March 18, 2015

Read: Philippians 2:5-8

At Christmas we celebrate and worship God in a manger.  At Easter we celebrate and worship the man, Jesus, on a cross, in a tomb, and returning from the dead at the resurrection.  Though it is hard, or even impossible, for us to understand or explain how or why God  would come into the world He had created to die for His created ones, we accept it by faith and thank Him for it.

Can you even imagine the emotional agony of the cross for Jesus?  It was not just the physical pain of crucifixion that our Lord suffered, but also the pain of being, at that time, forsaken by His Father because He had become the very embodiment of sin for the whole world. Have you ever experienced rejection by anyone, especially someone whom you loved?  What was that like?  Was it not a wounding that brought both emotional and mental anguish?  That would be just a small taste of what Jesus tasted for us at Calvary.  Even creation reacted by turning daylight into darkness!          

What part would you and I have played had we been there in person?  We were, you know.  It was for our sin He died.  I cry every time I sing the chorus that says: "...ashamed, I hear my mocking voice cry out among the scoffers…"  What about you?  Do you think that you had a part in causing Him the pain, and shame, and agony that He experienced on that Friday two thousand and fifteen years ago?            

Lord Jesus, thank You for enduring the cross on my behalf, while despising the shame. You endured  out of obedience, looking forward to the prize of eternal glory.  May I, too, be willing to obey and persevere for the reward set before me.  AMEN.     

Pray:  

Adoration: God is holy, mighty, gracious, and merciful. Spend time declaring your love for Him and expressing your thoughts of praise and worship.  

Confession: Ask God to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.  

Thanksgiving: Express your thankfulness to God for the blessings He has given you. When we consider that we deserve punishment because of our sinfulness, and instead God gives to us His love and mercy, our only response should be one of thankfulness.  

Supplication: Petition God for spiritual insight and understanding of His Word.  Ask Him to help you know what is His direction and purpose for your life.  Intercede for other believers, personal friends, those in ministry and those who are oppressed and in need. Offer prayers for your activities for this day and any special concerns you might have.