Friday, April 18, 2014

Why Easter Matters, Day 8


This lovely and meaningful graphic is by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
I am going to do just one or two posts concerning the "Why Easter Matters" study I've been doing from Good Morning Girls.  Since Easter is coming up on Sunday, and since it really does matter tremendously to us, I felt it was important to share some of my study with you.

With today being what we think of as Good Friday, I thought it was a perfect time to share this study from Day 8 -- last Wednesday, April 9.  I trust it will be as meaningful to you as it was to me.

S [Scripture]= "And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the spirit.
"And the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom.
"And when the centurion, who stood facing Him, saw that He so cried out, and gave up the spirit, he said, Truly, this man was the Son of God."  (Mark 15:37-39)

O [Observation]=  What was it that Jesus "cried with a loud voice" before giving up the spirit?  It must have been, "It is finished!" because Luke's account of the crucifixion tells us in Luke 23:46 that "when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, He said, Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit, and having said this, He gave up the spirit."  The cry "It is finished!" was  not simply a statement that Jesus' suffering was ended or that His earthly life was over.  No, it was a shout of triumph that with His sacrifice, the sinner's debt was paid in full.  He had accomplished what He had come to earth to do.

At this moment when Jesus' atoning work was indeed finished, God tore the thick veil of the temple in two, from the top to the bottom.  The tearing of that veil signified that a new and living way was now opened for all who will come to God by faith in Christ.  Nothing other than Christ's sacrificial death could ever have accomplished this.

The centurion facing Jesus observed His death and heard His triumphant cry.  In response he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God."  We see also in this account that Jesus "gave up" the spirit.  No one took His life from Him.  He willingly gave it up so that we might have eternal life.

A [Application]= From my vantage point, the only real response to such a sacrifice can be heartfelt gratitude and a desire to live a life pleasing to God that will bring honor and glory to Him.  He has saved me, and called me with a holy calling, not according to my works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which He had in mind for me before the foundation of the world (2 Timothy 1:9).  For me, the only possible response is to spend the rest of my life seeking -- in His wisdom and strength -- to fulfill those purposes.

P [Prayer]=  "Lord, I cannot even begin to thank You for Your sacrifice on my behalf.  'Thank You' is a pitifully inadequate response for all that You sacrificed in order to make me right with a holy God.   Truly, it is my 'reasonable service' to present myself to You as a 'living sacrifice' for Your purposes (Romans 12:1-2).  I pray, Lord, that You will help me to forget things which are behind, to reach forth unto those things which are before me, and to press toward the mark for the prize of Your high calling (Philippians 3:13-14).  Help me not to miss any of the purposes for which You have called me.  I pray in Jesus' name, Amen."

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for this Easter post, what an important time of year for Christians to reflect on our Savior. So happy you used one of my graphics. Have a blessed week. ~ Abby

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  2. So true, Abby. Although as a Christian I know full well why Easter matters, this study really gave me much to ponder and think on. This was the first time I had done an Easter study, and it was such a blessing!

    Yes, I thought your graphic was perfect here. At our church we always sing "One Day" at Easter and it's a favorite hymn. Thanks for sharing your lovely graphics with the blog world!

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