised of - erroneous opinions...bribed, biased, and misled judgments concerning persons and things...wicked designs and devices... corrupt imaginations...vain pretences... pride...vanity... plans of evil...and a purpose of life that is opposed to God. He is unwilling to acknowledge God. His every thought screams out - "There is no God!" He proudly casts off all thoughts of God...all dependency upon Him...all enquiry made after Him...any desire toward Him...or any notion of communion with Him. His thoughts are generally foolish, vain, unwise, wicked, and hateful to God - only evil continually. His mind is filled with carnal fancies and imaginations. He is constantly laying plans for evil - walking after his own desires - while carrying out wicked plots, plans, and devices of mischief to others.

"And He bearing His cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha."
"And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him..."

In his death, Jesus' final destination was Golgotha or Calvary - "the place of a skull."

On the top of a mount which in appearance resembled a man's skull, Jesus paid the awful price for sin - sin that is birthed in the minds of mankind.

"And you that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works..."

There is more to that Scripture. There came a glorious end to that separation between God and man.

In its entirety, Colossians 1:21-22 reads - "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in His sight."

Golgotha - Calvary - The Redemption For Your Thoughts!

Jesus destroyed sin's power. He "laid the axe to the root" - so to speak - the root being the thoughts in man's mind.

He did it on a place called Golgotha - Calvary - "the place of a skull."

It may be conjecture that the Blood of Jesus streamed down through the cracks in the rock and fell upon the skull of Adam - the first sinner. But it isn't conjecture that on the day that you and I were saved, the first drop of His Blood fell upon our minds - forever destroying the enmity between us and God.

Praise God for Golgotha!
Praise God for Calvary!
Praise God for "the place of a skull."
But - most of all - Praise God for Jesus Who was executed in our place so that our minds could forever be free from sin's power!

May God Bless His Word,

©️ COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved
Used with permission
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Holy Week Easter Empty Re: Holy Week Easter

Post  Admin on Thu 09 Apr 2009, 10:04 pm

How Did Jesus Die?

Of all of the forms of execution devised by man, crucifixion was one of the

most tortuous. Unlike such methods as hanging or beheading, which were at

least relatively quick and painless, the agony of crucifixion could go on

for many hours, or even days. But then, that seemed to be the point - the

authorities wanted the condemned person to suffer as much as possible, for

as long as possible, to serve as a warning to others. Crucifixion wasn't

just a form of execution - it was also a political tool devised to keep the

people in line.

Crucifixion became a common form of execution in the ancient world, mainly

by the Carthaginians, Persians, Seleucids, and of course The Romans who used

it until the fourth century, when emperor Constantine the Great abolished
it.

The usual crucifixion began with the victim being flogged and severely

beaten. He was then forced to carry or drag the crossbeam of the cross to

the place of execution, where the upright post was already firmly fixed in

the ground . He was then bound or nailed to the crossbeam which was then

raised up and attached to the post about 10 to 12 feet (3 or 4 meters) off

the ground. The feet were then nailed to the post. The legs were then often

broken with an iron bar. The death of the victim, depending upon age and

physical condition, would usually be the result of heart failure,

suffocation or exhaustion - but rarely soon. In some cases, it could take
days.

So, how did Jesus die? Was it as the result of the Jewish leaders' jealousy

and hatred for this One who called Himself the Son of God? Or was it because

Judas betrayed Him for just thirty pieces of silver that the events of

Jesus' life spun out of control, and He later found Himself upon that old,

rugged cross? Maybe it happened because of a decision of Pilate. Remember,

he did give the order for Jesus to be taken, flogged, and then turned over

to the Jews. Or maybe it was simply a combination of all of these factors

working together that brought this 33-year-old Man who claimed to be God in

the flesh to His death.

So, how did Jesus die? As a result of the crucifixion itself, or from the

spear that was thrust into His side before His body was removed from the

cross? No, it was none of these things. His life was not taken from Him. On

the contrary, He died by His own choice. He gave up His life willing,

freely, and with joy. Let's look at the evidence.

Though the Jewish leaders hated Jesus and tried to kill Him on various

occasions (cf. Matt. 12:14; Mark 3:6; 11:18; 12:12; Luke 4:29), the

Scriptures tell us that it was not yet His time (cf. John 7:6; 8:20). In

other words, they could not touch Him because doing so was not within the

predetermined plan of God. So it was not because of the Jews that Jesus went

to the cross and died.

Well, what about Jesus' meeting with Pilate? Was he responsible for the

death of Jesus? Jesus told him in regards to His life, "...You would have no

authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above..." (John 19:11).

