When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
There was a bowl of sour wine standing there. So they soaked a sponge in the wine, put it on a spear, and pushed it up towards his mouth. When Jesus had taken it, he cried, “It is finished!” His head fell forward, and he died.
As the passover season approaches, let us reflect on the blood of the Lamb which was applied on the doorpost as a shield of protection. Jesus was the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world. He overcame the devil in his own stomping ground. Sin had dominion over mankind's soul. The law of God only pointed out the fact that sin was dominant in people's souls. The law did not have the power to overcome sin. That is why the Lord instituted the blood sacrifice of bulls and goats to atone for sin. The explanation for this is that sin comes with a death sentence and the animal is killed in proxy for man's sin. The blood of the animal is sprinkled on the person and also poured out on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant. This ratifies the covenant between God and man. The justice of God is satisfied and man's life is spared. In the new covenant, God no longer accepts the blood of bulls and goats. The death penalty that mankind's sin exacted was applied to Jesus, being the scapegoat, and we who are guilty of the sin escaped scott-free. When Christ's ordeal at the cross was over, He said It is finished. The battle for mankind's soul was won. A resounding victory for God spelt a breakdown for satan's forces. Satan gets his victory by forcing people to sin and then flashing their sin before their eyes so they are riddled with guilt and shame. Satan often referred to as the serpent had his fangs removed and his venom extracted. The antidote for satan's temptations and trials is the blood of the sacrificial Lamb. The Lord has accomplished the victory over sin. He has triumphed. We as people have to draw on the strength from the blood of Christ to walk in victory over temptations. It's a done deal or as they say in French a fait accompli. An exhortation to walk on the strait and narrow drawing strength from the blood of Christ. Amen.
Power to get wealth
But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
Remember the Lord your God! He’s the one who gives you the strength to be prosperous in order to establish the covenant he made with your ancestors—and that’s how things stand right now.
Let us reflect this morning on the verse above. The previous verse says Don’t think to yourself, My own strength and abilities have produced all this prosperity for me. The passage verses 10-18 from deuteronomy 8 talk about how the Lord led his people out of slavery and into a land flowing with milk and honey. The Lord protected the people of God through their journey through the wilderness. History repeats itself in our lives. The circumstances we face in our journey through this life can only be handled if we are under his wing of protection. Once we have come victorious through this trial we can say that it was the Lord who brought us through. Deuteronomy 26:8 And the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great fearsomeness, and with signs and with wonders; The journey of the Israelites can be an analogy of our journey through this life. We were once subjects to satan who whipped us in the realm of sin, sickness and suffering. However, the Lord delivers us out of the domain of satan to the kingdom of Light. Even after being delivered we journey through this wilderness of life encountering numerous tests, temptations and trials. Once we have come through a roadblock set up by satan and are victorious, we should be cognizant of God's protection and His blessings on us. We should not gloat in how wise we are and how hard we worked to make it happen and forget that it's God's hand of favor which was on us. Jabez prayed O that you would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory and take not your hand from me. King David prayed, take not your Holy Spirit from me. Despite our weaknesses and shortcomings as long as we rely on God's grace and mercy, He will come through for us. God is good and His mercy endures forever. A quick right up to ensure that we are honoring God for all we have and all we are. Amen
Eternal One: Look here, let Me present My servant; I have taken hold of him. He is My chosen, and I delight in him. I have put My Spirit on him; by this he will bring justice to the nations.
Eternal One: He will not scream or yell,
crying out for all to hear.3 What is bruised and bent, he will not break;
he will not blow out a smoldering candle.
Rather, he will faithfully turn his attention to doing justice.
4 And though he faces obstacles, resistance, and great pressure,
he will not crack; he will not give up until things are set right.
Isaiah the prophet enumerates the characteristics of the Messiah. The Lord speaking through Isaiah says that He delights in the Chosen. Verse 2: He will not scream or yell crying out for all to hear. What is bruised he will not break. He will not blow out a smoldering candle.
As I have stated before, we as people have been born with a sin nature. It is inherent in us to rebel against God. This was the of Adam's disobedience, when sin coursed through the veins of all humanity. As a result of this, we as people, tend to scream, yell and vent our frustration when things do not go our way. However, as Isaiah noted above, God's Chosen does exactly the opposite. He doesn't crack the whip on those whose faith is faltering rather is more interested in justice. In fact, the only people he cracked the whip on was the religious people who manipulated.
