Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Crucifixion’

An illuminated heart…


By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God‘s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship.” 
-Romans 12:1

Jesus didn’t come to the world to be served, but to serve. Everything Jesus did was in service to others. People hated him and gossiped about him and mocked him. They beat him, crucified him, pulled his beard, and poured vinegar into his mouth. Only one of his twelve disciples showed up at his crucifixion. That same day, he was denied by Peter, his right-hand man.

Nonetheless, Jesus changed everything. He changed everything.

And so, as we think we want God’s calling upon our lives, are we willing to sacrifice? God needs each of us to become a different kind of person before he calls us into a different kind of living, calling, or vocation. It requires sacrifice, trust, and dedication.

This kind of life, this kind of dedication, this kind of purpose and vision brings the human heart to illumination. It elevates us to be the people that we were born to be.

That’s joy. That’s fullness. That’s fulfillment to know that what we want is the Lord’s work to be done. We want what he wants. That’s the real kind of life. That’s how to really live – for something bigger than ourselves.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help my plans to be your plans. Illuminate my heart with your vision for my future so that I may live my life only for you. Amen.

Reflection: As you pray for God to illuminate your heart with his vision for your future, what thoughts come to mind?

Three Crosses of Sin.


Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. —John 19:18

Historians of Jesus’ day tell us crucifixions were common. Hundreds at a time would be crucified when the Romans came into a new region.

But on this day in infamy there were only three-.-.-.-not the usual thirty or a hundred. Only two were sentenced to die with Jesus. The Roman guards would not even have time to finish the task before the Passover celebration began.

There were three crosses. The cross in the middle bore the One who died for sin; another bore the one who died to sin; and the third bore the one who died in sin. Although both criminals originally railed Jesus, one asked for forgiveness and Jesus promised that man a home in Paradise. The other ridiculed His choice and now is spending eternity in hell.

Jesus died for your sins, but have you died to sin for Him? If you want to live, you must die. Surrender at the Cross of Calvary today. Lay down every treasure and every burden at the foot of the Cross. Nail every sin and every expectation to the Cross.

Jesus, at the foot of Your Cross I lay down my burdens,
my expectations, my successes, and my failures.
Wash me clean with Your blood, and fill me with Your Spirit. Amen.

By ROD PARSLEY.

Evidence of the Crucifixion Beyond the Bible?.


[T]he Roman historian, Tacitus (who was born in a.d 55), wrote in his Annals (15:44) an explanation of how Nero, the emperor (who died in a.d 68) blamed Christians for the great fire of Rome in order to deflect rumors that he had started the blaze. In this passage Tacitus alludes to a fact which no one disputed: Christ had been crucified under Pontius Pilate:

All human efforts . . . of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus , and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular.

It was common and undisputed knowledge in the second half of the first century that Jesus Christ had been crucified. If there were any question that he had died in this way, it would have been eagerly disputed wherever Christians preached. But it wasn’t. The fact of his death by crucifixion was not questioned.

Taken from “The Great Offense: Was Jesus Really Crucified?” by John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org (used by permission).

John Piper

How Jesus Endured the Pain of the Cross.


cross
(stockfreeimages.com)

Jesus refused anesthesia. Yet something supernatural sustained Him during His suffering.

Nobody performed an autopsy on Jesus’ mangled body after He was taken down from the cross. But doctors who have studied the Bible’s description of His death say the pain would have been beyond excruciating. In fact, the word excruciating means “out of the cross.” Jesus literally defined the worst pain anyone could feel.

His suffering began in Gethsemane, when God laid the sins of the world on His beloved Son. The intense stress caused what physicians call hematridrosis, a condition in which blood seeps out of sweat glands. After His arrest, Jesus was flogged so mercilessly that his skin was stripped off His back, exposing muscle and bone.

After being slapped, punched, crowned with thorns and beaten with reeds, He was covered with a red robe and led to Golgotha. There, Roman soldiers drove seven-inch nails into his wrists (most likely hitting the median nerve, causing more blinding pain) and then they rammed another nail into his feet.

