Monday, September 22, 2014

It is finished

I think it is finished are the most beautiful words in all the Scriptures. The task the Lord Jesus had been given to do was fully accomplished. There was nothing more that had to be done. He was sent into the world by His Father to be the Savior. And He completed the task entirely, with no loose ends, no mess to pick up afterwards.

What a confusion, what a blasphemy to suggest that though Jesus began our work of salvation, we, by our merits, need to complete it. How dare we think that we need to finish what He was unable to finish.

I'm pretty insecure. I have reason to be insecure. There is very little I do that doesn't fall short of what I, and others, hoped to accomplish. On rare occasions my wife accuses me of being a perfectionist. We both laugh heartily at the idea. We've learned to be satisfied with me making a pretty good attempt at things. I do okay.

But, of course, to simply be okay at conforming to God's perfect standard is to fall way short. It falls way short of my own standard.

The Apostle Paul writes, For our sake, He made Him to be sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. 

Me? The righteousness of God? It's hard to imagine. But this is God's reality. That means it's the real reality. For there is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

So it's done, finished. There's absolutely nothing left to do, for the Lord Jesus finished everything that needed to be done.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Into your hands I commit my spirit VII

My father was born to nurture. He takes care of people. He plans things. He's a great organizer. Sometimes he can drive a person crazy but he never drove my mom crazy. She thrived within the cocoon of his protection.

Since the day he met my mother in college, he took care of her.

My mother was the gentlest of souls. She was not physically strong. She was very sensitive to others, and quick to encourage those who she saw had been disregarded or slighted; and her own feelings were easily hurt.

She was raised on a hard scrabble farm in Iowa; the middle of seven children and each of her siblings had strong drive and strong personalities.

On their first date, my father asked her to marry him. Several weeks later she told him, "yes."

"Yes?" asked my father.

"That's my answer to the question you asked me," she told him. He wondered what question that was, and then he joyfully remembered.

My mother needed someone to take care of her and my father took very good care of her until she died two weeks ago.

"Into your hands," the Son said to the Father, "I commit my spirit."

Just like my mother, just like the Son, I gratefully accept the strong hands of the Shepherd/Father whose nature it is to protect and to nurture.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Into your hands I commit my spirit VI

When our Lord Jesus died it was such a physical death--all the blood, the nakedness, the mob milling about.

When our Lord rose from the dead, again, it was such a physical resurrection--His body was removed from grave clothes and though His body could go through locked doors, it could be touched and it could digest food. 

When Jesus said, "Into your hands I commit my spirit," even the word spirit makes us think of the body, for the word for spirit could be translated as breath--as in "Let all that has breath (a living body) praise the Lord"

At times it seems there is such a dichotomy between the spirit and the body in Scripture. This dichotomy is the very essence of the Greek philosophers which has pervaded Western thinking to this present day.

To me there is great comfort and encouragement to know that my body is part of who I will continue to be when meet my Savior in His body in Glory.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Into your hands I commit my spirit V

Such a life our Lord Jesus led.

I learned today that two people I worked with just got fired. The boss had reason to fire them. But it disheartened all of us. Their error, their bad judgment was something that each of us knew could have been ours.

But the Lord Jesus, everything He did was wise and good. He was so kind to those who needed kindness, so honest with those who needed honesty. "No one ever spoke like this man," testified the officers of the chief priest who were sent to arrest Him.

We had an older friend who was about to die. He was very agitated because he said, "I just haven't done enough for the Lord. What will He say to me when He sees me? It won't be, "Well done, good and faithful servant." This man was a good man with a very tender heart. He loved the Lord and He loved the Lord's people. But he was right about himself. He could have done much better. Just like me. Just like every single person I have ever known.

For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Tell me about it. I know it every day.

If we are honest, we can't glory in ourselves. And though I admire a number of individuals, I can't glory in any of them. We all fall and we all fail.

But I do glory in my Lord Jesus. As He died, He could say with no regrets, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." But He's the only One.

Oh Lord, You're beautiful. Your face is all I see, And when Your eyes are on this child, Oh Lord, it healeth me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Into Your hands I commit my spirit IV

Job said, But a man is born to trouble as sparks fly upward. 

All of us can attest to that.

Each new day brings new troubles. Though most of us worry a lot, most of the troubles that come our way are totally unanticipated.

Job continued to say, As for me, I seek God, and to God would I commit my cause.

Commit his cause? Is that his troubles? Or is it more than that? Job's troubles were all encompassing. When his four friends looked at him, they could see nothing but troubles.

Perhaps our Lord was referencing Job in His last words on the cross.

Today, like so many days, we experienced trouble. What are we to do now?

Finally today it dawned on me and I prayed, Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Into Your hands I commit my spirit III

The word spirit is the same as the word for breath in both Hebrew and Greek and thus in both the old and the New Testament. After Jesus said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit," we read, And having said this He breathed his last. 

In Genesis 1:2 we read, And the Spirit (breath) of God was hovering over the face of the deep.

I've been watching pretty closely for most of my life to see if science has figured out anything at all about life. I have not read a single thing. I have no idea how a scientist would even begin to investigate exactly what it is that makes something alive or what is taken away when something alive dies. It's not my intention to turn this devotional into a polemic against the idea of evolution, but to dare even postulate the idea of evolution without having the slightest sense of what life is, to me is beyond absurd.

Life is so supernatural, our natural brains aren't able to begin to conceive what it might be, yet life totally fills our experiential reality. 

One of the essences of God is life. His Spirit (His Breath) brings life into everything it touches. 

That the Lord Jesus, God incarnate, died is beyond dispute. But that He died is beyond what we can begin to imagine. 


Monday, September 15, 2014

I thirst VIII

I just find it to be so unusual that He who once said 

, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink ; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. .....
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst ; now says "I thirst "
I suppose it's possible that the expression might be a reference to the separation from Father. But more than likely the " I thirst " simply means " I thirst"
Here is the plainest purist presentation of the humanity of Jesus. He is here clearly seen as a man. Cruel was His treatment and willingly He suffered unjustly was this justice. Yes we must never forget "For by him were all things created , that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist .18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." And here He submitted to the lowly creature and employs almost His last breath to express the agony of His condition, "I thirst" is it true that they attempted to minister to Him a pain killer? I don't know. I do know He didn't cry out and speak of His pain but only of His thirst. Jesus is a man. A man born in Bethlehem a man destined by prophecy a man who endured crucifixion a man who couldn't be killed because He is and always has been and will always be The Mighty God. A man who "also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled , reviled not again ; when he suffered , he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we , being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed .25 For ye were as sheep going astray ;" a man who is here thirsty 

Mitch Triestman