An Explanation of Lessons from Lent
In the next 40 days (28 now because you have already accomplished twelve), the weeks leading up to Easter, the posts on Glimpsed Glory will be different. I am reading through the New Testament during this time and I am hoping the Holy Spirit will lead me to a fresh revelation each and every day. I’m going into it with a prayerful heart and an expectant spirit but I will fully confess to you that my soul feels sluggish.
I have been in a place of exhaustion over these last months. My mind has been clouded, my body has ached and insomnia has been my companion since late December. The enemy has been and is still whispering in my ear that my Jesus has forgotten me . . . that He has finally tired of my imperfections and left me behind.
I’m not giving in to it! I am going to fight the good fight of faith and follow the example of my Nehemiah Man. I am going to stand firm in my faith because if I do not, I will not stand at all. I’m praising God for bringing me to a place of emptiness so that I can look to Him to fill my cup.
I’m coming before the Lord and I’m asking Him to do a new thing in me. To rouse my heart to His side and to draw me near in real and tangible ways. To plow through the fog that has settled over me in the form of health issues, physical stress, and emotional upheaval and lay a level path before me. I’m entering the throne room and I’m humbly reminding Him that He has invited me to come in my time of need. O Lord – be near to me. Love me where I am. Take me where I need to be.
That’s the cry of my heart Sweet Sister and I’m thinking that if I am in this place that perhaps you are too. It might be that different life situations have brought us here but here we are. If that’s the case, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you have a faith sister to walk through it with. We can do this together – you and I. It’s why God gave us to one another. We can join our hearts and we can offer up the next 40 days to the Beautiful One and trust Him to do the beautiful thing in us.
So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll post the daily reading on the blog (except for Sundays) and if you read the Scriptures not only will you have read through the entire New Testament by Easter but God promises that He’ll show you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. He promises that His word is alive and active and will transform your heart. I could use some transformation. What about you?
At the end of the daily passage, I’m going to share my “Lesson from Lent” – nothing long or drawn out just something that God uses to speak straight to my heart from the Scripture that day. I’m putting it at the end because if your time runs short on a particular day – I want you to skip reading my words, not His.
I’m hoping that you’ll start your own running record of what God is showing you. Maybe you’ll even be moved to leave a comment so your Sisters can glean from what you’re learning. No matter how you choose to keep track of all He shares with you . . . treasure it up in your heart Sweet One, meditate on it, mull it over, consider the whisper of the Lover of your soul. The God of the Universe is the only Voice we need to revive our tired souls. So, let’s you and I lean in close, pray for ears to hear and hearts to respond. Let’s dig in to the riches He has given us and prepare to be amazed by what He will reveal to our expectant hearts. O Sister, let’s boldly ask Him for a lesson from Lent and then brace ourselves for a glimpse of Glory!
March 4, 2015 ~~ Luke 20-24
Footnotes: I’ve left the footnotes in place if you would like to track down sources in word study and language. Please follow the link to each chapter and scroll to the bottom of the passage.
One day as Jesus was instructing the people in the temple [[a]porches] and preaching the good news (the Gospel), the chief priests and the scribes came up with the elders (members of the Sanhedrin) 2 And said to Him, Tell us by what [sort of] authority You are doing these things? Or who is it who gave You this authority?
3 He replied to them, I will also ask you a question. Now answer Me: 4 Was the baptism of John from heaven, or from men? 5 And they argued and discussed [it] and reasoned together [b]with themselves, saying, If we reply, From heaven, He will say, Why then did you not believe him? 6 But if we answer, From men, all the people will stone us [c]to death, for they are [d]long since firmly convinced that John was a prophet. 7 So they replied that they did not know from where it came. 8 Then Jesus said to them, Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
9 Then He began to relate to the people this parable ([e]this story to figuratively portray what He had to say): A man planted a vineyard and leased it to some vinedressers and went into another country for a long stay. 10 When the [right] season came, he sent a bond servant to the tenants, that they might give him [his part] of the fruit of the vineyard; but the tenants beat ([f]thrashed) him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 And he sent still another servant; him they also beat ([g]thrashed) and dishonored and insulted him [h]disgracefully and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And he sent yet a third; this one they wounded and threw out [of the vineyard].
