Type and press Enter.

New here? See how to Get Started

I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD WHO LAYS DOWN HIS LIFE…

IT IS HOLY WEEK


A WEEK TO TRY TO COMPREHEND THE LOVE HE HAS FOR US

 

HE IS THE GOOD SHEPHERD

WHO WILLINGLY LAID DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS LAMBS

 

IN ONE OF THE MOST MYSTERIOUS VERSES OF SCRIPTURE

WE ARE TOLD:


HE IS THE LAMB OF GOD SLAIN

BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD

(Revelation 13:8)

 

THE INNOCENT LAMB OF GOD

 


 

THE HOURS JESUS SUFFERED ON THE CROSS (9 to 3)

 

WERE THE SAME HOURS THAT THE PASSOVER LAMBS WERE

 

SLAIN

 

 

IT ALL COMES TOGETHER

 

Because this is holy week, we will do the lesson slightly differently. I want you to abide each day, and I’ll give you small pieces so you can. Good Friday will have more, and I encourage you to give Him good time that time. You may want to fast the hours He was on the cross. I’d really like you to listen the sermon twice — once early in the week — and just listen — and then more carefully on Good Friday.

Here’s the link — my son J. R. found this for me — and I knew it was the one for us this week. It’s free:

http://sermons.redeemer.com/store/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_ID=17365&ParentCat=6

All week, try to comprehend the love He has for you. As Cyndi said last week, if we get that, “everything else pales in comparison.” It’s the last week of Lent, before our Celebratory Easter week, so let us finish well.

SUNDAY:

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

 

2. Try to wrap your mind around this: Revelation 13:8 tells us the Jesus is the Lamb who was slain “before the foundation of the world.” What? What do you think this means?

 

3. I’m going to suggest you keep pace with us this holy week for your Lenten discipline — but feel free to add another. What will you do?

 

Monday: FOR A GOOD MAN, ONE MIGHT DIE…

It so happens I’m going to be on Moody Radio today from noon to one central time. (I’d love your prayers!)  If you have a Moody station in your area, you can listen live — or online — or tomorrow they will have the podcast up. Click here:

http://www.moodyradio.org/brd_programarchive.aspx?id=78882

 

 

Today I want you to contemplate Romans 5:7

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person,

though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.

This is a theme in many stories that have stirred our hearts, pointing to the truer story.

Last Sunday my grand-daughter Jessa rode to church with me.  She’s a reader, a writer, a contemplative, a kindred spirit with her grandmother. This is a picture of her with her mother Julie as a storm rolled into our cabin at the lake.

Jessamyn Eve and Julie Brestin in 2009

 


She had her copy of the first in the series of The Hunger Games with her. “Would you like to read this, Grandma?”

I paused, not feeling too enthusiastic.

She had her debate ready. “Grandma — you know J. R. Tolkein says that the very best story theme, because it points to the gospel, shows someone who is in safety coming forward and risking their life for someone who is not in safety. That’s the story of The Hunger Games.”

I smiled. Her little sister Analise piped up from the back seat: “Jessa! You said you had a bunch of friends waiting for that — so I had to buy my own. Grandma doesn’t even want to read it.”

“Actually, Ana,” I winked at Jessa, “your sister has persuaded me. I’m going to read it. And sometimes Grandmothers get special ranking.”

Silence from the back seat. Big smile from Jessa.

So, I have read the first book and, indeed, found it compelling, even if it isn’t great literature. And yes, it is the noble theme and helps me understand why it is stirring  the hearts of young and adults alike. (I also appreciated hearing the author interviewed, saying part of her purpose was to help teens not romanticize war.) In The Hunger Games, Katniss sacrifices herself for her little sister, Prim.

It’s is true — both the true stories, like Bonhoeffer and Jim Elliot, and the fictional stories, like Tale of Two Cities and Life is Beautiful tap into the beauty of the Gospel love. Of love so great the one lays down his life for his friend.

Each of us wants to be loved like this — enough that one would sacrifice himself for us. We have one, The Good Shepherd, who loved us so much he both suffered and died for us.

4. Read Romans 5:6-8.

A. Name a story that stirs your heart because it portrays one giving his or her life for another.

B. For whom would you give your life?

C. Would you give life for someone who hurt you?

D. Describe what Christ did and give Him praise.

Does anyone know the source of this painting -- I'll put it in if you do!

 

5. What does Jesus say in John 10:11-12 about Himself? Do some research on how true shepherds risked their

lives for their sheep.

 


Tuesday: THREE CRIES IN THE DARK

This holy week we are going to contemplate “three cries in the dark.” Even though Jesus was on the cross from 9:00 A. M. until 3:00 A. M. when it is usually light, it became DARK by the sixth hour. Have you ever wondered how the prophecy Jesus made was fulfilled, that like Jonah, he would be three days and three nights in the belly of the whale? I could find pieces of three days — but three nights? Yes — one was a supernatural night when God darkened the sky as His only Son hung on the cross. Then there were the natural Friday and Saturday nights.

5. Read Matthew 27:45 — why do you think it became dark?


Beginning tonight, and each night this week, when it gets dark, I want you to go outside and cry out these three cries. As Keller said, it was dark — hard to see — but you could hear. Jesus spoke three times between nine and noon, and three times just before he died. Keller doesn’t deal with the cry, “I thirst,” but deals with two others, and the cry of the centurion after Jesus died. These are the three cries we will consider.

My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?

It is finished.

Truly this was the Son of God.

CRY THESE OUT — SEAL THEM IN YOUR MIND TO TRY TO COMPREHEND WHAT HIS DEATH MEANS. I WOULD LIKE YOU TO LISTEN TO THE KELLER MESSAGE TWICE — FIRST — JUST LISTEN — THEN, ON GOOD FRIDAY, TAKE NOTES.

HERE’S THE LINK AGAIN:

http://sermons.redeemer.com/store/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_ID=17365&ParentCat=6

WEDNESDAY: WHY JESUS SCREAMED

Keller said if the Gospel writers were making this up, as some have claimed, they would not have had the founder of their religion scream as he was dying. Why did Jesus scream? There’s so much here.

Think about the people you are the closest to in all the world. My hunch is it is someone you’ve been with a long time — a mother, a husband, a child…  time to be knit, time to build memories, time to weep and time to rejoice…someone, if you lost, would cause you to scream from the depths of your soul…

Now — here’s a mysterious truth that sets Christianity apart from all the other religions. The early church fathers had a name for it: Perichoresis — The Father, The Son, and The Spirit in community, in a dance, from all of eternity. C. S. Lewis and J. R. Tolkein have described this…such a mystery.

 

How can you portray the Spirit and the Father? I don't know -- but this pictures the perichoresis to me -- the dance of the Trinity.

Other religions either have warring gods or a monolithic god. If there is love at all, it came later. Christianity has a fellowshiping community.  Love from the beginning.

6. Find the community of Jesus with the Father and the Spirit — love from the beginning:

A. Genesis 1:26

B. Proverbs 8:27-31

C. John 1:1-2

D. John 5:19-21

E. John 10:30

7. Jesus had never been separated from fellowship with the Father until now. Why was He now, according Habbakuk 1:13?

 

8. He didn’t have to do it — He could have called upon 10,000 angels. Why does Peter tell us He did?

A. 1 Peter 1:18-19

B. 1 Peter 3:18

9. Why did Jesus scream in the dark? Give Him praise here.

 

THURSDAY: WHEN THEY CUT JESUS, HE BLED SCRIPTURE

This is one of the most mysterious psalms in Scripture — for in every other psalm of lament, it is a picture of something the psalmist actually suffered, but then, behind, you can see a reflect of The Man of Sorrows. But this psalm depicts an execution — a crucifixion — and we know David did not endure that. So what is the answer? Tim Keller says Acts 2:30 explains that David was also a prophet — so he foresaw and spoke about the death and resurrection of Christ.

You may want to listen to Keller’s sermon on this — which is called The Doctrine of Salvation. It is not a free sermon, but it is excellent. Remember how we have said that beholding the gospel transforms us? This sermon certainly does that, and I think is a particular comfort to those who are suffering.

10 Read Psalm 22

A.  The way psalms were identified in biblical times was not by number, but by first lines. Keller says Jesus most important moment was when he was dying — and spoke these words — so this, therefore, may be the most important psalm. What are these words in verse 1, and what do they mean to you?

 

B. Name the verses that are clearly prophetic of the actual crucifixion.

 

C. Keller said this psalm has been a source of debate in Judaism. The explanation given is that this must be Israel

who suffered. But Keller said, in our free sermon, this has a flaw — do you remember what it is?

 

D. How did Christ fulfill verse 24?


Good Friday

Listen to the Keller sermon and share your notes. Share what particularly quickened you and why?

Here’s the link again:

http://sermons.redeemer.com/store/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_ID=17365&ParentCat=6

 

Saturday

10. What is your take-a-way and why?

 




Leave a Comment

Comment * If this is your first time here, please comment then fill out your name and email as stated at the bottom. Dee will approve you within 24 hours.

448 comments

  1. thank you for all your prayers, she finally told me what was wrong…..and I had to hold back my laughter:) she was upset because all the other kids love ceder point and we were talking about going and I told her she wouldnt have to go because she HATES it and she thought I was going to leave her home alone and no one would be here so she wouldnt be able to swim…..really????? she is PMSing can you tell:)
    its so hard when you have a kid who has been abused cuz you always think everything stems back to that and blow things up.
    thanks again for your prayers. Maddie went home today so pray for her as she deals with her moms anger.
    thanks again for all your prayers!

