Up, Down, and Up Again

This is the in-between time. In between the day Jesus left and the day he will return, here we are. Now in the New Testament, we learn the history of the early church. The history since then has been just as tumultuous. We don’t know the day or the hour of Jesus’ return, but we’re looking forward to it. Not because of the death and destruction, but because we’ll finally be able to see that in which we have believed, Jesus. The Bible records the day He left.

Acts 1:6-11, “6So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
9After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11″Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.””

He left so that he could, one day, come back, but he already come back from death:
Matthew 28:5-7, “5The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.””

The story of his death is well known, it’s the the greatest story ever told, not because he died, but because he was ressurected:
Matthew 27:45-50, ” 45From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46About 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?”
 47When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
48Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
50And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. “

Jesus came for this. Jesus allowed himself to be crucified for you. Even better, is this website which fully lists several reasons why Jesus came: 21 Reasons.

It couldn’t have been easy on the cross considering what Mel Gibson’s movie so passionately displayed:
Matthew 27:24-31, “24When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”
25All the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!”
26Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
27Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.”

Fourty lashes minus one. Paul tells us that he recieved that punishment five times. Let us not forget that the Romans had perfected the art of flogging. They invented crucifixion. Jesus took this punishment so we wouldn’t have to. As the lamb’s blood had caused the angel of death to pass over the Israelites doors, His blood would allow those who are covered by it to be passed over when it comes to the punishment of sin. He fulfilled both God’s law and man’s. Have you ever stolen? Jesus took fourty lashes minus one for you. Ever comitted blasphemy? Jesus took fourty lashes minus one for you. No matter what you have done, what you are doing, or whatever you will do, Jesus’ blood can forgive it all, even if you can’t forgive yourself.

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2 thoughts on “Up, Down, and Up Again

  1. I think it says in the OT “you shall not pay crimes with more than fourty lashes.” They were so concerned about overdoing it that they decided that the punishment should be fourty minus one so that they obey God and see that justice is done.

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...Anyway, that's just how I feel about it ... What do you think?

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