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Monday, March 26, 2018

Lititz spring 3/24/18
Lititz Springs Park in Lititz, PA at sunset.

"The Full Extent Of Christ's Love"

Message summary:
Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world. He had fulfilled His Father's purpose and was Victor over sin. Jesus loved His own, and in laying down His life for us, He showed us the full extent of His love. Today, let us show the full extent of our love for Christ and live for Him who died for us.

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"As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem" (Luke 9:51). "As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it" (Luke 19:41). "Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love" (John 13:1). "Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart" (Hebrews 12:3).

Palm Sunday
Yesterday, on the Lord's day, churches highlighted the historic events that unfolded during Christ's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem as He rode on the colt of a donkey in fulfillment of  prophecy given in Zechariah 9:9. He was lauded with glory, honor and praise from the crowd of onlookers. Palm branches were spread before Him which is why we also use the term "Palm Sunday". The crowds cried out, "Hosanna!", a cry for salvation and declaration of praise. This was, of course, the beginning of the final days that led up to Jesus' crucifixion.

Have you wondered why Christ's entry into Jerusalem is referred to as the "Triumphal Entry" when Scripture reveals that over the next few days anguish, sorrow, and death would overshadow any potential sense of triumph and victory? Because, in the midst of the evil and cruelty that is about to unfold, God's plan to provide salvation for the human race was not thwarted, but divinely fulfilled. Christ's triumphal entry was truly triumphant because He came into Jerusalem:

•    As a victor not a victim.
•    To fulfill the ultimate plan of God.
•    To demonstrate the full extent of His love.

In the first daily text Luke's narrative glimpses into the Lord's deep resolve to fulfill His Father's mission, "As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem." The Amplified Version states, "He steadfastly and determinedly set His face to go to Jerusalem." The NASV uses this description, "He was determined to go to Jerusalem."

Bible teacher Albert Barnes comments on this passage, "The time appointed for Him to remain on the earth was about to expire, and He resolved to go to Jerusalem and die. And from this we learn that Jesus made a voluntary sacrifice; that He chose to give His life for the sins of men."

"Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem": This is the beginning of a new section of the gospel. Knowing the difficulty that would soon come to pass Jesus remained determined and steadfast during His long and final journey.  Bible teacher David Guzik observes, "There are two kinds of courage - the courage of the moment, which requires no previous thought, and a 'planned' courage, which sees the difficulty ahead and steadfastly marches towards it. Jesus had this kind of courage; He could see the cross in the horizon, but still steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem."

Of course before Jesus was taken up into heaven He, once for all, made the final blood sacrifice by shedding His own blood. That sacrifice would take place through Jerusalem. We will see this resolution most powerfully demonstrated through the events that unfold this Passion Week.

Triumphal entry Just prior to the Triumphal Entry we read in Luke 19:28, "He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem." The phrase "going up" is very purposeful, translating the Greek "anabaino", the same word used when Zacchaeus "climbed" the sycamore tree. The King James Version translates it "ascending". Geographically there was an elevation but we believe "going up" also holds a deeply spiritual meaning as well. Luke reveals the spiritual heartbreak of Jesus in the following statement, "As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it" (19:41). His heart was broken for the lost and dying world which He came to save!

Today we invite you to "Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart" (Hebrews 12:3). Pastor Steven Cole writes, "While rejection is always difficult to handle, if our Lord was rejected, we can expect the same treatment in this wicked world. He deliberately steeled Himself for the coming rejection in Jerusalem. As His followers, we must steel ourselves for rejection and not take it personally, even if it is meant that way."

Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world. He had fulfilled His Father's purpose and was Victor over sin. Jesus loved His own, and in laying down His life for us, He showed us the full extent of His love. Today, let us show the full extent of our love for Christ and live for Him who died for us.

Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, our hearts are stirred as we consider the extent of Your love in sending Jesus to die for our sins. As He wept over Jerusalem we see His tender humanity in relation to our sin problem. How grateful we are that Jesus yielded Himself fully to be  a sin sacrifice, once for all, not just for Jerusalem but for peoples of every tribe, tongue, and language; for all generations prior to His sacrificial death and for all who follow. Jesus' sacrifice was once for all adequate to satisfy Your justice and to supply forgiveness to all generations. Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!  Amen.

Daryl and Janet Leisey 3/24/18
Saturday evening we joined our long-time friends Daryl and Janet Leisey for dinner and then enjoyed a tour of the newly renovated building where Daryl's office is located. He has a beautiful view outside his large office window that overlooks Lititz Springs Park.  I first met Daryl shortly after moving to Lancaster County in 2001 when he was a Human Resource manager in a company our chaplains served at the time. He is now a partner with the North Group, which is "centered on developing and encouraging leaders and their organizations toward their highest potential". For many years Daryl has provided valuable counsel to our ministry. Daryl and Janet have a vibrant walk with the Lord.

