Daily Devotion, 4-11-2020

Pastor: Connie Belmore

READING: JOHN 19:31-42

Last night at Good Friday service, we remembered the events leading up to Jesus’s crucifixion from the time he was betrayed, arrested and denied by his own, to his interactions with Pilate, to his being turned over to those who wanted him out of the way, to his carrying the cross (and Simon of Cyrene helping him with the cross) and then the crucifixion.  We have been reminded of Christ’s final words, “It is finished”, meaning it is complete.  Jesus had completed part of his mission on earth.  Today, on Holy Saturday, we will focus on that in between time.
There were two more prophesies carried out right after his death.  The first prophesy has to do with the practice of the breaking of the bones of those who were crucified to speed up the death process.  The soldiers carried out instructions to break the legs of the two thieves that were crucified with Jesus, but when they came to break Jesus’ legs, he was already dead so his legs were not broken  This was to fulfill the prophesy implied about the sacrificial lamb in Exodus 12:46 and Numbers 9:12; the legs of the lamb were not to be broken. Jesus, the lamb, died before his legs would have been broken.
The second prophesy is fulfilled when the soldiers pierce Jesus’s side, and blood and water pour out.  This was prophesied in Zechariah 12:10, where it says “…they will look at me whom they pierced. They will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child and weep bitterly for him…”.  And he who saw the side pierced knew and testified so that others would believe.
As sad as Good Friday might make us, it was prophetic.  Jesus himself foretold his death, but no one wanted to hear it.  He was, after all, the Savior.  As Messiah, King, Lord and Savior surely he would not die the death of shame on a cross along side two thieves.  But it was all in fulfillment of the Scripture.  God sent Jesus to live among us, show us how to live as disciples and to take on the cross, the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.  And while this might make us feel sad, guilty, shameful and even perplexed at God’s mysterious ways, it was God’s prophesy fulfilled.  So when Jesus said, “It is finished”, he was really telling those who heard him that it was all over.  He was not saying HE was all over, done with … dead, but was saying he had completed this task God gave him to redeem and save us by bearing the weight of our sin. 

Jesus died as the propitiation for our sins and by his wounds we are healed.  Adam (and Eve) brought sin into the world and Jesus came as a human to take that sin away so that we might be able to fully receive the grace of God.  So on this Holy Saturday in which Christ would have been entombed, let us prepare our hearts by acknowledging this marvelous grace and victory over sin.  And then tomorrow, we celebrate his victory over death.  Praise be to God!
Dear God, thank you so much for your son Jesus!  Thank you for the time he spent on earth showing us how to live and although we are sorry for our sins that nailed him to the tree we are grateful for your grace poured out on us through his death on the cross.  Help us to live lives of gratitude, thanksgiving and love, following the example of Jesus who exemplified for us true love.  Amen.
  July 2021  
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