Holy Week Devo #3: Time For The Cross

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Read Matthew 26:1-5

1When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, 2“You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

3Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. 5But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”

Time For The Cross

How often have you said, “I need to make time for that,” or “I don’t have time for that, I’ll get to it later”? Or at a funeral we think, where did all the time go – it went by too fast. I think I have control over my time. Then an unexpected meeting, a friend in need, a death, or who knows what shows me time is not mine to control. I demand my Day-Timer perform better, but it’s not in control either.

In our passage, we see Jesus telling his disciples it’s time. He’s been telling them for a while now, “it is not yet my time.” Then, since just before Palm Sunday (the Triumphal Entry), he has predicted his death several times. Now he is specific, in two days, during  Passover, I will be crucified.

Meanwhile, the religious leaders and chief priests gather to plot and plan Jesus death. They coyly think they’ll do it after the Passover, so as not to create an uprising and draw too much attention to disposing of Jesus. This is as ridiculous as my plotting the timing of the sunrise. Jesus knows the time. His Father preordained the time. The greatest scandal in the history of man, the crucifixion of the spotless Lamb of God, will happen on the Lord’s timing.

I am reminded as we journey to The Cross that our Sovereign God is in control of time. All things, from creation to His return, to the beginning of life and the end, including the Crucifixion of His Son, happen with a purpose and on His divine schedule. Nothing is by chance. Our days are numbered (Ps139:16) and the hairs on our head are numbered (Matthew 10:30) by the One who holds the keys to life and death (Rev 1:18).

As I consider these truths, it makes me pause to consider time – His time, His purpose, His sacrifice. It all happened in the exact way and exactly when He said it would. It could not be concealed by men of power, but happened in a way that created such an uproar it changed the world. And by faith, in His perfect time, it changed me and it changed you.

Prayer:

Father, I thank You that in Your perfect timing You applied the work of Jesus on The Cross to my life, making me alive together with You. I don’t make time, but this week I will take time to praise You and thank You for Jesus’ time on the Cross. He not only redeemed my wasted time, but all eternity in glory with You was purchased for me. What a Savior! Amen.

 

 

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#17 – 40 Days Devotional

Friday, March 2, 2018

Read Mark 10:42-45

“You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

AMASSING TRUE WEALTH

One unique thing about Jesus was that he was so radically different from the ways of the world. Titans of commerce amass huge fortunes and immense power enabling them to manipulate people and the political system. World leaders puff up and show off military prowess and sacrifice 18 year old boys to prove a point. Leaders buy votes with favor to this group or that, and often religious leaders are all too willing to trade the sacred for a seat at the table of power.

NOT JESUS.

Strangely, the Lord of lords did not come to Lord over us but to love and serve us. And what we call public service today, gaining wealth, power and influence by serving government for decades, is not remotely near Jesus point. He came to live among the hurting and broken, to amass nothing but souls, to suffer for us and to serve us unto His own gruesome death on a torturous cross.

Jesus, the Lord of lords, did not call down the hosts of heaven (armies at his disposal), but rather served us and gave his very life as a ransom for our souls.

John Chrysostrum (344-407AD), considered the most prominent doctor of the Greek Church and the greatest preacher ever heard in the Christian pulpit of the old world, said:

“Before he humbled himself only the angels knew him. After he humbled himself, all human nature know him … his humble [service to others] did not make him less, but produced countless benefits and made his glory shine forth with brightness. Why then are you afraid you will become less if you humble yourself and serve.”

We could say Jesus stooped low to pick up very little. He gave up heaven to ransom a broken human race. But he counted it joy to serve his broken creation and make us whole again.

Jesus is different for sure. Dare we be different too?!

PRAYER:

Father, I let go of my desire for power and control. I let go of my desire for affection, esteem, approval and pleasure. I let go of my desire for survival and security. I open to the love, humility and servant heart of Jesus and his action within me. Amen.

Day 12 – 40 Days of Prayer and Kindness

The Lord’s Day, February 25, 2018

Romans 8:5 “For those who live according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit.” 

Remotely CONTROLLED by the SPIRIT

I love to sit on the couch with my television remote flipping channels.  There are several buttons on the remote, one for cable, for television, and for an audio system. If I accidentally hit the audio system button the remote will not control the cable box. It takes a minute to understand that I’ve lost control and hit the wrong button.

Romans 5:8 reminds us that by nature we are controlled by sinful desires. That we are sinners should not be difficult to believe as it is so easy to live life as a sinner, right? But Paul says, those controlled by the Spirit respond in a spiritual way. Or as he says to the Corinthians,  “Christ love compels us” or constrains or holds us together, and “therefore we no longer live for ourselves but for him…”(2Cor 5:14-15).  How we respond tells us if we are controlled by the Spirit or giving into the flesh.

The reality is we cannot escape the love of God. It always and forever has hold of you and me. However, we can live in the illusion that we are disconnected from it. When we do this, that is live falsely, we respond by pushing the wrong buttons. That is we get fleshly, carnal, harsh, angry, loud, defensive, flustered and a 100 other responses.

It is a choice, moment by moment, to live in the reality of the Spirits remote control. Really it’s not remote, he’s in us, and for us. Our choice is to believe it and live out of that reality.

How would your life and response to others be different if you chose to be controlled by the love of the Spirit, today?

PRAYER:

Father, make me aware of the Spirit’s loving presence within me and lead me to live out of that love today. Amen.