    1. Glad things worked out, Cyndi….will be praying for Mattie

      Dee, I’m so happy about the title. This book you wrote will bless hundreds to thousands of people

      I haven’t talked to Jason’s parents yet..they are at work…will let you know.

  2. 10 A. The way psalms were identified in biblical times was not by number, but by first lines. Keller says Jesus most important moment was when he was dying — and spoke these words — so this, therefore, may be the most important psalm. What are these words in verse 1, and what do they mean to you?

    My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    David is speaking prophetically here. Jesus felt forsaken by His Father.

    B. Name the verses that are clearly prophetic of the actual crucifixion.

    Vs. 16 they have pierced my hands and feet—

    C. Keller said this psalm has been a source of debate in Judaism. The explanation given is that this must be Israel who suffered. But Keller said, in our free sermon, this has a flaw — do you remember what it is?

    “… he has done it” (vs. 31). Jesus is saying though God is damning me I am sticking with the plan. I am holding onto his Word. There is something God is doing.

    D. How did Christ fulfill verse 24?

    24 For he has not despised or abhorred
    the affliction of the afflicted,
    and he has not hidden his face from him,
    but has heard, when he cried to him.

    This is so unspeakably wondrous. God heard the cry of sinful mankind (the affliction of the afflicted) and reacted in love instead of disgust. He looked and had compassion. I can almost picture the Trinity discussing what needed to be done because of their love for wayward, unworthy mankind and Jesus stepping forward saying, “I’ll go. This is the only way and I want to do it.” Jesus paid the only price that could be paid, coming down to rescue to set us free. God did not hide His face from our sins. So, instead God choose to hide his face from His Son, Jesus, as he hung on the Cross carrying our sins.

    1. Diane your last paragraph helped me to understand the question. My NKJV makes it a little hard to understand. Thanks for answering so beautifully!

      1. Yes, Dee. I found it deeply awesome to contemplate Psalm 22 today.

  3. 10 Read Psalm 22

    A. The way psalms were identified in biblical times was not by number, but by first lines. Keller says Jesus most important moment was when he was dying — and spoke these words — so this, therefore, may be the most important psalm. What are these words in verse 1, and what do they mean to you?

    My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? They mean to me that Jesus was going through complete anguish. I love the movie “The Passion of the Christ” and hearing those words in the original language always moves me to tears. Makes it so much more real for me.

    B. Name the verses that are clearly prophetic of the actual crucifixion.
    vs. 18 – dividing his garments and casting lots for them
    vs. 14 – poured out like water (the water that came out of His side)
    vs. 15 – tongue clings to my jaws (his dehydration on the cross)

    C. Keller said this psalm has been a source of debate in Judaism. The explanation given is that this must be Israel who suffered. But Keller said, in our free sermon, this has a flaw — do you remember what it is? Haven’t listened to this yet, will come back to this question.

    D. How did Christ fulfill verse 24?
    Not sure I know the answer to this.

  4. Okay, if I can be so bold, I have a question for you guys. I’m doing another bible study on our spirit, soul and body. The teacher believes our body is flesh, the soul is our emotions and personality, and our spirit is that which communes with Christ. That all three are interconnected. Yet he believes that our spirits are perfect in Christ, identical to Christ. Would you say that is an accurate representation of scripture? I’d love to hear your thoughts Aunt Dee, or anyone else who has a thought on this. I do believe we have been given the mind of Christ, and that in His eyes He sees us as a new creation in Him.

      1. That helps. Thank you. I think I’m figuring out what the teacher/author of this bible study is trying to say.

  5. My answers are notes from the sermon The Doctrine of Salvation

    10 Read Psalm 22

    A. The way psalms were identified in biblical times was not by number, but by first lines. Keller says Jesus most important moment was when he was dying — and spoke these words — so this, therefore, may be the most important psalm. What are these words in verse 1, and what do they mean to you?

    “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?”

    The infinity of Christ’s suffering, suffering beyond the physical suffering which He silently endured, Christ had lived wholly for God the Father, when Christ lost the Fathers presence, He was engulfed in absolute freezing darkness, He experienced absolute infinite spiritual destruction.
    Christ was faithful, my God was the language of covenant faithfulness, the language of intimacy. Christ says He still loves the Father, He is still faithful in the midst of His suffering. He obeyed God and God crushed Him,…FOR US, in our place.

    B. Name the verses that are clearly prophetic of the actual crucifixion.
    Psalm 22:7 &8 All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
    “He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

    Psalm 22:14&15 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast;
    my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death

    Psalm 22:16-18 For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet–
    I can count all my bones– they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.

    C. Keller said this psalm has been a source of debate in Judaism. The explanation given is that this must be Israel who suffered. But Keller said, in our free sermon, this has a flaw — do you remember what it is?
    I listened to The Final Hour again, I missed it 🙁

    D. How did Christ fulfill verse 24?
    “For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.”

    The cry on the cross demonstrates that Christ is absolutely holy & absolutely loving at the same time.

    We all tend to emphasis God’s being holy (approving of moral behavior) or loving (God loves everyone)
    When we see God as HOLY and LOVING, because He was loving there is grace, Because He is Holy it was costly grace, this makes me hate my sin, but forbids my hating myself, because He did this to free me! It melts my heart

    In suffering I have questions but I can make it w/o answers, I really need companionship.
    The gospel points to the cross and says Christ did suffer for us, His heart did break, hrist did bear the load. He is the greatest possible companion in our suffering.
    The suffering of Christ means there is a future for us.

    2Corinthians4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
    For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
    as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal

    Jesus redeems our suffering if we embrace Him, things will flow from it, this is a mystery.

    Martin Luther was helped by Psalm 22 he was melancholic, I so identify with this part of the sermon. He had trouble feeling Gods presence because of his temperament & personality.
    Jesus truly was abandoned, He took the abandonment I deserves and loved me. He was deserted really so that I would not be truly deserted ever.

    1. chris s–you have been on my heart all day for some reason–so i just kept lifting you up. thank you for these truths–this struck me “The suffering of Christ means there is a future for us.”

      1. Thank you Elizabeth truly.
        I have had a weird, up and down sort of week, struggling then feeling peace, then suprised to be struggling again. I had an awful night last night. I am grateful for the direction this study provides, keeps me looking to the cross
        I have to run now, I have much to do and work until at least 8 tonight.
        I do hope & pray that your condition is improving

        1. I love how you do keep running to the cross, Chris–I learn so much from you. Thank you for your prayers for me. I read something of Nancie Guthrie’s yesterday, I have read before, on suffering. It was good, some parts hard– don’t know yet how it settles with me, but I am able to be thankful for the ways He is using this. SO small compared to yours or many’s, but I still want Him to use it–to make my faith genuine.
          Praying for you in this hectic, roller-coaster time!

  6. 9. Why did Jesus scream in the dark? Give Him praise here. – the bible says we are to cry out to God and give Him our burdens and he will carry them. I think that Jesus was doing exactly as the bible instructed and just like we are to do he was crying out to His Father for help thru the trial that he was facing.

    1. I like this Julie, we must cry out to Him for help.

  7. 10 Read Psalm 22

    A.  The way psalms were identified in biblical times was not by number, but by first lines. Keller says Jesus most important moment was when he was dying — and spoke these words — so this, therefore, may be the most important psalm. What are these words in verse 1, and what do they mean to you? – vs 1.” My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?  I groan in prayer, but help seems far away.” – Jesus being sent to us as a human needed our Lord just as much as we do when we are going thru a trial. The Word says to cast our cares upon the Lord and He will carry our burdens for us. Jesus did just that, and like us, God did hear Jesus’ cries for help but as the plan for His life was already set from the time of conception, it was not in Gods will or in Gods timing to remove Jesus from this trial at that time when he cried out.

    B. Name the verses that are clearly prophetic of the actual crucifixion.
    Vs 6 But I am a worm, not a man;  people insult me and despise me. Vs 7  All who see me taunt me; they mock me and shake their heads. Vs 8 They say, “Commit yourself to the Lord! Let the Lord rescue him! Let the Lord deliver him, for he delights in him.”  (this makes me think of when they were all yelling to crucify Jesus)
    Vs 14. My strength drains away like water; all my bones are dislocated; my heart is like wax; it melts away inside me. Vs 15. The roof of my mouth is as dry as a piece of pottery; my tongue sticks to my gums.  You set me in the dust of death.  Vs 16. Yes, wild dogs surround me – a gang of evil men crowd around me; like a lion they pin my hands and feet. Vs 17.  I can count all my bones; my enemies are gloating over me in triumph. Vs 18. They are dividing up my clothes among themselves; they are rolling dice for my garments. Vs 19 But you, O Lord, do not remain far away! You are my source of strength! Hurry and help me! Vs 20. Deliver me from the sword! Save my life from the claws of the wild dogs! Vs 21. Rescue me from the mouth of the lion,  and from the horns of the wild oxen!  You have answered me!  – These verses remind me of the walk Jesus took carrying the cross to Golgotha, The Place Of The Skull, and when He says You answered me makes me think of “It Is Finished”

    C. Keller said this psalm has been a source of debate in Judaism. The explanation given is that this must be Israel who suffered. But Keller said, in our free sermon, this has a flaw — do you remember what it is?

