Lessons from Lent: Day Seventeen

9 Mar

 

creation swap lessons from lent coffee cup Kelly Sikkema 22940

An Explanation of Lessons from Lent

In the next 40 days (24 now because you have already accomplished sixteen), 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.

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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!

Day Seventeen

March 9, 2015 ~~ John 15-21

Amplified Bible

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.

John 15

I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.

Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.

You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you [the teachings I have discussed with you].

Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.

I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.

If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned.

If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.

When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.

I have loved you, [just] as the Father has loved Me; abide in My love [[a]continue in His love with Me].

10 If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His love.

11 I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing.

12 This is My commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you.

13 No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends.

14 You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do.

15 I do not call you servants (slaves) any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing (working out). But I have called you My friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from My Father. [I have revealed to you everything that I have learned from Him.]

16 You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have planted you], that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit may be lasting [that it may remain, abide], so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as [b]presenting all that I Am], He may give it to you.

17 This is what I command you: that you love one another.

18 If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you.

19 If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world [no longer one with it], but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you.

20 Remember that I told you, A servant is not greater than his master [is not superior to him]. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word and obeyed My teachings, they will also keep and obey yours.

21 But they will do all this to you [inflict all this suffering on you] because of [your bearing] My name and on My account, for they do not know or understand the One Who sent Me.

22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin [would be blameless]; but now they have no excuse for their sin.

23 Whoever hates Me also hates My Father.

24 If I had not done (accomplished) among them the works which no one else ever did, they would not be guilty of sin. But [the fact is] now they have both seen [these works] and have hated both Me and My Father.

25 But [this is so] that the word written in their Law might be fulfilled, They hated Me without a cause.

26 But when the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth Who comes (proceeds) from the Father, He [Himself] will testify regarding Me.

27 But you also will testify and be My witnesses, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

John 16

I have told you all these things, so that you should not be offended (taken unawares and falter, or be caused to stumble and fall away). [I told you to keep you from being scandalized and repelled.]

They will put you out of (expel you from) the synagogues; but an hour is coming when whoever kills you will think and claim that he has offered service to God.

And they will do this because they have not known the Father or Me.

But I have told you these things now, so that when they occur you will remember that I told you of them. I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.

But now I am going to Him Who sent Me, yet none of you asks Me, Where are You going?

But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts [taken complete possession of them].

However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you].

And when He comes, He will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God) and about judgment:

About sin, because they do not believe in Me [trust in, rely on, and adhere to Me];

10 About righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God), because I go to My Father, and you will see Me no longer;

11 About judgment, because the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world [Satan] is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him.

12 I have still many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them or to take them upon you or to grasp them now.

13 But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future].

14 He will honor and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.

15 Everything that the Father has is Mine. That is what I meant when I said that He [the Spirit] will take the things that are Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.

16 In a little while you will no longer see Me, and again after a short while you will see Me.

17 So some of His disciples questioned among themselves, What does He mean when He tells us, In a little while you will no longer see Me, and again after a short while you will see Me, and, Because I go to My Father?

18 What does He mean by a little while? We do not know or understand what He is talking about.

19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask Him, so He said to them, Are you wondering and inquiring among yourselves what I meant when I said, In a little while you will no longer see Me, and again after a short while you will see Me?

20 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that you shall weep and grieve, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.

21 A woman, when she gives birth to a child, has grief (anguish, agony) because her time has come. But when she has delivered the child, she no longer remembers her pain (trouble, anguish) because she is so glad that a man (a child, a human being) has been born into the world.

22 So for the present you are also in sorrow (in distress and depressed); but I will see you again and [then] your hearts will rejoice, and no one can take from you your joy (gladness, delight).

23 And when that time comes, you will ask nothing of Me [you will need to ask Me no questions]. I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that My Father will grant you whatever you ask in My Name [as [a]presenting all that I Am].

24 Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My Name [as [b]presenting all that I Am]; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete.

25 I have told you these things in parables (veiled language, allegories, dark sayings); the hour is now coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures of speech, but I shall tell you about the Father in plain words and openly (without reserve).

26 At that time you will ask (pray) in My Name; and I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf [for it will be unnecessary].