Therefore, Pilate was not in control of Jesus' life either, but as Jesus

stated, the authority came from above. This of course is the issue. God was

in control of the events of that day, not man. Why? Because it was His

predetermined plan that His Son go to the cross to die for our sins. This

was Jesus' desire as well. For if this was not God's plan, Jesus and the

Father would have stopped all of this. As Jesus said when the angry mob came

to take Him away to trial before the Jews,

"And Jesus said to him, "Friend, do what you have come for." Then they came

and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him. And behold, one of those who were

with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high

priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back

into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the

sword. "Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at

once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? "How then will

the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?" (Matt.
26:50-54)

Jesus could have prevented the mob from taking Him if He so desired, but

that was not His desire. The Son of Man did not have His life taken, He gave

it. This is paramount to the gospel. This is why Jesus said what He did in

John 10:17-18:

"For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I

may take it again. "No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on

My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to

take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father."

Jesus willing gave His life. Even on the cross Luke recorded in Luke
23:44-46:

" It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land

until the ninth hour, because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the

temple was torn in two. And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said,

"Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit." Having said this, He breathed
His last.

Jesus died for us based upon His own free will. At that moment of His death,

He gave His spirit to the Father. Then as the Apostle John records the final

words of Jesus, we see that Jesus said,

"'It is finished!' And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit" (John

19:30).

Again, we see that Jesus was in control. He first put his head down, and

then He died. He did not die, and then His head fell to His chest as a

result of His death.

Was Jesus really dead at this point? Yes, because we have the testimony of

the gospel writers to this effect, as well as the testimony of the guards

that came to break His legs. As John 19:32-37 says:

"So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other

who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was

already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced

His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who

has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is

telling the truth, so that you also may believe. For these things came to

pass to fulfill the Scripture, "Not a bone of Him shall be broken." And

again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."

Jesus therefore was not the victim of chance, but on the contrary, He

willing gave Himself to the will of God. He had to go to the cross (cf. Luke
22:42),

but not because He was forced to, but because He wanted to. He did

it for us out of love. As the writer of Hebrews said in Hebrews 12:

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let

us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles

us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our

eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before

Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right

hand of the throne of God." (Heb. 12:1-2)

He endured the cross for the joy set before Him, the joy of seeing us saved.

The associated shame meant nothing to Him, for we were far more important

than that. This is the wonderful truth of Easter! This is the wonderful gift

of God, salvation through Jesus Christ. Have you received that gift?

Thanks to Randy Hillebrand
of the Unevangelized Fields Mission organization:
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Holy Week Easter Empty " CROSS of CHRIST "

Post  Admin on Thu 09 Apr 2009, 9:51 pm

Photobucket

" CROSS of CHRIST "

The seedling did not know,
When it peeked its' head above the ground
That it would one day grow
Tall, sturdy, strong and sound.

The growing tree did not know,
Bathing in the rain, basking in the sun,
That one day it would make history,
By being the Cross of God's only Son.

The tree did not know,
That men had a sinister plan to use it.
They chopped and axed it to the ground,
Hauled it away; how they did abuse it.

The tree did not know,
As those men chopped and shaped it,
That two crossbars, one long, one short,
The Body of Jesus would have draped it.

The tree finally knew
His purpose was in serving God;
To Lift up The Spotless Lamb,
God chose, eons ago, a tiny little pod.

The Tree knew it was a symbol
because of JESUS' Death
on its' wood.
It might have chosen a different path
if only it could.

Beautiful tree, hollowed wood,
Shaped, sanded and planed,
Jesus died and rose again,
Eternity we have gained

Tree of Life - tall and straight
Cross of Christ Crucified,
Because of His Death and Resurrection,
JESUS CHRIST is GLORIFIED! ! !


©️ Mel Patterson, 3-11-06

Blessed are those who do His commandments,
that they may have the right to the tree of life,
and may enter through the gates into the city.
Revelation 22:14
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Holy Week Easter Empty *Behold the Lamb of God*

Post  Admin on Thu 09 Apr 2009, 9:44 pm

*Behold the Lamb of God*
Source posted by:Teacher @ Mount Zion"
*John 1:29* - *The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith,
Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.*

John the Baptist who was an official announcer for Jesus introduced Him to
the world he used the title 'Lamb of God'.

Why Jesus is called the Lamb of God and not any other animal of God? There
were many other animals which were also sacrificed like goats, cows, ox
etc...

In the Bible all animals are symbolic to the character and physical being.
The lamb is a small one of the sheepfold and is covered with wool which is
mostly white, all over the body. It is a very timid animal.

