Sarbatoarea Invierii cu Pastorul Pustan

Pagina – PREDICI Vladimir Pustan

Serviciul de Duminica dimineata care a fost difuzat live la Ciresarii.ro. Predica incepe la minutul 6:00.

Textul: Ioan 20:1-18

  • Un Mantuitor mort nu poate sa dea asigurare eterna.
  • Dar Hristos a inviat!
  • Care sunt binecuvantarile care le primim noi de la un mormant gol?

(1) La mormantul gol primesti un scop al vietii tale

Domnul Isus o trimite pe Maria: Du-te la fratii Mei si spune-le ca Eu traiesc si ma sui la cer. Apoi Isus se arata ucenicilor si le da si lor scop. Dintr-o data si femeile si ucenicii au scop: sa proclame lumii invierea lui Isus Hristos. Cind te intalnesti cu Dumnezeu iti da de lucru. Si viata ta capata scop. Bagati de seama ca oamenii acestia au facut aceasta (propovaduirea evangheliei) desi ei nu au avut masini, avioane sau internet. Dupa ce ei capata scop, ei se duc si implinesc acest scop, chiar daca nu au avut mijloacele noastre. Chiar daca nu au avut libertatea noastra. Sa nu uitam ca dupa cateva zile dupa ce au primit scopul acesta aveau sa moara unul cate unul. Dintre toti ucenicii, doar Ioan se spune ca a murit de boala natural, de batranete. Toti ceilalti pentru scopul acesta si-au dat viata. Au stropit cu sange marturia vietii lor. V-ati gandit ca Dumnezeu cand la ales pe Pavel, l-a ales si pentru ca avea dublu cetatenie si trecere libera?

Cind s-au luat pasapoartele si granitele s-au deschis, v-ati pus intrebarea asta ca Dumnezeu nu vrea numai sa ne imbogatim, ci sa putem circula liber ca sa vestim evanghelia? Femeile au fost ultimile la cruce si primile la mormantul gol. Dragostea intotdeauna se scoala mai devreme. Daca stati si priviti in lumea noastra astazi, oamenii traiesc fara scop, sau daca au un scop, scopul acesta este ca sa munceasca ca sa aiba ce sa manance, ca sa poata manca ca sa se duca la lucru a doua zi. Milioane de oameni fara scop. S-ar putea sa ai scopuri personale si intr-o zi sa le atingi. Nici nu exista blestem mai mare decat sa iti atingi toate scopurile personale. Cred ca e un blestem si sa nu le atingi dar si sa le atingi pe toate. Dar Dumnezeu ne-a creat cu un alt scop. Acel de a-L gasi pe Dumnezeu si a primi sens al vietii noastre. Fara Dumnezeu nu veti fi niciodata impliniti. Nu exista mai frumos scop al vietii decat sa mergi in cer si sa iei cu tine cat mai multi poti tu. Vestiti moartea si invierea lui Hristos!

(2) La mormantul gol primesti si o victorie asupra

  • (a)Diavolului si a demonilor, 
  • (b)asupra problemelor si greutatilor, 
  • (c)asupra pacatului si 
  • (d)asupra mortii. 

Cand s-au dus la mormant, aveau mentalitatea oamenilor invinsi, infranti. De atatea ori ni se pare ca ne-a ingenunchiat Satana ca nu mai vedem nici scop al vietii noastre si nici vreo biruinta.Cand boala si-a facut cuib in trupul nostru, cand nimic parca nu functioneaza. Infranti in pocainta noastra cand ne-am dat seama ca ne-am comportat ca niste pagani. Infranti in gandurile noastre, in visurile noastre, in trairile noastra, in relatiile noastre cu oamenii. Infranti si Biblia zice: Duceti-va la mormantul gol ca acolo capatati victorie. Victorie asupra problemelor si greutatilor. Mormantul gol inseamna un Hristos viu si Hristos viu da asigurari eterne. Sa nu cumva sa va asteptati ca in lumea aceasta sa fie mai bine. Prin El vom avea victorie. In Evrei 4:16 spune sa ne apropiem cu deplina incredere de scaunul harului ca sa capatam indurare si sa gasim har, pentru ca sa fim ajutati, …cind? In vreme de nevoie. Exceptional cuvant acesta- in vreme de nevoie. Ca pina nu ai probleme din acestea te rogi pentru problemele altora. Dar vine o zi cand ai nevoie tu si atunci sa ne apropiem cu deplina incredere de scaunul harului ca sa dobandim har si indurare in vreme de nevoi.

Avem victorie nu numai asupra problemelor dar si asupra lui Satana si asupra demonilor. Cand vine Satana si iti bate la usa inimii, trimite-L pe Hristos. Nu te du tu ca esti prada usoara. Sigur ca singuri nu valoram nimic in fata diavolului si ne face praf. Dar impreuna cu Isus Hristos suntem intotdeauna biruitori. Nu va fie frica de diavolul ci  sa va fie frica de nepocainta voastra pentru ca abia in momentul in care nu o sa mai fiti lipiti de Hristos veti avea probleme mari cu Satana. Avem victorie  asupra pacatului si asupra ispitei, nu numai asupra demonilor si asupra diavolului si nu numai asupra problemelor vietii noastre. V-ati pus intrebarea de ce Isus s-a aratat prima data lui Maria Magdalena? Cea mai pacatoasa fiinta cu care s-a intalnit Domnul. Spune cuvantul lui Dumnezeu ca i s-a aratat ei prima data, i-a spus pe nume  si ca i-a dat nu numai un scop al vietii dar i-a dat si victorie asupra ce? Ea avea indoieli… a zis ca ma iarta (Isus) si a scos demonii aceia. Daca e mort (Isus) nu vin inapoi demonii aceia? Spune Biblia ca pot sa vina inapoi cu o singura conditie-Isus sa fie mort. Dar El nu e mort, e viu! Isus Hristos I se arat si ii zice: Marie, de aici incolo traiesti in victoria Mea. De aici incolo Eu iti dau victoria. Niciodata nu vom avea izbanda cita vreme mu Il implicam pe Isus Hristos in problema pacatului nostru. Zici: de mine nu se va atinge. Nu e adevarat! Diavolul este siret si stie ca daca nu ne bazam pe sangele lui Isus Hristos avem probleme. A-ti auzit de pacate mici, pacate mari, Biblia nu zice asta. Biblia zice ca Isus Hristos ne-a iertat noua toate pacatele. Avem victorie si asupra mortii. In 1 Corinteni 15:26 spune ca ultimul vrasmas al nostru care va fi nimicit, ultimul… E un lucru fantastic. Stiti de ce? Ca zice ca moartea este un inger al Diavolului, un sol al Satanei. Moartea va fi ultimul vrasmas al omului, care va fi nimicit. La mormantul lui Lazar a zis Domnul Isus: Eu sunt invierea si viata. Cine crede in Mine, chiar daca ar fi murit, va trai si cine crede in Mine nici nu mai moare.

Dar atunci ce se intampla cu sfintii? Sa nu considerati moartea numai ca o despartire a trupului de suflet. Biblia spune ca moartea e si o despartire a sufletului de Dumnezeu. Cata vreme sufletul tau nu e despartit de Dumnezeu, trupul acesta (chiar daca) poate fi nimicit, Dumnezeu il va reface iarasi. Voi sa nu priviti cu o mare calamitate moartea trupului ci sa priviti ca un dezastru final moartea sufletului. Nu uitati ca Adam a pacatuit pe la 30 de ani si a mai trait 900 de ani, dar a trait mort. Era mort fata de Dumnezeu. Biblia vorbeste despre oamenii acestia ca li se duce vestea ca traiesc, sa nu uitati cata vreme ai pacat in tine esti mort. Exista o teama a mortii si spune Isus Hristos: Va dau biruinta peste teama aceasta care este peste fiecare din voi fata de moarte. Am invins, dar ce am facut noi pentru asta? Nimic. Absolut nimic. Suntem astazi in biruinta Lui! Zice Domnul ca ne face partasi biruintei Lui.

 (3) La mormantul gol primesti mangaiere

 Maria plangea. Isus o intreaba: De ce plangi? Pai la cimitir…se plange. Ea plangea pentru ca: „Nu stiu unde L-au pus”. Isus i-a spus doar atat: Cand suferi pierderi vei primi mangaiere. Vei pierde sot,sotie,copii si noi vom veni cu tine la priveghi si apoi la inmormantare si dupa aceia vom pleca acasa si ramai singura sau singur, numai cu Hristos.

Cand ratacim calea Isus Hristos ne aduce mangaiere. Petru s-a lepadat de Isus dar dupa aceea a plans cu amar si Domnul l-a mangaiat pe Petru cand a spus: Spuneti ucenicilor mei si lui Petru ca vreau sa ma intalnesc cu el si cu ei.

Citind in Apocalipsa 1, Ioan era exilat in Patmos singur, fara frati. Va dati seama ce durere pentru el cu trupul bolnav si sufletul bolnav? Domnul Isus Hristos i se arata intr-o vedenie in Patmos, vroind sa-i spuna: Ioane tu nu esti singur aici exilat. Eu sunt cu tine aici in insula aceasta si zice: Nu te teme, Eu sunt cel dintai si cel de pe urma. Am fost mort si iata ca sunt viu in veci vecilor. Cand avem necazuri avem mangaierea lui Dumnezeu asigurata.2 Corinteni 1:3-4 3Binecuvîntat să fie Dumnezeu, Tatăl Domnului nostru Isus Hristos, Părintele îndurărilor şi Dumnezeul oricărei mîngîieri, 4care ne mîngîie în toate necazurile noastre, pentruca, prin mîngîierea cu care noi înşine sîntem mîngîiaţi de Dumnezeu, să putem mîngîia pe ceice se află în vreun necaz!

Anunțuri

The Overflow of Easter: A Whole Theology of Resurrection in One Chapter by John Piper

He is risen! And O the overflow of that single event. It was the cosmic Yes! from God the Father that the death had done all it was meant to do. And it was the beginning of the eternal existence of the God-Man in a glorious new body in which he would finally reign on the earth forever. And so much more.

There is a whole theology of the resurrection and its achievements in 1 Corinthians 15. Here’s a summary. Let each of these sink in. Savor each one. Then start your new week (the rest of your life) abounding in the work God calls you to “knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

1. Christ died for us and rose again.

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and . . . He was buried, and . . . He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

2. He verified his resurrection by large public appearances.

After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:6)

3. Because Christ has risen, we are not still in our sins.

If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:17)

4. Because Christ has risen, our afflicted lives are not pitiable.

If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:19)

5. We who trust Christ will be raised from the dead at Christ’s second coming.

For as in Adam all [his posterity] die, so also in Christ all will [his posterity] be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming. (1 Corinthians 15:22-23)

6. Christ now reigns invincibly over the universe.

For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. (1 Corinthians 15:25-26)

7. Our resurrection body will be imperishable, glorious, powerful, and spiritual.

[Our resurrection body] is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 15:42-44)

8. Living or dead, we shall be given new bodies in an instant at Christ’s coming.

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

9. Death now has no sting and will be swallowed up in victory.

But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, „Death is swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55)

10. Christ suffered for sin and satisfied the law for us.

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:56-57)

11. Therefore, do huge amounts of Christ-exalting work because none of it is in vain.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

(VIA) © 2011 Desiring God

Christ has risen! The significance of the Resurrection


Matthew 28:1-10 Jesus Has Risen

 1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

1. According to the four gospels, Jesus rose from the dead following
   His crucifixion...
   a. Matthew records how the women found the tomb empty and were
      instructed by an angel to tell the disciples - Mt 28:1-8
   b. Also how Jesus appeared to them while on their way - Mt 28:9-10
   -- In all, the New Testament records ten distinct resurrection
      appearances of Christ prior to His ascension to heaven

2. The significance of the resurrection of Jesus to the Christian faith
   cannot be overestimated...
   a. It has great significance for one who has yet to believe in Jesus
   b. It also has great significance for those who are Christians

[In this study we shall consider "The Significance Of The Resurrection"
for both unbelievers and believers...]

I. FOR THE UNBELIEVER

   A. IT VERIFIES THE DEITY OF JESUS...
      1. The resurrection proves that Jesus truly is the Son of God
         - Ro 1:4
      2. It also demonstrates that He truly has all authority in heaven
         and on earth - Mt 28:18; Ac 2:36

   B. IT VERIFIES THE TRUTHFULNESS OF JESUS...
      1. Jesus foretold His resurrection on three occasions - Mt 16:21; 17:22-23; 20:17-19
         a. If Jesus was telling the truth in describing His suffering
            and resurrection...
         b. ...then He was telling the truth in everything else He said
         -- Would God raise a liar?
      2. Therefore the following teachings of Jesus are true:
         a. He was from the Father above, and spoke the words of the
            Father - Jn 8:28-29
         b. No one can come to the Father but through Him - Jn 14:6
         c. His blood was shed for the remission of sins - Mt 26:28
         d. He came to offer abundant life - Jn 10:10
         e. He went to prepare a place for us - Jn 14:2
         f. He shall come again - Jn 14:3
         g. There will be a resurrection of the dead and ensuing
            judgment - Jn 5:28-29; 12:48; Ac 17:30-31

[If Jesus was in fact raised from the dead, "The Significance Of The Resurrection" for the unbeliever is enormous!  It compels unbelievers
to come face to face with reality, and the need to accept the Lordship
of Jesus.  The resurrection of Jesus has even more significance...]

II. FOR THE BELIEVER    

   A. IF JESUS HAS NOT BEEN RAISED...
      1. Gospel preaching is vain - 1Co 15:14
         a. The preaching of the apostles is empty, meaningless
         b. There would be no purpose in preaching about a liar, or
            lunatic
      2. Our faith is vain - 1Co 15:14
         a. Our belief in Christ would also be empty, meaningless
         b. For our faith would be in a liar, or lunatic
      3. The apostles were false witnesses - 1Co 15:15
         a. They swore that God raised Jesus from the dead - Ac 2:32
         b. They claimed to spend 40 days with Him after the
            resurrection, eating and drinking with Him - Ac 10:39-41
         c. There is no way they could have been deceived or mistaken;
            either they told the truth or they were deliberate liars,
            deceivers, and frauds!
      4. We are still in our sins - 1Co 15:17
         a. It would have been a liar or lunatic that died on the cross
         b. No such person could have provided a sacrifice that was
            holy and without blemish
      5. Believers have perished at death - 1Co 15:18
         a. Their faith would have been in a false Messiah
         b. They would have had no atonement for their sins
         c. Dying in their sins, there would be no hope
      6. Christians are to be pitied - 1Co 15:19
         a. Because we believe in a false Messiah
         b. Because our faith in Him leads us to refrain from much
            worldly pleasure
         c. Because we are often ridiculed or persecuted for our faith

    B. IF JESUS HAS BEEN RAISED...
      1. It verifies our justification - Ro 4:24-25
         a. Jesus claimed His blood would be adequate - Mt 26:28
         b. By raising Jesus from the dead, God demonstrated His
            acceptance of Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins! - Ro 8: 33-34
      2. It demonstrates the power available to the Christian - Ep 1: 18-20
         a. Power available at our conversion - Col 2:11-12; 1Pe 3:21
         b. Power available to live the Christian life - Ro 8:11-13; Php 2:12-13; 4:13; Ep 3:20; 6:10
      3. It gives us hope concerning our own resurrection - 1Pe 1:3
         a. His resurrection gives us a living hope! - 1Pe 1:21
         b. Especially concerning the resurrection of believers! - 1 Th 4:13-14
      4. It demands our complete loyalty to Him - Ro 14:9
         a. He was raised and then exalted to become our Lord - Ac 2: 32-36; Ep 1:20-23
         b. Thus our lives and service belong to Him - Ro 14:7-8; 2 Co 5:15
CONCLUSION

1. The impact of the resurrection of Jesus should not go unfelt in our
   lives...
   a. As a historical event it has everlasting implications
   b. For both the unbeliever and believer

2. The unbeliever needs to examine the evidence for the resurrection
   carefully...
   a. The nature of the testimony provided by the witnesses
   b. The unfeasibility of alternative explanations for the empty tomb
   -- For if Jesus rose from the dead, one must believe in Him! - Jn 8: 243. The believer must never lose sight of the significance of the
   resurrection...
   a. Do our lives demonstrate that we serve a risen Lord and Savior?
   b. Do we possess the hope, peace, and strength that the reality and
      power of His resurrection gives to the Christian?May we never forget "The Significance Of The Resurrection" of Jesus
Christ in our lives!
(VIA)

Vladimir Pustan – Telegrame de la cruce

poza de la Ciresarii.ro predica la Biserica Gloria Arad

Vladimir Pustan 3VEZI PAGINA Vladimir Pustan PREDICI aici

Luni seara 25 Noiembrie 2013. Text Ioan 19:25-30 Vladimir Pustan:

25 Lîngă crucea lui Isus, stătea mama Lui şi sora mamei Lui, Maria, nevasta lui Clopa, şi Maria Magdalina 26 Cînd a văzut Isus pe mamă-Sa, şi lîngă ea pe ucenicul, pe care -l iubea, a zis mamei Sale: ,,Femeie, iată fiul tău!„ 27 Apoi, a zis ucenicului: ,,Iată mama ta!„ Şi, din ceasul acela ucenicul a luat -o la el acasă.

