The Ultimate Sacrifice – Part V

I am going to attempt to get through this to the conclusion, here goes:

We left off last time with the “punishment”.  After they were through with it, Jesus was led back to Pilate.  Can you imagine what he thought when he saw Him and what they had done?  Here his wife was saying that this was a holy man and not to harm him and his soldiers tore Him to pieces.  My eyes are watering already!  Then Pilate asks if this is not enough for them.  But they are stirred up and demand His death by crucifixion.  Pilate must have wanted to disappear.  I actually pity him.  He was in a no win situation, so what does he do?  He offers a choice, the worse alternative that he can think of, release Barabas or Jesus?  Surely he thought that they would never choose a murderer over Him.  As we all know, they did.  Then Pilate orders that water is brought to him and he washes his hands of the responsiblity before he tells his soldiers to do what they want.

Of course Christ knew what was coming all along but I just can’t fathom what He must have been going through in His human form.  After He, God as man, allows them to flog Him mercilessly, He had to have wanted to just get it over with.  He prayed to His Father to be allowed to forego it all.  He was in anguish at the thought of it but deferred to His Father’s will.  Now He stood before those who would have His death, bloody and in unimaginable pain, and knew that it wasn’t over yet!  

Dear Lord, help me to get through this with great clarity so that they can see what I see and feel what You felt.  I am shivering and have goosebumps again.  I can’t explain it to you but the sorrow overwhelms me at times like this.  When I picture all of it and try to convey what I see and feel in my spirit, I am at a loss for the words that will aptly do it.  It is such a complex mixture of grief, pain and joy.  Sounds crazy but yes, there is joy also because I know what He did it for, what the sacrifice He made accomplished for us and what we now have waiting on the other side.  The loving comfort of His arms, peace and sweet serenity! 

So now He has to gather up all the strength that He can to drag a huge, heavy cross through the streets of Jerusalem while they are still whipping Him as He does.  No human being could have ever, ever gone through all of that, only God!  It was superhuman will.  There are many things that I have desired to do and didn’t because I thought it was beyond my ability, like this blog.  I know that I am only able to do this because He strengthens me, this is what He wants me to do and I am not alone.  But He was alone, in His suffering, in His grief, in His foreknowledge.  He wasn’t only going to His death, after that He would have to spend 3 days in hell before He could be finished and return to the Father triumphant. 

I design beaded jewelry and have just received an assortment of crosses that I had ordered.  One in particular is a prefect depiction of what I can see in my mind’s eye.  It shows Jesus on the cross and behind Him is the Father with His arms stretched wide as though He is on the cross with Christ.  They are the neatest design that I’ve ever seen.  I was so excited when I order them.

Okay, I got off point a little with that but I hope and pray that I have given you at least a little food for thought.  I don’t know how to explain to you what I see when I go to the cross with Christ, it’s just too enormous for words.  It encompasses so much and accomplishes everything that we will never really understand until we are joined with Him in heaven, but let us try to at least imagine it for it truly is the Ultimate Sacrifice!  And it is accomplished!

Always remember that Jesus died for us because he loves us!

May God give you eyes to see,
Teresa Marie

The Ultimate Sacrifice – My Pause

You know what, I am going to take a pause for a couple of days before I finish this series.  I can’t explain it any more than to say this:

The last post affected me deeply while I was writing it and that grief that I felt still lingered today when I tried to start it again.  I don’t know if part of it is a flair up of my MS symptoms or not.  One side effect of my disease is depression, but this isn’t really like the type of depression that I have experienced before after a major attack.  It really isn’t a depression at all, it’s more like grieving for a loved one who has passed away.  Like how it hurts to talk about them in the early stages of your grief, sort of.  

Anyway, all I do know is that I am not going to press myself to continue with it at this point.  I promise to finish it soon for any of you out there who have been following along.  Until then…

Always remember that Jesus died for us because He loves us!

May God be with you,
Teresa Marie

The Ultimate Sacrifice – Part IV

So now begins the “punishment”.  It grieves my spirit and soul already with what happened before this point but here is where it gets 10x worse.  I’ve been beaten up before and it is no picnic, but this scourging stuff is beyond my wildest imagination.  I can’t conceive what it takes to whip a person like that either.  You would have to be a sadistic personality I’d think, wouldn’t you?  But what they did to Jesus is more than sadistic, it’s Satanic!!  And this is the part that just blows me away, He, God‘s Son, stood there allowing it to happen to Himself!