Before He came as man - Jesus, He was God - the Son of God. By whom and for
whom all creation is made. This very same Being who's power is beyond man's
imagination, humbled Himself, taking the greatest risk and became man and a
living sacrifice for all mankind.

There are people who enact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and some who
really nail and whip themselves to experience the suffering or testify the
pain. How can any man do that? Firstly the Bible does not give total detail
of the suffering Jesus went through. What is given in the Old Testament is
just a part of what He suffered.

Even if any man humbles himself, becomes an ant and allows others to crush
him, yet he will not match what God who is omnipotent did as Jesus.

He became man to be King of all mankind and on the cross forget being a
King; He looked like the greatest failure. As man He also took the greatest
risk, since He is God who is Holy, if any sin had entered Him as man, it
could have destroyed everything. Therefore the Lamb is white and covered
with wool - which symbolizes grace He made available to all mankind.

So let each of us adore and give glory to the Lamb of God.

*[Prayer Starter]*

Father God, we thank You for your Son - Jesus. Who humbled Himself and
became a living sacrifice for us eternally. Help us learn from Him as His
Spirit leads us every moment of our life. This we ask in Jesus' Name, Amen.

*[Reference Scriptures]*

*Isaiah 53*
1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a
dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, *there
is* no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with
grief: and we hid as it were *our* faces from him; he was despised, and we
esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did
esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he *was* wounded for our transgressions, *he was* bruised for our
iniquities: the chastisement of our peace *was* upon him; and with his
stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own
way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he
is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is
dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his
generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the
transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death;
because he had done no violence, neither *was any* deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put *him* to grief: when
thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see *his* seed, he
shall prolong *his* days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his
hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, *and* shall be satisfied: by
his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear
their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him *a portion* with the great, and he shall
divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto
death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of
many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
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Holy Week Easter Empty HE WAS RAPED

Post  Admin on Thu 09 Apr 2009, 9:07 pm

As we prepare for the Easter season this year, let's remember that the Easter bunny didn't die for us. Chocolate eggs didn't suffer on a cruel cross. Easter egg hunts can't cover our sins ...

Jesus is the reason for the Season!

HE WAS RAPED
“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.” (Matthew 27: 27 - 31 KJV)

Two of the definitions that I found for the word “raped” in Webster’s Dictionary are “a: to seize and take away by force; b: despoil: to strip of belongings, possessions, or value.” These definitions describe very well what happened to our precious Saviour. He was taken away by force and stripped not only of His raiment, but also of His value. I believe as the crown of thorns was pressed down tightly on His head and the blood flowed; the crown of thorns also entered His heart and His tears was mingled with His blood.

They took the reed and smote Him on His head. They spit on our precious Saviour and then they mocked Him. They said “Hail, King of the Jews!” but they were not honoring Him, they were mocking Him. If ever someone’s heart was broken and He felt all alone, it was Jesus as He endured that shame and horror for you and for me. His own Father had to turn away from Him as Jesus hung on the cruel cross of Calvary. Our Heavenly Father is a Holy God and He can’t look on sin. Jesus had taken our sins on Him so His Father had to turn away from Him. How God must have cried on that terrible day!

Jesus is still enduring the excruciating pain, the horror, and the sorrow of the cross today because people are still mocking Him and they are still rejecting Him. May God have mercy on us for continuing to hurt the precious Son of God! If you have never admitted that you are a sinner and asked Jesus to forgive you for your sins and come into your heart to be your personal Saviour, you are mocking Him and rejecting Him. Jesus has suffered enough. Please don’t keep hurting Him. Give your heart and life to Jesus today and take away some of the pain in His heart. Are you raping Jesus by stripping Him of His value by rejecting Him and denying that He is the Saviour of the world? If so, may God have mercy on your soul.

Joanne Lowe
www.fromtheheartofjesus.blogspot.com
www.Answers2Prayer.org ,
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Holy Week Easter Empty Holy Week Easter

Post  Admin on Thu 09 Apr 2009, 9:05 pm

Anyone Can Wear A Cross - But Have You Taken Up Yours?


"If the Lord went to a cross for us, the least we can do is carry a cross for Him." - Bible Exposition Commentary
"The Cross is the pain of the self-denial required. The Cross is the symbol of doing our duty, even at the cost of the most painful death." - People's New Testament
"A man's self is to him the prime cause of most of his miseries." - Adam Clarke
"To deny myself is to put self out of the picture and to put Christ in the place of self." - J.Vernon McGee
"After all, the real war is inside - selfishness versus sacrifice." - Bible Exposition Commentary
"Let us therefore learn to connect these two things, that believers must bear the cross in order to follow their Master; that is, in order to conform to His example, and to abide by His footsteps like faithful companions." Calvin's Commentaries.

