Posts tagged “Easter Devotion

It’s About the LAMB

Remember as a child sliding the crayon from one dot to another until getting to the last dot, excited to see a picture form?  Often, this is how we come to understand certain things, connecting the dots.  Have we considered the ‘dot connection’ (if you will) of the Lamb of God? As we draw near to Easter, let’s pick up our crayon and begin connecting as we see the progression of the Lamb.

Genesis 22: God declares to Abraham to take his son Isaac, his only son to the mountain and offer him as a sacrifice. As Abe and son begin their hike up the mountain, father placing the wood on the shoulders of the son, Isaac says “The fire and wood are here.” Then asks, “But where is the lamb …” Abraham confidently responds, “God Himself will provide the lamb…”  As the story progresses, Isaac willingly climbs up on the altar. Abraham obeys to the fullest, God knowing his heart, stops him and provides a ram for the sacrifice.   The Lamb … provided.

Exodus 12: (in short) God prepares the Israelites to leave the captivity of Egypt. Instructions were given, as the Angel of Death would soon be unleashed, “… take the lamb…” slay and place the blood of the lamb on the doorpost of the home.  The blood now over them, death avoided. The Lamb … protected.

John 1: John the Baptist, known as an eccentric evangelist, sees Jesus approaching; he openly declares, “Look, behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” John purposely points to Jesus, the shift of attention.  The Lamb … proclaimed.

Revelation 5: The angelic choir sings before the throne, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.” THAT verse! Read it again as Holy Spirit breathes on you with His Majesty! (Let’s all stand to our feet!)  The Lamb … PRAISED!

As we enjoy creamy milk chocolate filled Cadbury eggs, (I SO love Easter candy!) let’s take these next few days building up to Easter, our dots connected and wholeheartedly consider the Lamb of God, the empty cross, the empty tomb – may we see, understand and participate in the celebration of Jesus.

Move over Easter Bunny, it’s not about the bunny – it’s about the LAMB! 

Worthy is the LAMB! 

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)

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It is FINISHED, Red Letter Easter!

Have you ever sat and read through the New Testament and read ONLY the words in red? Jesus’ words.  For a completely new perspective, I challenge us to do just that. I know context is everything, but let’s step out of the exegesis box (interpreting the scriptures) for a brief moment, to get an amazing snapshot of Jesus, His strength, authority, His love, and compassion.

Without all the narrative, those stand-alone red words pack a powerful punch, knowing they are Jesus. There are dramatic statements, strong commands, and tender words. “Let it be so…” (Matthew 3:15) “It is written…” (Matthew 4:4) “Get up…” (Matthew 9:6) “Take courage it is I…” (Matthew 14:27) “Quiet, be still…” (Mark 4:39) “Come forth …” (John 11:43) “Don’t be afraid just believe…” (Mark 5:36)  What do you want Me to do for you…” (Mark 10:51) “Who do you say I am…” (Luke 9:20) “Then neither do I condemn you...” (John 8:11) I am He…” (John 18:6).

These are just a few, but there is one more that stands out among the rest. Here I do want to set the context. Jesus is agonizingly set between two thieves. His feet and hands are nailed to a wooden cross. There at the foot of the cross, many mocked, some cried and I am confident there were those in complete silence. After the vinegar water was given to Jesus, He said “It is FINISHED…” (John 19:30 emphasis mine) He then bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

It is finished.  (Hang with me, this is GOOD God stuff!)  The word in Greek is amazing! Stand back and take in the whole Technicolor filled screen, I don’t think even Steven Spielberg with all his creative genius could convey the scene that was unfolding upon humanity. It is finished, (Tetelestai) To bring to an end, to fulfill. What is done corresponds to what has been said, ordered or commanded. (“Not My will, but Your will be done.” – Jesus, Luke 22:42, Matthew 26:39) It is accomplishing something not merely to end it, but bring it to perfection for its designed goal.”* (Please read that again) It signifies the successful end to a particular course of action. Grammatically in the Greek, it is a crucial word; it is in the ‘perfect tense.’ Meaning the action was completed in the past with results continuing in the present. Basically, “This happened and it is still in effect TODAY.”  One might say, “The gift that keeps on giving.”  This is different from ‘past tense’ which points to an event, declaring ‘This happened.’ Nothing more.  The end.

NOT our Jesus, He is our NOW God!

As Jesus said this, His blood flowing down His forehead, from His hands and His feet, He declares sharply, His sacrifice, now eliminating the debt owed by mankind … you and me. May we take careful notice, Jesus didn’t say. “I am finished.” That would imply He a mere man and die defeated. Instead, He declares, “It is finished. When He died and with His resurrection power, He left no unfinished business behind, He successfully completed the work He came to do.

As the pages turn from Genesis to this very moment, God’s story is fulfilled. Does it end here?  No! But the bridge back to the Father is perfected. Jesus rises from the dead triumphantly (Happy Easter) engages and commissions the disciples, returns to heaven to reign forever. Now we the church, with the authority given by Jesus Himself, as inspired by Holy Spirit carry on with the red letter commands, statements, and tender words.

Move over Easter Bunny, here comes the risen King! It is finished!”  Relationship offered, relationship restored. May we live each day as a red letter day!

In Him, DeDe  (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”- Hebrews 10:24)

 

* Resources: Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Vine’s Expository of New Testament Words, Strong’s Greek Dictionary, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, NASB Hebrew-Greek Dictionary, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon. Greek Interlinear Bible words it: “He said, “It has been accomplished.” (Yes, I am a God loving, His daughter, geek)

 


IT IS FINISHED, Red Letter Easter!

