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

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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!

The Tomb That Became Glorious

“And so they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where He was crucified, there was a garden; and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been laid. Therefore on account of the Jewish day of preparation, because the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.” John 19:40-42

from John 20….

At a new tomb, a garden tomb, a great stone had been rolled away–
Just to show that the victorious Jesus Christ didn’t stay!
Briefly, His body, in linen, with spices, had been placed therein,
But lasting death, for this Man, was not destined to win!

That morning, Mary Magdalene came while it was not yet dawn–
Then ran to get Simon Peter when she found that Christ’s body was gone.
Upon hearing this, Peter and John went out and came unto the tomb;
Only the linen wrappings were lying there within its room.

They went away then after they’d seen for themselves what she had said;
They hadn’t understood Jesus’ words, that He would rise again from the dead. But Mary remained outside the tomb, and while she was weeping, she looked inside again to find two angels, their posts keeping.

“Woman, why are you weeping?” was the question they put to her–
She replied that her Lord’s body was taken–by whom or where, she wasn’t sure.
Turning around, she saw a “gardener,” but didn’t yet recognize
That standing there was the beloved Christ, before her very eyes.

When He said, “Mary,” her eyes were opened to every familiar feature
Of the One she loved, and for whom she’d wept, “Rabboni,” the Master and Teacher. He had yet to ascend to His Father–so, therefore, He bid Mary go,
To tell the brethren of His ascension–He wanted them all to know!

We, too, can go from the garden tomb, a place that had seen God’s glory,
To tell all the world of what Christ has done–this world’s greatest love story.
“I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God,” Jesus said–
They’re still words that speak of “Family” to those who’ll believe that He rose
from the dead.

At that garden tomb, a much greater “stone” had actually been rolled away…
Of death and darkness, now removed, to reveal the Light of Jesus Christ’s Way!

P. A. Oltrogge

“So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.” John 20:8-9

“For He was teaching His disciples and telling them, ‘The Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him; and when He has been killed, He will rise three days later.’ But they did not understand this statement, and they were afraid to ask Him.” Mark 9:30-32

Other references: Matthew 16:21; Matthew 17:22-23; Matthew 27:62-64; John 2:16-22; John 10:17-18

“And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood, and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father; to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Revelations 1:5,6 

“I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Revelations 1:18 

Scriptures: NASB

I Know That My Redeemer Lives!

I know that my Redeemer lives;
what comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, He lives, who once was dead;
He lives, my ever-living Head.

He lives triumphant from the grave,
He lives eternally to save,
He lives all-glorious in the sky,
He lives exalted there on high.

He lives to grant me rich supply,
He lives to guide me with His eye,
He lives to comfort me when faint,
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.

He lives to silence all my fears,
He lives to wipe away my tears,
He lives to calm my troubled heart,
He lives all blessings to impart.

He lives to bless me with His love,
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed,
He lives to help in time of need.

He lives, my kind, wise, heavenly Friend,
He lives and loves me to the end;
He lives, and while He lives, I’ll sing;
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.

He lives and grants me daily breath;
He lives, and I shall conquer death:
He lives my mansion to prepare;
He lives to bring me safely there.

He lives, all glory to His name!
He lives, my Jesus, still the same.
Oh, the sweet joy this sentence gives,
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”

(Samuel Medley, 
John Hatton)



The Depth of My Love

“As I Have Loved You” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.  http://www.GregOlsen.com

What do you think drove me from heaven above
down to this earth? It was the depth of my love.
Betrayed by a kiss, a symbol of such–
yet what drove me on was that I loved you so much.
When they led me away and gave me a shove,
what kept me going was the depth of my love.
They gave me a trial, but it was not just–
bitter to go through, but my heart said, “I must.”
A crown of thorns pushed down with a glove,
it bruised my head to show the depth of my love.
The whipping I took for sin in your place,
I found strength to take because I saw your face.
I’ve loved you, I’ve called you–you are my dove,
for whom I laid down my life with the depth of my love.
The weight of the cross became hard to bear–
I staggered but made it to Calvary there.
On those merciless beams, my hands and feet were nailed down.
Next, I was put on display to be mocked throughout town.
Then came the time of greatest agony and despair,
when I felt forsaken but still kept my care
for all of mankind and, yes, just for you.
For your welfare and soul, I had made it through.
So what kept me going when push came to shove?
From your “down to earth” God, it was the depth of my love.
Though your sins be as scarlet, they’ll be white as snow.
They’re forgiven and forgotten and now you can grow
in the knowledge and wisdom that comes from above,
and my Word will remind you of the depth of my love.

P. A. Oltrogge

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:9-10 NKJV

The Passion of the Christ

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


Lord, Remember Me

From Luke 23…

Two criminals on punishing crosses were next to the one which held the Lord.
One of the men rebuked the other, saying they were receiving a just reward…

for the other had blasphemed Jesus, ridiculing Him because He hadn’t saved
Himself and them—words which showed no fear of God but were, instead, depraved.

The criminal who defended the Lord must have known of His ministry of peace,
saying, “This Man has done nothing wrong,” though, for Christ, there’d been no release.

Then he, with humility, asked Jesus simply to remember him at the time, later… when He would come into His kingdom—he knew, in his heart, it was eternal and greater.

“Lord, remember me”…a simple, reverent plea, but so very wise…
for Jesus gave him the promise that that day, he would be with Him in Paradise.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:10 NKJV

“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, and made us sit 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. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4-10 NKJV

“…and after he brought them out (of the inner prison), he said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they answered, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus (as your personal Savior and entrust yourself to Him), and you will be saved, you and your household (if they also believe).” Acts 16:30-31 AMP

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 NKJV

“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 NASB

It Was For Me…a poem to personalize

We read of Jesus, who was with His disciples in the garden of Gethsemane: “And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.’ Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:41-44

Jesus,

In Gethsemane’s garden, You prayed to be strong
in what would overtake You in not very long.

It was for me that You were then betrayed.
It was on You that the task was laid.

As filthy rags, God saw my righteousness claimed–
which is why You stepped in to be defamed.

It was for my sins that You went on trial.
You made the payment for everything vile.

It was for me–this undeserved attack.
It was for me You bore stripes on Your back.

It was for me that You wore the thorns,
and it was for me You bore merciless scorns.

It was for me You walked Calvary’s trail.
It was for me that You endured each nail.

It was for me that You hung in shame.
It was for me–You were taking my blame.

It was for me You painfully died.
It was for me that they pierced Your side.

You did it for me, but in three days You rose.
You did it for me that my case would be closed.

P. A. Oltrogge

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Isaiah 64:6 KJV

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:1 NASB

“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.” Romans 5:1 NLT

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

Jesus Christ is the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever

Since today’s post told of Jesus healing an ear, restoring hearing; and since He opened deaf ears in other accounts, such as in Mark 7:31-37 and spoke of it Himself, I would like to focus on the truth that “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.'” Luke 7:22-23

There is an encouraging testimony entitled “Hearing Restored” in a recent post at http://www.josephprince.org under “Blog” and then “Praise Reports,” which is among numerous wonderful praise reports. I recall an amazing healing of hearing at an Eagle Mountain International Church televised meeting with Billy Burke, http://www.billyburke.org. Other ministries, previously mentioned on this blog, are also featuring testimonies of the Lord’s healing in their lives, in many ways, as well.

Psalm 103 speaks of the Lord forgiving all our sins and healing all our diseases.

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13

For more on healing: http://www.rhema.org has the book, “Bodily Healing and the Atonement,” by Dr. T. J. McCrossan, reedited and reprinted by Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin and Dr. Roy Hicks