Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday (Easter Story 6) (Psalm 139:14, John 1:1-14, Matt 27:57-58, John 19:39, Matt 27:59-66)

It's Friday but Sunday's coming!

I was thinking about why God would be the sacrifice for us.  I remembered He created us in His image.  Here's some things that came to mind:  babies giggle, when we fall in love it takes our breath away, we give Him praise and worship, of all the creatures we enjoy sunsets, the moon, and stars like God does.  We do have a hard time staying out of trouble (at least some of us do [me]) but even in that He still loves us.  He has said that He is our Father. He would do anything for us as long as it doesn't go against His own character.  He is solid that way, no changing His mind- consistent.  God is love.  Through all of our ramblings, and problems, we are a beautiful mess aren't we?  We are created in the image of God.  David said it this way:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  
Psalm 139:14
These verses describe Jesus as the Word.  The world was made (created) through Him.  The "Word was God." Jesus is God.  He is the light that shines in the darkness.  Though He created the world, the darkness (evil) could not comprehend it.  "In Him is life, the life that is the light of men."
John 1:1-14
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 

When it says that "His own did not receive Him,"  I believe He is describing the religious leaders: Pharisees, Sadducees, priests, scribes, chief priests, and elders.  The 12 disciples were Jewish.  Many Jews believed in Jesus by this time.  Like it says in verse 12, " many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name."  
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were bornnot of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of manbut of God. 

The Son of man; the Son of God.
14 And 
the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Fatherfull of grace and truth.

Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man who believed in Jesus.  Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews, who also believed (John 3:1-21).  These are just two names.  We have no idea how many Jews came to believe in Christ.  It was risky for Joseph and Nicodemus to bury Jesus.  They were going against some very angry, irrational, religious leaders.  I understand the feeling.  You get to a point where you give up fear, and do what's right.  Then God's strength gives you the ability to press on.
Matt 27:57-58
57 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimatheanamed Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him

John 19:39
39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 

Matt 27:59-66
59 When Joseph had taken the bodyhe wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed. 61 And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Marysitting opposite the tomb

There are always good people and bad people in every group.  While Nicodemus provided myrrh and aloes for Jesus' body, other Pharisees went to Pilate to ensure His body stayed in the tomb.  Pilate couldn't understand their anxiety.  As a business woman, it sounds to me like he wanted them out of his office.
62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, "Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, 'After three days I will rise.'  64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third daylest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people'He has risen from the dead.' So the last deception will be worse than the first." 

65 Pilate said to them, "You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how." 66 So they went and made the tomb securesealing the stone and setting the guard

And so it was, Jesus' body was placed in a rich man's tomb like the prophecy foretold.  The tomb was made secure with a very large stone.  A guard stood in front of the tomb, so the disciples couldn't go and steal the body.  The chief priests and Pharisees must have breathed a sigh of relief.  It was over.  But the 3 days were not over... Could a tomb really contain God?

The disciples must've been so confused.  Jesus wasn't supposed to die.  What is this?  We have times like that today.  We wonder where is God?  In those times the only thing we can do is trust and worship.  When I get totally down and feel done for, I start counting my blessings: my husband, the house, a car, my cats, Church, the Pastors, chocolate and so on...

Dear Heavenly Father, Please bless all those who are facing persecution, hide them under Your wings of love.  I pray for peace in our hearts and wisdom to know what to do.  Guide us all with wisdom.  I pray that You will protect Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Ukraine, Europe all those in harms way.  You are God nothing is impossible for You.  Please be with those who mourn.  The world is much bigger than me.  I pray You will comfort those in need.  You know all and see all.  Nothing is impossible for You. I trust in Your unfailing love.

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
10 Set the world right;
Do what's best––
  as above, so below.
11 Keep us alive with three square meals.
12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
  Yes. Yes. Yes.
(Matthew 6:9-13 Message)

In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen   

Song by Matt Redman, 10,000 Reasons (link)

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