Immanuel Voices
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April 19, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Holy Week 2019--Good Friday


Good Friday

 

Matthew 27:45-54

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

 

Thought for Today

Today marks the most tragic event in human history. On this day we committed two crimes in one horrific action. We executed the only perfect man who ever lived because we were jealous of His holiness and we creatures put to death our Creator because we coveted His position. As Jesus hangs dying on the cross the whole of creation mourns. Matthew records that the sky grew dark and the earth shook violently. Did you know that the Bible is not the only place this is recorded? In 52 AD, just 19 years late, a historian named Thallus wrote, “On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness, and rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. (cited by Julius Africanus).” And Greek historian Phlegon wrote, “In the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad (i.e., AD 33) there was ‘the greatest eclipse of the sun’ and that ‘it became night in the sixth hour of the day [i.e., noon] so that stars even appeared in the heavens. There was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things were overturned in Nicaea.” Interestingly, he notes that it was impossible for an eclipse to have happened because the phase of the moon was all wrong, and yet, inexplicably it did. Perhaps the most tragic thing in all of Good Friday is that some people actually rejoiced. The chief priests and Pharisees mocked and ridiculed Him. Others mourned for Him and cried out at the obvious injustice. Today, we live with this bitter-sweet tension. We mourn for what our sin has wrought, and we rejoice that He went willingly on our behalf. The horror of the consequence of sin and beauty of the love God come together in one historic moment. Take some time today to ponder this mystery anew.

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I honor You for Your sacrifice for me today. The depth and breadth of Your love are overwhelming. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

I am wholly deserving of all the consequences that I will in fact never receive simply because God unashamedly stepped in front of me on the cross, unflinchingly spread His arms so as to completely shield me from the retribution that was mine to bear, and repeatedly took the blows. And I stand entirely unwounded, utterly lost in the fact that the while His body was pummeled and bloodied to death by that which was meant for me and me alone, I have not a scratch. ― Craig D. Lounsbrough

 

Quote of the Day

Death may be the King of terrors... but Jesus is the King of kings! — Dwight L. Moody

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April 18, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Holy Week 2019--Akathrato Pedis Thursday


Akathrato Pedis Thursday

Maundy Thursday

 

John 13:3-5, 12-17

Jesus. . . rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

 

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, 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 to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

 

Thought for Today

From ancient times Maundy Thursday has been known as Akathrato Pedis Thursday, if by ancient times you mean yesterday afternoon when I coined the term J. Akathrato Pedis is classical Greek for “dirty feet.” While Lutherans focus in on Jesus institution of Holy Communion, much of Christendom focuses on Jesus first act in the upper room. As Jesus prepared to preside over the Passover meal with His disciples, He discovered that they were unprepared for this sacred event. They were all dressed appropriately and seated in the right places, but there had been no servant provided by the banquet hall to wash their feet before they ate. This was important because the table was designed for those feasting to lie on their left side and eat with their right hand, thus literally reclining at the table with your feet behind the head of the person to your right. Foot washing is an unpleasant task, which is why we don’t practice it at church very often today. It was the job for the lowest person present take up the basin and the towel and wash everyone else’s feet. Unsurprisingly, none of the disciples wanted to be considered least, so they all pretended not to notice that their feet hadn’t been washed. Jesus understood that, more than a hygiene problem, this was a heart problem. He had spent three years modeling and teaching what love looked like. “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve,” (Matthew 20:28). He wants us to love each other the same way. We are a people who are quick to demand our rights and our way. We pretend to be humble when it is convenient, but when troubles come we have been taught to stand up for ourselves. Jesus, on the other hand, got up from the table, picked up the basin and towel and washed His disciples’ feet. He was literally the last person at the banquet who should have done that job. But Jesus took the opportunity to model servanthood to His friends. To whom should you be modeling servanthood? Where are you demanding your rights or your way when you should be giving them up out of love for someone else? It is not natural and takes a great deal of effort and practice. However, we are not greater than our Master, and if Jesus gave up all of His rights for us, we should do the same for others.

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, help me to follow You by applying the most difficult lesson You taught, to set aside my rights for the good of another. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on thing and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you. ― C.S. Lewis

 

Quote of the Day

True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. ― Rick Warren



Comments

04-18-2019 at 10:03 PM
Karen
I especially like that quote by Rick Warren. Holy Spirit-give me a servant's heart. Amen.
04-18-2019 at 8:12 AM
Becky
Wonderful thoughts and similarly moving Chapel service this morning. Thank you for adding these things to your crazy busy week so that we are able to begin our days in the right frame of mind. Such a Blessing.
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April 17, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Holy Week 2019--Spy Wednesday


Spy Wednesday

 

Matthew 26:14-16

Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.

 

Thought for Today

Wednesday of Holy Week has long been known as Spy Wednesday because today is the day when Judas sought out Jesus’ enemies and offered to betray Him. This is a nearly inconceivable turn of events for those of us looking on from afar. How could one of Jesus’ band of brothers betray Him? How could Judas offer to act as a spy for the high priest? Don’t underestimate the power of greed and the ability of the human mind to justify our behavior. The disciples all suspected that Judas helped himself to their collective money from time to time (John 12:6). And he had just witnessed what he considered to be the incredible waste of resources as Mary poured perfume worth about $50,000 in today’s dollars on Jesus’ feet (Matt. 26:10. Why shouldn’t he seek a little gain for himself? After all, couldn’t he make better use of the money than Jesus did? He had also seen, on several occasions, that Jesus’ enemies’ were utter incapable of capturing Him. Why not capitalize on the situation. The high priest was offering a large sum of money for information leading to the arrest of Jesus and He knew entire itinerary for the week. It seemed like a win-win. Judas could make some money, maybe even with the intent to take care of the poor, and when they tried to grab Jesus He would slip away like He always did. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out the way Judas expected. Within the story of Judas is a strong word of caution lest we become too cleaver for our own good as well. For, there but by the grace of God go each of us.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, You know my weaknesses. Defend me from the evil one and my own sinful nature, that I am honor You with my whole life. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

For you will certainly carry out God's purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John. ― C.S. Lewis,

 

Quote of the Day

We are no longer happy so soon as we wish to be happier. — Walter Savage Landor



Comments

04-18-2019 at 10:49 AM
Pastor Eric
Julaine. Many commentators believe that based on the fact that the two sisters live with their brother, which means they were not married and there appear to be no parents in the home large enough to house and feed Jesus' entourage, indicates that Lazarus was the oldest son and heir of a substantial fortune. This is further corroborated by the fact that Mary was in possession of extravagantly expense perfumes that she did not think twice to pour out on Jesus.
04-17-2019 at 9:30 PM
Julaine Kammrath
Where would Mary get $50,000? Could the perfume have been an heirloom??
04-17-2019 at 8:49 AM
Erica Ciro
A very powerful reminder that we are all vulnerable to Satan’s schemes to betray Jesus with our words, actions and thoughts. Dear Heavenly Father, Help ius to “watch and pray lest we fall into temptation.” In Jesus’ name, Amen!
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