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Week of March 21, 2016
That You May Know… He Died For You
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided His clothes and cast lots.

Monday


Life Connect

Luke 23:1   Then their whole assembly rose up and brought Him before Pilate. 2 They began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this man subverting our nation, opposing payment of taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is the Messiah, a King.”

Luke 23:3   So Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”

 He answered him, “You have said it.”

Luke 23:4   Pilate then told the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no grounds for charging this man.”

Luke 23:5   But they kept insisting, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where He started even to here.”

 

The word “subvert” means to seduce from the true faith. The people charged Jesus of Nazareth with seducing and subverting the community away from their loyalty to the Roman Empire. Little did they know that these charges were true. Loyalty to Jesus Christ means that we love Him and Him alone. As we draw closer to Easter and celebrate the salvation we have in Christ alone, where do your loyalties exist? Are you more loyal to your empire than to Jesus? Truly our Messiah subverts our thinking.

Prayer Connect

Ask the Lord to give you a heart for Him alone today. May we not build our empires, but instead have kingdom thinking.



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Tuesday


Life Connect

Luke 23:20   Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, 21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify! Crucify Him!”

Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written: Everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed.

The people not only wanted the death of Jesus of Nazareth but wanted Him to die by crucifixion when they cried “Crucify! Crucify!” Why crucifixion? We know that this method of execution was the painful preferred model by the Roman Empire. During this event, a criminal was humiliated and paraded as an example to be avoided. Yet for Jesus, an innocent man, His crucifixion was more than a death. Jesus died upon a tree and became a curse for you that you may have eternal life.

"The cross is a one time, visual representation of God's grief over sin." – John Stott

Prayer Connect

Spend time in prayer thanking God for the cross. He bore our sins to the cross.



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Wednesday


Life Connect

Luke 23:42  Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!”

Luke 23:43   And He said to him, “I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise.”

What a beautiful picture of our Savior’s love. Enduring the cross, agonizing, and facing death, Jesus was preparing the way for others. “This day through Jesus’ death, salvation was being achieved, and the criminal would share in it” (Robert Stein). Thankfully the Savior looks upon us in a similar manner. Jesus Christ speaks truth into our hearts and invites us to have abundant life if we believe, repent, trust, and follow.

I grant you, one penitent thief was converted in his last hours, that no man might despair; but I warn you, only one was converted, that no man might presume. – J.C. Ryle

Prayer Connect

If you have not yet put your trust in Jesus, ask Him to remember you today. If you have placed your faith and hope in Christ alone, thank Him for remembering you.



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Thursday


Life Connect

Luke 23:44   It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three, 45 because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle. 46 And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit.” Saying this, He breathed His last.

We see here a picture of the devastating effects of sin. The darkness covering the whole land and the splitting of the veil visibly voiced the displeasure of the Lord over the transpiring events. This was no accidental death. Jesus was not killed. He did not die. Instead, He voluntarily gave up his life to death.

 

“Jesus was Master even in His death” – Robert Stein

Prayer Connect

Spend time meditating upon the generosity of our Savior, who gave His life that we might avoid eternal punishment and find eternal life.



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Friday


Life Connect

Luke 23:50   There was a good and righteous man named Joseph, a member of the Sanhedrin, 51 who had not agreed with their plan and action. He was from Arimathea, a Judean town, and was looking forward to the kingdom of God. 52 He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Taking it down, he wrapped it in fine linen and placed it in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever been placed. 54 It was preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

Usually, victims of crucifixion were place in a common pit in anonymity. Although Jesus was crucified between two criminals, he was not buried as a criminal. Thankfully, Joseph was a man looking forward to the kingdom of God. The Lord prompted his heart to prepare a tomb for the Messiah. Are you looking forward to the kingdom of God? You never know how the Lord will use you.

Prayer Connect

Ask the Lord to stir your heart for His kingdom and to give you kingdom eyes today.



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