He alone is my rock and my salvaton; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
The soul can only find true rest, hope and comfort in God. Sometimes, when the cicumstances around us seem hopelessly desperate, all there is for us, is to cling to the feet of God. The wonderful and amazing truth you discover there at His feet, is that God is all you need.
From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
Here we see both the warrior David and the shepherd David The military man is looking for a higher rock, a strong tower from which to take up a safe position. The shepherd longs to be in the shelter of God’s wings, and to dwell in his tent.
As Christians, sometimes we will find ourselves on our knees, in the height of spiritual warfare, battling it out for the souls of men. Other times, we will long for a quiet place to rest, be refreshed, and sheltered, where we find wisdom, encouragement and the grace to continue the battle. God is our Provider of both.
“Don’t be alarmed, ” he said, “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, “He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'”
The disciples never could get a grasp on Jesus rising from the dead, even when he explained it. Now, it has happened. They have seen Jesus raise others from the dead, but are onfused that He Himself has risen. This passage once again points out the kindness and compassion of our God, Who cares for every detail of our lives. He calls them home to meet Him in his resurrected body, back to Galillee, back to familiar surroundings, back where something is normal – boats, nets, fishing.
“What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. “Crucify him!” they shouted. “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Perfectly innocent – Pilate knew it, but he tortured Jesus to death anyway. This had been the law of sacrifice from the beginning: a perfect, innocent lamb was sacrificed for sin. So it was with Jesus -perfect, sinless, LAMB OF GOD, sarificed for the sin of mankind.
vs. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ” Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” – which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Six hours on the cross of torture after 24 hours of abuse, beatings, sleep deprivation, starvation and dehydration. He died for me; He died for you, so that we might LIVE – here and in eternity. Never forget.
Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him; “We heard him say, ‘ I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man.'” Yet even then their testimony did not agree. Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus ” Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing aginst you?” But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus.
When they spoke falsely against Him, He did ot respond , but when they asked Him a question based on truth, He answered with truth.
What a practical life lesson this is for us. If we are falsely accused, don’t respond at all. Responding can often sound like defensiveness, which an make you look guilty. Listen for truth, and respond to it only, and then only with a truthful answer.
” Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come, . Its like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task and tells the one at the door to keep watch.”
We have been left to watch what belongs to God – the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the preservation of the Christian faith, reaching the lost and discipling the Christian believer. This is amazing to me. WE are asked to guard such a treasure until the owner returns. Truly, we are His ambassadors.
When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
Upon study, I discovered the kingdom of God reference appears to be different from the kingdom of heaven references. The kingdom of God verses that I looked up all pointed to the attitude of the heart. The kingdom of God is not material, it is not visible. The kingdom of God is Jesus being the King and authority in our lives. When Jesus tells this teacher of the law that he is not far from the kingdom of God, he is telling him that he is very near to giving up the letter of the law and man’s traditions and surrendering his heart, his spiritual life, his thought processes, to God.
And he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?”The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
Jesus rebuked them in front of the people. They were afraid to lose their honor and position among the people, so they plotted to kill him.
When someone comes to us to correct us or reprove us, do we rebel, try to cut them down behind their back, or undermine their authority? Or do we take what is said, respectfully, go to God and ask Him for help and wisdom to address what has been pointed out to us. Our natural inclination is to be defensive. Yield the defensiveness to Christ, seek His wisdom, follow His instructions.