Preparation in the Tomb

Yesterday, Good Friday Services were held around the globe commemorating the crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus Christ.  But what happened between the crucifixion, burial and resurrection?  On my walk today the Holy Spirit kept impressing upon me the word preparation.  Scripture reveals spices and oils were prepared (100 pounds of aloes and myrrh) and used to anoint Jesus’ body and then it was wrapped in linen and laid in the tomb. In the ancient world, spices were expensive and highly valued. They were used to anoint kings.  The extract from aloe leaves was one of the two spices used to bury Jesus, according to John 19:39. The spices were wrapped with strips of linen around Jesus up to his head. Myrrh and frankincense were given to Jesus at his birth by the Wise Men from the East as gifts to celebrate his life. Frankincense was a highly aromatic spice used to anoint priests and kings, given to Jesus as a sign of respect for his role as “King of kings”. Of all spices, myrrh played the largest role in Jesus’ life. Given to him at his birth and used to anoint his body at his death. Spices Used to Bury Jesus | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_7331845_spices-used-bury-jesus.html#ixzz2P3rp4lMh
Here’s the meaning I received.  Our preparation in the tomb (darkness) begins when we die to the past through forgiveness and obedience, submit to the will of the Father, and anoint ourselves with His oil and spices.  

Preparation:  The tomb was already prepared.

Preparation:  The women and others prepared the oils and spices.

Preparation:  God prepared to save the us through the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Christ.   

Preparation cleanses us for ministry.  We rise up, and give evidence of the hope we have in Jesus Christ.  It is in our preparation that we can walk through the valley of the shadow of death and experience mercy and grace which  follows us all the days of our lives, and we DWELL in the House of the Lord. (Psalm 23)  Preparation results in power, and provision

As we await the celebration of the Risen Christ on Resurrection Sunday, applaud now for the preparation in the tomb.  For the model of how to arise victoriously is in the preparation. 

 

 

 

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Maundy Thursday

Last Supper

There is nothing like sitting down to a good meal of your favorite foods. The smells and aromas stimulate the senses, and we feel warmth, and comfort. Comfort food is said to nourish the souls as well as the body. But picture the final meal Jesus had with his disciples. A meal that was really in two parts. First the Passover which Jesus said he eagerly desired to eat with them (Luke 22:14-15). The meal was called the Passover because it represented the night when God miraculously delivered the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, and they began their journey from slavery to freedom.
It consists of
•A hard-boiled egg to remind the people of the brutality of the Egyptians and how with every tyrannical phase, the Jews only got stronger. Anything kept in boiling water will melt. On the contrary, eggs harden. It also symbolized the concept of a new lease of life.
•A variety of greens – Green is the color of hope and everything related to spring. This usually consisted of parsley sprigs and celery.
•A roasted shank bone of lamb – The lamb is a grim reminder of the number of lives lost and the blood shed for saving the lives of the others.
•Bitter greens and herbs – This is essential on the Seder (Passover) plate as it constantly reminds the Jews of their ill-treatment and misfortunes in the land of bondage. Horseradish is commonly kept on the plate for this segment. The greens would then be dipped in salt water and consumed.
•Matzah – The unleavened bread tells the grappling tale of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Its shows that they left in such haste that they didn’t even wait for the bread to rise.
•Salt water – is an essential component on the Seder plate, which reminded the Jews of the number of tears wasted and shed over agony and loss of lives.
•Haroset – This consists of nuts, apple, and a wine mixture that bears resemblance to straw. This reminds the Jews of the materials and the mortar used to build the Treasure cities for the Pharaoh. The only thing that kept them going through all the cruelty was a bleak line of hope that they would be ‘delivered’ to the Promised Land. http://www.happypassover.net/meal.html

In the midst of the meal, Jesus broke the news of his betrayal, and impending death. Sandwiched between the acknowledgement of God’s grace and mercy in delivering Israel from 400 years of bondage Christ shares “the dessert” of the meal the new covenant. The dessert is a commandment “to do this in remembrance of me.” Dessert is supposed to be tasty and sweet. It is meant to finish or complement the main portion of the meal. It signals the meal is over, and you can take a moment to savor the entire meal. This “dessert” was different, or was it? It was delivered at then end of the disciples’ meal. They had begun to question Christ about where He was going, and made declarations of loyalty. A good meal can led some to boast about themselves. The disciples were no exception. Surely, after being with the Master for three years, one of them was the greatest next to the Christ. They had seen the miracles, and experienced a level of prominence because of their association with him. But this dessert signified a change in the order of life. It paved the way for transformation, new revelation, and filled the gaps left by old traditions, and religious rituals. This dessert (the new covenant of in his blood) was the icing on the meal. Nothing would ever be the same.
Truly, no other meal prepared since then has been so filling; so complete. The disciples experienced a complete meal lavishly prepared by the Master with divine love, and topped off with majesty, power, forgiveness, and humility. In that one meal the keys to the kingdom were given. Romans 14:17, states “For the kingdom of God is not meat or drink; but righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

