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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Cardinals in front lawn
These male and female cardinals each chose their own feeder yesterday in front of our picture window.
Click on photo to enlarge

"The Just For The Unjust"

Message summary: J.M.E. Ross writes that 1 Peter 3:18 is "one of the shortest and simplest, and yet one of the richest summaries given in the NT of the meaning of the Cross of Jesus".

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"For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit" (1 Peter 3:18).

I was a wretch, I remember who I was
I was lost, I was blind, I was running out of time
Sin separated, the breach was far too wide
But from the far side of the chasm, You had me in Your sight

John PiperJohn Piper writes, “[Our sin] makes us guilty before God so that we are under His just condemnation and it makes us ugly in our behavior so that we disfigure the image of God we were meant to display. It damns us with guilt and it enslaves us to lovelessness. The blood of Jesus frees us from both miseries.”

When Jesus Christ died, He suffered as a substitute in the place of and on behalf of fallen humanity. Christ's death made it possible for men and women to be declared righteous, based on their faith in Him. As the song "Thank You Jesus For The Blood Applied" states, "Sin separated, the breach was far too wide". Brooksyne has been singing this song at home since the choir will be leading it in worship on Good Friday. She tells me when she gets to the line,  "You paid the debt I owed, broke my chains, freed my soul" she feels like a bird in flight, all her sin being erased and her soul washed white as snow.

Here is a powerful illustration of the substitutionary nature of Christ's death.

"In a tribe of Indians, someone was stealing chickens. The chief declared that, if caught, the offender would receive 10 lashes. When the stealing continued, he raised it to 20 lashes. Still the chickens methodically disappeared. In anger the chief raised the sentence to 100 lashes--a sure sentence of death.

The thief was finally caught. But the chief faced a terrible dilemma. The thief was his own mother!

When the day of penalty came, the whole tribe gathered. Would the chief's love override his justice? The crowd gasped when he ordered his mother to be tied to the whipping post. The chief removed his shirt, revealing his powerful stature, and took the whip in hand. But instead of raising it to strike the first blow, he handed it to a strong, young brave at his side.

Slowly the chief walked over to his mother and wrapped his massive arms around her in an engulfing embrace. Then he ordered the brave to give him the 100 lashes."

Isn't that a powerful story! It's so illustrative of what Jesus did for us. In love He became our substitute and died in our place. He overcame our inability to save ourselves by taking the penalty for our sins. In our illustration, a mother's life was extended by the substitutionary love of her son; for us, everlasting life was bought through the substitutionary death of God's Son.

Consider the simple straightforward message in the daily Scripture text. There is so much spiritual richness in this verse. Word by word and phrase by phrase, it expresses the work that Christ did for us when he died on the Cross. J.M.E. Ross writes that 1 Peter 3:18 is "one of the shortest and simplest, and yet one of the richest summaries given in the NT of the meaning of the Cross of Jesus".

A seasoned minister of the Gospel concluded a meeting with prayer. He used an expression that stayed with me and I hope it will for you as well: "Thank you that you bore the cross of sin for us that we might bear the cross of service for you." Amen, and let us each do so.

So You made a way, across the great divide
Left behind, Heaven's throne, to build it here inside
There at the cross You paid the debt I owed
Broke my chains, freed my soul and for the first time I had hope

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, in denying ourselves we become Your servants, seeking to follow after You and learning Your will for our lives. We want to align our desires with that which honors You, for You told us, "If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow after Me." We have now taken up our cross that has bridged the great divide that separated us when we were covered in darkness. But now we are covered by the blood of Jesus who washes us white as snow turning our darkness into light, for our sins are now forgiven and we are on our way to heaven. Thank You, Jesus, for Your precious, life cleansing and life saving blood shed on my behalf. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Thank You Jesus For The Blood Applied"  Click to listen on YouTube   Charity Gayle

Kraybill Road traffic
Moments after I took the photo of the cardinals in our lead photo we had some horse and buggy traffic on Kraybill Church Road in front of our home. Look at how green covered lawn and pardon Mollie's smudges on the bay window (her favorite resting place is right at the base where she can watch for passersby including buggies which get all our pets very excited).
Click on photo to enlarge

Weber couple photo 7/3/22
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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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