‘You will show me the path of life. In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forever more.’ Psalm 16:11 NKJ
Sometimes the path before us appears to be overgrown causing our way to become obscured and unclear. We stumble around in the scrub trying to clear away a direction of our own, wasting time only to find ourselves hopelessly lost.
God promises that He will direct us upon the path of life. We simply need to be still long enough, practice patience and lean into His presence in order to discern His voice.
As our eyes and ears are opened, our hearts quickening to His Spirit, emerging through the obstacles of life, His way becomes evident. It is in the contentment of resting securely in Him that His voice becomes most audible.
‘ That is God’s call to us- simply to be people who are content to live close to Him and to renew the kind of life in which the closeness is felt and experienced.-Thomas Merton.
Take some time out today, step out of the scrub, into the clearing and rest in Him.
Walk Towards Easter . 30 .
‘ Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth, and taking Jesus’ body down from the cross, he wrapped it in the cloth and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance.’
Q. How would Joseph have felt?
Loosing someone that we love is one of the most painful experiences in life . We all have to face it at some point and grieving can often be a long and difficult process, but it is an inevitable process in this condition….humanity.
As Joseph wrapped Jesus’ body , broken and lifeless , I can only imagine the enormity of his grief. He was yet to have a full understanding of the salvation that Jesus had purchased for him in giving up His life. The bewilderment of the situation as he carried Jesus’ body away to be buried in a borrowed tomb, must have been consuming . He thought that Jesus was going to set up His Kingdom and reign as King, there in His lifetime, but now He was dead. Was all that he thought to be true……not ? Was Jesus really the Messiah ? All these conflicting thoughts married with an overwhelming grief. Things had not turned out as he thought they would !
Situations arrive in life where we are certain that we have it all worked out, we think we know the outcome, our desired result, and then the unthinkable occurs. Our reality is rocked as our certainty turns to confusion . It is not how we thought and planned it to be.
It is in these times when we are swamped in confusion that we need to hold fast, and lean into faith.
‘ All of us have strayed away like sheep, we have left God’s paths to follow our own. ‘ Isaiah 53:6
‘ The Lord your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, says : I am The Lord your God, who teaches you what is good and leads you along the paths you should follow.’ Isaiah 48:17
Don’t give up because circumstances are not all that you desire, at the dawn of a new day , clarity , direction and understanding will come. He is faithful to His promise .
Walk Towards Easter . 29.
‘ And the curtain in the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he died, he exclaimed, ” Truly, this was the Son of God!” Mark 15:338-39
Q. What was the significance of the tearing of the curtain? What do learn about Jesus death from the Roman Officer ?
‘ It is finished ‘…….What was it that so moved the Roman Soldier ,as Jesus took His last breath, to exclaim , ” Truly He was the Son of God!” I’m sure this soldier must have officiated at many crucifixions and witnessed many deaths on the cross, but this one was different. Maybe he saw the enormous load , the burden that Jesus bore, the pain He suffered and the darkness that overshadowed Him. Maybe it was the compassion and forgiveness he showed , regardless of His own suffering , to the criminal placed next to Him. Or did he sense a supernatural peace as Jesus commended His Spirit to His Father. It was the incredible changing power of Grace! , the Roman Soldier praised God !
When the curtain was torn in two, Jesus sacrifice ushered in The New Covenant. No longer was there a separation of the Holy and Most Holy Place in The Temple, no longer do we need the earthly priest to intercede on our behalf. Now we can boldly enter into The Throne Room of Grace
‘ So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it ‘ Ephesians 4:16
Walk Towards Easter .26.
‘ The leading priests and teachers of the religious law also mocked Jesus. ” He saved others,” they scoffed, ” but he can’t save himself! Let this messiah, this King of Israel , come down from the cross so we can see it and believe him!” Even the two criminals who were being crucified with Jesus ridiculed him.
Q. What is ironic about the mocking cries of the crowd?
To be involved in behaviour such as mockery, is unbecoming of any religious leader. I wonder if the people shouting actually listened to what they were saying, ” You saved others!” Should that not have been enough for them to see that Jesus was special, innocent. They witnessed His miracles and yet they still wanted more , for Him to prove Himself again. The irony is, that is exactly what He was accomplishing.
‘ When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of what he has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honours of one who is mighty and great, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among those who were sinners…….” Isaiah 53:11-12
There will be times when you are the only one standing firm, holding fast to your principles, in the face of ridicule and torment and an overwhelming pressure to conform. Often our biggest critics will be those whom we thought were on the same page. Take heart, He knows the weight and He overcame it.
Walk Towards Easter . 24.
‘ They dressed him in a purple robe and made a crown of long, sharp thorns and put it on His head. Then they saluted, yelling, ” Hail! King of the Jews!” And they beat him on the head with a stick, spit on him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship.’ Mark 15:16-19
Q. What motivates the mockers ? Are you ever tempted to mock Jesus ?
They dragged Jesus before a whole battalion of soldiers to mock and abuse him both verbally and physically . Why ? Why would anyone want to do this to another human being ? The mob , bully mentality continued onto the Roman authorities, spreading like a virus. One by one more people stepped in to join the brutalising of an innocent man, almost as if it were a sport. They mocked and humiliated Him until they were tired of their sick game.
I cannot fathom what their motivation must have been , it is foreign to me and my only conclusion is that the enemy of our souls was at the root of it all , spurring them along for his own evil purposes.
Isaiah foretold these events;
‘Who has believed our message? To whom will The Lord reveal His saving power? My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot , sprouting from a root in dry and arid sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected- a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! ‘ Isaiah 53:1-5
Jesus’ tormentors were blinded by unbelief, lost in their ignorance. Unable to see that the very man they persecuted was indeed their Saviour.
May our eyes be open that we do not mock Him in looking the other way as He passes by, but instead , we stand up and follow after Him.