They Had No Clue

And when his friends had gone away and night had fallen they took him and ridiculed and slandered him. Charges were trumped up against him in late evening when few were aware or present. He was alone with his enemies. And things got terribly worse for him. The wounds inflicted on him seemed more about hate than retribution.

Yet he gave no defense because he’d done no wrong. The world didn’t understand him so they viewed him as a threat to their own politics and power. They had no clue who they were really dealing with. He allowed them that night to do with him what they wished. He didn’t fight back or rail. He knew his purpose. He paid a heavy price that night. He carried a weight beyond measure. 

The next day there was surely a hush over the landscape. The preacher had been put down and silenced. He would not longer be able to gain the attention of the masses. His friends, no doubt, would now be quiet and go away.

How or why did this escalate to the end of the gentle healer? Through a blurred and salty vision this man that night saw past the offences of his revilers. He saw them with a compassion and love that they couldn’t know or ever embrace.

Unbeknownst to all, those darkest hours were ushering in a new light that would never fade or fail. Waiting, hoping, longing – they all waited in silence not knowing the direction of the future for all. They all just had to wait.

They Took Him Down Alright

The Lord Jesus Christ had an excruciating week leading up to his death. The religious leaders couldn’t take him any longer. He was a threat to their way of life. They thought that the laws they so carefully tried to follow were being mocked by this man. Yet he looked beyond the detail of the law and saw people and he saw their need. He knew people didn’t need a strict adherence to a set of rules and regulations. They needed a kinsman redeemer.

They found a judge in that Thursday night who probably owed them favors. And with a trumped up trial after hours they brought their so-called charges against this man Jesus. With the help of a kangaroo court this sinless man fell in the hands of an angry mob. They handled him as if he was less than a human. Little did they know he was much much more.

Yet this man who’d loved others beyond explanation submitted himself to torturous pain. He could have ended this horror with a single word or thought. Yet in the dark of this night he would allow his mocking crowd to do their bidding. In the crowd that night there were possibly some of the very people who’d witnessed him heal a blind man or raise his dead friend from a tomb.

Anguish and humiliation continued through the night. This man was not getting away with his crimes of passion. A determination had been made to end him, once and for all. So they took him down alright.

They probably wondered how this man could’ve endured the beating that he’d already taken and still be alive and conscious.  In his final hours he still had the compassionate thought to reach out to another condemned man. The doomed soul beside him realized that this man Jesus had to me more than just a common man, not just by the way he lived by by the way he was dying. Even in his final agony this common thief received the passion of the Christ, and he believed.

So under the watchful curious eye of bystanders the execution of this Galilean carpenter came to an end. Even in his final gasps of breath he was asking his father to forgive his executioners. This was evidence enough to show that he was more than just a man. So they had their way took him down.

This story must be over.

Passion Week – What Does that Really Mean?

By many, the week leading up to Easter Sunday is referred to as Passion Week. For some the word passion might be a confusing term, especially in the world in which we live.

For me that word has a much deeper connotations than just a sensual human response. One definition of passion says “having a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something”. Another is “intense, driven, mastering a feeling or conviction”.

I admire musicians who have true passion in the way they display a total surrender in the the way they perform. They can convey a message with such force that you are left with little doubt about the importance of the message. They just lay it all on the line with unfettered emotion. If you cannot sing with passion, why bother?

People are passionate about many other things in life too. They can encompass the entire spectrum of humanity. Even in the realm of business there are those who are totally engulfed with a passion for their goods or services. The truth of the matter is, if you bring a passionate zeal to your work or avocation, you will excel and exceed in whatever you do. Regardless of your craft, people will follow and respect you because of your depth of commitment.The intent of my writing today is to examine a passion that far outweighs all other human pursuits or desires.

There was a lowly man who took up residence on earth and walked among us. He was from humble beginnings and led a simple life. This gentle man of whom I speak had a calling and a purpose. He may not have been a master builder or a great musician of ability or craft. But his goal and purpose pushed him to the ultimate level of passion. His resolve was born out of who he was. He was bred as a servant. His DNA fully tilted him to love people with a unique passion unknown before he came. His strong resolve led to his ultimate demise very early in his life. You’ve probably guess that I am speaking of Jesus, the Christ.

When he looked people in the eye, his gaze went directly to their core. He saw them where they were, yet loved them in spite of who they were. He was a magnet to those around him. He exuded a passion for life, but it not his own. The compassion he had for people was powerful enough to make rugged fishermen drop their nets and follow him without reservation. He just commanded a presence about him that was inexplicable. And he still does now.

