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Posts Tagged ‘John 10’

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“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day
with no mistakes in it yet?” 

~ L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables

   – – – – – –

This is a hopeful thought as I sit to write on this quiet, blue morning before the world begins to spin faster and dictate my day.  In some ways last year was a challenging one for Dana and I (and for some of you, too) and sometimes it’s easier to believe that our mistakes lie in wait for us in the next day or the next year.

 

To some extent this is true; we all bare the imprint of our fallen parents and to walk without error is not possible.  But to walk without hope is the domain of those who have not seen the glory of the Lord in the land of the living.

 

In studying the Good Shepherd of John 10 this year, I have come to see I would be an empty wanderer in this world and without a true home if Jesus were not my Shepherd.  As a good shepherd, He carefully goes before me and calls me by name.  He is lovingly leading Dana and I where we may learn of Him and learn his voice – through Valleys of Despair, Sloughs of Despondency, Shadows of Death, Doubting Castles, and Vanity Fairs; and He will surely lead us in our last days through the great River and safely to His Celestial City.  “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Ps. 23:6).

 

Although I may bring my own mistakes with me, I know that which befalls me in this new year is no mistake… I am being led.  For those of us who hear the voice of the Shepherd, this is a comforting thought indeed as we enter the unknown of 2017.

If this is not your prospect in the new year, Jesus declares to you: “I am the door.   If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture… I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:9, 14).

 

 

May this peace be yours in 2017.

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Good Friday IV Here’s Good Friday from two very different sources. First from Sally Lloyd-Jones’ The Jesus Storybook Bible (1) –

“Papa?” Jesus cried, frantically searching the sky. “Papa? Where are you? Don’t leave me!’

And for the first time – and the last – when he spoke nothing happened. Just a horrible, endless silence. God didn’t answer. He turned away from his Boy…

The full force of the storm of God’s fierce anger at sin was coming down. On his own Son. Instead of his people. It was the only way God could destroy sin, and not destroy his children whose hearts were filled with sin.

Then Jesus shouted out in a loud voice, “It is finished!”

And it was. He had done it. Jesus had rescued the whole world.

“Father!” Jesus cried. “I give you my life.” And with a great sigh he let himself die…

“That’s the end of Jesus,” the Leaders said.

But, just to be sure, they sent strong soldiers to guard the tomb. They hauled a huge stone in front of the door to the tomb. So that no one could get in.

Or out.

The second from Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology (2) –

Now Jesus was perfectly holy. He hated sin with his entire being. The thought of evil, of sin, contradicted everything in his character. Far more than we do, Jesus instinctively rebelled against evil. Yet in obedience to the Father, and out of love for us, Jesus took on himself all the sins of those who would someday be saved. Taking on himself all the evil against which his soul rebelled created deep revulsion in the center of his being (2 Corinthians 5:21). All that he hated most deeply was poured out fully upon him…

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). The question does not mean, Why have you left me forever? for Jesus knew that he was leaving the world, that he was going to the Father (John 14:28). Jesus knew that he would rise again (John 2:19). [In fact,] it was “for the joy that was set before him” that Jesus “endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2)… It is better to understand the question… as meaning, Why have you left me for so long?

Jesus, in his human nature, knew he would have to bear our sins, to suffer and to die. But, in his human consciousness, he probably did not know how long this suffering would take. Yet to bear the guilt of millions of sins even for a moment would cause the greatest anguish of soul. To face the deep and furious wrath of an infinite God even for an instant would cause the most profound fear. But Jesus’ suffering was not over in a minute – or two – or ten.

When would it end? Could there be yet more weight of sin? Yet more wrath of God? Hour after hour it went on – the dark weight of sin and the deep wrath of God poured over Jesus in wave after wave. Jesus at last cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Why must this suffering go on so long? Oh God, my God, will you ever bring it to an end?…

[You see,] God had not simply forgiven sin and forgotten about the punishment in generations past. He had forgiven sins and stored up his righteous anger against those sins. But at the cross the fury of all that stored-up wrath against sin, [past and future,] was unleashed against God’s own Son…

If we ask, Who required Christ to pay the penalty for our sins? the answer given by Scripture is that the penalty was inflicted by God the Father as he represented the interests of the Trinity in redemption. It was God’s justice that required that sin be paid for, and, among the members of the Trinity, it was God the Father whose role was to require that payment. God the Son voluntarily took upon himself the role of bearing the penalty for sin…

Herein we see something of the amazing love of both God the Father and God the Son in redemption. Not only did Jesus know that he would bear the incredible pain of the cross, but God the Father also knew that he would have to inflict this pain on his own deeply loved Son (Romans 5:8)…

Then at last, Jesus knew his suffering was nearing completion. He knew he had consciously borne all the wrath of the Father against our sins, for God’s anger had abated and the awful heaviness of sin was being removed. He knew that all that remained was to yield up his spirit to his heavenly Father and die. With a shout of victory, Jesus cried out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). Then with a loud voice, he once more cried out, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46). And then he voluntarily gave up the life that no one could take from him (John 10:17-18), and he died.

God the Father saw “the fruit of the travail of his soul” and was “satisfied” (Isaiah 53:11). The New Testament refer(s) to Jesus’ death as a propitiation… (having) the sense of a sacrifice that turns away the wrath of God – and thereby makes God propitious, or favorable, toward us.

For those of us in Christ, there is now no more anger or wrath left in the Father toward our sin. He acts wholly propitious toward us – forever. And that’s why it’s called Good Friday.

(1) Lloyd-Jones, Sally, and Jago. The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name. Grand Rapids, MI: Zonderkidz, 2007. 304-06. Print.

(2) Grudem, Wayne A. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity, 1994. 573-77. Print.

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