Putting God's Word into Practice…

Notes on John 18-20 (Easter)

For over a week I have been focusing my attention on the four gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) accounts of the fragrant anointing, the last supper, the betrayal, arrest and trial of Jesus, His death and resurrection.

John 18-20:

  • When people seek Jesus, they will find Him whether their intentions are right or wrong.  When He reveals Himself to people a response is required!  The soldiers fell down.  I’m not sure if it was awe, fear, or worship; but when they got back up they had two options. 1) Change their plans in light of His revelation or 2) Ignore His revelation and go about their business. They chose option 2. (18:4-8)
  • The religious leaders unveiled their hypocritical hearts by refusing to be defiled by going into Pilate’s because they wanted to eat the Passover.  Meanwhile they were looking for people to give false testimony about Jesus during his middle of the night trial so they could have Him killed by Pilate.   (18:28)  I find myself doing that too–feel good about myself for holding fast to certain rules I like while disregarding ones that interfere with what I want.
  • Jesus went into the presence of a Gentile.  He was obedient to authority and not afraid of being around someone “unclean.”  He was so different from the religious leaders, that’s why they hated him. (18:33)
  • When Jesus steps into the midst of a fear-filled environment; there is peace!!! (20:19)
  • “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed!”  So easy to overlook this truth.  I am blessed if for no other reason than I believe in Jesus! (20:29)
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Notes on Luke 22-24 (Easter)

For over a week I have been focusing my attention on the four gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) accounts of the fragrant anointing, the last supper, the betrayal, arrest and trial of Jesus, His death and resurrection.

Luke 22-24:

  • 22:7 “Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover Lamb HAD TO BE  sacrificed.”  It was mandatory that Jesus’ death on our behalf would take place on the Passover.  He was the sacrificial Lamb that was going to take away the sins of the world.  The symbolism is so amazing!
  • When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, he gave thanks before each element–representing His broken body and shed blood.  He was thankful for what He was about to do for mankind.  Even knowing the agony and pain He was about to face, He was thankful for the opportunity to save the world!
  • Jesus gave a lesson to the disciples about true greatness.  In 22:27 He said, “For who is the greater, the one who reclines at the table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.”  Yet in verse 14 it clearly states, “And when the hour came, he reclined at table…”  Is this a contradiction?  No Jesus is the Greatest and the Least, He is the First and the Last!  Servant and King! He is all in all!
  • We overcome temptation by prayer!  Sleeping (literally and figuratively) makes our spirits weak! (22:40)
  • Jesus was strengthened in His agony, not taken out of His agonizing! (22:43)
  • The Lord turned and looked at Peter when he denied Him, and Peter wept bitterly.  What would it do to me if I saw Jesus’ face every time I denied Him in word or action? (22:61)
  • On the cross, the crowds said to Jesus, “He saved others; let him SAVE HIMSELF, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” (23:35)  Jesus didn’t need to save himself.  He needed to die to save everyone else–even the ones calling out for His death.  The Christ of God had to die, it was always the plan.  The plan couldn’t change to prove anything to the people.  God loved them enough to give them what they needed, not what they asked for!
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Notes on Mark 14-16 (Easter)

For over a week I have been focusing my attention on the four gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) accounts of the fragrant anointing, the last supper, the betrayal, arrest and trial of Jesus, His death and resurrection.

Mark 14-16:

  • Judas placed moralism over worship–He thought the woman wasted her perfume on Jesus instead of taking care of the poor.  Worship trumps moralism in Jesus’ eyes!  When someone pours out all they have at His feet it is beautiful to Him!
  • Peter made several bad choices leading up to his denial of Jesus. First, Peter followed Jesus “at a distance.”  Then he sat “warming himself” with the enemy. (14:54)
  • The crowds shouted at Jesus on the cross, “Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.”  The truth is, if Jesus had come down from the cross, there wouldn’t be anything to believe in!  It would leave us with unfulfilled prophecy and unfulfilled promises, and no sins would be atoned for! (15:32)  It was only by seeing Jesus’ death on the cross that belief was possible.  Even the Roman guard recognized it when he responded, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (15:39)
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Hebrews 9 ~ Eager Longing

I love spring cleaning!  Although throughout the year I try to maintain surface cleanliness, there is nothing like the clean feeling once a year from deep, thorough, every crack and crevice cleaning!  That is kind of how the old system of sacrifices were set up.  The priests offered daily sacrifices on behalf of the people, but one day a year, the priest prepared himself to go into the Holy of Holies to make atonement for all sin–especially unintentional ones.

Then along came Jesus!  He was a perfect–completely perfect in every way–priest who offered His own life once and for all as the perfect sacrifice to thoroughly clean away the sin of all mankind.  His death on the cross–the blood He shed–secured eternal redemption, purified us into our deepest conscience, forgave every sin, and provided us with an eternal inheritance!  Just like in an earthly will, the inheritance can only be passed on at death.  Jesus’ last will and testament was for us to inherit His righteousness upon His death.  His death brought us so many good things, and His life brings us even more!

If you were prosecuted for a crime and found guilty.  Then someone came along and took your punishment and paid your fines/fees.  Wouldn’t you want to know and see them?

If you were taken from your family and someone had to pay a ransom to your kidnappers to get you back, wouldn’t you anticipate when they came for you to take you safely home?

This chapter ends with this:  “So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting FOR HIM.”

After all Jesus has done for me–the freedom and forgiveness He bought with His own blood–why would I long eagerly for anything/anyone else?  I need not long for the redemption of my mortal body; or long to be in a place where there is no sin, sadness and death; or yearn to see the loved ones who have gone on before me.  My eager longing should be to see the One who purchased my salvation face-to-face!

Lord, let all else melt away except the surpassing joy of seeing you someday–looking into your eyes, touching your nail-scarred hands, hearing your voice, and seeing you smile.

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