28 După aceea, Isus, care ştia că acum totul s’a sfîrşit, ca să împlinească Scriptura, a zis: ,,Mi -e sete.„ 29 Acolo era un vas plin cu oţet. Ostaşii au pus într’o ramură de isop un burete plin cu oţet, şi I l-au dus la gură. 30 Cînd a luat Isus oţetul, a zis: ,,S’a isprăvit!„ Apoi şi -a plecat capul, şi Şi -a dat duhul.

Sunt bune evanghelizarile astea ca trebuie sa se mai pocaiasca si pocaitii. Eu zic ca pocaitii ar trebui sa nu se mai pocaiasca in fiecare zi atata, ci sa se apuce hotarat si sa-si duca manturiea pana la capat. Nu sa ascultati 1000 de predici si sa nu impliniti nici una. E vremea sa ne maturizam si maturizarea aceasta vine de la Dumnezeu.

Problema mantuirii noastre nu s-a rezolvat cu pioneze ci cu cuie. In urma cu 2000 de ani, din dragoste pentru lume, pentru mine si pentru tine Isus Hristos a venit si si-a dat viata, ca tu sa traiesti altfel, ca tu sa ai un viitor, un destin diferit.

Isus, pe cruce, le trimite telegrame:

1. Ii spune lui Maria Magdalena: Eu ti-am iertat pacatele.
at the cross mary johnAsta a inteles Maria Magdalena cand a vazut ca sangele lui Isus Hristos curge suvoi pe cruce. A inteles, de fapt, cu ce a rascumparat-o pe ea. Era femeia marginalizata, pe care oamenii au pretuit-o in aur, pentru o noapte. Acum, Isus Hristos o pretuia in sange, pentru vesnicie. Pentru ca tu, eu, voi, nu a-ti fost rascumparati din felul desert de vietuire pe care l-ati mostenit de la batranii vostri cu aur si cu argint, ci cu sangele scump si sfant al Domnului nostru Isus Hristos. Statea pe centura vietii si la propriu si la figurat, ca Iov. Si Iov zicea, „Oare n-ai pe nimeni ca sa ma rascumpere?” Avea raspunsul si raspunsul era in fata ei, la un metru, pe crucea Golgotei- sangele lui Hristos curgea pentru ea. In Isaia 53:52 – ca El, Isus Hristos, era strapuns pentru pacatele noastre, zdrobiti pentru faradelegile noastre. Pedeapsa, care ne da pacea a cazut peste El si prin ranile Lui suntem tamaduiti, vindecati.

Daca sti ca rascumpararea ta s-a facut cu sange, intrebarea logica, care vine imediat este, „Daca sti ca te-a rascumparat Hristos cu sange, de ce mai stai in pacat? De ce? Cate predici trebuie sa mai asculti? Cate morti trebuie sa mai vezi? Cata lacrima trebuie sa-ti mai curga ca sa intelegi ca viata aceasta pe care o duci este o viata in asteptare a unei zile, in care sa spui odata pentru totdeauna, pentru vecie: Hristoase, (ca talharul de pe cruce) ai mila de mine. Mantuieste-ma.”

Sa nu uitati ca viata noastra a fost rascumparata cu un pret greu. Rascumpararea noastra s-a facut foarte costisitor. Si vreau sa-i multumesc lui Dumnezeu ca a gasit cu cale sa moara pentru mine- un pachet de nervi, un mincinos, un rau, un neiuibitor. Si vreau sa-i multumesc Domnului Isus Hristos ca El s-a uitat la mine, o buruiana si n-a privit la pacatele mele. A privit la potentialul meu. Vreau sa-i multumesc lui Hristos ca n-a vazut doar trecutul meu, ci a vazut viitorul meu. Vreau sa-i multumesc lui Isus Hristos ca m-a facut parte a unei mantuiri fantastice. Cand nimeni n-a dat doi bani pe mine, Hristos m-a iubit.

Dumnezeu nu vrea sa uitam pretul acesta mare al sangelui lui Isus Hristos. Nu va bateti joc de El. Cu fiecare click pe care-l dai, cu fiecare negare in viata, nu faci altceva decat sa spui ca sangele Lui nu valoreaza nimic pentru mine. Intr-o zi te vei intalni cu El. Intr-o zi te vei intalni la judecata si judecata aceasta va fi o judecata dura, pentru ca nimeni nu poate sa-si permita sa calce in picioare sangele lui Isus Hristos. Nu calcati pe sangele lui Isus Hristos. Nu va bateti joc de El pentru un pahar de bautura, pentru o minciuna, pentru o lacomie de un ban furat, care poate sa distruga o viata intreaga de bogatie spirituala. Nu va bateti joc de sangele lui Isus Hristos cantand fara bucurie, slujindu-i fara bucurie, rugandu-va fara ca sa stati cu mintea in rugaciune- cu sufletul acolo. Nu mai va jucati de-a biserica. Traiti o viata sfanta, pentru ca n-ati fost rascumparati cu flori, ci cu sange. Traiti o viata sfanta, pentru ca sangele Lui curge si astazi. Si acela care a iertat in urma cu 2000 de ani talhar si prostituata, poate sa o faca si astazi cu noi, oameni care ne categorizam sfinti fata de cei ce i-am spus din fata. Cu atat mai mult, sangele Lui este valabil si astazi, dar din pacate, lumea n-are nevoie de el. Nu uitati ca in mana lui Hristos, orice buruiana poate fi un trandafir.

Cine mai priveste astazi potentialul unui om? Cine se mai uita la tine cum se uita Hristos? Te uiti in oglinda si ce vezi? Sfant? Pacatos? Se uita Hristos la tine si vede un mantuit. As vrea, din toata inima mea, ca Dumnezeu sa-ti trimita o telegrama in care sa-ti spuna, „Eu ti-am iertat pacatele tie. In seara aceasta, ai inteles ce inseamna dragostea Mea? Pe tine, pe care nu te-a pretuit nimeni, te pretuiesc Eu,” zice Domnul. „Te-am sapat in palmile Mele, te-am platit cu pret de sange. Te-am rascumparat din mana Satanei, care te-a pretuit. Ca pe o sluga, te-a purtat in lesa ca pe un caine. Te-am rascumparat, te-am facut o binecuvantare.” Doamne iti multumesc pentru rascumpararea Ta.

2. Ii spune lui Maria, mama fiilor lui Zebedei – Tu tot la lucrurile lumii te gandesti?

Ucenicii erau impreuna cu Isus Hristos, ani de zile au stat si au umblat cu o pereche de slapi cu El, au mancat cate o bucata de paine. In clipa cand Petru a scos un cuvant, urechile lui Iacov si a lui Ioan s-au ciulit imediat. La un moment dat, Petru a spus, „Iata Doamne ca noi am lasat totul,” dar adevarul e ca el nu prea lasa-se mult… exact asa cum te-ai pocai la 70 de ani, ca sa iti aduci inaintea Domnului Parkinson-ul. Oricum, bani nu-s, sanatate nu-i, de auzit, nu mai auzi bine. Cam asa ceva zice Petru, „Iata ca noi am lasat totul,” dar lasa-se o barca nenorocita si faliment. Zice, „Am lasat totul si te-am urmat.”  Ioan si Iacov, pe langa ceilalti ucenici s-au intrebat, „Noua ce ne dai?” Dar, ei nu au avut curaj sa mearga in fata Domnului Isus Hristos sa intrebe, „Noua ce ne dai?” Si-au trimis mama. Sa transeze un post mai bun. Si se duce mama fiilor lui Zebedei si spune Domnului Isus Hristos, „Doamne, cand vei ajunge in imparatia Ta, te rog frumos sa nu uiti si copii mei. Unul sa fie la dreapta ta si unul la stanga.”

Marie, ti-ar placea acuma, sa fie in loc la talharii astia aici copiii tai? Zice: A-ti putea bea voi paharul suferintei? „Uitam sa spunem la servici sau la scoala ca suntem copiii tai, dar, Doamne, daca va veni prigoana, putem.” Serios? Ce ai putea sa-mi dai mie pentru ca Te-am urmat? Ce mi-ai putea da pe pamantul acesta? Stiti, marea noastra problema nu e cerul, ci problemele noastre de jos. Pamantul si cerul sunt incompatibile. Nu trebuie neaparat sa traim  o viata mizerabila aici, dar sa nu asteptati rasplatirea pe pamantul acesta. Si pentru tot ce am lucrat mai bun si vesnic si curat, noi nu asteptam nici un folos. Rasplata noastra e Hristos. Nu uitati ca Hristos a venit nu sa ne imparta pamantul, ci cerul.

Este o teologie Americana acuma, care spune ca daca il ai pe Isus Hristos in inima ta, neaparat trebuie sa ai aer conditionat in cusca cainelui. Atata trebuie sa fi de bogat. Suna bine, dar nu e biblic. N-a spus Hristos ca ne da cerul, coborand pe pamant, ca asta e o teologie ieftina de Martorii lui Iehova, eventual. Hristos a spus ca in viata aceasta vom avea suferinte si necazuri- vom avea prunci care pleaca de acasa, vom avea si noi zile in care vom ramane in somaj si vom sta in fata la farmacie pentru medicamente. Ne-a spus Isus Hristos ca si pe noi ne vor trada prietenii. Si noi vom avea probleme. Si noi, de multe ori vom plange si rugaciunile noastre vor avea gust sarat. Ne-a spus Isus Hristos ca vor fi zile de Luni, in care nu vei sti incotro sa o apuci. Nu ne-a spus Isus Hristos, neaparat, ca vom trai grozav pe pamantul acesta. Ne-a spus ca ne va da apa, paine, haine, cam atata. Ne-a mai spus ca ne va mai da ceva. Bucuria de a ne multumi cu ele. Asta e frumusetea crestinismului, adica sa ai putin si sa ti se para ca duci viata lui Bill Gates. Dar, toata ziua suntem nemultumiti. Toata ziua alergam dupa lucruri de din acestea si seara te pui in pat si ai uitat sa te rogi. 24 de ore in care nu-ti aduci aminte macar un minut ca exista un Dumnezeu sus in cer.

Marie, ce vrei? Deputati sa fie copiii. Oare ce trebuie sa vina peste noi ca sa invatam dintr-o data, ca mai importante sunt lucrurile de sus, decat cele de jos. Ca mai important este sufletul decat trupul. Ca mai important este adevarul decat minciuna. Ca mai important este sa fi bucuros cu Isus Hristos, decat sa fi trist cu lumea aceasta. Cat ne trebuie sa traim in viata asta pana invatam ca putem sa traim frumos din lucrurile simple ale vietii? As vrea ca sa va ganditi mai mult la lucrurile de sus. Dar, asta nu inseamna ca trebuie sa stati cu capul in nori.

Prioritara este imparatia. Adica, nu trebuia sa spuna Maria: Doamne, ce dai copiilor mei? Ci, Doamne, copiii mei sunt suficient de pocaiti sa ajunga sus? Asta e intrebare de mama. Ce as mai putea sa fac eu, ca mama, sau ca si tata, ca copiii mei sa ajunga in cer? Ce trebuie sa fac in casa mea? Ce cablu trebuie sa mai tai? Ce ore de rugaciune trebuie sa mai pun in casa? Ce canale sa scot afara din casa mea? Ce Biblie trebuie sa o deschidem noi seara? I-am facut si am zis ca atata e treaba noastra, sa facem copii, uitand, de fapt, ca trebuie sa-i ducem pana in cer. Si asta e mult mai greu. Tot la lcururile de jos va ganditi? Asa cum spunea fratele Traian Dorz: Voi numai pentru viata aceasta va ingrijiti si va vedeti, ca si cum a-ti fi doar trupuri. Oare suflet nu aveti?  Ce ar folosi unui om sa castige toata lumea aceasta… dar nu o putem castiga si nici pastra. Dumnezeu e prioritar. Daca mai ramne timp pentru altceva… Noi vorbim de suflet, cred ca l-ati confundat. Sufletul nu-i trupul. E diferit. Daca am purta de grija sufletului nostru cat ii purtam de grija trupului am fi foarte sfinti. Daca am schimba timpul Facebook-ului si calculatorului cu cel de Biblie, iarasi am fi sfinti.

3. Ii spune lui Ioan – Pentru Mine trebuie sa lucrezi
mary john at the crossIoane, iata mama ta. Du-o acasa. Si-a incredintat mama lui Ioan. In primul rand trebuie sa te gandesti ca Dumnezeu te-a rascumparat prin sangele lui Isus Hristos. Al doilea lucru, in mod logic, este ca nu mai trebuie sa te gandesti la lucrurile astea de jos, toata ziua si sa pierzi din vedere obiectivul principal, care este vesnicia. In al treilea rand, cand ai realizat aceste lcururi- pentru Hristos trebuie sa lucrezi. Putea sa zica Ioan, „Eu am ramas singurul barbat cu Tine la cruce, nu o sa ma uiti acolo sus.” „da,” zice Domnul, „cu o conditie. Te apuci si muncesti pentru imparatia Mea.” Am ajuns la concluzia ca noi intelegm gresit, ca noi avem nevoie doar de iertare. Dar, cand privesti la crucea lui Isus Hristos nu primesti numai iertarea. Ci primesti si responsabilitatea. Intotdeauna cand privesti crucea primesti de lucru. Cine nu are de lucru in biserica si in trupul lui Hristos, acela inca nu a vazut crucea. Pentru ca atunci cand te uiti la crucea lui Isus Hristos, vezi ca ai de lucru. Vezi ca este nevoie intotdeauna de lucru.

Un om iertat munceste pentru Isus Hristos. Ioan s-a ales cu o mama de care a trebuit sa aibe grija tot restul vietii sale, cu Maria, mama Domnului nostru Isus Hristos. Mantuirea e prin har, dar rasplata intotdeauna e prin fapta. Atatia oameni nu stiu ce sa faca in trupul lui Hristos. Primiti responsabilitati la crucea lui Hristos si intrebati-L in seara aceasta, „Doamne, ce ai vrea sa fac?  Da-mi si mie ceva de lucru, Doamne, pentru ca daca nu-mi dai Tu de lucru, o sa-mi dea Satana de lcuru.”

4. Ii spune mamei Lui, Maria – Vei avea o rasplata
Daca tu accepti mantuirea din mana Mea… (si nu uitati ca si Maria a avut nevoie de mantuire din mana lui Isus Hristos) Femeia aceasta a avut un har: harul suferintei. Ce i-a spus Simon cand L-a tinut pe Hristos in brate? „Va veni o vreme cand inima ta va fi strapunsa de o sabie. Acum era strapunsa inima. Il vedea pe copilul ei, pe Isus Hristos, pe care L-a purtat in pantece- Dumnezeu si om- Il vedea suferind pe Golgota. Ganditi-va ce viata a avut. A nascut intr-un grajd, a trebuit sa fuga in Egipt dupa aceea, l-a crescut cu saracie, dupa care a ramas vaduva. Un har al suferintei. Oare s-a meritat? Oare se merita sa te pui la picioarele crucii Lui si sa spui, „Doamne, vreau sa-mi mantuiesti viata, sa ma gandesc la lucrurile de sus, vreau sa-mi dai ceva de lucru, dar, Doamne, se merita? Da, se merita. Am ajuns la o concluzie frumoasa, ca si daca n-ar fi cer s-ar merita sa-L slujim pe Hristos pe pamantul acesta. Pentru ca exista si o frumusete a slujirii pe pamantul acesta, exista o rasplata a crestinismului si pe pamantul acesta. Dar, cu atat mai mult, precum este si un cer si o rasplatire, se merita sa umblam cu Isus Hristos, se merita sa lasam totul, ca oricum intr-o zi vom lasa totul si vom pleca de aici.

Spune cuvantul lui Dumnezeu ca daca suferim, si Mariei i s-a dat harul suferintei, vom si imparati impreuna cu El. Daca suferim impreuna cu El, sa-I purtam ocara Domnului nostru Isus Hristos, vom si imparati impreuna cu El. A fost binecuvantata si ea la Pasti, la invierea lui Isus Hristos- si cand a fost botezata si ea cu Duh Sfant la Rusalii, ca ne zice Biblia ca a fost printre cei 120 de oameni peste care s-a coborat Duhul lui Dumnezeu la Rusalii. Iata, atatea binecuvantari, cum scrie in Apocalipsa 3 „Acel ce va birui ii voi da sa sada impreuna cu Mine.” Ceea ce spunea Pavel, „Clipa plecarii mele este aproape. M-am luptat lupta cea buna, mi-am ispravit alergarea, am pazit credinta. De acum ma asteapta cununa neprihanirii, pe care mi-o va da-o Domnul nostru, Isus Hristos.” La acea zi a rasplatii va chem in seara aceasta. Pentru asta trebuie sa faceti un pas in credinta. „Doamne, iarta-mi pacatul.” Mantuirea depinde de lucrarea lui Hristos pentru noi. Darm rasplatirea depinde de lucrarea noastra pentru El. Cu cat lucram mai mult, cu atat vom fi rasplatiti mai mult acolo sus in cer.

