“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.”
One of the temptations which confronted Jesus immediately following His baptism, occurred during the 40 days while He was fasting and praying in the wilderness. Satan tempted Jesus to forego the suffering and receive His Kingdom now. All He had to do was to bow down and worship the “god of this world” and it would instantly be His. Jesus was God in Spirit but man in the flesh, so it was, Satan was attempting to appeal to Christ’s flesh which is man’s weakness to gratify.
(Matthew 4: 1-11)
So right from the starting line, Jesus was confronted with Satan’s persuasion to simply give up, to spare His own flesh. But what was Christ’s determination all about and why was He running this race to Calvary with such absolute conviction? He kept in mind His mission to set us free from Satan’s power and God’s sealed judgment to come. He was resolute, unyielding to the end.
(Isaiah 50:7, Luke 9:51)
Think of it, Jesus was God incarnate, Sovereign in all things, yet He laid it all aside, left Heaven’s home, humbling Himself, while relating to the very ones He created; focused on one thing- Our Salvation. (Colossians 1: 16-17)
Have you ever endured ridicule, rejection, animosity, by the very persons you’ve loved and wanted to help? One would hardly lay down their life for a friend but how about your enemy? Yet, even while they were driving the rusty nails through Christ’s hands and feet, He was asking His heavenly Father to forgive them because He said “they didn’t know what they were doing”. (Hebrews 12:3, Luke 23:44)
No matter the pain, the injustice, the indignation of being stripped naked, hanging from a cross, Jesus took the time to give a repentant thief the hope of knowing he would be in paradise with him because of his faith. (Luke 23:33-43)
And as Jesus looked down from the cross He confirmed and established the relationship between His mother and one of His disciples. (John 19:26)
The most agonizing moment was when He endured the separation between Himself and His Heavenly Father, never knowing a moment without His presence, he felt abandonment for the first time from the Very One He Trusted, loved and obeyed without reservation. He was alone, completely alone as He took on the punishment for our sins. (Matthew 27:46)
What are we facing? As children of God, we will never have to suffer for the whole world or be abandoned. Is there any circumstance that can separate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus? The only thing separating us from His great love is unbelief and rejecting His Son’s atonement for the forgiveness of our sins.
(Hebrews 3:19, John 3:16, Romans 8:38-39)
What joy Jesus must have experienced when He first appeared to His disciples and stood before His Father displaying His nail scarred hands. He did it! And He did it against every temptation and hardship anyone could possibly endure. That is why He sits on the right hand side of the Father awaiting His everlasting Kingdom.
(John 20: 19-20, Romans 8:34)
I’ll never forget the inexpressible joy I felt when I accepted him as my Savior, and the inner joy of hearing of my grandfather’s prayer of repentance and how God Reassured him he too, would be in heaven.There is nothing to describe the presence of God’s Holy Spirit confirming the glorious truth. A Sunday School Teacher and a Child’s Faith
Hallelujah! He is indeed Risen and many have witnessed His resurrection with their own eyes and faith.
(Luke 24:32, John 20:29)
How about you?
“According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4: 15-18
“O you redeemed ones, on whose behalf this strong resolve was made—you who have been bought by the precious blood of this steadfast, resolute Redeemer—come and think awhile of Him, that your hearts may burn within you and that your faces may be set like flints to live and die for Him who lived and died for you!”
— C.H. Spurgeon