Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Journey 2016 - Journey to the Cross - 3/20/16

I just realized this morning as I was making a post on Theological Thinking, I had never posted the final segment of Journey 2016 from our pastor's sermons back in Crossville, TN, leading up to Easter.  So sorry!  So this post is a little out of order, but it goes with the posts from March 2016.  Please be sure to read my next post from today "Theological Thinking".

Mark 14:43-50New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested

43 And immediately, even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders. 44 The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss. Then you can take him away under guard.” 45 As soon as they arrived, Judas walked up to Jesus. “Rabbi!” he exclaimed, and gave him the kiss.
46 Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. 47 But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear.
48 Jesus asked them, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? 49 Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there among you teaching every day. But these things are happening to fulfill what the Scriptures say about me.”
50 Then all his disciples deserted him and ran away.

In just a few short hours Jesus went through six trials, beginning at 2 am:
  • Trial before Annas
  • Trial before Caiaphas
  • Trial before the Sanhedrin, in the Temple
  • Trial before Pilate
  • Trial before Herod
  • Trial before Pilate, 6 am
During this time...
  • Peter denied Jesus
  • Judas hung himself
  • Barabas was released
After the last trial, these are the events that led up to the death of Jesus:
  • Jesus was scourged.  Scourging was to cause as much pain as could possibly be inflicted on a person.
  • A crown of thorns was placed on His head.
  • Jesus was robed in a purple robe and was mocked by the soldiers.
  • Jesus was spit upon and struck with a staff again and again.
  • He was turned over to be crucified, and made to carry his cross through the streets of Jerusalem to Golgotha in disgrace before the people.
  • Jesus was nailed to the cross.
  • The soldiers gambled for his clothes
  • From the third hour (9 am) through the 9th hour (3 pm), Jesus hung on the cross, losing his ability to breathe.
  • At noon, God covered the sun and it became dark so the people could no longer look upon His Son, and the temple veil was torn in two, top to bottom.
  • At 3 pm Jesus spoke His final words:  "It Is Finished!"

Jesus is Lord!!  He was sacrificed on Calvary for our redemption.  He did it once and for all!  Never again did there need to be a Passover lamb sacrificed.  Jesus was the Perfect Lamb who was sacrificed for our sins.  Jesus is Our Lord, if we believe in Him and accept the price He paid for our salvation.

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.  (1 Corinthians 1:18(NLT)

We have a choice to make.  What will we do with Jesus?  Do we accept Him as our Savior and have eternal life, or do we join the throngs of people who believe it is all foolishness and are headed to destruction...eternal death?

Theological Thinking

We have been attending a revival this week at Sturgis Church of the Nazarene, Sturgis, Michigan.  The preaching evangelist is Dr. Nelson Perdue, and the song evangelist is Dr. Gary Bond and his wife, Beth.  The services have been inspirational and theologically challenging.  You don't hear much about revivals any more...people are too busy with life to be concerned about spiritual matters.  

Dr. Perdue always gives me something to think about...he goes deeper than most evangelists...desiring that we all understand the work of God's holiness in our lives.  One night this week he gave me three mind challenges.  I will put them forth to you...see if you can answer before reading Perdue's answer.

1.  There are three recorded incidents in the Bible where satan audibly spoke.  Can you name them?

2.  What is the difference between the temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness?

3.  In the Lord's Prayer, where is the message of holiness?

I went to visit some of our Senior Elders here on the campground to ask them these three questions.  I knew they all had sharp minds and a love for God's Word, having been preachers.  I knew they would enjoy some food for thought...and they all know Dr. Perdue and highly respect his passion for holiness.  After asking them the three questions, and getting their responses, I then shared what Dr. Perdue had enlightened my mind with.

1.  There are three recorded incidents in the Bible where satan audibly spoke.  First of all was in the Garden of Eden when he approached Eve as a serpent and tempted her to eat of the fruit of the tree that was in the center of the garden...the one God had told Adam and Eve to not partake of.  Second incident was when satan and God were discussing Job and God gave satan permission to test Job (Job 1:6-12).  The third incident was when satan tempted Jesus after Jesus had spent 40 days in the wilderness.

2.  The difference between the temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness is that satan tempted Adam and Eve to become like God by eating the fruit.  If they would do so, their eyes would be open and they would become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil. (Genesis 3:5).  When satan tempted Jesus, he asked Jesus to give up his Godhood and stay a man by bowing down to satan and doing as satan asked...turn the stone into bread, cast himself down off the highest point of the Temple, and at the peak of a very high mountain to kneel down and worship satan and be given the nations of the world.  (Matthew 4:1-11).  Dr. Perdue gave Dr. Dennis Kinlaw the credit for this comparison.

3.  In the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), when we pray to be delivered from evil, we are asking God to remove the bent toward evil that we are born with so that the Holy Spirit can take up residence in our hearts and sin can be defeated through the power of the Holy Spirit who resides in our hearts.  That's more powerful than I will take the time to explain here.  It certainly expanded my mind to see this passage in such a light.  Wow...God, remove that in me which causes me to sin.  Give me power over sin, over evil, by giving me your Holy Spirit!  May I be made more and more like you!  Amen!  

Now....for those of you looking for preaching  material...there you go!  I just wanted to take some time and record (blog) these new challenges I received this week from the holiness preaching of Dr. Nelson Perdue.  I have been enriched!!!  May I ever be growing in my knowledge of God's Word!!