By Many Convincing Proofs…

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…after His suffering, Jesus presented Himself to the apostles alive. Thus, with any doubtful thoughts in their hearts, they’d no longer have to strive.

Gathering them together, the Messiah commanded that they shouldn’t leave…but stay in the city of Jerusalem, for, in not many days, they were about to receive…

what they had heard of from Him–the Holy Spirit’s power! Upon receiving, they would be the Lord’s witnesses from Jerusalem and beyond, from that very hour.

After Jesus had shared this, He was lifted up from them and was received into a cloud in the sky. As they watched, two men in white clothing stood beside them and asked the apostles why they were gazing so intently on high.

The two men went on to say that this Jesus, who was taken up from them in such a way, would come again in just the same manner, a reference to a future day.

The apostles, upon returning to Jerusalem, went to the upper room where they were staying. With one mind, they, and some women, including Jesus’ mother and His brothers, were all continually praying.

At that time, Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren, about one-hundred, twenty in all. He shared about the fate of Judas. After that was said, it was determined that Matthias would, instead, answer the Lord’s call.

And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. Suddenly, there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, which filled the house in every space!

Next, what looked like tongues of fire came to rest upon each one. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues of various languages before that first outpouring was done.

Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation all around. “The multitude” of them came together, bewildered, at this unusual sound.

They noted that all who were speaking in their language were Galileans by birth. Then Parthians and Medes and residents of many other areas joined in questioning it all, as well as visitors from Rome and other parts of the earth.

They were impressed, hearing them speak of the mighty deeds of God, “in a language that is mine.” But some others mocked them, saying, “They’re just drunk with sweet wine.”

This made Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raise his voice in a bold declaration–that they were not drunk so early in the day, but this was a phenomenon of God’s own preparation.

Peter referenced the prophet, Joel:

“‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘that I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even upon My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy. And I will grant wonders in the sky above, and signs on the earth beneath, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”
Acts 2:17-21 and Joel 2:28-32

Then Peter addressed them, saying, “Men of Israel, listen to these words,” and he related the account of Jesus, the Nazarene–reminding them of the many miracles, wonders, and signs that many of them had actually seen.

Yet, by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, He was put to death by them through the hands of godless men. However God, Himself, raised Jesus Christ, the Messiah, up again.

Peter made reference to Jesus as the promised descendant of David, who had looked ahead…to the resurrection of Christ and His exaltation to God’s right hand after that raising from the dead.

Of that resurrection, Peter said, he and the apostles were witnesses to all that had taken place; and the promise of the Holy Spirit, of which Jesus had spoken, was further evidence of God’s grace.

And all of Israel should know for certain that God made Him both Lord and Christ–this Jesus, whom they’d crucified. Greatly moved, they asked Peter and the rest what they should do…their hearts were open wide.

Peter then told them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. They would also receive the Holy Spirit…all part of how a new life in Christ begins.

So those who received his message and were baptized that day were about three thousand souls. Further teaching from the apostles, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer now were their devoted goals.

Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe…and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles that the people saw.

The believers had all things in common, sharing with one another where there was a need. In the temple and from house to house, gladness and sincerity of heart was shared in both word and deed.

The Lord was adding daily souls being brought into His fold, as He is doing still, if truth be told. The book of Acts continues to this day, so that “multitudes” may find the love of Jesus, as today’s Christ followers share and pray.

P.A. Oltrogge

(a poetic sketch of Acts 1 and 2)

Also referenced by Peter, Psalm 16:8-11 and Psalm 110:1

The Loving Monopoly

“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.” John 3:16

A friend, of a different faith, had heard the Gospel of Christ being shared.
He’d given it thought and revealed to me how its message had actually fared.

He’d concluded that he didn’t think there could be…a particular Deity,
who could claim to be “the door” to eternal life, having a “monopoly.”

I was sorry to hear of his decision, for there’s only One who died for us–
Jesus Christ, who “shall reign forever,” as written of in Revelation and as sung in the Hallelujah Chorus.

Everyone must answer the Messiah’s call, even forsaking inherited tradition,
and understand there’s a narrow gate to life and a wide one to perdition.

Jesus said that few find it, yet His Father wants all–not just a great number,
to have abundant life and salvation, awakening from spiritual slumber.

We must recognize Christ, the Lamb, for we’ve sinned against God, who is holy.
Our good works can’t suffice, but Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross did, solely.

