"Jesus" 90 Days with the One and Only

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"Jesus" 90 Days with the One and Only

Preparing the Lamb

Day 75

Before You Begin

Read Luke 22:7-13

Stop and Consider

Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover meal for us, so we can eat it" (v. 8).

What task has Christ called you to lately, even though you're not crazy about doing it?

As you look at this specific activity again, what are some of the purposes you believe He may be accomplishing in you as you faithfully live it out?


I don't believe Christ simply glanced up, saw Peter and John, and decided they'd be as good a choice as anyone to prepare for the Passover. Quite the contrary, this profound work was prepared in advance for them to do (see Eph. 2:10). It's like the two men may have wished someone else had been chosen for the tasks, some of which were usually assigned to women. The Passover involved a fairly elaborate meal with a very specific setting. They may have grumbled, as we often do. Why? Because we may have no idea as to the significance of the work God has called us to do.

Give some thought to the preparations Peter and John made. You can read about the original Passover in Exodus 12:1-14. The meal involved three symbolic foods to be eaten during every observance: "meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast" (Exod. 12:8).

While every part of the meal was highly symbolic, it had no meaning at all without the lamb. The most important preparation Peter and John made was the procuring and preparing of the Passover Lamb. The detailed preparation involving the lamb would soon be fulfilled in Jesus Christ, of course. They may not have grasped the significance of it at the time, but eventually they "got it."

Peter and John are the only two of the Twelve who were recorded referring to Jesus as the Lamb. Many years later Peter would write of Jesus that we were redeemed "with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake" ( I Peter 1:19-20). For Johns's part, you can read Revelation 5 for what I think is the most majestic passage in Scripture about the Lamb of God.

Is it coincidence that only these two apostles wrote about Jesus as the Lamb? Not on your life. Christ's ultimate goal in any work He assigns to us is to reveal Himself, either through us or to us. The Holy Spirit used the tasks He assigned Peter and John that day to reveal to them the Lamb of God, to deeply engrave these images and remembrances in their minds. Beloved, the tasks God gives you are never trivial.

Praying God's Word Today

Lord, You have said in Your Word, "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps" (Prov. 16:9). So I submit my way to You today, Father, knowing that any suffering or inconvenience of this present time is not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us (Rom. 8:18), as You reveal Yourself to us in the midst of our daily obedience. In Jesus name we pray....AMEN


Study by: Beth Moore


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"Jesus" 90 Days with the One and Only

The Last Supper

Day 76

Before You Begin

Read Luke 22:14-22

Stop and Consider

He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, "This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me" (v. 19).


Consider the full gamut of human feelings Christ must have experienced at this moment. List as many as come to mind.

Is dread a sin? Especially in view of the anticipation Jesus certainly must have felt on this night, what do you think He would say to you when you're in one of life's tightest spots?


When the hour came, Jesus and His apostles reclined at the table. The Passover was a celebration for families and those closest to them. Christ was surrounded by His closest family. They may have been weak, self centered, and full of unfounded pride, but they were His. He desired to spend this time with them.

Capture this meal with your imagination. I think we've inaccurately pictured the last meal as moments spent over the bread and the wine. Christ and His disciples observed the entire Passover meal together. Then He instituted the new covenant, represented by the bread and the wine.

As they gathered around the table at sundown, Christ took the father role in the observance. Soon after they gathered, He poured the first of four cups of wine and asked everyone to rise from the table. He then lifted His cup toward heaven and recited the Kiddush, or prayer of sanctification, which would have included these words or something very close: "Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Who createst the fruit of the vine. Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, Who hast chosen us for Thy service from among the nations...Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Who hast kept us in life, Who hast preserved us, and hast enabled us to reach this season." This is very likely the blessing He recited in Luke 22:17.

If Christ and His disciples followed tradition, they took the first cup of wine, asked the above blessing, observed a ceremonial washing, and broke the unleavened bread. These practices were immediately followed by an enactment of Exodus 12:26-27. The youngest child at the observance asks the traditional Passover questions, provoking the father to tell the story of the exodus. Early church tradition cited John as the youngest apostle. In all likelihood, John assumed the role of the youngest child in the family, asking the traditional questions that provoked Christ to tell the story of the Passover. Many scholars believe John may have been the one who asked the questions at the last supper because of his position at the table. John 13:23 tells us John was reclining next to Christ.

The four cups of wine served at the Passover meal represented the four expressions, or "I wills" of God's promised deliverance in Exodus 6:6-7. At this point in the meal, Christ poured the second cup of wine and narrated the story of Israel's exodus in response to the questions. Oh, friend, can you imagine? Christ, the Lamb of God, sat at their table and told the redemption story! He recounted the story as only He could have---and then, at the very next sundown---He fulfilled it! Oh, how I pray He will tell it again for all of us to hear when we take it together in the kingdom!

They ate the meal between the second and third cups. Although all four cups would have been observed at the last supper, not all four cups are specified in Luke's Gospel. We know, however, exactly which cup is specified in Luke 22:20 because of its place of observance during the meal. The third cup was traditionally taken after the supper was eaten. It is represented by the third "I will" statement of God recorded in Exodus 6:6: "I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment."

This is the cup of redemption. I am convinced this cup is also the symbolic cup to which Christ referred only an hour or so later in the garden of Gethsemane when He asked God to "take this cup from me" (Luke 22:42). This was a cup of which He could partake only with outstretched arms upon the cross.

The imminent fulfillment of the cup of redemption signaled the release of the new covenant that would be written in blood. We know Christ did not literally drink this third cup because He stated in Luke 22:18 that He would not drink of another cup until the coming of the Kingdom of God. Instead of drinking the cup, He would do something of sin-shattering significance. He would, in essence, become the cup and pour out His life for the redemption of man.

Christ never took anything more seriously than the cup of redemption. He faced that last Passover supper. His body would soon be broken so that the Bread of life could be distributed to all who would sit at His table. The wine of His blood would be poured into the new wineskins of all who would partake. It was time's perfect night---a night when the last few stitches of a centuries--old Passover thread would be woven onto the canvas of earth in the shape of a cross. Sit and reflect.

O perfect Lamf of Passover,
Let me not quickly run.
Recount to me the blessed plot,
Tell how th eplan was spun
That I, a slave of Egypt's lusts,
A prison of dark dread,
Could be condemned unto a cross
And find You nailed instead.



How do you "remember" the death of Christ at each observance of the Lord's Supper?

Praying God's Word Today

O Lord Jesus, my heart nearly bursts hearing You say to Your Father, "You did not desire or delight in sacrifices and offerings, whole burnt offerings, and sin offerings....See, I have come to do Your will." Lord, I know it is by this "will" that we have been sanctified through the offering of Your body, once and for all (Heb. 10:8-10). I humbly bow before You today, celebrating Your obedience to the Father and Your covenant love for me..In Jesus name we pray....AMEN


Study By: Beth Moore


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"Jesus" 90 Days with the One and Only

Still Teaching,
Still Learning

Day 77

Before You Begin

Read Luke 22:24-30

Stop and Consider

Who is greater, the one at the table or the one serving? Isn't it the one at the table? But I am among you as the One who serves (v. 27)

How many lessons have you learned from Christ the first time He presented them? Why is your answer (and mine) most likely "zero?"

