Giving encouragement and sharing the meat of God’s Word
Monday, March 26, 2018
To you, who
typical, unbelieving man on the street, Jesus may be a good man, a teacher, an
avatar of the divine, or even a myth invented by man to control the masses. I
can’t remember where I heard this last comment, but it saddens me. I feel the
anger and cynicism behind it and I sense the person’s hatred of anyone they
believe is telling them what they can or cannot do.
with the unbeliever’s conclusions about Jesus is their conscience; that innate
awareness of right and wrong. They can’t explain it or get rid of it. They’re
convicted by a law they refuse to acknowledge and it angers them. Yet, the only
reason we know right from wrong is because God wrote it. The Almighty, Triune
God set the Standard and no matter what we do there’s no getting around it.
unbelievers really only want the things they deem right to be right and the things
they deem wrong to be wrong. But what happens when their “wrong” becomes
someone else’s “right”?
no answers and it’s much like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, who rebuked
Him for socializing with people they considered unworthy. “…the Pharisees and
scribes complained, saying, ‘THIS MANreceives
sinners and eats with them.’” Once, by invitation, Jesus
went to have dinner with one of those religious leaders. While He was there, a
woman came into the house, wept, washed His feet with her tears, kissed and
anointed them with fragrant oil. The Pharisee chided Jesus in his heart, “…saying,
if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is
touching Him, for she is a sinner.’”
Pharisee, denying his own sin condition, found fault in Jesus. Yet, Pilate said
not once, but twice, "I have found nofault in THIS MAN…” Nevertheless, the chief
priests and the crowd shouted, “…Away withTHIS MAN, and release to us Barabbas”
preferred Barabbas, a hardened criminal, to Jesus, the Sinless, Son of God.
Still, they could not know their rejection of Him would be for the salvation of
many, beginning with one thief who hung on a cross next to Jesus. Realizing Jesus
was God, come in the flesh, this thief acknowledged his sin and rebuked his
companion hanging on the other cross. “We suffer,” he cried, “…justly, for we
receive the due reward of our deeds; but THIS MANhas
done nothing wrong.” Jesus forgave him and changed
the place where this repentant thief would spend eternity.
fell upon the land for about three hours while God, the Father, placed the sin
of the world upon Jesus “…and the veil of the temple was torn in two.” In those three hours, the pain of sin and separation Jesus suffered was worse than the physical pain causing death to His body.
returned, Jesus hung there battered, bruised, and bleeding, yet still possessing physical
strength. His body was not yet ready to die. So, proving His earlier
statement:“No one takes my life away
from me. I give it up of my own free will. I have the right to give it up, and
I have the right to take it back...”
Jesus cried in a loudvoice, “’…Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT
MY SPIRIT.’ Having said this, He breathed His last. Now when the centurion saw
what had happened, he began praising God, saying, "Certainly THIS MANwas innocent.”
indeed! Although the Jews demanded His crucifixion and the Romans nailed Him to
the cross, it was my sin and yours that put Him there. “For sin pays its wage –
death. But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”
THIS MAN died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day
according to the Scriptures.