    D. How did Christ fulfill verse 24? – I’ve listened to the sermon a couple of times but have not done my notes yet. 

  8. Why did Jesus scream in the dark? Give Him praise.

    First I want to say that I was awestruck learning about the darkness. It was frighteningly thick and covered the land like a curtain. How did the crowd react? Did they scream in terror? Did they sit down since they couldn’t see to move for three dreadful hours?
    One commentary said that the spiritual suffering of Jesus was so intense and terrible that God hid it from profane eyes of depraved sinners. I LOVE THIS! We don’t know, but if this is one reason, it shows the great kindness of the Father God for His precious suffering son. It makes me think God wanted to wrap Jesus up and hold Him, if nothing else, in a blanket of darkness. It must have been unbearable to see those vile men hating on His beloved Son.

    I believe Dr. Keller said He screamed because He was taking on the sin of the world and He was for the first time separated from His Father. Also, I loved how he explained what Jesus meant when He said,”It is finished”. Meaning for us, we don’t have to finish it b/c He already did. WOW!

    Jesus, it is now Good Friday and for the first time I feel I am grasping what you suffered and it is so painful to imagine but so good too. I will to remember your sacrifice and let it sink deep down into my soul. I choose to feel it and weep for it so that your sacrifice won’t be lost on me. In remembering, I am receiving the gospel and it is freeing me from my chains. How can I praise you? How can I give you thanks but to offer you myself. Amen.

    1. Kim, I love your heart

    2. Thank you but it is Him! He comes and sits with me while I do my study and He gives me ideas and helps. He is so sweet.

  9. At bible study today, I ask for prayer for Jason and the Lord did provide someone for him! One of the ladies, offered her husband, to be a friend of Jay’s. He is disabled and in a wheelchair and this is what he loves to do…is help young people in need. I think he is in his 20’s. He will be like a big brother to him. I left a message for Jason’s parents (they are only 14 miles from me) but they didn’t answer me. But I talked to Jason’s older sister, that lives here. She loves him very much and is concerned about him too. I will see Jay’s parents this Easter week-end and visit with them about my concerns. Thank you for your prayer’s for Shanon and Jason. I’m praying for Jason, Ben, Mattie, Joey, Cyndi’s girls…and all your kids. They all need our prayers. They are so precious in God’s sight. (Even our grown kids and grandkids!) It’s good friday…Thank you so, so very much for what you did for me, Dear Jesus

    1. Wonderful provision, thank you Jesus!

    2. Joyce,
      I was saddened to read how Jason is suffering, but thankful he has someone like you in his life, and now this….an answer to your prayers!

    3. That’s great, Joyce. I pray the mentoring gives Jason the encouragement he needs.

      1. Thank you all!

  10. 7. Jesus had never been separated from fellowship with the Father until now. Why was He now, according Habbakuk 1:13?

    13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
       you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
    Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
       Why are you silent while the wicked
       swallow up those more righteous than themselves?

    Well Dee, once again I am struggling to follow here. This verse seems to say the Lord shouldn’t come to earth to see the wicked. However, we know Jesus does come and lives within the mire. Does your question refer to the second part where it says He can’t tolerate thd bad things going on, so there’s a point where He must intervene? By doing so, He must leave the Father to come to earth. It is important to Him to save us.

  11. I am struggling to keep up this week. I feel very stressed because of it. With the wedding (which went very well with my sister), coming in on the red eye Monday morning and then teaching all day, a manor test, quiz, and discussion due on Tuesday night, and my son yesterday claiming he thought he might have appendicitis ( had to take off work and take him to the doctor), I am not holding it all together very well.

    I have listened to Keller and am trying my best to read scripture. I have not read too many posts; that makes me sad. I have not reflected on Jesus and His pain this week like I would have liked to. During my Bible time I fall asleep as I wait for my post to be posted, or my verse to load on the page electronically…..it is hard to keep up.

    Tonight my dance group will dance to “were you there.” plead pray that we will touch someone and help them to know that Jesus is Lord, and loves us enough to die for us.

    1. Laura,
      I hope to encourage you – I think we can all relate to what you posted. It would be “easy” if we could sit by ourselves all this week and just read Scripture, meditate, contemplate, but…we have families to care for, meals to fix, an errand to run, a child to take to the doctor, work and school, deadlines – and those things go on 365 days a year. And then we get tired, and fall asleep reading our Bibles!

      It’s okay – you don’t have to “hold it all together”. I pray you can relax in His “It is finished.” Thankfully, we don’t just get “one shot at this all year” – we can abide with Him every day, even when we’re on the run.

      1. Thank you Dee and Susan. I remind myself to not fret and worry; Jesus tells us not to right? I do the earthly things and He takes care of the rest 🙂 I’m glad I have Jesus on my side! I made a 90 on the test (major not manor test!) my son didnt have appendicitis, and I didn’t fall asleep at work. Breathe, breathe. Were you there was beautiful…..I may have mentioned this before, but I have searched for a dance group and prayed for women to want to dance with me to praise God, for at least 10 years. I have women (6-7) who came to ME a couple of years ago at my church wanting to dance. Not many have ever danced and they are beautiful 🙂 they keep me going. Praise the Lord for such a gift. It was never a ministry I thought I would do; it just happened. I live dance and this dance actually means something! WOW.

        Oh yeah, I received two blessings today from God! I have a very tough class and no help. Lots of special Ed students and it is difficult for me to help everyone. A Special Ed teacher showed up in that class and said she had time this quarter to come and help me! At the same time a friend who was subbing in the building came by and offered to help me with organizing paper work (which is huge)! I told them both they were a blessing for me and wished them a happy Easter 🙂

    1. Dee, I have felt so close to Jesus this special week and I feel his presence and just want to smile all the time 🙂 Other’s may wonder what is wrong with me…so I will just have to clue them in! Love this closeness I feel to Jesus!

  12. 6. Find the community of Jesus with the Father and the Spirit — love from the beginning:

    A. Genesis 1:26- Let “us” make man in “our” image..

    B. Proverbs 8:27-31- Jesus was there when God created everything and by His side every day, filled with delight, rejoicing in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighted with Him in mankind.

    C. John 1:1-2- In the beginning was the word, the word (Jesus) was with God and the word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

    D. John 5:19-21- Jesus can do nothing by himself-whatever God does Jesus does, just as God has raised the dead and gives them life so does Jesus.

    E. John 10:30- Jesus and God are One.

    7. Jesus had never been separated from fellowship with the Father until now. Why was He now, according Habbakuk 1:13?

    Because Jesus was soaking up the sins of the world and God can’t look on sin-He is Holy, his eyes are too pure to look on evil and He can’t tolerate wrong doing.

    8. He didn’t have to do it — He could have called upon 10,000 angels. Why does Peter tell us He did?

    A. 1 Peter 1:18-19- It can’t be anything perishable. It can only be a pure, spotless, Lamb. Nothing will suffice to pay for our sins once and for all other than a holy and perfect God to be a permanent once and for all sacrifice to take on our judgment and condemnation for our sins. 10,000 Angels couldn’t do that-they couldn’t even look into God’s face.

    B. 1 Peter 3:18-Jesus suffered once for sins to bring us to God-once and for all-that is it-He is the way the truth and the life..The righteous had to pay for the unrighteous-there is no other way-there is no other one righteous in the universe but God and Jesus.

    9. Why did Jesus scream in the dark? Give Him praise here.

    Because he wanted us-we are His passion and He was willing to experience hell on the cross for us-separation from God.

    Lord God I praise you-for you are worthy-you are the Lamb of God and Lord I am humbled and grateful-yet at the same time I tremble and am sorrowful that I would ever ever run to anyone or anything but you-yet I am filled with joy that you will never condemned me. You love me so much you took on my hell, what I deserved and you didn’t deserve, so you could have me-I am at a loss for words, only praise-you are my God, my Jehovah, my shelter, my provider, you are the lover of my soul and I love you-strengthen me, empower me to walk in obedience out of a deeper love for you-because you first loved me.

    1. Amen!

  13. 10 Read Psalm 22

    A. The way psalms were identified in biblical times was not by number, but by first lines. Keller says Jesus most important moment was when he was dying — and spoke these words — so this, therefore, may be the most important psalm. What are these words in verse 1, and what do they mean to you?

    “My God My God why have you forsaken me, why are you ‘so far’ from saving me, ‘so far’ from my crys of anguish.”

    I picked up on ‘so far’ God can’t face sin-He is Holy and Jesus loved me so much He was willing to be seperated from God for me. God whom He was One with. That blows me away and brings me to my knees. I can’t really grasp the depths of His love, but am grateful he poured it out on me. I just want my life to reflect that more and more-not for others to see but for Him to see and not because I am trying to earn favor with Him-I already have and that is why I want to love Him back and honor Him with my life.

    B. Name the verses that are clearly prophetic of the actual crucifixion.

    Wow! All of it is prophetic, but the actual crucifixion would be V1, V6-8, V12-18.

