Monday, January 30, 2012

What is important?

January 30, 2012

The Life of Jesus; read today: "Behold your mother."; John 19:25-27

ESV: John Chapter 19

[25] but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. [26] When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, Woman, behold, your son! [27] Then he said to the disciple, Behold, your mother! And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

Jesus second words from the cross can be a mystery at first. He tells His mother that the disciple John is her son and tells John that Mary is his mother. It would almost seem that He was slightly delirious. History tells us Jesus had two brothers so why would Jesus let them take care of Mary?

History also tells us that they did not believe in Jesus statements that He was the son of God.  While they would be responsible for for her physical needs they obviously could not take care of her spiritual needs. Jesus was saying from the cross what I need to hear today. The spiritual needs are always more important than the physical needs . Physical needs are important but they should never be more important than the spiritual. Something that I need to reinforce in my life.

Read for next time: Multitudes mock Jesus; Matthew 27:39-43; Mark 15:29-32; Luke 23:35-37

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012


January 11, 2012
The Life of Jesus; read today: Soldiers divide the garments of Jesus; Matthew 27:35-36; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; John 19:23-24

ABP: Mark 15:24. And having crucified him, they divided his garments, casting a lot over them, who should take what.

I learned in reading the commentaries for this verse, that the garments of the condemned man were considered the wages for the solders who did the execution.   They would throw the lots and see which man got to choose first, second, etc.  So this was a common occurrence at this time.

I can get a picture of what is happening here.  Jesus is up on the cross, looking down on the men who have stripped Him and now are throwing dice to divide up his clothing. What little dignity He may have had was now gone.  Jesus just gave it all.

A few night ago, my wife corrected my actions in front of the children.  I felt that she had embarrassed me in front of the kids so I blew up and let her know my feelings.  I guess my dignity was at stake here.  I wonder when I will be more like Jesus and not let my emotions get in the way.

Read for next time: "Behold your mother."; John 19:25-27

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Forgive them

January 8, 2012
The Life of Jesus; read today: "Forgive them…"; Luke 23:34

Common: Luke 23:34. Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And they divided his garments and cast lots.

The first of Jesus sentences as He was on the cross.  The sins that I have done are what is holding Him there, though logic would tell you it was the nails, it way my sin.

So He spoke to the Father about what was happeing.  Forgive them, they do not know what they are doing here.  They did not.  Though they knew the scritpures, they did not realize what they meant.  So Jesus spoke to that, forgive them.

Or was He talking about them?  Was He looking down through the centuries to where I live today. When I want what I want and do what I need to make myself happy, and I pound that nail in a little harder, was Jesus looking at me and saying, 'Forgive him, he does not know what he is doing."

Read for next time: Soldiers divide the garments of Jesus; Matthew 27:35-36; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; John 19:23-24

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

What he wrote...

January 8, 2012
The Life of Jesus; read today: Inscription written by Pilate; Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:26; Luke 23:38; John 19:19-22

BBE: John Chapter 19
[19] And Pilate put on the cross a statement in writing. The writing was: JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
[20] The writing was seen by a number of the Jews, for the place where Jesus was put to death on the cross was near the town; and the writing was in Hebrew and Latin and Greek.

The Jewish leaders got mad at Pilate. They wanted him to change the words, and he would not.  He said that what he had written was what he had written.  The words are important.  They tell us what Pilate thought of Jesus. yes, Pilate had to kill Jesus, there could be no king but Cesar, and he realized the Jewish leaders could have let this go, so he told them that as far as he was concerned, yes, Jesus was king of the Jews.

And He was, and it was said in all the languages.

And Pilate did what I should do. Declare Jesus kingdom to all that will listen.

Read for next time: "Forgive them…"; Luke 23:34

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The center spot

January 7, 2012
The Life of Jesus; read today: 2 robbers are crucified with Jesus; Matthew 27:38; Mark 15:27-28; Luke 23:33; John 19:18

ESV: John 19:18. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.

What significance would it be that Jesus was hung in the middle between two thiefs?  I know enough about the Bible that nothing is put there that is not significant.  Sometimes you have to dig a little to see it though.

In our lives today we often put significance to a central position.  The man or woman of honor at a banquet is often seated at the center of the table.  When a Formula One driver wins a race, they put up a podium with the top three drivers, the winner at the center.  Same with the Olympics.

