I Will Boast in Nothing Except the Cross of Jesus Christ

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.  And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
Galatians 6:14-16

They Fell On Their Faces

And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people.   And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.       Leviticus 9:23-24

Leviticus is probably not my favorite book of the Bible, and not of the five books of the Law. It does clearly show us the need of a blood sacrifice for the redemption of us all. It is also clear that the blood, of lambs, goats, rams, and bullocks are not adequate for the taking away of sin. These sacrifices are a foreshadowing of the coming of Jesus Christ to once and for all, and all time, put away our sin.

What Leviticus declares to us is the sinfulness of Adamkind, and our need for a Redeemer. We do know today, that the only redemption for sin is the blood of Jesus Christ poured out at Calvary’s cross where the wrath of the Almighty was put on His Son, and He was judged on our behalf; so that all who come to Him through faith would receive eternal life.

As the people in the days of Moses, and Aaron and his sons fell on their faces when they saw the glory of GOD; we have an even greater reason and privilege to fall on our faces before the Living Son of God, Jesus Christ who died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. Fall down before Him in repentance and faith; call on His name.

Dead On The Cross

All Thy works shall praise Thee, O LORD; and Thy saints shall bless Thee. They shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom, and talk of Thy power; to make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His kingdom.
Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.  Psalm 145:10-13

But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.  And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.  For these things were done, that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “A bone of Him shall not be broken.”  And again another Scripture saith, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”        John 19:34-37

The Psalm tells us that the works of God shall praise Him. As far as Adam’s race is concerned the great gift of God, the great work of God is the sending of His Son Jesus to be the  propitiation for the sins of Adam kind. Jesus said it, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent”  (John 6:29). This is the great work or God that ought, I say, that ought to get our attention; and partly because of the above verses of John 19:34-37.

The verses of John prove that Jesus was dead. He was not faking His death; not swooning as some call it. He died. He was dead on the cross. He showed that His death was under the power of His Father, that no man could take His life from Him; He gave it Himself. Why do I say that? His legs did not get broken a fulfillment of Psalm 34:20. The two who were crucified with Him had their legs broken to cause their near immediate death; but the death of Jesus was in the Father’s power.

They did not break His legs because He was already dead. Romans knew dead when they seen it. The one soldier took his spear and pierced the side of Jesus and out flowed blood and water fulfilling another Scripture prophecy in Zechariah 12:10; also see The Revelation 1:7.

John wrote this as he was witness to the death of Jesus. His testimony was true when he wrote it, and it is true today and for all eternity. He tells us why he wrote it as well. He wrote this testimony that we might believe.

The death of Jesus on the cross was the payment for our sins, Jesus becoming sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21); His burial was another evidence that He was dead and that He took our sins far away; and His resurrection was for our justification and evidence that all the words that Jesus had spoken were indeed truth and power of who He is.

Believe Him today.

When the Light Went Out

And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, He said,
“Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit:”
and having said thus, He gave up the ghost.                        Luke 23:44-46

This event of the darkness happened around noon. Some commentators say that this was and solar eclipse. I tend to disagree, but cannot prove or disprove either way. I think the darkness was world wide; not just a local event, thus it would be a supernatural event. The Light of the world had just became sin for us (John 9:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21). He was taking the wrath of God upon Himself, for the sins of the world.

When the veil of the temple was torn in two, and right  down the middle from the top to the bottom God was showing that the way into the holiest of all places; the very throne of God was open for all who would believe coming to Him through the death of His Son on the cross, His burial, and resurrection.

Jesus in commending His spirit to the Father is not sending the Holy Spirit (though the spirit of Jesus Christ is holy), but His own human spirit. In His living spirit throughout His life as a Man He has been faithful to do His Father’s will, being sinless, spotless, without blot or blemish; holy unto the Holy One. In His spirit He has gone all the way to the sacrifice of Himself for sin, in obedience to His Father. Now, as He is near to death of the body, He sends His eternal spirit back to the Father who gives spirit to all of Adam’s race.

When we realize our lostness, our condemnation, the guilt of our sins and realize that we need a Savior, and only Jesus Christ can save us; we can call out to Him in faith, believing Him, asking forgiveness, and He hears, He saves and gives us eternal life.

When You Find Yourself Up A Tree

And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who He was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see Him: for He was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up, and saw him, and said unto him,
“Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.”
And he made haste, and came down, and received Him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, “That He was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.” And Jesus said unto him,
“This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”            Luke 19:1-10

When I was in High School I had a Vocational Agriculture teacher who would take some of us coon hunting in the Ozark hills here in southwest Missouri. It was beautiful walking and often running through the woods in the darkness, and listening to the dogs as they got on the trail of a racoon and then know that certain baying sound when they had one up a tree. That was several years ago; probably 44 to 47 years ago.