For those of you who know and follow this man Jesus, he still has that magnetic draw and power. To become like him empowers you. To walk with him encourages you. To know him changes you.

As we ponder this week of “passion” we should be reminded how far his care and concern took him. It led him to to an early grave as “religious” leaders declared him their enemy because he obviously had a greater influence than they. Those same people took him down, or so they thought. There’s more to this story. Stay tuned.

The Imagination of Creation

Being creative people by nature we are motivated from time to time to make our own creations. From the large array of raw materials in our natural world, we make things that make our lives easier and make us increase our productivity, and also things that are just wonderful nuggets for our eyes. We think, envision, design and craft. We cut and nail and glue and sand. We top off our creations with color and style. Then we display them proudly for the world to see. We feel that sense of accomplishment and joy of being a creator.

 

I’ve been wondering what that process was like for our eternal creator? Did he think about making us for ten million years (as if he has a calendar)? Did he make previous versions of us that weren’t quite right? Did he think the whole thing through before he started the design process? From one of the attributes about God (omniscience) I’ve learned, I believe that every step, every detail, every single aspect of his design and craft, were without flaw. The overriding influence of His every thought and action was based out of and driven by desire. He desired fellowship. He longed for the interaction we as human beings would give. The eternal genius behind it all was all about having an offspring.

 If you spend time, energy and enormous resources in building a project, you would be surprised and shocked to think that someone would take what you poured your very self into and basically rip up your design to shreds and throw it in the trash. If something I had labored on and sweated over became one day to be regarded as a piece of trash, I think the darkest deepest side of my own flawed humanity would make me horrifically angry mad and want retribution.
Can you imagine with me, for one moment, what could possibly be going through God’s mind each and every time an abortion is performed in our world? I shudder to think what his ultimate wrath might be one day for those who’ve taken his lovingly created human children and shredded them with no remorse?. This unspeakable evil will bring us ever closer to the end of time. I never want to be accused of not doing everything in my power to stop this horror.

Justifiable Acts Against Wrong

    There are times when doing the right thing is against one’s principle of following the law  or morals. When considering the gravity or the emergency of an issue, the practice of defying authority to follow your own conscience for a higher priority becomes absolutely justifiable.
Let’s say you arrive on the scene of a horrific car crash and see a car upside down and starting to catch on fire. Let’s say that car is immediately behind a fence with a sign that says “Posted – No Trespassing”. Do you say to yourself, “oh gosh I wish I could help this person escape certain death but I’d have to trespass to help”?
And let’s say your home is invaded one night by an intruder. You see that they are armed with a knife. They demand that you open your safe. In the process of the event your sleepy child comes out from their bedroom and the intruder immediately grabs your child and holds the knife to their throat. Are you thinking, the 10 commandments says that killing is wrong? Do you plead with the intruder or do you grab your weapon and kill the intruder?
A new movie is due out soon called Return to the Hiding Place. It is a follow up to the movie from 1975 based on the life and experience of a lady by the named Corrie ten Boom. The Nazi invaded Holland in 1940 and began rounding up and killing Jews. This new movie depicts how a group of youth fight to save  lives of countless innocent Jews, by hiding them from their certain deaths.
Today we are faced with similar atrocities staining our world once again. Defying written law that is contrary to what we know to be true and against the scriptures that we trust can become a daily reality. We must defend the helpless, at all cost. This is especially needed when the will of the people is being ignored and thwarted. The higher principle of trusting what we are told by God over what we are told by men must not be viewed as sin or as wrong in any way.
The issue we face today in America is our own special holocaust. It is the killing of innocent babies inside, and even outside of the womb.
Consider today what part you might be called to do to stop this modern atrocity. Speaking up is no longer enough. Taking action is required. First pray to our God that he would do our bidding for us. Pray that the depraved perpi”traitors” would come to their senses and stop. And pray for our elected leaders that they would do whatever is needed to stop the insanity. Secondly, follow the money trail and shut it off. Find out who supports these baby killing machines and stop doing business with them, and tell them why.

Our God has apparently given our society over to having “reprobate minds”. We as individuals can repent and turn from our sin of inaction and ignorance by finally taking action against the taking of innocent lives. God have mercy on us all if we do not take up arms against this horrible stain.