And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So Peter went out and wept bitterly. Luke 22:61-62
It doesn’t happen often, thankfully, but it does happen: An employee makes a serious mistake that costs the company a large amount of money—and the employee is let go from his job. Whatever the reason for the mistake—negligence, poor judgment, or an honest error—the employer can’t risk it happening again.
Aren’t you thankful God has a different perspective on our failures? Granted, most of our failures may be small. But the principle of holiness is that to fail in one thing is like to fail in everything (James 2:10). If God judged us on our works, none of us could be saved. Before he came to understand grace, the apostle Peter probably thought he was finished when he denied knowing Christ three times. Yet Jesus, after the resurrection, reached out to Peter and embraced him, recommissioning Peter in His service (John 21).
Never forget: We are saved by grace through faith, not by works. Our salvation, and our ministry, is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Remember that failure is an event, not a person.Zig Ziglar
Drive Thru History with Dave Stotts: The Crucifixion of Jesus (Full Episode)
The Crucifixion of Jesus (Full Episode): Drive Thru History host, Dave Stotts, visits Israel as He explores Jesus’ agonizing crucifixion and investigates the locations for Golgotha and the tomb of Jesus. Watch full episodes of Drive Thru History:
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30
Michelangelo’s works explored many facets of the life of Jesus, yet one of the most poignant was also one of the most simple. In the 1540s he sketched a pieta (a picture of Jesus’ mother holding the body of the dead Christ) for his friend Vittoria Colonna. Done in chalk, the drawing depicts Mary looking to the heavens as she cradles her Son’s still form. Rising behind Mary, the upright beam of the cross carries these words from Dante’s Paradise, “There they don’t think of how much blood it costs.” Michelangelo’s point was profound: when we contemplate the death of Jesus, we must consider the price He paid.
The price paid by Christ is captured in His dying declaration, “It is finished” (John 19:30). The term for “it is finished” (tetelestai) was used in several ways—to show a bill had been paid, a task finished, a sacrifice offered, a masterpiece completed. Each of them applies to what Jesus did on our behalf on the cross! Perhaps that’s why the apostle Paul wrote, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14).
Jesus’ willingness to take our place is the eternal evidence of how much God loves us. As we contemplate the price He paid, may we also celebrate His love—and give thanks for the cross.
Until we learn to see sin as God does, it’s difficult to understand what happened at Christ’s crucifixion. God is holy and just, and Scripture tells us that His response to sin is wrath and punishment (Rom. 1:18; Rom. 6:23). Yet He also loves sinners and wants to be reconciled with them. The cross was the perfect answer to this terrible dilemma. It was the place where God’s wrath and love met.
The only way to rescue fallen mankind from eternal punishment was to devise a plan whereby the Lord could forgive sins without compromising His holiness. His wrath had to be poured out on a suitable substitute, the perfect Son of God.
So Jesus suffered His Father’s wrath for us as He hung on the cross. Sin was punished, divine justice was satisfied, and God could forgive sinners—all in accordance with His character. His wrath was poured out on His Son so His love and forgiveness could be lavished upon us.
We’ll never be able to understand all that happened while Jesus hung on the cross. Although we can to a certain degree comprehend the physical suffering He endured, Christ bore so much more: the very wrath of God. This costly redemption plan proves the Father’s great love for us.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” (Daniel 9:25)
This remarkable prophecy, given through the angel Gabriel to Daniel the prophet, actually predicted the date of the coming of Christ nearly 500 years in advance. From the announcement to the coming of “Messiah the Prince,” there would be 69 “weeks” (literally “sevens,” meaning in this context “seven-year periods”). That is, Messiah would come as the Prince 483 years after the commandment was given to rebuild Jerusalem. There is some uncertainty about the exact date of the decree, as well as the exact length of these prophetic years, but in each calculation the termination date is at least near or, in some cases, exactly the time when Christ entered Jerusalem to be acknowledged as its promised King.
However, Gabriel’s prophecy went on to say: “And after [the] threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off” (Daniel 9:26). That is, although He would come as promised, instead of being gladly crowned as King, He would be slain. Since the 483-year period terminated long ago, it is clear that Messiah must already have come and then been put to death at that time.
