Friends — We will be sending out the three-week daily email devotional “Knowing Him” beginning March 18 and going through Easter Day (April 8). These twenty-two readings are like the sample below.
If you’d like to receive them, just click HERE. (If you get the message “Update Your The Brook Network Profile,” just follow the steps it indicates.)
NOTE: You have permission to copy and post these readings on your own blog, send them to your own email list, or whatever. Free and open access. Pastors– use them for your church. Bloggers– use some or all 22 of them for your site. Bible study leaders– send them to your group. Use some or all in whatever way you want, with attribution to www.thebrooknetwork.org, please.
(sample: Day 20 of Knowing Him: An Easter Devotional)
They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. (Matthew 27:33-37)
Now came time for the clash between good and evil, heaven and hell. The crucifixion of Jesus is both the most horrific moment in human history and humanity’s only hope. That’s why we call the Friday before Easter Good Friday.
Jesus’ followers were still too weak to understand and so they scattered. The religious elite played out their plot; the political leaders passed the buck and in the end discarded Jesus for the sake of convenience. The crowds gawked. Two thieves hung on either side of a man whose crime was hard to comprehend. The placard above his head announcing with biting sarcasm “King of the Jews,” must have attracted some attention.
We know of seven things Jesus said from that cross including a pronouncement of forgiveness for soldiers, provision for the care of his mother, a plea for something to wet his parched mouth. But the last words on that last day of his natural human life were the most important: “It is finished!”
That was not a cry of resignation, not capitulation or surrender. It was the shout of victory that all that God—Father, Son, and Spirit—had planned for the restoration of sinful human beings was accomplished. Now there could be justification! Redemption! Reconciliation! All that needed to be done for the debt and scar of sin had been done. Now forgiveness was free. All that remained was for Jesus to step out from the shadow of death, which he would easily do after a couple of days. But first, disciples had time to search their hearts for how something good could be seen in something so bad, while the enemies of God disappeared into the darkness of their own duplicity.
Ponder This: How does the crucifixion of Jesus most powerfully impact you?