Most "criminals" that were killed by hanging on a cross did pretty nasty things like murder. The "guilty" person had to carry a heavy cross beam through the streets, wearing a sign that stated the crime committed. Then when he arrived at the place of death, he was stripped and taunted.
This punishment was so awful that Cicero once wrote, "Let the very name of the cross be far away, not only from the body of Roman citizen, but even from his thoughts, his eyes, his ears."
Jesus experienced the feeling of shame for ALL of the sins that had or ever would be committed. He was not a liar, but felt the shame of one. He was not a cheater, but knew that people looking at him thought he was. He felt ALL of that shame. Jesus was not guilty. He hadn't done any of the things of which he was accused. he didn't deserve this punishment. We were the ones that did wrong. We deserved to be judged for our actions, not him. "BUT HE CHANGED PLACES WITH US." - Galatians 3:13.
Sometimes I can't stand to feel shame for the things I do. It is even worse for others to be aware of it. When I read these stories about Jesus' actions, I am always trying to imagine what it would be like to feel what he felt. In this case, I really don't want to feel all of that. Imagining what it was like to have so many people and God the Father looking at all of that shame heaped onto ONE person. He did that foe ALL of us! Man. I really need to try to do less shameful things.
My first thought when I read the beginning was, what's really going on here? Why is the main character in a foul mood? And calling God, "Papa"... I have never heard anyone call God, "Papa" before. That was different. I also related to the main character and his daughter Kate. They both seemed a bit depressed. Sometimes I feel that way. Especially when someone close to me is gone.
What are your thoughts?
Here is a list of some of the things that Jesus endured at the cross:
- arms stretched across wooden beams
- soldiers' knees in his forearms
- metal spikes driven into his wrists and ankles
I think if any of us had been there, we would have wondered why he didn't try to stop them. When he turned his head and saw the nails, Mr. Max Lucado, the author of this daily reading suggests that he wasn't thinking about the pain. He was thinking of a long list. A list that includes all of my mistakes, your mistakes, and the mistakes of every person ever created. It included our selfish ways, our greed, lust, and anger. All of the things that we've done that we're not proud of were on it.
When he saw that list, he knew that somehow, there had to be a consequence. The sin that had been acted out resulted in death. And he knew that we were the source of that sin. He knew that each and every one of us would end up in eternity without God... So, instead of letting that happen, he took the penalty for us. He took the nails without fighting against them so that he could spend eternity with us.
What amazing grace!
God is building you!
by C.S. Lewis
God's work in our lives can be painful, but His ultimate goal is to transform us into something better.
Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what he is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised.
But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to? The explanation is that he is building quite a different house from the one you thought of — throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.
You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but he is building up a palace. He intends to come and live in it himself.
C.S. Lewis, in "Mere Christianity"
Do you ever pass something in the aisles at the store and just REALLY want to pick it up??? I really love Cadbury chocolate and these eggs are sooooooo YUMMY! I have resisted the urge to get any yet... And my mother-in-law and I decided to help each other lose 10 pounds in the next three months, so I won't be buying a big bag of them any time soon! She had the idea that we go without chocolate for a whole week. Then on Sunday we could indulge a little. Hmm... I wonder if they'll be out of those eggs by next Sunday???
"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." -John 3:17
Mr. Max Lucado is the writer of the book 3:16 The Numbers of Hope. We've been using his guide to read about the life of Jesus. I'm actually kind of glad that we get to talk about the last part of Jesus' life right now. It's the part of his life that we celebrate in the church at this time every year. It is the time when he is preparing to die. You might think it is weird that I am excited about this... Well, sometimes we're more likely to talk about God when there is a big deal made about it. We think a lot about God around Easter and Christmas.
I thought of a lot of different things when I read the words above from the bible. I thought of how badly Jesus is represented sometimes by church people. A lot of people call themselves Christians, but judge others quickly. Too often Jesus is represented by those that think they have the rule book for entry to heaven. The point of the words above is to show the followers of Jesus that he wants to SAVE the world. He wants to reconcile the world. Save, reconcile. Those are pretty churchy words. Here is a dictionary entry for reconcile:
1. To reestablish a close relationship between.
2. To settle or resolve.
3. To bring (oneself) to accept: He finally reconciled himself to the change in management.
4. To make compatible or consistent: reconcile my way of thinking with yours.
1. To reestablish a close relationship, as in marriage: The estranged couple reconciled after a year.
2. To become compatible or consistent: The figures would not reconcile.
The major point of the entry for today is that God has shown us how far he will go to call us back. He has walked down a road that ended with him dying on a cross to show us. His biggest desire is to bring us home... And let me be clear about what home means. Home means to God, Himself. Whatever road you've walked down, God is walking with you, wanting to be in a close relationship with you.
Jaymie and I delivered gifts to the clubs again last Friday. We took chocolate dipped strawberries. They were a hit! Sarah and Aaron Holmes are definitely pros at making them. I didn't have the pleasure of eating any this time, but I have had that pleasure many times when they have made them in the past. I know that Aaron has his specific methods and that he spent some time coaching Sarah the night before so that they would be just perfect! And they totally were! Sarah did great! Lots of ladies and a couple of gentlemen enjoyed them and oohed and aahed over them while we were there.
Do you have a FAVORITE chocolate treat?