Saturday, April 29, 2023

Triplets of Fragrance: Gateway to Worship


Photo credit: Apr 12, 2012 wikimedia

Do the scents of spring bring joy or other passionate emotions to your heart and soul? When I was growing up in Pennsylvania, I always associated the intoxicating fragrance of lilacs with the impressionist music of Ravel’s La Valse – melodies that lured me to dance even while my heart was aching.

The first time I visited Princeton University, the sweetness of the weeping cherry trees helped to convince me that I wanted to attend college there. For the next four springs, I learned to associate that scent with rites of passage – final exams, the giddiness yet heartbreak of young romance, existential thoughts and discussions while walking by moonlight reflecting from the Fountain of Freedom, and finally the bittersweet accomplishment of graduation.

Now that I live in Florida, orange blossoms, jasmine and honeysuckle waft in on the morning breeze, reminding me of God’s grace in bringing me here, saving me, and giving me the blessings of my family, a new church home, and of opportunities to serve Him in several ministries. The gateway of fragrance opens the path to memories of long ago, peace and joy in the present, and hope for the future.

We are wonderfully made by God (Psalm 139:14) in His own image (Genesis 1:26), designed to worship Him, so it is not surprising that He uses that pathway from nose to brain to remind us of Himself. The Bridegroom in Song of Solomon, a beautiful metaphor for Christ Himself, pours out His Name as a fragrant oil (1:3). He is the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valleys (2:1), perfuming our lives with His truth and grace.

In Old Testament times, God commanded sacrifices to Himself that would be a sweet-smelling savour (Genesis 8:21; Exodus 29:18,25, etc.), echoed later in the incense used in some churches during worship services. Then His Son was the perfect, complete sacrifice for the sins of the whole world (John 1:29), forever conquering sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:54-57), exuding a fragrance like that of incense used in a triumphal procession (2 Corinthians 2:14). Now, all those who place their trust in Him are a sweet savour of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15-16).

God experiences the prayers of those who love and trust Him as incense, as described in exactly three verses in Scripture (Psalm 141:2; Revelation 8:3, 4).

Psalm 45 describes the royal perfume of Christ the King in triplets of fragrance. He is anointed with the oil of gladness (Hebrews 1:9) composed of myrrhaloes and cassia (Psalm 45:8). This Psalm prophesies of the coming Messiah, fairer than the children of men, speaking words of grace, and forever blessed by God (v. 4). He is mighty, full of glory and majesty (v. 3), yet He embodies meekness as well as righteousness and truth (v. 4).

Jesus Christ is the High Priest anointed with the oil of the Spirit (v. 7), as well as the Warrior bringing judgment to God’s enemies (v. 5) and the King Who will rule forever in righteousness (v. 6). How should we respond to Him?

If we forsake all others to be with Him (v. 8), acknowledge Him as Lord of our lives by obeying Him, and worship Him (v. 11), He will see us as honorable (v. 9), beautiful (v. 11). and glorious (v. 8). Then we can enter into the King's palace (v. 15), become His children, and rule with Him as princes in all the earth (v. 16). We shall rejoice (v. 15), remember His name for all generations, and praise Him forever (v. 17).

What an amazing prophesy of Christ the King Who through His deathburial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) saved us by His grace (Ephesians 2:8-9), transforming us from His enemies (Romans 5:10) to His children (Romans 8:16) and joint rulers with Him! (Isaiah 32:1) Truly believers have reason to rejoice! Just as we are clothed in His righteousness (Psalm 132:9; Isaiah 61:10), so will our garments be perfumed with His oil of gladness! 

© 2014 Laurie Collett 
Reposted from the archives

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Diamonds in the Rough


When I was a child, I remember people referring to a “diamond in the rough” as a person with a loving heart, raw talent, and/or good common sense, yet lacking in proper etiquette, refined language, formal training and/or education. A classic example is Eliza Doolittle, the Cockney flower seller in the musical “My Fair Lady” (based on George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion”), transformed by the careful tutelage of a phonetics professor into a regal, elegant lady.