At that point, doctors suggest, Jesus would have suffered dislocation of His shoulders, cramps and spasms, dehydration from severe blood loss, fluid in His lungs and eventual lung collapse and heart failure. Yet He refused to take a pain-killing solution (see Matt. 27:34). He chose to endure the pain for us.

So how did Jesus handle this agony? Many scholars believe He meditated on Psalm 22 throughout His ordeal. He would have already memorized the prophetic prayer—which is quoted more often in the New Testament than any other Old Testament passage. It describes in detail the death of the Messiah. Imagine Jesus muttering the words of this psalm as He gasped for breath:

“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1, NASB). The gospels record Jesus praying this from the cross. Any Jew who heard it would have known He was quoting David’s prayer.

“But I am a worm and not a man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people” (v. 6). Jesus said these words as a crowd of angry mockers insulted Him. Matthew Henry points out that worms were used in Bible times to dye red fabric. Jesus was stained red for us so that He could make our sins as white as snow.

“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within me” (v. 14). Some victims of Roman crucifixion took as long as nine days to die, but Jesus’ death came in a matter of hours—probably because He had been flogged so cruelly before He was nailed to the rough wood.

“My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws” (v. 15). Victims of crucifixion typically developed serious dehydration because of a lack of blood and oxygen.

They pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots” (v. 16b-18). Nowhere in the Old Testament is the cross described so clearly. Jesus’ tormentors stripped Him of His clothes, and He bore our shame. We know from the Gospels that soldiers gambled for his tunic (see John 19:23-24).

But David’s psalm does more than just predict the pain Jesus would experience. It ends in victory. Imagine Jesus muttering these words to Himself as He bled to death:

“I will tell of Your name to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You” (v. 22). The author of Hebrews tells us that Jesus endured the Cross “because of the joy set before Him” (Heb. 12:2). Even as He hung in pitiful agony, He was thinking of union with His bride, the Church.

“All the ends of the world will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will worship before You. For the kingdom is the Lord’s and He rules over the nations”(v. 28). Jesus died so that all nations might know His forgiveness and salvation! As He poured out His blood on that cross, He was thinking of China, India, Uganda, Bolivia, Cuba, Russia, Iceland, Iran, the United States and every racial and ethnic group would one day know His love.

“They will come and will declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has performed it” (v. 31). This closing verse in Psalm 22 speaks of the great and final victory of the Messiah. Interestingly, the original Hebrew in the last phrase (“He has performed it”) can be translated, “It is finished.” This is exactly what Jesus declared in John 19:30 as He breathed His last! Most likely He recited the entirety of Psalm 22 during the tedious process of death.

In our sophisticated culture, people don’t like to talk about the barbaric treatment Jesus received, or about the fact that Jesus had to die to cleanse us from our sins. Let God give you a fresh revelation of the cross this week. And remember the words of the old hymn that says:

In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see;
For ‘twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.

 

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of The Mordecai Project(themordecaiproject.org). You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. His book, Fearless Daughers of the Bible, was just realeased in Spanish from Casa Creacion.

Divine Forgiveness.


Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Dividing his garments among them, they cast lots. – Luke 23:34

This was the first word spoken by our Lord on His cross. It was uttered just when the soldiers were in the act of crucifying Him – driving the terrible nails through His hands and feet. It was a moment of excruciating, inconceivable anguish.

Yet He uttered no cry of pain, no word of execration upon those who were causing Him such suffering, but calmly prayed for His brutal, pitiless murderers – “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

The moment the sacred blood began to flow the intercession for sinners began. The pleading was first for the ignorant heathen soldiers who were acting as executioners; but it was not for these alone.

It certainly widened out, and took in all who had been concerned in the condemnation and crucifixion of Jesus. It was for the Jewish rulers and people who had rejected their Messiah. May we not believe that many of those who on the day of Pentecost and afterward were brought to repentance were forgiven and saved because on His cross Jesus made intercession for them?

Then the prayer went out beyond the people who had a direct part in the crucifixion. From His cross Jesus saw the lost world down to the end, and prayed for all men. We know, too, that that word of prayer was but the beginning of an intercession that is going on yet inside heaven, where Jesus pleads the merits of His own sacrifice for the salvation of sinners.

