- God is gracious! I love the thief hanging beside Jesus. He doesn't kiss up to Jesus. He doesn't pull any punches. He doesn't beg for special privileges. He is straight forward and ask for very little. He asks Jesus to "remember" him. Jesus goes above and beyond by telling him "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." Jesus was innocent. The thief was not. Jesus was in agony at this moment. He was truly struggling and He took the time to offer words of comfort to a "thief." How often do we dismiss the needs of others because we are unable to look past our own problems? Jesus forgave and took his penitence to heart. He knew that the thief was honestly sorry and seeking forgiveness. He gave it. Who are we to withhold forgiveness from one who requests it?
- The crucifixion was GRUESOME! The details of His death make me physically sick. The pain, the torture, the enjoyment of the torturers, the cries of the crowd, the tears and sorrow of the followers, the anguish of his mother, the heartbreak of Jesus and what He had to bear.... How can we read this without weeping? He did all of this for us! I'm not worthy... I could give you a mile long list of reasons right this second and you and I know I will add more reasons tomorrow and the coming weeks. It is our human nature. What love He must feel for us in order to do this! He could have taken Himself off of the cross at any time. He could have told God He refused.... instead He hung there, He bled, He bled more.... He listened to the chants, He listened to the ridicule of the soldiers, He hurt, He was stabbed in the side.... He died..... for ME! He did all of this for me. What have I done to make Him proud?
- God can (and does) perform Miracles! Jesus rose from the dead. How can we doubt that a Father who has the ability to raise Jesus from the dead is not listening to our prayers? Why do we question His ability to perform miracles? I am guilty of this. I've seen it many times and yet I am slow to fully trust Him to take care of all of my needs. I try to remind myself that when the need seems too large to fulfill .... it is still "very small" and very "do-able" to God!
"At the cross at the cross..where I first saw the light. And the burden of my heart rolled away. It was there by faith, I received my sight... and now I am happy all the days..."
"Up from the grave He arose... with a mighty triumph o'er His foes...."
"Christ the Lord is risen today. Hallelujah...."
"He risen Hallelujah! He risen Hallelujah! Death where is your sting? Behold the King of Kings..."
(These are just a few of the MANY hymns.... What are your favorites? What are the words? What do they mean to you?)