When I was in the early years of my medical career, decades before being saved, I used to dream of being a real estate entrepreneur to supplement our income and as a way to early retirement. I used to listen to a motivational lecture by Earl Nightingale so many times that the cassette tape broke!

The true story Nightingale described was called “Acres of Diamonds,” about an African farmer who grumbled bitterly about the poor quality of the rocky, infertile soil on his farm. He had heard tales of others making a fortune in diamond mining, and hoped to do the same. So he sold his farm for a pittance, but far from striking it rich, he lived in miserable poverty, finally so desperate that he drowned himself in a river.

The new owner of his land one day spotted a flash of red and blue light coming from a rock at the bottom of the stream. This turned out to be the largest diamond ever discovered, and the farm became one of Africa’s most productive diamond mines. Had the first owner only taken the time to study the appearance of diamonds in the rough, he would have realized the fortune he already possessed. Instead, he plowed up diamonds in the rough and tossed them away, and he sold acres of diamonds he already owned to look for them elsewhere.

Nightingale’s point was that we should not overlook opportunities right where we are planted, even though they may be disguised as obstacles, or to mistake treasures for trash due to lack of study and preparation. He summarized it this way:

The thing about this story that has so profoundly affected millions of people is the idea that each of us is, at this very moment, standing in the middle of our own acres of diamonds. If we had only had the wisdom and patience to intelligently and effectively explore the work in which we’re now engaged, to explore ourselves, we would most likely find the riches we seek, whether they be financial or intangible or both.

I don’t know whether or not Nightingale was saved, for only God knows the heart (Psalm 44:21; Acts 15:8). But for those who are saved, the treasure we have within – the Holy Spirit – from the moment of salvation onward, is truly priceless (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; 1 Corinthians 6:19). Without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5), yet with Him, all things are possible!  (Matthew 19:26)

But sadly, many who claim the Name of Christ trust in their own pitiful flesh or look to other people or circumstances to improve their situation, not realizing the power of Almighty God within, if only we yield to Him (Colossians 1:27). We may store up earthly treasures that we can’t take with us, while ignoring heavenly rewards that we could enjoy throughout eternity (Matthew 6:19-21).

Now that I am a born-again Christian, I wonder how many times we complain about trials and difficulties we must endure, not realizing that God allows our suffering to polish us into the image of His Son (Philippians 3:10). Other blessings of those trials are to strengthen our faith in and dependence on Him (2 Corinthians 12:9), and to give us compassion and experience to help others going through similar trials (Galatians 6:2,10). Yet we dismiss the burdens as trash and fail to realize that He turns them into treasure by working all things together for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28).

When we read our Bible, do we stub our toes on the rocky verses that convict us of our sin (Psalm 139:23-24; 2 Timothy 3:16), and toss them aside in anger?  Or do we see them as precious jewels that can enlighten us with His truth and illuminate our path to being more Christ-like? (Psalm 119:11,16, 18,72,105, 127)

The Bible speaks of believers being purified in the Refiner’s fire, like fine silver when the dross is burnt away (Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:2), or as soft clay being molded and reshaped in the Potter’s hand (Isaiah 29:16; 64:8; Jeremiah 18:4). Yet before we can become malleable as molten silver or wet clay, sometimes He must chip away the hard shell keeping us rigidly bound in our own ways. Once we place our faith in His death, burial and resurrection as the only Way to Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; John 14:6), Christ frees us from all our sins by washing us in His shed blood (Matthew 26:28).

Often, though, we are still encumbered by the heavy weights that shackle us (Hebrews 12:1). These may include guilt over missed opportunities or past sins, even though God has forgotten our transgressions (Psalm 32:1; 85:2; 103:12), or bitterness and lack of forgiveness toward those who have wronged us (Matthew 6:12,14,15; 18:21,35).

Old habits from our unsaved lifestyle, such as drinking, smoking, or bad language, may prevent us from shining as brightly as we could otherwise (Romans 14:13; 1 Corinthians 8:9; 1 John 2:10). Even activities that are not sinful, or even good works such as church service, may need to be chiseled away if they keep us from God’s best for us.

