He, a Rose

“I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys.” Song of Solomon 2:1

“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.” Luke 12:27

The variety of flowers God created are such a feast for our eyes–
And, besides their beauty, most have a pleasing fragrance that will arise.

No wonder Jesus said that we should consider the lilies of the field–
Their essence is a tribute to His Father’s care to which they yield.

Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross arose, as a pleasing fragrance, to the Father’s throne–
An aroma so pleasing that Christ now, as the rose of Sharon, is known.

Yes, like a rose, that was crushed and associated with thorns upon His head,
Jesus paid for our redemption through scourges and His sacred veins that bled.

All who are in Christ give sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him, as well,
To remind those who are saved of heaven, and to warn those unaware of hell.

So consider how the lilies are clothed, and therefore put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
For His sacrifice on your behalf is the one that the Bible says sufficed.

P. A. Oltrogge

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” Romans 13:14

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” Ephesians 5:1-2

“But thanks be to God, Who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?” 2 Corinthians 2:14-16

“You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. And they also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. God raised Him up on the third day, and granted that He should become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us, who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.” Acts 10:38-43

Praise God, it was for you that He arose!


In Adversities and War

Most of you, who’ve come across this blog, don’t even need a reminder, but here, once again, are some ministries offering opportunities to help show the love of Christ. Featured is an article reprinted with permission. Let’s persevere in prayers of faith, believing for answers to prayer–even the miraculous–over places which are experiencing severe adversities and war….

“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'” Matthew 25:34-40


and others of which you’re aware….

The following comes from the Slavic Gospel Association:

It has been said that children are windows into the souls of their parents. But children can also be windows into all that is occurring around them. Children are quite observant of their surroundings, and their view of the world has not yet been infused with the countless considerations of politics and social issues along with concerns about health, finances, and a future. They simply see the world for what it is to them. When children gathered around Jesus they saw His goodness, kindness, and love and they listened intently to His teaching. They had no reason to believe otherwise, and their simple faith was on display. Jesus commented on their unfettered faith that “to such belongs the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14). In the same way children also react to the violence and evil in this world. They don’t understand it, cannot rationalize or justify it, and only see it simply as hideous, crying out in pain and fear when they see it. So it is to a seven-year-old little girl in eastern Ukraine that we turn.

Vlad is a faithful pastor who delivers food and the Gospel to many in the war torn villages in eastern Ukraine. As we have shared before, these villages already suffer from the ongoing conflict (since 2014) and now suffer even more with the wider-scale war. Vlad handed little Polina a loaf of bread that was like gold to her, and she sang a song for him of her own creation. Polina sang, “I am appealing to adults to stop the war, and I will color the spring for you with bright colors—the sun smiling in the sky. I will stop crying, and will fear no more. Where the war goes on, one cannot play games, or gather flowers. And I can’t understand why innocent children die where the war goes on.” Simply there is the beauty of life and the ugliness of that which destroys life.

And there in the midst of the suffering was Vlad—bringing Polina and her mother bread, along with groceries and the Gospel. Pastor Vlad himself had been captured in 2014 and tortured, and he captured her song on video with others standing nearby. After a recent trip to Polina’s village, Vlad added, “Today was very scary for us. People live in fear day and night. People die and it seems like life is worth nothing. This war brings great grief, very great, but also our prayers to God. Lord please stop them!” Vlad and Polina both do not know what the outcome will be. But both pray for a day with no more fear and no more tears. And therefore, groceries and the Gospel continue, for the ultimate day in which the tears stop and the fear is gone in heaven. With childlike faith in Jesus, we can be certain that day will come. 

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

Israel was experiencing the oppressive war machine of their enemies. They were dismayed, disillusioned, and dejected. They were fearful of what may yet happen. Into this context, God speaks to them through His prophet Isaiah. God, through Isaiah, assures them He is with them, He will strengthen them, help them, and uphold them in the difficulties produced by war. With God is hope and the message of hope. The hope begins by knowing the one true God. The one true God is known only through God the Son, Jesus Christ. Once genuine hope is known in Jesus Christ, the great promises and assurances of God are directed toward those who place their trust in Him. Even though Israel was experiencing the tragedy of war, God was providing them with hope through His faithful servant.