13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; it is [i]probable that they will respect him. 14 But when the tenants saw him, they argued among themselves, saying, This is the heir; let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours. 15 So they drove him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and [[j]utterly] put an end to those tenants and will give the vineyard to others. When they [the chief priests and the scribes and the elders] heard this, they said, May it never be! 17 But [Jesus] looked at them and said, What then is [the meaning of] this that is written: The [very] Stone which the builders rejected has become the chief Stone of the corner [Cornerstone]? 18 Everyone who falls on that Stone will be broken [in pieces]; but upon whomever It falls, It will crush him [winnow him and [k]scatter him as dust].
19 The scribes and the chief priests desired and tried to find a way to arrest Him at that very hour, but they were afraid of the people; for they discerned that He had related this parable against them.
20 So they watched [for an opportunity to ensnare] Him, and sent spies who pretended to be upright (honest and sincere), that they might lay hold of something He might say, so as to turn Him over to the control and authority of the governor. 21 They asked Him, Teacher, we know that You speak and teach what is right, and that You show no partiality to anyone but teach the way of God honestly and in truth. 22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar or not? 23 But He recognized and understood their cunning and [l]unscrupulousness and said to them, 24 Show Me a denarius (a coin)! Whose image and inscription does it have? They answered, Caesar’s. 25 He said to them, Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, [m]and to God the things that are God’s. 26 So they could not in the presence of the people take hold of anything He said to turn it against Him; but marveling at His reply, they were silent.
27 Also there came to Him some Sadducees, those who say that there is no resurrection. 28 And they asked Him a question, saying, Teacher, Moses wrote for us [a law] that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife and no children, the man shall take the woman and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers; and the first took a wife and died without [having any] children. 30 And the second 31 And then the third took her, and in like manner all seven, and they died, leaving no children. 32 Last of all, the woman died also.
33 Now in the resurrection whose wife will the woman be? For the seven married her. 34 And Jesus said to them, The people of this world and present age marry and are given in marriage; 35 But those who are considered worthy to gain that other world and that future age and to attain to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36 For they cannot die again, but they are [n]angel-like and [o]equal to angels. And being sons of and [p]sharers in the resurrection, they are sons of God.
37 But that the dead are raised [[q]from death]—even Moses made known and showed in the passage concerning the [burning] bush, where he calls the Lord, The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38 Now He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to Him all men are alive [whether in the body or out of it] and they are alive [not dead] unto Him [in definite relationship to Him].
39 And some of the scribes replied, Teacher, you have spoken well and expertly [[r]so that there is no room for blame]. 40 For they did not dare to question Him further.
41 But He asked them, How can people say that the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is David’s Son? 42 For David himself says in [the] Book of Psalms, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand 43 Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet. 44 So David calls Him Lord; how then is He his Son?
45 And with all the people listening, He said to His disciples, 46 Beware of the scribes, who like to walk about in long robes and love to be saluted [with honor] in places where people congregate and love the front and best seats in the synagogues and places of distinction at feasts, 47 Who make away with and devour widows’ houses, and [to cover it up] with pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation (the heavier sentence, the severer punishment).
Looking up, [Jesus] saw the rich people putting their gifts into the treasury. 2 And He saw also a poor widow putting in two mites (copper coins). 3 And He said, Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; 4 For they all gave out of their abundance (their surplus); but she has contributed out of her lack and her want, putting in all that she had on which to live.