Praise God that if we allow Him, He takes us just as we are, with all our imperfections that detract from His glory, and like a master Jeweler skillfully cleaves us into a polished gem!

Jesus Himself was the ultimate Diamond in the rough, born and living in the most lowly of circumstances, and scorned for His unimpressive hometown (John 1:46) and simple parents (Mark 6:3), by worldly standards. His inner circle, Peter, John and James, caught a glimpse of His heavenly brilliance in His Transfiguration, but He quickly resumed His ordinary human form and asked them not to tell anyone until He had risen from the dead (Matthew 17:1-2,8,9).

When He died for us on the cross, He was so marred and disfigured that we could not even bear to look at Him (Isaiah 53:2-5). Yet without that ugly suffering and sin He took on Himself for us, there could be no forgiveness of sins, no redemption, no eternal life (Isaiah 53:11-12). When we behold Him in all His glory, His radiance will outshine the most beautiful rainbow and all the precious gems we have ever seen or could imagine! (Revelation 4:3)

May we allow Him to polish us like a brilliant diamond, reflecting His light as shining jewels in His crown!

© 2014 Laurie Collett 
Reposted from the archives

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Don't Touch Me!


 During the COVID-19 pandemic, a friend told me that she was going through "hug withdrawal" because of social distancing related to coronavirus. As a "hugger" myself, I know how she feels -- virtual or phone encounters are a poor substitute for the body of Christ assembling together (Hebrews 10:29), greeting one another with a holy kiss (Romans 16:16).

Yet Scripture tells us that there is a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing (Ecclesiastes 3:5), during a pandemic the latter, out of love to protect one another from potentially lethal infection. Although the circumstances were totally different, the command to refrain from embracing reminded me of when Jesus Christ in His glorified body told 
Mary Magdalene "Don't touch me!" The post below originally appeared on this blog in 2014:

After Christ’s resurrection, why did He tell Mary Magdalene not to touch Him when He appeared to her at the empty tomb? This seems to contradict His instructions to Thomas and the other disciples shortly thereafter, when He told them to “handle” Him and to feel His side.

John 20:17 Jesus saith unto [Mary], Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
…27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 

It seems that in both these appearances, Christ was in His glorified resurrection body, and not a disembodied Spirit. Mary did not recognize Him (v. 14) until He called her name (v. 16), but there must not have been anything ghost-like about His appearance, as she assumed He was the gardener and asked Him questions about where they had taken her Lord (v. 15). 

Some suggest that this was a gender issue – that it was not appropriate for Mary to touch the risen Christ, whereas Thomas and the apostles were permitted to do so. But during His earthly ministry, Jesus did not rebuke the sick woman who touched the hem of His garment for healing (Luke 8:43-48), nor did He prohibit Mary from anointing His head and feet with oil and drying His feet with her hair (Luke 7:37-39; Matthew 26:7-13). According to social standards of the time, Mary’s lavish physical acts of worship would have bordered on scandalous, but He did not deny her this intimate contact. He knew that her motive was not fleshly lust, but pure adoration of her Lord Jesus Christ.

Clearly His glorified resurrection body was different from the physical body He inhabited during His time on earth, but would that alone have prevented contact? He told His apostles to “handle” Him to see that He was made of flesh and bone (but not blood; Luke 24:39-40), and He ate in that body (Luke 24:39-40; John 21:15). Yet He was able suddenly to appear and to vanish, apparently instantaneously passing through solid walls (Luke 24:31,36; John 20:19). 

Jesus in His risen body told Thomas to thrust his finger into His nail-scarred hands and his hand into His pierced side. The other apostles had already seen these wounds and believed Jesus had risen (John 20:20), but Thomas demanded a tactile experience (John 20:25), which the Lord did not deny him. 

At first reading of John 20:17, it might seem that between Christ’s appearances to Mary, and then to Thomas and the others, He ascended to His Father. If that is the case, it might be that Jesus had to present Himself to the Father to verify His completed work on the cross (John 19:30; Hebrews 2:14-15), and He had to remain pure of earthly contamination until then. This does not seem sensible to me, as even stepping on the ground might be a form of contamination – particularly the ground around a tomb, which would be unclean by Mosaic Law (Leviticus 10:10; Numbers 19:11,14,16). 