This is Holy Week. Maundy Thursday begins for Christians three days of recognition and honoring the sacrificial love offering of Christ. The Thursday before his death, Christ washed the feet of his disciples, shared a last meal, and gave them the new covenant. This is a Holy Day for believers. So go to the table, and eat the meal prepared for us before the foundation of the world. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Enjoy and give thanks for both parts of the meal. Bon Appetit’

“May the God of…

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Do you remember these lyrics, “There is no secret what God can do, what He done for others, he’ll do for you?”   This song is not sung that often in today’s churches, however the meaning is true.  Our God is no respecter of person.  He showers blessings upon us each day.  He grants forgiveness to his beloved yet wayward children who frequently mess up. And yet, in His infinite mercy and grace God fills us with His spirit.  We are the recipients of divine hope, immaculate grace, priceless joy, and unmerited love.  Our most wonderful Lord provides us with peace that passes all understanding if we trust in His word. 

Rest in the holy and comforting knowledge that this day you are the recipient of God’s hope.  And may that knowledge strengthen you.  

A Morning Thought

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I’m reading from the book “The Daybook of Grace” and today’s meditation comes from 1 Thessalonians 5:8;
But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.”
Put on the whole armor of God is a divine directive. God’s armor defeats the enemy; for we wrestle not against people, but against spiritual wickedness in high places. But nothing out there can defeat us, because of our position as “more than conquerors” through Christ our Lord and Savior. So no obstacle, circumstance, economic shift, or disaster – nothing can bring us down because of His amazing love and power.
So fully armed yourselves by being self-controlled, and clothed in faith, love and hope. Christ has done his part. He has provided everything needed for the day. And we can rest in the blessed assurance of His magnificent power and love for us. Thomas Brooks once wrote, “God hath in Himself all power to defend you, all wisdom to direct you, all mercy to pardon you, all grace to enrich you, all righteousness to clothe you, all goodness to supply you, and all happiness to crown you.” Out of heaven’s storehouse receive these precious and powerful gifts for this day.

To Whom Do You Belong

Kingdom of God

Interesting question to ask, to whom do you belong? From the moment of your birth people, places and things stake their claim to you. Family, friends, institutions, states, country, even things indicate in one way or the other your relationship to them. You’re referred to as my son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild, husband, wife, student, employee, etc. The word “my” in front of the category describes your allegiance or affiliation. “My” is a possessive pronoun denoting both the relationship and ownership. But of all the relationships associated with this powerful pronoun, none is more significant, more satisfying, more amazing than you and I being sons and daughters of the most High God. We are His children. We are ranked as His glorious creation, vessels and holders of the message of salvation. Our lives are not our own, because we were purchased with the precious blood of Christ. Instructed to form this organic union with Christ, each day our affiliation should become more and more evident. Our allegiance to the Creator should demonstrates our service to the “Lord of Love.”
To whom do you belong? If you are not Christ’s run away fast that cruel master is stalking you. He seeks to destroy your allegiance to Christ. However, if you are Christ’s demonstrate it by obeying him with love and humility; let His word be your law; let His will be your will.
As C.H. Spurgeon stated, “You belong to the Beloved, then love him; let your heart embrace him; let your whole soul be filled with him. You belong to the Son of God, then trust him.”
To Whom Do You Belong? You belong to the King of Kings.

Golden Text

I’m reading and studying the book of Daniel Chapter 9 for our School of Wisdom.  The lesson focuses on Daniel’s prayer of confession for Israel’s sins.  As he prayed, Daniel acknowledged everything done in the past that caused their exile and captivity.  What was remarkable was, although Daniel was not directly involved he included himself in the prayer because it was his nation, and his ancestors.

 “Confessing guilt is difficult, but it is an absolute necessity for us.”  Think about this.  Job also made prayers of confession and sacrifices for his children, because he wasn’t certain if they had.  Proverbs 28:13 states, ” He that covereth his sins shall not prosper, but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” [KJV]   

How often are the sins of our forefathers, or even this nation included in your prayers of confession?    “All have sin and come short”, the Holy Scripture says.  I know I forget sometimes to confess the past sins of my family, and seek God’s atonement.  Joseph E. Falkner wrote, “children do not bear personal guilt and responsibility for the sins of their ancestors, but they do suffer the consequences.”   Sins travel down the timeline.  As prayer warriors, and bearers of the message of Christ, shouldn’t we confess the sins of our ancestors, and this nation?  The Bible says, if we confess “our sins” he is faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness [paraphrased].  Daniel’s prayer mentioned Israel’s past rebellion and disobedience.  

Aren’t we are living through the timeline of past sins of our forefathers.  It is no different today.  The issues which plague us today are the cause and result of the same rebellious and disobedient attitudes.  

I challenge you to include to prayer of confession for the guilt and sins of your ancestors if you have never done so.  We serve a faithful and merciful God.  His mercy and love endures through all generations.  We may be living through the righteous justice of God, but we will find mercy for those sins when we admit them. 

I pray God’s mercy and anointing power to heal those areas from our past, and cover you and this nation with His grace.