In dealing with others--spouse, children, employees, friends--how willing are you to absorb their failure more than once?


Are you like me? Do you want to be made like Him---but more through His victories than His sufferings? Thankfully, we have a Savior who is willing to steadfastly walk with us even when we take three steps forward and two steps back. We'll see the colors of His willingness painted like a mural on the walls of the upper room.

If we often find ourselves in contrast to Jesus' perfect character, we're not so unlike His original disciples. Their inability at the Passover table to pinpoint who was the worst among them led to a dispute over who was the greatest. Had not Christ already dealt with them over this issue? However, being declared "guilty as charge" only condemns us. Left alone, it does nothing to change us. Like the apostles, we are slow to learn.

When we recognize that the disciples' sandals fit our feet, let's allow Christ to kneel in front of us, slip them off, and wash our feet. Oh, how we need Jesus to minister humility to us. Without it, He will vastly limit how much He ministers through us. John 13 tells us how Jesus laid aside His garments and washed the disciples' feet.

As effective as the lesson was, Christ still hadn't settled the issue of greatness. He knew that the matter was so critical that He would need to prove on a field trip what he had taught in class. I could kick myself for forcing lessons into field trips instead of learning them in the classroom, but I don't mind telling you, field trips are effective! I fear the lesson on greatness is rarely learned in the classroom alone.

Within hours, each of these disciples would encounter just how "great" they were. All would desert Christ and flee (see Matt. 26:56). However, the lesson taught and demonstrated in the upper (class)room, then confirmed during the field trip, would eventually "stick." Christ turned these eleven status-seekers into humble servants.

Again I find myself so amazed at the character of Christ. Just when we wouldn't have blamed Him if He had thrown water all over them, He washed their feet. And just when they argued over who was the greatest, He paid them their greatest compliment. Luke 22:28 records His words, "You are those who have stood by me in my trials."

Praying God's Word Today

I can't get away from the picture of You bowing before Your disciples and washing their feet. But help me also not be able to get away from Your following statement to them: "If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you" (John 13:14-15). Show me those who need their feet washed today, and help me follow through. In Jesus name we pray....AMEN


Study By: Beth Moore


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Sifted Like Wheat

Day 78

Before You Begin

Read Luke 22:31-34

Stop and Consider

Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your fiath may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen the brothers (vv. 31-32).


What have been some of your "sifting" times?

What kind of "chaff" or undesirable character did it reveal in you? And what kind of "wheat" did you come out of it with? What did you learn that you'll never forget?


As surely as Christ knew Judas would betray Him, He knew the rest of His disciples would desert Him. He knew every move each disciple would make. The implication from Luke 22 is that Satan asked to "sift" the disciples "as wheat" in verse 31, and that Christ specified Peter's own encounter in verse 32. I tend to think the Scriptures imply Christ permitted Satan to attack Peter with greater force than the others. If so, we might want to ask ourselves why. I believe these few verses intimate several reasons.

1) Peter was the natural leader among the disciples. Christ seemed to be singling him out as a leader in Luke 22:31 as He directed the statement concerning all the disciples (plural "you") to Peter: "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift (all of) you (disciples) as wheat." Very likely, Christ thought that Peter, as a leader among the disciples, could either take or needed the extra heat. I have a hunch both apply. Please be encouraged that Satan can't just presume to sift a believer like wheat. I believe this precedent suggests he must acquire permission from Christ. (Compare Job 1). Christ will not grant the devil permission to do anything that can't be used for God's glory and our good----if we let it.

But those in critical positions like Peter aren't the only ones who can benefit from a good sifting. Please know, if ever I put on a shoe that fits, it would be this one. I, too, as a servant, badly needed a sifting. And I assure you, God was faithful to permit it. Being sifted like wheat is not your regular brand of temptation. It's an all-out onslaught by the enemy to destroy you and cause you to quit. It surfaces what you detest most in yourself and reveals the ugliness of self. Not everyone has or needs such and experience.

The horror of my sifting season remains as real as yesterday, but (I pray) so is the grain left behind. The method of sifting wheat is to put it through a sieve and shake it until the chaff, little stones, and perhaps some tares rise to the surface. The purpose is that the actual grain can be separated and ground into meal. Satan's goal in sifting is to make us a mockery by showing us to be all chaff and no wheat. Christ, on the other hand, permits us to be sifted to shake out the real from the unreal, the trash from the true. The wheat that proves usable is authentic grain from which Christ can make bread.

Praise Christ's faithful name! Satan turned Peter's field trip into a field day, but he still couldn't get everything about Peter to come up chaff. Satan's plan backfired. He surfaced some serious chaff, to be sure, but Christ let Peter have a good look at it. Then Christ blew the chaff away, took those remaining grains, and demonstrated His baking skills. But Christ had a few other reasons for allowing Peter to be sifted like wheat.

2) Christ knew that Peter would turn back. "But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back...." (Luke 22:32). Not if, but when. We're somwhat like books Satan can read only from the outside. His book review is limited to assumptions he makes about what's inside, based on what he reads on our "book jackets." He cannot read the inside of us as Christ can.

Satan observed Peter's overconfidence and propensity toward pride. He surmised that, when the sifting came, every page would come up chaff. He was wrong. Christ knew Peter's heart. He knew that underneath Peter's puffed-up exterior was a man with a genuine heart for God. Jesus knew Peter could deny Christ to others, but he could not deny Christ to himself. He would be back---a revised edition with a new jacket.

3) Christ knew how Peter's return and "revision" could be used for others. "And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers" (v. 32). From falling, Peter was about to learn how to stand. Peter would indeed fall, but his faith would not fail. He would use everything Christ taught him to strengthen his brothers.

Christ didn't want to take the leader out of Simon Peter. He just wanted to take Simon Peter out of the leader. His goal was to let Satan sift out all the Simon-stuff so Christ could use what was left: a humble jar of clay with no confidence in his flesh.

Not everyone has to learn to stand by falling. Better ways to learn exist, but I'm afraid that I learned a similar way. I finally learned to stand on Christ's two feet because my feet of clay turned out to be so unstable.

I was not so unlike Peter. I was young when I surrendered my life to Christ and was completely confident that nothing could shake my commitment. Excuse my bluntness, but I was an idiot. I cannot recall ever learning a more difficult lesson than that which my own sifting season taught me, but neither can I recall a lesson more deeply ingrained. Many years have passed, and I still do not live a day without remembering it and fearing another departure from Christ's authority more than I fear death.

I wouldn't wish a sifting on a single soul, but if that's what a life of harvest requires, may God use it so thoroughly that the enemy ends up being sorry he ever asked permission. Beloved, commitments can be shaken, but Christ cannot. When the shakedown comes, may the fresh winds of God's Spirit blow away the chaff until all that is left is the bread of life.