To me, it makes more sense that as His physical body perished, His Spirit went immediately into the hands of the Father (Matthew 27:50; Luke 23:46) and was in Paradise that same day (Luke 23:43). Three days later, as foretold by the prophets and by Himself, He rose from the dead and appeared to His followers in His glorified resurrection body (Luke 24:7,21,46, 1 Corinthians 15:4; etc.). 

Scripture tells us that Christ ascended into Heaven 40 days later (Acts 1:2-11), being observed by the 11 remaining apostles and by angels. “I ascend” in John 20:17 therefore seems not to mean “I am at this moment completing the act of ascension,” but rather, “I am in the process of ascending, or about to ascend, which will not be completed until 40 days later.” 

Yet something important and wonderful had clearly changed since Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead on the third day, as He told Mary to tell the news not to His “apostles,” or “disciples,” or even His “friends,” (John 15:13) but rather to His “brethren!” (Matthew 28:10; John 20:17) He was their Lord and Master (Matthew 10:24-25; John 13:13-14), but because He had now paid the price for all our sins and redeemed us from sin and death (Romans 8:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:25-27), all who trusted Him became His brethren (Hebrews 2:11,17). 

As Jesus Christ would later reveal to Paul, believers in Him were now His joint heirs, adopted children of the Father (Romans 8:14-17); and even His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). Yet Jesus is the only begotten Son of the Father (John 3:16), and the Lamb of God (John 1:29,36), which is why He made the distinction between “my Father” and “your Father” and “my God, and “your God” (John 20:17). 

The best explanation for why Jesus told Mary “Touch me not,” may center on the word translated “touch” in the KJV. Some other versions translate this as “cling to” or “hold fast,” which may be closer to the Greek word haptomai, which some commentaries say means “grab hold of.” We see the other women holding the risen Jesus by the feet to worship Him as they realize Who He is (Matthew 28:9). 

What was Mary’s reaction as she realized her beloved Jesus was not dead, but standing beside her? Any of us encountering a loved one we had given up for dead would have the same reaction – to want to fling our arms around them, clasp them tightly, and embrace them as if we would never again let them go. 

But Jesus did not rise from the dead to give earthly comfort to those He loved during His ministry; He rose to give all who trust Him eternal life (1 Corinthians 15:12-26). He wants us to cling to Him, abide in Him (John 15:4-7), and remain in Him (Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 1:2; etc.) – not physically, but spiritually. 

Not until we reach Glory will we have the awesome privilege of not only seeing Him face to face, but of knowing Him fully as He now knows us (1 Corinthians 13:12). Not only may we fall prostrate at His feet and feel His healing touch (Revelation 1:17), but He will tenderly wipe away every tear from our eyes (Isaiah 25:8Revelation 7:17; 21:4). I believe He will embrace us lovingly as He did the children brought to Him for a blessing (Mark 10:13-16). 

I believe Jesus was telling Mary, in effect: “Don’t try to keep me here with you, as much as you want to, but know that I am going to my Father so that all who love me can abide in me spiritually until I come again to bring all of you to myself. I have walked the earth with you for three years, but now you must learn to walk by faith, not by sight.” (John 14:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:7

So why did He allow Thomas to perform a physical examination of His wounds? Thomas’ motive for touching Jesus was different than Mary’s. She wanted to cling to Him out of love, blended perhaps with fear that He would again leave her. The other disciples trusted their vision to know that Jesus’ wounds proved His identity, yet Thomas doubted their account and needed tactile proof. Even though Our Lord was merciful in allowing Thomas the evidence he needed, He said that those with greater faith, who did not need sensory evidence, were blessed indeed ((John 20:25-29).  