"If self-denial be a hard lesson, and against the grain to flesh and blood, it is no more than what our Master learned and practised before us and for us, both for our redemption and for our instruction; and the servant is not above his lord. Note, All the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ must deny themselves. It is the fundamental law of admission into Christ's school, and the first and great lesson to be learned in this school, to deny ourselves; it is both the strait gate, and the narrow way; it is necessary in order to our learning all the other good lessons that are there taught. We must deny ourselves absolutely, we must not admire our own shadow, nor gratify our own humour; we must not lean to our own understanding, nor seek our own things, nor be our own end. We must deny ourselves comparatively; we must deny ourselves for Christ, and His will and glory, and the service of His interest in the world; we must deny ourselves for our brethren, and for their good; and we must deny ourselves for ourselves, deny the appetites of the body for the benefit of the soul. - Matthew Henry

"That which we have to do, is, not only to bear the cross (that a stock, or a stone, or a stick may do), not only to be silent under it, but we must take up the cross, must improve it to some good advantage. We should not say, "This is an evil, and I must bear it, because I cannot help it;" but, "This is an evil, and I will bear it, because it shall work for my good." When we rejoice in our afflictions, and glory in them, then we take up the cross. This fitly follows upon denying ourselves; for he that will not deny himself the pleasures of sin, and the advantages of this world for Christ, when it comes to the push, will never have the heart to take up his cross." - Matthew Henry

Matthew 16:24 says - "Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up His cross, and follow Me."
Mark 8:34 says - "And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."
Luke 9:23 says - "And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."
Matthew 10:38 says - "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me."

In these Scriptures, the Lord Jesus presented two approaches to life for the believer. He is given a choice. He can either deny himself or live for himself...take up his cross or ignore his cross... follow Christ or follow the world...forsake the world or seek to gain the whole world.

In these Scriptures, Jesus also laid down the conditions or stem requirements for discipleship for any and all who wanted to "follow Him." They are simply - "deny yourself" and "take up your cross daily."
The question is - Just how many Christians are fulfilling these requirements? Are you?
How many disciples does Jesus have in the world today? Oh, He may have many followers who are following Him for the miracles, "loaves and fishes," or manifold blessings. But who exactly is following Him simply because He is God in the flesh? His true disciples are not concerned about gaining the world and its wealth and pleasures. They are solely set on "winning Him" and glorifying Him in the short time that they have in this world! Does this describe your heart's intent?

This message is meant to place a "spotlight" on your walk with Jesus to see if you are really "worthy of Him" - "worthy" to call yourself by His Name - which is "Christian." It is also meant to stir you onto perfection - to get you to see where you are "missing it" and to provoke you to align your daily walk with His Word.

The first requirement for discipleship that Jesus gave is to - "deny yourself."

This entails -
...surrendering to God your will, affections, and body
...not seeking your own happiness as the supreme object
...being willing to renounce all and lay down your life
...saying "no" to the strong cravings of your nature in reference to earthly ease, comfort, dignity, and glory
...renouncing self-dependence and selfish pursuits
...parting with sinful self, ungodliness, worldly lusts, and sinful companions
...denying yourself of the pleasures, profits, and advantages of this world when they are in competition with Christ
...dropping and banishing all notions of an earthly kingdom and worldly grandeur
...renouncing all confidence in your own righteousness and strength
...giving yourself wholly to Christ and sharing in His shame and death
...consenting to be reduced to nothing
...resolving to live not for pleasure but usefulness / not for selfish inclinations but duty
...and brutally setting aside pride, fear, and all rights which your old self may demand as its due.

It simply means living a Jesus-kind of life.

The second requirement for discipleship that He gave is - "take up your cross daily."

This entails -
...embracing the conditions which God has appointed for your life
...patiently and cheerfully bearing the troubles and difficulties that you may meet with in walking the Christian walk
...accommodating yourself to the will of God
...doing whatever God wills
...conforming yourself to the pattern of a crucified Jesus
...identifying with Jesus in His rejection, shame, suffering, and death
...identifying with Jesus in surrender, suffering, and sacrifice
...living a life of self-denial, mortification, and contempt of this world
...not indulging ease and appetite
...boldly and fearlessly confessing Christ in a wicked world and obeying Him in spite of the suffering and shame
...dying to self DAILY

These are two approaches to life...two ways to resemble Christ... two ways to distinguish between the true and false followers of Jesus.

Remember - "If the Lord went to a cross for us, the least we can do is carry a cross for Him."
Are you?
Anyone can wear a Cross - but have you taken up yours?

May God Bless His Word,
Connie

©️ COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved
Used with permission.
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