The terms of this remarkable prophecy have been precisely fulfilled in Jesus Christ alone, and no one coming later could have done so. It is no wonder that He wept over Jerusalem, pronouncing her coming judgment, “because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:44).
We, like He, should weep and pray for Israel. Yet, in God’s omniscient planning, “through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles” (Romans 11:11), and in this we can rejoice. HMM
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. —Daniel 6:10
Thomas à Kempis says that the man of God ought to be more at home in his prayer chamber than before the public….
No man should stand before an audience who has not first stood before God. Many hours of communion should precede one hour in the pulpit. The prayer chamber should be more familiar than the public platform. Prayer should be continuous, preaching but intermittent.
It is significant that the schools teach everything about preaching except the important part, praying. For this weakness the schools are not to be blamed, for the reason that prayer cannot be taught; it can only be done. The best any school or any book (or any article) can do is to recommend prayer and exhort to its practice. Praying itself must be the work of the individual. That it is the one religious work which gets done with the least enthusiasm cannot but be one of the tragedies of our times. GTM070-071
Lord, I pray today that I might more and more be at home in my prayer chamber. Help me to pray with deeper commitment and greater enthusiasm. Amen.
But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare…to Israel his sin. —Micah 3:8
The greatest proof of our weakness these days is that there is no longer anything terrible or mysterious about us….We now have little that cannot be accounted for by psychology and statistics.
In that early Church they met together on Solomon’s porch, and so great was the sense of God’s presence that “durst no man join himself to them” (Acts 5:13). The world saw fire in that bush and stood back in fear; but no one is afraid of ashes.
Today they…even slap the professed bride of Christ on the back and get coarsely familiar. If we ever again impress unsaved men with a wholesome fear of the supernatural we must have once more the dignity of the Holy Spirit; we must know again that awe-inspiring mystery which comes upon men and churches when they are full of the power of God. PTP011
The Holy Spirit is pure, for He is the Holy Spirit. He is wise, for He is the Spirit of wisdom. He is true, for He is the Spirit of truth. He is like Jesus, for He is the Spirit of Christ. He is like the Father, for He is the Spirit of the Father. He wants to be Lord of your life. COU075
The empty tomb, its vacancy, shook the people who made their way through the garden to the place where Christ had been buried—and it shakes us still. It all seems too good to be true.
The biblical account tells us that the angel rolled back the stone and sat upon it with a kind of cheerful insolence. “He’s not here!” said the divine messenger. “Have a look!” It seemed important that the world should see just how empty the place was.
The message must have become crystal clear to His staggered disciples. The Master whom they thought was done for was up and about again—as ready as ever to comfort, to guide, to direct and correct, to help and to heal. Love was liberated. The rocky walls of His “container” could not contain Him. What can one say but “Whoopee!” or, perhaps more appropriately, “Hallelujah!”
Our world needs to know about this. Every Christian ought to stand by the door of Christ’s empty tomb and whisper or shout as may be appropriate: “He is not here!”
Ever since Christ moved out of His grave, people have been trying to get Him back inside. They have attempted to imprison Him afresh—in history, in literature, in tradition—but in each case the cry rings out: “He isn’t here!” They try to wrap Him up in the shroud of regimented religion and the angels must laugh as they sing out, “He isn’t here, either!” Regular attempts have been made to bury him in the past, but He is more modern than the latest revelation or man’s way-out technology. Don’t look for Him among dead things. You won’t find Him there.
“Then where is He?” you ask. The simple answer is, “Everywhere!” His presence is totally unrestricted, as His disciples soon found out. He seemed to be everywhere at once and He still is. He is here with the fellow setting out for college and the girl going to her first job. He is here with the new mother cuddling her contented child. He is at the bedside of the seriously ill and on the road beside the recently unemployed. He is here with the laughing crowd at the Super Bowl and at the Olympic Games. He is here with the lonely and the depressed and especially the bereaved, and a simple prayer will make His living, powerful presence felt.