Daca va veti duce acuma acasa si va veti uita in oglinda, sigurat veti vedea oameni nedesavarsiti. Nu-i nimic. Dumnezeu vrea sa va desavarseasca in fiecare zi si vreau sa va spun ca in atelierul lui Dumnezeu suntem cu toti oameni care asteptam sa faca Domnul cu noi aceasta mare lucrare care este pocainta.

Mesajul Invierii de Pastorul Nelu Brie

Procesul Domnului Isus a fost unic si prin faptul ca Cel condamnat a fost gasit vinovat nu pentru ceea ce a facut, ci pentru ceea ce a fost El. Aparenta înfrângere a mortii Domnului Isus a culminat cu reala victorie a Învierii. Daca totul s-ar fi terminat fara înviere, viata ar avea astazi un alt sens, iar vesnicia ar fi un infern. Cine ar sterge astazi lacrimile vaduvei, ale orfanului si ale celui lovit de valurile vietii, daca nu ar fi înviat Isus? Cine ar iubi pe cei neiubiti, cine ar ierta pe cei neiertati, cine ar hrani pe cei nehraniti, cine ar mângâia pe cei nemângâiati… daca nu ar fi înviat Isus? Cine ar raspunde rugaciunilor disperate, cine ar sterge lacrimile fierbinti, cine ar ierta pacatele daca nu ar fi înviat Isus? Pe cine ar cauta natiunile, cui s-ar închina milioanele de oameni, cui i S-ar dedica imnurile si adorarea daca n-ar fi înviat Isus? Dar Isus a înviat si învierea Lui este speranta muritorilor.

Exista un mesaj în Învierea lui Isus care traverseaza veacurile si cheama pe oameni la dragostea si iertarea divina. Învierea celui Înviat pune în evidenta câteva adevaruri universale:

I. Dumnezeu este mai tare decât Diavolul.

Diavolul a fost învins de Dumnezeu si în cer, si pe pamânt. În cer a fost învins înainte de creatie, când sclipitorul înger Lucifer, împreuna cu a treia parte dintre îngeri, s-a razvratit împotriva lui Dumnezeu. Drept pedeapsa, el a fost aruncat în vazduh si din înger al luminii a devenit înger al întunericului, din Lucifer (purtator de lumina) a devenit Diavolul (Instigatorul, Dusmanul).

Pe pamânt a fost învins la Golgota, când Isus, parasit de oameni si de Dumnezeu, l-a învins prin cruce. Mormântul sigilat, garzile imperiale, complotul preotilor corupti, tradarea lui Iuda… nu L-au putut tine în mormânt – A ÎNVIAT. În timpul procesului lui Adam si Eva din Eden, Dumnezeu face o promisiune, care s-a împlinit la cruce: ,,Vrajmasie voi pune între tine si femeie, între samânta ta si samanta ei. Aceasta îti va zdrobi capul, si tu Îi vei zdrobi calcâiul” (Genesa 3:15). Mântuitorul a zdrobit capul Diavolului la cruce, si în felul acesta a înfrânt pacatul si moartea. Dumnezeu este iubire, Diavolul este ura. Dumnezeu este mai tare decât Diavolul.

II. Dragostea este mai tare decât ura.

Dumnezeu este personificarea iubirii, Diavolul este personificarea urii. Din ura s-a razvratit împotriva lui Dumnezeu, din ura a instigat pe primii oameni în Eden, din ura a vrut sa-L distruga pe Isus. Ura oamenilor, acumulata de-a lungul mileniilor, sfida justitia divina chemând judecata si mânia lui Dumnezeu. Ura lor L-a aruncat pe Isus pe cruce si L-a coborât în mormânt. Ce pret aveau oamenii pacatosi în fata sfinteniei lui Dumnezeu? De ce meritau oamenii sa vina Fiul lui Dumnezeu pe pamânt si sa moara pentru ei? Cu ce L-am obligat noi pe Dumnezeu sa ne iubeasca si sa-Si jertfeasca singurul Fiu pentru rascumpararea noastra? Motivatia Mântuitorului de a veni pe pamânt a fost iubirea, iubirea pentru oameni, pentru suferinta si durerile lor. Dragostea a luat asupra ei si vinovatia umana, platind dreptatii lui Dumnezeu prin moarte. A urmat apoi Învierea glorioasa si Dragostea a iesit afara, aducându-ne vestea iertarii. Dragostea este vesnica, ura este vremelnica. Dragostea este mai tare decât ura.

III. Binele este mai tare decât raul.

Dumnezeu este personificarea binelui, Diavolul este personificarea raului. Primul rau l-a facut în lumea îngerilor înainte de Creatie, când a instigat o treime dintre îngerii lui Dumnezeu, apoi pe Adam si Eva, apoi cele 6.5 miliarde de oameni… În ciuda metodelor meschine, violente, lipsite de scrupule si demnitate, Diavolul a fost învins pentru totdeauna. În ciuda metodelor transparente, pline de iubire si bunatate, Isus a învins pentru totdeauna. Toata viata, Domnul Isus a facut numai bine, fiind ca un Miel în mijlocul lupilor. Stia ca are la dispozitie 12 legiuni de îngeri, însa nu a vrut sa faca rau nici chiar dusmanilor Sai. Raul a fost biruit prin bine, nu prin rau, caci Mântuitorul nu a folosit metodele Diavolului. ,,Nu te lasa biruit de rau, ci biruieste raul prin bine”. Finalul a dovedit si în acest caz ca binele triumfa, pentru ca Dumnezeu este de partea binelui. Binele este atmosfera cerului si a sufletelor mântuite de cel Înviat. Binele este vesnic, timp în care raul este trecator. Binele este mai tare decât raul.

IV. Viata este mai tare decât moartea.

Dumnezeu este personificarea vietii, Diavolul este personificarea mortii. Viata aduce bucurie, moartea aduce lacrimi; viata aduce primavara, moartea aduce iarna; viata aduce speranta, moartea aduce resemnare. Firicelul de iarba va sparge întotdeauna asfaltul, ghiocelul se va ridica întotdeauna deasupra zapezii. Este de neînteles faptul ca Mântuitorul ne-a adus viata prin moartea Sa si a învins prin slabiciune. Când Domnul a fost pus în mormânt, nici macar ucenicii nu au mai crezut ca se poate face ceva si au ramas dezamagiti si fara speranta. Prin moarte, Domnul a distrus boldul mortii (1 Cor. 15:55-57), adica pacatul care ne despartea de Dumnezeu. Viata este eterna, moartea este temporara. Viata este mai tare decât moartea.

V. Adevarul este mai tare decât minciuna.

Dumnezeu este personificarea adevarului, Diavolul este personificarea minciunii. Domnul Isus în viata de pe pamânt a fost Adevarul, El ne-a adus adevarul din partea lui Dumnezeu (Ioan 1:14; 8:32,45-46;14:6). Bucuria oamenilor de la Florii s-a transformat în ura la Paste, iar minoritatea a devenit majoritate. Oamenii au omorât Adevarul, dar El n-a ramas în mormânt, ci a înviat, dovedind ca este invincibil si vesnic. În El poti avea încredere, este Dumnezeu în cer si pe pamânt. Oamenii L-au omorât pentru ca faptele lor erau rele, si, iubind pacatul, n-au vrut adevarul (Ioan 3:19-21). Cei de atunci au preferat sa spuna ca Hristos nu a înviat. S-au cheltuit bani pentru a raspândi aceasta minciuna. Minciuna ostasilor romani pusi la cale de preotii vremii nu a rezistat. Astazi toti oamenii stiu ca Isus a înviat ca este Dumnezeu viu si vesnic. Lupta dintre adevar si minciuna continua si astazi (Matei 28:11-15), însa Adevarul va învinge mereu, pentru ca adevarul este vesnic. Adevarul este mai tare decât minciuna.

VI. Speranta este mai tare decât disperarea

Dumnezeu este personificarea sperantei, Diavolul este personificarea disperarii. Scopul pacatului, al bolilor, al mortii este sa aduca disperarea în inimile oamenilor. Destinul oamenilor nascuti din nou este în mâna strapunsa de cuie a Mielului lui Dumnezeu. În lucrarea mântuitoare exista speranta, disperarea nu mai are efect, Isus ne-a platit datoria. Speranta este mai tare decât disperarea.

Indiferent care îti este starea sufletului la sarbatoarea de Paste, adu-ti aminte de aceste adevaruri universale probate de istorie. Ele au scopul sa-ti aduca dragostea lui Dumnezeu, sa te încurajeze, sa te ridice, pentru ca Dumnezeu este mai tare decât Diavolul, dragostea mai tare dacât ura, binele mai tare decât raul, viata mai tare decât moartea, adevarul mai tare decât minciuna, speranta mai tare decât disperarea. Aceste adevaruri nu au scopul doar sa te informeze, ci si sa-ti spuna ca Dumnezeu te iubeste, Îi pasa de tine, destinul tau este în mâna Sa!

Alte articole/predici – Pastorul Nelu Brie-

Florin Ianovici – Pastele

De cănd vocea lui Dumnezeu răsuna in gradina Edenului intrebând: „Unde eşti?”, Gen.3 cu 9, de atunci planul Lui pentru sufletul omului era alcătuit. Isus plin de durere rosteşte in faţa ucenicilor următoarele cuvinte: „Dar cum se vor implini scripturile care zic ca aşa trebuie să se întample”? Mt.26 cu 54, căci „Toate aceste lucruri s-au întamplat ca să se implineasca cele scrise…”Mt.26 cu 56

În trei zile avea sa fie rescrisă istoria omenirii.

În trei zile cruciale avea sa fie deschisa o cale noua omenirii. O cale croită prin voinţa lui Dumnezeu arătată în fiul sau Preaiubit, Isus Hristos. „Acolo se va croi o cale, un drum care se va numi Calea cea Sfantă:nici un om necurat nu va trece pe ea, ci va fi pentru cei sfinti…”Isaia 35 cu 8 Dar această cale s-a croit în trei zile cruciale pe care le-a cunoscut omenirea:vineri, sambătă , duminică! Trei zile pământeşti…

VINEREA cumplită a neamului omenesc

Cum începe ziua de vineri? Din gradina Ghetimani undeva puţin după miezul nopţii cand Iuda, vanzatorul vine impreuna cu o gloata de oameni înarmaţi cu ciomege si săbii, care au pus mâinile pe Isus si L-au prins.” Atunci toţi ucenici l-au părăsit si au fugit”. Matei 26 cu 56. În această vânzare există ceva atât de uman. Specific omului. Iuda s-a arătat şi s-a dus la Mântuitorul. S-a apropiat, l-a prins de umeri şi l-a sărutat. Deja cel rău stăpănea inima lui Iuda. Planul era întocmit. Alegerea stabilită. Dar Isus se cutremură de gestul lui Iuda.”…cu o sărutare vinzi tu pe Fiul omului?”.Lc 22 cu 48.

Într-o zi un fiu risipitor se întoarce acasă. Tatăl l-a zărit de departe. Aşa este dragostea. Are privirea antrenată. Fiul a fost îmbrăţişat de tată care „l-a sărutat mult”, Lc 15 cu 20. Un sărut al iertării. O pildă despre dragostea tatălui ceresc care cuprinde în braţe fii risipitori. Pe care îi sărută cu dragoste de părinte. Un sărut al iertării. Iuda se apropie să îl îmbrăţişeze pe Isus şi îl sărută. Un sărut josnic, al trădării. „Cu un sărut…Iudo? „Nu putea fi altceva? Sub un sărut o inimă întunecată. Aşa e omul. Poate zâmbi, poate vorbi frumos, te poate îmbrăţişa, dar inima să fie rea.

L-au dus la marele preot Ana unde unul dintre aprozi l-a pălmuit pe Isus. Pe seama nevinovatului Isus a încercat aprodul slugarnic să îşi construiască o imagine în faţa marelui preot. Isus nu a raspuns în opinia lui cuviincios. Slugărnicia are limbajul ei. Şi pălmuieşte pe unii şi pe alţii şi azi. Ce contează adevărul? Lui să îi fie bine.L-au dus la marele preot Caiafa si l-au învinuit. L-au scuipat in faţă, l-au bătut cu pumnii si l-au pălmuit, zicand: „Hristoase, proroceşte-ne cine Te-a lovit? Mt.26 cu 68. Este uimitor faptul ca aceste evenimente se petrec în timpul nopţii. Undeva după ora 12. Câtă ură trebuie să fi strîns preoţii în inimă. Să ai atîtă energie în a striga, a pălmui, a bate cu pumnii, a scuipa şi a aduce injurii la aceea oră tîrzie din noapte!Inima nu are odihnă când este să urască.

Spre ziuă au făcut sfat impotriva lui Isus, nu ca să îl judece, ci „ca să îl omoare”Mt.27 cu 1. L-au legat si l-au dat in mana dregătorului Pilat din Pont; Pilat l-a trimis la Irod care stapănea ţinutul Galileii de unde era Isus. Irod l-a primit pe Isus cu gând ca va vedea o minune. Un fel de specatacol la care nu plăteşti billet. Dar Mântuitorul a tăcut. I-a pus Irod multe întrebari dar Isus nu a răspuns nimic. Preoţii şi cărturarii cei mai de seama „îl părau cu înfierbantare spune cuvantul. Luca 23:10  Apoi Irod şi-a aratat faţa adevărată: „se purta cu dispreţ şi dupa ce şi-a bătut joc de El l-a îmbrăcat cu o haină stralucitoare şi L-a trimis înapoi la Pilat.

În ziua aceea, Irod şi Pilat s-au împrietenit unul cu altul căci erau învrăjbiţi între ei înainte. Lc.23:12. Iată un lucru semnificativ. Doi făcători de rele, Irod şi Pilat, doi oameni interesaţi de poziţiile lor pământeşti, ajung să se împrietenească. Pe seama nevinovatului Isus. Pentru mulţi oameni Pilat apare ca o victimă a unei situaţii de constrângere. El are un gest de a încerca să îl elibereze pe Isus. Dar acestă menţiune din Evanghelia lui Luca aduce lumină în privinţa adevăratuului caracter al lui Pilat. Se împrieteneşte cu Irod cu prilejul acestui simulacru de proces.

Pilat a pus să îl bată pe Isus. Cu nuiele, cu biciu, a fost legat si bătut. Rănile Sale au picurat sânge. Gemetele Sale nu au smuls nici un regret. Mâinile Sale nu s-au mai lăsat pe creştetul cuiva pentru a aduce vindecare, sau binecuvantare ci au fost legate cu funii. Ca un miel pe care îl duci la tăiere. El nu a deschis gura deşi era chinuit şi asuprit.Aproape că inima strigă: destul!E prea mult!Dar calvarul Mântuitorului Isus era departe de a se fi sfârşit.

Apoi a fost dus în pretoriu, l-au desbrăcat de hainile Lui si L-au îmbrăcat cu o haină stacojie, au împletit o cunună de spini, au pus-o pe cap si I-au pus o trestie în mâna dreapta. Apoi îngenunchiau in faţa lui şi îsi bătea joc de El spunând: „Plecaciune Ţie Împaratul iudeiilor”.Mt.27 cu 29 şi 30. Şi scuipau asupra Lui si-l băteau în cap. Apoi a început ultimul drum pământesc al lui Isus.

Drumul spre Golgota.

I-au pus crucea în spate si l-au silit sa meargă. Ajunşi la Gologota, L-au întins, l-au străpuns cu piroane în încheieturile mâinilor şi l-au ridicat pe cruce.I-au pironit picioarele cu piroane de 13-18 cm. Umerii au fost dislocaţi. Ca să respire trebuia să se impingă în picioarele străpunse altfel cutia toracică nu se umplea cu aer. Piroanele din picioare s-au oprit în oasele tarsiene. Setea era cumplita. Din cauza biciuirii era in soc hipovolemic. Ca urmare a şocului hipovolemic inima galopa pentru a pompa sangele care nu mai era acolo. Tensiunea arterială a scăzut provocând o stare de leşin sau colaps, iar rinichii nu mai lucrau. Isus suferise o hematidroză atunci când in Ghetimani ca urmare a unui chin sfâşietor , ca de moarte, s-au eliberat în organism substanţe chimice care au rupt capilarele din glandele sudoripare.