He is the way, the truth, and the life–a loving monopoly, but it’s not a game.
Jesus Christ is Lord of all–there’s grace and salvation through no other name!

P. A. Oltrogge

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'” John 1:29

“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:9-10

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

“…let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:10-13

“…Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NLT

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 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 2:4-9

“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

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'” John 14:6

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” John 10:27-30

“If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” John 10:37-38

“Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.'” Revelation 11:15

(Scriptures NKJV, except as noted)

Just as He Said

After the Sabbath at the beginning of day,
Mary and others were on their way
to anoint the body of the Lord they held dear.
But they were taken aback at the tomb as they came near,
for they were greeted by an angelic being
and could hardly believe what they were seeing.
From the tomb the great stone had been rolled away,
and on it was the angel, as bright as day.
The angel pointed to where Jesus’ body had been lying,
saying, “He has risen, just as He said”–truly death defying!
The women went quickly to tell His disciples, as well,
of the Risen Lord, who holds the keys to heaven and hell.
With fear and great joy, they went on their way
but met up with Jesus that first Easter day!
They fell down at His feet, giving Him praise,
rejoicing because He’d risen in three days.
He greeted them with love and said He would be
appearing again to His disciples in Galilee.
Today, in His promises, we have a share,
for He said He would meet us again in the air.
So though some are doubtful or wonder just when
Jesus will really be coming again–
Remember that He said He would rise from the dead,
and He’s coming again—just as He said!

P. A. Oltrogge

(From the account in Matthew 28)

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again,
and receive you to Myself; that where I am there you may be also.”
John 14:3

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
1 John 5:4-5

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’
Amen. Come Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”
Revelation 22:20, 21

Reference for Bible prophecy:
http://www.davidjeremiah.org

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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 NKJV

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 NKJV

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

“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 NKJV

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

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The Trial of Jesus Christ

He was brought before Pilate by God’s divine plan;
Pilate said, “I find no guilt in this man.”
Questioned before Herod, Christ gave no reply,
for He knew in His heart He was destined to die.

Then brought back to Pilate once more to stand–
Pilate still found no guilt justifying a crucifixion demand.
But the crowd was insistent–their voices prevailed;
and God’s Sacrificial Lamb was thereby unveiled.

Led away with two criminals while women mourned
to a place called, “The Skull,” where He would be scorned–
There, He was lifted, nailed to a cross’s wood,
though His service to God had been perfect and good.

An inscription said, “This is the King of the Jews.”
He came to lay down His life–it was His role to choose.
He was taunted by soldiers and a criminal in despair,
saying if He was the Christ, He could come down from there.

The other criminal feared God, saying their misdeeds were strong,
“But this man has done nothing wrong.”
A promise of Paradise and a cry from Christ’s voice–
“It is finished!” Thus, we can take Him as Savior by our choice.

Darkness had fallen, the temple veil tore in two–
“Certainly, this man was innocent,” the Centurion said, too.
So went the trial of an innocent man;
but He was God and our Messiah by His Father’s divine plan.

P. A. Oltrogge

from Luke, Chapter 23
and John 19:30

“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.’”

Matthew 26:39 (New King James)

“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

John 10:17, 18 (New American Standard)

The day that Jesus was crucified, as Simon of Cyrene might have related it

Like other people, I’d heard some stories about the man named Jesus.
He’d done unheard-of miracles and had lived a life that was upright and clean.

So I never thought I’d arrive in Jerusalem at such a terrible time,
of seeing Him being brutally led to His own crucifixion…that was the scene.

It seemed incomprehensible that His acts of compassion
were being “rewarded” with this punishment to which He was going.

I could see that He was becoming too weak to bear the heavy cross;
He’d obviously been scourged, and blood from the stripes was flowing.

Suddenly, I was pressed into service by some of the Roman soldiers.
I was ordered to carry His cross, in His stead, as His strength was depleted.

Had He done something criminal that I hadn’t heard of in His recent past?
I didn’t know, but the mocking and reviling were being repeated.

Of course, I didn’t appreciate being singled out for such a despicable task.
It seemed obvious to me that I’d been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But something in the eyes of this Jesus, who staggered beside me,
reflected kindness; and I sensed something noble or majestic—nothing of crime.

After reaching the destination, I couldn’t bear to watch the proceedings.
If He’d been wrongly accused, there was nothing I could have done to stop the event.