What kind of love is that!  The enormity of His passion/compassion for the human race is so very, very humbling to me.  Why, dear Lord, are we not more grateful to You?  It shames me on our behalf.  And what deepens that shame is the way this “modern society” is cutting the LORD our God out of everything of which we used to hold fast to, but don’t let me get started on that right now.  It suffices to say that I am greatly ashamed of us Christians for allowing it to happen!  After He did all of this for us, how can we turn our backs on Him?

On His human side, what courage, what strength of character, what great love, what devotion, what loyalty He displayed by His actions!  They beat Him to death, basically.  I do not for a minute believe that, had He not been God, He would have survived it.  He would have bled to death right then and there.  He was whipped with a cat-o-nine-tails!  Have you ever seen one up close?  I have on one of Mark’s miliary shows.  No wonder His entrails were hanging out.  He was beaten beyond recognition!  Does that not affect you as deeply as it does me?  I CAN NOT CONCEIVE IT!  I mean literally they beat Him to death, ripping His flesh open on both sides of His body!  He’s God and He let them!  I don’t know how to convey what I feel when I say this to you – I am cringing to the point of pain right now and trembling.  The ENORMOUS sacrifice it was and all done for you and I.  My spirit is shrinking back in horror from the thought of it.

Do you remember the horror, pain and devastation you felt when you saw the twin towers falling on 9/11?  Multiply that by a thousand times and maybe you’d be close to seeing how it makes me feel.  Knowing the way that I have sinned against Him in my past and the forgiveness that I have received for it was all made possible by this great act of love by our Savior is beyond humbling.  I don’t have the words, I don’t think there is a word that I could use to describe it.

And then that was not enough for them!  How could it not be?  I just don’t understand that kind of evil hatred of another.  But they wanted more, demanded it!  What do they call that, blood lust or blood thirsty or some such thing?  I have tears in my eyes and goosebumps on my arms.  It is so beyond my comprehension that I can’t tell you.  You may not understand this but I’m going to have to stop here for today because I just can’t continue, I am so grieved by it.  I will try to continue with this tomorrow.

Dear Father, thank You.  Dear Jesus, I’m sorry.  Dear Holy Spirit, soothe me.  Angels in heaven, again today I weep with you.

I pray that the Spirit will open your eyes of understanding as He has mine,
Teresa Marie

The Ultimate Sacrifice – Part III

 What I have been attempting to convey here is the human side of Jesus.  I want us to try to see what it must have been like for Him.  I pray that I will give you some food for thought from a whole new perspective, and do it in an orderly fashion.  Here goes…

When the soldiers take Jesus to stand before the Sanhedrin, He is already beat up.  In His humanity I would think He’d be verging on despair after having requested to “have this cup removed” and being told no.  I sure would have felt abandoned, despondent and a bit scared – especially when I knew what was coming.  And then they proceed to accuse Him of all kinds of sin and blasphemy, the Son of God, the One Perfect Man.  Jesus did not react, didn’t defend Himself against their lies.  He stood silently before everyone, a criminal in their eyes, while He was again punched, slapped and spit on.

 It just blows my mind!  I know that I keep saying that but it’s true.  I would have wanted to call down a shower of fire and brimstone on them and then said, “What were you saying about Me?”  I mean seriously, come on!  He didn’t have any problems displaying His anger with the money changers on the steps of the Temple, so we know that He did get angry.  It would take super-human strength to hold back from hitting them with a couple lightning bolts.

 But He could not do anything that would have swayed from the Father’s will.  He had to take it all for our sins, our guilt and suffer our punishment!  Blessed be Your Name, Jesus!!  I am so very grateful that He did it for me and all of you.

 And if that wasn’t bad enough, He was paraded around Jerusalem from Pontius Pilate to Herod to Pilate again in chains.  How do you chain God?  Only if He allows you too, and He did.  The whole entire time being mocked, ridiculed, spat on some more and beaten.  My Lord, my Lord how did You do it?!