 

Have you ever sat and read through the New Testament and read ONLY the words in red? Jesus’ words.  For a completely new perspective, I challenge us to do just that. I know context is everything, but let’s step out of the exegesis box (interpreting the scriptures) for a brief moment, to get an amazing snap shot of Jesus, His strength, authority, His love and compassion.

Without all the narrative, those stand alone red words pack a powerful punch, knowing they are Jesus. There are dramatic statements, strong commands and tender words. “Let it be so…” (Matthew 3:15) It is written…” (Matthew 4:4)Get up…” (Matthew 9:6) “Take courage it is I…” (Matthew 14:27) “Quiet, be still…” (Mark 4:39) “Come forth …” (John 11:43) “Don’t be afraid just believe…” (Mark 5:36)  What do you want Me to do for you…” (Mark 10:51) “Who do you say I am…” (Luke 9:20)Then neither do I condemn you...” (John 8:11) I am He…” (John 18:6).

These are just a few, but there is one more that stands out among the rest. Here I do want to set the context. Jesus is agonizingly set between two thieves. His feet and hands are nailed to a wooden cross. There at the foot of the cross, many mocked, some cried and I am confident there were those in complete silence. After the vinegar water was given to Jesus, He saidIt is FINISHED…” (John 19:30 emphasis mine) He then bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

It is finished. The word in the Greek is amazing! Stand back and take in the whole Technicolor filled screen, I don’t think even Steven Spielberg with all his creative genius could convey the scene that was unfolding upon humanity. It is finished, (Tetelestai) To bring to an end, to fulfill. What is done corresponds to what has been said, ordered or commanded. (“Not My will, but Your will be done.” – Jesus, Luke 22:42, Matthew 26:39) It is accomplishing something not merely to end it, but bring it to perfection for its designed goal.”* (Please read that again) It signifies the successful end to a particular course of action. Grammatically in the Greek, it is a crucial word; it is in the ‘perfect tense.’ Meaning the action was completed in the past with results continuing in the present. Basically, “This happened and it is still in effect TODAY.”  One might say, “The gift that keeps on giving.”  This is different from  ‘past tense’ which points to an event, declaring ‘This happened.’ Nothing more.  The end.

NOT our Jesus, He is our NOW God!

As Jesus said this, His blood flowing down His forehead, from His hands and His feet, He declares sharply, His sacrifice, now eliminating the debt owed by mankind … you and me. May we take careful notice, Jesus didn’t say. “I am finished.” That would imply He a mere man and died defeated. Instead, He declares, “It is finished.” When He died and with His resurrection power, He left no unfinished business behind, He successfully completed the work He came to do. 

As the pages turn from Genesis to this very moment, God’s story is fulfilled. Does it end here?  No!  But the bridge back to the Father is perfected. Jesus rises from the dead triumphantly (Happy Easter) engages and commissions the disciples, returns to heaven to reign forever. Now we the church, with the authority given by Jesus Himself, as inspired by Holy Spirit carry on with the red letter commands, statements and tender words.

Move over Easter Bunny, here comes the risen King! It is finished!”  Relationship offered, relationship restored. May we live each day as a red letter day!

Blessed Easter to you and yours,

In Him, DeDe & Mark (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”~ Hebrews 10:24)

 

* Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Vine’s Expository of New Testament Words, Strong’s Greek Dictionary, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, NASB Hebrew-Greek Dictionary, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon. Greek Interlinear Bible words it: “He said, “It has been accomplished.” (Yes, I am a geek)

 


Easter, A Redletter Day!

Have you ever sat and read through the New Testament and  read ONLY the words in red? Jesus’ words.  For a completely new perspective, I challenge us to do just that. I know context  is everything, but step out of the exegesis box (interpreting the scriptures)  for a brief moment, to get an amazing snap shot of Jesus. His strength,  authority and tenderness.His love, and compassion.

Without all the narrative, those  red words pack a powerful punch, knowing that Jesus says them. There  are dramatic statements, strong commands, tender words. “Let it be so…” (Matt. 3:15) “It is written…” (Matt.4:4) “Get up…” (Matt. 9:6) “Take courage it is I…” (Matt 14:27) “Quiet, Be still…” (Mark 4:39) “Come  forth …” (Jn. 11:43) “Don‘t be afraid just believe…” (Mark 5:36)  “What do you want Me to do for  you…” (Mark 10:51) Who do you say I am… (Lk. 9:20) “Then  neither do I condemn you…” (Jn. 8:11) I am He…” (Jn. 18:6).

These are just a few, but there  is one more that to me stands out among the rest. Here I do want to set  the context. Jesus is agonizingly set between two thieves. His feet and hands  are nailed to a wooden cross. Hours earlier, He knelt in a garden declaring for  all humanity “Abba Father … everything is  possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You  will.”

There at the foot of the  cross, many mocked, some cried and I am confident there were those in complete silence. After the vinegar  was given to Jesus, He said “It is  FINISHED…” ( Jn. 19:30 ~ emphasis mine) He then bowed His  head and gave up His spirit.

It is finished. The word in  the Greek alone paints the most vibrant color filled picture: “To complete  something not merely to end it, but to bring it to perfection or its destined  goal”* As the pages turn from Genesis to this very moment, God’s story is  fulfilled. Does it end here? No. But the bridge back to the Father is perfected.  Jesus rises from the dead triumphantly (Happy Easter) engages and commissions  the disciples, returns to heaven to reign forever. Now we the church, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, carry on  with the red letter commands, statements and tender words.

Move over Easter Bunny, here comes the risen King!  “It is finished.” Now lets live like it really IS!  Relationship offered, relationship restored.  May we live each day as a red  letter day!

Blessed Easter to you and yours,

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love  and good deeds.” ~ Heb. 10:24)
*  ‘Teleo’ – Quote from the Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New  Testament.