Norodul stătea şi privea.Fruntaşii îşi băteau joc de El si spuneau „Pe alţi I-a mântuit; să se mântuiască pe Sine Insuşi dacă este El Hristosul, Alesul lui Dumnezeu. Ostasii de asemenea îşi băteau joc de El. Se apropiau, Îi dădeau oţet si_Îi ziceau „Daca eşti Tu Împăratul iudeiilor mântuieşte-Te pe Tine Însuţi” Luca 23:35 si 36. Unul dintre talhari işi bate joc de El. Trecătorii îşi băteau joc de El, dădeau din cap si ziceau: „Uăă!Tu, care strici Templul, şi-l zidesti la loc în trei zile, mantuieşte-te pe tine însuţi si pogoară-te de pe cruce”Marcu 15 cu 29 si 30.

În agonia morţii privirea lui Isus îmbartiseaza chipurile celor din jur. Îi răsună în urechi şoapta vrăjmaşului: Pentru ei vrei Tu să mori? Merită ei atâta suferinţă? Legiuni de demoni aţâţau mulţimea care arunca ocara asupra lui Isus.
Ingerii şi întreaga ostire cerească este înmărmurită. Cu ochii atinţiti spre Isus, cu atenţia îndreptată spre Tatăl aşteaptă un semn din partea Tatălui pentru a izbăvi din chin pe Neprihănitul Isus. Dar Tatăl tace.

Despărţit de Dumnezeu, părăsit de ucenici, sfredelit de vorba vrajmaşului, Satana, împresurat de taurii din Basan care îl impung, ţinta ocarii si epuizat de durerea trupului din care se scurge viaţa, fara un singur cuvânt de mângâiere,…iată VINEREA cumplită a neamului omenesc.Iată adevărata faţă a neamului omenesc.Făra farduri aplicate, fără politeţuri zaharisite, fără strălucirea mincinoasă a unor strasuri ieftine. Faţă adevărată a neamului omenesc este faţă nelegiuirii care a înveninat inima şi a întunecat mintea.VINEREA numită mare. Zi de adevăr cumplit. Zi de faliment total pentru omenirea care zace în cel rău.

SAMBATA – Tacere

Ucenicii sunt ascunşi în case. Dincolo de uşi. O zi a tăcerii. Preotii isi sarbatoaresc Pastele atât de drag lor. Cu pioşenie se apropie de un Dumnezeu care le lăsase porunci şi legi. Pe care le ştiau. Ce bine acum că nu mai era nimeni să le conteste autoritatea. Ce bine că nimeni nu mai tulburau oamenii cu cuvinte care loveau în ei ca nişte bice. Lucrurile intraseră în normal. În obişnuitul pe care îl ştiau şi îl controlau.

Pilat, Irod si toate autoritatile sunt linistite. Nimic nu tulbură liniştea cetăţii. Cerul tace. Dumnezeu tace. Tăcere peste tot. O tăcere în care vorbeşte doar frica. Frica preoţilor, frica ucenicilor. Totul este pierdut. Fară speranţă. Tăcere. Nu mai este nimic de spus. Hristos este în mormânt. Păzit cu străşnicie.

DUMNICA –  A ÎNVIAT!

Peste cetate răsar zorii. Grăbită Maria Magdalena şi cealaltă Marie împreună cu Salome au venit să vadă mormântul. Dar nu doar mormîntul ci pe Cel ce era acolo. Însă Domnul Isus nu mai era acolo. Un mesaj al unui înger a căzut mai puternic ca fulgerul. A ÎNVIAT! Ele au plecat cu frică şi mare bucurie şi au fost întâmpinate de Isus Hristos, Mântuitorul care le-a spus: „Bucuraţi.vă!”.

Ele duc vestea ucenicilor care par neputincişi în a crede că El a înviat. Un basm. Nimic mai mult. Acolo Petru auzind vestea este cuprins de frenezie. Poate că mai există o şansă să se reabiliteze. Să îşi ceară iertare în faţa lui Isus. Dacă El a înviat va sta de vorbă cu El, va plânge, se va căi. Aleargă cu acest gânduri în inimă la mormânt. Dar n-a văzut decât nişte făşii de pânză. Prea puţin. Mirat s-a întors acasă. Cleopa cu un alt ucenic întălneşte pe drumul Emausului pe Isus Cel Înviat. Plini de bucurie se întorc la Ierusalim să dea vestea ucenicilor. Ucenici ascultau.

Deodată Isus a venit în mijlocul lor şi a rostit: „Pace vouă!”. Cuvânt care va rămâne pe buzele credincioşilor de atunci şi până la venirea Sa. Dar ucenicii s-au speriat. El i-a invitat să se uite la mâinile şi picioarele Lui care păstrau urmele piroanelor. A măncat peşte şi un fagure de miere ca semn al învierii Sale în trup. Apoi le-a deschis mintea.

Dumincă. Zi de spaimă pentru preoţi. Isus a înviat! Mintea lor căuta febrilă o soluţie .Ziceţi că ucenicii au venit şi au furat trupul Lui pe cănd voi dormeaţi! Şi au plătit bani mulţi pentru această minciună.

Dar toată cetatea era în mişcare. Multe morminte s-au deschis şi în sfănta cetate s-au arătat multora. Mulţimea nu mai putea fi înşelată. Învierea era peste tot. Speranţa renăscuse. Ochii au prins să aibă sclipiri noi.Privirile s-au înălţat. Isus înviase! Dumnezeu deschisese drumul spre mîntuire prin Robul Său Isus. Moartea a fost biruită. Satan a fost doborît. Cheile locuinţei morţilor i-au fost smulse. Moartea a fost biruită şi boldul ei frânt. Zapisul cu păcatele lumii a fost ţintuit pe cruce. Viaţa s-a coborât din belşug.

Un cuvînt nou a prins să se fluture pe buzele oamenilor:a înviat.Hristos a înviat!

  • Lumea a vorbit VINERI.Dumnezeu a tăcut şi a suferit moartea pe cruce.
  • Lumea a tăcut SÂMBĂTĂ.Dumnezeu a tăcut şi El.
  • Dumnezeu a vorbit DUMINICĂ. Prin ÎNVIERE! Şi toţi cei care L-au crezut au început şi ei să vorbească:”Hristos a înviat!Cu adevărat a înviat!.

Să rămănem în DUMNICA ÎNVIERII pentru toată viaţa noastră. Tu cel ce ai rămas în ziua de vineri a neamului omenesc, vino la sărbătoarea duminicii. A iertării şi a învierii.
HRISTOS A ÎNVIAT!

Un film de Pasti (1) Quo vadis

Nero si arderea Romei

Filmul original, din 1951, „Quo vadis” este titlul unui roman istoric, scris de Henryk Sienkiewicz, în anul 1896. Romanul înfăţişează în chip deosebit de viu civizilatia din Roma şi persecuţiile suferite de creştini, în perioada împăratului păgân Nero, pe fundalul unei poveşti de dragoste. Pentru opera lui literară, în anul 1905, autorului polonez i s-a decernat Premiul Nobel. Titlul cărţii, însemnând în limba latină „Unde mergi?” Romanul evocă persecuțiile suferite de creștini în perioada lui Nero și aceasta prin intermediul poveștii de dragoste dintre o tânără creștină, Ligia și Marcus Vinicius, patrician roman. Acțiunea se desfășoară în cadrul cetății Romei.

Daca doriti sa vedeti filmul in Limba Engleza, fara subtitrare faceti click aici. Ca sa cititi cartea in Limba Engleza faceti click aici. Ca sa cititi mai mult despre acest roman, inclusiv care personaje sunt reale si care sunt fictive faceti click aici.
FILMUL in Limba Engleza – http://gloria.tv/?media=133076

film

CARTEA (622 pagini)

View this document on Scribd

Film de Pasti (2)

In Statele Unite se obisnuieste sa se difuzeze filmul „Cele zece porunci” la Pasti. Va prezint aici ambele filme despre Istoria „Exodului” – Ambele sunt in Limba Engleza, dar usor de urmarit daca aveti o oarecare cunostinta a textelor Biblice referitoare la viata lui Moise ca si conducatorul Israelului.

Pentru copii

Cele zece porunci

 

Spurgeon – JESUS INTERCEDING FOR TRANSGRESSORS on the cross

His View From The Cross by James Tissot c. 1895DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, NOVEMBER 18, 1877, BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

“And made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:12.

Our blessed Lord made intercession for transgressors in so many words while He was being crucified, for He was heard to say, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” It is generally thought that He uttered this prayer at the moment when the nails were piercing His hands and feet and the Roman soldiers were roughly performing their duty as executioners. At the very commencement of His passion He begins to bless His enemies with His prayers. As soon as the Rock of our salvation was smitten, there flowed forth from Him a blessed stream of intercession. Our Lord fixed His eyes upon that point in the character of His persecutors which was most favorable to them, namely, that they knew not what they did.

He could not plead their innocence and, therefore, He pleaded their ignorance. Ignorance could not excuse their deed, but it did lighten their guilt and, therefore, our Lord was quick to mention it as in some measure an extenuating circumstance. The Roman soldiers, of course, knew nothing of His higher mission—they were the mere tools of those who were in power—and though they “mocked Him, coming to Him, and offering Him vinegar,” they did so because they misunderstood His claims and regarded Him as a foolish rival of Caesar, only worthy to be ridiculed. No doubt the Savior included these rough Gentiles in His supplications. And perhaps their centurion who “glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous Man,” was converted in answer to our Lord’s prayer.

As for the Jews, though they had some measure of light, yet they, also, acted in the dark. Peter, who would not have flattered any man, yet said, “And now, brethren, I know that through ignorance you did it, as did, also, your rulers.” It is doubtless true that, had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory, though it is equally clear that they ought to have known Him, for His credentials were clear as noonday! Our Redeemer, in that dying prayer of His, shows how quick He is to see anything which is, in any degree, favorable to the poor clients whose cause He has undertaken. He spied out in a moment the only fact upon which compassion could find a foothold and He secretly breathed out His loving heart in the cry, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Our great Advocate will be sure to plead wisely and efficiently on our behalf! He will urge every argument which can be discovered, for His eyes, quickened by love, will suffer nothing to pass which may be in our favor. The Prophet, however, does not, I suppose, intend to confine our thoughts to the one incident which is recorded by the Evangelists, for the intercession of Christ was an essential part of His entire lifework. The mountain’s side often heard Him, beneath the chilly night, pouring out His heart in supplications. He might as fitly be called the Man of Prayers as, “the Man of Sorrows.”

Read the sermon in  its entirety here- http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols22-24/chs1385.pdf

A Good Friday Meditation – How can the salvation of all mankind happen in this way?

by Bill Lawrence via www.bible.org  Photo via www.samuelandrade.blogspot.com/

  • A passionate prayer
  • A traitorous arrest
  • A trumped up charge
  • A false trial
  • Lying witnesses
  • A denying disciple
  • Washed hands
  • Unrighteous remorse
  • A Place called Skull
  • A remote crossroads of the world
  • Between two thieves
  • Sneering rulers
  • Scoffing bystanders
  • Abusive soldiers
  • Insensitive crucifiers
  • A repentant robber
  • A new mother and her new son
  • Weeping women
  • A worshipping Centurion
  • Three hours of darkness
  • The earth shakes
  • Some living dead
  • A criminal’s cross
  • A sealed stone
  • Salvation!

Salvation? How can the salvation of all mankind happen in this way? In this ignominious, inglorious way? How can this be? That all of the sins of all who have ever lived or are living or will live are paid for on a criminal’s cross? Aren’t criminals most in need of forgiveness? Can criminals even be forgiven? How can a Man who hung on a criminal’s cross pay for all the sin of all people?

And in Jerusalem of all places. Why not Rome, the political capital of the world? Or Athens, the cultural capital of the world? Or Alexandria, the educational capital of the world? Or Ephesus, one of the economic capitals of the world? Or Corinth, certainly one of the sin capitals of the world? Yes, that’s it, why wasn’t sin paid for in one of the greatest sin centers of history?

It just doesn’t make sense. How can this Friday be Good? And how could salvation happen in this way?

No blaring trumpets, no glorious angels, no parades of power and purity, just another Friday crucifixion in the ancient Roman empire. Amazing. Excruciatingly painful, but almost ho-hum for the Roman soldiers. Just one more criminal to throw on the trash heap of history and off we go for a few drinks and a good time of gaming.

Yet salvation did come this way. Yes, it did!

God had worked for thousands of years to provide His salvation. First there was creation, then rebellion, and then rejection, banishment, separation-we were cut off from God and Life. But that’s when God began the redemption process, first with promises, then with prophecies, and all with purpose, the purpose of demonstrating His power through His weakness as He kept His promises and fulfilled His prophecies. His Son became one of us: His Son became His Slave, His sacrifice. our Savior. And in Jerusalem.

God loves weakness because weakness is the greatest way He can show His power. How can an ordinary Man who isn’t even worthy of a second look become our Savior? But He did through the power of God’s weakness in Jerusalem.

How can Jerusalem become the place of salvation? Jerusalem was a world capital in the ancient Roman Empire. One of the greatest structures of all, Herod’s Temple, was in Jerusalem. The city was a spiritual capital in the empire, but Jerusalem was different from the other world capitals. It was . . . well, it was Jewish, quirkish, lavish in its own way, but certainly not in the Roman way. Jerusalem was really a weak world capital, crushed under the Roman heel. But God had made Jerusalem the center of His salvation purposes, the place where all His promises would be fulfilled, an unlikely place populated by some very unlikely people. How like God to do this.

This is my salvation, my deliverance, my eternal life started on earth and slated to last forever. Again, I must ask how can this be? How can a five-year old fatherless and familyless little boy get father, mother, and family in the blink of an eye? How can that little boy receive a call to serve God? How can that little boy grow up to be blessed with mentors and marriage and sons and daughters-in-law and grandchildren, and faithful friends full of love for him? How can that be? Only because God glories in taking the weak and making us His vessels of glory.

It has been many years since God saved me and I still serve Him. Salvation never ends; why should service? And may I die as Jesus died: with a cross on my back, resurrection in my heart, and the interests of God on my mind.

What has your salvation been? Can you join with me in this Good Friday season and rejoice in God’s salvation for you? Think of what He has done for you and join me.

Jesus our Defense Dr. Timothy J. Keller

Photo via http://artistlight.blogspot.com/1-john-410.html

From monergism.com – The following sermon notes (an excerpt) preached by Tim Keller in 11/13/94 from a series on 1 John entitled: Knowing that we know God

„If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” ( 1 John 1:8-2:2)

…Only for people who see themselves as a moral failure. Only people who see that they are not worthy to go in, that they need someone to go in for them. If you don’t see that .. if you don’t see yourself as so sinful that you don’t have the right to just go to God and speak to Him you haven’t gotten the first point … You are not able to experience intimacy with the Father. Now, having said that, I immediately realize that you are going to fall into two categories here: As I just said, that John says, you have to see that you are sinner, such a sinner and so morally inadequate that you don’t even have the right to go in before God. As a pastor for almost 20 years now I have talked to people a great deal over the years and I have heard people’s reaction to this particular teaching of the Bible. And in general the teaching divides people. I find that people fall into one or the other category. Either they have a lot of trouble with this and they really don’t have that sensation at all … they don’t sense … they don’t feel that they are moral failures. They don’t think they are that bad, they don’t think they are that wicked. They don’t have this sense and they don’t see any reason why they can’t go to God and pray and talk to Him. They feel like, you know I have tried my best, I do pretty good. I am not perfect but I certainly have the right to go in. So some of you just don’t have nearly enough of this sense, according to the writer here. And others of you have an overwhelming sense of it. That are you just crushed under it. You can hardly look at Him. You don’t want anything to do with Him. Everybody [has the tendency] to go into one side or the other. Let me say something to both of you:

1st: Because it’s New York, maybe it’s wrong to say this … I would think that most of you …maybe not. More of you would tend to be in the first category … that you say, “I don’t feel that way … I don’t feel like I am such a rotten sinner. I know the Bible teaches this and I know conservative churches still teach this but basically that is an outmoded doctrine. We don’t believe that anymore. I don’t sense that at all, I don’t feel that way, I don’t see it that way.” But John says …look at … see verse 8. “If we say we are without sin we deceive ourselves. John says [in essence] beware you will not want to admit it. It is natural to deceive yourself on this. It is natural to say what you are saying. You will hide from yourself how self-centered you are, you will hide from yourself how much evil there really is in there. You won’t see it … you’ll repress it.

Everybody is talking about Union South Carolina, aren’t they? And the one thing that is so interesting since my wife and I ministered, we had a church in a city just like Union South Carolina. Similar size, similar kinds of people, it’s amazing. Same accent. Same phrases. And after it was discovered that the woman actually had killed her two children, the quotes in the newspapers from their friends went something like this: “she came from a good family – I knew her people – I sat with her in church, she praised the Lord, how could she do such a thing? I can’t believe it.” But what they mean is: “she’s just like me. She is my kind of people. I went to school with her. I went to church with her. She is just like me and I do not believe that I could do that.” And the reason they are so shattered and the reason they are so disillusioned and the reason they are so amazed is because of bad theology. They may be religious and may go to church and may even consider themselves conservative Christians but they are not reading their Bible. And as a result they are shattered and disillusioned. WE ARE capable of all sorts of things.