What does it do in your soul to know that Satan can't touch you without obtaining Christ's permission? And that when he does, Jesus has promised to pray for you?


Praying God's Word Today

You declare in Your Word, "Who can bring an accusation against God's elect? God is the One who justifies. Who is the One who condemns? Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised. He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us" (Rom. 8:33-34). Thank You, Lord Jesus, not only for knowing how much sifting I can stand, but also for being there with me, praying for me while I'm going through it. In Jesus name we pray...AMEN


Study by: Beth Moore



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Salvation's Song

Day 79

Before You Begin

Read Psalm 116:1-19

Stop and Consider

I will take the cup of salvation and worship the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people (vv. 13-14).


What are some of the lines in your salvation song? What words or short phrases define your experience with Christ?

What is the song of the unsaved like? What lines make up their life story?


Tens of thousands of Jews celebrated the Passover that year in Jerusalem. For many, the year's observance was indistinct from the last. They had no idea that nearby the Lamb of God lifted the cup of redemption and offered it to all.

In the upper room the disciples' stomachs were full, their recollections rekindled, and their feet washed by the Son of man. "Having loved his own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of his love" (John 13:1). The One who created time submitted Himself to it. In the same perfect order that the heavens and the earth were created, salvation's story must unfold like a book already written....penned before the foundation of the world. The Spirit of God blew the next page open to the chapter called "Agony." The garden awaited.

Then they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives" (Matt. 26:30). Jesus singing! How I would love to hear that sound. When He sang, did the angels of heaven hush to His voice? Or did they cease their song and join in His? Did He sing tenor? Bass? Did Christ and His disciples sing in harmony, or did they all sing the melody? Did Jesus sing often, or was this a moment of rarity?

How fitting that on this very night Christ, the coming King, would give voice to songs penned centuries earlier just for Him. Traditionally, every Seder or Passover celebration ended with the latter half of the Hallel, Psalms 115-118. Very likely Christ and His disciples sang from these psalms. Imagine the Son of God singing these words as the seconds ticked toward the cross.

Whatever Christ sang as the Passover meal concluded that night, the words had significance for Him that the others could never have comprehended. I wonder if His voice quivered with emotion? Or did He sing with exultation? Perhaps He did both, just as you and I have done at terribly bittersweet moments when our faith exults while our sight weeps. One thing we know: Christ, above all others, knew that He was singing more than words. That night He sang the score of His destiny.

Praying God's Word Today

I will sing of Your strength, Lord Jesus--the strength I see in You again as I watch You face the cross and its suffering. I will joyfully proclaim Your faithful love in the morning. For You have been a stronghold for me, a refuge in my day of trouble. Therefore I sing praises to You, my strength. You are my stronghold, my faithful God (Ps. 59:16-17). In Jesus name we pray....AMEN


Study By: Beth Moore


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Please, Father

Day 80

Before You Begin

Read Mark 14:32

Stop and Consider


He said, "Abba, Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will" (v. 36).


What would you like to ask your Father to take off of your plate right now?


If He does, how deeply and publicly will you proclaim your praise for His mercy? If He doesn't, how faithfully will you follow Him through the valley with it?



Without Mark's Gospel, we would not know Christ cried out to His Father using the name, "Abba." I don't often give you an extensive quote, but this one captured my soul with rich meditation; I hope it will yours.



Abba is originally....a word derived from baby-language. When a child is weaned, "it learns to say 'abba (daddy) and 'imma (mummy)."......Also used by adult sons and daughters....'abba acquired the warm, familiar ring which we may feel in such an expression as "dear father." Nowhere in the entire wealth of devotional literature produced by ancient Judaism do we find 'abba being used as a way of addressing God. The pious Jew knew too much of the great gap between God and man to be free to address God with the familiar word used in everyday family life....We find only one example of 'abba used in reference to God. It occurs in a story recorded in the Babylonian Talmud: "When the world had need of rain, our teachers used to send the schoolchildren to Rabbi Hanan ha Nehba (end of the 1st century B.C.), and they would seize the hem of his cloak and call out to him: 'Dear father ('abba), dear father ('abba), give us rain.' He said before God" 'Sovereign of the world, do it for the sake of these who cannot distinguish between an 'abba who can give rain and an 'abba who can give no rain."



When Christ Jesus fell to His face and cried out, "Abba, Father," He cried out to the Abba who can give rain. The sovereign of the world was His Daddy. Everything was possible for Him...including removing the cup of dread.

Never minimize the moment by thinking God couldn't have removed the cup. Do not subtract God's freedom of choice from this picture. God could have chosen to reject the way of the cross. After all, He is the sovereign of the universe.

That God could have stopped the process yet didn't is a matchless demonstration of love. Can you think of anyone for whom you'd watch your only child be tortured to death? "Abba, Father,' He said, 'everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me" (Mark 14:36).

The request Christ placed before the Father ought to make us catch our breath. It ascended to heaven through wails of grief. God's beloved was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Luke's Gospel tells us His sweat dropped like blood, a condition almost unheard of except when the physical body is placed in more stress and grief than it was fashioned to handle.

Do we think God sat upon His throne unmoved?


Our hearts ought to miss a beat. Christ could have walked past the cross. He could have----but He didn't. Luke 22:47 tells us, "While he was still speaking a crowd came up." Imagine the scene they walked into that night.

Please try to grasp Christ's physical condition just before the crowd headed up the Mount of Olives to seize Him. Like a body that rejects a transplanted organ, the human body of Jesus Christ was practically tearing itself apart. The full throttle of divine impact and emotion was almost more than one human body could endure. The stress had nearly turned Him inside out. I do not make this point to emphasize His weakness. Quite the contrary. In fact I find the scene recorded in John 18:6 portrays His incredible power. When Jesus told the crowd, "I am He," even overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death, the proclaimed presence of Jesus Christ knocked the mob to the ground.

Dear Sweet Jesus, We really have no idea who You are, do we? Your God-ness could not be diminished for a moment, in or out of that prison of flesh. Lord, don't let us forget. You, who submitted Yourself to the hands of sinful men, were very God.


This seemed like another good place to give you ample room to journal your reflections, insights, and feelings. Because when you're not just glossing over Jesus' suffering but are letting it really soak in, the weight of it can be truly overwhelming. I invite you to pour out what you're experiencing right now. See the cost. Ponder what this means.


Praying God's Word Today

Like Paul, I would come to You with boldness, pleading for You to lift some of the heavy burdens I'm carrying right now. But in the midst of my request, I do hear you saying, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Your power, Lord Jesus, may reside in me. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Cor. 12:8-10). In Jesus name we pray....AMEN


Study by: Beth Moore



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A Serious Case of Denial

Day 81

Before You Begin

Read Luke 22:47-62

Stop and Consider

Peter said, "Man, I don't know what you're talking about!"
Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed (v. 60).

Followers of Christ can deny Him in other ways than Peter did. When have you suggested a similar denial by your actions, your words, or even your silence?