5 And as some were saying of the temple that it was decorated with handsome (shapely and magnificent) stones and consecrated offerings [[a]laid up to be kept], He said, 6 As for all this that you [thoughtfully] look at, the time will come when there shall not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down. 7 And they asked Him, Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when this is about to occur? 8 And He said, Be on your guard and be careful that you are not led astray; for many will come in My name [[b]appropriating to themselves the name Messiah which belongs to Me], saying, I am He! and, The time is at hand! Do not go out after them. 9 And when you hear of wars and insurrections (disturbances, disorder, and confusion), do not become alarmed and panic-stricken and terrified; for all this must take place first, but the end will not [come] immediately. 10 Then He told them, Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be mighty and violent earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences (plagues: [c]malignant and contagious or infectious epidemic diseases which are deadly and devastating); and there will be sights of terror and great signs from heaven.
12 But previous to all this, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, turning you over to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be led away before kings and governors for My name’s sake. 13 This will be a time (an opportunity) for you to bear testimony. 14 Resolve and settle it in your minds not to meditate and prepare beforehand how you are to make your defense and how you will answer. 15 For I [Myself] will give you a mouth and such utterance and wisdom that all of your foes combined will be unable to stand against or refute.
16 You will be delivered up and betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and [some] of you they will put to death. 17 And you will be hated (despised) by everyone because [you bear] My name and for its sake. 18 But not a hair of your head shall perish. 19 By your steadfastness and patient endurance you [d]shall win the [e]true life of your souls.
20 But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know and understand that its desolation has come near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside [the city] get out of it, and let not those who are out in the country come into it; 22 For those are days of vengeance [of rendering full justice or satisfaction], that all things that are written may be fulfilled. 23 Alas for those who are pregnant and for those who have babies which they are nursing in those days! For great misery and anguish and distress shall be upon the land and indignation and punishment and retribution upon this people. 24 They will fall by [f]the mouth and the edge of the sword and will be led away as captives to and among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (completed).
25 And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; and upon the earth [there will be] distress (trouble and anguish) of nations in bewilderment and perplexity [[g]without resources, left wanting, embarrassed, in doubt, not knowing which way to turn] at the roaring ([h]the echo) of the tossing of the sea, 26 Men swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken and [i]caused to totter.
27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with great (transcendent and overwhelming) power and [all His kingly] glory (majesty and splendor).
28 Now when these things begin to occur, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption (deliverance) is drawing near. 29 And He told them a parable: Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30 When they put forth their buds and come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and perceive and know that summer is already near. 31 Even so, when you see these things taking place, understand and know that the kingdom of God is at hand. 32 Truly I tell you, this generation ([j]those living at that definite period of time) will not perish and pass away until all has taken place. 33 The [k]sky and the earth ([l]the universe, the world) will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
34 But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the [m]giddiness and headache and [n]nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [the [o]business of] this life, and [lest] that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose; 35 For it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth.
36 Keep awake then and watch at all times [be discreet, attentive, and ready], praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things [taken together] that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man.
37 Now in the daytime Jesus was teaching in [[p]the porches and courts of] the temple, but at night He would go out and stay on the mount called Olivet. 38 And early in the morning all the people came to Him in the temple [[q]porches or courts] to listen to Him.
Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread was drawing near, which is called the Passover. 2 And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to do away with [Jesus], for they feared the people. 3 But [then] Satan entered into Judas, called Iscariot, who was one of the Twelve [apostles]. 4 And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and captains how he might betray Him and deliver Him up to them. 5 And they were delighted and pledged [themselves] to give him money. 6 So he agreed [to this], and sought an opportunity to betray Him to them [without an uprising] in the absence of the throng.
7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover [lamb] had to be slain. 8 So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare for us the Passover meal, that we may eat it. 9 They said to Him, Where do You want us to prepare [it]? 10 He said to them, Behold, when you have gone into the city, a man carrying an earthen jug or pitcher of water will meet you; follow him into the house which he enters, 11 And say to the master of the house, The Teacher asks you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover [meal] with My disciples? 12 And he will show you a large room upstairs, furnished [with carpets and with couches properly spread]; there make [your] preparations. 13 And they went and found it [just] as He had said to them; and they made ready the Passover [supper].
