Sunday, April 5, 2015

Let us Rejoice!

Easter ~ Resurrection Sunday is my favorite
most blessed Holiday celebration.
My heart rejoices over what Christ
did for me on the cross.
What He did for me ~ He will do for you.
Last year my heart was bent towards
Mary Magdalene, and her love compassion and devotion
as she watched the Crucifixion of her Savior.
He is Worthy  was that Easter post
should you desire to read it.

This year I have pondered many times on
the two thieves beside Jesus on the cross.
( Luke 23:32-43)
The Crucifixion was gruesome.
 Jesus was stripped of His garments,
brutally beaten, spit on, pushed and slapped in the face.
 His hands and feet nailed to the cross,
which I might add, that He had to carry
until he collapsed under the weight of it,
was mocked by those at the cross, such as,
Jewish accusers, brutal Roman soldiers,
a crowd who called for Jesus' Crucifixion
and a mixture of secret and curious on lookers.

And yet ~ listen to Jesus in verse 34 of chapter 23
"Then said Jesus,
Father forgive them; for they know not what they do."
Utterly amazing!
Jesus' statement of forgiveness reveals the depth
of His love and grace for them and all humanity.
"But I say unto you,
love your enemies, bless them that curse you,
and do good to them that hate you,
and pray for them which despitefully use you
and persecute you.
( Matthew 5:44)


As believers that is quite the act to follow.
It requires such an unnatural response that 
obeying it proves who belongs to God. 
The law did not teach hatred for ones enemies.
"If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray,
thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.
If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee
lying under his burden,
and wouldest forbear to help him,
thou shalt surely help with him."
(Exodus 23:4&5) 

Jesus defined our enemies as those who curse us,
hate us and exploit us selfishly.
Since a believers love is an act of the will,
and not simply an emotion,
God has the right to command us to love our enemies.
"For if, when we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,
much more being reconciled,
we shall be saved by his life."
(Romans 5:10) 
God would have us to show this love by blessing
those who curse us, doing good to them and praying for them.
Have you ever noticed that when you pray for someone
you'd rather not ~ you find it easier to love them?
Prayer has a way of taking the poison out
of our heart attitudes
and we begin to love them as Christ would have us to. 
That puts our love in action
and we become more Christ~like.

 While on the cross Jesus loved His enemies,
those who hated Him, persecuted Him,
beat Him, spit on Him and hung Him there to die.
His love ~ so great ~ for you and me!
That is what causes me to ponder on the two
"malefactors" who were crucified with Jesus.
"Then there were the two thieves crucified with him,
one on the right hand,
and another on the left."
(Matthew 27:38)
It was providential that Jesus was crucified
between two thieves, for this gave both of them
access to the Savior.
Both of these men could read Pilate's superscription
and both of these men could watch Jesus
as He graciously gave His life
for the sins of the world. 

The one thief imitated the mockery
of the religious leaders.
"And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him,
saying, if thou be the Christ, save thyself and us."
(Luke 23:39)
Now the other thief acted completely different.
"But the other answering rebuked him saying,
Dost not thou fear God,
seeing thou art in the same condemnation.
And we indeed justly;
for we receive the due reward of our deeds
but this man hath done nothing amiss."
(Luke 23:40&41)

This "malefactor" reasoned,
if this man is indeed the Christ, and if He has a kingdom,
and if He has saved others,
then could He not meet my greatest need
which is salvation from sin.
As this thief spoke out in verses 40&41
it had to have taken courage.
It took faith for this man to trust a dying King.
Jesus is dying, yet this mans faith is great!   
This man had obstacles to overcome.
I find his faith astounding!
"And he said unto Jesus, Lord,
remember me when thou comest into Thy kingdom."
And Jesus said unto him,
"Verily I say unto thee,
today shalt thou be with me in paradise."
(Luke 23:42&43)

O the emotion that floods my soul
as I write this.
Here this man calls out to Jesus ~ the King ~
and asks Jesus to "remember him."
This man was saved wholly by grace;
it was the glorious gift of God.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God;
not of works, lest any man should boast."
(Ephesians 2:8 9)

This man did not deserve it and he could not earn it.
By grace through faith this man
trusted in the Savior for his salvation.
His salvation was personal and secure,
guaranteed by the word of Jesus Christ.
Does that not cause us to rejoice?!
We, like the two thieves, have that same opportunity
of calling upon the name of the Lord for our salvation.
One "malefactor" mocked Jesus and rejected Him,
the other received Christ as his own personal Savior,
and is now with Jesus in paradise.


How about you?
If you have not received God's love, grace and mercy,
will you receive or reject Him?
Behold the Lamb of God!   
His love grace and mercy are His glory! 