When those coons were up a tree they were not always caught or killed. Sometimes they got away.

Zacchaeus found himself up a tree. Of course, it was not for the same reason of those coons; or was it? He was wanting to see Jesus. We are not told that he was seeking Jesus, but that, “He sought to see Jesus who He was.” We are told that Jesus was seeking Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus found himself up a tree because he was not a very tall man.

Jesus does not seek one because of one’s stature, their beauty or lack thereof. He seeks those who are lost. He seeks those who are lost in the depths and darkness of sin. Do you find yourself up a tree today looking, wondering who Jesus is?

Jesus is the Son of God, the Son of Man, and He has come and died for our sins, was buried and He rose again. Just like Zacchaeus, when Jesus comes into your house He will make a change in your heart, mind and life. Believe Him.

How the Wicked Respond to Jesus Christ

And they that passed by railed on Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ah, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save Thyself, and come down from the cross.”
Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” And they that were crucified with Him reviled Him.                  Mark 15:29-32

We have three examples in the text above of how the wicked responded to the death of Jesus on the cross.

Number one, was those who passed by.

Number two, was those who were the priests and religious leaders in Israel.

Number three, was those other two men who were crucified with Him; one on His right, and the other on His left.

Will you just continue on your way passing by the One who was nailed to that cross for the forgiveness of your sin? Will you continue in your sin of rejection of your only hope for eternity?

Will you, O you who have great educational degrees; PHD’s and MDivs; or whatever degree you may have; thinking you are more intelligent than our Creator;  will continue to mock and blaspheme His name and then burn in Hell?

Will you who are condemned to die deride, continue in your blasphemy and ridicule of the name of the One who died for you? One of the men who died with Jesus on the cross, awhile later cried out to Jesus, “Remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” Jesus responded and said, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”  Luke 23:42-43

What is your response to the death of Jesus? Will you respond to His love and grace, or will you continue in your wicked, evil way?

Gain the World and Lose Your Soul

And when He had called the people, with His disciples also, He said unto them,
“Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Mark 8:34-38

When the culture and the world around us is promoting self, “Love yourself”, and as I mentioned yesterday, “Me too”, the Bible, Jesus still says, “Deny yourself”.

That is what the Christian life really is. It is a life of being a blessing to others by living as  God, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit guides us in His word. This adulterous and sinful generation does not need us to be like them. The world and the self loving culture needs to see us losing our lives for the name of Jesus Christ.

If you are thinking, “But no one will like me,” or “No one will promote me,” or “I won’t have any friends;” then, you deny the Lord Jesus and lose your own soul, and the Father and the Son will also be ashamed of you.

The answer is “Take up your cross” that is lay your life down for Him, and follow Him, and you will be blessed by Him.

People and Jesus

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.  Psalm 55:22

But Jesus withdrew Himself with His disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judaea, and from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things He did, came unto Him. And He spake to His disciples, that a small ship should wait on Him because of the multitude, lest they should throng Him.
For He had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon Him for to touch Him, as many as had plagues. And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, “Thou art the Son of God.”  And He straitly charged them that they should not make Him known.  Mark 3:7-12

There were many people who had heard of Jesus, and His great works of ministry; healing the sick, lame walk, blind see, even raising some from the dead. Though they saw these mighty things, and some of those experienced them does not mean they believed Him, becoming His followers.

We of Adam’s race love excitement. If it is not for personal entertainment, it is for selfish reasons, such in the above case; personal healing. It is growing in the realm of Christianity that we are drawn to where “Things are happening” and it does not matter if the word of God is being proclaimed or not. If it is proclaimed it is too often ignored, not heard, and God is not glorified.

In this day and age we ought to live to point others to Jesus Christ. Living in this world and living this life is not about you or me. For the Believer, the follower of Christ, it is solely about Him.

We live in a “Me too” culture, which makes it all about “Me”. This life is about Him. He was sent by the Father to die on the cross for our sins, was buried carrying our sins away, and He rose bodily from the grave justifying forever those who believe Him.

I believe Him. How about you? If you have not done so, now is the time to call out to Him in repentance and faith. He will hear and He will save you.

No Need of the Physician

And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto His disciples, “How is it that He eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?” When Jesus heard it, He saith unto them,
“They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”      Mark 2:16-17

Who is in need of a physician? Any who are sick. Who is in need of healing? The cripple, the blind, the leper. Who is in need of the Savior? All who are lost in the black darkness of sin and its condemnation, and shame.