27 For the Father Himself [tenderly] loves you because you have loved Me and have believed that I came out from the Father.

28 I came out from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.

29 His disciples said, Ah, now You are speaking plainly to us and not in parables (veiled language and figures of speech)!

30 Now we know that You are acquainted with everything and have no need to be asked questions. Because of this we believe that you [really] came from God.

31 Jesus answered them, Do you now believe? [Do you believe it at last?]

32 But take notice, the hour is coming, and it has arrived, when you will all be dispersed and scattered, every man to his own home, leaving Me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.

33 I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

John 17

When Jesus had spoken these things, He lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, Father, the hour has come. Glorify and exalt and honor and magnify Your Son, so that Your Son may glorify and extol and honor and magnify You.

[Just as] You have granted Him power and authority over all flesh (all humankind), [now glorify Him] so that He may give eternal life to all whom You have given Him.

And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent.

I have glorified You down here on the earth by completing the work that You gave Me to do.

And now, Father, glorify Me along with Yourself and restore Me to such majesty and honor in Your presence as I had with You before the world existed.

I have manifested Your Name [I have revealed Your very Self, Your real Self] to the people whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me, and they have obeyed and kept Your word.

Now [at last] they know and understand that all You have given Me belongs to You [is really and truly Yours].

For the [uttered] words that You gave Me I have given them; and they have received and accepted [them] and have come to know positively and in reality [to believe with absolute assurance] that I came forth from Your presence, and they have believed and are convinced that You did send Me.

I am praying for them. I am not praying (requesting) for the world, but for those You have given Me, for they belong to You.

10 All [things that are] Mine are Yours, and all [things that are] Yours belong to Me; and I am glorified in (through) them. [They have done Me honor; in them My glory is achieved.]

11 And [now] I am no more in the world, but these are [still] in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep in Your Name [[a]in the knowledge of Yourself] those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We [are one].

12 While I was with them, I kept and preserved them in Your Name [[b]in the knowledge and worship of You]. Those You have given Me I guarded and protected, and not one of them has perished or is lost except the son of perdition [Judas Iscariot—the one who is now doomed to destruction, destined to be lost], that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

13 And now I am coming to You; I say these things while I am still in the world, so that My joy may be made full and complete and perfect in them [that they may experience My delight fulfilled in them, that My enjoyment may be perfected in their own souls, that they may have My gladness within them, filling their hearts].

14 I have given and delivered to them Your word (message) and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world [do not belong to the world], just as I am not of the world.

15 I do not ask that You will take them out of the world, but that You will keep and protect them from the evil one.

16 They are not of the world (worldly, belonging to the world), [just] as I am not of the world.

17 Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth.

18 Just as You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

19 And so for their sake and on their behalf I sanctify (dedicate, consecrate) Myself, that they also may be sanctified (dedicated, consecrated, made holy) in the Truth.

20 Neither for these alone do I pray [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) Me through their word and teaching,

21 That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.

22 I have given to them the glory and honor which You have given Me, that they may be one [even] as We are one:

23 I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and [definitely] recognize that You sent Me and that You have loved them [even] as You have loved Me.

24 Father, I desire that they also whom You have entrusted to Me [as Your gift to Me] may be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory, which You have given Me [Your love gift to Me]; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

25 O just and righteous Father, although the world has not known You and has failed to recognize You and has never acknowledged You, I have known You [continually]; and these men understand and know that You have sent Me.

26 I have made Your Name known to them and revealed Your character and Your very [c]Self, and I will continue to make [You] known, that the love which You have bestowed upon Me may be in them [felt in their hearts] and that I [Myself] may be in them.

John 18

Having said these things, Jesus went out with His disciples beyond (across) the winter torrent of the Kidron [in the ravine]. There was a garden there, which He and His disciples entered.

And Judas, who was betraying Him and delivering Him up, also knew the place, because Jesus had often retired there with His disciples.

So Judas, obtaining and taking charge of the band of soldiers and some guards (attendants) of the high priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.

Then Jesus, knowing all that was about to befall Him, went out to them and said, Whom are you seeking? [Whom do you want?]