14 And when the hour came, [Jesus] reclined at table, and the apostles with Him. 15 And He said to them, I have earnestly and intensely desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 For I say to you, I shall eat it no more until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17 And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He said, Take this and divide and distribute it among yourselves; 18 For I say to you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine at all until the kingdom of God comes.
19 Then He took a loaf [of bread], and when He had given thanks, He broke [it] and gave it to them saying, This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.
20 And in like manner, He took the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament or covenant [ratified] in My blood, which is shed (poured out) for you.
21 But, behold, the hand of him who [a]is now engaged in betraying Me is with Me on the table. 22 For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined and appointed, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed and delivered up! 23 And they began to inquire among themselves which of them it was who was about to do this.
24 Now [b]an eager contention arose among them [as to] which of them was considered and reputed to be the greatest. 25 But Jesus said to them, The kings of the Gentiles [c]are deified by them and exercise lordship [[d]ruling as emperor-gods] over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors and well-doers. 26 But this is not to be so with you; on the contrary, let him who is the greatest among you become like the youngest, and him who is the chief and leader like one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, the one who reclines at table (the master), or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am in your midst as One Who serves.
28 And you are those who have remained [throughout] and persevered with Me in My trials; 29 And as My Father has appointed a kingdom and conferred it on Me, so do I confer on you [the privilege and decree], 30 That you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
31 Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan [e]has asked excessively that [all of] you be given up to him [out of the power and keeping of God], that he might sift [all of] you like grain, 32 But I have prayed especially for you [Peter], that your [own] faith may not fail; and when you yourself have turned again, strengthen and establish your brethren.
33 And [Simon Peter] said to Him, Lord, I am ready to go with You both to prison and to death. 34 But Jesus said, I tell you, Peter, before a [single] cock shall crow this day, you will three times [utterly] deny that you know Me.
35 And He said to them, When I sent you out with no purse or [provision] bag or sandals, did you lack anything? They answered, Nothing! 36 Then He said to them, But now let him who has a purse take it, and also [his provision] bag; and let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy a sword. 37 For I tell you that this Scripture must yet be fulfilled in Me: And He was counted and classed among the wicked (the outlaws, the criminals); for what is written about Me has its fulfillment [has reached its end and is finally settled]. 38 And they said, Look, Lord! Here are two swords. And He said to them, It is enough.
39 And He came out and went, as was His habit, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples also followed Him. 40 And when He came to the place, He said to them, Pray that you may not [at all] enter into temptation. 41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw and knelt down and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but [[f]always] Yours be done.
43 And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him in spirit.
44 And being in an agony [of mind], He prayed [all the] more earnestly and intently, and His sweat became like great [g]clots of blood dropping down upon the ground. 45 And when He got up from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from grief, 46 And He said to them, Why do you sleep? Get up and pray that you may not enter [at all] into temptation.
47 And while He was still speaking, behold, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the Twelve [apostles], was going before [leading] them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss Him, 48 But Jesus said to him, Judas! Would you betray and deliver up the Son of Man with a kiss? 49 And when those who were around Him saw what was about to happen, they said, Lord, shall we strike with the sword? 50 And one of them struck the bond servant of the high priest and cut off his ear, the right one. 51 But Jesus said, Permit [h]them to go so far [as to seize Me]. And He touched the [i]little (insignificant) ear and healed him.
52 Then Jesus said to those who had come out against Him—the chief priests and captains of the temple and elders [of the Sanhedrin]—Have you come out with swords and clubs as [you would] against a robber? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple [[j]enclosure], you did not stretch forth [your] hands against Me. But this is your hour—and the power [which] darkness [gives you has its way].
54 Then they seized Him and led Him away, bringing Him into the house of the high priest. Peter was following at a distance. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and were seated together, Peter sat among them.
56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and gazing [intently] at him, said, This man too was with [k]Him. 57 But he denied it and said, Woman, I do not know Him!
58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, You are one of them also. But Peter said, Man, I am not!
