What are the final words of a tortured, dying man who has just accomplished his great mission?
“It is finished.”
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30 NIV
Those words alone should be enough to tell us that Jesus died on that cross for a planned purpose.
For 32 years I have suffered from chronic pain off and on because of multiple car accidents. Blinding migraines that give me the sensation of my skull being crushed and an icepick stabbed in my eye (usually left eye), neck aches that feel like I have a screwdriver pushed into the lower back part of my skull, and low back aches that feel anywhere from like my back is on fire to sharp sciatica Charlie horses that last for months. Too often the pain has been so excruciating, that I cannot imagine dying hurting any more. If I was to die from the torturous pain I described above, I seriously doubt “It is finished.” would be my final words.
Those were Jesus’ words because He accomplished what He was sent on earth to do. Humanity owed a debt to God we had no means with which to repay. Jesus’ assignment on earth was to be God’s redeeming payment on our behalf. And He followed through with it; Jesus paid our debt.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13 Jesus’ death was the proof of God’s love for us.
Please let us remember that Jesus’ dying words were for our sakes. Let’s remember that this weekend in humble adoration to the King of kings and Lord of Lords.
After forty years in the brutal desert, God will finally allow the Israelites to enter the Promised Land. Moses’ time on earth is fading. He makes his final speech to the Israelites, recounting all that their God had done for them, and tells them not to blow it again.
That forty year trip should have really only taken them 11 days. That’s right, eleven days. Deuteronomy 1:2.
Why did it take them so darn long?
Ten of the twelve men sent to spy out the land they were about to fight over were terribly worried. Their worrying was rooted in their lack of faith to follow God’s orders, and move forward to take the Promised Land.
I learned something last night. I am taking a self-help class on a book called Safe People. A profound book on relationships that’s backed by Scripture. We discussed relational peeves in our group. I shared two experiences.
Is there a pillar of salt in your past?
In Genesis Chapters 18 and 19, we read about God’s appearance to Abraham in the form of a man, along with two other men who are actually two angels. They come to declare to Abraham and Sarah that in a year their son Isaac, the promised child, will be born.
Then God shares with Abraham that He is about to set judgment on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous” Genesis 18:20
Abraham, concerned for his nephew Lot and Lot’s family who live in Sodom, tries to bargain with God not to destroy the city if there are at least 10 righteous people there.
In God’s eyes, Sodom and Gomorrah’s wickedness is so vile there is no other option to do but destroy it. He cannot even find 10 righteous people in the entire city of Sodom. God is gracious with Lot’s family for Abraham’s sakes.
The two angels are sent to Sodom to rescue Lot, his wife, and two daughters from being destroyed along with the city. Continue reading
Knowing I suffer from chronic migraines, my neighbor dropped off a newspaper article on a recent study titled,
“Study: Thinking positive helps migraine drug work,” by Lauran Neergaard AP, a medical writer.
The article is about a study that proposes that what a patient expects out of a migraine medication will make a huge difference in the results that patient gets from their meds.
Sixty-six migraine patients were recruited for the study, some were given placebos (dummy meds) in an effort to measure the amount of real med related pain relief vs. the amount of relief from patient’s confidence because of their doctor’s positive comments about the meds.
In the article, Ted Kaptchuk, a Harvard professor, suggests that each word the patient is told about their medication is just as important as the actual prescription.
After over 450 headaches were analyzed, researchers concluded how essential it was for doctors to prudently select their words to their patients when subscribing a powerful drug; as the doctor’s message could make or break the medicine’s benefits. Continue reading
I have never been one to watch too many fantasy movies but was encouraged to by the way “Waking the Dead,” a book by John Eldridge, uses these as analogies to help readers understand the struggle we all live under.
John Eldridge, does not encourage readers to watch fantasy movies. He encourages us to wake up to the understanding that spiritual war is all around us and gravely affects our everyday life. The last thing the enemy wants from a Christ follower is success or to have anything good we attribute to God. He wants to keep us in a struggle so that we are not living up to our God-given potential, but instead we are as frustrated, disappointed, depressed and discouraged as possible.
I rented the Hobbit. Have you ever seen it?
As I watched it, I envisioned the dwarfs as the Israelites and Thorin as King David back in Old Testament times and King Jesus now and in the future. There are numerous attacks by forces of evil.
The way the forces of evil are depicted in the movie, I can clearly imagine this is what the invisible spiritual warfare is like all around us, but the majority of us remain as unaware to it as Bilbo, though we are indeed deeply affected. Continue reading
I have been a prodigal. Saved at the age of 19, but without further mentoring or Bible studies, I tried to be a follower of Christ on my own.
I continued recklessly living my life, making poor choices as I had before. On a rebound from a hurtful breakup, I became pregnant at 22. The responsibility of a baby, straightened my life, but I had a ways to go.
I did not want my daughter to grow up like me, never knowing what her father looked like, so I worked at keeping a relationship with her father. Apparently, I worked too hard, I became pregnant again when she was eight months old.
We got married, but deep in my heart I knew it was a mistake. I had the naïve notion everything would work out once he saw what a good wife I could be. Immediately after our marriage, my gut feelings were confirmed. I made a horrible mistake. Continue reading