From Creation to the Cross: Day 6 (Scripture Reading – Luke 23, John 18-19)

Someone summed it up well when they said, “The whole stream and drift of the Old Testament moves straight to the cross of Christ.”

When we come to the New Testament, here we see what Christianity is all about, the manger, the cross and the empty tomb. The four Gospel writers devote nearly one quarter of their accounts of the cross and the closing scenes in the life of Christ. The book of Acts is filled with the basics of New Testament doctrine of the cross. The epistles advance that doctrine as they reveal how the whole message of Christian truth rises out of heart of the cross. Even the Revelation is filled with visions of the crucified Lamb. The cross is inescapable!

One writer said, “God has stitched His Word together with a scarlet seam,” From the birth of Christ forward the shadow of the cross was upon His life. The compelling force in His life was to do the will of His Father, even to death on the cross. The events that took place on “Good Friday” were the plan of the Father …” the Son of Man came … to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28

Jesus, on the cross took the hand of sinful humanity and placed it in the loving hand of God the Father. Jesus reconciled us to God; he broke down the barrier. He restored the broken fellowship caused by sin. Jesus died to bring God and man together.” Jesus, God’s Son, experienced the tortures of death so that we might have abundant life.

Thought for today:

May we never forget it. May we never grow tired of being reminded of Jesus’ suffering and death. May we never grow weary of praising and thanking God for giving his Son to suffer and die. As the old hymn goes: “Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe; sin had left its crimson stain, he washed it white as snow.”

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for your Son Jesus and his obedience. Thank you that because of him, I can have eternal life. Thank you for your grace and the forgiveness of my sins. Help me to be obedient to you and your ways. Amen.

From Creation to the Cross: Day 5 (Scripture Reading – Isaiah 53:10-12)

Today we look at Isaiah 53 once again. Our focus is on verse 10 which says, “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush Him, He has put Him to grief; when His soul makes an offering for guilt He shall see His offspring; He shall prolong His days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.”

This is a really difficult statement to get our minds around, thinking that it was God’s will to crush His own Son. But these words do not describe a random impulse of God; they describe the plans and purposes of God. The sacrifice of Jesus did not come about as an after-thought, or “Plan B.” Since the foundation of the world, this Servant was appointed for this mission.

Nevertheless, this was the only possible way the plan of salvation could succeed in redeeming lost men and women, whom God had created for eternal fellowship. Psalm 149:4 reminds us of this when it says, “For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He adorns the humble with salvation.”

In verse 10 Isaiah says, “… He shall see His offspring; He shall prolong His days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.” He uses figurative language to communicate that the life of the Servant will be highly fruitful – God’s purposes are fulfilled in Him. Jesus said in John 8:56, “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”

Thought for today:

Do we stand in awe of God and what He has done for us through Christ? Do you know and believe that God is sovereign over all things? Are we willing to sacrifice for others?

Prayer: Father, your Son gave all so that by the power of the cross we would be justified in your sight and have abundant life. Lord, let Him see a reward for His sufferings in all of us being repentant of sin, trusting in You, and confessing His name. Amen.

From Creation to the Cross: Day 4 (Scripture Reading – Isaiah 52:13-53:12, 1st Peter 1:18-20)

Isaiah 53 serves as the hinge in the book of Isaiah and is the most quoted section of scripture in the New Testament. Genesis 52:13 through 53:12 contains some of the most comprehensive prophecies concerning the Messiah. The most encouraging verses in our passage for today are: Isaiah 53:4-5 which says, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”

The question is asked, why was He pierced? – For our transgressions! Why was He crushed? – For our iniquities! We realize that the only way we can have peace with God is for someone to pay the sin debt we owed. Someone had to be punished for our sin against God and all His goodness. The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him. “He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities” – this is the very heart of the Gospel.

Jesus went to the cross for us. His sufferings on the cross were for our transgression and iniquities. We have peace with God, because Jesus took the punishment for us.

Thought for today:

Do I take the sacrifice of Jesus seriously enough? Do I take God’s mercy and grace for granted? What am I willing to change about my life to become a more serious follower of Jesus?

Prayer: Our God thank you for the good news. Thank you for forgiving us our sins. Please give us the will and the ability to spread this, the good news, to our family, our friends, our neighbors, and our fellow workers.

From Creation to the Cross: Day 3 (Scripture Reading – Psalm 22, Hebrews 4:15-16)

The Twenty-second Psalm is one of the most amazing of all the Psalms. In this Psalm, David describes the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus over 700 years before He was even born.

The Psalm begins with a cry that was uttered by Jesus on the cross, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). This cry is one of abandonment, as the sufferer becomes aware that he is, at that moment in time, forsaken.

Sometimes it feels like the Lord has abandoned us, and it is a very normal emotion when we face times of pain and suffering.

One of the great difficulties we face in the Christian life comes during those seasons when it seems as though we are all alone, and God is nowhere to be found.

However, God is not dead; He does not sleep, and He never forgets His own! When our heart cries out, “Where are you, God,” let us remember the words of the Lord, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Thought for today:

We can go to Christ for help with the confidence of knowing He truly understands our suffering and grief because He, too, experienced it. Truthfully, He is the ONLY one we can go to for help in our time of need.

Prayer: Lord, I admit I feel lonely and abandoned in the situation I am facing now. But, thank you for all you sacrificed for us to make a close relationship with you possible. Help us come closer to you and fully know you. In His name we pray.

From Creation to the Cross: Day 1 (Scripture reading: Genesis 6:5-8, Romans 5:5-19)

If we want to be able to understand “Passion Week” we must turn our attention first to the book of Genesis. The first eleven chapters of this book tell us that God created everything. He crowned His creation by creating mankind. Then we see man, in relationship to his Creator, has fallen from a place of dignity, humility and dependence to a state of corruption. It is then God began the process of redemption and the Old Testament reveals His redemptive acts.

Genesis 3:15 is the first indication God had a plan for man’s fallen condition: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

As we consider God’s perfect plan of redemption, let us be reminded that He has a plan for our life as well. In Jeremiah 29:11 it states, “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Even though today you may feel separated from God – either by illness, discouragement, grief or rejection; I trust you will remember His plans for you started a long time ago and they involved hope and a future!

Thought for today:
Jesus not only reverses the story of Adam, but he reverses our story as well. He has a plan to transform your life. Trust Him to reverse and change your life today.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for this great promise! Remind us today that the plans you have for your children are always good. God reverse our story. Thank you for sending your Son to give us a hope and an eternal future. Thank you for listening when we pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.