59 And when about an hour more had elapsed, still another emphatically insisted, It is the truth that this man also was with Him, for he too is a Galilean! 60 But Peter said, Man, I do not know what you are talking about. And instantly, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed.
61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter recalled the Lord’s words, how He had told him, Before the cock crows today, you will deny Me thrice. 62 And he went out and wept bitterly [that is, with painfully moving grief].
63 Now the men who had Jesus in custody treated Him with contempt and scoffed at and ridiculed Him and beat Him; 64 They blindfolded Him also and asked Him, Prophesy! Who is it that struck [l]You? 65 And they said many other evil and slanderous and insulting words against Him, reviling Him.
66 As soon as it was day, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes; and they led Him into their council (the Sanhedrin), and they said, 67 If You are the Christ (the Messiah), tell us. But He said to them, If I tell you, you will not believe (trust in, cleave to, and rely on what I say), 68 And if I question you, you will not answer. 69 But hereafter (from this time on), the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God. 70 And they all said, You are the Son of God, then? And He said to them, [m]It is just as you say; I Am. 71 And they said, What further evidence do we need? For we have heard [it] ourselves from His own mouth!
Then the whole assembly of them got up and conducted [Jesus] before Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse Him, asserting, We found this [a]Man perverting (misleading, corrupting, and turning away) our nation and forbidding to pay tribute to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), a King!
3 So Pilate asked Him, Are You the King of the Jews? And He answered him, [[b]It is just as] you say. [I Am.] 4 And Pilate said to the chief priests and the throngs, I find no guilt or crime in this Man. 5 But they were urgent and emphatic, saying, He stirs up and excites the people, teaching throughout all Judea—from Galilee, where He began, even to this place.
6 Upon hearing this, Pilate asked whether the Man was a Galilean. 7 And when he found out [certainly] that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him up to Herod [a higher authority], who was also in Jerusalem in those days. 8 Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad, for he had eagerly desired to see Him for a long time because of what he had heard concerning Him, and he was hoping to witness some sign (some striking evidence or spectacular performance) done by Him. 9 So he asked Him many questions, but He made no reply.
10 Meanwhile, the chief priests and the scribes stood by, continuing vehemently and violently to accuse Him. 11 And Herod, with his soldiers, treated Him with contempt and scoffed at and ridiculed Him; then, dressing Him up in bright and gorgeous apparel, he sent Him back to Pilate.
12 And that very day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other—[though] they had been at enmity before this.
13 Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 And said to them, You brought this Man before me as One Who was perverting and misleading and [c]turning away and corrupting the people; and behold, after examining Him before you, I have not found any offense (crime or guilt) in this Man in regard to your accusations against Him; 15 No, nor indeed did Herod, for he sent Him back to us; behold, He has done nothing deserving of death. 16 I will therefore chastise Him and [d]deliver Him amended (reformed, taught His lesson) and release Him. 17 [e]For it was necessary for him to release to them one prisoner at the Feast.
18 But they all together raised a deep cry [from the depths of their throats], saying, Away with this Man! Release to us Barabbas! 19 He was a man who had been thrown into prison for raising a riot in the city, and for murder.
20 Once more Pilate called to them, wishing to release Jesus; 21 But they kept shouting out, Crucify, crucify Him!
22 A third time he said to them, Why? What wrong has He done? I have found [no offense or crime or guilt] in Him nothing deserving of death; I will therefore chastise Him [[f]in order to teach Him better] and release Him. 23 But they were insistent and urgent, demanding with loud cries that He should be crucified. And their voices prevailed (accomplished their purpose).
24 And Pilate gave sentence, that what they asked should be done.
25 So he released the man who had been thrown into prison for riot and murder, for whom they continued to ask, but Jesus he delivered up to be done with as they willed. 26 And as they led Him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross and made him carry it behind Jesus.
