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Dear Precious Friends,
On this Thank God I'm Forgiven Friday let us prepare our hearts for Holy Week. In our humanness it's impossible for us to understand what Jesus did for us on the cross. What He went through, the flogging 39 times (By His stripes we are healed) and by far the most painful death and humiliation a human can endure, for each of us... so we could receive His gift of eternal life.Just before His crucifixion, Jesus was scourged by the Romans (John 19:1).. Deuteronomy 25:3 states that a criminal should not receive more than forty lashes. In order to avoid possibly accidentally breaking this command, the Jews would only give a criminal 39 lashes. Jesus was scourged by the Romans, not by the Jews. There is no reason to believe that the Romans would follow a Jewish tradition. Scourging was the punishment ordered for Jesus by Pontius Pilate: He was to be flogged (Matthew 27:26) but not killed in that way. His death was to be carried out by crucifixion after the scourging.
It is hard to imagine the level of hatred necessary to consign an innocent man to such a fate. Yet the Jewish leaders and Pilate did this very thing, knowing Jesus was innocent. Worse, the man they sent to be flogged and crucified was the Son of God. We hear and refer to the story of Jesus’ death so often that sometimes we fail to stop and think about how evil and horrible He was treated by those He came to save. The torment He endured was prophesied in Isaiah: “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). The “stripes” referred to in this prophecy are a direct reference to the lashes Jesus received.
Whether there were 39 lashes or 40 or some other number, the scourging was a terrible, painful ordeal. And, in a very real way, the death of Christ effected spiritual healing for those who would believe. Isaiah compares humanity to a flock of sheep that has turned away from the Shepherd, each animal going its own way—a picture of disharmony and danger. But “the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). The pure, perfect innocence of Jesus Christ, His wisdom and creative power, were all present in His human body. The flawless Shepherd chose to accept an undeserved, cruel death in order to save His sheep. This, too, was prophesied by Jesus. Before His arrest He said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. . . . I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. . . . For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father” (John 10:11, 15, 17–18).
Jesus chose to take our punishment. The Father chose to send Jesus to the cross. They conspired to save all who would believe and to show by Jesus’ terrible wounds both the seriousness of our sin and the depth of His love.
We can't comprehend this type of love. In a second He could have called upon His armies of angels or His Father and not go through such suffering. I have no words to express the gratitude and responsibility of receiving this gift to a world that gets darker each day. I have to ask myself each day what am I doing with this gift? Am I living a life that reflects His love?
Jesus paid our debt in full... death was our sentence but Jesus paid what was required of me. At the cross the price of salvation, healing and deliverance was paid in full. Our greatest is salvation. When we receive this gift we pass from eternal death to eternal life Healing means the effects of sin have been cancelled (Isaiah 53:5) 1 Peter 2:24
Deliverance means the ability to live a victorious life here on earth. (John 10:10)
My friends... Our lives reflect our gratitude. I pray we walk in the victory we have been given so when people see us, they see Him and want what we have.
Let's go out today and share His love with ALL we come in contact with and look beyond our temporary status here and be about our Fathers business.
WHO will join me?
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