Jesus is addressing people in the text above who considered themselves already righteous. It is quite obvious they considered themselves so because of their judgment against “Publicans and sinners”.

The publicans were the tax collectors of Israel, who were Jewish collecting taxes for the Roman government. So they were hated and despised because the Jewish leaders and people considered them as betrayers of Judaism. Sinners was those who were prostitutes, thieves, murderers, and ruffians who did not obey the laws of God and in particular the religious leaders definition of the law.

Who is in need of salvation? The point blank answer is all who are of Adam’s race. There are none of us who are righteous in the eyes of God. Those who see themselves as righteous cannot be saved. Not until they have their eyes open to the truth that they need the righteousness of God Himself.

The Bible clearly tells us, “There is none who are righteous; no not one” (Romans 3:10); and that, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

So, no matter who you are, you are unrighteous before God, until He gives to You His own righteousness; and that is through the death of Jesus Christ His Son on the cross, His burial, and His resurrection from the dead.

By calling on the name of the Lord in repentance (turning from your sin to the Savior), and calling on His name you will be saved. “There is no other name by which we can be saved” (Acts 4:12).

 

An Eternal Decision

I will make Thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise Thee for ever and ever.                            Psalm 45:17

But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, “Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you?” They said, “Barabbas.”
Pilate saith unto them, “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” They all say unto him, “Let him be crucified.” And the governor said, “Why, what evil hath he done?” But they cried out the more, saying, “Let him be crucified.”                                    Matthew 27:20-23

It would be the last day of Jesus’s ministry in His physical body on earth. It was why He had came. Yet this was done by evil hearts and minds of individuals who hated Him and the light which He had brought into this world. The light that would drive away the black of the night of sin.

It was the last moments of His trial. The governor Pilate had given them a question, “Who do you want me to release to you? Barabbas or Jesus?” Now Barabbas was a murderer, of which there was no doubt. Jesus was innocent, pure, spotless, and clean with absolutely no sin in His life. And the crowd yells, “Give us Barabbas.”

Now Pilate gives the people another question, “What shall I do then with Jesus who is called Christ?” This is and eternal question that still rings through every hill, mountain and valley around the world. It is a question every man, woman and child must answer, and the answer is an eternal decision we must make.

If we deny Jesus when He says, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father, except through Me” then we are saying with the above crowd, “Give us Barabbas, and crucify Jesus.” If we deny the Son we deny the Father and there is no truth in us.

I have made the decision. I choose Jesus as my Lord and Savior. He is the only way of salvation. Those who make claims of there being other ways deny the truth of Christ Jesus, deny His word, and deny the Father God.

Your decision is an eternal decision.

More Than Washing Feet

So after He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and was set down again, He said unto them,
“Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call Me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”                                   John 13:12-15

This was the final full day of Jesus’s life. He was quite aware of His destiny, and the end result He knew to be victorious, and He and His Father would be glorified.

Jesus gets down on His knees, takes a bowl and a towel, and has washed the disciples feet. He is teaching them, and all who read of this event a great lesson. It is much more than washing feet; it is living a life for others; even loving them unto death of one’s self.

How willing am I to give my life to save the life of another person? Maybe for my wife, my children, grandchildren; but for a neighbor. Willing to serve a neighbor in need? Yes! Dying to save the life of a neighbor, especially one I do not know? One who possibly even dislikes me? I would be willing to help them change a flat tire on their car, maybe, if I saw their house about to catch fire get it put out before it starts burning. But to give my life? How about you?

Lord Jesus, You gave Your life for me, and even now I know You have washed my feet, and I see that clearly by Your death on the cross for my sins, Your burial, and finishing the work by rising from the dead. Help me to be willing, and when and if it is needed that I give my life for one in need.

Good Tidings… To All People

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”                                Luke 2:8-12

Yes! This is a message which is typical for the Christmas season. I know that it is not yet that season; at least for me it is not. Yet, this message is needed year round.

The message of God’s love for Adam’s race is never out of date, out of time, neither is it too early, ever. God’s message of love and grace is always right on time, and for every season.

The message we need to see today are the words of the angel of the Lord, “Fear not” is first spoken to the shepherds who were watching over their sheep. It is a message of “good tidings,” “great joy” and to “all people.”  What people?  All people.

The birth of Jesus Christ that evening so many years ago is still a message of salvation for all who will hear Him and answer His call, believing Him to the place of loving obedience.

The good news, “good tidings” is that Jesus Christ the Son of God, has come into the world to save us from our sins, through His death on the cross, His burial and resurrection. The “great joy” comes by hearing and believing Him. Who did He come to save? All people who will hear Him and believe.

