Redemption’s Cost*

REDEMPTION'S COSTUnimaginable glory laid aside,
Human flesh and vulnerability donned,
The Creator among His creation.
Submission to earthly parents.
Leaving when the time came.

Appearing to be baptized of John.
Driven into the wilderness.
40 days of fasting.
Tempted throughout –
“If you are the Son of God, do.”
“Worship me and I will give.”
Responding with the Word.

Father’s business,
Saying only His words,
Doing only His works.
Rejection by those He came to save.
Name calling:
Glutton
Drunkard
Friend of tax collectors and other sinners.
Character questioned.
Threatened with death.

Wrestling in Gethsemane,
Capillaries bursting under the strain.
Wrestling with what had to be done to redeem us –
“If it is possible, let this cup pass”
Yielding,
“Your will, not Mine.”

Knowing completely all that would happen,
But face set as a flint.
Stepping forward.
The kiss of betrayal.

Fake trial.
Outcome long determined.
Mockings.
Scourging.
Crown of thorns.
Beaten beyond recognition.
Face disfigured.
Body marred more than any other man.

Pain wracked,
Bloodied,
Carrying His cross up Golgotha’s hill.
Simon of Cyrene conscripted.
The nails.
The agony of breathing.
The mocking taunts of those who passed by:
“Save yourself.”
“Come down from the cross if you are the Son of God.”
The mocking of the justly condemned thief,
“Save yourself and us.”

The anguish of feeling forsaken.
Letting go of the relationship with the one who bore Him –
“Woman, behold your son.”
“Behold your mother.”

Praying for forgiveness for the mockers,
For those crucifying Him.
The thirst.
Then,
“It is finished.”
And the releasing, the yielding of His spirit.
Completion.

 

Redemption was free…for the redeemed.
Costly,
Beyond any human’s ability to pay, for the Redeemer.

*Originally published on fitlyspoken.

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Mind bent. Spirit worships.

Mind bent.Soul worships.It bends my mind.
A response congruent with the truth of Isaiah 55:8-9:
His thoughts are not mine.
Neither are His ways.
And both are higher than mine.

It bends my mind.
This truth that the creating Word,
the sustaining-all-things-by-His power Word,
willingly divested Himself of His glory.
Wrapped Himself in flesh.
Allowed Himself to be mocked and scorned.
Battered beyond recognition.
To redeem us.
To redeem me.

It bends my mind, this truth.
But my spirit,
my spirit accepts
what my mind cannot comprehend.
And
prostrates,
and worships.

Isaiah 53: Redemption in one chapter

Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53, NKJV)

For coming, thank You

For coming, thank YOU.png

He sat on the colt,
and rode on its back in to Jerusalem,
on a road covered with a mixture of palms and clothing,
the shouts of “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,”
ringing in His ears and
echoing through the streets.

But He Who knows the hearts of all men
knew that many of those shouting praise,
would a few days later,
shout, “Crucify Him,”
and ask for a murderer and an insurrectionist to be released instead of Him.
He knew.

He knew. 
And He knows that my praise too can be inconsistent,
rapidly changing into whining and complaining,
fueled by doubt and unbelief.
Calling Him, Lord, in one breath.
Having a tantrum with the next.

He knows.
And still He loves
unwaveringly.
Works in me patiently.
Changing me.
Drawing me.
Empowering me to do what pleases Him.

So, for His faithfulness,
His abounding grace,
His mercy,
His incomprehensible love,
and because He is forever worthy,
I whisper, “Halleluia. Thank You, for coming, Lord.”
”Thank for choosing to suffer and die.
And for making it possible for me to know You as Savior,
and to know God as Father. Thank You.”
 