But with the cross, the Romans saved the center cross for the worst of the criminals that were being murdered.  It is hard to believe that Jesus would have had the center cross for just claiming to be King of the Jewish people.  As I think about it, it was appropriate, He was taking on Himself the sins of all the people who ever were and would be.  All that sin is a lot, more than any criminal would ever do.  By placing Jesus where they did, they made a statement without even knowing it.

Read for next time: Inscription written by Pilate; Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:26; Luke 23:38; John 19:19-22

Thursday, January 5, 2012


January 5, 2012
The Life of Jesus; read today: He is crucified on the 3rd hour; Mark 15:25

YLT: Mark 15:25. and it was the third hour, and they crucified him;

Kind of says it all, doesn't it?  No wiggle room here, he was crucified, with all that it meant.  There was pain involved. In our capital punishment we make sure that the guilty do not feel the pain that they made their victims go through. The Romans were not that kind.  They made sure that everyone saw the pain, that way others would think twice about breaking the law. I can barely imagine the pain that Jesus went through.

I started writing this devotional a few years ago when I was recovering from surgery.  I had some time to sit and pray and got the leading that I should do this, so I started it.  But the pain I was in those few days before the surgery, oh how bad it was.  I can remember saying that if someone told me to stand on my head and make a noise like a duck and the pain would go away, I would have done it.  I hurt so bad I was nearly in tears.  Yet, what I suffered was no where near what Jesus did.  

I can only imagine what it was like for Him, as they put the nails in the hands and feet.  I can imagine Him saying I could make this stop so easily.  Yet He did not.  What suffering I go through is nothing compared to what He had. And that is not just the physical pain, but the mental pain as well.  So much here to think about.  

Read for next time: 2 robbers are crucified with Jesus; Matthew 27:38; Mark 15:27-28; Luke 23:33; John 19:18

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


January 2, 2012
The Life of Jesus; read today: Soldiers offer Jesus sour wine mix; Matthew 27:34; Mark 15:23

ASV: Matthew 27:34. they gave him wine to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted it, he would not drink.

Wine was to be given according to scripture, to those who were facing death (Proverbs 31:6-7), but this was not a normal drink of wine.  They mixed with it gall, a bitter tasting drug.  wine would have deadened the pain He was in, the drug would have maid it so He would not have noticed.  It is much like what we do in the United States when we do death by lethal injection.  A drug is given to make the person unconscious, then the drug that will stop the heat is given. No pain is felt. If Jesus had taken that mixture He would not have lived the hell that He was about to go through.

He tasted it though.  The bitterness of the gall was a taste of the sin He was about to feel.  He could taste the bitterness and drink it down and not feel the pain, or He could live the pain.  The choice was to be His.  He rejected the drink.  He wanted to suffer so that I would not have to suffer.  Any thing less than full consciousness would not have brought the victory over death, hell and the grave.

Read for next time: He is crucified on the 3rd hour; Mark 15:25

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Place of the skull

January 2, 2012
The Life of Jesus; read today:  Jesus carries the cross; John 19:17

LEB: John 19:17. and carrying for himself the cross, he went out to the place called The Place of a Skull (which is called Golgotha in Aramaic),

It was a place of the skull. Means nothing to me in this day and age, but to the people of Jesus time it meant a lot. It was a place where supposedly Adam was buried. More importantly it was a place where peoples bones were thrown.  It was an unclean place. Unclean places make a person unclean. Under Jewish law, they needed a sacrifice to become clean again.  A lamb was always a good sacrifice.

So, into this unclean place came the one that would make us all clean again, that would make it so that there was no more sacrifices needed.

It was bad enough all the other things that He had to go through for me.  One more degrading thing like being killed in an unclean place should not make a difference.  But it does. He did it for me. What more can I do for Him?

Read for next time: Soldiers offer Jesus sour wine mix; Matthew 27:34; Mark 15:23

Monday, January 2, 2012

They took Him away

January 2, 2012
The Life of Jesus; read today:  Pilate delivers Jesus to be crucified; John 19:16

Godbey: John 19:16. Therefore he then delivered Him to them that He should be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away.

They took Jesus, He was lead away.  I know the Bible does not lie, but is there a fib here?  Could Jesus ever been taken away.  That would mean there was some resistance, but we all know that Jesus gave His life willingly.  

He was a man just like I was.  I know that the humanity in Him cried out to live. The flesh I am sure wanted to continue.  But He gave it all for me.  I sometimes want my own earthly desires to be met, the humanity of my self crying out to get what I want.  

In the end I must learn to be like Jesus, to let myself be taken to places I do not want to go so that the needs of those I love can be met.

Read for next time: Jesus carries the cross; John 19:17