27 And there accompanied [Jesus] a great multitude of the people, [including] women who bewailed and lamented Him. 28 But Jesus, turning toward them, said, Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming during which they will say, Blessed (happy, fortunate, and [g]to be envied) are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the breasts that have never nursed [babies]! 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us! and to the hills, Cover (conceal, hide) us! 31 For if they do these things when the timber is green, what will happen when it is dry?
32 Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be executed with Him. 33 And when they came to the place which is called The Skull [Latin: Calvary; Hebrew: Golgotha], there they crucified Him, and [along with] the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.
34 And Jesus prayed, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. And they divided His garments and distributed them by casting lots for them.
35 Now the people stood by [[h]calmly and leisurely] watching; but the rulers scoffed and sneered ([i]turned up their noses) at Him, saying, He rescued others [[j]from death]; let Him now rescue Himself, if He is the Christ (the Messiah) of God, His Chosen One!
36 The soldiers also ridiculed and made sport of Him, coming up and offering Him vinegar (a sour wine mixed with water) 37 And saying, If you are the King of the Jews, save (rescue) Yourself [[k]from death].
38 For there was also an inscription above Him [l]in letters of Greek and Latin and Hebrew: This is the King of the Jews.
39 One of the criminals who was suspended kept up a railing at Him, saying, Are You not the Christ (the Messiah)? Rescue Yourself and us [[m]from death]! 40 But the other one reproved him, saying, Do you not even fear God, seeing you yourself are under the same sentence of condemnation and suffering the same penalty? 41 And we indeed suffer it justly, receiving the due reward of our actions; but this Man has done nothing out of the way [nothing [n]strange or eccentric or perverse or unreasonable]. 42 Then he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when You come [o]in Your kingly glory! 43 And He answered him, Truly I tell you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.
44 It was now about the sixth hour (midday), and darkness enveloped the whole land and earth until the ninth hour (about three o’clock in the afternoon), 45 While the sun’s light faded or [p]was darkened; and the curtain [of the Holy of Holies] of the temple was torn in two.
46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit! And with these words, He expired.
47 Now the centurion, having seen what had taken place, [q]recognized God and thanked and praised Him, and said, Indeed, without question, this Man was upright (just and innocent)! 48 And all the throngs that had gathered to see this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned to their homes, beating their breasts. 49 And all the acquaintances of [Jesus] and the women who had followed Him from Galilee stood at a distance and watched these things.
50 Now notice, there was a man named Joseph from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council (the Sanhedrin), and a good (upright, [r]advantageous) man, and righteous (in right standing with God and man), 51 Who had not agreed with or assented to the purpose and action of the others; and he was expecting and waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down and [s]rolled it up in a linen cloth [t]for swathing dead bodies and laid Him in a rock-hewn tomb, where no one had ever yet been laid.
54 It was the day of Preparation [for the Sabbath], and the Sabbath was dawning (approaching). 55 The women who had come with [Jesus] from Galilee followed closely and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they went back and made ready spices and ointments (perfumes). On the Sabbath day they rested in accordance with the commandment.
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, [the women] went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had made ready. 2 And they found the stone rolled back from the tomb,
3 But when they went inside, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 And while they were perplexed and wondering what to do about this, behold, two men in dazzling raiment suddenly stood beside them. 5 And as [the women] were frightened and were bowing their faces to the ground, the men said to them, Why do you look for the living among [those who are] dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen! Remember how He told you while He was still in Galilee 7 That the Son of Man must be given over into the hands of sinful men (men [a]whose way or nature is to act in opposition to God) and be crucified and on the third day rise [[b]from death]. 8 And they remembered His words.
9 And having returned from the tomb, they reported all these things [taken together] to the eleven apostles and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who reported these things to the apostles. 11 But these reports seemed to the men an idle tale ([c]madness, [d]feigned things, [e]nonsense), and they did not believe the women. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; and stooping down and looking in, he saw the linen cloths alone by themselves, and he went away, wondering about and marveling at what had happened.