The Guilty Over The Innocent

Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.  And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection. And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them. But Pilate answered them, saying, “Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?”
For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.                                                              Mark 15:6-11

The perfect, sinless, spotless, Son of God is on trial for His life. Why? Because of the envy of the religious rulers who hate Jesus with a passion.

Of course prophetic Scripture was being fulfilled just as God had spoken it even hundreds of years before the sad event took place.

The hard hearts of the vile, envious men in Jerusalem would rather a guilty, murderous man go free, than for the innocent Son of God be set free.

People today might say, “How cruel” or “How unjust”; but I charge that should Jesus be born into our day, and come into our churches (if they would even let Him in) and synagogues, they would still set the guilty man free, and convict the Innocent one.

Where do you stand today? With the guilty murderer, or the sinless, perfect, and innocent Son of God?

 

Betrayed

And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, He said unto His disciples,
“Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of Man is betrayed to be crucified.”
Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill Him. But they said, “Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.”                                                                    Matthew 26:1-5

Some of us; maybe even all of us have experienced betrayal by a friend, family member, or a neighbor. None of us have experienced the betrayal like Jesus did; and He knew it was going to happen. How many of us knew that it was going to happen?

One of His disciples was the one who would betray Him; and he did it with a kiss, a sign of friendship.

Jesus was betrayed because He is the Son of Man, the Son of God and it was in His Father’s plan that Jesus die for the sins of the world, so that all who would come to Him, believing, they might have everlasting life.

The plans of the religious leaders was to be rid of a “Blasphemer”, a “Deceiver”, a fraud; but they, in fact, were rejecting their Messiah, their Redeemer and Savior. They were more afraid of losing their power, popularity and prestige among the people whom they were making the children of hell (Matthew 23:15).

There are still those who would crucify Jesus all over again, because they do not approve of Him, His life, His followers, or His word. Where do you stand today?

Will you, or are you in your heart crying out, “Crucify Him”?  Will you instead cry out to Him, “Lord, have mercy of me; a sinner, condemned and unclean. Save me.” Your choice.

They Were Told, and Told Again

And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And He took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto Him, saying,
“Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles: and they shall mock Him, and shall scourge Him, and shall spit upon Him, and shall kill Him: and the third day He shall rise again.” Mark 10:32-34

And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of His doing.
The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in Him; and all the upright in heart shall glory. Psalm 64:9-10

We can, as Christians, learn a lot from the teachings of Jesus, and from the way the disciples listened to Jesus. Several times as we read just one of the gospel accounts Jesus told them that He was going to die, and rise again.

They had other ideas. Do we hear Him today? Do we have our own ideas and plans in the way we want to follow Him? It would do all of us who are the redeemed of the Lord to hear Him, then we will not be surprised at His word being fulfilled.

They Came Out of Their Graves, After His Resurrection

Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God.”  Matthew 27:50-54

These are the “First fruits” of His resurrection. So shall the rest of those be who die in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Put Away Your Sword

And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him,
“Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?”
In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes,
“Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take Me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on Me. But all this was done, that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”
Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled. Matthew 26:51-56

“Everyone that is of the truth hears My voice”

Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto Him, “Art thou the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered him,
“Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of Me?”
Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered Thee unto me: what hast Thou done?” Jesus answered,
“My kingdom is not of this world: if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is My kingdom not from hence.”
Pilate therefore said unto Him, “Art thou a king then?” Jesus answered,
“Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth My voice.”
Pilate saith unto Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, “I find in Him no fault at all.” John 18:33-38

“For this cause I came”

And Jesus answered them, saying,
“The hour is come, that the Son of Man should be glorified.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honour.
Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name.”

Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” John 12:23-28

His Prayer Was Answered

And He came out, and went, as He was wont, to the Mount of Olives; and His disciples also followed Him.  And when He was at the place, He said unto them,
“Pray that ye enter not into temptation.”
And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying,
“Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done.”
And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him.  And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.  And when He rose up from prayer, and was come to His disciples, He found them sleeping for sorrow, and said unto them,
“Why sleep ye? Rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.”  Luke 22:39-46

Rejection and Denial of the Only Lord GOD and King

And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release Him: but the Jews cried out, saying, “If thou let this Man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.”
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, “Behold your King!” But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him.” Pilate saith unto them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
Then delivered he Him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led Him away.  John 19:12-16

Pressure

“Then saith He unto them, ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me.’ ”  Matthew 26:38

We humans experience pressure. It is called stress. Those of us who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior believe Jesus to be fully God and fully Man. We recognize Him as flesh and blood human, of the race of Adam just as we are.