I think a lot of folks say, “Yeah, this is dirty pool, you shouldn’t pull this on us. I feel that person must be sick. To be capable of evil and wickedness … certain people are but I just don’t feel like I am that bad a sinner. And all I can tell you that no one has done a better job of explaining this than Charles Spurgeon. He is a Baptist minister and he has this great illustration which I have often had recourse to. He says, “Look at an acorn. What do you see in the acorn? He says, I know it is counterintuitive and I know it doesn’t really make sense, it doesn’t seem to be true but if you think about it you will know it is true. When you look into an acorn you will see an ocean of wood. Let me show you that. He says, first of all inside the acorn is a tree, a huge tree. And every single bit of that tree is in that acorn all scrunched up. In other words, there is not one thing on this huge tree that is going to come out of the acorn that is not in that substance. It’s in there. And that is counter-intuitive. Not only that, but on the tree that is in there are thousands of other acorns. And each acorn is another tree which means that inside that acorn is not only another tree but one thousand other trees and each one of them is a thousand other trees and he says, one acorn has the power to cover the entire world with an ocean of wood. That’s how much power is in there. But if that acorn falls on the pavement, within a couple of days it rots. All of its power goes to nothing. It doesn’t mean that the power is not there. To see the power, to understand the power, it has to actually fall on the soil; it has to get watered and so on. And Spurgeon would turn around and say, “what do you think murder is?” “What do you think it starts with?” Murder has to start with the thought that says “I wish that person weren’t here. I don’t like that person”… it starts with a grudge, it starts with selfishness, it starts with pride, it starts with self-centeredness. What do you think that is? He says, “in your heart, that acorn cup of your heart, there is and ocean of evil, and if you just happen, by God’s grace, to have fallen on pavement … if you have happened, by God’s grace, not to be in a situation where that evil is really being fertilized, if … you can’t see how much evil is in there it doesn’t mean that it is not there.

Now, if you still, considering all that say, „I just don’t see myself that wicked or evil. I don’t see myself capable of murder and extortion. I don’t see myself capable of any of those things”, then I will just say, “Ok fine I am done, I have got to move on. File what I am saying, would you please?” Because the great hymn writer John Newton once said in a letter, “you never learn you are a sinner by being told. You only ever learn that you are a sinner by being shown.” And I suggest to you that someday, some place you will find yourself in a situation in which the only way to explain the way you are acting or the way you are relating or the way you are being treated, is by recourse to the doctrine of sin. As Pascal says [and he was no stupid person] “certainly nothing offends us so rudely as this doctrine of original sin yet without this mystery, the most incomprehensible of all, we are incomprehensible to ourselves.” And if you are not incomprehensible yet to yourself, unless you believe in the radical depravity of the human heart, just wait … just file what I am saying. Alright?

On the other hand, a lot of you are the opposite. You are kind of crushed under the whole idea. In other words when you read this and you see John saying you need someone to go speak on your behalf, you don’t have the right to go in. You are not worthy to go to God. Right away, you immediately know that is true. But you have been crushed … even if you are a Christian. John is writing to Christians here and he knows something. He knows that in the lives of certain people there is a voice that has them nailed to a wall. I have met people … Christians that haven’t stopped going to church necessarily but they have done something in their past that maybe the world calls a great sin. As a result this voice come to them and it says things like, “how could you have done that? All the sermons you have heard, all the promises you have made, all the things you have said, all that you know and you have done this. How can you go to God? How can you expect God to listen to your prayers? How in the world could you even think of yourself as a Christian? You are not worthy to go before Him.” And that voice has you nailed to the wall and it has had you there for years. Maybe you have not given up on your profession of faith. Some of your have, you have completely given up on Christianity. When you get near it the voice just comes at you and you have decided that it is Christianity doing that. And all of its guilt trips. But some of you have stayed in and you’re just crushed. You are bound in shallows and miseries. Well what John has to say is especially for you.

So the first thing you have to see is that you are not worthy to go in. The second thing you have to see is that we have an advocate with the Father. Notice this: Now in chapter 2:1 “if anybody does sin we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins…” Now what is this teaching? Let’s ask three questions:

What is an advocate? Now you say “where is the word ‘advocate’, I do not see it.” The real problem is that there is a Greek word here. It literally says “we have, when you sin, a paraclete with the Father.” But in this particular context it’s a hard thing to get this whole idea across with one English word. So the translators actually take this and open it up and taking one [Greek] word and translating it “one who speaks to the Father in our defense” But the word here could be translated “an advocate”. Maybe that is the best way to put it. What is an advocate? What is this person? An advocate is someone who has an official relationship with you so that whatever the advocate achieves, you achieve, and whatever the advocate loses, you lose. An advocate is a legal proxy. An advocate is a legal representative. In philosophical/theological language an advocate is a federal head, from the Latin wordfoedus meaning covenant. It means you have entered into a relationship with this person so that this person represents you so that what that person does is transferred to you. Here are some examples … they are all over the place actually:

In the area of negotiations. In most countries, in fact in all countries, the national leaders can declare war and also surrender and achieve peace. You don’t have a referendum on war. We don’t have a popular election to decide whether we are going to go to war or not or decide whether we will surrender or not. You have a relationship with the national leaders so that they have the right to do that and, of course, if they make a bad move we are all involved … if they make a good move we are all involved.

Let me give you an illustration that is a little more clear than that. In ancient times you had the idea of a champion. Here were two great armies coming together and sometimes rather than have the battle and have lot and lots of people killed each army would put forth a champion. In the old days they even had a word for this in the ancient Greek, anArchegos. And the champion would stand forth and would represent the army and the country and would battle against the champion of the other country/army. Of course the agreement is that when you did that it meant that if your champion was skillful you were skillful, if your champion was foolish you were foolish, if your champion had victory you were treated as if you were the victors. If your champion was defeated you were treated as if you were defeated.

And of course the one we often use most nowadays is a lawyer, a legal proxy. Especially a lawyer who has what we call today “power of attorney”. And in that case the lawyer stands in and represents the client so that what the lawyer achieves the client achieves and what the lawyer looses, the client looses. It’s all transferred. Charles Hodge, a hundred years ago was a Presbyterian theologian who put it this way:

“The relationship of Christ to his people is that of a legal advocate to a client. The former personates the later. The lawyer stands in the clients place. It is, while it lasts, the most intimate of relationships. You may not even have to appear in court. You are not heard. You are not regarded. You are lost in your advocate who for the time being is your representative. The advocate, not you, is seen. The advocate, not you, is heard. The advocate, not you, is regarded.”

Now if Jesus is our advocate, what is he doing up there? That is the second question. What does he do? He’s speaking. He’s talking. And if we stick with the lawyer illustration, everybody knows why, because that is the job of a lawyer. You hired the lawyer to talk for you. You hired the lawyer because you say the lawyer can talk. The lawyer knows what to say and the lawyer can make a case I could not. Now when I first became a Christian … I heard about this idea that Jesus Christ was before the Father (there are a number of words in the Bible for this). In the book of Hebrews it says Jesus Christ stands as our high priest before the Father. It means he stands as our representative speaking on our behalf. Our legal proxy, our advocate. And He’s up there pleading before the throne for our sake. When I first heard about this at first it seemed at best foolish and at worst very nerve racking. At best it seemed kind of silly like why are you arguing with the Father. But at worst nerve racking because it means when I sin Jesus says “Oh Father, please don’t wipe him out. For my sake please, don’t wipe him out.” This is what I pictured it as and I saw that I would sin again and the Father would say, “I can’t believe that Tim Keller did that again and Jesus says “I know but wait a minute” (this is my idea) that Jesus gets in front of the Father and says “One more time, just give him one more chance, please for my sake Father.” And then I see the Father looking down at Jesus saying, “well, ok, for your sake, alright, one more time.” You see that is a nerve racking metaphor, you know, you sit there and say, “when does the Father finally say “I’ve had it”? When does the father finally say, “forget it”. But you see it doesn’t say the advocate is standing there as Jesus Christ the merciful. It also doesn’t say Jesus Christ the persuasive. It says, “Jesus Christ the righteous one” and it says what he is saying. You see, a really good lawyer doesn’t just play on the emotions of the court. A good lawyer has a case. And what Jesus case is: an atoning sacrifice, and therefore the teaching of this passage which is so absolutely startling and which is absolutely unparalleled in any other religion, is that Jesus Christ is not just standing up there asking for forgiveness … no. And he is not just up there asking for mercy … absolutely not. Jesus Christ is telling the Father what the law is. Now it is unworthy to think of Jesus as having to persuade the Father. You have to remember that the advocacy of Jesus Christ was the Father’s idea. We read in 2 Cor 5 “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.” You have to understand what this is about. What it is about is this: Jesus Christ stands before the Father. Before the justice of God, in other words. And relentlessly and continually says He something like this: ‘Father, yes Tim did do it again but I have died the death he should have died and have lived the life he should have lived in his place. I am his advocate. He is lost in Me. When you look at him you have to see Me. You have to see all that I have done. You have to see all that I am. And therefore Father it would be unjust for you to take two payments for this sin. I have already paid for it. Therefore Father I do not ask for mercy. I demand justice.”

Some people ask “c’mon where does it say that.” It says that in chapter 1 verse 9. “If we confess our sins”, it doesn’t say “he is faithful and merciful to forgive us our sins.” It does not say “he is faithful and loving’. He is of course faith and loving. He is of course faithful and merciful, I am not saying he is not. But it says when we confess our sins because we have an advocate with the Father, God forgives our sins because He is just. Listen, justice has to be stronger than mercy. If you ever have a judge and if that judges son or daughter would come to trial, no judge anywhere would be allowed or would allow themselves to sit and preside over a trial with their own kid. Why? Because justice has to triumph over mercy. Because justice has to prevail or you cannot have a civil order. But incredibly we have a situation in which the justice and the love of God demand that He accepts us. There is nothing beyond this. Nothing at all. “Father”, He says, “I don’t ask for mercy. I demand justice and there is no greater case than that. The justice of God on the scales. The thing we always worry about: the scales. And here are my deeds and my records and here is the justice of the law. And of course my deeds and my records can’t possibly outweigh the deeds of the law and so the idea of blind justice is a frightening thing unless you understand this: We have the law of God not on the other side against us. We have the law and justice of God completely for us. We have the justice of God completely for us. There is no such thing as this anywhere else. No other religion says this. This is far more than forgiveness. Most people seem to think that what it means that Jesus died for you and you go and ask for forgiveness is that “God now wipes off your past slate and your back now on probation, but now you better do a good job.” [rather] Jesus Christ has gone through the probation for us. He puts us beyond probation. Jesus Christ not only gives us forgiveness for our sins but has accomplished righteousness for us. He is not just the one who pays our penalty but is our advocate. He is the one who stands in for us. He is the archegos. It says that in Hebrews. He is our champion, He is the “author and finisher of our faith.” And you know what that word is “author” – archegos. That is in Hebrews 12:2. He is the one who accomplishes it for us.

How does that change your life? That is that last thing we will talk about and I will just tick it off.

Finally you can deal with your guilt. Finally!. Most people cannot deal with their guilt. The person who has got that voice nailing them down: “But I have done something wrong…” But you see God has not just given you forgiveness. People who think that is all that we get. The reason you can’t deal with your guilt is that you believe God is simply merciful. Well He is very merciful. It was mercy that brought forth the whole idea of Jesus dying on the cross and standing in for us but you must understand something else. That not only the mercy of God demands that He love and accept you and shower you with blessings and treat you as if you were His Son. And had done everything that Jesus had ever done, it is His justice that demands it too. Don’t you see the reason why Paul says “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”? Don’t you see why Paul will break in during that same chapter and say “who shall bring a charge against God’s elect.” See? ‘It is Christ who died yea rather that is risen again who is even at the right hand of the father. What shall separate us from the love of Christ?” See what is he doing at the end of chapter 8? He is going on and on that this is not just forgiveness. This is righteousness. God’s righteousness has come to us and it showers us and we are living in it. This is the end of the voice. You know, when the voice comes to us and says, “you call yourself a Christian. Look at what you have done.” And of course that great hymn:

Well may the accuser roar of sins that I have done
I know them all and thousands more and Jehovah knoweth none.

And if you don’t know the hymn, you have to be able to turn to the voice and say, ‘Jesus Christ is my advocate. Of course I have done these things. God knows that. But when he sees me he sees me in my advocate. I am lost in my advocate and all He sees is a beauty.” Do you know how to do that? If you say I am a Christian but I cannot deal with my guilt. If you say, I am a Christian but don’t feel worthy to go before God you don’t get this yet. Be here’s hope; keep reading about it. Keep thinking about it. Keep talking to somebody because when it dawns on you wait till you see.

But on the other had, what else does it bring you? Also it is the only way to deal with disappointment. I have come to the conclusion that most people get into despondency not over guilt necessarily but over the loss of a hope. Something in their life that is so important to them. Something in their life that is so valuable. Something in their life that means so much and you get despondent. You know why? Most of your deepest yearnings for success are actually efforts to be what only Christ should be for you. These things that you get so despondent when you lose they are your case, your arguments before God. They are the things that you look to and say, “see I am worthy” And when one of them falls through: This person doesn’t love me. This job has not worked out. Why are you so despondent? Because you don’t know the hiddeness.

Let me close with this. When Stephen, the great first martyr… you can read about him in Acts 6&7. When he was preaching and was brought into courts. And the religious authorities were upset that Christianity was spreading as it was. They looked at him and said we are going to execute you. Especially after he explained the gospel to them and told them they were wicked sinners. And it didn’t go over very well. You know the first part of the sermon tonight fortunately most of you probably will not try to execute me but some of you will probably be unhappy. In this case, Stephen was preaching to people who had the power to execute him so they did. And they took him out to stone him but just before they began to kill him God gave him something. He looked to the heavens and said “I see Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, standing at the right hand of God.” What did he see? He saw his advocate. And the thing that is so amazing is when on earth he was getting condemned – he was being called a loser, he was getting called a traitor, he was being called a cult leader and a liar. Everything he would want to claim. He would want popularity. He would want a good name. He would want success. He would want a good reputation. It was all being stripped away from him. What did he do in response? When he saw Jesus Christ as advocate standing up there, his face God radiant, it said. He says I see the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” In other words, to know that his advocate in Heaven, and his Father in Heaven loved him, commended him, acclaimed him and accepted him meant that all of the rejection and even an execution here on earth. – He got so excited he seemed to forget, if you read the text, that he was about to be executed – to the degree that you grasp the fact that you have an advocate with the Father you will be able to take criticism. This guy could take an execution. You will be able to take criticism. You will be able to take rejection. You will be able to take sin and guilt. You will be able to take the things that right now weigh you down. You will have the fullness of the Spirit to the degree that you grasp that when we sin we have one who speaks to the father in our defense: Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Predica Florin Ianovici – Fiicele Ierusalimului (Rastignirea)

Pagina – PREDICI – Florin Ianovici

Poza de la o lata vizita la Biserica Sega- extrasa din acel video

Pastorul Florin Ianovici invitat pentru prima data la Biserica Baptista Sega- Arad in 2011.

Text – Luca 22:66 – 23:49

28 Isus S’a întors spre ele, şi a zis: ,,Fiice ale Ierusalimului, nu Mă plîngeţi pe Mine; ci plîngeţi-vă pe voi înşivă şi pe copiii voştri.29 Căci iată vor veni zile, cînd se va zice: ,Ferice de cele sterpe, ferice de pîntecele cari n’au născut, şi de ţîţele cari n’au alăptat!` 30 Atunci vor începe să zică munţilor: ,Cădeţi peste noi!` Şi dealurilor: ,Acoperiţi-ne!` 31 Căci dacă se fac aceste lucruri copacului verde, ce se va face celui uscat?„

Fiicele Ierusalimului care l-au plans pe Domnul Isus Hristos:

Numai evanghelistul Luca consemneaza acest pasaj despre fiicele Ierusalimului, care il jeleau, il plangeau pe Domnul Isus Hristos.