How has Jesus corrected you after episodes like these? What did His "look" feel like when you realized what you'd done?




I am convinced that one reason God placed the account of Peter's denial in all four Godpels is so we'd sober to the reality that if Peter could deny Christ, any of us could. Never lose sight of the fact that Peter was certain he could not be "had." Yet he denied Christ not once. Not twice. But three times.

Denying Christ is huge. Do you think the blows Jesus later endured from the whip stung any more than Peter's denial? Don't minimize his sin in that courtyard. As we look at this again, I hope we'll recognize those facotrs that set Peter up for failure so we can avoid similar pitfalls.

1) Peter was willing to kill for Jesus, but he was reluctant to die for Him. Keep in mind the time element. Only an hour or so before Peter denied Christ to save his own skin, he had drawn a sword and cut off a man's ear. Maybe Peter's haste to use the sword was not just motivated by his desire to defend Jesus but by his concern to defend himself.

Nothing displays our self-love like a crisis. But Christ's disciples, both then and now, are called to live above that human baseline of self-importance. Remember that Christ had called Peter and His disciples to deny themselves and take up the cross daily (Luke 9:23). If Peter had denied himself, he would not have denied Christ.

The reason we can "forget" about ourselves is because Christ never forgets us. We can afford to be less important to ourselvs because we are vastly important to God. Biblical self-denial will never fail to be for us rather than against us, whether here or in eternity. When Peter chose to deny Christ rather than himself, he really chose human limitations over divine intervention.

2) Peter followed Jesus, but at a distance. Obviously, if Peter had been holding onto Jesus' robe, he probably wouldn't have denied Him. Even though Christ asked the soldiers to let His disciples go (see John 18:8), why didn't even one insist upon staying, especially after all the miracles and proofs the Twelve had seen? From a divine standpoint the answer is most likely God's sovereignty in fulfilling prophecy that Christ would be deserted and forsaken. From a human standpoint, however, the answer is pure fear.

The scene reminds me of 2 Kings 2, when God was about to take His prophet, Elijah, up into a whirlwind. Elijah had several stops to make on his way to the Jordan River, and he continued his attempts to say farewell to his servant, Elisha. But all three times, Elisha said to him, "As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you" (2 Kings 2:2, 4, 6). If Peter had been as insistent as Elisha, Satan would not have had the room to come between him and his master with a sieve to sift him like wheat. Elisha's actions showed sheer determination to follow his master to the ends of his earthly life.

When we tiptoe to keep from being too obvious or to obscure ourselves in safe places and remain unidentifiable, we are already bounding toward denial.

3) Peter sat down with the opposition and warmed his hands by the same fire. I've been in Jerusalem in the early spring, so I can assure you the night was indeed cold. The semidesert climate may heat a spring day, but the temperature drops dramatically when the sun goes down. Since fear also has a way of quickening the senses, we're probably picturing Peter accurately as a young man who trembled nearly uncontrollably as he stood at that fire.

But I believe he made a very poor choice of company in the courtyard. John 18:18 tells us Peter joined "the servants and officials" at the fire in the middle of the courtyard. However unintentionally, he ended up surrounding himself with others who, in effect, denied Christ. The risk of failure heightened dramatically at that moment. Can we ever note a point of application here! Being sent by God to be a witness to those who "deny" Christ is one thing. Warming our hands by the same fire is another.

I cannot help but relate some of my own seasons of defeat to Peter's. I will regret some of my choices every day of my life. Like Peter, I also made some choices in my past that went beyond rationalization. How thankful I am now that I couldn't just make excuses for my behavior! Any part of me I could have "excused" would still be "alive and kicking." Listen to my heart carefully: I want no part of myself. None. I want Jesus to so thoroughly consume me that I no longer exists. I am far too destructive. I would do far too much to deny His lordship. One regret I will never have is that God got me "over myself" by letting me confront this truth: in me dwells no good thing.

I do not doubt that Christ's face was painted with pain when His and Peter's eyes met in the courtyard, but I think the conspicuous absence of condemnation tore through Peter's heart. I wonder if Christ's fixed gaze might have said something like this: "Remember, Peter, I am the Christ. You know that I know that. I called you. I gave you a new name. I invited you to follw Me. Don't forget who I am. Don't forget what you are capable of doing. And, whatever you do, don't let this destroy you. When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."


The original language suggests that Peter took on every external form of grief. He wailed. He likely tore his clothes and threw handfuls of sand on his head. What have you leanred from your spiritual failures, from times when you, too, "went outside and wept bitterly."


Praying God's Word Today

Lord Jesus, I am chilled by Your statement, "Whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny Him before My Father in heaven." But as solemn and grievous as this warning is, I am even more in awe that You also say, "Everyone who will acknowledge Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven" (Matt. 10:32-33). O Lord, what incredible grace! What undeserved favor! Thank You for never denying me. In Jesus name we pray...AMEN


Study By: Beth Moore


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King of the Mountain

Day 82

Before You Begin

Read Luke 22:63-71

Stop and Consider

They all asked, "Are You, then, the Son of God?"
And He said the them, "You say that I am" (v. 70).

I feel like asking a question Jesus asked much earlier in His earthly life: "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" (Matt. 16:13).


What are they actually doing and saying by proclaiming Christ to be much less than He really is?

I remember a childhood game I tried to avoid at all costs. It was called King of the Mountain. The players established a high place of some kind as the "mountain." The "King" was the one who could defend his territory by kicking or pushing anyone who came near him. It was a mean game. But it was nothing compared to the real-life King of the Mountain contest that took place between Pilate, Herod, the self-promoting religious leaders...and the true King Jesus, the One and Only.

As you picture every moment of these "mock court" proceedings in Luke 22, don't lose sight of these words in verse 70: "Are you then the Son of God?" Imagine every event unfolding on a large-screen TV, and during the entire ordeal these words scroll boldly across the bottom of the scene: "The Son of God." The irony is this: the only reason Christ was standing in front of them was because He was exactly who they "tried" Him for being. Though His accusers couldn't see the truth for themselves, Christ was found guilty of being the Son of God. They would end up releasing the insurrectionist and crucifying the Savior of the world.

Aren't you thankful humanity can "try" Christ for being anything they choose, and yet He is who He is? No amount of disbelief can change Him or move Him. Why did the chief priests and teachers of the law disbelieve? Why couldn't they accept their Messiah? Because they wanted to be king of the mountain.

And so our Savior was stripped. Mocked. Spat upon. Struck....again and again. Flogged. Beyond recognition. The fullness of the Godhead bodily. The bright and morning Star. The Alpha and Omega. The anointed of the Lord. The beloved Son of God. The radiance of His Father's glory. The Light of the world. The Hope of glory. The Lily of the valley. The Prince of peace. The Seed of David. The Son of righteousness. The blessed and only potentate,, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Emmanuel. The With of God.

The most terrifying truth a mocking humanity will ever confront is that no matter how Jesus is belittled, He cannot be made little. He is the King of the Mountain.

