and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


John 19:28 to 30- Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.   NKJV

       There on the cross, nailed for our sins and shame, Jesus uttered one last word before He surrendered His life.  Tetelestai.  In English we render it to be “it is finished”, but the original word had a far deeper meaning.  To understand we need to go back to the time when Jesus lived.

       Tetelestai was a legal term that all men fully understood.  Papyri receipts for taxes of those days had the word tetelestai written at the bottom meaning the legal debt is “paid in full”.  There was no more debt left owing, not even a mite. 

       What does this mean for you and me?  The wages of sin is death,* so for all eternity our sin would separate us from God. But the law made it possible for us to be cleansed by the shedding of blood** and that is what Jesus did.  He paid the full price of our disobedience and sin by willingly shedding His blood on the cross.  Tetelestai means that the redemptive work for our salvation was completed by Jesus’ and we can be forgiven.

Lord Jesus, thank You for giving up Your life for my sins.  Because of You:

My debt is PAID IN FULL

*Rom - For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.   NKJV
**Heb. 9:22- In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.   NIV   (Lev. )

Friday, April 22, 2011

But Jesus kept silent

Mat. 26:59- And the chief priests, and the elders, and all the council, were seeking false witness against Jesus, that they might put him to death,
Mat. 26:63- But Jesus kept silent.….  NKJV                                                                        TLB below
Is. 53:7- He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he never said a word.  He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he stood silent before the ones condemning him.

       The high priest, the elders and the Sanhedrin questioned Jesus while looking for false testimony so that they could put Jesus to death.  He didn’t defend Himself.  He didn’t point out the lies of the witnesses, nor expose the sin of those condemning Him, and He certainly knew they desired His death.  He was innocent, totally blameless yet with all the wisdom He possessed that had allowed Him to escape all their other traps, He kept silent.

       Did He do it just to fulfill prophesy in Isaiah 53 as He said He came to fulfill the Law and Prophets* or did He just keep quiet because He knew what needed to happen?  I can’t imagine being in that position- knowing I was completely innocent and about to be condemned to death.  Their lies would be very insulting and I would have verbally fought to prove my case and make them admit my innocence.  But not Jesus; He kept silent.

He knew what needed to be done.

       He knew the insults and accusations of the priests were nothing compared to accepting all of my sins, your sins, and everyone’s sins since the beginning of time until the end in His pure, spotless body.**  (How vile that must have felt to Him taking on all our sins.)  Standing before the priests, elders and Sanhedrin, Jesus knew what was pending for Him.

But for you, for me, He kept silent.

*Mat. 5:17- "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I didn't come to destroy them, but to fulfill them.   ISV
**2Cor. - God made him who had no sin to be sin for us… NIV  (1Pet. )
1 Pet. 2:24- He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to those sins and live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.  ISV

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Great Match

       Many years ago, as a teen, I earned income babysitting for local families.  One of those families had a young son and daughter about age 6 and 7.  While I don’t remember the kid’s names, there are a couple things I hope to remember forever.  The first is how much they drove me crazy- and you’re not going to believe why!  These two always got along and were so polite, tidy, and well behaved it drove me nuts, so nuts I used to beg them to argue or not share or make a mess or anything that would make the evening seem more normal.  They used to just giggle at me…

       The other thing I want to remember is how we used to enjoy our favorite snack together.  While my mom made all our cookies or bought really cheap brands that tasted like cardboard, the kids had name brand cookies, and so it would be quite a treat for me.  Our favorite kind was Oreo cookies.  We would sit there with a pile of cookies in the middle of us and start our disassembly line.  One by one the cookies would be twisted and the sweet white centers separated from the chocolate cookie part.

       It was a match made in heaven for them and me.  They loved the chocolate cookie part best, and I loved the gooey white centers, and so we would all end up with what we considered the best part of the cookie.  Truly, I thought they were a little crazy for liking the cookie part as I found it dry, dull, and certainly not sweet enough.  They thought I was a little crazy to like ‘that sticky stuff’ that was way too sweet.  Go figure…

       We are all different from each other and that is good.  Life would be boring if we were all the same and obviously if everyone was like me, we would starve, live in a disaster zone, and never find our stuff because we’d put it somewhere safe!  Just as the kids and I each played a particular part in eating/ enjoying the cookies, each one of us (in Christ’s body) serves a purpose that we are uniquely suited to; each one of us is important to the body. 