  14. Prais God! Maddie had a good talk with her mom and her X-boyfriend. I know God was there, thank you for your prayers.
    Dee…it took lily over 2 hours to finaly tell me, it was not easily got openness:) so yes it was big, thanks again for all your prayers! they were felt!
    Lord Jesus, thank you for going beyond giving your life for me, thank you that you have left a helper to live inside of me and to fill me with you.thank you for suffering the broken relationship between you and the father so that I could have a healed relationship with the father.
    there is so much i dont understand dear Jesus, so much that is beyond my brain and heart but I thank you for what I understand and i thank you for what I do not understand, for a God that I could put into my own box would not be worth my worship.
    i know the cross is important, and I do thank you for it but Lord I am even more grateful for the empty tomb and that you did not leave me to figure out this life here on earth on my own. thank you that you live inside me, that you fill me with yourself, that I dont need to do this on my own! I love you Jesus, I love you with all my heart!!!
    love your daughter, sister, wife and friend

  15. emma (my 8 year old) saw me doing this and this was her letter to God this morning:)

    “dear God i realy havnt express my fealing with you im going to start right now…i feal good in side of me i love you so very much”
    love emma

    the thing is, i was feeling guilty for doing this instead of spending time with the girls….guess God showed me didnt he:-)

    1. What a precious prayer.

    2. Yes he did, Cyndi!

    3. That is SO precious Cyndi!! 🙂

  16. here is the rest of her “note to God”
    glad yor liveing in side of me. it feals good that im or (your) child and that or (your) my bff 🙂

    guess i need to work on spelling;-)

    1. Hi Emma! Thanks for helping mommy with the lesson!!

  17. http://youtu.be/FGuaJM_JmyI
    couldnt say it better myself 🙂

    1. Loved that song, Cyndie! Thank you!

  18. Please pray for my friend Ron Parrish. He is in critical condition. He is a church planter in Indonesia, and has touched thousands of lives. He is hospitalized with Dengue Fever and pneumonia. His blood levels have dropped dangerously and he has swelling his abdomen and high sugar levels (he’s diabetic.) I know the enemy wants to take him out. He and his wife just moved back to Indonesia from Austin, they are in their early sixties. They wanted to airlift him out to a better hospital but decided it was too risky. Please please pray for him. Thank you!

    1. Praying for him right now Anne Meredith-this aches my heart–please keep us posted–

        1. Amen Lord. Be near to him and to Jannie. Help them to rest in You wherever they are.Thank you for Your presence in this nurse and for the reassurance it brought to them. I pray that Ron would stabilize enough to be safely moved and for diagnosis.

    2. I am praying too.

      1. Thank you guys for praying. Nothing new yet.

        1. Did hear that they feel the prayers. He and his wife Janine awoke in the morning at the hospital to hear a nurse singing in Indonesian “This is my story, this is my song…”

          Can’t stop singing that song now!

    3. I will pray, too.

    4. I am doing that right now Anne and will continue to pray. May we chase the devil away with our prayer’s Dear Lord and please heal Ron who has given SO much, In Jesus Name, Amen

    5. Praying, Anne Meredith. Being sick overseas is so dangerous, because our bodies do not have the immunity to the germs that are native there. This must be so difficult for the family.

      1. Thanks for praying everyone. It means so much. His blood platelet levels are rising! Haven’t heard any more news than that. He is diabetic so his immune system isn’t as strong as it should be. He’s had pneumonia for weeks. He was my pastor and left our church (which he founded) to go back into the field and be in Indonesia, where they had served for ten years prior. They have just been back a month in Indonesia. They have massive prayer support, but at a time like this you can never have too much. So thanks for praying.

  19. 9. Why did Jesus scream in the dark? Give Him praise here.

    Jesus was fully God, fully human. I think if I was in unbearable pain I would be screaming. I think when Jesus felt HImself being torn away from His Father, it was so unbearable that He screamed for His Father – “Why have You forsaken Me?”

    Lord Jesus, thank you for what You did for me. You screamed in the dark so that I would never have to. You were totally abandoned by the Father and alone in Your suffering so I would never have to be abandoned and alone. My mind cannot fathom what You endured. I am so grateful for Your love and protection, You are the Ultimate Hero.

    10. Read Psalm 22

    A. The way psalms were identified in biblical times was not by number, but by first lines. Keller says Jesus most important moment was when He was dying – and spoke these words – so this, therefore, may be the most important psalm. What are these words in verse 1, and what do they mean to you?

    “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” – these are the words Jesus screamed in the dark.
    To me, these words mean what it is to be utterly abandoned, to feel as if God has turned His back on you. It means you lose all hope of rescue or comfort. Pain, the kind you feel when you lose someone you love, can feel like this.
    I can’t imagine how Jesus felt, nor how it must have torn the heart of the Father to look away from His Son. But that was their plan, so I can know that when I have these feelings, I can hold on to what I know is the truth, that God will never leave me nor forsake me.

    B. Name the verses that are clearly prophetic of the actual crucifixion.

    I notice in verse 2 that “supernatural night” – “I cry out by day (9am – noon?), but you do not answer, by night (when the darkness came from noon – 3?) and am not silent.”

    “All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him, since He delights in him.” (v 7-8)

    “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; You lay me in the dust of death.” (v 14-15)

    “Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.” (v 16)

    “I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” (v 17-18)

    C. Keller said this psalm has been a source of debate in Judaism. The explanation given is that this must be Israel who suffered. But Keller said, in our free sermon, this has a flaw – do you remember what it is?

    I have listened to the free sermon twice now, and I didn’t hear this in it – about this psalm being a source of debate in Judaism, that it speaks of the suffering of Israel.

    The only thing I can think of in the sermon that relates to this question, is Keller said that: “You may have been told that the gospel narratives were made-up by the followers of Jesus, that they aren’t historically accurate, but I’ll tell you one thing, and even the historians agree to this: if you were making up an account about the death of the founder of your faith and trying to promote that faith, you would enver pout such unheroic, disheartened, hopeless, despairing words in his mouth as his last words.”

    (I take notes almost word for word, and I didn’t see this debate over Psalm 22 in this sermon, only that Keller brings out that Jesus’ words were HIm quoting Scripture, the words of Psalm 22).

    D. How did Christ fulfill verse 24?

    I think this means that God the Father accepted the sacrifice of His Son (He did not despise or disdain the suffering of the afflicted one). Also, it could mean how God looked with pity upon us.

    But then the second part, “He has not hidden His face from him but has listened to his cry for help”. – I think it was Diane who posted that this is God not hiding His face from us -we are the ones who are crying for help; He listened and heard and knew we were in desperate need of a rescue.

      1. I caught that too!

    1. Wow Susan, wish I could do so well

    1. I am glad you told us!

    2. PRAISE GOD!!!!!

  20. Notes from The Final Hour

    The gospel writers are careful to allow Jesus own words interpret His death
    The darkness made it hard to see, not much recorded about what was done, but we know what was said
    The first cry- My God My God why have you forsaken me
    Jesus screamed- troubling, looks like Jesus broke…gave up on God
    Such a troubling statement it would not have been made up
    This scream shows the Passion of Christ- (Latin=suffering)
    Deep Love-Christ underwent infinite suffering out of infinite love
    He is not screaming due to physical suffering, or his abandonment by Hid disciples, He has been completely calm, until now
    When the darkness came – it was emblematic of what was happening to Christ
    Outer darkness most often describes Hell
    If the sun were to go out, we would immediately die
    Jesus soul was plunged into absolute spiritual darkness He experienced utter spiritual destruction
    Neither Hell nor Heaven are in time- they are the experience either of the presence of God, or being utterly thrust away from Him
    Jesus experienced an infinity of suffering. No one else has ever been caste from the presence of God while obeying and loving Him
    No human has ever been so ONE with another as Christ is ONE with the Father
    Psalm 22- Jesus quotes – ends with
    “Psalm 22:27-31 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.
    For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.
    All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive.
    Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
    they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.
    Though God is damning me, I am sticking with the plan, I am holding on to His word, I am holding to the plan
    We are His passion, He is suffering for the love of us
    Jesus really truly was in Hells heart- where He held on for the love of us
    Passion- the cross means He took infinite suffering out of infinite love for us

    The modern problem- God has died because we have seen such suffering
    God of religion says be good and I will bless, be bad & I will punish
    Hitler, Stalin & Mao- responsible for the slaughter of about 200 million people
    The traditional God became unreal- he was aloof- good innocent people were trampled & died

    Huge dilemma- Nietzsche
    The Last Man- accepts the news that God is dead, but clings to the ideas truth and falsehood, & good and evil still make sense. I don’t know if there is a God but life has meaning and I am going to work against injustice.
    The traditional god died because of injustice, but he took with him coherent concept of justice with him- that’s the Modern Dilemma
    Years before the gospel took the evil of life seriously- the gospel even considered the death of god because of the injustice of the world

    God on trial- sentence Him to death
    The God of the gospel goes even farther-voluntarily
    Christ comes down and shares in the forsakenness that we feel
    A God who dies under the evil & injustice of this world- so someday He can end evil w/o ending us

    The Second Cry John chapter 19- it is finished- at that moment the curtain of the temple was split top to bottom
    Temple- barriers- message No Access
    When Jesus dies and the veil is ripped- the message is Jesus is barred so we can be brought in, rejected so we can be accepted, the sacrifice to end all sacrifices, We don’t have to strive, It is finished.

    We want to do well and right- but we need a freedom from it
    Mark Twain’s dream of being crushed by a huge bible
    We go between legalism & license
    The cross resolves this- Christ’s act of obedience He always uses scripture, even under the most extreme stress, trusting scripture & God. His example says obey because “It is finished”
    Obey because It is finished, don’t obey to try and finish it
    Critical to know the difference, obey in joy & relaxation
    In one sense our sin is now no problem at all they will never condemn us- in another sense our sin is now a far greater problem because Christ died for us, because of our intimacy with Christ sin is a far greater problem
    Do we obey because it is finished or because we are trying to finish it?

