When in Doubt

When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.
Matthew 28:17 NKJV

I love the honesty of God’s word. It never airbrushes over the faults or weaknesses of His people. Try to imagine seeing Jesus with your own eyes after the resurrection. You are listening to His voice, seeing the marks of nails in His hands and yet there remain some doubts. Jesus knows! He is not fooled by our outward religiosity. He sees into our hidden and most intimate thoughts and yet, He accepts us. Instead of rebuking the doubters in the crowd He simply put out a call for action. Doubts or no doubts, here is what needs to be done; “Go into all the world and…” That call still echoes in our 21st century world. We do have our doubts but our faith asks the question “What will we do today?”.

The Silent Tomb

This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. Luke 23:52-53 ESV

Jesus rested in the tomb on the Sabbath as God the Father had rested on the seventh day at creation. There was nothing for Him to do. There were no paths for Him to walk. Jesus laid silently that Holy Saturday waiting in hope for the promise of resurrection. Do you find it hard to wait, to rest and to hope? Remember thKIMG1719at doing nothing and accomplishing nothing are not the same thing. While Jesus lay buried doing nothing He was accomplishing His part for the salvation of the world!

One Easter Morning

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Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. John 20:1
On the first Easter morning Jesus returned from the dead. He made the journey from death to life. Our blessed hope is that one morning while it is still dark in this world that He will return for us. He will find the door opened between Heaven and earth. Jesus will come for His church on that future Easter morning and the Bible says that we will be changed.
As we look forward to this Easter and the hope of the resurrection message let us also look forward to the blessed hope. One morning the sky will split open and Jesus Christ will return on the clouds of Heaven. What a wonderful hope we have!

He Couldn’t Stay on the Cross

 And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath,  Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead.  And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph.  And Joseph[k] bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.  Mark 15:42-46

After the crown of thorns

and after they beat our Lord

And after He cried “I thirst”

Only a bitter cup was offered

After the long nails were driven

And the thief asked, “remember me”

At the foot of the cross they gambled

While His life was giv’n on the tree

Then soldiers were sent to find out

If their deadly job was done well

They came and they pierced His sweet side

And through the wound His blood was spilled

Then a thunder cloud roared overhead

While they stood looking up at His cross

And Jesus hung quietly still

While His friends thought that all hope was lost

But He couldn’t stay on the cross after darknessJanuary 2012 044_crop

Was the rule they required that day

So Joseph of Arimathea

Came to take Him away

He couldn’t stay on the cross after nightfall

While He waited for Easter’s bright dawn

And the mighty breath of the Spirit

And the angel who rolled back the stone

Resolving Conflict

Euodius and Syntyche I beg you by name to make up your differences as Christians should! And, my true fellow-worker help these women. They both worked hard with me for the Gospel, as did Clement and all my other fellow-workers whose names are in the book of life Philippians 4:2-3 (JB Phillips)

grandkids_crop Anyone who has struggled to be a better parent knows that not every day is all hugs and kisses. Maybe life would be boring if it was! The definition of parenting is nothing if it is not conflict resolution. Paul takes a moment in his letter to the Philippian to focus on two people who he loved but who were butting heads in the church.

First Paul steps in and rather than choosing sides he does what any good coach would do in the heat of the game. He calls for a time-out! Sometimes the best thing we can do in working through conflicts is to put the “I”m right – he (she) is wrong” attitude on hold and just take a time out. Sit down on the bench for a minute a day or a week and let everyone’s tempers cool down.

Secondly Paul points out the good in both of the warring parties. They had both worked with him in building the church in their city. They had given themselves to the same goal and put in time and effort for the sake of the gospel. Maybe the first thing we can do after cooling our jets is to take another look at the other person and remember back to when we once worked together for something good. Once when I was breaking up a fight between our boys I had them sit down on their beds until they could tell me a list of three good things about their brother. You should have seen the look on their faces! You would have thought I had sentenced them to a year of hard labor! But remembering the good is the first step back to peace in a home.

Last Paul moves the focus from the past to the future. He reminds them that the most important thing of all will come on that blessed day when their names are read out from the book of life. Our life is a story that has its conclusion on the day when we enter into eternity. The importance of who gets their own way today will suddenly seem small when placed alongside of the view from heaven. The very one we may be at odds with today will be the person with whom we are to share eternity.

In less than two weeks it will be Easter Sunday, That is the day when the greatest conflict of all was resolved. Three days after His terrible suffering on the cross, Jesus was resurrected and came to show the scars in His hands. There written in His own book of life were the marks of a love that restored us to God and offered us a path we could walk on together forever!