God is full of mercy and grace. Jesus called the religious people, whitewashed graves, among other things. He said that they strain at a knat and swallow a camel. They tithe on mint however they neglect the weightier matters of faith such as mercy. We as followers of Christ, are expected to emulate Him. We are His representatives to those who are not familiar with Him. We are to reflect His personality. We are the fragrance of Christ to a lost world.
In closing, a quick exhortation to spread the love. There is enough anger and malice in this world. The love of God, how rich, how pure, how measureless and O how strong. The book of Romans says nothing can separate us from God's love. Remember this, God made you, and He loves you very much. As valentine's day is approaching, reflect on the immeasurable love of God.
He hath shown thee, O man, what is good: and what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
The Lord has told you, ·human [T O man], what is good; he has told you what ·he wants [the Lord requires] from you: to do what is ·right to other people [just], love ·being kind to others [mercy; lovingkindness], and ·live humbly, obeying [walk humbly with] your God.
Something to reflect on this morning. Sometimes religion complicates what God requires of us. To give an example God gave Moses 10 commandments, however, Jewish law added over 700 including one to not spit on the ground. Jesus said in Matthew 15:6 You ignore God’s commands in order to follow your own teaching. Many times in scripture we see Jesus deliberately breaking the commandment of man, in order to prove a point. He healed people on the Sabbath. He spat on the ground and made clay to apply on the blind man's eyes. Even when he was 13 and left at the temple, he discussed scripture with the Rabbi. Solomon in his wild quest for happiness concluded in the book of ecclesiastes Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Also Proverbs says that the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Just a short write up this morning to encourage you to keep the simplicity in following Christ. The more we rely on our self righteousness, the more complicated it is to follow God. God is good and His mercy endures forever. Psalm 46:10 says Be still and know that he is God. One version says cease striving and recognize that he is God. We as people tend to strive. We strive to get up in life. We strive for our livelihood. We can fall into the error of striving for our acceptance with God. God says stop striving and trust me. We need to trust God for our salvation, justification, our righteousness, our peace and everything. God said to Moses, I Am. He is our everything. All that we are and all that we have and all that we do, we owe to Him. The Bible says Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. In Hebrews it says that He staggered not at the promise of God, despite not being able to fulfill it on his own strength. He believed that what God had promised He is able to accomplish. In closing, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding and He will direct your path. His word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. He will perfect that which concerns me. Amen
Heaven and nature sing
You will recognize him by this miraculous sign: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in the feeding trough!”[a]
13 Then all at once in the night sky, a vast number of glorious angels appeared, the very armies of heaven! And they all praised God, singing:
14 “Glory to God in the highest realms of heaven!
For there is peace[b] and a good hope[c] given to the sons of men.”
And in a flash there appeared with the angel a vast host of the armies of Heaven, praising God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest Heaven! Peace upon earth among men of goodwill!
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men.”
A little write up about the essence of Christmas. At the birth of Christ, there was a choir of heavenly angels singing Glory to God and peace on earth and good will to men. The birth of Christ, spelled reconciliation between a sinful world and a Holy God. There is one God and one mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ. The Greek word Jesus is derived from the Hebrew Joshua (Yeshua) which means Jehovah saves. The Bible says, that God planned the redemption of mankind before he laid the foundation of the world. God's initial plan was for people to live as Adam and Eve did, walking with God in the cool of the day. However, due to Adam's disobedience, mankind was dispelled from the garden of Eden as God did not want them living in a sinful state for ever. Notice that initially in the garden there was the tree of life available to eat from with no restrictions on it. However, after Adam's disobedience, the tree of life was out of reach. Christ came to the earth to reconcile sinful man to a Holy God. The birth of Christ was announced with peace and good will toward man. Someone said, there is nothing a dying world needs as much as a life giving Savior. Jesus is the light of the world. Let the light of the world dispel the darkness in your lives, this Christmas and always. Pray this with me. Father God we ask you to inhabit our lives and illuminate the darkness within us. Let Christ who is our life reign victorious within us. Holy Spirit infill us with living water. Let your plans and purposes be fulfilled in our lives. In Jesus name we ask. Amen.