    The third cry- centurion says- “surely He was the Son of God”
    Women pagans & gentiles at the cross “get it”
    The religious people didn’t

    Matthew tells us over & over outsiders more easily grasp that salvation is by grace alone- not through pedigree, goodness, respectability or anything else

    How well do we know & use the bible- Jesus, who was perfect relied on the Word of God, He saturated His heart with the truth of scripture- the secret of power & understanding the gospel, we need more than a cursory understanding of the Bible
    The cross transforms everything- pushes us through every dilemma
    Surely He is the son of God

      1. oh Dee, that brought tears to me–I have been thinking especially how you must miss him–all the time, yes–but especially a time such as Easter. I can only imagine how he loved it–but oh, to imagine him now

      2. praying you have a beautiful Easter with Jesus, the Lover of your soul. love you.

      3. Praying for you today, Dee. You’ve shared so much with us about you and Steve, the love you shared; it is a beautiful life the two of you shared. It must be hard to wait.

      4. Praying for you, Dee. Love your heart!

      5. Dee, I am often reminded of Steve and how gracefully he accepted his suffering and allowed God to be glorified in his whole life. Sometimes I see this in people and when I do, I know it is because of Jesus.

      6. Yes Dee! One day we will all be rejoicing together!!

      7. Oh Dee, I was thinking of this last week- how you must miss Steve-how he knew you well and loved you well. He knew how to deeply love-to suffer for others, and he did often from what you have shared with us. I still have that picture in my mind of him putting on a hat and gloves to sleep at night because you prefer the room to be cold. It breaks my heart that you miss him so, yet makes my heart glad to see how God is meeting you in these times when you long to be with Steve-reminding you that one day you will.

    1. This is amazing, Chris–thank you for this focus

    2. Wonderful notes, Chris. I look forward to reading them and getting the sermon down in my heart even more.

    3. Chris, you touched my heart 🙂

  21. What are these words in verse 1, and what do they mean to you?
    1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me?

    This is so good from Matthew Henry and answers the question so well:
    The Spirit of Christ, which was in the prophets, testifies in this psalm, clearly and fully, the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. We have a sorrowful complaint of God’s withdrawings. This may be applied to any child of God, pressed down, overwhelmed with grief and terror. Spiritual desertions are the saints’ sorest afflictions; but even their complaint of these burdens is a sign of spiritual life, and spiritual senses exercised. To cry our, My God, why am I sick? why am I poor? savours of discontent and worldliness. But, “Why hast thou forsaken me?” is the language of a heart binding up its happiness in God’s favour. This must be applied to Christ. In the first words of this complaint, he poured out his soul before God when he was upon the cross, Matthew 27:46. Being truly man, Christ felt a natural unwillingness to pass through such great sorrows, yet his zeal and love prevailed. Christ declared the holiness of God, his heavenly Father, in his sharpest sufferings; nay, declared them to be a proof of it, for which he would be continually praised by his Israel, more than for all other deliverances they received.

    1. Love reading your comments, Kim. Wish I could do as well but I’m doing good to just keep up with all the comments…but learn so much by reading them all. Love you all

      1. Me too! 🙂

  22. I have listened once to the sermon and will listen again to take notes, but the thing that struck me – among many others – was how Jesus was prepared with Scripture always. To be like that…to really use and know it. Not to use it to support a thought or point in teaching, but the other way around. To learn from it, to digest it and to breathe it.

    I also liked his point about Jesus screaming in desperation; how if you were to author a book on a hero of the faith you would leave that out…but not so in the Bible in the case of Jesus.

  23. B. Name the verses that are clearly prophetic of the actual crucifixion.
    1,6-8,11,13-18

    D. How did Christ fulfill verse 24?
    He did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted.

    Listen to the Keller sermon and share your notes. Share what particularly quickened you and why?
    When Jesus screams it is beyond suffering. He is being plunged into spiritual destruction. Hell is a metaphor for outer darkness. No one has ever done what Jesus is doing – being cast out for loving God!!! The level of the relationship between God and Jesus is infinitely beyond, greater, than anything. Psalm 22 ends saying future generations will know this and proclaim salvation – HE has done it. Even though God is damming Jesus, He sticks w/ the plan. Something is being accomplished.
    We, we are His passion, what He is suffering for. Jesus truly went to hell’s heart! From hell He is loving me!!! This is the revelation of the passion of Christ.
    The cross is the answer to modern dilemma. God – the leader of Christianity, died when no other religious leader would have died for the injustice’s of the world. And, He does it voluntarily. He shares in our forsakeness. Wow!
    Buddah says “Strive without ceasing” but Jesus says, “Don’t you dare strive, it is finished.” In a certain sense our sin is now no problem at all, in another sense it is a far greater problem because of intimacy with Christ. Beautiful sermon and lesson for the week!

      1. Yes, He keeps showing His finished work strong to me but I am the odd man out at dinner and it sometimes pains me. But, I get beauty for ashes when it presses me into Him and makes me study and desire to rightly divide the Word of truth.
        The verse, John 10:29, “My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” came up at a family gathering recently and I said, “I cannot fathom God carving my name on His heart and then un-carving it b/c I sin. How can you uncarve something?” It was rebutted that no one else can pluck us out but we ourselves can! I then said that we are one of the “no man” the verse is talking about. No man – not even we ourselves. The subject was then dropped.
        I pray, and you please join me, that God will get it so deep in my heart and understanding that I can explain it in a kind manner with clarity to those who are seeking truth. Not that I want to fix anyone but I feel the great joy of it when I think how I no longer worry and fret and long for my family to have that same joy.
        P.S. I realize uncarving is not a real word. 🙂

        1. I love the thought of uncarving and how it can’t be done!

        2. Thanks for the encouragement, Anne Meredith.

  24. Here is a song dedicated to all my sisters today: Angus Dei
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uoFq-Pzldg&feature=fvst

    1. WOW WOW WOW!

    2. It says the video is unavailable now 🙁 I’ll try tomarrow again.

  25. 10a. My God, My God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from my deliverance and from my words of groaning?

    These are the words of lonely suffering. I have felt this way before, wondering where God is, feeling that He is far away and indifferent to my pain. Yet, this is feeling and not truth. Truth is that He is very near to me. He always has been and He always will be. But for Jesus it was true for those hours of darkness on the cross. He was forsaken so that I never would be. Lord, I know that You love me. I will live my life according to this truth.

    Sometimes I still get that feeling of dread and fear bubbling up inside me. I recognize it now and bring it into the light. I recognize that it is actually a fear of being forsaken. I remember that He hung on that cross for me. I will never be forsaken because He was. I had to say that twice, no 3 times. Lord, You were forsaken so that I never will be. This fear is old. From the fall of Adam it was our destiny but You have changed it to hope. I fall at Your feet and say thank you.

    1. Me too! Thank you so much, Jesus!

  26. here is my prayer

    Lord Jesus, thank you for going beyond giving your life for me, thank you that you have left a helper to live inside of me and to fill me with you.thank you for suffering the broken relationship between you and the father so that I could have a healed relationship with the father.

    there is so much i dont understand dear Jesus, so much that is beyond my brain and heart but I thank you for what I understand and i thank you for what I do not understand, for a God that I could put into my own box would not be worth my worship.

    i know the cross is important, and I do thank you for it but Lord I am even more grateful for the empty tomb and that you did not leave me to figure out this life here on earth on my own. thank you that you live inside me, that you fill me with yourself, that I dont need to do this on my own! I love you Jesus, I love you with all my heart!!!

    love your daughter, sister, wife and friend

  27. 10B. Name the verses that are clearly prophetic of the actual crucifixion.
    Verse 7 He was mocked and sneered at. Verse 8 describes exactly what they said, that God would rescue Him if He was Who He claimed. V11 is from the garden. V14 all His bones were disjointed. V15 His mouth was dry as He spoke of His thirst on the cross. V16 says they pierced His hands and feet. V17 His bones were visible and people stared. He was exposed in death, lifted up where people could all see Him and they stared. V18 they divided His garments
    In verse 19 He called for His strength and His help to be near, but we know that He could not.

    This Psalm really shows how He suffered as none of the gospel accounts do. They mostly give facts but this expresses His feelings, how He cried out to His Father for help, for deliverance.

    There is a turn in v 22 and He begins to look to the result of His labor. It builds up from v22 where it almost seems that He is bargaining with the Father for deliverance to the great glory of redeemed nations, a redeemed people, His bride.

  28. Anne M.S. please keep us informed about Ron..praying so much for him.

    1. Joyce, I posted tonight about Ron in my last comments. Thanks so much for praying!!!

    1. My daddy used to sing to us kids with his beautiful deep baritone voice every Easter, “Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’er His foes. He arose the victor from the dark domain and He lives forever with His saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Halleluiah Christ arose!!!!” This was dad’s way of getting us to arise from bed. Oh, sweet memories – makes me cry.

      1. I’m so sorry, Kim I know you must miss him terribly

        1. Thank you, Joyce but we will meet again – this is our blessed hope.

  29. 10.

    D. How did Christ fulfill verse 24?

    I am thinking He suffered so he could walk with us in our suffering. He was despised and scorned so that in our suffering we wouldn’t be. Jesus suffered the deepest guttural suffering ever imagined when God hid his face from Him so that we would never have to experience God hiding his face from us-Jesus endured God not hearing His cries so that God could hear ours.

