My Response to the Resurrection

“For God so loved the world, He gave his only Son that whosoever believes in him, should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so individuals might be saved through Him.”  John 3: 16-17. The first twenty-one years of my life were lived without Jesus as my personal Savior. I had been raised in a home by loving parents, but did not have the privilege of attending Sunday school and church services. Then I married and my husband was not a believer. But he had his parent’s Bible, sometimes I read portions of …

Lift Up Your Cross

                Matthew 16: 24-25  Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.”   I’m certain the disciples felt that all was lost when Jesus was crucified.  Fearing for their own lives, they hid from the authorities.  Jerusalem was too dangerous for them; they needed to escape to friendlier locales.  At this point in the …

By the Way of the Cross

      Isaiah 53: 4-5,12  “Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering…But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities…He poured out His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” My name you do not know.  Throughout history, I have only been known as the thief on the cross.  My name is not important.  My story is.  My life began about 2000 years ago.  I was born into a respectable Jewish family.  We attended the synagogue and celebrated …

The Cross of Christ part 1

        Intersection, Substitution, Completion Our journey through the Gospel of Mark brings us to the pinnacle of our faith, the reason we have hope, and the very essence of the gospel message.   The Cross of Christ.   Today’s devotion is devoted to the word intersection.   As we study Mark 15: 21-47 and the crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus — God has given me three key words that convey three key truths: 1. Intersection  2. Substitution 3. Completion The Cross of Christ represents all three. Intersection Of course, the Cross is a literal intersection – we see …

The Cross of Christ part 2

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” II Corinthians 5: 22 We’re focusing on three words as we meditate on the Cross:  Intersection–Substitution–Completion Substitution Merriam-Webster.com defines substitute: a person or thing that takes the place of someone or something else. You and I are that someone else.  We deserve the death penalty, but Jesus became our substitute. One of my college professors described it this way: God can, but should not. Man should, but cannot. Thus – the need for the God-Man –Jesus Christ. …

The Cross of Christ part 3

Intersection, Substitution, Completion And finally, the cross is a place of Completion. Dictionary.com defines Complete: having all parts or elements; lacking nothing; whole; entire; full; finished; ended; concluded. Jesus came to earth with an assignment.  He devoted His time here to being on task with His assignment.  He was about His Father’s business.  He knew who He was and He knew what He was called to do.  There was purpose to His presence and He lived devoted to that purpose.  He lived on Purpose. Consider these verses that remind us that Jesus CHOSE the Cross… “The Son of Man did …

It is Finished

“It is finished.” These words of Jesus are recorded in John 19: 30. His work on earth is complete. He was born to die. Each day of His life in this world was a step in His journey to the Cross. Jesus came to earth with an assignment.  He devoted His time here to being on task with His assignment.  He was about His Father’s business.  He knew who He was and He knew what He was called to do.  There was purpose to His presence and He lived devoted to that purpose.  He lived on purpose. Consider these verses …

Grief Transformed to Joy

“…Mary stood outside the tomb crying…”  John 20: 11 The Greek word translated crying is KLAIO.  It carries the meaning of not just crying softly with tears, but with every external expression of grief. (My daughter Lydia has a self-made rule for life – -“cry like a winner – on the inside.” Her mother is much more demonstrative with her tears and, in fact, has been known to cry during previews as well as the movie!) When it comes to tears, Mary would not be following my daughter’s mantra!  Mary is wailing.  Her grief cannot be contained. The Lord she …