I have for many years struggled over this scene of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and have heard and been taught for years that Jesus was asking to be delivered from the cross. In recent years I have settled this in my own heart and mind, and I believe it is Scriptural.

I see many times that the gospels mention Jesus having His eyes set on Jerusalem near the final days of His life. That meaning He had His eyes set on paying our sin debt. That is one reason I cannot fathom the idea of His praying to be delivered from dying on the cross.

The verse above settles it for me. “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death…” and that looks to be what He is going to pray about when He says, “Let this cup pass from Me”.  He was pressured by what would be too early a death right there in Gethsemane.

I believe the Father answered His prayer and gave Him the physical strength to make it to the cross where He fulfilled the Father’s will dying for my sins, your sins, and the sins of the whole world.

The House of God

“And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves,
‘Take these things hence; make not My Father’s house an house of merchandise.’
And His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘The zeal of Thine house hath eaten Me up.’
Then answered the Jews and said unto Him, ‘What sign shewest Thou unto us, seeing that Thou doest these things?’ Jesus answered and said unto them,
‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’
Then said the Jews, ‘Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt Thou rear it up in three days?’ But He spake of the temple of His body.
When therefore He was risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this unto them; and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.” John 2:13-22 (KJB)

Why would Jesus get angry over the selling of sacrificial goods in the temple area? Could it have been because it was an affront to the holiness and righteousness of God? That would certainly be one reason. Because of that it entailed the robbery also that was going on.

People would bring their own sacrificial lamb or meal offering, and the sellers would find some flaw on the people’s offering; most generally the poor who would bring the best they had; then they would name some flaw and then sell them one that was available. Then they would take that one and sell it to someone else.

If you think Jesus would never be angry you would be wrong. Read the above verses. Jesus was angry over His Father’s house becoming a place of corrupt business practices which was profiting the well to do and robbing from the poverty stricken.

Unrighteous acts and deeds; yes all unrighteousness causes anger in the One who is holy, righteous and just.

We are all unrighteous, unholy and unjust. We need a Savior and His name is Jesus. He died on the cross taking the judgment of the Father on Himself, becoming our sin, unrighteousness and unjustness; and became forsaken by His Father for us. He went to the grave dead for our sins, and He rose victoriously conquering sin, death, hell and the grave. Because He lives He gives us His righteousness when we by faith and repentance call on His name.

Will you call on Him today?  He will hear and He will save.

Scripture Fulfilled

“And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written,
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’
And He closed the book, and He gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And He began to say unto them,
‘This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.’ ”  Luke 4:16-21  (KJB)

It was the greatest day in Jewish history. It was, yet some would not recognize the One who stood before them and read from the prophet Isaiah, then told them that that Scripture was fulfilled that day.

The prophecy was one that spoke of the Messiah who was coming, and now had come, and Jesus was Him. He is the Anointed One. He would be the One who was chosen by God because He was perfect, sinless, undefiled; and no one is sinless but God.

The verses which follow 16 – 21 show what they thought of Him. They sought to kill Him by throwing Him off the cliff.

O how the Jewish people had longed for the Messiah. The teachers, the scribes and the Pharisees and priests had taught of the Messiah; but many did not know and/or refused to know Him when He arrived.

Do you know Jesus? He is the One who died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again proving that His work on the cross was finished. The debt of our sin was paid in full.  Call on His name in faith. He will hear and He will save you.

The Need

“And He went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto Him, and He taught them. And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him,
‘Follow Me.’
And he arose and followed Him. And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and His disciples: for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto His disciples, ‘How is it that He eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?’
When Jesus heard it, He saith unto them,
‘They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ ”  Mark 2:13-17  (KJB)

Matthew is called by Jesus to follow Him. He leaves the position he holds as tax collector which is a position hated by his fellow Jews; thus, they hate tax collectors. Jesus calls him because He loves him.

As usual the scribes and Pharisees see Jesus eating and drinking with such “low lifes” and begin to criticize Him. They do not get it. They do not see the need. They do not see their great need for redemption and forgiveness.

For a man or woman of any rank in life, any job or profession in life and business to be redeemed from their sin they first need to be sick, lost, without hope. No self righteous individual can come to Jesus for salvation. You can see the result of that by the condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees.

The sick and diseased need a physician. The sick and diseased of heart, mind and soul need the Great Physician. His name is Jesus Christ, He is the Son of the Living God and God the Living Son. He died on the cross, was buried carrying away all our sin, shame and condemnation, and He rose again. He lives.

Call on His name and He will hear and He will heal you, and cleanse you of your sin.