Iti poti justifica viata la infinit, zicand ca lumea e rea. Dar, sa sti un lucru: nota de plata vine individual. Iubesc femeile acestea pentru ca farama de umanitate, de care am nevoie, ca sa pot sa sper ca intr-o zi voi ajunge pe placul lui Dumnezeu este aici in acest pasaj. (12:24)

Sarbatoarea de Pasti – Invierea Domnului – Predici, Filme, Poezii, Cintari

Intrarea lui Isus in Ierusalim     Marcu 11:1–11     Matei 21:1–11      Luca 19:28-44 

LUCA 19:37Şi cînd S’a apropiat de Ierusalim, spre pogorîşul muntelui Măslinilor, toată mulţimea ucenicilor, plină de bucurie, a început să laude pe Dumnezeu cu glas tare pentru toate minunile, pe cari le văzuseră. 38Ei ziceau: ,,Binecuvîntat este Împăratul care vine în Numele Domnului! Pace în cer, şi slavă în locurile prea înalte!„

Pe acesta pagina gasiti articole, filme, poezii si cintari despre patimile si marea sarbatoare a Inviereii Domnului Isus Hristos. Postari vor fi adaugate zilnic. Cautati aici, zilnic. Pagina aceasta va ramine afisata la topul blogului pina in data de 17 Aprilie, 2012

  1. Drama patimilor lui Isus Hristos inscenata pe strada in Romania
  2. Viata lui Isus din Nazaret (6 ore)
  3. Patimile Lui Hristos (full 2 ore) (trailer de 7 minute aici)
  4. Viata lui Isus (dialogul in L. Romana) Versiunea pentru copii (dialogul in L. Romana)
  5. Quo Vadis (3 ore)
  6. Cele zece porunci si Printul Egiptului (animat) (Moise a fost prototipul Domnului Isus)(ambele filme sunt in L. Engleza
  7. Baraba (in Limba Engleza) (4 ore)

PREDICI:

  1. Nelu Brie – Beneficiile Invierii
  2. Nelu Brie – Mesajul Invierii
  3. CEA MAI MARE SARBATOARE A INTREGII OMENIRI – de Avram Cuc
  4. Vladimir Pustan – La zaruri linga crucea lui Isus
  5. Gabi Zagrean – Talharul
  6. Gabi Zagrean – Drumul lui Simon din Cyrena
  7. Florin Ianovici – Pastele
  8. Florin Ianovici – Invierea lui Tabita
  9. Florin Ianovici – Fiicele Ierusalimului (Rastignirea)
  10. Iosif Ton –  Scopurile mortii Domnului Isus
  11. Cristian Barbosu – Floriile (Invitat special Vasile Oprea)
  12. Vladimir Pustan – Intrarea Domnului Isus in Ierusalim
  13. John Piper – Omul Isus Hristos – Opt afirmatii uluitoare facute de Isus
  14. Vladimir Pustan – De ce a intrat Isus in Ierusalim?
  15. John Piper Omul Isus Hristos – Niciodata nu a vorbit vreun om asa

POEZII:

  1. Teodor Codreanu – O noapte preasfintita (Poezie de Pasti) – inregistrare video
  2. Florin Ianovici – Tacerea
  3. Traian Dorz – Doina Golgotei: Canta o pasare maiastra
  4. Poezie de Vinerea Mare – Ti-aduci aminte Vinerea aceia (background music – Pe un deal departe (Instrumental)
  5. Costache Ioanid – Carturari si Farisei

CINTARI:

  1. Hristos a inviat – Chemati bucuria sa vina
  2. Lacrimioara Asandoaie – Hristos a inviat! ♫ – Inaltati pe Domnul ♫
  3. Este oare iertare?
  4. Laura Stoica – Golgota-i trista…
  5. Virginia, cintari pentru Vinerea Mare (1) Isus calvarul a urcat (2) De la Ana la Caiafa (3) Du-ma la cruce
  6. Nicu Wagner – Isaia 53 (cintare noua 2011)
  7. Serviciul de Florii la Biserica Metanoia – Predica Cristian Barbosu – Inchinare Vasile Oprea

Petrisor Bodea cinta „Chemati bucuria sa vina”

Burdens are lifted at Calvary

many thanks to Gabi Bogdan for this beautiful old and comforting song, which we all grew up with, before the recent age of modern worship, when we seem to have sometimes misplaced or forgotten our reverence for the majesty of our God. This video is from the Gaithers, and does have a short commercial running on it, which I cannot remove or block, so please bear with it, as the song is very, very much worth it. As a matter of fact, it’s one everyone should add to their favorites 🙂 Be blessed this Lord’s Day!

Burdens are Lifted At Calvary

Words and music by John M. Moore copyright 1952

Psalm 68:19
„Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
who daily bears our burdens.  Selah.”

Days are filled with sorrow and care,
Hearts are lonely and drear;
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Jesus is very near.

Chorus
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Calvary, Calvary,
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Jesus is very near.

Cast your care on Jesus today,
Leave your worry and fear;
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Jesus is very near.

Chorus
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Calvary, Calvary,
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Jesus is very near.

Troubled soul, the Saviour can see,
Ev’ry heartache and tear;
Burdens are lifted at Calvary
Jesus is very near.

Chorus
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Calvary, Calvary,
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Jesus is very near.

Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary [Live]

Music video by Bill & Gloria Gaither performing Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary (feat. Ladye Love Smith) [Live]. (P) (C) 2012 Spring House Music Group. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is a violation of applicable laws. Manufactured by EMI Christian Music Group,

Old Rugged Cross – The Gaithers (1 hour)

Passion Week – Good Friday – Jesus arrested and crucified – It is finished!

  1. Jesus is taken for an informal hearing before Annas. (Annas served as high priest from A.D. 6–15; his son-in-law, Caiaphas, was high priest from A.D. 18–37.) Archaeologists have uncovered what would have been a two-level, 6,500 square foot mansion in the Upper City, which may have been Annas’ residence and may be the site of this initial hearing. The apostle John is able to enter the court with Jesus; Peter stays outside.
  2. Annas binds Jesus and sends him to stand before Caiaphas and some members of the Sanhedrin Council, where he is mocked and beaten. They render him guilty of blasphemy. Then the Jewish portion of his trial concludes with Jesus bound before the full Sanhedrin, perhaps after or through sunrise.

(VIA) Justin Taylor at the Gospel Coalition

Holy Week: What Happened on Good Friday?

With help from the ESV Study Bible, here’s an attempted a harmony/chronology of the words and actions of Jesus in the final week of his pre-resurrection life.

Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested by the authorities (perhaps after midnight, early Friday morning)

Matthew 26:47-56   Mark 14:43-52   Luke 22:47-53   John 18:2-12

Jewish trial, phase 1: Jesus has a hearing before Annas (former high priest and Caiaphas’s father-in-law)
John 18:13-14, 19-24

Jewish trial, phase 2: Jesus stands trial before Caiaphas and part of the Sanhedrin

Matthew 26:57-68   Mark 14:53-65

Peter denies Jesus

Matthew 26:69-75   Mark 14:66-72   Luke 22:55-62   John 18:15-18, 25-27

Perhaps after sunrise, phase 3 of Jesus’ Jewish trial: final consultation before the full Sanhedrin; sent to Pilate

Matthew 27:1-2   Mark 15:1   Luke 22:66-71

Judas hangs himself

Matthew 27:3-10

Phase 1 of Jesus’ Roman trial: first appearance before Pontius Pilate; sent to Herod Antipas

Matthew 27:11-14   Mark 15:2-5   Luke 23:1-7

Phase 2 of Jesus’ Roman trial: appears before Herod Antipas; sent back to Pontius Pilate

Luke 23:6-12

Phase 3 of Jesus’ Roman trial: Jesus’ second appearance before Pilate; condemned to die
Matthew 27:15-26   Mark 15:6-15   Luke 23:13-25   John 18:28-19:16

Jesus is crucified (from approximately 9 AM until Noon)

Matthew 27:27-54   Mark 15:16-39   Luke 23:26-49   John 19:16-37

The Arrest
Matthew 26:47-56

47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent by the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 (Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I kiss is the man. Arrest him!”) 49 Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi,” and kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and took hold of Jesus and arrested him. 51 But one of those with Jesus grabbed his sword, drew it out, and struck the high priest’s slave, cutting off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back in its place! For all who take hold of the sword will die by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot call on my Father, and that he would send me more than twelve legions of angels right now? 54 How then would the scriptures that say it must happen this way be fulfilled?” 55 At that moment Jesus said to the crowd, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me like you would an outlaw? Day after day I sat teaching in the temple courts, yet you did not arrest me. 56 But this has happened so that the scriptures of the prophets would be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled (Matthew 26:47-56).

Jesus was not “overtaken;” our Lord came from the garden (or orchard) to meet Judas and the multitude who accompanied him. Taking all the Gospels into account, we see that a very large group – a multitude – had come out to arrest Him. This group included Judas, the high priest and his servants, the chief priests, the scribes, the elders of the Jews, the temple police, and a cohort of Roman soldiers. These folks came prepared for the worst. Not only were they armed with swords and clubs (verse 47), they also had lanterns and torches. They seemed to expect Jesus to resist arrest, and they were ready for it, or so they thought.

4 Then Jesus, because he knew everything that was going to happen to him, came and asked them, “Who are you looking for?” 5 They replied, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He told them, “I am he.” (Now Judas, the one who betrayed him, was standing there with them.) 6 So when Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they retreated and fell to the ground. 7 Then Jesus asked them again, “Who are you looking for?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.” 8 Jesus replied, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, let these men go.” 9 He said this to fulfill the word he had spoken, “I have not lost a single one of those whom you gave me” (John 18:4-9, emphasis mine).

John’s account makes it clear that Jesus is still in control. He went out to meet those who sought Him. He asked who they were looking for. When they told Him they were seeking Jesus, He responded, “I am.” Now it is likely that they understood this to mean, “I am He; I am the one you seek.” But it is difficult for the reader not to understand this response in the light of John 8:58 and Exodus 3:14:

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the solemn truth, before Abraham came into existence, I am!” (John 8:58)

Those who came so prepared to overpower Jesus find themselves backing away from His presence, and falling all over themselves. They are so disarmed by this confrontation of Jesus that they let Jesus’ disciples walk (run?) away, untouched. In this way, Jesus fulfills His promise to keep them (John 18:9).

Matthew provides a somewhat more abridged account. A large crowd arrives at the garden (or orchard), and Judas steps forward to kiss Jesus. This is the sign he had prearranged with the soldiers so that they would know who it was they were to arrest. How ironic that Judas would choose a kiss, a token of love and affection, to identify Jesus. Remarkably, Jesus finds it possible to refer to Judas as “friend” (verse 50). No words of malice or even rebuke are spoken to Judas here, something that may have later haunted Judas. As the soldiers stepped forward to arrest Jesus, “one of the disciples” (we all know it is Peter, thanks to John 18:10) pulled out his sword and cut off the ear of Malchus (again, we have his name thanks to John), the slave of the high priest. It is clear from Luke’s account that some of the other disciples were thinking the same thing:

When those who were around him saw what was about to happen, they said, “Lord, should we use our swords?” (Luke 22:49)

Peter was already taking action, which comes as no surprise to the reader. Jesus rebuked His over-zealous, sword-swinging, disciple. Peter’s response was wrong for several reasons. First, he was wrong because violence begets violence. “All who take hold of the sword will die by the sword” (verse 52). The kingdom of God will not be achieved by the use of force or violence. The disciples were to “take up their cross” and not their swords. Secondly, Peter’s hasty use of the sword betrayed a lack of faith in the Messiah’s ability to defend Himself, and in God’s ability to come to His defense, should He wish to do so. At any point in time, Jesus could have called upon the host of heaven at His disposal and annihilated His enemies. This was indeed the challenge put to Jesus while on the cross:

41 In the same way even the chief priests—together with the experts in the law and elders—were mocking him: 42 “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! He is the king of Israel! If he comes down now from the cross, we will believe in him! 43 He trusts in God—let God, if he wants to, deliver him now because he said, ‘I am God’s Son’!” (Matthew 27:41-43)

The wonder of wonders is that Jesus chose to remain on that cross, to die for those who hated Him.
Thirdly, Jesus must be arrested, tried, and executed in this manner because the Scriptures must be fulfilled (verse 54). Jesus had indicated earlier that He must be arrested, persecuted, and crucified. He was to be opposed by unbelieving Jews, and also by Gentiles. Peter and the disciples saw what was coming and reached for their swords. Jesus knew everything that was about to happen to Him (John 18:4), but since this is what God had purposed to take place, Jesus would not allow any of the disciples to defend Him by force. It must happen this way.

After rebuking His disciples for attempting to defend Him by force, Jesus then turned to those who had come to arrest Him. Why were they seeking to take Him by force? What was the need for this great “posse” (to use a term from the old Western movies – a large party of folks authorized to assist in the arrest of Jesus)? Why did they have to arrest Him at night? Jesus had not been in hiding, as if He were a wanted felon. He had publicly taught in the temple. He was never more accessible for arrest than during the previous week. If the disciples’ (threatened) use of force revealed some wrong thinking, so did the show of force by those who came to arrest Jesus in the garden.

Let us leave these verses by taking note that Peter surely was willing to die for His Lord, just as he had claimed earlier. No one would start swinging his sword against an armed force this large without expecting to die (or at least expecting our Lord to intervene with some “heavenly firepower”). Our Lord was indicating to Peter and the rest that if He needed heaven’s intervention, He could do so without His disciples precipitating violence.

You can read the entire article at Bible.org

The Day Christ Died

By Bob Deffinbaugh at Bible.org

For many in Jerusalem, it looked just like any other day. Simon of Cyrene was on his way into the city from the country (Mark 15:21). Little did he know that Jesus had been arrested, tried during the night and early morning hours, and had just been delivered over for crucifixion, taking, it would seem, the place of Barabbas. A centurion and several other soldiers had drawn the duty of executing three men. They had probably performed this duty numerous times, and so today’s task did not appear to be anything new or unusual.

It was not an ordinary day for the two thieves. These men were scheduled for execution on this day. We are not told what these men knew about Jesus, but it may have been very little, since we can assume that Jesus would have been a last-minute addition to their number as they took up their crosses and made their way to Golgotha. After nailing Jesus and the others to their crosses, the soldiers settled down to a ritual they knew all too well. Little did anyone know what this day held in store for them. It was, however, a day no one would ever be able to forget. It was the day Christ died.

Act 1: Jesus Endures the Wrath of Men
Matthew 27:32-44

32 As they were going out, they found a man from Cyrene named Simon, whom they forced to carry his cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”) 34 and offered Jesus wine mixed with gall to drink. But after tasting it, he would not drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided his clothes by throwing dice. 36 Then they sat down and kept guard over him there. 37 Above his head they put the charge against him, which read: “This is Jesus, the king of the Jews.” 38 Then two outlaws were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by defamed him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who can destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are God’s Son, come down from the cross!” 41 In the same way even the chief priests—together with the experts in the law and elders—were mocking him: 42 “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! He is the king of Israel! If he comes down now from the cross, we will believe in him! 43 He trusts in God—let God, if he wants to, deliver him now because he said, ‘I am God’s Son’!” 44 The robbers who were crucified with him also spoke abusively to him.

Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent, but he could not seem to find a way to release Him. Eventually, he gave in to the demands of the crowd and released Barabbas, handing Jesus over for crucifixion. The condemned normally carried their own cross, but it would seem that Jesus had endured such abuse that He no longer had the strength to carry His. A man named Simon, from Cyrene, a north African city of Libya, happened by. A large crowd was following Jesus, made up mainly of women (Luke 23:27). Simon does not appear to have been following Jesus, but rather was coming into Jerusalem from the country (Luke 23:26). Perhaps he was passing by Jesus just as our Lord stumbled under the load of His cross. Simon was forced to take up our Lord’s cross, an unforeseen event that I believe changed the course of Simon’s life.

Why is this man mentioned by name in all three of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke)? And why are we told the city from which he came? Mark goes even further, telling us that Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus (Mark 15:21). I believe Mark expects his readers to recognize this man, and his sons. It is my opinion that until this fateful day, Simon was an unbeliever, but what he saw on this day, the day Christ died, changed him forever, bringing him into God’s kingdom.

The procession arrives at last at Golgotha, where all three men are to be crucified. They offer our Lord “wine mixed with gall,” but when He realizes what it is, He refuses to drink it. More than likely this was provided for the condemned as a kind of sedative or pain reliever. Jesus refused anything which would diminish His suffering, for He must drink the cup of God’s wrath on guilty sinners to the brim.

Notice how quickly Matthew (and the other Gospel writers) pass by the description of the actual crucifixion procedures. We are not told all the gory details about how the nails were driven through our Lord’s hands, though we know that they were (see John 20:25, 27). Neither Matthew nor any of the other Gospel writers dwells on the physical sufferings of our Lord, though there was much that could have been written about this. Matthew turns our attention to the soldiers, who throw the dice to determine who will get our Lord’s garments. John provides greater detail here (John 19:23-24); he alone specifically calls attention to this as the fulfillment of prophecy:

23 Now when the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and made four shares, one for each soldier, and the tunic remained. (Now the tunic was seamless, woven from top to bottom as a single piece.) 24 So the soldiers said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but throw dice to see who will get it.”This took place to fulfill the scripture that says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they threw dice.” So the soldiers did these things (John 19:23-24, emphasis mine).

This is a citation from Psalm 22 (verse18), a psalm whose prophecies are fulfilled several times in the crucifixion of our Lord.

The thing I wish to point out is that these soldiers have little or no interest in who Jesus is, or in what He has done. This is just another day on the job for them. After casting lots, they settle down for what they have come to expect – a number of hours of human agony, to which they seem to turn a deaf ear. Later events will cause them to get much more interested in what is happening on this day, the day Christ died.