  30. Listen to the Keller sermon and share your notes. Share what particularly quickened you and why?

    “When Jesus says my God my God, you have forsaken me, it means his soul is being plunged into spiritual darkness-being unraveled into spiritual darkness. HE was eternally and utterly lost-he was experiencing that.

    No one has ever been cast away from God’s sight as he was saying Father God I love you, I obey you, I want you.
    The level of the relationship between God and Jesus is infinitely greater than child to parent or spouse to spouse.

    When God cast out the son whatever he experienced was greater than all the hells of everyone who ever deserved to go to hell put together. He was experiencing infinite suffering-why?” Keller later says: WE are His passion.

    Deep love involves deep suffering- we are His passion.

    – This is what quickened me and has quickened me all week! I haven’t ever delved into the richness of the intimacy of Jesus and God like this before and especially delved into the separation on the cross. I haven’t thought about the screams before-this is huge for me. I don’t think this is something you can ‘get’ and then ‘move on’-I think this needs to be meditated on each day-for this is the depth of love both God and Jesus poured out on us-This is the Gospel and for God to be willing to go that far-separation from Jesus and Jesus separating from God because of how they delight in us and want us to have intimacy with them-melts me, amazes me, humbles me, makes me grateful, and makes me desire to turn when tempted, makes me want to obey-and love Him back by laying down my life.

    Oh God thank you, thank you Lord for choosing me-being passionate for me so much that you were willing to go through hell being separated from God so that I would never have to be. You went through the agony of losing an intimacy so pure, deeper than any intimacy I could ever experience so that I wouldn’t have to live that eternal hell separate from God and so that I could experience intimacy with him now and forever. OH Jesus thank you.

    And the above is my takeaway…

    1. Beautiful thoughts and prayer, Rebecca. Amen. I pray it with you.

  31. Listen to the Keller sermon and share your notes. Share what particularly quickened you and why.

    The fact that as the darkness hung, thick, heavy, what was experienced in that place was more with the sense of hearing, hearing these cries in the dark. I went out at night this week a few times and cried (not too loud b/c of the neighbors!) these out in the darkness. At night, the words just seem to disappear into the darkness; it feels empty, alone. It’s so quiet.

    The first cry means that Jesus was plunged into absolute darkness, spiritual darkness. He experienced the sense of being eternally lost and cast out.

    No relationship compares with the oneness between the Father and the Son. The separation from His Father is beyond understanding, what it must have been like.

    I’m not sure what I’m “taking-away” this week. Not yet. I woke up this morning trying to imagine what today must have felt like to Jesus’ followers, to His family. You wake up and your first thought is He’s dead, He’s gone. All hope is gone. Jesus lying lifeless in a tomb. The curtain in the temple hanging there ripped in two, and the presence of the Lord gone. Those cries in the darkness. This just all pictures our condition without Jesus, the lostness, the darkness, the confusion, the hopelessness. And yet, I am still struck by the passage in Romans that says He died for the ungodly, while we were yet sinners. We were His passion, yet there was and still is such indifference to His love.

    Chris posted about Martin Luther being melancholic and having trouble experiencing the presence of God because of his personality and temperament. I wonder sometimes if I am like Luther in that way? I still have trouble experiencing His presence and His love, even though it has stared me in the face all week.

    I have typed out the sermon, and am prayerfully going to give it to my mom to read. She is so hard of hearing that it is easier for her to read than to listen. I’ve told her about my Bible study and the sermons we listen to. I pray God will use it to help her understand.

    1. Susan,

      Loved this-such great reflections this morning: “… I woke up this morning trying to imagine what today must have felt like to Jesus’ followers, to His family. You wake up and your first thought is He’s dead, He’s gone. All hope is gone. Jesus lying lifeless in a tomb. The curtain in the temple hanging there ripped in two, and the presence of the Lord gone. Those cries in the darkness. This just all pictures our condition without Jesus, the lostness, the darkness, the confusion, the hopelessness. And yet, I am still struck by the passage in Romans that says He died for the ungodly, while we were yet sinners. We were His passion, yet there was and still is such indifference to His love.”

    2. Beautiful thoughts, Susan. I always love what you share. I too struggle with a Martin Luther like personality tendency. I too long for the joy to overpower the sorrow.

      I just want to add a few thoughts about the ripped curtain of the temple. The veil was ripped, not so that God’s presence could leave (He never left), but that we would have access to God, the Holy One, who previously had been unapproachable. Only the High Priest previously could enter the Most Holy Place and then only once a year with fear and trembling. Now, because of Christ’s death, we, all of us, can all run to God at any time and anywhere and freely enter His presence with our praise and our prayers. Often we take that freedom to approach God for granted, but it was not so before Jesus’ death parted the curtain to give us access. Praise God!

    3. I relate to the remarks about Martin Luther too. I think we all struggle to feel his presence. I think of Chris Tomlin, who has become such a renowned worship leader, remarking in an interview about writing music and struggling, saying, “God, do you even like me?” How we all have feet of clay and struggle with feeling His love and presence.

      I grew up Lutheran, as my husband did, and last night we went to a Lutheran Good Friday service called the tenebrae where they slowly extinguish the altar candles with each reading until you are in almost total darkness. Then the pastors process out in the dark and a loud noise is heard to signify Christ’s death. It was very meaningful and a great culmination after this week of study.

  32. This morning as I watch dawn break and that beautiful, life giving sun come up I am very mindful of what Jesus did for me and how He is an example for me of how to face life and suffering. I think of that fear that I mentioned yesterday. Primal is the only word I can think of to describe it and its origin. It came from the fall and the condition we inherited at that time. It is real in the sense that it was never baseless. What Jesus suffered is what I faced without Him. Are all the powers of hell and Satan any greater than the horrible power of sin? From the time Jesus set His face toward Jerusalem until He lay dead in the tomb He trusted His Father. Of all the horrors of His passion I think this day in the depths of hell was the worst. Once His life slipped from Him, He relinquished all power of His deity I think. What I mean is that He totally trusted the Father to raise Him out of death and hell even though He had turned away from Him in those hours on the cross. In His earthly life He had the power to save Himself from the suffering, even on the cross but once He was in the grave only the Father could raise Him. Jesus is my example of how much I can trust the Father. He has also shown me how to wield the sword of the Word for it is the power of God at my disposal. I see how the Word is Jesus Himself and that is why He bled scripture when He was cut. I see, really see the treasure that I have in the Word of God. I take away all of these things and maybe more this week.
    Tonight I have been invited to a Passover Seder in the home of a woman that was in my BSF group last year. She is the one who showed me the Tanahk as we studied Isaiah. I am so looking forward to this entire day of contemplation.

    1. This is beautiful, Anne. I always love your reflections.

      1. Susan, me too…Love her reflections!

  33. 8. He didn’t have to do it — He could have called upon 10,000 angels. Why does Peter tell us He did?

    A. 1 Peter 1:18-19

    Because he was redeeming us from the empty way of life that our ancestors had lived.

    B. 1 Peter 3:18

    He did it to Bring us to God.

    9. Why did Jesus scream in the dark? Give Him praise here.

    Well I only listened to the Keller sermon once so far, so I’m not sure exactly. If I remember correctly, he sceamed three times and Keller gives three separate meanings for each scream. I need to go listen again because I don’t remember 🙁

     

  34.  10 Read Psalm 22

    A.  The way psalms were identified in biblical times was not by number, but by first lines. Keller says Jesus most important moment was when he was dying — and spoke these words — so this, therefore, may be the most important psalm. What are these words in verse 1, and what do they mean to you?

    1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
       Why are you so far from saving me,
       so far from my cries of anguish?

    Jesus is feeling alone, separated from the Father. His earthly body is in dire pain and He doesn’t understand, at that moment, why. It’s as if the earthly brain has forgotten the reality of the situation. These are words anyone would have spoken of they were in the same situation.
     
    B. Name the verses that are clearly prophetic of the actual crucifixion.

     2, 6-8, 12-18

  35. TAKEAWAY:

    This week, this lent, has been my most blessed ever. The study was not work to me this week but pure joy. To delve into the wonders of Him and what He did and is doing here. I hate for anyone to miss it. My heart is past full to overflowing oceans of praise.

    1. Amen!

    2. Kim, Praise God!!!

  36. Oh, one more thing…last evening I had a couple of things in e-mails happen that were hard and hurt. I wanted to cry but I also wanted to feel for His suffering and so I ran to Him, telling Him about it and I thought, “Jesus, this is nothing compared to how you suffered.” Somehow I felt I shared with Him a little in His suffering – hard to explain but sweet fellowship.

    1. Kim, I sympathize with you on your hard and hurting emails. It is so wonderful that you ran to Him and had sweet fellowship.

      I have also had a couple of biting emails from my estranged brother’s family this weekend. I felt the Lord leading me to reach out to Philip’s family, even if my efforts were rebuffed. In my response to him, I have tried to reach out in love and without apology share my faith a little bit. It seems they do not want me to speak of even Jesus’ love. It seems, whenever I speak of Jesus, they hear my condemnation, even if it is really concern.