Praying God's Word Today

Sovereign Lord, though we have all been huilty of serving idols in our lives, thank You for continuing to draw us toward Your holy mountain, where the entire hous of Israel---every one of Your chosen people---will serve You, and where You will accept our offerings of praise and service (Ezek. 20:39-40). You, Lord, are now---and forever will be---the King of the Mountain. In jesus name we pray....AMEN




Study by: Beth Moore


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"Jesus" 90 Days with the One and Only

The Nails

Day 83

Before You Begin

Read Luke 23:26-31


Stop and Consider


A great multitude of the people followed Him, including women who were mourning and lamenting Him (v. 27).


Our Jesus--our One and Only--is being led away to death. Join the women who are "mourning" and "Lamenting Him." What are you hearing? What are you feeling?


What are other things in life that we should be mourning and lamenting over? What should be invoking our sorrow today?



According to ancient custom, the cross, or at least crossbeam, was placed upon the ground, then Christ was stretched out upon it. I cannot imagine being the one who actually targeted the nail to the proper place in the skin and struck the blow. Do you think he at all costs avoided Christ's eyes?

They probably secured His hands before His feet so that His arms would not flail when His feet were nailed. We often picture that the nail wounds were in the palms, but the delicate bones in the hands could not hold a victim to the cross. The nails were usually driven through the wrists. In Hebrew, the wrist was considered part of the hand rather than the arm.

Without becoming more graphic than necessary, crucifixion, almost always preceded by a near-to-death flogging, was unimaginably painful and inhumane. This kind of capital punishment was targeted as a deterrent for rebellious slaves and was forbidden to any Roman citizen, no matter how serious the crime. Crucifixion was a totally inhumane way for even the two criminals to die. But this was the King of Glory! They took a hammer and nails to the "Word made flesh."

I want you to sit and "listen" to the sound of the hammer striking. I'm not trying to be melodramatic. I just want us to come as close as possible to being eyewitnesses. You don't have to open your eyes and "look," but I want you to open your spiritual ears and listen. Move close enough to hear the conversation of the marksman as he positions the nail at the wrist of Christ. You'll have to fight the crowd to get close enough. Then listen to the hammer hit the nail--several times at each hand and foot to make sure the nails are securely in place. I'm not trying to make you wince. I only want you to hear the sound as the nails are driven securely into the wood.

If you study the Old Testament prophecies of Jesus, you will find that they come in a dazzling variety of forms. In some places the predictions were clear. They obviously pointed to the coming Messiah. In other instances they were veiled. Join me now as we look at an obsolutely fascinating passage--these words that apply so beautifully to Christ at this moment. In their immediate sense, they were written about Eliakim, the palace superintendent during the Assyrian invasion of Israel, but you can see their ultimate significance in terms of the cross of our Christ. In the passage God said,

"I will clothe him with your robe and fasten you sash around him and hand your authority over to him. He will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I will drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will be a seat of honor for the house of his father" (Isa. 22:21-23).

Note how God said He would give His servant the key to the house of David, opening a door no one can shut. He said He would "drive him like a peg into a firm place." As unfathomable as the process is to you and me, the cross was the means by which God chose to position Christ in the seat of honor for the house of His Father. The cross is the open door no man can shut.

Isaiah 22:23 says, "I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place" (kjv). The original word for "firm" in the NIV and "sure" in the KJV is aman: "in a transitive sense to make firm, to confirm....to stand firm; to be enduring; to trust."

Nothing was accidental about the cross of Christ. The Son of God was not suddenly overcome by the wickedness of man and nailed to a cross. Quite the contrary, the cross was the means by which the Son of God overcame the wickedness of man. To secure the keys to the house of David and open the door of salvation to all who would enter, God drove His Son like a nail in a sure place. A firm place. An enduring place.

As painful and horrendous as the pounding hammer sounds to our spiritual ears, Colossians 2:13-14 says that while we were dead in our sins, God made us alive with Christ. He "canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross."

I will never fully grasp how such human atrocities occurred at the free will of humanity, while God used them to unfold His perfect, divine, and redemptive plan. Christ was nailed to the cross as the one perfect human. He was the fulfillment of the law in every way. When God drove His Son like a nail in a firm place, He took the written code, finally fulfilled in His Son, and canceled our debt to it. With every pound of the hammer, God was nailing down redemption.


"When I am lifted up from the earth, (I) will draw all men to myself" (John 12:32). How do you imagine those words rang in the disciples' minds when they finally understood what Jesus had meant?


Praying God's Word Today


Lord Jesus, as my heart breaks today, my love for You swells. For You emptied Yourself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when You had come as a man, You humbled Yourself by becoming obedient to the point of death---even to death on a cross (Phil. 2:7-8). Obedient to Your Father. The final sacrifice for Your people. I give You all my praise and honor. Lord Jesus, my Savior. In Jesus name we pray....AMEN


Study by: Beth Moore


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"Jesus" 90 Days with the One and Only

Father, Forgive Them

Day 84

Before You Begin

Read Luke 23:32-43

Stop and Consider

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing" (v.34).


Is there someone you've been withholding forgiveness from? What is the offence? What do you sense as you write it down again on paper? What are your reasons for holding on to it?


What would forgiveness require of you? What did it require of Jesus? What would His advice be to you about how to handle it?



As if the physical wounds Christ suffered were not enough, they were not the killers in crucifixion. Death crept in slowly through exhaustion and asphyxiation from an increasing inability to hold oneself up to draw breath. If you've ever experienced anything close to "excruciating" pain, can you imagine how difficult talking would be?

Regardless of how many times you've heard sermons preached on Christ's next words, don't hear them casually. The moment words formed on His tongue and His voice found volume, He said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34).

Not "Father, consume them," but "Father, forgive them." This may be the most perfect statement spoken at the most perfect time since God gave the gift of language. As unimaginable as His request was, it was so fitting! If the cross is about anything at all, it is about forgiveness. Forgiveness of the most incorrigible and least deserving.

I don't believe the timing of the statement was meaningless. It was the first thing He said after they nailed Him to the cross and hoisted it into view. His immediate request for the Father's forgiveness sanctified the cross for its enduring work through all of time. His request baptized the crude wood for its divine purpose.

Please understand, the cross itself had no power. Neither was it ever meant to be an idol, but it represents something so divine and powerful that the apostle Paul said, "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Gal. 6:14).

Dr. Luke was the only one God inspired to record the forgiveness statement. How appropriate that a physician would be the one to pen such healing words. Surely, in the days to come, many involved were haunted by their consciences. No doubt many in the crowd at the crucifixion were saved on the Day of Pentecost, since both events occurred in Jerusalem only weeks apart and on major feast days. The main reason to believe these were the same people, however, is because God doesn't ordinarily refuse the request of His Son.