They answered Him, Jesus the Nazarene. Jesus said to them, I am He. Judas, who was betraying Him, was also standing with them.

When Jesus said to them, I am He, they went backwards (drew back, lurched backward) and fell to the ground.

Then again He asked them, Whom are you seeking? And they said, Jesus the Nazarene.

Jesus answered, I told you that I am He. So, if you want Me [if it is only I for Whom you are looking], let these men go their way.

Thus what He had said was fulfilled and verified, Of those whom You have given Me, I have not lost even one.

10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.

11 Therefore, Jesus said to Peter, Put the sword [back] into the sheath! The cup which My Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?

12 So the troops and their captain and the guards (attendants) of the Jews seized Jesus and bound Him,

13 And they brought Him first to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was the high priest that year.

14 It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews that it was expedient and for their welfare that one man should die for (instead of, in behalf of) the people.

15 Now Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. And that disciple was known to the high priest, and so he entered along with Jesus into the court of the palace of the high priest;

16 But Peter was standing outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the maid who kept the door and brought Peter inside.

17 Then the maid who was in charge at the door said to Peter, You are not also one of the disciples of this [a]Man, are you? He said, I am not!

18 Now the servants and the guards (the attendants) had made a fire of coals, for it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. And Peter was with them, standing and warming himself.

19 Then the high priest questioned Jesus about His disciples and about His teaching.

20 Jesus answered him, I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue and in the temple [area], where the Jews [habitually] congregate (assemble); and I have spoken nothing secretly.

21 Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard [Me] what I said to them. See! They know what I said.

22 But when He said this, one of the attendants who stood by struck Jesus, saying, Is that how [b]You answer the high priest?

23 Jesus replied, If I have said anything wrong [if I have spoken abusively, if there was evil in what I said] tell what was wrong with it. But if I spoke rightly and properly, why do you strike Me?

24 Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

25 But Simon Peter [still] was standing and was warming himself. They said to him, You are not also one of His disciples, are you? He denied it and said, I am not!

26 One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter cut off, said, Did I not see you in the garden with Him?

27 And again Peter denied it. And immediately a rooster crowed.

28 Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium (judgment hall, governor’s palace). And it was early. They themselves did not enter the Praetorium, that they might not be defiled (become ceremonially unclean), but might be fit to eat the Passover [supper].

29 So Pilate went out to them and said, What accusation do you bring against this [c]Man?

30 They retorted, If He were not an evildoer (criminal), we would not have handed Him over to you.

31 Pilate said to them, Take Him yourselves and judge and sentence and punish Him according to your [own] law. The Jews answered, It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.

32 This was to fulfill the word which Jesus had spoken to show (indicate, predict) by what manner of death He was to die.

33 So Pilate went back again into the judgment hall and called Jesus and asked Him, Are You the King of the Jews?

34 Jesus replied, Are you saying this of yourself [on your own initiative], or have others told you about Me?

35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Your [own] people and nation and their chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?

36 Jesus answered, My kingdom (kingship, royal power) belongs not to this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My followers would have been fighting to keep Me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, My kingdom is not from here (this world); [it has no such origin or source].

37 Pilate said to Him, Then You are a King? Jesus answered, You say it! [You speak correctly!] For I am a King. [Certainly I am a King!] This is why I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the Truth. Everyone who is of the Truth [who is a friend of the Truth, who belongs to the Truth] hears and listens to My voice.

38 Pilate said to Him, What is Truth? On saying this he went out to the Jews again and told them, I find no fault in Him.

39 But it is your custom that I release one [prisoner] for you at the Passover. So shall I release for you the King of the Jews?

40 Then they all shouted back again, Not Him [not this Man], but Barabbas! Now Barabbas was a robber.

John 19

So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged (flogged, whipped) Him.

And the soldiers, having twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and threw a purple cloak around Him.

And they kept coming to Him and saying, Hail, King of the Jews! [Good health to you! Peace to you! Long life to you, King of the Jews!] And they struck Him with the palms of their hands.

Then Pilate went out again and said to them, See, I bring Him out to you, so that you may know that I find no fault (crime, cause for accusation) in Him.

