THE CROSS
Date: 4/03/2015 07:44 - Subscribe


Verse

And they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit
on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise
again. Mark 10:34 NKJV Study Bible

Voice

The cross was two pieces of dead wood; and a
helpless, unresisting man was nailed to it; yet it
was mightier than the world, and triumphed, and
will ever triumph over it.
Augustus William Hare

Prayer

While we were still your enemies, Lord Jesus Christ,
you suffered and died for us, winning the victory over
death for our sakes. Give us grace to lift you up as
we follow the way of your cross so that all people
may be drawn unto you. Amen.
Common Prayer

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PAID IN FULL
Date: 4/03/2015 07:57 - Subscribe


Lenten Devotion

"So he delivered Him over to them to be crucified. So
they took Jesus, and He went out, bearing His own
cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which
in Aramaic is called Golgotha" (John 19:16-17).

Read John 19:16-30.

Jesus shows remarkable strength in His first three
hours on the cross. Even while He is suffering for our
sins, His focus is not on Himself, but on the people
around Him. Seeing His enemies He pleads, "Father,
forgive them, for they know not what they do"
(Luke 23:34a). He promises the repentant criminal at
His side, "Today You will be with Me in paradise"
(Luke 23:43b). He provides a disciple to care for His
mother after He is gone "Woman, behold, your son!"
and to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!"
(John 19:26b, 27b).

Then at noon comes the darkness. Luke tells us the
sun stopped shining. Jesus hangs alone in the
darkness silently suffering God's wrath at the sins of
the world. Finally, after three hours He cries out in
agony, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"
(Matthew 27:46b).

By three in the afternoon, it is over. God the Father has
unleashed His full wrath-not a single one of our sins
has gone unpunished. John tells us, "Jesus, knowing
that all was now finished, said, (to fulfill the Scripture)
'I thirst'" (John 19:2cool.gif. And "When Jesus had received
the sour wine, He said, 'It is finished,' and He bowed His
head and gave up His spirit" (John 19:30). There is
nothing left for us to pay. We are free, and the doors of
heaven are open wide to us through Jesus' life, death
and resurrection.

Jesus offers His last confident prayer: "Father, into Your
hands I commit My spirit" (Luke 23:46b).

THE PRAYER:

Lord Jesus, on the cross You suffered the wrath of God
for all of our sins, and paid the price in full. Receive our
thanks and gratitude for Your amazing sacrifice and the
life that is ours because of Your death. Amen.

Written by Rev. Wayne Palmer

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ONE LAST CARD TO PLAY
Date: 4/02/2015 06:35 - Subscribe


Lenten Devotion

"Pilate went out again and said to them, 'See, I am
bringing Him out to you that you may know that I
find no guilt in Him.' So Jesus came out, wearing
the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said
to them, 'Behold the man!'" (John 19:4-5).

Read John 19:1-16.

Pilate has one last, desperate trick up his sleeve.
It's a long shot, but it's his last chance to set Jesus
free. He orders our Lord to be flogged. Many died
from such a cruel scourging; others died later from
the complications of those severe injuries. Pilate
thought the scourging might just satisfy the blood
lust of the Jewish authorities.

As Pilate had Jesus brought forward it was a pitiful
sight to behold. Jesus had been beaten severely.
A crown of bloody thorns was on His head and a
blood-soaked, purple robe was draped around His
shoulders. Clearly, the Jewish authorities could
not consider Him a threat now.

But once they had gotten a taste of Jesus' blood,
the authorities had only one thing to say, "Crucify
Him, Crucify Him!"

Tonight we gather in church to celebrate the Lord's
Supper and receive His true body and blood. We
remember Pilate pointing and saying, "Behold the
man!" We remember John the Baptist pointing and
saying, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away
the sins of the world." We remember this body was
beaten and nailed to the cross for us. This blood
was shed by the scourge and nails for us. And
because Jesus offered His body and poured out His
blood in our place-as our Substitute-we are forgiven
and free.

"Do this in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19b).

THE PRAYER:

Lord Jesus, You freely offered Your body and blood
for our salvation. Move me to receive it in gratitude
and joy, and to serve You throughout my days. Amen.

Written by Rev. Wayne Palmer

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PILATE'S GAMBLE
Date: 4/01/2015 07:36 - Subscribe


Lenten Devotion

"But you have a custom that I should release one man for
you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you
the King of the Jews?" (John 18:39).

Read John 18:38-40.

Pilate won't listen to Jesus; he is too busy trying to work
this out himself. How can he force the Jewish authorities
to accept his decision to set Jesus free? Maybe one of
the local customs might do the trick. It was implemented
to improve Roman-Jewish relations. At the Passover feast,
the Roman governors released a prisoner the Jewish
crowds requested. Normally it was a popular person who
had been imprisoned for speaking against the Roman
government. This time Pilate would offer the choice
between Jesus and the most dangerous criminal in the
prison: Barabbas.

This was a stroke of genius! Jesus offered no true threat
to public safety and clearly Barabbas was as dangerous
to the Jewish leaders as he was to the Romans. But Pilate
misjudges the Jewish leaders, who are convinced Jesus is
a much greater threat to them and to the Jewish nation
than Barabbas.

When the leaders convince the crowd to demanded
Barabbas' release and crucify Jesus, Pilate finds himself in
a far worse position than if he had simply set Jesus free
and lived with the consequences.

Whenever we shun the responsibilities God gives us-to
speak up for those who are defenseless, to bring up our
children in the fear and knowledge of God or those in any
other area of life-we are just like Pontius Pilate.

Jesus didn't step away from His responsibility but freely
took the punishment of our sins upon Himself.

THE PRAYER:

Lord, thank You for paying the price for all the times I walk
away from the responsibilities You give me. Give me
courage and commitment to step forward and do what You
want me to do. Amen.

Written by Rev. Wayne Palmer

Regrets Sermon Series Bundle Offer DD

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JESUS AND PILATE
Date: 3/30/2015 06:36 - Subscribe


"Jesus' Witness to Pilate"

Lenten Devotion

"... (Jesus said) 'Everyone who is of the truth listens to
My voice'" (John 18:37b).

Read John 18:33-38a.

The true significance of Christ's comments to Pilate is
simply lost on Pilate. He has other things on his mind.
They are things he thinks are far more important like
saving his career. His attention is squarely on himself
and what impact this trial will make on his future.

But God does two things to turn Pilate's attention to
the innocent man standing before him. First, Pilate's
wife sends him a message, "Have nothing to do with
that righteous man, for I have suffered much because
of Him today in a dream" (Matthew 27:19). Second,
God sends His Son to speak to Pilate directly.

Jesus says, "Everyone who is of the truth listens to My
voice." This is a challenge to Pilate: is truth important
to him? Obviously, he is taking great risks to set an
innocent man free, but does he want to hear the truth
Jesus came to bring?

Many times in our lives Jesus' still, small voice speaks
to us through the clamor and clatter of our daily lives.
Are we willing to put it all aside to listen to the One
who offers us eternal life?

Pilate gives his famous reply, "What is truth?" Sadly,
he isn't interested in what Jesus has to say, he just
wants to end the discussion.

Jesus offers you and me words of truth and eternal life.
But how often do we dismiss Him and cut Him off like
Pilate did? How often are we distracted by earthly
things we think are more important?

THE PRAYER:

Lord, thank You for speaking words of truth to me.
Forgive me for cutting You short. Please speak, for
Your servant is now listening. Amen.

Written by Rev. Wayne Palmer

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