That would be all of us who have faith in His death, burial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only way to Heaven (John 14:6), based on His Word, without the luxury of having seen or heard Him in person! Praise God that Jesus Christ did not remain on earth, but instead ascended to the Father, where He continually intercedes for us (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25), and where He is preparing a special place where each of us will spend eternity with Him! (John 14:1-3) Praise God that He ascended so that He could send the Holy Spirit, the Comforter (John 14:16,26; 16:7), to live within each believer’s heart

© 2014 Laurie Collett
Edited and reposted from the archives

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Resurrection: Triplets of Victory


Wishing all of you and your loved ones a blessed Resurrection Sunday! Christ is risen indeed! May you enjoy this edited repost from the archives.

Christ’s birthearthly ministrybetrayal, and crucifixion can all be described in triplets reflecting His Triune nature. This pattern continues through His resurrection and beyond!

Jesus prophesied to His disciples that after He was crucified and buried, He would spend three days in the tomb and rise again on the third day (Matthew 16:21; 17:22-23; 20:18-19; Mark 9:31;10:34; Luke 9:22;18:33). Even the Romans had heard of this prophecy, as they warned Pilate about it for fear that the disciples would steal His body to deceive others into thinking Jesus had risen from the dead (Matthew 27:63-64).

Christ’s actual resurrection after three days was foreshadowed by earlier events in Scripture and by His own use of symbolic language. He had said that He could destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days (Matthew 26: 61), which referred metaphorically to His willingly laying down His life and taking it up again three days later.

Jesus spoke of leaving His earthly body and entering His glorified body as being “perfected” on the third day. This was the most significant of the three miracles He told the Pharisees to relay to Herod, whom they said was threatening His life. The other two miracles were casting out devils and curing the sick (Luke 13: 31-32).

Even at the beginning of Genesis, the third day of creation symbolized the resurrection, when God created the earth appearing from beneath the water (Genesis 1 :9-13). Baptism uses this same symbolism of the believer standing in the water to represent Christ on the cross; submerged beneath the water to represent burial of the old man and sin nature; and coming up out of the water to represent living as a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Jesus explained His coming burial and resurrection by likening it to the prophet Jonah being entombed for three days and three nights in the whale's belly (Jonah 1:17), saying that He also would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. He admonished the Jews, who were always looking for a sign to identify the Messiah, that this sign of His resurrection after three days would be the only one given to them (Matthew 12: 39-40).

When the women came to Christ’s tomb that first Easter morning and were shocked to find it empty, two angels reassured them that He had risen and reminded them of His three prophecies: “The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again” (Luke 24:7).

The apostle John describes Mary Magdalene encountering three heavenly beings on that miraculous morning: two angels in the tomb, one where Jesus’ feet had rested and the other at His head; and the risen Christ (John 20:11-18).

Luke names three women who told the unbelieving disciples of these remarkable happenings: Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James (Luke 24:10). Still bewildered, two disciples set forth to Emmaus to talk things over on a long walk, which was about threescore furlongs from Jerusalem (Luke 24:13).

Jesus appeared to these two and joined them, making three travelers to Emmaus. In their grief and confusion they did not realize Who accompanied them (Luke 24:15-16), even though they said that it was the third day since His death (Luke 24:21). Jesus patiently yet fervently explained to them how all the Scriptures revealed Himself, yet they did not recognize Him until dinner, when He blessed the breadbroke it, and gave it to them (Luke 24:30).

Here is how Luke described their triplets of miraculous revelation: Luke 24: 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

So Cleopas and his companion raced back to Jerusalem to tell the others of this Christ-sighting. Yet no sooner did they return and share the news than Jesus appeared in their midst, greeted by triplets of fear, not joy, from the disciples. They were “terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit (Luke 24: 37).

But Jesus reassured them that He was not a ghost by three types of physical evidence: He showed them His hands and feet, He allowed them to handle His flesh and bones, and He even ate before them! (Luke 24: 38-43).

Next Jesus gave them three sources of Scriptural evidence about Himself: the law of Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms (Luke 24:44). But He emphasized the most important prophecy: that He would rise from the dead on the third day (Luke 24:45).

