Friday, February 15, 2013

Free thinkers

Feb 15, 2013

Read Today: Fulfilment of prophecy; John 19:35-37

We know this is true, because it was told by someone who saw it happen. Now you can have faith too.
(Joh 19:35 CEV)

I work for a college. For a long time there was one religious group on campus. They did many events on campus but in all of them they glorified God and Jesus.  Recently another organization asked permission to start another group. They did not see each other as competition but as both fishing is the same pond.

The problem was that having two organizations bothered some people on campus. So they started an organization for others who did not believe in God in any way shape or form, or in any religion. One of the things on the recruitment poster was that ‘free thinkers’ were allowed.

Free thinkers? Does that mean that if I am a Christian I am not a free thinker, that I am corrupted by people telling me what to think?  Yet their whole life is one thought after another given to them by people who are teaching them. No one is a ‘free thinker’, we all are taught by those before us and choose to accept or reject it.

John wrote what he wrote because he was a witness to it, and he wants me to have faith in it also. I am free to accept it or reject it.  God has given me the ability to be a free thinker.  What He put in his Word is there so I can accept it or reject it. I am not forced into believing what His word says, I do so because I believe it to be a true account of what happened. Just like the group on campus I have to accept what has been taught and written is a true account. God has given me the ability to think and choose and I am thankful for that.

Read for next time: Joseph requests body from Pilate; Matthew 27:57-58, Mark 15:42-43, Luke 23:50-52; John 19:38

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The blood

Feb 14, 2013

Read Today: Soldier pierces Jesus' side; John 19:33-34

But one of the men made a wound in his side with a spear, and straight away there came out blood and water.
(Joh 19:34 BBE)

The two thieves on either side of Jesus were still alive, but Jesus appeared dead. Still they could not be sure.  So a soldier took it upon himself to use a spear to cut open Jesus. And when he did, blood and water flowed out of Jesus.

The water shows that I am cleansed and have my sins washed away because His broken body was on that cross. The blood represents healing. ‘There is life in the blood’ an old testament verse says.

Tradition says that the soldier who pierced Jesus side had a problem with his eyes. When the blood fell on to him, he was instantly healed. That would be just like both Jesus and God.  The irony of one who was part of the death of Jesus would receive healing from it. I know that every day, I must take the blood upon me, to heal me from the problems of my life. His blood can heal me of any emotional, physical or spiritual problems I may face.

Read for next time: Fulfilment of prophecy; John 19:35-37

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Perfect Sacrifice

Feb 13, 2013

Read Today: Request that legs be broken: John 19:31-32

Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him.
(Joh 19:31-32 ESV)

At the time of the Passover, every man was to go the Temple and sacrifice a lamb for his family. It could not be just any lamb, but one that was not damaged in any way. I could not have a bad leg.

As I read this verses I notice that they did not break Jesus legs. The Jews wanted them to because they needed to speed things up. Their law said that someone could not hang from a tree after sundown. Breaking the legs of someone would shorten the life of a person on a cross because they could not force themselves up to take another breath.

So they broke the two legs of the other two but came to Jesus to break His as well.  Today’s verse stops there, but we know that He was dead already and they did not.

As I live my life I know that I fail, that I would have to bring a sacrifice, a perfect sacrifice, to ask for God to forgive my sins. Jesus brought Himself before God as that perfect sacrifice. His legs were not broken. For that I am thankful.

Read for next time: Soldier pierces Jesus' side; John 19:33-34

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sideline faith

November 9, 2012

Women watch from a distance; Matthew 27:55-56, Mark 15:40, Luke 23:49

And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.  (Luk 23:49 ESV)

So much of my life has been on the sidelines. My faith is there, I just do not push it to full activation. So through a lot of my life I sat on the sideline and watch the game of life.  There were many reasons for this. Maybe I was scared of success, or of failure. Maybe I have been hurt by others. Maybe it is both, or other things as well.

Jesus does not call us to be on the sidelines, we are not to follow at a distance. But if I do, I am in the company of many saints who did so themselves. And I am not to judge them for what they are doing, because when I look deep inside myself, I do so also.

Read for next time: Request that legs be broken: John 19:31-32