It's Good Friday!
I was not planning to post a special Good Friday post, but my studies this morning led me in that direction... Have a blessed day! Mark 6:4 -- "But Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.'" Compare this Scripture to Proverbs 15:33, which states, "The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, And before honor is humility." Jesus was the perfect example of One who was HUMBLE; yet He received honor everywhere except His hometown. Why? Because the people had the attitude "We know where He's from. Isn't that His mother? Aren't those His brothers? He's the son of a carpenter. Who does He think He is?" Mark 13:54-58 "And when He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, "Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?Is this not the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?" So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house." Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief." This is recorded twice in Mark, so it would seem that each time Jesus returned to his hometown, no one would take Him seriously. But would it matter if people knew His relatives? I don't think it would, for the Scriptures give enough prophecies about Jesus so that any Jew could figure it out if He knew the Scriptures. But their attitude was, "Who does He think He is, this 'holier-than-thou'? We know Him; He can't be THAT great. He says He's the Son of God -- yeah right... we know His father, Joseph." The Gospels record that He couldn't do anything there -- with the exception of curing a few sick people -- because of their unbelief. Think of what could have happened if they had simply believed! In John 4, a whole village in Samaria was saved, because of ONE woman's faith! In fact, earlier in Mark, it says, "At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. And the WHOLE CITY was gathered together at the door. Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him." (Mark 1:32-34) Jesus' hometown could have witnessed the same thing, but they chose to disbelieve and remain in their pride. It is interesting to note that Jesus still did what He could; He didn't just say, "Oh well... no one will listen to Me; let's go somewhere else." No, He went and healed those few sick who believed before going to another village. However, it seems that the obstinance of His home country only strengthened His resolve to preach the Gospel; immediately after leaving, He sent His disciples out two by two to preach the Gospel. In other words, Jesus did not let disappointing circumstances stop Him from speaking the truth. I mean, let's face it: not only did Jesus get rejected by his home town, but His own family also thought He was crazy; and the Jews wanted to kill Him -- and they did! Talk about rejection! And Jesus already knew all these things that were going to happen to Him, yet He pressed on. Philippians 2:8-11 states, "And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." So if humility comes before honor, and we know that Jesus was humble, then it would seem that giving in to the circumstances would have made Him prideful. Why? Because He would have been doing His own thing (giving up), apart from what God wanted Him to do. Remember, we talked about delighting ourselves in the Lord; Jesus is the perfect example of that. In everything that the Father wanted Him to do, He was so humble to the point that He said, "Not My will, but Yours be done." He delighted in what God took delight in. When speaking of the sacrifice of Christ, David said, "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. Then I said, "Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart." (Ps 40:6-8) Hebrews 10:5-14 clarifies it thus: "Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: 'Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, "Behold, I have come--In the volume of the book it is written of Me--To do Your will, O God."' Previously saying, 'Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them' (which are offered according to the law), then He said, 'Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.' He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified." Did God delight in seeing His only Son die on the cross? No. But He knew the end result would be to salvation for everyone who believes -- that is what He delighted in. This is the true message of Good Friday: He thought of YOU, and He delighted in YOUR redemption. He died so that we might have life more abundantly - a life free from sin; and He rose "because of our justification." (Romans 4:25) I once heard someone say that justified means "It's just (as) if I'd never sinned"; we are made clean through the redemptive blood of Christ! "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:13-14) Isaiah 59:1-8, 15b-16 "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. Their works are works of iniquity, And the act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; Wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they have not known, And there is no justice in their ways; They have made themselves crooked paths; Whoever takes that way shall not know peace.... Then the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him That there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, And wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him." Isaiah 63: 7-9, 16I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD And the praises of the LORD, According to all that the LORD has bestowed on us, And the great goodness toward the house of Israel, Which He has bestowed on them according to His mercies, According to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses. For He said, 'Surely they are My people, Children who will not lie.' So He became their Savior.In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the Angel of His Presence saved them; In His love and in His pity He redeemed them; And He bore them and carried them All the days of old.... Doubtless You are our Father, Though Abraham was ignorant of us, And Israel does not acknowledge us. You, O LORD, are our Father; Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name." I wanted to share this song with y'all... It's called "I Will Sing of My Redeemer" by Selah and Barlowgirl. Listen to the words; I found them to be quite appropriate: Hebrews 9:15 "And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance." 1 Corinthians 15: 17 "And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!"