Then there is the sign, posted on the top of our Lord’s cross: “This is Jesus, the king of the Jews” (Matthew 27:37). John’s Gospel makes much of this, because the Jews didn’t like the wording of the sign. They much preferred that the sign clearly indicate this was merely what Jesus claimed. Pilate seemed to take pleasure in their displeasure, using the sign to irritate them. It was really what this was all about, anyway. Jesus was here because He claimed to be the King of the Jews, and the Jews refused to accept Him as such.

The emphasis of the paragraph in Matthew 27:32-44 is upon the mocking of those who looked on as Jesus was being crucified. Consider several characteristics of this mocking.

First, this mocking was virtually unanimous. Everyone there  took part in mocking Jesus. In our text, Matthew specifically names “those who passed by” (Matthew 27:39), the chief priests, experts in the law, and the elders (27:41-43), and the two robbers who were crucified along with Jesus (Matthew 27:44). Luke also includes the soldiers who stood by (Luke 23:36-37). One gets the impression that Jesus was the center of attention and that all who were there joined in mocking Him. He bore the wrath of men, and of God, alone.

Second, this mocking was intense and angry. There is a deep hostility and anger evident in the words spoken. If Jesus were a murderer, like Barabbas, one could understand how angry words could be spoken to Him and of Him. I am reminded of the title of one of the last chapters in R. C. Sproul’s book, The Holiness of God“God in the Hands of Angry Sinners.” That is what we see here. The wrath of men is being poured out upon the sinless Savior.

Third, this mocking is against the essence of what our Lord Jesus claimed and taught concerning Himself.While the disciples seemed obtuse to much of what our Lord was teaching, the crowd has it nearly right. They don’t mock Jesus for advocating revolution, or for teaching that they should not pay their taxes. They mock Jesus for claiming to be “the King of the Jews” (Matthew 27:37), the “King of Israel” (Matthew 27:42), “the Son of God” (Matthew 27:40, 43), for “saving others” (Matthew 27:42), and for “trusting in God” (Matthew 27:43). The only thing they had somewhat twisted was our Lord’s alleged claim to be able to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days (Matthew 27:40).

Fourth, this mocking is a really a dare, and thus a recurrence of the same kinds of temptation our Lord experienced in the wilderness. Satan’s challenge, “If you are the Son of God…” (Matthew 4:3, 6), is echoed by those who now say, “If you are God’s Son, come down from the cross!” (Matthew 27:40b). In both cases, the temptation is for Jesus to act in a way that men would expect, in a way that men would do, if they were the Son of God. In other words, the temptation is for our Lord to use His divine power to avoid pain and suffering and to satisfy Himself. They cannot conceive of Jesus having the power to save Himself, and not using it to do so. They cannot conceive of God suffering at the hands of sinful men.

Fifth, the mocking of those who witnessed the death of Christ was a challenge for our Lord to act in a way that would nullify His saving work. If men had their way, our Lord would have saved Himself, and at the same time, He would have ventured from the predetermined plan of God whereby sinful men could be saved. Men are not acting in the best interest of our Lord, and they are not acting in their own best interest, either.

In this first act, men seem to have the upper hand, and Jesus appears to be the helpless victim. Men pour out their wrath on Jesus for not acting as they would expect, as they demand. The guards cast lots for the garments of our Lord, and then settle down for what experience has taught them will be a long vigil. Things quickly and radically change by the time we come to act two, as we are about to see.

Act 2: Our Lord Endures the Wrath of God
Matthew 27:45-56

45 Now from noon until three, darkness came over all the land. 46 At about three o’clock Jesus shouted with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the rest said, “Leave him alone! Let’s see if Elijah will come to save him.” 50 Then Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. 51 Just then the temple curtain was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks were split apart. 52 And tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had died were raised. 53 (They came out of the tombs after his resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.) 54 Now when the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and what took place, they were extremely terrified and said, “Truly this one was God’s Son!” 55 Many women who had followed Jesus from Galilee and given him support were also there, watching from a distance. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee (Matthew 27:45-56).

What a difference three hours can make. It was high noon, and yet darkness suddenly fell over all the land, a darkness that lasted for three hours. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all call attention to this darkness, yet none of them attempts to explain how it happened. There really is no simple explanation. We do not get the impression that this is a dust storm, a cloudy day, or an eclipse. This is sudden and sustained darkness. The best example of this kind of darkness is found in the Book of Exodus, when God brought darkness over the land of Egypt:

21 The Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand toward heaven so that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness that can be felt.” 22 So Moses extended his hand toward heaven, and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. 23 No one could see another person, and no one could rise from his place for three days. But the Israelites had light in the places where they lived (Exodus 10:21-23).

I believe that this darkness that fell over the land of Israel during the crucifixion of our Lord was the same intense darkness we read about in Exodus. I suspect that a hush fell over the crowd, and that all that could be heard were gasps of fear, even terror. You will remember that when Paul was stopped short on the road to Damascus he was stricken with blindness for three days. It gave him time to ponder what he had just experienced.

I believe the main reason for this three-hour darkness over the land of Israel was to place a veil of darkness over the suffering of our Lord, suffering at the hand of His Father. Jesus is now suffering the eternal wrath of God on sinners. While Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ, may dramatically depict the driving of nails through the hands of our Lord (something the Scriptures don’t describe), there is no way any human could depict the separation our Lord experienced from the Father. This agony our Lord bore alone, veiled from the eyes of those who mocked Him.

I should add that while we rightly make much of the suffering of our Lord, let us not forget what this meant to the Father. Those of us who have children know how painful it is for us to observe the suffering of our children. Add to this the fact that the suffering of the Son was the plan and purpose of the Father. Can you imagine what it would have been like for the Father to put His Son on the cross, and then to hear sinners daring Him to save His Son? What a price the Father and the Son paid to save unworthy sinners like us.

At the end of this three-hour period of darkness, Jesus uttered this cry in a loud voice: “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (Matthew 27:46). Matthew interprets it for us: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). We know that Jesus is calling out the first words of Psalm 22, a Messianic Psalm that depicts the suffering of Messiah at Calvary. Several prophecies found in this psalm are fulfilled in the death of Jesus at Calvary. Jesus is identifying Himself as the Suffering Servant, the Messiah whose death will bring about salvation for lost sinners.

It is almost amazing to read that a number of the bystanders didn’t realize what Jesus was saying. They did not see this as our Lord’s citation of Psalm 22:1; they saw it as Jesus calling to Elijah for help. I’m not surprised that some of the bystanders would fail to grasp the meaning of our Lord’s words here. What I wonder is what the Jewish religious leaders thought Jesus was saying. Would they not recognize this as the first words ofPsalm 22? And if they did, what did they make of that? We are not told. We are told that one of them obtained a sponge and dipped it in sour wine to give Jesus a drink. Some of the others urged Him to hold back and see if Elijah would come to His rescue. It may well be that this was said in jest or sarcasm. But it may also be that some were not entirely convinced that Jesus would be left to suffer on His cross. Some might have been curious to see if God did come to rescue Jesus.

Notice that this time Jesus does drink some of the wine. If this wine did contain any tranquilizer or pain reliever, it would not have had time to produce its effect, for Jesus will die almost immediately after He drinks some of the wine. My own sense is that Jesus took some of the wine to relieve His parched throat, so that His final, triumphant shouts would be loud and clearly heard. When taking all the Gospels into account, I am inclined to think that Jesus first shouted, “It is finished!” (John 19:30), followed by, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46). It is the latter statement that would seem to have preceded our Lord’s giving up of His spirit, so that it was apparent to all that He gave up His life. His life was not taken from Him; He voluntarily gave it up:

17 This is why the Father loves me—because I lay down my life, so that I may take it back again. 18 No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down of my own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again. This commandment I received from my Father” (John 10:17-18).

Our Lord’s death occurred at the moment He cried His last utterance, but His death was but the first of a sequence of miraculous events. Matthew is the one Gospel that emphasizes the supernatural phenomenon that accompanied our Lord’s death:

50 Then Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. 51 Just then the temple curtain was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks were split apart. 52 And tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had died were raised. 53 (They came out of the tombs after his resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.) (Matthew 27:50-53)

All three Synoptic Gospels record the rending of the temple veil at the moment of our Lord’s death; only John’s account omits this. The implications of this symbolic event are immense, but they are not spelled out here. These matters will be taken up later in the New Testament. In short, the rending of the veil signified the end of the Old Covenant, under which people had to keep their distance from God, and the commencement of the New Covenant, under which men and women may draw near, through the shed blood of Jesus (note Hebrews 9; 10:19-24).

Now we come to something that is unique to Matthew: the great earthquake, in which rocks were split, tombs were opened, and dead saints were raised to life. What a punctuation mark God placed at the death of His Son! Jesus cries out triumphantly, proclaiming that His work is finished, and committing His spirit to the Father. Jesus then breathes His last and gives up His spirit. At the very moment of His death, the temple veil was rent, and a great earthquake shook the place so hard that the rocks split and graves were broken open. All this took place in close proximity to the three hours of darkness.

We know that the dead were not raised until after the resurrection (Matthew 27:53), so why are we told here that the tombs were opened? Why not wait until the resurrection itself? For one thing, I believe Matthew wants us to see the hand of God plainly in the events surrounding the death of our Lord. For another, I believe that the graves were opened in preparation for the resurrection of these Jerusalem saints coinciding with our Lord’s resurrection. The earthquake sets the stage for the resurrection of the dead Jerusalem saints. Third, I believe that we are meant to see the connection between the death of our Lord and His resurrection. The death of our Lord was a supernatural event, and the spectacular phenomena that accompany it underscore this fact. To Matthew (and the other apostles – see Acts 2:22-36), the resurrection of our Lord is a necessary corollary to the cross, and he wants us to recognize this.

Now, the bodies of “many saints who had died” and had been buried were raised to life, and they went into “the holy city” (Jerusalem) where they appeared to many people (Matthew 27:53). This is amazing! Can you imagine the impact this would have had on the people of Jerusalem? What a way to underscore the resurrection of our Lord. Not only did Jesus rise from the dead, but a large group of saints were raised at the same time. It might be worth considering just who some of these resurrected folks could have been:

33 Nevertheless I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the next day, because it is impossible that a prophet should be killed outside Jerusalem.’ 34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would have none of it! (Luke 13:33-34; see also Matthew 23:37)

Jerusalem was where the prophets were killed and were buried:

29 “Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30 And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have participated with them in shedding the blood of the prophets’” (Matthew 23:39-30).

I think it is therefore reasonable to assume that some of those who were raised and who went about Jerusalem were martyred prophets. What a story they would have had to tell! And what an impact they must have had on the people of Jerusalem.

But let’s get back to the cross and the moment of our Lord’s death. There were those who were greatly impacted by the way our Lord died:

Now when the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and what took place, they were extremely terrified and said, “Truly this one was God’s Son!” (Matthew 27:54)

Mark and Luke have similar statements:

Now when the centurion, who stood in front of him, saw how he died, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!” (Mark 15:39)

47 Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent!” 48 And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts (Luke 23:47-48).

Luke has the centurion declaring our Lord’s innocence, adding to the testimony (in Matthew) of Judas (Matthew 27:4), Pilate (Matthew 27:23-24; see also Acts 3:13; 13:28), and Pilate’s wife (Matthew 27:19). Luke adds some other details. First, he has the centurion praising God, not just confessing Jesus’ innocence. Second, he informs us that the crowds went home “beating their breasts” (Matthew 23:48). The crowds may not have been willing to declare the innocence of our Lord, but they most certainly did not go home with a satisfied smile on their faces. They knew that something terrible had happened that day, something they did not understand, but which terrified them greatly. There was no pleasure for them in this crucifixion.

Unlike the other Gospel accounts, Matthew goes beyond the confession of the centurion himself. Matthew tells us that the centurion, along with the other soldiers who were guarding Jesus, confessed that Jesus was the Son of God. These soldiers, who had just a few hours earlier settled down for a long vigil, aloof to the suffering of Jesus (and even joining in on the mockery of Jesus – see Luke 23:36-37), were now wide-eyed with terror. They could do nothing other than confess that Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God was true. What a powerful testimony this was.

Matthew, like Mark (15:40-41) and Luke (23:49), tells about the women who had supported Jesus throughout His earthly ministry, looking on from some distance away. It was all they could do. They were the only ones, it would seem, who did not take part in mocking Jesus. They remained faithful to Jesus, not forsaking him (as it would seem ten of His disciples did). One wonders what they were thinking as they observed the supernatural phenomena that accompanied the death of the Savior.

Act 3: The Burial of Jesus
Matthew 27:57-61

57 Now when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut in the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance of the tomb and went away. 61 (Now Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there, opposite the tomb.) (Matthew 27:57-61)

Joseph of Arimathea is a most interesting fellow. We have not met him before, and we shall not meet him again, except in the parallel accounts of the other Gospels. Every Gospel mentions the burial of our Lord by Joseph of Arimathea. John’s Gospel informs us that Nicodemus assisted Joseph of Arimathea in burying Jesus (Matthew 19:39-42). Matthew tells us that Joseph was a disciple of Jesus (Matthew 27:57), but John adds that he was a secret disciple because he feared the Jews (Matthew 19:38). Mark informs us that he was a highly regarded member of the Sanhedrin, who was looking forward to the kingdom of God (Matthew 15:43). Luke adds that “he was a good and righteous man” (Matthew 23:50), who did not consent to the Sanhedrin’s decision to kill Jesus (Matthew 23:51).

Mark tells us that Joseph went “boldly” to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus (Matthew 15:43). One would have to say that it must have taken great courage to identify with Jesus as this moment in time. Peter and our Lord’s disciples were not yet willing to do so, at least after His arrest. Even more so, I am impressed with Joseph’s boldness in distinguishing himself from his colleagues on the Sanhedrin. You can well imagine that Joseph was no longer welcome on the council after he publicly identified with Jesus. His actions spoke louder than words, for it became evident that he was a follower of Jesus, and therefore distanced himself from the other members of the Sanhedrin and the action they had taken.

Being a rich man (Matthew 27:57), Joseph had a tomb already prepared for his own burial, a new tomb that had been cut out of the rock (Matthew 27:60). Time was short, and the Jews were eager to get the bodies down from the crosses so that they could observe Passover. I am inclined to think that many of the executed criminals may not even have been buried. Joseph knew that his tomb was nearby and available, so he made good use of it. The body of Jesus was hastily prepared (probably with the assumption that further preparations could be made after Sabbath) and placed in the tomb. A large stone was then rolled across the entrance as Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” looked on (Matthew 27:61).

Conclusion

Let us first give thought to the importance of our text and to the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that Matthew has written this Gospel in a way that makes the cross the main climax of the book. Here is what our Lord has been about from the beginning. The death of Christ on the cross of Calvary is the one and only way by which men can obtain the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life.

14 Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” 16 For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him (John 3:14-17).

This week I will preach the funeral service for a neighbor who just passed away. I’m going to use this passage in Matthew for my funeral text, even though I’ve never used it for a funeral message before. The death of our Lord Jesus Christ puts death (especially the death of a Christian) in a whole new light. The death of our Lord, ugly and wicked though it was (so far as man’s participation in it is concerned), was such that it drew people to faith. Christ’s death can be the death of death for us, if we trust in the saving work of our Lord on the cross. He was innocent, as Judas, Pilate, Pilate’s wife, one of the two thieves who hung beside Jesus, and the Roman soldiers testified. This is what makes His death unique and effective for us. He did not die for His sins (because He was innocent), but for the sins of lost men and women like you and me.

We should see ourselves in those who rejected our Lord and mocked Him as He was dying on the cross. We should see only innocence and perfect righteousness in Jesus. Let us acknowledge our sin, and the fact that the death He died was for the sins of others, and not His own. Let us trust in His death in our place, bearing the penalty for our sins, for the forgiveness of our sins, and the gift of eternal life.

The death of our Lord Jesus is the payment for our sins, and the only way that we will ever obtain eternal life. But it is also a pattern for us to follow:

18 Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are perverse. 19 For this finds God’s favor, if because of conscience toward God someone endures hardships in suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if you sin and are mistreated and endure it? But if you do good and suffer and so endure, this finds favor with God. 21 For to this you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was maligned, he did not answer back; when he suffered, he threatened no retaliation, but committed himself to God who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we may cease from sinning and live for righteousness. By his wounds you were healed. 25 For you were going astray like sheep but now you have turned back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls (1 Peter 2:18-25).

Just as our Lord Jesus “took up His cross,” so we too must take up our cross, daily:

23 Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it” (Luke 9:23-24).

The cross alone is the basis for our boasting, for salvation is not a work that we do, but a work that He has done, which we receive as a gift:

But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world (Galatians 6:14).

As we focus on Matthew’s account of the death of our Lord, we should ask ourselves why he has placed such great emphasis on the cross, on the death of our Lord. In particular, why does Matthew make a point of including the report of so many miracles in connection with the death of the Lord Jesus? Aside from the fact that it is only through the death (and subsequent resurrection) of the Lord Jesus that lost sinners can be saved, there are a couple of other reasons for Matthew’s emphasis on miracles in conjunction with the death of the Savior.

