Jesus has a message of hope for us.
His screaming cries as a baby were met by the loving voice of His mother Mary.
Jesus picked righteous yet flesh clothed humans to teach him. He grew up, played, and even experienced scraped knees!
He taught the men who were considered most educated.
Jesus knew hard work. He was familiar with helping his father who was a craftsman.
Jesus had friends. He had brothers and sisters. He lived in real time feeling the confinement of it the first time ever.
Jesus chose disciples who were ordinary. He chose fishermen, brothers, and those who were hated by most people to walk and talk with Him.
Jesus and His disciples had a very adventurous journey of three years. The disciples watched Jesus rub His spit and mud together to heal a blind man’s eyes (John 9). They went to a new place and saw the wild man who was oppressed by demons. The man who sliced his body open with rocks was healed of all his oppression in Jesus’ name. After encountering Jesus, this naked wild man full of demonic spirits was set free. He was cleaned and clothed. He didn’t want to see Jesus leaving his town. The restored man wanted to hop on the boat and go with Jesus (Mark 5).
I think of Jesus who was out on the roads whenever He found out that His friend back home had already died and been buried. Lazarus. Jesus’ dear friends Mary and Martha were being consoled by the townspeople. They didn’t understand God’s timing in not visiting and healing Lazarus while he was still alive. Coming into their town and seeing His precious friends Mary and Martha, Jesus was full of emotion. He wept with the women over Lazarus, but He knew Lazarus was about to be fully woken up.
Jesus ordered for the rock that sealed Lazarus in death to be removed. The odors of body leakage hit all those standing around. Death was strong, but God’s power denied its continuation. At the voice of the Lord, Lazarus with all of his rags walked out of the tomb. He became alive. Jesus changed the state of Lazarus’ being and all those who witnessed the removing of old rags also witnessed the hand of God.
The couple at their big wedding celebration didn’t have what it took to keep up with the flow of drinks. Jesus was on the scene and was beckoned into action at the concern of His mother. Instead of only serving plain water, Jesus looked into needy pots and turned water into red wine.
His blood shed for us takes our insufficiencies and reminds us that we are good enough only in HIm.
After feeding thousands of people in miraculous ways, serving the sick and making them whole, raising children and adults to life, stopping the constant flow of a woman’s blood, giving oil where a desperate woman only had pots, teaching lesson after lesson, praying by Himself in His Father’s creation, eating and enjoying meals with His disciples, and so much more living in a small frame of time, Jesus’ death approached Him.
Being in the past, present, and future, Jesus knew that His death would not be easy.
He asked His disciples to make special dinner plans as He knew His death was near.
Jesus was anointed with love, thankfulness, and oil from a woman He saved. A woman who was His friend. Mary.
Jesus’ didn’t sit around playing games on the the nights leading up to His crucifixion.
Jesus knelt low, humbled Himself, and came to the lowest place on earth as that was what He purposed to do in coming here.
Jesus washed the feet of the men who had walked miles with Him. He took time cleaning every foot and toe that He made and lovingly created.
His hands, humility, and action of service took dirtiness and gave the disciples holiness.
Jesus shared His last meal. He didn’t keep what He had to Himself. He passed around a cup full of wine that symbolized His red blood.
He was making Himself available to us. WE can consume and enjoy the sweetness of God’s Spirit because of the pain He felt being trampled in our place.
Jesus, as the Bread of Life, gave His disciples bread to pass around too. His heart is for no one to go around spiritually starved. Jesus is the only one who fulfills. Only He can fulfill our needs.
Jesus prayed and thanked His Father in Heaven even before handing out what would nourish others. He recognized that power and authority come from God alone. We are nothing in ourselves without Him. Jesus knew the results of bringing thanksgiving to the heart of the Father.
Jesus led Himself into private places to pray. He challenged His friends to seek after the heart of God, to not become lazy or become weak in caving into fleshly sinful desires.
Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, poured Himself out before His and our Father. He didn’t hold any emotion back rather than laying it out to the Father.