So Jesus came out wearing the thorny crown and purple cloak, and Pilate said to them, See, [here is] the [a]Man!

When the chief priests and attendants (guards) saw Him, they cried out, Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Pilate said to them, Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no fault (crime) in Him.

The Jews answered him, We have a law, and according to that law He should die, because He has claimed and made Himself out to be the Son of God.

So, when Pilate heard this said, he was more alarmed and awestricken and afraid than before.

He went into the judgment hall again and said to Jesus, Where are You from? [To what world do You belong?] But Jesus did not answer him.

10 So Pilate said to Him, Will You not speak [even] to me? Do You not know that I have power (authority) to release You and I have power to crucify You?

11 Jesus answered, You would not have any power or authority whatsoever against (over) Me if it were not given you from above. For this reason the sin and guilt of the one who delivered Me over to you is greater.

12 Upon this, Pilate wanted (sought, was anxious) to release Him, but the Jews kept shrieking, If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar! Anybody who makes himself [out to be] a king sets himself up against Caesar [is a rebel against the emperor]!

13 Hearing this, Pilate brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called the Pavement [the Mosaic Pavement, the Stone Platform]—in Hebrew, Gabbatha.

14 Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover, and it was about the sixth hour (about twelve o’clock noon). He said to the Jews, See, [here is] your King!

15 But they shouted, Away with Him! Away with Him! Crucify Him! Pilate said to them, Crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar!

16 Then he delivered Him over to them to be crucified.

17 And they took Jesus and led [Him] away; so He went out, bearing His own cross, to the spot called The Place of the Skull—in Hebrew it is called Golgotha.

18 There they crucified Him, and with Him two others—one on either side and Jesus between them.

19 And Pilate also wrote a title (an inscription on a placard) and put it on the cross. And the writing was: Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.

20 And many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, [and] in Greek.

21 Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, Do not write, The King of the Jews, but, He said, I am King of the Jews.

22 Pilate replied, What I have written, I have written.

23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, one share for each soldier, and also the tunic (the long shirtlike undergarment). But the tunic was seamless, woven [in one piece] from the top throughout.

24 So they said to one another, Let us not tear it, but let us cast lots to decide whose it shall be. This was to fulfill the Scripture, They parted My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots. So the soldiers did these things.

25 But by the cross of Jesus stood His mother, His mother’s sister, Mary the [wife] of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

26 So Jesus, seeing His mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing near, said to His mother, [[b]Dear] woman, See, [here is] your son!

27 Then He said to the disciple, See, [here is] your mother! And from that hour, the disciple took her into his own [keeping, own home].

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished (ended), said in fulfillment of the Scripture, I thirst.

29 A vessel (jar) full of sour wine (vinegar) was placed there, so they put a sponge soaked in the sour wine on [a stalk, reed of] hyssop, and held it to [His] mouth.

30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, It is finished! And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

31 Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from hanging on the cross on the Sabbath—for that Sabbath was a very solemn and important one—the Jews requested Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away.

32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first one, and of the other who had been crucified with Him.

33 But when they came to Jesus and they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.

34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came (flowed) out.

35 And he who saw it (the eyewitness) gives this evidence, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he tells the truth, that you may believe also.

36 For these things took place, that the Scripture might be fulfilled (verified, carried out), Not one of His bones shall be broken;

37 And again another Scripture says, They shall look on Him Whom they have pierced.

38 And after this, Joseph of Arimathea—a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews—asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. And Pilate granted him permission. So he came and took away His body.

39 And Nicodemus also, who first had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, [weighing] about a hundred pounds.

40 So they took Jesus’ body and bound it in linen cloths with the spices (aromatics), as is the Jews’ customary way to prepare for burial.

41 Now there was a garden in the place where He was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever [yet] been laid.

42 So there, because of the Jewish day of Preparation [and] since the tomb was near by, they laid Jesus.

John 20

Now on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been removed from (lifted out of the groove across the entrance of) the tomb.

So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, whom Jesus [tenderly] loved, and said to them, They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him!

Upon this, Peter and the other disciple came out and they went toward the tomb.

And they came running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and arrived at the tomb first.

And stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not enter.

