He Gently Stooped Low

He Gently Stooped Low

You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. Psalm 18:35 ESV

While the ESV gives us the picture of a Mighty God who is gently on our side, the old NIV renders that same phrase as, “He stopped low. Like Gandalf entering through a Hobbit doorway, in the Lord of the Rings, Jesus had to bend low enough to enter our world through the stable doorway in Bethlehem. He went to begging blind men, destitute widows and outcast lepers. Jesus had compassion on hungry listeners and washed the dirty feet of disciples. Jesus’ right hand was both gentle enough to bless a child and strong enough to lift a paralyzed man to His feet.

And when His time came He carried the weight of His cross to the top of Golgotha where those gentle hands were nailed to the wood. Then as He stooped His lowest in death, Jesus reached lower still as we were falling deep into our sins, and caught us, raised us up and gave us the greatness of His salvation. Oh how mighty and gentle is our Jesus! He gently stooped low enough to save us and then shared His greatness with His children!

Appointment With a Thief

Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. Matthew 27:38 KJV

The day Jesus was crucified was the most horrible day of our Savior’s life. He had prayed and released Himself to the Father’s will, now, soldiers, guards and corrupt leaders seemingly were in control. Yet before He was led away, Jesus wanted to make one thing clear to His disciples:

For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. John 10:17‭-‬18a ESV

Jesus knew exactly what He was doing and He knew who He would meet that day. He was keeping an appointment with a thief. Neither nails nor a crown of thorns stopped the thief from seeing who Jesus was. Where soldiers saw a victim and the other thief pitiful person worthy of mockery, he saw a merciful King. Because of his faith and his humble appeal to be remembered, the thief received a guarantee of heaven better that anyone else in the Bible “Today you will be with Me. In paradise!”

Are you feeling defeated and forgotten by God? Has tragedy or failure unexpectedly struck your life leaving you helpless to respond? Do not give up or give in to despair. Nothing happens to us by accident and we are never beyond the reach of the hands of Jesus. If He willingly took the nails, and the cross to reach one thief He will not abandon you today. He is near and willing to receive you if you are ready to keep your appointment with the Savior today!

On Monday Morning

And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:38‭-‬39 ESV

And now it is Monday morning and the miracles, the drama with both the sorrows and joy of Holy week behind. What will we do with all that lies ahead?

What did the soldiers do who had guarded his tomb? Did Joseph of Arimathea open his shop, did Nicodemus go to the synagogue for morning prayer. And when His disciples and Mary, and Pontius Pilate woke to the same sunrise what thoughts passed through their minds?

Did they remember the earthquake and darkness? Did they speak of the tears, the gambling for the robe and the spear? Or will the shock, the amazement and the vision of angels on Sunday morning crowd out all other memories?

Or maybe some recalled His tenderness He touched one leper, stood in silent defense of the adulteress and raised a widow’s son to life? How often would they speak of loaves multiplied, waves stilled and blind eyes that could see? Or will we remember His words? Will their power still our seas, transform our ordinary moments and change forever the self seeking attitudes that govern our everyday lives? Will we be meek? Be listening? Wash feet? Give quietly to the poor? He died on Friday, rested on Saturday, rose on Easter Sunday and is now walking ahead of us on Monday. And more than all these, will we remember and take our own cross and follow Jesus Christ?