Jesus was grieved over the sins He would carry. He knew the weight of them was crushing.
Before even leaving the place where He prayed, Jesus’ betrayer and a mob of men came near. They arrested Him and led Jesus to the place where men had been conspiring to kill Him.
He was taken into court and accused of crimes before a judge. He found Himself condemned to death as a guilty prisoner was set free. After all, that is what Jesus came to earth to do.
Knowing the journey before Him, Jesus and His cross were taken up the hill known for replicating a skull.
Two other men were placed beside Jesus. One was hurling insults at Him.
At this point, Jesus had already endured so much pain. He had been beaten, mocked, ripped of clothes, slapped and spit on in the face, joked, provoked, and flogged. His skin was marred, beaten, ripped, beading, and bruised.
Jesus had a crown of thorns placed into the scalp of His head. His blood and the reality of it was fresh.
Jesus talked to the prisoner who wanted to accept Him on the cross.
Being lifted high with nails on the cross, Jesus looked out and saw the faces of His mother Mary, his aunt, his friend Mary, and others who were close to Him.
Jesus, while on the cross, talked to John and made sure Mary, His mother, would be taken care of.
Darkness fell over the earth as the weight of OUR sins crushingly laid upon Jesus’ shoulders.
A quote I heard from Passion City Church said that our sins stopped Jesus’ heart.
Our dark sins bring death. They choke out any ray of light. They bury light.
On the cross, Jesus completed part of His mission. He cried out to God and committed His spirit to the mission He was assigned. An earthquake shook the earth as one of the two greatest moments in history took place. Sin had been paid for. The darkness that divided God and man was being reminded of Who reigns.
The veil and all walls separating God and His people were destroyed and torn into.
Jesus on the cross said, “It is finished” while God in Heaven was saying the same thing to sin.
The enemy Satan laughed over the hurt and mutilated body of Jesus. I have to believe Satan felt change already in the air.
What appeared to be death, brokenness, and darkness was only preparation for the Risen Light.
Three days rolled over. Jesus’ body had been wrapped and treated with spices. He lay in a tomb that was new. The Defeater of death only briefly occupied that space.
Jesus said enough is enough. Just as the world was rocked with confusion, grief, and devastation, Jesus rose up! His love for you and I was stronger to resurrect Him than our sin was that killed Him!!!
Jesus came out of that tomb as He rolled the stone of death away. No line or barrier would separate Him from His people. The stone full of weight rolled on.
What in your life needs to be rebuked and rolled away?
Jesus made Himself alive, made Himself known to His people and friends, gave a mission of sharing His true life story with the world to His disciples, and ascended into Heaven back to His Father.
His hands, feet, and side bore the scars of His fight with our sin. Just when everyone thought Jesus had lost, He won.
Often, our perspectives of our circumstances are misleading of what’s happening.
We see darkness where God is preparing us for a light we have never seen.
We see death where Jesus sees freedom and life.
We see a mission failed. He sees one that’s victorious and complete.
While in my college’s parking lot months ago, I got a vision of stones being turned over by the hand of God.
I was singing “See a Victory by Elevation Worship.”
“I’m going to see a victory. I’m going to see a victory. The battle belongs to You, Lord. You take what the enemy intends for evil, and You turn it for good. You turn it for good.”
The hand and power of God has the authority to turn every corner of your life around.
Satan whispers and marks you as abused, ugly, avoidable, and destroyed. God touches the stone of your life and flips that switch where you realize His truth declaring you are healed, beautiful, loved, and holy. You are made whole.
The stone of your life needs to be rinsed off and turned over by God.
You are not worthless, less than, ugly, pointless, stupid, fat, too skinny, defeated, used up, or objectified.
You are God’s Bride, His dearest one, His beloved, His treasured creation, His son, His daughter, His possession, His lover, His friend, His masterpiece.
The Potter who made you also holds you. You are not damaged or broken goods whenever you are spun in love on His wheel.
Jesus makes stones roll. He turns our lives around.