Praying God's Word Today
I hear Your Word to me today, Father, as one of Your chosen ones, holy and loved: "Put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive" (Col. 3:12-13). Yes, Lord Jesus---just as You did. In Jesus name we pray....AMEN

Study By: Beth Moore


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"Jesus" 90 Days with the One and Only

The Cost of the Cross

Day 85

Before You Begin

Read Matthew 27:45-54

Stop and Consider

At about three in the afternoon, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, Lema' sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (v. 46).

Why was this a more pitiful cry than all others He must have grasped in the process of His physical torture?

Deal with this reality: every unbeliever is truly living in separation from almighty God. How does that affect your urgency to show them Jesus?

The curtain drops on our scene in the form of darkness, which lasted three hours. The Light of the world was about to be extinguished, if only for a brief time. Just before He breathed His last, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit" (Luke 23:46). How appropriate that He would use His last breaths to utter the trust upon which His entire life had rested.

But I'm not sure we can properly appreciate those words of faith unless we consider the ones spoken by Him only moments before. I believe this cry, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" marked the exact moment when the sins of all humanity---past, present, and future--- were heaped upon Christ and the full cup of God's wrath poured forth. Somehow I believe that to bear the sin, Jesus also had to bear the separation. Though Christ had to suffer the incomparable agony of separation from the fellowship of His Father while sin was judged, I am moved that He breathed His last breath with full assurance of His Father's trustworthiness. The human body of the life-giver hung lifeless. It was finished. He gave up His last human breath so He never had to give up on humanity,

Several years ago, I had the privilege of participating in a solemn assembly of 30,000 college students gathered on a huge field in Memphis, Tennessee. After we heard a powerful message about the cross, two young men began to walk down the hill carrying a large wooden cross. The two students, bent under the weight, carried the heavy cross through the crowd to a place just in front of the platform and then erected it as a visual aid. We couldn't possibly have planned what happened next.

Students began running to the cross with an urgency I can neither possibly describe nor recall without sobs. They sprinted from every direction through the crowd. Their sobs echoed in the open air. They lifted the cross out of the ground and began to pass it with their hands lifted high above their heads all over the crowd. They passed it from hands to hands all over the crowd and up the hill. I am covered with chills as I recall the scene when the repentant found refuge in the shadow of the cross.

In our sophistication and familiarity, have we been away too long? Run to the cross.


Praying God's Word Today

You Yourself have said to us, "I will never leave you or forsake you." Therefore, we may boldly say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (Heb. 13:5-6). In Jesus name we pray...AMEN


Study By: Beth Moore



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"Jesus" 90 Days with the One and Only

He Is Risen

Day 86

Before You Begin

Read Luke 23:50-56, Luke 24:1-8

Stop and Consider

The women were terrified and bowed to the ground. "Why are you looking for the living among the dead?" asked the men (v.5).

Try to recapture a moment from your life when you went from deep disappointment to sheer elation---all in the same day, or at least in a short time span.

If you had been one of the women who first saw Jesus resurrected, how do you think you would have reacted?

How the Sabbath hours must have dragged for these women. They had prepared the spices and perfumes but were forced to rest on the Sabbath. They had come with Jesus from Galilee, so we can assume they were guests in others' homes. Surely the time seemed to be an eternity. Women two thousand years ago were not so unlike we are today. We want to do something. Feeling needed is sometimes the very thing that keeps a woman going. For months they "had followed him and cared for his needs" (Mark 15:41). Now all that was left to do was to serve Him in memorial. They needed to get to the tomb and do the one last thing they could for their Lord.

As the moments crawled by, I'm sure these women recounted with horror the last few days' events. Surely at times they sat in silence, each one weeping in painful solitude as she remembered every encounter with Him. Jesus had a way of making a person feel like the apple of His eye. He still does.

The women "rested" through a Sabbath dusk that frustratingly gave way to night. More waiting. They probably never slept a wink and were on their way to the tomb before a cock could crow. John 20:1, spotlighting Mary Magdalene, tells us "it was still dark."

Mark tells us that the women were hoping the officials would allow someone to roll away the stone so they could apply the spices and perfumes to the body. To their astonishment, they saw that the "very large" stone had been rolled away. The women had no way of knowing at that moment what Matthew 28:2-4 records. I love the wording in Matthew 28:2: "An angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it." Can you fathom the angels' horrow when humans mocked, spat on, beat, flogged, and crucified the Son of God?

Imagine the joy of the angel whose thunderous arrival caused the ground to shake. God chose him to be the one who rolled back the stone---not to free Jesus, but to reveal Him already missing! Can you picture the angel's gleaming face as he perched on that stone? The guards were so afraid that they shook and became like dead men. The graveyard needed a few folks acting like dead men, since a number of the formerly dead were suddenly walking the streets (see Matthew 27:52-53). I'm about to have a shout hallelujah! The women entered the tomb, but they did not find the body.

Acts 2:24 tells us exactly why Christ was raised from the dead: "God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him." Some things are simply impossible---and death keeping its hold on Jesus is one of them.

Mind you, the women didn't yet understand. Luke 24:4 tells us "while they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them." John's version hints at these two celestial ambassadors' assignment. He tells us the two angels were seated where Jesus' body had been, "One at the head and the other at the foot" (John 20:12).

Quite possibly, these angels also guarded the body of Jesus while it lay "in state" in the sepulcher. The Old Testament tabernacle contained a marvelous picture foreshadowing this moment. The ark of the covenant represented the very presence of God. In Exodus 25:17-22, the very specific instructions for the "mercy seat" (kjv) or "atonement cover" (niv) on the ark of he covenant demanded the cherubim to be in exactly that position. Do you see the picture? No, I can't be dogmatic that the cherubim prefigured the angels at Christ's head and feet---but I am personally convinced. Jesus has always been the means by which God would "meet with" humanity (Exod. 25:22).

If the cherubim prefigured the anges in the tomb, can you imagine how they guarded the body through the wait? With their wings overshadowing Him, they faced each other, looking toward the cover. Picture their reactions when the glorified body of Jesus sat up from death shroud and walked out of the tomb, right through the rock. Wouldn't you have loved to hear as Christ thanked them for their service?

Glory to God! Though the news echoed throughout the heavenlies at the moment of Christ's resurrection, the angels probably longed for God to turn on their volume in the earthly realm and announce it to the mortals. At the sight of the angels, the women fell on their faces. The celestial guards announced to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?" The what? The living! "He is not here; He has risen!" (Luke 24:5-6).

Oh, glorious, merciful, ominipotent God! He is risen indeed! I cherish the next five words of the angels: "Remember how He told you" (v. 6). Beloved, have you forgotten something He told you? Christ, our Lord, is faithful to His promises. If you're not presently "seeing" Him at work in your situation, do not live as if He's lifeless and you're hopeless. Believe Him and expect Him to reveal His resurrection power to you!



I ask again, giving you room to respond--"Have you forgotten something He told you?" As you journey through your present path or problem, is there a word of Scripture you heard in the past that rings with much deeper truth and perspective for you now?

