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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mount Moran Sunset - Photo by Howard J. Blichfeldt (used by permission)
Mount Moran Sunset
Grand Teton National Park
Photo by Howard J. Blichfeldt (used by permission)
Click on the photo for a larger image, suitable for a desktop background.

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"When The Hour Was Come"

"And when the hour was come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him" (Luke 22:14).

As we come to Thursday in Holy Week let us consider the events that likely took place on this day. 

Consider the twelve apostles.  Only a few years earlier they had left all to follow Christ.  What an incredible experience they had: the wonderful teachings, the astounding miracles, the good food and fellowship they enjoyed together day after day.

Earlier in His ministry the opposition had tried to seize Jesus but could not, "because His hour was not yet come" (John 7:30).  But this night was different.  The careful historian Luke states "the hour was come."

Last Supper
Now the Twelve leaned around a table and Jesus shared what surely must have been a confusing illustration as He inserted into the familiar Passover meal:  "My body which is given for you, my blood which is shed for you."

The disciples  wondered what He meant as their eyes met one another around the table.  You know what it's like to be in a group with friends;  you don't want to let on that you don't get it, but ... you really don't get it.  You look at others in a guarded way to assess if they are catching on.  You're hopeful that some brave soul feels the same as yourself and will bravely ask the question, "Just what did you mean when You spoke of dying?" Just days earlier He had come into Jerusalem to great fanfare and shouts of praises from the crowd proclaiming that He was the King.  They had surely thought this was the time He would set up His Kingdom. But this was not the case.

"The hour" was that singular moment in space and time for which Christ, "the lamb slain from the foundation of the world" had come to this sin-filled world.  Oswald Chambers states, "The cross is the crystallized point in history where eternity merges with time." 

May all we who believe and follow Christ reaffirm our commitment to this great and loving God.    May the desire of Paul’s heart also be the theme of our prayer: "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).

In the cross of Christ I glory, tow'ring o'er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story gathers round its head sublime. *

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Father, I glory in the Cross of Calvary from which Your Son, my Lord and Savior, died for my sins.  I boast only in Jesus who lifted the heavy chains from my enslaved soul freeing me to soar in newness of life.  Thank You, God, for demonstrating Your love toward me in that You gave Your one and only Son to die for me. At just the right time while I was still powerless, Jesus died for me, while I was unlovely and unable to save myself.  Because of this incredible act of love and forgiveness I have reconciliation with my Father in heaven.  Praise be to God!  Amen.

* "In The Cross Of Christ I Glory" Ithamar Conkey / John Bowring  © Public Domain

Today's Suggested Music and
Supplemental Resources

"He Chose The Cross"  Video  I really like this song and had never heard it prior to searching for songs to compliment today's message.

"How Deep The Father's Love For Us"  Audio
 This is a great song we have been singing for nearly ten years.

"The Old Rugged Cross"  Audio instrumental

Today's photo is by Howard J. Blichfeldt and is used with his permission. His website is here. Here's a direct link to today's photo with his notes. Howard has given me permission to place a Scripture verse, hymn portion or part of a quote on his work (as I did today).

These work great as desktop background photos to reinforce your faith and encourage others. To make this (or any photo) a desktop background merely right click and select "set as background"

Info about multi-media files used on daily encouragement.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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