It is such a blessing to read of Pastor Vlad who brings the message of hope, not a general message of hope, but the very specific message of hope found in God alone. While ministering with groceries to those who desperately need food, he speaks of the hope that is uniquely found in God through Jesus Christ. He speaks of hope that ministers to the depths of the soul, to all who turn in repentance toward God and faith in Christ Jesus. Those who embrace the message of the Gospel, by faith, come to know the reality that God indeed is their God, that He will strengthen them and uphold them while living in the ugly and tragic reality of war. We are grateful for each one who prays for the faithful servants in Ukraine and Russia, and for the hope of the Gospel to be realized in the lives of many who hear the Gospel.

Please Pray Today:

  • Praise God that through His Son Jesus, there will be a day that all fear will be gone and there will be no more tears for those who believe in Him.
  • Pray for the little children like Polina who suffer greatly in Ukraine under this brutal conflict.
  • Pray for faithful believers who, at the risk of their own lives, race into the conflict to bring the hope of Jesus Christ and aid to those suffering—especially the children.

Cultivate Faith

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” spoken by Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, in John 16:33

If you don’t cultivate faith,
you’ll likely reap a harvest of fear.
So cultivate a “crop” of faith…
and, as Jesus said, be of good cheer.

If a “storm” comes up furiously,
tell God, you take His Word seriously!
He’s given you His peace amid the world’s discord–
Your strength is in the joy of the Lord!

Cultivate faith–keep it protected…
Reap faith’s reward, instead of what fear has projected.
“Stop the fear!” with faith as your shield.
To the Word and Jesus’ blood and His name,
the enemy will yield.

“A thousand may fall at your side, 
and ten thousand at your right hand; 
but it shall not come near you…”
Use the Word of God, making the devil fear you.
Jesus cursed a fig tree–you can do the same…
through the power of the Word, Jesus’ blood, and His mighty name!

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”

“So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.'” Mark 11:20-24

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

Psalm 91:

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

(Psalm 91)

“…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—” Ephesians 6:14-18

“…God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3

“And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy….” Luke 24:52

“But one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.'” Revelation 5:5

As one minister of the gospel has said, she heard in her spirit, “At the roar of the Lion, the enemy flees.” 

Be bold, for the Lion of Judah is within you! 

It Only Takes a Spark

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

Pastor Hank Kunneman reminded the viewers on Flashpoint Tuesday night of the Christian song from some years ago, “It Only Takes a Spark to Get a Fire Going.” Then, last night Flashpoint was broadcast from Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the Mabee Center on the campus of Oral Roberts University, where many thousands of people attended the event.

Simply go to http://www.govictory.com/flashpoint to see either program in review.

Keep it Ever Before You

In these times, it’s certainly wise to glean from other Christian believers–men and women of faith. Recently, Kenneth Copeland shared that he has a plaque in his home that he looks at daily, keeping it ever before him. The plaque has one word, “Faith,” and the letter “i” is “dotted” with the star of Bethlehem. So today, I’m sharing one of his posts, and I’d also refer you to today’s post by Dutch Sheets:

http://www.dutchsheets.org (video)

http://www.givehim15.com (written)

The following is by Kenneth Copeland:

Be of Good Cheer
And now I exhort you to be of good cheer.Acts 27:22
What do you do when you’re in a really perilous situation?

If you’re like I used to be, you cry out to God in desperation. One afternoon when I was squalling to God about something, He interrupted me and said, Kenneth, did you know I don’t hear the cry of My children when they cry out in desperation?

“What?” I said. “I thought You did.”

He said, No, I hear the desperation cry of a sinner because that’s all he can cry about. But once you get born again, son, you ought to be crying out of faith. I hear the faith cry.

What is a faith cry? It’s calling things that be not as though they were (Romans 4:17). It’s what the Bible means when it says, “…Let the weak say, I am strong” (Joel 3:10).

The Apostle Paul knew how to use the faith cry. That’s why, in Acts 27, he exhorted the men on that battered, sinking ship to “be of good cheer.” He was telling them to start acting by faith. Can’t you imagine what those sailors thought when he said that? Listen to that stupid preacher. We’re sinking and he says be of good cheer. We’ve thrown everything we have overboard and he says be of good cheer.

You may feel just like those sailors did, right now. You may feel like your ship’s going down. You may feel like crying out in desperation. But don’t do it. Instead, do what Paul said and be of good cheer!

Cry out to God in faith and say, “Lord, I’m not going to panic. I’m not going to despair. I’m going to be of good cheer because Your Word says You’ll deliver me from this situation” (Psalm 34:19).

