LAST BREATHS OF CHRIST: LESSONS FROM THE CROSS

37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that He thus breathed His last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”  (Mark 15: 33-39)

Breath.  Breathing.  Inhale. Exhale. Breathe.

 It isn’t something most people stop to think about. Breathing is just automatic to many. Breath is there. Breath is life. Without it, like Jesus, we breathe our last and die, ending our mortal lives. But what lives on, that is still breathing life into others around and beyond us? The centurion declared that Jesus must be the Son of God, based on what he saw and heard. What did he do after that? How was he affected and how did he  affect others through this testimony? What lived on through spoken words breathed out?

Our lives can be a living, breathing testimony to Christ. When we cease to be in this life and take our last breath, have we thought about what those standing around us will say? What will they utter in small breaths? What will they declare afterward? How will we each yet live and breathe-even after our last breath?

Jesus used the last breaths He had to speak some very important words that yet live and breathe in us:

— Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up His clothes by casting lots. (Luke 23:34)

— Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

26 When Jesus saw His mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19:26-27)

— About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).  (Matthew 27:46)

— Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” (John 19:28)

— After Jesus had taken the wine, He said, “It is finished.” Then He bowed his head and released His spirit. (John 19:30)

— Then Jesus cried out with a loud voice and said, “Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit.” After He said this, He breathed His last. (Luke 23:46)

Until and after His last breath, Jesus was teaching:

–Forgiveness to enemies, to those who do not come to our defense, to those who walk away.

–The reality of heaven, this prepared place where He will take us home to be with Him eternally.

–Responsibility to care and provide for family, an elder parent.

–The meaning of sin as anguished separation from God.

–Obedience to scripture and God’s Word, to the letter.

–The importance of completing everything God requires.

–That we must–and will—entrust our spirits to God in the end.

Learning in breaths, inhaling. Teaching in breaths, exhaling.

Breathe in the lessons. Breathe out His Words. Share Jesus. 

Will we yet live and breathe—after our last breath?

(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/21/19 ) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

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The Only Begotten Son

 

23 When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by His wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (I Peter 2:23-25)

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Healed by pierced hands.

Redeemed in innocent blood.

Eternal life from one death.

Not mine. Not yours. But His.

One man on the cross.

The only begotten Son.

He who had known life with the Father chose to trust God to be the Judge of others who insulted Him, who tortured Him.  The Son did not seek vengeance. Instead, He asked His Father to forgive–

For me. For you.

He who had known life with the Father chose to bear the sins of all humankind.  He carried the weight of guilt, the weight of knowing, the weight of suffering, the weight of sorrow, the weight of horror, the weight of agony, the weight of carnage, the weight of defiled innocence, the weight of darkness, the weight of abandonment by the Father. The Son bore the weight of sin in every form, from all time–

For me. For you.

He who had known life with the Father chose death, not a peaceful in-your-sleep slumber from which one does not awaken but a violent death of intense external and internal suffering and anguish–

For me. For you.

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We who have known life on this earth can choose to trust God. We can choose to forgive. We can choose to sacrifice ourselves for others. We can choose to follow Him, the man on the cross, the only begotten Son who gave His life–

For me. For you.

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/14/19) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

Sharing the Good News. What Can Stand in Our Way?

 

 

What Hinders Us?

 Cell phones calling-

Televisions blaring-

Messenger messaging-

Twitter notifying-

Instagram posting-

Facebook friending-

Online chatting-

Blue light beaming-

 

Did we notice a man reading?
Did we see a man hungering?
Did we hear a man asking?
 Look, here is a man waiting.
Did we stop for him?
Did we go to him?
Did we share Jesus with him?

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26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian[a] eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.

 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

 32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:

 33“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
    and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
     In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
    Who can speak of his descendants?
    For his life was taken from the earth.”

 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

 36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”

 [37] Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”  

 The eunuch answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

  38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the      eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.  (Acts 8:26-40 NIV)

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What hinders us from going forth like Philip? We don’t have to travel far to find someone who needs to hear the gospel: our neighbor, our co-worker, our friend, our family member, our hairdresser, our barber, our mail carrier, our online friend, a man reading . . .

What hinders us?

 Just us.

 Look, here is a person who needs to hear the Good News.

What can stand in our way.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/07/19)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word