Then Pilate, a Gentile, what about him?  He was doing everything he could to not get involved in this Jewish power struggle that was going on.  So you have the Sanhedrin demanding punishment against Christ for “breaking Jewish law”, the law His Father laid out, and on the other side is your wife telling you not to do anything to Him because this is a holy man!  Then he thinks he has the solution by sending them to Herod but he sends them away saying that Jesus is just some crazy man not a criminal.  I’ll bet Pilate wanted to just disappear when he saw them back in his jurisdiction.  And the whole time all this is going on you have to keep in mind that Ceaser had told him if there was one more uprising in Jerusalem it was his head that was going to roll.  Wow talk about stress!

Now Jesus is standing before him in worse condition than He was before and he wants to appease everybody involved in one felled swoop, so he tells the Jews that he will have Him punished.  That’s it!  I feel certain that Pilate probably thought that would be the end of it and he would be rid of the whole mess after that.  But we know that wasn’t what happened.

Now let’s consider all of this that was going on and the whole time God’s Son, God Himself, who was there at the creation of the world and us is taking it all in silence.  He could have called out an army of angels to come down and wipe every one of them off the face of the earth!  But He didn’t, why?  Because of us who deserved no such thing; us filthy, sin ridden, condemned human beings.  How great is His love for us!  I am so very humbled.  Already up to this point, what an enormous sacrifice this was – the Ultimate Sacrifice.  Think about it.  Until tomorrow….

Thank Your Father for giving us Your Son, thank You Jesus for Your love of us, thank You Holy Spirit for giving Him Your comfort, thank you angels in heaven for weeping at this tragedy of events!  I weep also.

May you see our Lord clearly and what He sacrificed for us,
Teresa Marie

The Ultimate Sacrifice – Progress Update

Hi everybody, it’s the rambler again.  I read the last two posts and will attempt to do this better, therefore I won’t be continuing it for today.  I have a new plan of action.  I am going to type this next part out and have Mark read it before I publish it. 

Sounds like a good plan to me.  I received a comment that did make me feel a little better about the last two parts – thanks Haunted Doc.  At least there one of you out there that could follow my train of thought, ha-ha.

So tomorrow we will carry on with it but on a new page of its own instead of the Daily Thoughts page.  Just look for it under “The Ultimate Sacrifice” category.  See you there and until then…

Always remember that Jesus died for us because He loves us!

May God be with you today and forever,
Teresa Marie

The Ultimate Sacrifice Part II

Did you ever wonder how Jesus could do it, being God and human but only using His mortal capabilities?  No wonder the Father had to send angels to minister to Him!  How frustrating it had to be, I am presuming that He felt everything we feel because of His mortal nature.

So let’s begin with his final days.  He rides into Jerusalem on a donkey.  He is being welcomed, cheered and adored – as what would be fitting for His true Kingship.  It must have been bitter/sweet knowing that their adulation was only momentary and they would turn on Him shortly.  The disciples thought they were on cloud nine I’ll bet.  Little did they know that experience would soon turn to betrayal and abandonment, except for John.  God bless John, the faithful disciple who was there until the bitter end!

Jesus then has the disciple prepare for the last meal that they will share together, ever.  They fellowship as they eat.  I can’t imagine what was going through both Jesus’ and Judas’ minds.  It must have been torment for each in opposite ways.  Think about it, your eating the last meal you will ever have with your friends and all the while knowing that one of them will be stabbing you in the back as soon as your done.  Then He drops the bombshell and  tells them of the betrayal.  I think it’s odd that they asked, “Who?  Is it I?”  That is odd to me.  Did they have so little confidence in their love and loyalty that they had to ask?  Well, obviously they knew themselves pretty well.  He tells Judas to go do what he had to.

Now Peter, good old Peter is vowing his undying love.  I would have wanted to smack him.  The sorrow that Jesus would have had to have felt when he tells him, basically, “No Peter, you won’t stick with Me and you definitely won’t die for Me.  In a short while you are going to be cowering away from the crowds and saying that you don’t even know Me!”  Wow, that blows me away.  After we have eaten, it’s time to go pray. 

In His humanity, Jesus is suffering greatly.  He knows exactly what is coming.  He tells His Father, “Hey Dad, I’ve decided that I really don’t want to have to do this!  Please don’t make Me.  Please there’s surely got to be another way to get them saved!”  And the Father comes back with, “No, Son, this is the only way that it can be accomplished.  If you don’t finish what you’ve started, they shall remain steeped in their sins and condemned.”  Oh the anguish, the brokenness and the resignation must have come down on Him like boulder when He said, “Alright Dad, I guess I’ll have to do what You want.  I said that I would.”  And God says back, “Good.  Don’t worry Son, it will only hurt for a minute and then it will all be over with,” just like we tell our kids when they have a boo-boo or get a shot,  “I’ll send You some angels to soothe and strengthen You.  I love You, Son.”  And all the while the disciples that You took with You are already letting You down, including Peter.