Then Simon Peter came up, following him, and went into the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there;

But the burial napkin (kerchief) which had been around Jesus’ head, was not lying with the other linen cloths, but was [still] [a]rolled up (wrapped round and round) in a place by itself.

Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, went in too; and he saw and was convinced and believed.

For as yet they did not know (understand) the statement of Scripture that He must rise again from the dead.

10 Then the disciples went back again to their homes (lodging places).

11 But Mary remained standing outside the tomb sobbing. As she wept, she stooped down [and looked] into the tomb.

12 And she saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

13 And they said to her, Woman, why are you sobbing? She told them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.

14 On saying this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing [there], but she did not know (recognize) that it was Jesus.

15 Jesus said to her, Woman, why are you crying [so]? For Whom are you looking? Supposing that it was the gardener, she replied, Sir, if you carried Him away from here, tell me where you have put Him and I will take Him away.

16 Jesus said to her, Mary! Turning around she said to Him in Hebrew, Rabboni!—which means Teacher or Master.

17 Jesus said to her, Do not cling to Me [do not hold Me], for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brethren and tell them, I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.

18 Away came Mary Magdalene, bringing the disciples news (word) that she had seen the Lord and that He had said these things to her.

19 Then on that same first day of the week, when it was evening, though the disciples were behind closed doors for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace to you!

20 So saying, He showed them His hands and His side. And when the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy (delight, exultation, ecstasy, rapture).

21 Then Jesus said to them again, Peace to you! [Just] as the Father has sent Me forth, so I am sending you.

22 And having said this, He breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit!

23 [Now having received the Holy Spirit, and being [b]led and directed by Him] if you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of anyone, they are retained.

24 But Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.

25 So the other disciples kept telling him, We have seen the Lord! But he said to them, Unless I see in His hands the marks made by the nails and put my finger into the nail prints, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe [it].

26 Eight days later His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, though they were behind closed doors, and stood among them and said, Peace to you!

27 Then He said to Thomas, Reach out your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand and place [it] in My side. Do not be faithless and incredulous, but [stop your unbelief and] believe!

28 Thomas answered Him, My Lord and my God!

29 Jesus said to him, Because you have seen Me, Thomas, do you now believe (trust, have faith)? Blessed and happy and [c]to be envied are those who have never seen Me and yet have believed and adhered to and trusted and relied on Me.

30 There are also many other signs and miracles which Jesus performed in the presence of the disciples which are not written in this book.

31 But these are written (recorded) in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ (the Anointed One), the Son of God, and that through believing and cleaving to and trusting and relying upon Him you may have life through (in) His name [[d]through Who He is].

John 21

After this, Jesus let Himself be seen and revealed [Himself] again to the disciples, at the Sea of Tiberias. And He did it in this way:

There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas, called the Twin, and Nathanael from Cana of Galilee, also the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples.

Simon Peter said to them, I am going fishing! They said to him, And we are coming with you! So they went out and got into the boat, and throughout that night they caught nothing.

Morning was already breaking when Jesus came to the beach and stood there. However, the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.

So Jesus said to them, [a]Boys (children), you do not have any meat (fish), do you? [Have you caught anything to eat along with your bread?] They answered Him, No!

And He said to them, Cast the net on the right side of the boat and you will find [some]. So they cast the net, and now they were not able to haul it in for such a big catch (mass, quantity) of fish [was in it].

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, It is the Lord! Simon Peter, hearing him say that it was the Lord, put (girded) on his upper garment (his fisherman’s coat, his outer tunic)—for he was stripped [for work]—and sprang into the sea.

And the other disciples came in the small boat, for they were not far from shore, only some hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish.

When they got out on land (the beach), they saw a fire of coals there and fish lying on it [cooking], and bread.

10 Jesus said to them, Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.

11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net to land, full of large fish, 153 of them; and [though] there were so many of them, the net was not torn.

12 Jesus said to them, Come [and] have breakfast. But none of the disciples ventured or dared to ask Him, Who are You? because they [well] knew that it was the Lord.

13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so also [with] the fish.

14 This was now the third time that Jesus revealed Himself (appeared, was manifest) to the disciples after He had risen from the dead.