13 And behold, that very day two of [the disciples] were going to a village called Emmaus, [which is] about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they were talking with each other about all these things that had occurred. 15 And while they were conversing and discussing together, Jesus Himself caught up with them and was already accompanying them. 16 But their eyes were held, so that they did not recognize Him.
17 And He said to them, What is this discussion that you are exchanging ([f]throwing back and forth) between yourselves as you walk along? And they stood still, looking sad and downcast.
18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered Him, Do you alone dwell as a stranger in Jerusalem and not know the things that have occurred there in these days? 19 And He said to them, What [kind of] things? And they said to Him, About Jesus of Nazareth, Who was a Prophet mighty in work and word before God and all the people—20 And how our chief priests and rulers gave Him up to be sentenced to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He Who would redeem and set Israel free. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things occurred. 22 And moreover, some women of our company astounded us and [g]drove us out of our senses. They were at the tomb early [in the morning] 23 But did not find His body; and they returned saying that they had [even] seen a vision of angels, who said that He was alive!
24 So some of those [who were] with us went to the tomb and they found it just as the women had said, but Him they did not see. 25 And [Jesus] said to them, O foolish ones [sluggish in mind, dull of perception] and slow of heart to believe (adhere to and trust in and rely on) everything that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary and [h]essentially fitting that the Christ (the Messiah) should suffer all these things before entering into His glory (His majesty and splendor)? 27 Then beginning with Moses and [throughout] all the Prophets, He went on explaining and interpreting to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning and referring to Himself. 28 Then they drew near the village to which they were going, and He acted as if He would go further. 29 But they urged and insisted, saying to Him, Remain with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is now far spent. So He went in to stay with them.
30 And it occurred that as He reclined at table with them, He took [a loaf of] bread and praised [God] and gave thanks and asked a blessing, and then broke it and was giving it to them 31 When their eyes were [instantly] opened and they [clearly] recognized Him, and He vanished ([i]departed invisibly).
32 And they said to one another, Were not our hearts greatly moved and burning within us while He was talking with us on the road and as He opened and explained to us [the sense of] the Scriptures? 33 And rising up that very hour, they went back to Jerusalem, where they found the Eleven [apostles] gathered together and those who were with them, 34 Who said, The Lord really has risen and has appeared to Simon (Peter)! 35 Then they [themselves] [j]related [in full] what had happened on the road, and how He was known and recognized by them in the breaking of bread.
36 Now while they were talking about this, Jesus Himself took His stand among them and said to them, Peace ([k]freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin) be to you! 37 But they were so startled and terrified that they thought they saw a spirit.
38 And He said to them, Why are you disturbed and troubled, and why do such doubts and questionings arise in your hearts? 39 See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself! Feel and handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see that I have. 40 And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.
41 And while [since] they still could not believe it for sheer joy and marveled, He said to them, Have you anything here to eat? 42 They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, 43 And He took [it] and ate [it] before them. 44 Then He said to them, This is what I told you while I was still with you: everything which is written concerning Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. 45 Then He [thoroughly] opened up their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 And said to them, Thus it is written that the Christ (the Messiah) should suffer and on the third day rise from ([l] among) the dead, 47 And that repentance [with a view to and as the condition of] forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.
49 And behold, I will send forth upon you what My Father has promised; but remain in the city [Jerusalem] until you are clothed with power from on high. 50 Then He conducted them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up His hands, He invoked a blessing on them. 51 And it occurred that while He was blessing them, He parted from them and was taken up into heaven. 52 And they, worshiping Him, went back to Jerusalem with great joy; 53 And they were continually in the temple celebrating with praises and blessing and extolling God. Amen (so be it).
And with heads bowed we whisper the “Amen”
The Gospel accounts of the trials, the torture and the crucifixion of Christ always bring such a strange mix of sadness, grief, and gratefulness when I read them. It seems to me that you cannot simply skim the words and treat them as so many black symbols on white pages. They solicit a response . . . from believers and non-believers. I’ve not met anyone who is neutral where Jesus is concerned. I’ve encountered many who can speak easily about the existence or lack thereof of God, but Christ usually brings about more of a response. And I think that’s the way God intended it.