When the disciples went fishing, perhaps to clear their heads, or even thinking they might return to their former way of life now that Jesus was gone, He appeared to them. John tells us that this was the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was risen from the dead (John 21:14). After instructing the disciples where to catch a boat load of fish, He feeds them a delectable breakfast that He had already prepared.

Three times, Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him, allowing Peter three opportunities to affirm his love and cleanse his conscience of the three times he denied Christ.(Matthew 26:75; Mark 14:72; John 13:38). Although Christ asked if Peter loved Him with agape, or self-sacrificing love, Peter stated his love using the term phileo, or kindly affection as one would have toward a brother. In response to Peter’s declarations, three times Jesus asked Peter to “Feed my sheep (lambs).” (John 21: 15-17).

Before ascending to Heaven, Jesus gave His disciples the three commands of the Great CommissionGo ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19).

His last words therefore revealed His Triune nature, for He is the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9). When we are saved by trusting Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit enters our heart and teaches us about Christ, Who in turn is the Way to God the Father (John 14:9-26).

Paul reinforced and expanded on Jesus’s earthly teachings about rising on the third day as he explained the Gospel of grace revealed to Him by Christ; namely eternal life for all who place their faith in the deathburial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:4) as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6). Praise God that Christ conquered death, that we serve a risen Savior, and that we will live with Him forever more!

© 2013 Laurie Collett 
Reposted from the archives

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Crucifixion: Triplets of Sacrifice


When putting up the outdoor Nativity last year, my husband Richard was inspired to make a wooden cross and place it behind the Baby Jesus. This made perfect sense to me, as He was born to die. The Son of God wrapped Himself in human flesh (John 1:2) to become the perfect sacrifice to pay our sin debt, to reconcile sinful man to Holy God through His death on the cross.

As we continue our study of triplets in Scripture, echoing God’s Triune nature, we find the same pattern repeated in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, just as it was in His birth. All of Christian doctrine, and our blessed hope of eternal life and of His glorious reappearing (Titus 2:13; 1 Peter 1:3), hinges on the sacred triplet of His death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

After the trial presided over by Herod, Jesus was led away to be crucified, and Simon of Cyrene was recruited to carry His cross. This was not because the Jews and Romans had any shred of mercy for Jesus, but because they did not want Him to die before He was crucified, so that He would be a public example of what would happen to traitors and blasphemers.

The crowd following Jesus cried out in anguish over their fallen Leader, but Jesus told them, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your childrenand warned them that they would undergo a tribulation so severe that they would say blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. (Luke 23: 27-29)

Jesus was nailed to the cross at three points: one on each hand, and one at His feet. His resurrection body had three wounds from this ordeal that He invited the disciples and Thomas to examine: one on each hand, and one in His side (John 20:20). The inscription on His cross, calling Him the King of the Jews, was in three languages: Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew (Luke 23:38).

On Calvary’s hill that fateful day, there were three crosses, for the cross of Jesus was between that of two thieves (Matthew.27:38; Luke 23:33). These three represented the entire relationship of God with man: The Saviorthose who accept Him; and those who reject Him (Luke 23:39-43).

Among those who rejected Him were passersby who mockingly reminded Jesus of His own words: Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself (Matthew 27:40). Sadly, they were unaware that His prophecy would be fulfilled as He willingly laid down the temple of His body to be destroyed, knowing that He would arise on the third day.

The crucifixion of Jesus began at the third hour (Mark 15 25) and was followed by three hours of darkness, from the sixth hour until the ninth hour. At that moment, Jesus cried out in a three-part lament: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Mark 15:33-34).

At the cross, the dying Savior, His closest apostle John, and His mother Mary became a triplet of compassion as Jesus asked John to care for His mother as if she were his own, and John accepted this awesome responsibility (John 19:26).

As we approach our celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, may we do three things to honor Him.  First, may we be among those who accept Him as their Lord and Savior. Second, may we always remember His purpose in coming to earth – that through His death, burial and resurrection, all who trust Him may have eternal life! (John 3:16) And finally, may we be faithful to preach Christ, and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 1:23).

© 2012 Laurie Collett 
Reposted from the archives