I’ll lead you to buried treasures, secret caches of valuables- Confirmation that it is, in fact, I, God…..who calls you by your name. Isaiah 45:3 MSG
He calls me by my name, The God of the Universe knows my name, knows your name!
We meet new people everyday in our busy lives and often we forget their names, or the encounter slips into the hidden recesses of our memory, but God KNOWS our name and calls us by it. We are not simply another random entry into the vastness of His being, tucked away and forgotten. We are in His thoughts every day. He waits for us to rise in the morning, He calls our name, He is there when we slip into slumber at night, He whispers our name. At every turn….He is there, waiting to reveal treasures we cannot even begin to imagine.
‘ God still draws near to us in the ordinary, commonplace, everyday experiences and places…..He comes in surprising ways’ – Henry Gariepy.
Listen today, and hear YOUR name.
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 . 27.
‘ At noon darkness fell across the whole land until 3 o’clock .’ Mark 15:33
Q. What is the significance of the darkness?
Have you ever experienced a total eclipse of the sun ? That eerie darkness that gradually engulfs the heavens and just as gradually light re-emerges as the sun becomes visible again. It’s not a total darkness but more like the gentle hues of twilight as the sun is only completely obscured for a couple of minutes.
But in those few short minutes the source of our warmth, the light of our day is hidden from our sight as though we were veiled.
Jesus hung on the cross for three hours, three hours in a deep darkness. Three hours He endured a total separation from His Father, as God turned His face and withdrew His presence from His only Son as the weight of all sin rested upon Him. Jesus had walked and talked with His Father since He was a little boy. He was in total communion with God and now He was alone, cut off from heaven.
The anguish which must have enveloped Him is incomprehensible , something we can never understand. And He suffered this in order to release us from the chains that hold us in darkness, so that we might never have to encounter the torment of separation from God.
Grace immeasurable, Grace uncontainable , Grace undeserved , a love that knows no bounds and is available to all who would ask.
His love……is…….amazing .
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 . 25.
‘ It was 9 o’clock in the morning when the crucifixion took place. A signboard was fastened to the cross above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against Him. It read; ” The King of the Jews.” Two criminals were crucified with him, their crosses on either side of His. ‘ Mark 15:25-27
Q. How does Jesus compare to the other two men? What was the intent of the sign ?
Jesus was the Rose between two thorns. They placed His cross in the middle, on either side of Him a convicted, guilty criminal. Surrounded by sin, there He hung, perfect and innocent.
‘ All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s path to follow our own. Yet The Lord laid on him the guilt and sin of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. From prison and trial they led him away to his death. But who among the people realised that he was dying for their sins- that he was suffering their punishment.” Isaiah 53:6-8
The sign above His head intended as a mockery to His power as King an insult to both Him and the Jewish people. Little did they understand his title was much more than that. Unlike the two criminals who bore the punishment for their own wrongs, He carried the weight and consequence of all of sins for all of time. He uttered not a word in His defence, instead embracing His Father’s plan and choosing us. We who are guilty.
He is ” King of Kings”.