Seven Words – On a Friday Afternoon

Seven words our Savior spoke
As He was dying there
Three words of comfort gently said
Three more He asked in prayer
First He cried out “O I thirst!” 
But they gave him vinegar

Then, “Father forgive they do not know
What they have done to Me.”
Next to the dying thief He spoke
“In paradise you’ll be.”
And to John and Mary whispered
“My friend and faithful Mother
Remember that from this day on
To care for one another.”

“My God – My God O why have You
Forsaken Me this day?”
Echoed down from that dark hill
Now, “It’s finished!” they heard Him say
The Father’s will was done and then
“Into Your hands.” He sighed
And as the world looked on in wonder
Our Lord was crucified

Seven Words by Peter Caligiuri
Copyright © 2020
All rights reserved

On Palm Sunday -How Will You Receive Jesus?

This week is Palm Sunday, and though we cannot be certain that we are celebrating on an exact date, or even as some question whether we should have a special holiday; it is a good time to reflect. On what we refer to as Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, so that we would not be afraid to receive Him as King. But, no matter how He came, not everyone was ready to accept Jesus. How are you going to receive Him today?

The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said: Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem. Look, your King is coming, riding on a donkey’s colt.” John 12:12-15 NLT
  1. Some received Him with joy and gratitude and followed Him to the cross

Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home. John 19:25-27

Jesus gave these people a special job to do

2) Some Received Him With Joy – but they ran to hide in fear

Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.” At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled. Matthew 26:55-56 NLT

Jesus came looking for these people and said, “Do not be afraid!” – And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Luke 24:36 NLT

3) Some Did Not Receive Him at All and they nailed Him to a cross

 When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, “Surely this man was innocent. Luke 23:47 NLT

Jesus prayed for those people – Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. Lk 23:34

But no matter which of these people you are today, we are really not so different. 

We all need to receive Him for ourselves and believe that He is the Son of God
We all need the cross of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins  
We all need the resurrection morning that will give us eternal life!

How Will You Receive Jesus Christ Today?

The Beauty of Sunsets

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9 ESV

Unless there is an eclipse going on we will never see folks flocking to the shore to snap photos of the sun at noon. That’s because at noon the sun is way too bright for all but the most expensive camera lenses to capture and it’s just so ordinary. But come sunset, especially if there are clouds on the horizon, people wait with anticipation for the first colors of sunset as the sun slowly descends into the sea.

In that same way, the love of God in Christ was far too brilliant for most of His followers to receive while Jesus was healing the sick or calming seas. But at the cross as Jesus suffered and His body was wracked with agonizing pains the beauty of sunset dimmed by clouds began to be seen by unlikely candidates. One thief on a cross next to Jesus repented and received the promise of heaven. A Roman executioner believed and a young disciple was entrusted with the protection and care of Jesus’ own mother. In the sunset of His life on earth Jesus died in my place, paid the full price for our salvation and drew even fearful followers out of hiding to place Him in the tomb. How humble and kind of our Lord that He would allow Himself to die that we could see the beauty of His love in His sunset hours on Calvary!