Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday....Just As He Said.


Imagine the disciples the night before, finally passed out from exhaustion and grief... 
hoping to dream away the horror of the previous two days. 
To forget the faces....the sounds...the smells...
Mary's tears...
Jesus' Voice...
Jesus was gone....

"Death has a way of looking like it's going to win, right up until it doesn't" -Bob Goff

Then....Sunday came.
along with the news that would change everything....for you. for me.
"HE IS RISEN!!!" -Matthew 28:6

don't judge the Apostles for questioning the women's report.
After all, It had been a long week and horrific past few days.....
Most of them had seen with their very own eyes...that Jesus had been crucified, dead and then buried, in a heavily sealed and guarded tomb.

And yet, in the midst of hopeless days and tearful nights....
....Jesus appeared to them. 

Their joy, was unspeakable and indescribable
Their hopes, shattered two days before, were restored in an instant. 
Their fears of the future, suddenly taken care of.
Their Redeemer Lives.
"Heaven unplugged the grave's power cord, and you and I have nothing to fear.

Death is disabled." -Max Lucado

Just as it was announced to is announced to you and to me today.
Easter blasts in and announces to and for, every single one of us...

Christ has died; Christ has risen; Christ will come again!!!

While in Israel a few years ago...Ray VanderLaan told us that he believes
 Jesus burst out of that tomb at one second passed midnight! 
I loved that vision....BOOM!

Love's redeeming work is done. Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where's thy victory boasting grave? Alleluia!

"I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!' ~John 16:33

JustAs. He. Said.

God, Thank You for buying our ticket to back to YOU and back to our loved ones.

In The Dust and Name of our RISEN and LIVING SAVIOR,

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where's thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday- Tetelestai

"God is on a cross. The creator of the universe is being executed.
Spit and blood are caked to his cheeks, and his lips are cracked and swollen.
Thorns rip his scalp. His lungs scream with pain. His legs knot with cramps . . .
And there is no one to save him, for he is sacrificing himself.
It is no normal six hours . . . it is no normal Friday." ~Max Lucado

The time has come.
Just before dawn, Jesus is tried before Pilate and Herod Antipas.
After hours upon hours of being beaten, whipped, flogged, mocked, spit on...
He sets His Face like flint...and walks to the cross.
For You.
For Me
At 9 am , Jesus is nailed to the cross.

At noon the whole country was covered with darkness, 
which lasted for three hours.” ~Matthew 27:45
"Of course the sky is dark; people are killing the Light of the World . . .
The sky weeps. And a lamb bleats. Remember the time of the scream? “At about three o’clock Jesus cried out.” Three o’clock in the afternoon, the hour of the temple sacrifice. Less than a mile to the east, a finely clothed priest leads a lamb to the slaughter, unaware that his work is futile. Heaven is not looking at the lamb of man but at 
“The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” John 1:29 ~Max Lucado

Jesus Looked up at His Father....and said, "IT IS FINISHED!"
And at 3 pm, Jesus, The Very Son Of God Himself dies.
It Is Finished in Greek is the word- "TETELESTAI!"
The word "Tetelestai" is found on 
ancient tax bills, business transactions and sales receipts...
it brings closure to any bill or transaction while announcing-"Paid In Full."

That's it. 
"It Is Finished"
The ransom is paid. 
The debt has been erased. 
Everything is accounted for.
The case is closed.

“The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself.” ~John 10:11

Before the sun sets, as according to Jewish tradition, Jesus is taken down and placed in a very heavily secured and sealed tomb.

"Darkness fell, His Friends Scattered, hope seemed lost- but heaven just started counting to three." - Bob Goff

God, I am so sorry. I love you.

In His Dust,

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Last Supper, A New Command....

Jesus shared the final meal with His disciples, on the night before he was crucified. We refer to this as The Last Supper, and it was actually a Seder meal. 

When we see paintings or think about The Last Supper, we often see Jesus surrounded by His disciples at a large table, sitting in regular upright chairs. 
Those paintings are more than likely, very inaccurate.
While studying in Israel, I learned that The Last Supper would not have included upright chairs.
Jesus and His disciples “reclined” to eat.

They laid down, on their left side to dine.

Special "couches" were placed around a table in a horseshoe, leaving one side open for servants to bring and clear away food. In some cases, a piece of leather was merely rolled out on the floor as the table and people would lie down around it. The host reclined at the head of the table, and guests were arranged according to their esteem. The closer one was placed to the host, the more greatness and honor given.

Why am I telling you about tables and seating arrangement?
Because I want you to notice who Jesus has on each side of Him.
John and Judas. 
Did you catch that?
His beloved John, (probably the youngest Apostle) and in Judas who would kiss and betray Him within hours.
Jesus knew what Judas was going to do....He shared an intimate final meal, literally right next to him and STILL....went to the cross for well as for you and for me.

