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

The Man on the Path to the Cross

Crowds gather to watch,

Some crying and wailing,

Others yelling “Crucify Him!”

The man on the path–innocent.

 

His body scarred and bloody,

Flogged and spit upon,

Weakened and fatigued,

Carrying a weight–the cross.

 

Knees collapsing into sand,

Simon forced to lift the load,

Yet the burden remaining

Within the man on the path.

 

Looking ahead to Golgotha,

The place of the skull—

Death awaits, has waited. . .

Since his first cry in the manger.

 

The man has seen the path ahead–

In the temple on His Father’s business,

In the upper room sharing the bread,

In the garden praying alone “Thy Will.”

 

We watch from a distance, His path,

And know the final walk is victory.

The man, Son of God, on the cross,

Obedient to sacrifice–“It is Finished.”

 

(Sharon  G. Tate 03/25/18)    teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

REMEMBERING OUR LORD’S SACRIFICE ALWAYS

1On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered His words. (Luke 24:1-7)

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Our memories, links in the chain of events that form our lives. We capture these events and the people involved in them through writing, photos and videos; store these links in files, picture frames, photo albums, computers, flash drives, and the cloud; and try to hold the images in our personal mind cache, stored away for retrieval when reminiscence tears our eyes and touches our hearts.

Without the means to retrieve these memories–through a written record, connections with those involved in them, or captured images to assist in remembrance–there are gaps in the chain, missing links that make us search, question, and seek the answers to bind the past to the present and find meaning in our lives.

God gave us the memory of our Lord’s sacrifice in the written Word. The answers are provided for what we seek inside us– to know Christ and have that connection with Him, the true meaning to our lives. Although we were not physically present with Jesus, we do see the cross, hear His last words, feel the agony of the nails, touch the wooden post stained with blood and look up to see the Savior dying for us as we connect in memory. Binding the past to our present life, we remember.

On the first day of the week, in the manner of the apostles as recorded in Acts 20:7 (On the first day of the week we came together to break bread…), we remember our Lord’s sacrifice in the act of communion: “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (I Corinthians 11:23- 26).

We are part of the chain, the links that bind us to Him and that day. We are brothers and sisters in the Lord, adopted sons and daughters of the Father. The memory is stored within us. We do not have to search, question, and seek—for God has provided the images. Our retrieval of these memories of our Lord’s sacrifice of love, beyond the first day of the week communion, indicates our commitment and love to Him. Do we remember often? Do we touch the cross in our minds, see our Lord looking down, and hear Him crying out: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 22:34)

But Jesus did not remain on the cross.  The Word tells us death could not hold Him. He is Risen–and we remember.

WE MUST REMEMBER ALWAYS. . .

(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/16/17) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

Mary and her Son: Keeping These Things and Pondering Them in our Hearts

Mary and Jesus and John

 

26 When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. (John 19:26-27)

On the cross, while enduring the most extreme agony of suffering for our sins and abandonment by His Father, Jesus looked down and saw His mother. He knew she would need to be cared for, and John, his trusted disciple “whom he loved” was near. Jesus made it clear in the wording He used that Mary was to view John as her son and John was to be that son to Mary.  John accepted this great responsibility and took Mary home with him.

In providing for His mother, Our Lord demonstrated His love for this woman who bore Him. Mary was told by the angel that she, a virgin, would bear a child who would be “the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)  She didn’t understand but humbly accepted this responsibility by verbally stating: “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38).   When the shepherds came to Bethlehem to find THE Child, Christ the Lord in the manger, Luke recorded Mary’s unspoken thoughts and feelings about this birth: “… his mother kept all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:17-19) When Jesus was twelve and told his parents, who were looking for him, that he was about His Father’s business in the temple, they did not understand. Luke, once again, recorded her unspoken thoughts and feelings: “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:48-51). 

We can only imagine what Mary really pondered all those years. “Mary, did you know?” are the lyrics written by Mark Lowry to a well-known Christmas song. Mary had been “pondering” all these years, and she seemed to know that Jesus had the power to perform a miracle at Cana and provide more wine for the wedding occasion. : When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.’  5His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you’ (John 2:1-5). And He, then, turned water into wine, performing His first recorded miracle. “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him” (John 2:11). His mother had already believed in Him.

Mary was with Jesus, her son, throughout his life, and she was at the foot of the cross when He was sacrificing Himself for all mankind. She was a mother who loved her son and gave him up for us.  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38) Her words could be heard, not only at the beginning, but also at the end of her son’s life on this earth.

Mother has the word “other” in it. A mother has a special bond with her child from conception until she dies. She looks outside herself to her child and gives to that child first above her own self. The “M” in a loving mother is never the completed word “me” for it defers, instead, to the full word “other.” Her “other” is the child she bears, the child who grows inside her, the child who continues to grow outside her body but never outside her heart.  Mary was this mother.

 **To those of us who are mothers or future mothers, let us strive to be the woman and mother Mary was: “The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you’ ” (Luke 1:28).

**Let us all be as caring toward our parents as Jesus was to His mother. In spite of all that He was going through on the cross, He remembered her and provided for her.

 Our mother is our deliverer into this life. Jesus is our Deliverer through this life.

May we keep all these things and ponder them in our hearts.

 (Sharon G. Tate blog 05/08/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word