This word of Jesus teaches us a great lesson on Christian forgiveness. He prayed for His murderers. We should pray for those who injure us. There are some fragrant trees which bathe in perfume the axe that gashes them. So should it be with Christ‘s people. Instead of resentment and injury for injury, we should show only sweet, tender love to those who harm us.

By Vine.


Bible In A Year: December 3rd…

By Book Old Testament New Testament Proverbs & Psalms
Ephesians 1-3 Daniel 9:20-11:1 1 John 3:11-4:6 Psalm 137:1-9

The King Of The Jews.


They set up over his head the accusation against him written, “THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” – Matthew 27:37

 

There was no other crime charged. He had done nothing amiss. Pilate had satisfied himself of that. He had examined Him, and could find no fault in Him, hence he would not write any charge on His cross but this, that He was the King of the Jews. The rulers objected to this, and wanted him to write that “he said” He was “King of the Jews;” but Pilate would not change a word, and there it stood above His head during all the agony and all the darkness “the King of the Jews.”

So He was. The tablet told the truth, though erected to mock the people. He was the Messiah who had been promised all through the centuries. He was the King of whom David was but the type. He was the Christ who had been foretold by prophets, and waited for age after age by the nation. At last He came. Angels sang at His birth. His life had been one of great blessing and power. He had wrought miracles of mercy all over the land.

He had taught, speaking as never man spoke. He had fulfilled all the Messianic conditions. Yet His enemies had rejected Him; and at last they led Him out to Calvary and nailed Him on the cross. Still He was their King ”their King rejected, their King crucified. His throne was His cross; His crown was the circlet of thorns that the soldiers had twisted and wound around His head.

It does not seem to us a kingly hour in our Lord’s life when He hangs on His cross dying, yet really it was the time of His highest earthly exaltation. He spoke of going to His cross as going to be glorified. He was indeed King of the Jews.

They crucified their King. He is our King too. How are we treating Him? Are we obeying Him? Are any of us rejecting Him? Are any of us crucifying Him afresh? We had better answer these questions.

By Vine.


Bible In A Year: December 2nd…

By Book Old Testament New Testament Proverbs & Psalms
Galatians 4-6 Daniel 8:15-9:19 1 John 2:28-3:10 Proverbs 29:10-18

The Crucifixion.


They gave him sour wine to drink mixed with gall. When he had tasted it, he would not drink. – Matthew 27:34

Here we come to the mount of our Redeemer’s sorrows, and we should bare our heads in holy reverence as we stand in the silence of wondering love and gaze upon Him on His cross. Many thoughts will come to us as we contemplate this scene.

What a terrible thing sin is, that its expiation required such a sacrifice! Shall we go on carelessly sinning when we see what our Savior suffered to save us from our sins? What wonderful love there must be in the heart of God to cause Him to give His Son to endure such a death to save sinners!

What worth there must be in human souls, under all the ruin of sin, that Jesus was willing to make such a sacrifice of His own precious and glorious life to redeem the lost!

What a pattern for all life have we here! The cross is Jesus giving Himself to bless and save others. The more completely we forget ourselves and live for others, the nearer do we get to the example of Christ.

How can we ever complain again of our little privations and sacrifices for the sake of others? The cross, where Christ is giving all, should make us ashamed even to mention again any little thing that we have done or suffered for another.

Crucifixion was such a blot at that time, wrapped a name in such ignominy, that one who died thus was buried for ever in shame. He never could be mentioned but with thought and memory of dishonor.

But Jesus, instead of being covered and borne down for ever by the cross, in the black waters of reproach, lifted the cross itself to glory, until today it is the emblem of hope, of victory, of blessedness, and of joy wherever the Gospel has gone. Let no one be afraid to endure for Christ’s sake, for when the cross is taken up in His name it becomes a “weight of glory.”

By Vine.


Bible In A Year: November 30th…

By Book Old Testament New Testament Proverbs & Psalms
2 Corinthians 10-13 Daniel 5:17-6:28 1 John 1-2 Psalm 136:1-12

Tag Cloud