So I left; but, later, darkness came over the land, and an earthquake caused tombs to open. Some people were reported as having been raised from the dead after the temple curtain was rent.

After all that had happened, a centurion and other guards declared that, truly, Jesus was the Son of God. Perhaps my unchosen role in this—being singled out—had, instead, been a divine appointment.

A great many people were recipients of Jesus’ ministry, and believed that He was who He said He was. That day lives large in my memory; and His disciples are saying that His Name is God’s healing and saving ointment.

P. A. Oltrogge

One of Jesus’ disciples, Peter, regarding a man made well by the name of Jesus, spoke to the rulers, elders, and scribes gathered in Jerusalem:

“…let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:10-12 NASB

The God-sent Gift of a Substitute

“…he (Pilate) went out again to the Jews, and said to them, ‘I find no guilt in Him (Jesus). But you have a custom, that I should release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then, that I release for you the King of the Jews?’ Therefore, they cried out again saying, ‘Not this Man, but Barabbas.’ Now Barabbas was a robber.” John 18:38-40

“Crucify Him!” the crowd shouted to Pilate, calling for Barabbas to be released.

It was only when Jesus’ fate was sealed, that the people’s uproar ceased.

Of Barabbas–insurrection, robbery, and murder were the history of the man.

But Jesus was destined to take Barabbas’s place, in accordance with God’s plan.

For those who’ve received Christ as Savior, the following applies…

The Bible states that ALL of us have sinned and have fallen short of God’s glory.

Like Barabbas, we were due for punishment, but Jesus changed the ending to our story.

We’re not only pardoned, but are made fellow heirs with Christ, who fully paid our debt.

His obedience to His dear Father was the example of a love that we will never forget.

Because of that obedience, we now can call Almighty God our Abba Father, too.

Like Jesus, may we discern and follow our Father’s will in anything He may ask us to do.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And they came to a place named Gethsemane, and He (Jesus) said to His disciples, ‘Sit here until I have prayed.’ And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. And He said to them, ‘My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death, remain here and keep watch.’ And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground, and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. And He was saying, ‘Abba Father, all things are possible for Thee; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what Thou wilt.’” John 14:32-36

“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.” Romans 8:14-16

“Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:6

“The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:16-18

“But now apart from the Law, the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus…” Romans 3:21-24

And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 1 John 3:23

“Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.’” John 8:42

“He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” 1 John 5:12

An Example Poured Out

From His grand and glorious home in heaven—a place of comfortable rest,

Jesus came down to this earth on a mission, so that mankind could be blessed.

During the last supper with His disciples, likewise, He got up from a comfortable place, to give Himself to serving.

Just as He would be stripped and crucified soon, so He set aside His garments, girding Himself with a towel, to cleanse the undeserving.

Pouring water into a basin, He began to wash and wipe the disciples’ feet.

But Peter failed to understand this requirement that Jesus was wanting to meet.

“Never shall you wash my feet!” were his immediate words—an outflow from Peter’s heart.

But Jesus said to Peter that unless He washed them, then, with Him, he would have no part.

At that, Peter told the Lord to wash not only his feet, but also his hands and his head.

So sincere was Peter’s desire to please Him, that he quickly permitted Him to do so instead.

Jesus continued, speaking of being made clean, but said that not all of them were clean.

In his relationship with the Lord, Judas would betray Him, letting Satan come between.

When Jesus shared that one of the disciples would betray Him, the others wondered which one this meant.

Then Jesus gave the dipped bread to the one, revealing that it was Judas who had betrayal as his intent.

Quickly, Judas turned away from the Lord and went out into the dark of night—

as many still choose darkness today, sadly, resisting Jesus’ love and Light.

Just as Peter would have had no part with Christ, likewise, it’s the same today…

If anyone doesn’t receive the cleansing from Jesus’ poured-out blood, which takes our sins away,

they will have no part with Christ, our Lord and Savior, who, by His example, taught…

that we, also, should serve one another with love and humility, having received the redemption that He bought.

Jesus loved His disciples to the end; He died for us all, having laid aside His glory.

And, as at that Passover meal, when His task was finished, He sat down…but now He’s seated at His Father’s right hand, in completion of this true redemption story!

