Posts tagged “Easter Devotional

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 your 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 …?” 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 ‘gettin their worship on’, 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 the sugar-coated bright pink and yellow Peeps and 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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Connecting the Dots to Easter

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 your 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 …?” 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. Noting, here in this chapter, is the first time love, (v 2) worship (v 5) and obey (v 18) are used. Whenever God introduces something new, we are to take notice!  Love. Worship. Obey. Hearing God, following His commands, sacrificing until it hurts, God knows. 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. Taking the lamb into their 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 ‘gettin their worship on’, 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 the Holy Spirit breathes on you with His Majesty! (Let’s all stand to our feet!)  The Lamb … praised.

As we enjoy the sugar coated bright pink and yellow Peeps and 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 whole heartedly consider the Lamb of God.  As we invite others to come to church with us, pray for their understanding of what it is all about, take the time to share and explain it to them. As they and we ourselves stand in church, seeing the empty cross, may we see, understand and participate in the celebration of Jesus.

Move over easter bunny, Jesus IS the Lamb of God. He is the sacrificial lamb provided by the Father, under His blood we are protected, we too proclaim Him and yes, we stand in awe joining the harmony of heaven, we too praise Him. The Lamb of God. Dots connected.

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

 


IT IS FINISHED, Red Letter Easter!

Finished

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 that Jesus says them. There are dramatic statements, strong commands and 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 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 with complete honesty, “Abba Father … everything is possible for You.  If You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”  (Lk 22:42)

God’s 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 water was given to Jesus, He saidIt is FINISHED...” ( Jn. It is Finished19:30  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. The word ‘tetelestai’ comes from the verb teleo, meaning:  “To bring to an end. To accomplish something not merely to end it, but bring it to perfection for its designed goal.” (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 the ‘past tense’ which points to an event, declaring ‘This happened.’  Nothing more.  The end.)

As Jesus said this, His blood flowing down His forehead, from His hands and His feet, He declares sharply, the debt owed to God the Father is now wiped away.  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, he left no unfinished business behind. He successfully completed the work He came to do.  Our sinful inheritance (Thanks Adam & Eve!) causing a HUGE gap between us and God, BUT …because of Jesus’ life, death and RESURRECTION designed of the Father, is now bridged over for full access, clean and righteous in God’s sight. So we might be become mature & whole in our relationship with God.  Can we get a AMEN!

Noting, just prior to this spectacular moment in history, Jesus is in the upper room with the disciples sharing the Last Supper.  He takes the bread, ripping pieces off the loaf, handing it to them,  symbolizing His body to be broken, then the wine symbolizing His blood to be shed.  Here is the only place He declares we … REMEMBER.  Not Christmas, His birth. Not the healing of the many, the deliverance of the demonic, the turning of the money tables in the Temple.  These ALL wonderful, yet they don’t define US.  Jesus didnt say, “Think about this in remembrance of me.”   He said, ‘Do this…” We are PARTICIPATORS! We actively engage ourselves.  We take the bread, the wine and by golly we accept gratefully His sacrifice. “The purpose of the Lord’s death and resurrection was to once and for all open us up to a new and guilt-free relationship with God. Communion is not intended to focus on what you were, but on who God has made you to be in Christ.” – Pastor John Halford.  I am now a daughter of the Most High God, when God looks at me, He doesnt see my sinful nature, He sees Jesus.  His redemptive blood covering me with love, mercy and amazing grace.

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 j0435894Easter) 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 let’s 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)