Then start being cheerful. It may take more determination than anything you’ve ever done before, but God will give you the strength to do it. He’ll give you the power to be cheerful in the middle of the most ungodly darkness the devil can bring up.

Instead of crying out in desperation, take a faith stand. Sing and rejoice and praise God for your deliverance. Be of good cheer and you can be sure God will bring you through the storm just fine!

Reprinted with permission from Kenneth Copeland Ministries

http://www.govictory.com for 24/7 encouragement

Praise to the Lord, our Prince of Peace

The Flowering…

…along the road to Calvary…

Though it meant for Him His darkest hour,
Jesus trusted His Father’s redemptive plan and power.

By His death and resurrection, much new birth would flower…
We’re blessed because of His suffering–He took, for us, of the sour.

God “sowed a seed” through the gift of Jesus, His beloved Son;
and, for those who’ve called Him Savior and Lord, their new life has begun.

Jesus laid down His life for God’s harvest–that many souls would live.
No one took Jesus’ life from Him, but it was His life, that He was willing to give.

He had power to take it again. He is risen, indeed…
For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross–from judgment, we’ve been freed!

P. A. Oltrogge

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” John 5:24

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus’ words in John 3:16

“He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will but as You will.” Jesus’ words in Matthew 26:39

“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” Jesus’ words in John 10:17-18

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36

“For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light, we see light.” Psalm 36:9

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 1:2

“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.” Hebrews 8:6 NLT

“The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—” Acts 10:36

“Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

“If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:15-17 KJV

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” Ephesians 5:1-2

“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:16

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?'” John 11:25-26

Scriptures: NKJV, or as noted


Zola Explains the Three Days and Three Nights

Reprinted with permission given from Zola Levitt Ministries…

The following is an essay on the most asked question that comes to Zola Levitt Ministries during the season of Lent/Easter, when you may ask it yourself.

Friday to Sunday?

QUESTION: If the Lord was crucified on Friday and rose on Sunday, how could that encompass three days and three nights?

ANSWER: The Gospel accounts indicate that the Lord was crucified on Friday at 9:00 a.m. and taken off the cross at 3:00 p.m. His body was prepared for burial and interred at sundown the same day, which was the beginning of the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The Lord then arose on Sunday morning after sunup.

According to the modern way of counting, this spans barely two days. Yet that time period seems to disagree with Jesus’ earlier prediction:

“For as Jonas (Jonah) was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40

The prophecy can be understood when we examine the Jewish way of counting days and nights. We must recall that the Jewish day always starts at sunset, so that Friday really begins on Thursday evening (a fact that is reflected in the language of Genesis–“the evening and the morning” are the first day). The second day, then, begins at sundown on Friday and continues through the daytime on Saturday. Finally, Sunday begins at sundown on Saturday and stretches through Saturday night and the daylight hours of Sunday, making the third day. Since the Jews counted any portion of daylight as a full day, then Friday morning through Sunday morning would have been seen as three complete days and nights.

People have sometimes struggled to move Passover (the “Last Supper”) back one day in order to get three days and three nights the way we would count them in the Western world, but that would be inaccurate. Even in the Western world we begin each day on the night before at midnight, so the concept is not strange to us. Supporting this understanding of the Lord’s crucifixion on a Friday (against those who claim that it happened on a different day) is the centuries-long history of Christians celebrating Good Friday, not “Good Thursday” or “Good Wednesday.” This evidence indicates that we can trust the accuracy of the Bible’s account, and also confirms that knowing the Jewish roots of Christianity can open a deeper understanding of God’s Word.

Do the Gospels Disagree on When Jesus Died?

QUESTION: Did Jesus celebrate the Passover and die on Passover day, or did He celebrate and die on the day before? Matthew, Mark, and Luke say He died on Passover day, but John seems to claim that He celebrated and died the day before the Passover. Why the difference?

ANSWER: The difference between John’s Gospel and the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) regarding the Passover and death of Jesus is attributable to the fact that two systems were used at that time for reckoning Passover day. The Judeans used a method of reckoning different from the Galileans (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). The Galileans and Pharisees measured days from sunrise to sunrise, whereas the Judeans and Sadducees used the sunset-to-sunset reckoning in John’s Gospel.