"But God demonstrated his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8
"While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Take and eat; this is my body.'"

Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom.'"
~Matthew 26:26-29

Some call this Maundy Thursday.
The word "Maundy" means "a new mandate" in Latin.

And a new mandate, there certainly was- and still hold true today.
Jesus Himself, in his last hours with His Disciples said....
 "A new command I give you; Love one another. 
As I have I have loved you, so you must love one another." ~John 13:34

He was not asking or suggesting....He was commanding them and us...
Scripture tells us that Jesus was crucified the very next morning, on a Friday.

God, thank You for your unconditional love. I can not believe what you went through for each of us, as if there were only one of us.

In His Dust,

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palm Sunday....Choose Him.

Lamb Selection Day...

Palm Sunday:

On the Sunday before Passover, Jesus came out of the wilderness on the eastern side of the Mount of Olives (just as the prophecy said the Messiah would come). 
This date and time has been fixed since the foundation of the world.
People spread cloaks and branches on the road before him. Then the disciples "began, joyfully, to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen" (Luke 19:37). 
The crowd began shouting, "Hosanna." This was a slogan of the ultra-nationalistic Zealots, which meant, "Please save us! Give us freedom! We're sick of these Romans!"

The Palm Branches:

The people also waved palm branches, a symbol that had once been placed on Jewish coins when the Jewish nation was free. Thus the palm branches were not a symbol of peace and love, as Christians usually assume; they were a symbol of Jewish nationalism, an expression of the people's desire for political freedom.
Jesus knew full well as they waved the branches....the end of this week would find Him on the cross.

Jesus as the Passover Lamb:

Jesus came to the people as the Lamb of God. On that lamb selection day, Jesus didn't enter the temple by the southern gate to worship, He didn't enter by the eastern gate as King, but he entered by the northern gate as THE lamb who takes away the sins of the world - Jesus, the sinless Messiah who would die on humankind's behalf, appeared on the very day that people chose their spotless Passover lambs! 
(Choosing a lamb was somewhat like we choose our Christmas is a tradition to go out and "choose your lamb")
It's almost as if God Himself, said to the entire world,
"Here's My Lamb. Will you choose him?"

But instead of turning to Jesus as the Lamb of God, the crowds misunderstood his proclamation that He was The Messiah. They wanted him to be their political-military deliverer.
Jesus Wept:

In response to their misunderstanding, Jesus wept. 
The tears Jesus shed as the people cried out their political "Hosannas" were tears of grief, for the hearts of his people.
Jesus foresaw the terrible devastation of Jerusalem that would result because the people did not recognize Him as God's Messiah. The people were looking for a messiah who offered political deliverance and a political kingdom.
However they would have nothing to do with The Messiah who offered forgiveness and deliverance from sin. 
In His grief over their distorted beliefs, Jesus wept out loud.

This Palm Sunday He listens for your answer...
as He once again asks....this very morning....

Will you pick Me...Will you let Me be your Lamb?
Thank you God for offering Your Only Son on Lamb Selection Day. I choose You.

In His Dust,

Monday, April 7, 2014


Downstairs in the land of shorties, there is some serious science going on. 
What began as a "let's grow a butterfly kit"....ended in a clear reminder from God.
I must admit, I may or may not have asked Miss Amy and Miss Jennifer to remind me of how the whole thing works.....
What? Like I was gonna listen to Mr. Comer when Shawn Gulley and Drew Stewart were sitting next to me???

Anyway, apparently, there is an egg that turns to a caterpillar...
that forms a chrysalis and then.....wait for it.....a butterfly comes out. Poof. 
  However, I was informed by one certain feisty little blonde, 
that I needed to be real careful...because a butterfly was about to come out of a raccoon.
 I'm sorry...can you repeat that Bill Nye in a wig? 
And she did....Emily Nye Jones assured me that a raccoon would soon be a butterfly. 
"It went in as a worm and is coming out better!"
She was challenged by other scientific wizards...
such as Blake and Ryan... "it's not a Raccoon it is a Chriff-ta-lith."

However, she stood her ground.
And for that I applauded.
Because she got what mattered....they all did....
What is coming out is better.

No matter what we call it....or how we picture it....something beautiful is coming out. 

And make no mistake.....Easter is on it's way....
The tomb will not stay empty....
The cross will not bind Him....
No raccoon on this earth can keep Him from us.

"In the shadow of Your Wings I will rejoice" ~Psalm 63:7

God, Thank you for science....for things we don't understand....for an empty tomb.

In His Dust,