See, our lives depend—literally—on that response. Romans 3:23 couldn’t be clearer all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. So if that’s the condition we are in when we’re confronted with Christ—and that is the state each of us are in when we first meet Jesus—a choice must be made. Do we stand with our feet firmly planted in Romans 3:23 or, in all humility and repentance, do we step out in faith? Do we begin to live the redeemed Romans 3:24 life?
23 Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory [a]which God bestows and receives. 24 [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus Romans 3:23-24
The Gospel accounts of Christ’s sacrifice, resurrection, and ascension bring us face to face with our own fallen state and cause our hearts to ponder rather it wants to continue the death march or turn to Him and live.
It’s difficult to read the words and see the life of love Christ lived as He moved and walked among us and not be swept away by His extravagant grace. That’s why there really isn’t any neutral. If you don’t respond in awe to the love He offers, then you have to denigrate it, insult it, and try your hardest to make Him less-than.
Christ gave up everything. He left His heavenly home, put on earthly skin and lived and dwelt among the walking dead so that they might live . . . so that we might live.
He demonstrated unfailing, unending love and He expected nothing in return. He held out life to the tomb dwellers . . .He holds out life to us.
The Gospels document the life of unbridled holiness and compassion He lived on this planet only to be met with hostility, rejection, and in the end, humiliation . . . see Sister, that requires a response.
He died the unimaginable death, on full display while they taunted Him, “if you are who you say you are . . .”, “If you really are the Son of God”. . . and the women wept as life left Him. You cannot brush as close to the foot of the cross as the Gospels take us and not have your outside countenance give way to your inner turmoil.
And all of this our Jesus knew when He chose to be our rescue, our redemption . . . our salvation.
Christ offered eternal love and you and I must respond to Grace . . . will we realize the depth of our lost condition and weep at the foot of the cross or will we dismiss the Messiah who wore flesh and shed blood to save us?
So Sweet Reader, I must ask you this, do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you responded and acknowledged the sin in your life? Have you asked for forgiveness in His Name? If not, do it now. If you confess with your mouth and believe with your heart you will be saved . . .
9 Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation. Romans 10:9-10
There is no neutral—what will you do with Jesus?
How will you respond? Beloved, if today is the day of your salvation, do not harden your heart as you may have done in the past . . . talk to Him. Pour your heart out to Him. Confess your need of Him.
I’ve offered a guiding salvation prayer once before on Glimpsed Glory and I’m going to offer it again, but just like I did the first time, I am stressing to you that there are no “official words.” The Father knows the love of the heart offering them and Sister, or Brother if you have chosen to visit, He is well pleased with whatever utterance you give to your love for Him . . .
Oh My Father,
I come to you in the name of Jesus, Your Son, whom You Sent for me. I am a sinner who needs you and I repent of my sinful way of life–I need your forgiveness.
I believe that Your One and Only Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins and Father, I want to turn from my life of sin and live for Him. Your Holy Word promises, that if I confess the Lord and believe in my heart that You raised Jesus from the dead . . .I will be saved.
I believe Your Word Lord. Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word . . . right now I am saved.
Thank you for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. Grace that never leads to license, but rather always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself. Thank you Jesus for living for me, dying for me, and giving me eternal life through Your resurrection.
In Your Blessed, Holy Name I pray. Amen.
Sister, if you’ve spoken that prayer for the first time, welcome to the Kingdom of Life! Death has no hold over you and the angels of God are rejoicing. Please find someone to tell. Get to a Bible-based group of believers. Study the Word of God. Do not be the seed on rocky soil burning hot for a moment and then quickly snuffed out by the troubles of life.
And if this wasn’t your occasion to pray, I’m asking God to continue to confront you with Jesus Christ and to bring about a response of love in your heart. Please Beloved, consider Christ because there is no neutral.
There is no neutral . . . #lessonsfromlent