Let us check out 1 Cor. 12:
7- Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given… to another… (various gifts) All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
14- Now the body is not made up of one part but many.
18- But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.
27- Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.  NIV

Each one of you in the body of Christ is important to me.  Without you, I am incomplete.  Without you… who would eat the chocolate cookie part?

Monday, April 18, 2011


       Dan. 6:3 to 5- Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other presidents and governors, for he had great ability, and the king began to think of placing him over the entire empire as his administrative officer.  This made the other presidents and governors very jealous, and they began searching for some (cause of complaint and corruption-literally) fault in the way Daniel was handling his affairs so that they could complain to the king about him.  But they couldn’t find anything to criticize!  He was faithful and honest, and made no mistakes.  So they concluded, “Our only chance is his religion!”  TLB

       There’s a lot I can say about work ethics, the world and Christianity today, but I won’t right now.  I’d rather focus on the main thing I’m thinking presently:

       When people look at us in a work situation, can they find fault?  Do we work hard, only take allotted break times, help others, and have the highest integrity and quality standards at all times, or do we typically meet bare expectations just to get by?  Are we really doing our best, because if we are, people should notice and they should not be able to find fault. 

       Daniel had many governors, presidents and other workers looking into his work ethics and actions and they could find no fault.  How many of our peers could say the same of us?

Scripture about work: 
Col. 3:22,23- Employees, obey your employers in all things, not only trying to please them when they are watching you but all the time; obey them willingly because of your love for the Lord and because you want to please him.  Work hard and cheerfully at all you do, just as though you were working for the Lord and not merely for your employers.         (TLB in quotes my paraphrase at start and end)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

On the Return to Jerusalem

       Zack and Samuel walked down the road past dealers of Ferraris, Bagattis, and Porsches, but they didn’t see what they were looking for.  Down further they found Vipers, Hummers, and BMWs but still didn’t find what they wanted.  They walked on past the Saturns, convertibles, Jeeps, and Camaros until they found it.  There at the side of the next dealer’s building was a brand new Ford Focus. 

       The two men found the keys, got into it and started to drive it away.  Suddenly, the dealer was yelling through the windshield, “Hey, what do you think you’re doing?  Where are you going with my car?”  Samuel rolled down the window and said, “My teacher needs it” and they drove off the lot. 
(Sounds like there’s going to be a 911 call…)

       Something like this happened in Israel about 2000 years ago.  Jesus told two of His disciples to go get Him a colt and they did.  (Luke 19:28-34)  Two points always stick in my mind as just a little incredulous.  First, Jesus’ disciples did it no questions asked (not recorded anyway).  Who does that?  I’m pretty sure if my teacher tells me to go get him a vehicle, no matter how cheap it is, I’ll be asking him for the cash to buy it first.  Obviously the disciples had the faith to believe they would find that colt, and they would be allowed to take it; then they were brave enough to act on it.

       The second point is on the part of the owners, who hearing the Lord needed it, allowed the valuable colt to be taken.  I’m not sure on the protocol, if it was to be returned or not, but how many owners would allow that colt off their property knowing they may suffer a big loss?  They didn’t even call the cops!  It makes me wonder if they also believed in Jesus.

       There is a third obvious point in the story.  Jesus picked a ‘Ford Focus’ of transportation, a humble vehicle for a King to ride.  When I imagine an old time conquering king, he rides a magnificent stallion unparalleled in beauty.  Jesus chose a colt, but it was for a reason.  In Zach. 9:9 the King of the Jews was prophesied to return on the newly broken but un-ridden colt of a donkey.

       This was Jesus, always providing the needs of the people instead of their expected wants.  They wanted a literal ‘take over the country and restore the land to us’ King, not the humble Servant that would wash their feet and pour out His blood to save their souls.  They wanted a here and now deliverance and He gave them an eternal one instead.

       They were okay with Him being a little different (like riding the colt) as long as He met their essential expectations, but when He failed to accomplish that, the people rejected Him.  How awful they were…    wait…    um…    ah…    look in the mirror girl, how often have you rejected Him because He didn’t provide the expected miracle or deliverance you desired in your timing? 

Ouch!  I guess much hasn’t changed in 2000 years.