P. A. Oltrogge

“And so when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments, and reclined at table again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher, and Lord, and you are right for so I am. If I, then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master; neither one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.’” John 13:12-17

“Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.’” Mark 9:35

“And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.’” Matthew 26:27-28

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

“This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says, ‘The Lord said to My Lord, sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.’ Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” (words of Peter from Acts 2:32-36)

Scriptures NASB

Jesus’ blood, the cleansing flood…

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Christ, Our Passover Lamb

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“…For, indeed, Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” 1 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

“He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. He was oppressed and he was afflicted. Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.” Isaiah 53:3-7

“And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM;’ and He said,’Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” Exodus 3:14 NKJV

“Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, ‘Before Abraham was, I AM.'” John 8:58 NKJV

One Lamb, the “I AM”

Complete redemption is every person’s need, and there is just One Lamb,
Who was silent before His accusers–though He was, and is, the great “I AM.”

All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, but never did this One Lamb.
He kept God’s laws perfectly, while our own “righteousness” is a sham.

One Lamb bore our sins and sicknesses; we can look to Him still today–
For as in when He walked the earth, He doesn’t want it any other way.

One Lamb, one sacrifice, alone, was sufficient on the cross at Calvary’s hill.
There’s no other than this Lamb of God–there’s no need to be seeking still.

The Almighty God Himself ordained great grace through His One Lamb;
Thank you, Jesus, for having humbled Yourself for us, despite being the great “I AM.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 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 2:5-11

“…And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment….” Isaiah 64:6

“Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases.” Psalm 103:3

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’” John 6:35

“Again therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly.” John 10:9, 10

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:11

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies.” John 11:25

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” John 14:6

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine-dresser.” John 15:1

Above Scriptures NASB

“The Power of Jesus’ Blood,” an archived poem, speaks of Exodus 12, where the Passover was instituted. An unblemished lamb was slain and its blood was applied to the lintel and doorposts of the homes of the Hebrews for their protection and deliverance, after which they ate the lamb, along with bitter herbs and bread made without yeast. Before His crucifixion, where He shed His blood on our behalf, Jesus, God’s pure Lamb, observed the Passover. We read this of that time:

“When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, ‘With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.’ Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, ‘Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’ And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.'” Luke 22:14-20 NKJV

Outpourings of Love

…from Luke 7:36-50
(likely in Capernaum)

A certain woman of the city heard that Jesus was at the home of Simon, a Pharisee. So she came with an alabaster flask of ointment–her sins had weighed her down very heavily. Her tears washed Jesus’ feet, which she kissed and wiped with her hair–then anointed them with the oil–all tokens of the love she had come there to share.

Simon’s thought was that Jesus should have known that she was a woman to shun. If Jesus was truly a prophet, he would not have permitted her because of the things she’d done. Jesus then told him a story of two debtors, freely forgiven of debts of lesser and greater amounts. It was an explanation to Simon of a sinner’s gratefulness–her debt of sin was large (and, therefore, so was her love) by all counts.

Jesus expressed appreciation for her kisses and for the tears that she had shed. “Your sins are forgiven” and “Your faith has saved you; go in peace,” He said. Those who sat at the table with Him began to discuss that, saying “Who is this?” His forgiveness of her sins was an authoritative statement they really couldn’t dismiss.

…from John 12:1-8
(in Bethany at the home of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary)

In a second narrative, six days before Passover, the scriptures tell of Mary–
who used spikenard, a costly oil–the fragrance of which, the entire house would carry. After supper, there in Bethany, she anointed Jesus’ feet, also wiping them with her hair. Judas then asked why the oil hadn’t been sold and the money been given to the poor–not that he actually did care.

Jesus told Judas to let her alone for she had kept the oil for His burial day.
“For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always,” was what He had to say.

…from Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9
(in Bethany)

A similar occurrence at the house of Simon the leper, Matthew and Mark record,
was that of a woman who took spikenard, pouring it, this time, upon the head of Jesus, her Lord. There were some who, like Judas, criticized her, saying that the oil might have been sold for the poor. But Jesus said she had done this for His burial, speaking of her with grace, and that in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, she would forever have a place.

Today, God is pouring out His love and the Holy Spirit upon each open heart.
May we fill our own “alabaster jars,” with love for Him, and eagerly do our part. There’s a world of people Jesus died for, and many are in great need. Guide and strengthen us, Lord, as we seek to be Your servants, caring with both word and deed.

We thank You for Your great sacrifice; we thank You for Your steadfast love.
We appreciate so much what it cost You to visit us from heaven above.

P. A. Oltrogge

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

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:7-11

“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 25:40 (and verses 31-46)

“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and are in him that is true, even in his Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20 KJV

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