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April 18, 2014

April 18, 2014


"I Will Lay Down My Life Today!"


By the time most of you have read this Jesus will have endured three trials, been beaten and flogged and been condemned to death.  What else had he endured?


If you think about that, from 6 AM – 9 AM Jesus will have been before the Sanhedrin, taken before Pilate, sent by Pilate to Herod, sent back to Pilate and by 8 AM condemned to death, it’s pretty overwhelming.  By 9 AM He has been placed on the cross and will hang there until 3 PM.


While He is on that cross He will be mocked and insulted by the religious leaders, who had plotted this for a while; by the crowd that has gathered just outside Jerusalem and by two thieves.  Not only is He suffering emotionally, but He is suffering physically.


There is a small cadre of people there for Jesus.  As the Gospel of John described it, a number of women and the disciple whom Jesus loved.  Tradition says it is John, to whom Jesus will commend His mother.  The Gospel of John tells us that he took her home and treated her as his mother from that day forward.


Jesus has been beaten, whipped, mocked and crucified.  And there is one more thing; all the sins of the world have been placed on Him.  As Paul says it, “He became sin who knew no sin.”  It is perhaps the reason why He cries out to His Father that He feels forsaken.


All go about their lives just as normal while this was happening.  But His death will change things.  He may feel forsaken but because of His dying we will not be forsaken.  He will conquer death along with sin and the devil and proclaim the victory of God over the powers of darkness.


The darkness that comes over Jesus on this day is not the devil winning.  It is His Father, so hurt by watching His son suffer, who turns the lights off so that He does not have to watch it any longer.  But it is God who sent Him to accomplish this and His final word says it all, “It is accomplished.”


The chief priests and Satan think they have won.  Jesus will be dead by 3 PM.  What they don’t understand is that the grave cannot hold Him.  There will be a resurrection and there will be life eternal for those who believe.


Peace in the Lord,


Pastor Don