Week 14, Day 5: A Life Lived for One Moment

Good Friday. Why call today “Good Friday” when it’s the day Jesus Christ was brutally crucified – murdered on a Roman cross? Perhaps that day should be called “Bad Friday” or “Hopeless Friday” or “Regrettable Friday.” But no, today is called “Good Friday” because the best possible thing happened on this day: Jesus erased the punishment of the sin of mankind by becoming sin Himself.

  • “For He [God] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” Second Corinthians 5:21 (NKJ).
  • “But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing” Galatians 3:13 (NLT).

 

Even as Jesus was dying on the Cross, He realized His ministry to us wasn’t over. Talk about the ultimate in multi-tasking! There He was suffering for the sin of all mankind ever, and Jesus still took care of three additional issues:

  1. He asked God to forgive His murderers. Jesus is aware that the accusing Jews and the Roman officials had no idea that they were participating in the most pivotal event of all human history. Had they rightly realized his deity, they never would have railed on Him to put Him to death and our salvation would be non-existent. They were to blame still because they had every opportunity to believe, yet they chose not to, and ended up playing right into God’s hands anyway. Jesus graciously prays, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” Luke 23:34 (NKJ).
  2. He forgives the one thief being crucified beside Him. The precious story reads like this:
  • Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” Luke 23: 39-43 (NKJ).
       3. He takes care of His mother. This action moves every mothers’ heart. You look at your kids and you hate to see them going through hard times, but what must
            Mary have been suffering as she watched her promised Son being so brutally murdered? If there was any consolation to be had at that moment, Jesus tenderly supplied
            it to her. She had not idea that Sunday morning’s glory was coming, so Jesus didn’t leave her comfortless. John 19:25-27 (NKJ) relates the story:
  • Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

After that amazing one moment when Jesus died carrying all the sin of the world on Him, the veil in the temple that separated the Holy of Holies from common view and access was torn in two from top to bottom. The way to God had been opened. As Satan constantly tries to accuse us, Jesus continues to minister to us. “He lives forever to intercede with God on [our] behalf” Hebrews 7:25 (NLT).

 Spiritual Discipline to Practice: Intercession 

One of the forms of prayer is intercession, the practice of praying for others. This weekend, instead of praying prayers for yourself, focus your prayers on others. Ask for God’s heart regarding your loved ones. Discuss with God what He wants for their lives and then agree with God as you stand in the gap for those people. They do not have to know you are praying for them. You may want to ask God to heal, protect, supply needs, increase blessings, enlighten, provoke, challenge, encourage, or draw those people closer to Himself. Ask for God to get through to them. Ask that God would enlarge their territory. Don’t pray as their judge and jury; just pray as one who loves them and sincerely wants God’s best for them however God plans to give it.

________________________

©2012 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, and from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website.

~ by sanewriter on April 6, 2012.

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