15 When they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these [others do—with reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion, as one loves the Father]? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You [that I have deep, instinctive, personal affection for You, as for a close friend]. He said to him, Feed My lambs.

16 Again He said to him the second time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion, as one loves the Father]? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You [that I have a deep, instinctive, personal affection for You, as for a close friend]. He said to him, Shepherd (tend) My sheep.

17 He said to him the third time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with a deep, instinctive, personal affection for Me, as for a close friend]? Peter was grieved (was saddened and hurt) that He should ask him the third time, Do you love Me? And he said to Him, Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You [that I have a deep, instinctive, personal affection for You, as for a close friend]. Jesus said to him, Feed My sheep.

18 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, when you were young you girded yourself [put on your own belt or girdle] and you walked about wherever you pleased to go. But when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will put a girdle around you and carry you where you do not wish to go.

19 He said this to indicate by what kind of death Peter would glorify God. And after this, He said to him, Follow Me!

20 But Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved, following—the one who also had leaned back on His breast at the supper and had said, Lord, who is it that is going to betray You?

21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, Lord, what about this man?

22 Jesus said to him, If I want him to stay (survive, live) until I come, what is that to you? [What concern is it of yours?] You follow Me!

23 So word went out among the brethren that this disciple was not going to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not going to die, but, If I want him to stay (survive, live) till I come, what is that to you?

24 It is this same disciple who is bearing witness to these things and who has recorded (written) them; and we [well] know that his testimony is true.

25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did. If they should be all recorded one by one [in detail], I suppose that even the world itself could not contain (have room for) the books that would be written.

With a heart filled with love, the Women of God declare the grateful “Amen”

#lessonsfromlent

Christ never leaves a thing unfinished and never shrinks back from a tough situation. He’s always willing to be the One who cares about us enough to look at the difficult things and bring them into the open so they don’t haunt us. He wraps our hand in His and with the grip of love tight upon us He leads us to take on those less-than moments so we can leave them behind.

That’s the very place we find Peter in the final chapter of John. Christ has him in the grasp of love and takes him back to a place of remorse, regret, and bitterness. It isn’t for Jesus that Peter needs to lift his eyes and stare squarely at his actions . . . it’s for Peter.

Christ does not take one bit of joy in seeing the ones He calls friends experience pain and we can be certain that if He allows it into our lives it has a purpose. And just as surely as we can be certain that pain is not simply for pain’s sake we can know without a doubt that no matter how difficult it may be He will not hesitate to take us through it if healing is on the other side.

In Luke 5 (Lessons from Lent: Day Ten) we found the fishermen empty handed after a night of intense labor. They had given up and come in to wash their nets when they encountered Jesus. At His word they rowed out to the deep water and came back with a haul none of them could have imagined. Look at Peter’s reaction to the bursting nets—

But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. Luke 5:8

Consider for a moment the many ways Simon Peter lived up to that statement from its utterance to the closing chapter of John. Remember him as Christ was being mocked, spit on, and tortured . . . standing by the fire warming himself—

Now the servants and the guards (the attendants) had made a fire of coals, for it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. And Peter was with them, standing and warming himself. John 18:18

Remember him three times denying being a disciple of Jesus, shouting down curses on himself rather than claim Jesus as his own . . . and then the rooster crowd—

74 Then Peter began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, I do not even know the Man! And at that moment a rooster crowed. Matthew 26:74

Remember him weeping as the reality of it all sat heavy on his heart . . . Simon Peter was indeed the sinful man he had declared himself to be—

And Peter remembered Jesus’ words, when He had said, Before a single rooster crows, you will deny and disown Me three times. And he went outside and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:75

How many times do you think Simon Peter mulled those things over in his head after the crucifixion? How much shame do you think covered his heart when he let his mind drift back?

As someone who has had mulling down to an art form and has worn shame and reproach like a blanket, my guess is that those memories haunted him. My guess is that they were always just a mindless minute away, waiting to grab hold of his thoughts if he allowed his brain to be unoccupied for even a second.