      I am beginning to understand that Philip cannot understand how a person can claim to be a Christian unless they are perfect. If they are not perfect, they are hypocrites and to be despised. This gives me a deeper gratitude for Keller’s messages that Jesus loves us completely, apart from us deserving His love. I felt that I needed to respond to my brother even though it is most likely that he will misunderstand my words. Jesus has given me a measure of peace in the midst of this hard conversation, realizing that I must try to share Christ’s love even if it is rejected. I believe it is no co-incidence that this conversation is happening on Easter weekend, because they are estranged from the Lord who gives this weekend it’s true meaning (and also from family because of their anger).

      1. Thank you, Diane. Sweet of you to share with me and bless your heart, this must be so hard! You are right and our light shines on their darkness. I will pray for you. I believe I see exactly what is happening here – the old devil does not like our growth and thinks he can take a stab us. Well thank you Jesus, Friday over… but Sunday’s comin’! Love you. 🙂

        1. Thanks,Kim. Amen, Sundays comin’.

    2. Kim, It’s strange that happened to me too this week. Dennis, my brother that buried his wife a couple months ago, does not have a computor, so a couple that were friends to Dennis and Mary Kay decided to dump all their dirty laundry(dirty things about them that happened 47 years ago) on me! I was very upsetting and I told them it was hurtful to hear all their complants now, just after he buried his wife. I googled how to block them on my e-mail, and did block them.

      I wished I hadn’t said anything back to them, as they didn’t deserve a reply, but my feeling had been hurt. It’s almost like the evil one is trying to stir things up before easter, with us christians.

      I am saying prayer’s for them now. I’m sorry of how my first reaction was 🙁 should I applogize?

      Sunday’s here!!!!

  37. I almost didn’t post a take-away because I didn’t finish my lesson and the student in me feels like a slacker. I have had a very painful week physically. The nerve pain is near constant and all over now, very difficult to sleep, type, or think sometimes. But, some days are better than others, and there have been moments when I wake up to go to the bathroom and I don’t feel pain–and that gives me hope that it may eventually heal.We know we need to go ahead with the nerve test, I will look into it next week. Another strain has been extended family–but I’ve said enough on that.

    But this is it, my take away-and I mean it or would not come here to write it–I am thankful. I can’t believe it, but I am, at least a little, at least SOME of the time–and that’s a start for me.

    Nancie Guthrie had a good post the other day on Gospel Coalition–I know it was good, I don’t know if I liked it though–still very hard for me. She said:
    If we really believe that God is purposeful in suffering, that our suffering is not meaningless or random, shouldn’t that affect how we pray about the suffering in our lives and in the lives of others? As it is, we pretty much only know how to pray for suffering to be removed—for there to be healing, relief, restoration. Praying for anything less seems less than compassionate. But shouldn’t the purposes for suffering we find in Scripture guide our prayers more than our predetermined positive outcomes? ” She gave a list from Scripture:
    To put God’s glory on display (John 9:3);To make the life of Jesus evident (2 Cor. 4:10-11); To live out genuine faith (1 Peter 1:6-7);To cause us to depend on him more fully (2 Cor. 1:8-9); To reveal hidden sin or keep us from sin (2 Cor. 12:7); To experience that Christ is enough (2 Cor. 12:9); To discipline us for holiness (Hebrews 12:10-11); To equip us to comfort others (1 Cor. 1:3);To make us spiritually mature (James 1:2-5); To make us fruitful (John 15:2); To shape us into Christ’s likeness (Romans 8:29); To share in the suffering of Christ (Philippians 3:10)

    It has helped me SO much this Lent–to focus on Him. I do see Him using this to pull me into a sweet hold-He has His arms around me, always, I feel it and am thankful.

    1. elizabeth, so sorry you are strugging so much. Bless your heart for coming on here to bless us with your sharing. I just LOVE your sharing from Nancy Guthrie. It helps so much in helping us understand suffering. I have been trying to find richer ways to pray for others besides just praying for healing or relief. I knew there was more in Scripture, I just did not have it clear in my mind how else to pray. I will definitely be copying your post and printing it to put with my prayer journal. I am going to do a search right now to find Nancy Guthrie online to find the original. Again, thanks so much. And let me pray for you here.

      Lord, I bring before you our dear sister Elizabeth. Lord, you know her and you love her deeply. We do not understand this deep water that you are putting her through right now and we pray for relief for her. But Lord, only if it is your will. If immediate relief is not your will right now, then, we also pray that you would bring her comfort knowing that You are enough for her. May your glory be displayed to her and others around her through her suffering. Through sickness or health, Lord, draw her closer to you and shape her in Christlikeness. May You have the glory and praise in all things. Amen.

      1. I found the link to Nancie Guthrie, Elizabeth. It is:

        http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/04/04/praying-past-preferred-outcomes/

        in case anyone else is interested. Thought I would post it so Elizabeth didn’t have to since she finds it hard to type.

        Again, thanks so much Elizabeth.

      2. thank you so much diane–your tenderness is so genuine and touches me deeeply. i did think of you when i read that post so i’m glad you found it helpful too.

      3. Amen to your prayer, Diane.

      4. Praying for you too, Elizabeth. I know how you feel, I live in pain too everyday. The Lord helps me through each day.

        1. dear joyce–you inspire me. i am thankful for a deeper compassion i can have on those like you, who have struggled with a much more debilitating pain than mine, and for so long…and yet you never complain–praying for healing still for you joyce.

    2. Elizabeth,
      My niece did (does) have thoracic outlet, too. It got bad when she swam in high school. Caused a lot of cramping in her hands. She had physical therapy and especially posture exercises – they said that was important, her posture. She also has Raynaud’s.
      I’m so sorry you are in pain all over. YOu are right, we often just pray for the suffering to be removed. Continuing to pray for you! (along these lines – you are sharing in the suffering of Christ, you have become more spiritually mature, you are bearing fruit and being shaped into Christ’s likeness, and you are experiencing that Christ is enough).

      1. Susan–thank you. Ihad wanted to ask more on your niece when you mentioned her before–this is reallyreally helpful. in the lastfew days i have felt certain my posture is a big piece. i had a softball injury when i was young and some trouble with my right shoulder ever since–anyway, i feel better even since yetserday when i really started focusing on posture. this confirms that i’m on the right path–bless you friend!

      2. Thank you Susan for this…”you are sharing in the suffering of Christ, you have become more spiritually mature, you are bearing fruit and being shaped into Christ’s likeness, and you are experiencing that Christ is enough. Yes Elizabeth, you are..through your daily pain! Praise God!!

        It’s 12:02 AM “It is finished.” !

    3. Praying Jesus would ease your pain Elizabeth. Thanks for sharing.

    4. I love that last line, Elizabeth. Praying for you daily.

      1. thank you Dee–and thank you for the reminder to me that we can pray for our suffering to be removed! love you ALL so~

    5. Sweet Elizabeth, I am praying for you, your pain and your most recent struggles with family. Know we love you and hate to see you struggling physically like this and in so much pain!

  38. 10. What is your take-a-way and why?

    One of my take-aways is that “It is Finished”. I only went out one evening after dark to speak the last words. It was very meaningful but cold with clouds scudding frequently across the moon. When I spoke “It is finished”, the finality of it struck me. “Paid in full”; no more effort need be made. Our salvation is paid full. We do not deserve it and we can never earn it.

    But more than that, as Tullian Tchividjian puts it, “Regardless of how well I think I’m doing in the sanctification project or how much progress I think I’ve made since I first became a Christian, … I realize that I’m a lot worse than I fancy myself to be. Whatever I think my greatest vice is, God’s law shows me that my situation is much graver: if I think it’s anger, the law shows me that it’s actually murder; if I think it’s lust, the law shows me that it’s actually adultery; if I think it’s impatience, the law shows me that it’s actually idolatry (read Matthew 5:17-48). No matter how decent I think I’m becoming, when I’m graciously confronted by God’s law, I can’t help but cry out, “Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death” (Romans 7:24). The law alone shows us how desperate we are for outside help.”

    Praise God, it is finished. I cannot earn grace, will never deserve it, yet, in His love, He gave it to me. I am loved, more deeply than I can comprehend. I obey because I love Him because he first loved me, NOT in order to try to pay back a debt to him that I cannot. I have to accept the gift of His sacrifice and revel in the wonder of it.

    Thank you, Dee, for walking us through these weeks of Lent. It has given me a much richer understanding of Jesus determined walk to the Cross, the depths of his anguish, yet his willingness to do it because of his love for us. “Amazing love, how can it be that you, my King, would die for me.”

    1. love this diane–yes, it is finished–so thankful

    2. beautiful. and love that song you ended with.

    3. Diane, This is beautiful-so much He is doing in your heart-so much change we are seeing-wow!

      He is risen!!! 🙂

  39. I have an update on my friend Ron P., he was moved to Singapore by plane and then helicopter to the hospital. I haven’t heard anything new other than it’s still a serious situation. Praying for breakthrough on Easter. Since he’s diabetic I guess he’s having a harder time fighting the dengue fever. It usually is not fatal.

    I just feel sick about this, besides incredibly sad. He and his wife mean a lot to me, and to so many people. One of the true heroes of the faith, a man of humility and gentleness. He has ministered to thousands in Indonesia but would never tell you that. His wife said he’s been crying tears of joy (before the sickness), just so happy to be back in Indonesia. It’s only been a month.

    1. still praying with you for them–thank you for the update

      1. thanks so much for praying elizabeth.

    2. Praying Anne, for them to help him. What amazing couple.

  40. My take away for the week:

    I listened to the sermon again and this time was struck by the question Keller poses about striving, and are we acting out of the fact it is finished, or that we need to finish it. Really want my heart and life to reflect that it is finished, that Christ’s work on the cross was not in vain for my life. Trying to wrap my mind around that.