And then here they come to arrest You.  Where did Peter’s boldness come from here when he had none later?  Odd isn’t it.  He cuts off the ear of a soldier and Jesus turns around and heals him while telling you to put your sword down.  Then they take You, the Son of God Almighty, in chains and beat You every step of the way.  Cursing You, spitting on You, taunting You and You can’t do a thing in Your defense!  My Lord in heaven, how did You ever do it?!  One word out of His mouth and they would have been toasted!  They would have had a one way ticket straight to hell on the express train.  Wow, wow, wow!  It just boggles the imagination.  Our minds are just too finite to grasp the whole picture, but take a shot! 

I said that I would do this in two parts but obviously, if don’t stop here for today, this will be way too long.  I haven’t even got Him to court yet.  I hope you are enjoying reading this portrayal of events.  I pray that I’ve given you some serious food for thought.  We will continue here tomorrow…

Always remember that Jesus died for us because He LOVES us!

Go with God,
Teresa Marie

The Ultimate Sacrifice Part I

Today I want to discuss what the ultimate sacrifice is – giving up your life to save another’s.  My husband is a history buff.  We have watched a lot of war movies; we have 2 History channels and a Military channel on our satellite package; for Christmas 2 years ago I bought him the “Band of Brothers” boxed set and I’ve probably watched “Saving Private Ryan” at least a dozen times.

I can’t think of any greater expression of love for your fellow-man than to lose your life to save another’s, can you?  There are two things that will make me cry every time without fail and that is one of them, the other is seeing someone else cry.  (Okay, I cry at Disney movies also but that’s not the same.)  I guess I am what you would call a “sympathetic soul”.  I feel the pain of others.  Like with “Band of Brothers”, when the elderly gentlemen speak about their experiences that are portrayed in the movie, just let one of them get teary and you can bet that Mark will be off to get me some tissue.

I can’t think of anything else that, I believe, would get you to heaven faster than “the ultimate sacrifice”.  And that brings me to my point for the day, Jesus Christ.  You know, every time I think of the magnitude of His dying on the cross it just blows my mind.  I don’t feel that it is even possible for our human mind to grasp it.  So I am going to do this in 2 parts.  Here’s what I contemplate in regards to our Savior:

I’m Jesus, therefore I AM – God in the Trinity.  I’m watching mankind from heaven; in all its frailty, steeped in sin, condemned to suffer in the lake of fire.  God the Father comes to Me and says, “Look at Our children down there.  Only You can save them from eternal damnation, will You do it?  Will you lay down Your Divinity, become human, suffer as a human and lay down that life for them?”   And Jesus, His heart-broken for us says, “Yes Father, I will do it.”

Just let that picture set in, have you got it?  But that’s not a fraction of this sacrifice.  We say all the time that we will do something and then not do it.  That’s why we have the expression “easier said than done.”

Okay, so Jesus puts off His Divinity and becomes a human baby, born of a virgin.  Let’s pause here a second.  Have you ever wondered about Mary and her virginity?  Why is that so important?  (I don’t know if I’ve heard this somewhere or if the Holy Spirit has put this in my spirit but) I believe that she had to be a virgin so that no stain of sin would be anywhere close to Christ.  He had to be born perfectly pure to do what must be done for us.

Jesus grows up as a human child does.  We don’t know anything about his early years so we have to make a few assumptions in regards to that.  Now He is a man and time is growing short.  He must find His disciples, teach them all that He can cram into their heads (which is a monumental task since they don’t get half of what He is saying) and then prepare to die.  Wow, I wonder how many times He wished that He could draw on His Divine nature to make it through this filthy, sin ridden world. 

I want to stop here for today and let you meditate on what has been said thus far.  I am trying to break this down to our human understanding as best as I can.  There is no way possible to truly do that, but let’s give it a shot.  If we can even grasp a tenth of it, I’d say we’re doing pretty good.  So, until tomorrow…

Always remember that Jesus died for us because He loves us!

May the Holy Spirit open our eyes of understanding,
Teresa Marie