“And the evening and the morning were the first day.”–Genesis 1:5

Thus, Jews from Galilee celebrated their Passover on Thursday evening, with Passover day starting at sunrise Friday morning. Jews in Judea and Jerusalem, however, celebrated Passover on Friday evening at sundown. Consequently, according to John and the Jews in Judea, Jesus’ celebration on Thursday and death on Friday before sunset occurred on erev Pesach (the eve of Passover), because Passover started for them at Friday’s sunset.

The Galilean method used by Jesus and His disciples would have the Passover Lamb slain and Last Supper on Thursday, 14 Nissan. The Judean method used by John would have the Passover Lamb slain on 15 Nissan.

Most scholars agree that because of the two different methods of timekeeping, there were two days for the slaying of the lambs, which makes sense given the number of lambs being slaughtered. That task couldn’t be done in a single day.

There is no contradiction; the Gospels reflect the two different chronological systems for determining the Passover.

Zola Levitt site: http://www.levitt.com

The Passion of the Christ

…written last year….

On Good Friday evening, I went to a showing of the movie of 2004–
“The Passion of the Christ,” which depicts the suffering that Jesus bore.

I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to watch the movie again, for it is brutal;
but it clearly shows that relying on good works to save our souls is futile.

For our holy God so loved the world, that He gave to all of us reprieve,
by sending His Son to take our punishment–now all we need to do is believe.

And when we realize all that Jesus did–the love of His Father in Him reflected–
“Oh, come let us adore Him,” for He is to be loved, honored, and respected.

Thankfully, God’s Holy Spirit is still mightily at work upon the earth,
drawing people to repent and see their need…to enter into the “new birth.”

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation,” is a GIFT to all, that’s free…
Jesus bought this blessed gift for us, as described in Isaiah, chapter 53.

“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.”

Isaiah 53:4-6

“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’” John 3:3

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.’” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

Scriptures New King James Version

P. A. Oltrogge

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

“Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’

“Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, ‘This Man is calling for Elijah!’ Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink.

“The rest said, ‘Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.’

“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.

“Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

“So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!'”

Matthew 27:45-54 NKJV

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:23 KJV

Jesus felt the severity of being forsaken by God, expressing that on the cross.

His suffering there, He endured for us, so we would never have to experience that loss.

The loss of closeness He’d always felt to His Father had, momentarily, left Him shaken.

Yet He said, “It is finished,” knowing it was the Father’s plan that He had surely undertaken.

From His birth, He was called Emmanuel, “God With Us,”–being what it has meant.

We, as believers, will never be forsaken because of the Son, whom God has sent.

Emmanuel, God with us…
You see, we are not alone.
Emmanuel, God with us…
Through the birth of a Child, God’s presence was shown.
He wouldn’t leave us without knowledge of His love,
But made Himself known, coming down from above.
Emmanuel, God with us…
From God, the Father, came a Baby so mild.
Emmanuel, God with us…
God’s Son was embodied in a holy Child.
Born of a virgin, the handmaiden of the Lord—
From His life, the goodness of God would be poured.
After humble beginnings in a manger stall,
His name would become great—He would die for all,
So that any individual living on this earth
Could personally know their God of great worth.
Emmanuel, God with us…
It’s the greatest name known.
Emmanuel, God with us in Jesus,
And now we need never be alone!

P. A. Oltrogge

“Jesus shouted to the crowds, ‘If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know His commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells Me to say.’” John 12:44-50 NLT

“…For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5 NKJV

In troubled times, when things look bad, we may be tempted to lose faith in God’s nearness and grace; (“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10) but we always know that God is good and is with us–being forsaken is never the case. So we continue to pray, serve, and persevere. He lives in us and is always here….

Praise the Lord!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory…” Colossians 1:27 KJV

Night of Betrayal

“When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place for Jesus often met there with His disciples. Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, ‘Whom are you seeking?’ They answered Him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am He.’ And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, ‘I am He,’ they drew back and fell to the ground.” John 18:1-6

On the night of His betrayal, Jesus permitted Himself to be found.
In the presence of the great I AM, the “pursuing” soldiers fell to the ground.

After they revived, He let them lead Him to that for which He’d been born.
Willing to do His Father’s will, He yielded to undeserved scorn.

Whippings, mocking, thorns, and then being nailed to Calvary’s cross—
All of this He endured as a Shepherd, so that sheep need not be lost.

P. A. Oltrogge

“…for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Luke 19:10

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
John 10:11

“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” John 10:17-18

“…We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3

Scriptures: NKJV