First, I would suggest that these miracles in Matthew testify to the uniqueness of the death of the Lord Jesus. No one ever died like this before or will ever die like this in the future. The death of the sinless Son of God in the sinner’s place is a most unique thing. This was no ordinary crucifixion, no ordinary death. Even those who refused to believe in Jesus left Golgotha beating their breasts, as Luke has informed us.

Second, I would suggest that these miracles in Matthew testify to the presence of God in the process by which He had chosen to save men – through our Lord’s rejection, suffering, and sacrificial death. It is on the cross that our Lord suffered the eternal torment of separation from the Father. This is why our Lord cried out using the words of Psalm 22, verse 1. There is a sense, then, that God was not there, that is, God the Father had withdrawn from the Son. This had to be since the penalty for our sin is death – separation from God. Jesus had to experience that in our place. But these miraculous events remind us that while the Father was separated from the Son while He was on the cross, He was present in the event. The death of Christ was the sovereignly ordained purpose of the Father:

22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man clearly attested to you by God with powerful deeds, wonders, and miraculous signs that God performed among you through him, just as you yourselves know— 23 this man, who was handed over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you executed by nailing him to a cross at the hands of Gentiles (Acts 2:22-23).

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and became anguished and distressed. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, even to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he threw himself down with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me! Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Matthew 26:36-39).

5 You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, 6 who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature. 8 He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death —even death on a cross! 9 As a result God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow —in heaven and on earth and under the earth— 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:5-11).

Our Lord Jesus submitted Himself to the will of the Father that He should die on the cross of Calvary, and then be raised again. On the cross, the Son suffered separation from the Father, but the miracles associated with our Lord’s death tell us that the Father was in this, for it was His will and purpose to save men in this way.

Third, these miracles testify to the fact that Jesus was who He claimed to be. I believe that all of these – Simon of Cyrene, one of the two thieves, Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, and the centurion with his soldiers – came to recognize that the events surrounding the death of Christ proved Him to be the Son of God, the King of Israel. The unbelief of the crowds revealed that the hearts of many were hardened to the point that this compelling evidence was somehow set aside. But there were those who could do nothing else than to believe, because of what they saw. We don’t know about Simon of Cyrene, but we would probably be correct to assume that the thief on the cross and the Roman soldiers had little background or knowledge of Israel’s Messiah. In spite of this, they found the evidence so compelling that they believed the same claims for which Jesus had earlier been mocked.

Think of it. These folks believed in Jesus while He was dying, and before His resurrection. Some (like the thief on the cross) believed even before the miraculous events occurred. How could Jesus, a man dying as a criminal, be so convincing? Because He died like no one else had ever died, and because God testified to the uniqueness of Jesus and His death by the miracles associated with His crucifixion and death.

While miracles are certainly prominent here, there is something missing, something we are accustomed to seeing. Up till now, Matthew has made it a point to show how the events of our Lord’s life fulfill prophecy. We saw this at the time of our Lord’s birth and early childhood (see Matthew 1:22; 2:15, 17, 23). We saw it again during Matthew’s account of our Lord’s public ministry (Matthew 4:14; 8:17; 12:17-18; 13:14, 35). And now, we know that many of the events Matthew describes pertaining to our Lord’s death are the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies, and yet Matthew does not make a point of indicating this. Why not? I am inclined to think that it is for two reasons.

First, the people who witness these events did not recognize them as the fulfillment of prophecy at the time they occurred. And second, Matthew wants us to see that people believed because of the sheer weight of the evidence, apart from the prophecies they fulfilled. In other words, they were not predisposed to believe; they just saw no other option than to believe.

The death of our Lord Jesus is the most unique death in all of human history. It will radically change the way we view death if we are Christians. It is a death that is so unique that men have come to faith in Jesus even before the resurrection.

Every Sunday we celebrate communion, and in so doing, we commemorate the death of our Lord:

For every time you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes (1 Corinthians 11:26).

I believe that we are to observe communion weekly for several reasons. First, it appears to be the practice of the early church (Acts 20:71 Corinthians 11). Second, it is because the death of Christ is so central to the gospel message (see 1 Corinthians 1:18-25). Third, it is because the cross is so central to the way we are to live out our daily lives (see Romans 6). Fourth, it is because the cross of Christ is so strongly detested and opposed by the world:

18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will thwart the cleverness of the intelligent.” 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the expert in the Mosaic law? Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made the wisdom of the world foolish? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world by its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased to save those who believe by the foolishness of preaching. 22 For Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks ask for wisdom, 23 but we preach about a crucified Christ, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. 24 But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength (1 Corinthians 1:18-25).

The message the world hates is the truth that we celebrate. The message the world hates is the only message that will save lost sinners, the only message that we should proclaim. Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary, bearing the penalty for my sins, and setting a pattern for the kind of life I should live as a Christian. The cross of Christ is such a glorious mystery that it will take all eternity to begin to fathom what God has done in this magnificent event, to His glory.

You can read the entire article at Bible.org.

Earthquake Data Confirms Holy Friday As A Very Supernatural Day

from Chris Putnam at LogosApologia http://www.logosapologia.org/?p=1962 for full documentation. As of June 2012 now confirmed by new data see:http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/da…

 

H. Passion Week – Good Friday – The hurt of Peter’s denial of Christ + ‘Just as I am’, by Brian Doerkson

Photo from  www.eons.com

How many times did the rooster crow when Peter denied Jesus?


Matthew 26:34 (also Luke 22:34, John 13:38)

„I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, „this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

Mark 14:30

„I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, „today – yes, tonight – before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.”


Mark 14:66-72

While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him.

„You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said.

But he denied it. „I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway.

When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, „This fellow is one of them.” Again he denied it.

After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, „Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”

He began to call down curses on himself, and he swore to them, „I don’t know this man you’re talking about.”

Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: „Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

From www.rationalchristianity.net

Jesus’ Great Confession; Peter’s Great Denial
Matthew 26:57-68

57 Now the ones who had arrested Jesus led him to Caiaphas, the high priest, in whose house the experts in the law and the elders had gathered. 58 But Peter was following him from a distance, all the way to the high priest’s courtyard. After going in, he sat with the guards to see the outcome. 59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were trying to find false testimony against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 But they did not find anything, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward 61 and declared, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’” 62 So the high priest stood up and said to him, “Have you no answer? What is this that they are testifying against you?” 63 But Jesus was silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and declared, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? Now you have heard the blasphemy! 66 What is your verdict?” They answered, “He is guilty and deserves death.” 67 Then they spat in his face and struck him with their fists. And some slapped him, 68 saying, “Prophesy for us, you Christ! Who hit you?” (Matthew 26:57-68)

Two events are being described simultaneously by Matthew in this paragraph and the next, so as to set them in contrast to each other. The first is our Lord’s interrogation by Caiaphas, the high priest, and the Sanhedrin. The second is Peter’s “interrogation” by those around him. At the very moments Peter is denying His Lord, our Lord Jesus is affirming His identity as the Messiah – His “great confession.”

It is the middle of the night, and Jesus has been sent from Annas to stand before Caiaphas. The whole Sanhedrin is present (see also Mark 14:55), including the chief priests, scribes, and elders (Matthew 26:57-59). This is far from a legal gathering. In our terms, Jesus is not getting “due process of the law” here. These “judges” are far from neutral. They seek any testimony that will justify their resolve to kill Jesus (verse 59), but they can’t do it.

These are horrible and shameful moments in Israel’s history, but at times the account comes close to being amusing. Here is this pompous group of Israel’s “cream of the crop.” It is something like the convening of the Supreme Court in our day. These are the top religious and legal experts, and they are determined to execute Jesus. They resolved that they would not arrest or kill Jesus until “after the feast” (Matthew 26:5), but Jesus forced their hand when He informed Judas and the disciples that He would be betrayed by one of them (Matthew 26:21). Jesus even let Judas know that he was the one who would betray Him (Matthew 26:25). Judas no longer had the luxury of time. He had to act now to earn his fee, whether the Jewish leaders liked it or not.

The religious leaders were in a real bind. They seem compelled to include the Romans (Pilate, Herod, and the Roman soldiers). They were forced to crucify Jesus, a very public death. And they must complete this matter before Passover, lest they be defiled, and thus would have been prevented from participating in Passover (seeJohn 18:28; 19:14; Mark 15:42-43). A few hours earlier, it would have appeared that they had almost two weeks to prepare for the execution of Jesus. They have not had any time to acquire and “coach” witnesses, and this was very obvious. Imagine these fellows attempting to give an air of sobriety and propriety, while things are in total chaos. Their witnesses disagree so badly that even with their disposition to accept any charge, it is evident this testimony won’t suffice. A parade of witnesses pass by, and all fail to meet minimum requirements. No two witnesses agree, and when two finally agree, the charges were not viable. It was, at best, a corruption of what Jesus had said (“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up” – John 2:19). Even if their words were true, it isn’t a crime to say that you are able to do such a thing; it would be a crime if you attempted it. This case would have been thrown out of any court in our land.

You can imagine how frustrated these fellows must have been. Their case was stalling, and there seemed to be nothing they could do about it. The high priest sought to induce Jesus to violate His Fifth Amendment rights (in today’s terms) by giving testimony against Himself. “What did Jesus have to say to this charge?” Jesus had nothing to say. He need not have spoken. The charges were not worthy of comment or of defense. It was not His duty to provide them with evidence; it was their duty to produce evidence of a crime.

Then the high priest had an inspiration. He would charge Jesus under oath to answer this question: “Are you the Christ, the Son of God?” (Matthew 26:63). This was a question Jesus was not legally obliged to answer. And yet Jesus chose to answer. I used to think that this was because the high priest put Him under oath. I now look at it differently. This was a question Jesus must answer. To refuse to answer would imply that He was not the Messiah, the Son of God. If He were the Messiah, the Son of God, then why would He not answer to this effect? This was the crux of the coming of our Lord – to reveal Himself as the Messiah, and as the Son of God.

Our Lord’s answer was far from tentative. Not only did He identify Himself as the Messiah, the Son of God, He also referred to Himself as the Son of Man:

Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Matthew 26:67).

This is an incredibly powerful statement. Jesus affirms His identity. He is the Messiah. He is the Son of God. He is also the Son of Man, which means that He will return to the earth in power, to deal with His enemies and to establish justice.

These words, if believed, should have struck terror into the hearts of the Jewish religious leaders. Instead, they were taken as blasphemy, a capital offense by Jewish law (see Leviticus 24:10-16Numbers 15:30). No one in that group paused to reflect on the implications of Jesus’ claim. No one gave serious thought as to whether this claim might be true. In their minds, this was all they needed to condemn Jesus to death. And so the high priest musters all the righteous indignation he can produce, and calls for the death of Jesus:

Then the high priest tore his clothes and declared, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? Now you have heard the blasphemy!” (Matthew 26:65)

His colleagues heartily agreed, and they pronounced sentence on our Lord.

What follows is particularly significant. Once the guilty verdict is pronounced, there is a disproportionate outpouring of wrath and contempt on our Lord. They spit in His face – they spit in God’s face! They strike Him with their fists, pouring out their wrath on God incarnate. They slap Him, and challenge Him to prophesy who hit Him (26:67-68). Here is the highest court in the land, and look at its conduct. Here is God, in the hands of angry sinners.

69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A slave girl came to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it in front of them all: “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” 71 When he went out to the gateway, another slave girl saw him and said to the people there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.” 72 He denied it again with an oath, “I do not know the man!” 73 After a little while, those standing there came up to Peter and said, “You really are one of them too—even your accent gives you away!” 74 At that he began to curse, and he swore with an oath, “I do not know the man!” At that moment a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly (Matthew 26:69-75).

Meanwhile, Peter is sitting in the courtyard of the high priest’s house, warming himself by the fire. A mere slave girl314 identifies him as one of Jesus’ disciples. Peter denies it. Initially, Peter does not pointedly deny knowing Jesus; he simply responds that he doesn’t know what she is talking about. Apparently this is sufficient to silence this first slave girl. But then another slave girl confronts Peter. She does not just question Peter; she speaks to those standing around: “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene” (Matthew 26:71). From Peter’s point of view, this is much more threatening. He denies his association with Jesus, underscoring his denial with an oath. Finally, a third person – one standing nearby – came up to Peter, and this time with an even more persuasive accusation: “You really are one of them too—even your accent gives you away!” (verse 73). Peter more pointedly denied even knowing Jesus, let alone associating with Him. This time he felt it necessary to punctuate his denial with cursing.

At that moment, a rooster crowed, and Peter remembered Jesus’ words indicating that he would deny Him. Peter went outside and wept bitterly. Strangely, this is the last time Matthew refers to Peter by name in this Gospel. While Matthew does provide an account of the final outcome for Judas (Matthew 27:3-10), he does not do so for Peter. Is this because he knows that such an account will take a great deal more time and information? Is this because he knows that a subsequent history of the church (including Peter) will be written? For whatever reason, Matthew does not feel compelled to give us the “rest of the story” regarding Peter.

Conclusion

If our text demonstrates anything, it is that all mankind, without exception, is desperately sinful and, apart from the grace of God in Christ Jesus, hopelessly lost:

“There is no one righteous, not even one,

11 there is no one who understands,

there is no one who seeks God.

12 All have turned away,

together they have become worthless;

there is no one who shows kindness,

not even one” (Romans 3:10b-12).

Whether at his finest, or at his worst, every human being is a sinner, desperately wicked in heart and often in deed. There is no way that we can ever earn our own righteousness, that we can attain God’s favor by our efforts. We need salvation from some source outside of ourselves. We need Jesus, for He alone can save.

Our text dramatically demonstrates the sinfulness of man and the perfection of our Lord Jesus Christ. In our text, no one comes out looking good, no one except Jesus, that is. Everything Jesus predicted happened just as He said it would. Under more stress and pressure than we will ever know, Jesus never failed. His words and His deeds are amazing to us. Though men (like Peter, or Judas, or the religious leaders) failed, Jesus did not. Though His closest friends forsook Him, He will not forsake His own – those who have trusted in Him for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life. Jesus Never Fails; He is always faithful, even when we fail:

Just before the Passover feast, Jesus knew that his time had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now loved them to the very end (John 13:1).

If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, since he cannot deny himself (2 Timothy 2:13).

Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you and I will never abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5).

In mankind’s darkest hour, the perfections of our Lord shine ever so bright. He alone is worthy of our trust, and of our worship, obedience, and service. Do not let the horrors of these events in our Lord’s last hours distract your attention from Jesus. He deserves center stage. His perfections deserve our praise.

We should probably say a word about Peter’s denials. Let us not fail to read this text, describing Peter’s worst moments, without bearing in mind “the rest of the story.” We may have seen the last of Peter (by name) in Matthew, but we find a very different Peter in the Book of Acts. With the resurrection and ascension of our Lord, and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, we find a transformed Peter. We find a man who now boldly proclaims the gospel, in spite of the opposition and the risks:

8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, replied, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are being examined today for a good deed done to a sick man—by what means this man was healed— 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, this man stands before you healthy. 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, that has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved.” 13 When they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and discovered that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized these men had been with Jesus. 14 And because they saw the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say against this (Acts 4:8-14).

As a result of the work of Jesus Christ at Calvary, and the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, Peter not only boldly identifies with His Lord, He instructs us to do so as well:

13 For who is going to harm you if you are devoted to what is good? 14 But in fact, if you happen to suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. But do not be terrified of them or be shaken. 15 But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. 16 Yet do it with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if God wills it, than for doing evil (1 Peter 3:13-17).

The events of our text underscore for us the trustworthiness and authority of the Scriptures. Just as at the birth of our Lord, so also here we find that Matthew repeatedly points out to us that the Scriptures are being fulfilled at every point of this procession to the cross. God’s Word is true. It never fails. Even when men try their hardest to resist God and to rebel against His purposes, they end up unwittingly fulfilling His purposes and promises. We can trust His Word.

Let me end with one more observation and application. Our text describes the darkest hour in all of human history, and yet we gather every Sunday to remember the death of Jesus. More than that, we come every Sunday to celebrate His death. This is due to the fact that His suffering and His death is the only means by which sinful men may be saved, and have eternal life. It is also due to the fact that the resurrection of Jesus enables us to view these events in a whole new way. At the cross, Jesus took the curse (death) and made it the cure (His atoning work on our behalf). God used the most cruel and wicked actions of men to accomplish His eternal plan of salvation.

Surely this is an example of the truth that is proclaimed in Romans 8:

28 And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, 29 because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified (Romans 8:28-30).

God was able to make the horrid events of our Lord’s rejection and crucifixion into a salvation so blessed that it will take all eternity to fathom it. If our Lord can transform this kind of apparent tragedy into a triumphant work of redemption, then is it not reasonable for us to believe that God will cause every event in our lives to work out for His glory, and for our good?

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