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Monday, April 3, 2023

Daffodils along Donegal Creek
Daffodils alongside Donegal Creek

"Consider Christ"

Message summary: This week we will "consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men". Let us stay faithful to the One who suffered for us, "so that we will not grow weary and lose heart". 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 SundayYesterday, 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, a Jewish symbol of victory 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 planned courage; He could see the cross in the horizon, but still steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem."

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

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".

Weeping over JerusalemGeographically 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 give Him our all by living for Him who died for us.

But drops of grief can ne'er repay
The Debt of love I owe;
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
'Tis all that I can do.


Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)


Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

Praying 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.



Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Jerusalem"  Click to listen on YouTube   CityAlight   Outstanding lyrics taking us through the events of Holy Week.

Lift your voices to the One
Who is seated on the throne
See Him in the new Jerusalem
Praise the One who saved us

"You've Already Won"   Click to listen on YouTube    Shane and Shane    Just a good reminder!



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 3½ 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
the Life Application Study Bible that may be helpful as you study the Bible during this time. 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.

Sunday     

Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-40; John 12:12-19

Monday     

Jesus Clears the Temple: Mt. 21:12,13; Mk. 11:15-17; Lk. 19:45,46

Tuesday/Wednesday                  

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

Thursday

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

Friday

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

Sunday

The glorious resurrection: Mt. 28:1-10; Mk 16:1-11; Lk 24:1-12; Jn 20:1-18



Brooksyne dog walking
Brooksyne is starting her walk with all four of our pets. Her challenge used to be walking Mollie, (the Border Collie) with little Sadie, (the Shih Tzu/Lhasa Apso), but she now has the two Maltipoos also. She took them two miles along Donegal Creek yesterday and snapped some photos.

Rosie discovering Donegal Creek
Daffodils are growing along both sides of the creek. Little Rosie can't take her eyes off the geese that are on the trail and in the water.

Donegal Creek trail
All looks calm on the Donegal Trail, but I am holding on tightly to four dogs as I snap this photo. The Maltipoos who came to us from San Diego in November were accustomed to hearing the waves in the Pacific Ocean right across the street from their home. But now they're country dogs and are hearing the geese honking which makes them wildly curious. I'm pulling tightly on the leashes as Rosie and Falcon are flailing their front legs in the air. I'm thankful for no pull harnesses that give me a little extra help in keeping them in check - all four of them! Oh, how they love to walk!!



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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