Sister, there is no present-time meditating on the heart of God, no in-this-moment full engagement in worship, and certainly no live-in-the-grace-of-this-day walking with your head held high in the Name of Christ Jesus for someone who is wearing the shame of the past . . . someone who is haunted by the knowledge that they were right about themselves all along.

Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. Luke 5:8

Don’t you have to wonder if that’s the place Peter was living when he announced he was going back out on the lake—

Simon Peter said to them, I am going fishing! They said to him, And we are coming with you! So they went out and got into the boat, and throughout that night they caught nothing. John 21:3

And they returned with empty nets—a whole night of labor and nothing to show for their efforts. Wasn’t this where they began? Did he remember? Did his mind take the opportunity to replay the teaching Jesus had shared those many days ago as Simon Peter had washed his nets nearby?

Was there a familiarity when they went back out to cast the nets and pulled the “big catch” in again?

And He said to them, Cast the net on the right side of the boat and you will find [some]. So they cast the net, and now they were not able to haul it in for such a big catch (mass, quantity) of fish [was in it]. John 21:6

And was Peter’s vision so clouded and his mind so preoccupied with the things he wished he’d done differently, the things he might like to forget, that he didn’t recognize Jesus? Peter was the very one who had declared him to be the Christ but this time, it’s John who points out the Messiah.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, It is the Lord! Simon Peter, hearing him say that it was the Lord, put (girded) on his upper garment (his fisherman’s coat, his outer tunic)—for he was stripped [for work]—and sprang into the sea. John 21:6-7

Peter was quick to “spring in to the sea” but don’t you wonder Beloved if the last time he had jumped out of the boat and sunk in doubt was rolling in his brain?

Was he mulling? Was he remembering when He got to shore and there was Jesus, with His nail-scarred hands, waiting by a fire of coals . . .

When they got out on land (the beach), they saw a fire of coals there and fish lying on it [cooking], and bread. John 21:9

Might it be that the fire of coals from the courtyard, surrounded by the enemies of Christ, flickered through Simon Peter’s mind?

While they were gathered on the beach and Christ was serving them fish and bread, the same meal He had multiplied to feed the thousands, did Peter think back to the last supper they had shared? Did he remember Christ breaking the bread and declaring it to be His Body? If Peter allowed himself to go there he certainly allowed himself to hear the words of Christ echo in his ears . . .

37 Peter said to Him, Lord, . . . I will lay down my life for You. 38 Jesus answered, Will you [really] lay down your life for Me? I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me [completely disown Me] three times. John 13:37-38

Were those the memories in Peter’s mind? . . .three times I denied Him . . . “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

I’m pretty sure that’s the place my own heart would’ve been visiting. And I would’ve tried all manner of things to make those thoughts flee from my mind but chasing them off by whatever means does nothing to keep them from returning.

But Christ would not let Peter experience the pain with no purpose so He reached out with a heart filled with mercy and began to lead Peter toward healing . . .

Do you love me?—ONE (I don’t know the Man!)

Do you love me?—TWO (I’m not His disciple!)

Do . . .you . . . love . . .me?—THREE (I swear I do not know the Man!)

And the same Peter who wept at the sound of the rooster, sits by the fire of coals with His Messiah and says . . .

“Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You [that I have a deep, instinctive, personal affection for You, as for a close friend].” John 21:17

And the Lover of Peter’s Soul replies, “Feed My Sheep.”

Imagine the tenderness of those words as they fell from the mouth of the Good Shepherd onto Peter’s heart. He was not excluded from the work of the Teacher, he was not asked to give back the keys to the kingdom, . . . No, Peter had been restored. The Messiah had held tight to Peter and walked Him through the pain so he could experience the healing. He had broken the power of the past and brought Peter into a beautiful present.

Girlfriend, Christ loves us too much to leave us in a cycle of shame and defeat. It’s not who He is. He will not let His children wallow in the despair of their less-than past when He has bought the abundant present for them. There is no sin too powerful for Christ to overcome and no pain so searing that He cannot heal it. He will not shy away from the confrontation that is necessary for the restoration and He will not let our guilt be greater than His grace.

creation swap fire 6638_Campfire ribbet

 Our guilt can never be greater than His grace. . . . #lessonsfromlent

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