Praying God's Word Today
O Father, help me grasp again today at least a portion of the immeasurable greatness of Your power, made available now to us who believe, according to the working of Your vast strength. You demonstrated this power in Your Son by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at Your right hand in the heavens, far above every ruler, authority, power, and dominion (Eph. 1:19-20). Hallelujah! Your Power in my life is great!!! In Jesus name we pray....AMEN


Study by: Beth Moore


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This reminds me of all that we have gone through so far sis. thank you so much
Father of mercies, God of all comfort, thank You for comforting us in our affliction, not merely that we might sense Your renewal and refreshment, but also that w may be able to comfort thaose who are in any kind of afflicktion, through the comfort we ourselves have received from You (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Thank You for making us an instrument of Your mercy and healing to others. In Jesus name we pray.....AMEN
 

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This reminds me of all that we have gone through so far sis. thank you so much
Father of mercies, God of all comfort, thank You for comforting us in our affliction, not merely that we might sense Your renewal and refreshment, but also that w may be able to comfort thaose who are in any kind of afflicktion, through the comfort we ourselves have received from You (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Thank You for making us an instrument of Your mercy and healing to others. In Jesus name we pray.....AMEN

God is working a work through you Chili. You will have a mighty testamony
 

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"Jesus" 90 Days with the One and Only

In a Woman's Voice

Day 87

Before You Begin

Read Luke 24:9-12

Stop and Consider

Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of Jesus, and the other
women with them were telling the apostles these things (v. 10).

Wht are some tasks and services done in Christ's name that are often more effectively performed by women than men?

Which of these do you feel the most called to and equipped for?

If I may say with a chuckle, one possible reason God chose to reveal the resurrection first to women is because He can trust us to get the word out! Telling what we've been told is our specialty! However, nothing can deflate the spirits of an enthusiastic woman like an apprehensive audience. Luke 24:11 records that the apostles "did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense."

Sisters, don't be insulted by this scene in Luke 24:11. Rather, be blessed that God was up to something awesome even in this seemingly insignificant detail. You see, "the witness of women was not (even) acceptable in that day." They couldn't testify as witnesses.

Now isn't this just like our Jesus! He threatened the status quo in countless ways, not the least of which concerned women. He invited them into Bible class (see Luke 10:39) after they had spent centuries learning what little Scripture they could from their husbands. He honored their service during a time in which men were the only ones who ministered publicly (see Mark 15:41). He healed, forgave, delivered, and made whole the very ones society shunned. Women of ill repute.

Appointing these women as the first to share the news of Jesus' resurrection was a definite "custom shaker." Jesus knew the apostles wouldn't believe them, but perhaps He felt that the pending discovery of their authenticity would breed a fresh respect. After all, at the first toll call in the post-ascension New Testament church, you'll see women listed as part of the first New Testament cell group (see Acts 1:13-14).

For centuries the synagogue had kept men and women separate. Suddenly they would be working, praying and worshiping shoulder-to-shoulder. Christ built His church on a foundation of mutual respect. Don't misunderstand. Christ wasn't prioritizing women over men. He simply took the ladder down to the basement where society had lowered women.

The last thing we women should want to do in the body of Christ is to take men's places. They have far too much responsibility for my taste! But by all means, let's take our places! We have also been called to be credible witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Praying God's Word Today
Lord, how grateful I am that You have assigned certain roles in Your order of things for men and for women. Our differences are reflections of Your creative glory. And yet I am so grateful, too, that each of us who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no more Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, for You have made us all one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:27-28). Use us in whatever ways You desire, but unite us in our shared fellowship as saints. In Jesus name we pray...AMEN


Study By: Beth Moore


Godbe4me:amen::jesus-sign:
 
God is working a work through you Chili. You will have a mighty testamony


Yes I will!! Godbe4me. More potent than my life testimony:cool::groupray::D i am beat up as Paul!! It hurts so good............ TY Jesus mmmmmm
Uhggh! dang I hurt...........I LOVE YOU JESUS!!!!!!
Hallelujah!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOUR my Poppy, my Dad, my God, my savior your my Jesus my creator. I praise your name above all!! Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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"Jesus" 90 Days with the One and Only

Snapshots with Jesus

Day 88

Before You Begin

Read Luke 24:13-35

Stop and Consider


He asked them, "What is this dispute that you're having with each other as you are walking?" And they stopped walking and looked discouraged (v. 17).


If we could see your face right now--your expression of faith--what would it look like?

What is the typical impression most people get when they see a Christian today? Just from the look on our face, what would they imply about the difference faith can make?



Imagine that God has decorated your mansion in glory with a number of framed pictures of you and Christ. The pictures capture the two of you during momentous earthly occasions. You could not see Him with your eyes, but He was there every moment in living color. Hopefully, we've each walked with Him long enough to have a few treasured photos with expressions suggesting we chose to see with the eyes of faith rather than the eyes of humanity. I can almost imagine Christ sitting around heaven with small groups of us, pulling out the photo album, pointing out a few sour expressions. Picture us covering our faces with good-humored embarrassment, turning as red as beets.

No doubt the still shot of Cleopas in Luke 24:17 is one that would spur a little good-natured, heavenly ribbing. Christ, however, didn't find it nearly so amusing this side of heaven. Note that the events surrounding Christ's crucifixion were so well publicized, Cleopas implied that Jesus must have been a visitor to be unaware of the recent happenings. He then proceeded to tell Christ...about Himself! Can you imagine being in Cleopas's sandals? Wouldn't you hope you got the facts straight?

If Christ had been a teacher grading Cleopas on his oral report, what grade do you think He would've given him? If I were doing the grading, I wouldn't have subtracted points until the "kicker" in Luke 24:21: "But we had hoped that he was the one." Picture the downcast face, the sagging posture. Listen to the tone in his voice. For a clue, see Christ's indignant response in Luke 24:25: "He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!" Cleopas seemed to be saying, "We had hoped....but He let us down."

The word of God often couples a downcast soul with feelings of hopelessness. In Greek the word for "hope" encompasses far more than wishful thinking. It means "confident expectation." Christ told His folowers what to "expect" and reminded them that a victorious ending would follow the tragic means. When Christ gives us His Word, He wants us to live in absolute expectation of it, trusting that whether it happens sooner or later, it will happen.

Cleopas and his friends had allowed the very evidence that could have ignited them with hope to make them hopeless instead. Remember now---the women had shared the testimony that Christ was alive. I realize I'm taking the next statement out of context, but I get a kick out of Cleopas's words in Luke 24:22: "In addition, some of our women amazed us." There you have it. Women are amazing. It's absolutely scriptural. Of course, amazing can mean many things. The most common colloquialism we have that matches the word for amazing is to say something has "blown our minds." I blow Keith's mind all the time---but it's not always something for me to be proud of. Sometimes he just stands there and gives me that "she's blonder than she pays to be" look.