 

Every Step

every step

From the moment of His birth, every step Jesus took brought Him closer to Golgotha and the Cross,  where He would willingly pay the incomprehensible cost to redeem you, me, the world. Every step. The trip to Jerusalem at age 12, where, after searching for Him for three days, Mary and Joseph “found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions,” astonishing all who heard Him (Luke 2:41-47, NKJV). To the Jordan River to be baptized by John (Matthew 3:13-17). Into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan after fasting for 40 days and forty nights (Matthew 4:1-11).

Every step. By the Sea of Galilee on numerous occasions such as when He called the first disciples (Matthew 4:18-22). Up on a mountain where He taught his disciples many things, including what we know as “The Beatitudes” (Matthew 5:1-12). In Capernaum, where He spoke the word that healed the centurion’s servant and drove the fever from the body of Peter’s mother-in-law with a touch (Matthew 8:5-15).

Every step. To the country of the Gergesenes, where He set two demon-possessed men free (Matthew 8:28-34). To the house of Jairus where He raised his daughter from the dead (Luke 8:41-56).

Every step. Through Samaria and to the Samaritan woman who came to draw water and met the Messiah, the Living Water (John 4). To the tomb of Lazarus where He demonstrated that He is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:1-44). Every step.

And every step you and I take moves us closer to the purpose for which God created us, or away from it. Every step. Every choice, every decision matters. May we heed more than ever the instruction in Hebrews 12:1-2 (AMP):

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].”

And with the assurance that He directs our steps (Proverbs 16:9) may we pray like David, the psalmist and king,

“Establish my footsteps in [the way of] Your word;
Do not let any human weakness have power over me [causing me to be separated from You]” (Psalm 119:133, AMP).

P.S.

I want to invite you to join me and thousands of others across the nation and in other countries to use your feet to make a difference, by participating in World Vision’s Global 6K for clean water, on May 6, 2017. Please watch the video below and click here for additional information. Thank you.

Made right

Romans 5 v 9.png

Today I am mulling over the incredible truths in Romans 5:1-17. Let us read the New Living Translation of these verses together.

5 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

There truly is no explaining or understanding the love of God for us. There is also no earning His love. There is no doing enough to make Him love us more or not doing enough that will make Him love us less. He loves us unconditionally and perfectly. He chose to love us and demonstrated His “great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (verse 8).

We. Have. Been. Made. Right. In. God’s. Sight. By. The. Blood. Of. Christ.

No more condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). That guilt and shame that haunts? Baseless. Total forgiveness is ours because of Christ Jesus, as is the grace to turn from sin.

We. Have. Been. Made. Right. In. God’s. Sight. By. The. Blood. Of. Christ.

And if that was not enough to praise God unceasingly for, we also have peace with God, and stand, “in a place of undeserved privilege” (verse 2).  These blessings enable us to know there is purpose to our trials and challenges.

We. Have. Been. Made. Right. In. God’s. Sight. By. The. Blood. Of. Christ. 

Thank You, Father. Thank You. Give us a fresh and true revelation of this truth so that we never again read, hear, sing, or speak of what You did for us without a sense of wonder, worship, and profound gratitude.  

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Embrace

Joining Kate Motaung and other members of the Five Minute Friday Community for our weekly writing challenge. To learn about Five Minute Friday, click here. This week’s prompt is “Embrace.”

I imagine he left with a jaunt in his step

Well dressed body

Well shod feet

Perhaps with a servant or two

Maybe on a camel or whatever animals

The financially well endowed rode

I imagine he left without looking back

Feeling mighty

Feeling Free

But now he was returning

Penniless

Likely gaunt

Filthy

Ragged clothing

Bare, dirty, calloused feet

Smelling awful

Looking nothing like the arrogant younger son

who had demanded “his” share of the estate

and departed  

But his father who had been looking for him

Recognized him, even at a far distance

And ran to him

And embraced him

Filthy body and all

And kissed him

And welcomed him home

But my Father did more than that for me, for us

The Word became flesh

Left heaven’s glory

Walked among us

Showed us the Father

And then stretched His arms wide to die for us

The ultimate, eternal embrace