Let us Rejoice!
~ Debbie ~ 

I'm joining the party with

Stephanie at "Roses of Inspiration"


Sylvia said...

Amen! Thanks again for the blessing of your post on this Resurrection day of our Lord and Savior!
Have a Blessed day,Debbie.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

REJOICE! And I am going to go get ready to rejoice in harmony with others. Blessings to you today Debbie! Anita

Simply Linda said...

Amen! Thank you for a very lovely post. Happy Easter to you. Blessings

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

Dear Debby, I was so uplifted and touched too as I read afresh the death and Resurrection story which is so rich and poignant!!

... it is the WHY of Christ's coming .. He came, died ad rose again, that we might live...

Thanks for sharing this.

Thanks also for popping over to my blog .. the funny thing is I know a Debby Harris her in Australia and she is a US missionary pastor's wife. :D
Thanks also for joining my blog I have joined yours, too.
I will link over to your on my next post to welcome you as an encourager of my blog.
Many thanks again and the LORD bless you in this ministry,
Shaz in Oz.x

Vicky Hunt said...

Oh, thank you for this beautiful and heartfelt post this beautiful Easter morning Debbie. I pray you have a lovely Easter day. Are you spending it with your family? Have a blessed day my friend.

Hugs, Vicky

Mehrll said...

Such beautiful thoughts about the crucifixion and how the love of Jesus reached out to those the world hated, even until the moment of His death. Such an example for us. His love took Him to that cross for us even though we are so unworthy. It is only through His grace we can be saved through faith. A marvelous gift at Easter! Thank you for these words.

Blue Jeans And Teacups said...


Sola Scriptura said...

I hope you've had a wonderful celebration today. Beautiful post!

Kim said...

Such a lovely post, Debbie. I for one am so thankful to have Jesus in my life, every moment of every day and am eternally thankful for His amazing gift of life. I love all the different crosses in this post, they are all beautiful. A blessed Easter Sunday to you!

Debby Ray said...

What a blessing you are is so hard to fathom this depth of love...that is even possible! I can barely take it all in! Thank you for this beautiful post! He is Risen, indeed!

Kelly-Anne said...

Oh Debbie! What a glorious thought - it was His wonderful love for us that held Him to that cross... He endured those insults and those lashings...for us... Surely we should 'love our enemies', for that is just what Christ did! May He strengthen us to do this!
He is risen! Praise be to His wonderful name!
Hugs to you,

Conniecrafter said...

It is hard to forgive those that are our enemies for what they do against us, but when I know how sinful I am and that Jesus died for us the ultimate sacrifice, I know I need to listen to him and love everyone.
Enjoyed seeing all the different styles of crosses!

Stephanie said...

Good morning {almost afternoon}, dear Mom :) This was such a beautiful and refreshing post in honor of Resurrection Sunday. "By grace through faith..." I am so thankful for the simple and precious gift of salvation. Our Heavenly Father has given us the greatest gift and I praise His Holy Name. We serve a LIVING Savior!

Yesterday was a joy and blessing. Thank you for the beautiful Easter lunch. You did a wonderful job with the table setting and the food was delicious!

Happy Monday! Love to you!

Connie said...

Hello Debbie, I am grateful that I found your lovely blog. How encouraging it is:)
I also want to thank you for following me back, I appreciate your thoughtfulness and your blogging friendship.
Connie :)

Anne Payne said...

I'll just say DITTO to what everyone else has said, Debbie. It truly is a glorious look at the Resurrection of Christ Jesus!

Sandra said...

A belated Happy Easter, Debbie. I hope you had a blessed weekend.

Cranberry Morning said...

Beautiful post, Debbie. I love the line, 'Prayer has a way of taking the poison out of our heart attitudes.' So. Very. True. Praise God for His mercy and grace! Only God's love can transform a sinful heart.

Beatrice Euphemie said...

So beautiful. We are indeed blessed to have Jesus as our Savior. I hope you and your family had a very lovely and blessed Easter, dear friend. xo Karen

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Thank you for another post written with your words of wisdom, led from Our Heavenly Father. Isn't it wonderful how Jesus forgave those who insulted, tortured and killed him? What a lesson for all of us!

CherylQuilts said...

Debbie, thank you for sharing this wonderful Resurrection Day message of His love and hope beaus of the death of our Savior Jesus! What a blessing that He has done it all! Much love, precious sister!

Dee said...

It always brings tears to my eyes, just knowing what Jesus went through when he died on the cross for our sins. Thank you for this beautiful post. I loved every word. Blessings... :)

Huckleberry stitches said...

I am so thankful He forgives me and gives me life! Jesus is my savior and I Love him! And to know he loves us unconditionally, what a Mighty God He is! Thank you for this post.

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