    I have read some of your comments, it seems several of you have been attacked or dealt with hurtful words or emails. I have too over the last two weeks. I’ve had a friendship I felt God released me from, at least as someone I saw regularly, that it was a season of ministry to her that ended. It hasn’t gone well in the ending and she is offended by me. But I stopped seeing the fruit, it just became a draining relationship and I have peace about releasing it. I want my time on earth to count and have become more selective about who pours into me and who I pour into.

    So my main take away is that for all the suffering Christ did for me, I want my time on earth to be about pointing to Him and lifting Him up higher than anything else. To not take offense, because He did not as “a lamb goes uncomplaining forth”. To be bold in my faith (and I learned from a message by Louie Giglio that being bold doesn’t necessarily mean standing in the middle of the street and shouting:), and to remember every day how much He loves me. So that I can learn from that love how to love and minister well.

    I have loved doing this study and thankful to you Aunt Dee for guiding us through it with love and encouragement. Thank you. And I look forward to the next one!

  41. My mom and dad came over to have supper with my daughter and me. My husband and boys were at a soccer game. After supper we watched “Miss Potter”. When Beatrix is telling Norman’s sister, Millie, that he has asked to marry her, Millie tells Beatrix, “You have a chance to be loved. Take it.”
    I felt in my heart this points to the gospel. All that we studied this week, about what Jesus did for us. I don’t know; there may be some that come here and read this blog, who ponder. We were Jesus’ passion. Infinite suffering for infinite love. You have a chance to be loved – take it. I love how these love stories point to the true Lover of our souls.

    1. Love it so much! and love that movie.

      1. Yes to what AnneMeredith said, Susan

  42. Just got a recent update on Ron and wanted to share. They are talking of doing a blood transfusion but are waiting until the morning for the blood tests. His condition is stable. There is something going on his right lung – fluid – that they don’t feel good about. They will run tests about that and wait till the morning.

    Psalm 26:11 says “But as for me, I will walk in my integrity; Redeem me and be merciful to me.” This is what I’m praying for my friend of great integrity.

    Thanks for letting me share.

      1. Thank you, so much. I feel like a dog with a bone when it comes to praying for those I love. Just can’t let go.

        1. I understand, Anne ..and don’t change

          It is Easter morn, Christ has risen !

    1. Anne Meredith, Just read this..Hate to hear this is happening to him!

      Lord, we ask that you would have mercy on Ron. We ask for your strength for him and those who love him at this time that they would trust you and bring glory to you in the hospital to those around them. Thank you Lord that he is in stable condition and that you have already shown mercy. Thank you that you are in control of the outcome. Help Ron, his family and his friends to have hearts that trust you in the midst. In Jesus precious name..

  43. My take aways from last week

    God is absolutely holy & absolutely loving at the same time.
    So Holy Jesus had to die, so loving that Jesus was willing to die
    Because he is loving there is free grace, because He is holy, it is costly grace

    It is something of a comfort to me, to know that Martin Luther struggled to feel Gods presence too. It soothed me too to see that Susan & Diane also related to this. Perhaps God has a reason, perhaps He created us to be this way. I often feel as if I must be lacking something when I see the ease & joy in the closeness Rebecca, Kim & others experience with God, the joy of it just overflows from them.

    I almost didn’t post a takeaway, I have been avoiding it, wanting to escape.

    I watched Masterpiece Theaters Oliver Twist, the scence when Sykes kills Nancy brought back memories, memories I haven’t allowed. I thought a bit about things I have refused to think about.

    I wonder if I must think about the repressed stuff or not, to move forward
    I had an awful nightmare about my husband last night

    I so want to dwell on the sacrifice of Christ and His Resurrection and all that it promises, but I feel beaten down and wish for escape.

    I am sorry to post this, today especially, but I thought it better than running away or pasting on a smile

    1. Chris, I don’t know much about these things but it seems that if anything is repressed it should come into the light where you can speak truth to it. One of my prayers for you is that the Lord will protect your mind, especially when you are sleeping. Thank you for sharing your heart. It hurts to share your pain but it is right that we should. I pray that our joy and our prayers will lift you somewhat.

    2. Dear Chris S., Jesus loves you so much. I wish I could just give you a hug. It’s OK to struggle and, when you cry, as the song says, “Cry to Jesus and live.” Thanks so much for your honesty. So glad that you keep turning to Jesus even in your pain. I’m praying for you. Soon may you “dance with Jesus” in joy. I am so glad there will come a day when he will wipe every tear from our eyes, though I cannot understand how that can happen right now.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW5S8Xm-GkA

    3. I am lifting you, Chris. Love & hugs to you.

    4. Chris–don’t ever be sorry to post your heart–especially today–He loves you too much for you to paste a smile, and so do we, oh so much. I learn more than you know from your courageous honesty–you are so confident of His love and know He can handle, He wants, your honest heart. Thank you for trusting us with it too–praying for you friend

      1. He loves you too much to paste a smile! Love that. Love your new pic too!

  44. By last evening I asked out loud if there was anyone left on the planet who wasn’t upset with me in some way or another.
    I was talking with my mom about how hard it is to be involved in ministry in the church and she said something that was exactly what I needed. She said, “You always tell me the devil wants us to get offended with others, that is his goal.” When she said that I felt like I had heard from heaven. I asked God then to take all my hurts, that I choose to forgive if He can do the rest in my heart. The reason I share is to say that I was blaming my problems on the devil and actually it was a test. A test to see if I am who I say I am on this blog and am I going to submit to others or be a fake. I am reminded that this Christian living thing has got to be lived out – not just talked about. I am writing this to encourage others to not let our joy be lost on this Resurrection Sunday.

    1. Thanks for the honesty with your struggle. Loved the thought, “the devil wants us to get offended with others, that is his goal”. so true! So let’s lay our burdens down at the door of the empty tomb and dance! We are free and one day that joy will be complete! As Beth Moore said in her blog this morning,”This is God’s favorite day!”

  45. Anne thank you for your prayers of protection for my mind, I slept soundly last night once I fell asleep. There is a group therapy session beginning April 23 for parents of murdered children. We are planning to go, I want to and yet I am terrified at the same time. I am trying to image myself as a child slipping my hand into the Fathers and trusting.

    Thank you Diane, I love that song too. I struggle with accepting my emotions, I want to be in command of them, & I am not. I realize as I write this that my Dad was big on this, & it made him seem heartless to me. Come to Jesus affirms a range of emotion, calling us to look to Christ wherever we find ourselves don’t you think?

    Thank you Kim and thank you for praying for me & for sharing about your recent struggles too, giving your hurts to God, living out your faith, & encouraging us…me, thanks

    Elizabeth & Dee, thank ever so much for affirming me, I had a wave of shame wash over me after I posted yesterday. I felt like maybe I was indulging in self pity, but honestly I don’t know what I am feeling. When I really am struggling and need to open up, the less I even know whats wrong with me, I feel unable to talk to someone. I want to run away and hide. I know at least that fettuccine alfredo, cream cheese brownies, and a strong sedative, are not the answer.

    I wanted so much to stay home yesterday. I cried so much during the sermon I was ashamed. The text was John 16:25-33 He brought our verse 27 that the Father himself loves us because we believe Jesus, that the disciples claimed to believe, and Christ questioned them saying “Do you now believe?” He was preparing to die for them knowing they would all desert Him. Pastor Mark quoted someone who said that it was part of the plan that the would all fall away, to keep the disciples from pride, claiming that they were responsible for building the church, their weakness displayed Gods power.

    Verse 33 truly seemed to be there just for me yesterday;
    John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
    I had no pen to take notes with plus I was crying, but he said ‘pay attention, I worked really hard on this sentence’ and he said something about God not wanting us to “paste on a smile just because it is Easter”. I wondered if he had visited here, but that could not have been, I posted just prior to leaving for church, he would have already been at church, they meet for prayer before each service.
    It takes about a week for the previous sermon to post, I am anxious to hear that last bit again. I wished yesterday that I could rewind him as we can with our Keller sermons.

    I really felt like it was there for me, I feel like I am failing miserably at the command to take heart, and yet somehow He sees and shows me love in spite of my weakness. More & more tears

    1. WOW chris–how the Lover of your soul spoke personally to you in that–affirming no pasted smiles allowed! 😉

    2. Chris, I had a very similar thing happen to me on Thursday, I didn’t want to distract from our study so I didn’t post about it. I was having a hard time dealing with somethings that have to do with my friendship with a coworker and was crying about it (self pity about how I have no one to talk to about it) on my drive home from work. The radio was tuned to a program that I listen to every night. It’s a live local pastor who spends 3 hours taking calls and praying for people’s requests. He said that before he took any calls that night that he just need to say something then he said, “Remember friends and friendships can and do hurt, you will have struggles in your friendships with people… Jesus is the friend that never hurts and never betrays… I know that someone needed to hear that tonight and I had to say it.” I have never had such a direct word from God, but I recognized that one. Like you said, “I feel like I am failing miserably at the command to take heart, and yet somehow He sees and shows me love in spite of my weakness. More and more tears”.

  46. Hello, I am trying to find some citation for the Friedrich Nietcheze quote where he says “when the traditional God died he took any coherent idea of justice with him.”  I have not been able to find the quote online.  Any help you can provide would be very helpful!