1791 Bible
Daryl showed us an old, old Bible he keeps in his office. We were amazed at how small the Bible was making the print very small as well!

1791 Bible
We don't use Roman Numerals so much anymore, so for those who can't "decipher"  the Bible was printed 227 years ago in MDCCXCI (1791)

Reading Railroad caboose in Lititz park
This old Reading Railroad caboose is in Lititz Springs Park. Lititz is about 12 miles from Mount Joy. Lititz describes itself as "America’s coolest small town" and it really is a great town to visit.

Clothes hooks in White Horse Thrift store dressing room 3/24/18
White Horse Country Gift & Thrift Dressing Room
(Sorting Hooks - "Definitely", "Maybe", "My Stuff")
On Saturday I (Brooksyne) had a fun outing with my "girl" friends from four generations. Dottie, my friend from Calvary Homes, joined me and Anna Ruth, along with her four daughters and baby Stephen. We visited White Horse Gift & Thrift, a reuzit shop, that is one of the nicest in the area. We also had lunch at the local White House Diner. This was a great treat for the girls and me as well. Since Stephen often takes Jesse and his boys here and there the girls noticed that there was some unfairness going on, so I tried to balance things out with our shopping trip and "a fun time was had by all including the driver (me)!"

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Amazing Love (And Can It Be)"  Video  Sovereign Grace Music

"Victor's Crown"  Video  Calvary Church

"Never Once"  Video   Calvary Church

(This week is known by many as Passion Week or Holy Week which covers the events in Christ's life from the Triumphal Entry to His resurrection. We will leave the following materials up throughout the week.)

Major Events of the Passion Week

The 4 gospels cover the life of Christ, a period of about 33 years. Most of this material deals with the 3˝ year period of His ministry. However an astounding 30 of the 89 accumulative chapters in the gospels deal with the period from Christ's triumphal entry through His resurrection and post-resurrection appearances. Mathematically this means that approximately 33% of the written material in the gospels deals with a mere .05% period of His life! In the providence of God we have a much greater proportion of material dealing with God's greatest act of mercy in providing our redemption.

Here's an interesting chart from a Study Bible that may be helpful as you study the Bible this week. It sure helps me to have a sense of when the events took place and is inspiring to read these Scriptures in the daily sequence leading up to Easter.

  • Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-40; John 12:12-19
  • Jesus Clears the Temple: Mt. 21:12,13; Mk. 11:15-17; Lk. 19:45,46
  • Jesus' authority challenged in the temple: Mt. 21:23-27; Mk. 11:27-33; Lk. 20:1-8
  • Jesus teaches stories and confronts the Jewish leaders: Mt. 21:28-23:36; Mk. 12:1-40; Lk. 20:9-47   
  • Greeks ask to see Jesus: Jn. 12:20-26
  • The Olivet Discourse: Mt. 24; Mk. 13; Lk. 21:5-38
  • Judas agrees to betray Jesus: Mt. 26:14-16; Mk. 14:10,11; Lk. 22:3-6
  • The Last Supper:  Mt. 26:26-29; Mk. 14:22-25; Lk. 22:14-20
  • Jesus speaks to the disciples in the upper room:  Jn 13-17
  • Jesus struggles in Garden of Gethsemane: Mt. 26:36-46; Mk. 14:32-42; Lk. 22:39-46; Jn. 18:1
  • Jesus is betrayed and arrested: Mt. 26:47-56; Mk. 14:43-52; Lk. 22:47-53; Jn. 18:2-12
  • Jesus is tried by Jewish and Roman authorities and disowned by Peter: Mt 26:57-27:2, 11-31; Mk 14:53-15:20; Lk 22:54-23:25; Jn 18:13-19:16
  • Jesus is crucified and buried: Mt 27:31-56; Mk 15:20-41; Lk 23:26-49; Jn 19:17-30
  • The glorious resurrection: Mt. 28:1-10; Mk 16:1-11; Lk 24:1-12; Jn 20:1-18
(This material is developed from an outline in the Life Application Bible)

"It's Still The Cross!"

(A selection of Scripture verses focusing on the Cross for personal, family or congregational reading.)

Worship leader: Here they crucified Him, and with Him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. John 19:18

Congregation: This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross. Acts 2:23

Worship leader:  For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

Congregation: 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

Worship leader: By abolishing in His flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility.  He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.  Ephesians 2:15-17

Congregation: He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name.  Philippians 2:7-9  

Worship leader: For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:19,20 

Congregation: When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13,14

All: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  Hebrews 12:1-3

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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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