Christ clearly showed His displeasure over the men's disbelief. He rebuked them, but He followed the rebuke with some of the most amazing moments in Scripture: "Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself" (v. 27). What I would give to hear that comprehensive dissertation! Christ began with the books of Moses, went straight through the prophets, and explained what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself. Part of heaven for me will be hearing a replay of this sermon! The entire Old Testament was written about or toward Christ. Imagine Jesus Himself explaining the hundreds of ways the Scriptures predict and prepare for His coming. I could teach on this subject for hours, and I don't know even a fraction of the ways Christ is taught in the Old Testament.

Luke's use of "explained" (v. 27) in reference to Christ's teachings means "to interpret, translate. To explain clearly and exactly." I can't wait to know exactly what some Scriptures mean. Unlike me, Christ never had to say, "I think....."or "I believe this means...." He knew. What a Bible lesson those two men heard! A lesson that would have taken forty years of wilderness wanderings for me, Christ delivered with glorious precision over a few Emmaus miles. No wonder the two men hated to part with Jesus! "Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, 'Stay with us'" (vv. 28-29).

Don't you love the part in a movie when the surprise is revealed? We have now arrived at that climactic moment. Allow me to set the stage for you. The men invited Jesus into one of their homes. A simple meal was prepared. They reclined at the table. Christ took the role as server. He broke the bread and called down divine favor through a benediction. He handed each of them a portion of the small loaf. As if the veil of the Holy of Holies was torn again before their very eyes, they recognized Him! Then He disappeared.

Talk about a photo I want to see in a heavenly album! Can you imagine those expressions? I have a feeling "downcast" wouldn't be an adequate description.

What pictures would you like to see on the walls of your mansion in glory? How do you hope you look in them?


Praying God's Word Today


Why am I so depressed and downcast? Why this turmoil within me? I will put my hope in You, Lord, for I will still praise You, my Savior and my God (Ps. 43:5). In Jesus name we pray....AMEN



Study by: Beth Moore


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"Jesus" 90 Days with the One and Only

A frightening Peace

Day 89

Before You Begin

Read

Read Luke 24:36-49

Stop and Consider


He said to them, "Peace to you!" But they were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost (vv. 36-37)

Has Jesus ever scared you? Has being in His presence ever made you feel nervous, wary, or unsettled?

When it happens, what does it tell you about Him? What does it tell you about yourself?


I have to laugh out loud from the delightful irony that Christ's greeting of peace nearly scared the disciples to death (see Luke 24:37). John 20:19 helps explain why Christ's surprise visit incited such fear. The disciples were locked in for fear of the Jews.

Luke 24:37 translates two very strong original words to describe the terror of the disciples. Suffice it to say, they could not have been more frightened. I think they would have run for their lives if they could have moved. Notice that just minutes earlier they were cheering, "It is true!" But somehow when they came face-to-face with Jesus, the sight was almost more than they could bear.

I delight in knowing our future will be somewhat similar. You and I have banked our entire Christian lives on the fact that Jesus is very much alive, yet I have a feeling when we actually behold Him, it will only be eternal life that keeps us from dropping like dead men. Christ responded to the fright of His disciples by asking, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?" The original word for "troubled" implies a sudden disturbance of all sorts of emotions.

The original word for "doubts" in Luke 24:38 is dialogismos. You see in it the word dialogue. The Greek word means "thoughts and directions" and can also mean "debate." I think the disciples' minds went on instant overload, dialoguing all sorts of debates between what their eyes suddenly saw and what their brains could not rationlize. I can almost hear Christ saying, "Boys, you don't have a mental file already prepared to stick this information in. This one won't compute intellectually. Quit trying. Just behold and believe."

Christ's willingness to continue to draw us to belief totally astounds me. At no time did He say, "You bunch of idiots! I'm sick of trying to talk you into believing me!" When the sight of Him wasn't enough, Jesus said, "Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have" (v. 39).

We have often seen His hands through constant provision and glorious intervention. We have often seen His feet as He's gone before us. Surely we have beheld the hands and feet of Christ with eyes of faith. Let us not be afraid, but only believe.


Praying God's Word Today


God of peace, may You who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus---the great Shepherd of his sheep---with the blood of the everlasting covenant, equip us with all that is good to do Your will, working in us what is pleasing in Your sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever (Heb. 13:20-21). In Jesus name we pray....AMEN


Study By: Beth Moore


Godbe4me:bow::amen::jesus-sign:
 

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"Jesus" 90 Days with the One and Only

We Beheld His Glory

Day 90 (Last Day)

Before You Begin

Read Luke 24:50-53

Stop and Consider

While He was blessing them, He left them and was carried up to heaven.
After worshiping Him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy (vv. 51-52).


Try to put yourself in that hillside. See your Lord being carried up in glory. Feel your heart beating hard, not sure what to do next. What is it like? What are you thinking?

Think back on some experiences you've had with Christ that should have been unforgettable but have somehow slipped from your memory. What do you need to remember about who He is and what He's done for you?


Luke's Gospel pen, filled by the ink of the Spirit for twenty-four glorious chapters, appropriately runs dry on a priceless scene. A small band of motley men, whose lives had been turned every which way but loose by Jesus of Nazareth, strained for their last earthly glimpse of Him.

Thirty-three years earlier, the feet of God toddled their first visible prints on earth, a young mother's footprints chasing close behind. The walk grew rough, the path strewn with stones and thorns. Now God incarnate stepped off this planet with feet scarred and bruised. As God predicted at the fall, the ancient serpent struck Christ's heel, but on the day He ascended, all things were under Christ's feet. Jesus Christ walked the way of humanity so that humanity could walked the way of God. How beautiful the feet that brought good news.

Not one of those disciples was sorry He had come their way. Their losses were incalculable. Most of their friends. Much of their family. Their jobs. The blessings of their fathers. Physical safety. And now, a leader they could see. Yet they left the Mount of Olives with great joy, continually praising God, for their ordinary lives had been interrupted by glory.

The sufferings of this world simply could not compare to the glory He had revealed to them. It sustained and swelled them long after the visible became invisible. You and I are the spiritual descendants of Peter, James, John, and all the others who offered their lives, not for what they thought or what they hoped, but for what they knew. Whom they knew. Our faith is based on fact, beloved. Never let anyone convince you otherwise.

Jesus the One and Only---the title is His forever. He was the One and Only long before He breathed a soul into humanity, and He will continue to be the One and Only long after the last soul has been judged. He is changeless. But you and I were destined for change. So determined is God to transform us, we cannot draw near Him and remain the same. May our tenure on this planet be characterized by one simple word....Jesus!

Praying God's Word Today

I praise You, Lord Jesus, for becoming flesh and taking up residence among us. We have observed Your glory, that glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from Your fullness (John 1:14, 16). So thank You for revealing yourself to me afresh through these ninety days with You. And from this day forward, may my life be an ever-increasing reflection of Your glory...In Jesus name we pray....AMEN


Study by: Beth Moore


Godbe4me:bow::bible::amen::jesus-sign:
This is the last day for this study. I thank all of you who took this 90 day journey with me. I pray that all of you were as blessed as I was during this study. I pray that you all received some enlightenment and possibly learned something about God that you did not know before taking this journey. God bless you and keep all of you.
 
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