Good Friday

Jesus fell with his face to the ground and prayed:-
 
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will but as you will.”
 
(Matthew 26: 39)
 
And in John 19: 28-30 we read:-
 
28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
 
29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.
 
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
 
Thank you, dear Jesus, for having the courage and strength to suffer all the pain and humiliation of being crucified upon the Cross at Calvary so that all our sins may be forgiven and so that we may enjoy eternal life in your Kingdom.
 
Amen
Good Friday
With many peaceful blessings
Geoffrey
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The Last 7 Sayings that Jesus said on the Cross

These are the last seven sayings that Jesus said on the cross.
 
Sometimes they are referred to as the “Seven Words.” There’s also a bit of a debate on the exact order of the sayings, but the following is a complete list with a plausible order.
 
Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
 
Luke 23:43, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
 
John 19:26-27, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!”
 
Matt. 27:46, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”
 
John 19:28, “I am thirsty.”
 
John 19:30, “It is finished!”
 
Luke 23:46, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.”
With many heartfelt blessings
Geoffrey

A Dangerous Day for Jesus

Now that we are approaching Easter – and all that that means to Christians throughout the world – I would strongly recommend that if you have a kindle you download a copy of the wonderfully inspirational book ‘In The Shadows of Victory:- Ride the Rollercoaster of Holy Week’ by Deacon Becky Lovatt.

Becky has created an interactive book, featuring stories from the viewpoint of many of the people that in some ways were involved in the last few days of Jesus’ journey towards the Cross.

For further information and to download this marvellous book for only £1.99 please go to:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00L9UYDKS/

To wet your appetite so to speak this is the first chapter:-

Dangerous Day 

We now begin the journey, remembering that already we stand with Jesus Christ our Saviour in the shadow of the cross, remembering that for him, it was a very dangerous day.

Jesus knew exactly what he was doing mounting the donkey at Bethpage, as this was where the priests had calculated the city limits. For Jesus to mount here was a statement that spoke volumes to all that were there. It was, in effect, as if He was shouting from the rooftops that He was the Messiah.

Now, position yourself at the side of the road, having first run and chopped down a palm branch that you are waving frantically.

Picture if you can the Roman army standing there, thousands of them, making it very clear that you are part of an occupied people. Look up at the temple on the hill, and look beyond it. There overshadowing the holy place is the fist shaped Roman fortress. Built purposely taller than the temple just to remind you who was in charge.

Listen to the crowd hailing him as their King. But He does not come on a war horse, only a humble donkey. And He does not come with swords and clubs; He is armed only with God’s words of peace and love.

Wave your branches, as they are the national symbol of your people. Wave them at the coming Messiah, showing your defiance to the Romans, believing that this Jesus would send them packing once and for all.

Jesus knew that for Him, it was a very dangerous day.

Picture the children laughing and playing around your feet. In your fear, you push them forward. Somehow this fear is always lurking beneath your joy; your fear of the Roman soldiers and the power they hold over you.

The children – they are young, surely these soldiers wouldn’t launch an attack against them, no matter how unruly the crowd become. Push them forward, put them between you and the soldiers, not because you do not love your children, but because you fear for your own safety.

Jesus knew that for Him, it was a very dangerous day.

Sing your hosannas, not just a song of happiness, but also a song of rebellion, a song that speaks of freedom, and of victory over your enemies. Stand tall in the face of those who persecute you. Hold firm, ready to take up arms and fight, ready to rally around this new king and take back, by force if you have to, your land, and your home.

Jesus knew that for Him, it was a very dangerous day.

A very happy Good Friday to you all

May our Father God bless you mightily on this very special day

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

In Bethlehem A Child Is Born

While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to deliver her child.

And she gave birth to her first born son and wrapped him in bands of cloth and laid him in  a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

As the palace and inn have no room for Christ, and as the places of public resort have none, have you room for Christ? “Well”, one says, “I have room for him, but I am not worthy that he should come to me.” Ah! I did not ask about worthiness; but have you room for him?

(Charles Haddon Spurgeon: 1834-1892)

How many of us can truthfully say that we have room for Christ in our often frenetically busy lives?

Even on the Sabbath day more and more people prefer to go shopping or watching football instead of praising and worshipping our Father God in church!

And, sadly, many people who do attend church regularly do not read their Bible (always assuming that they actually own one) from one Sunday until the next.

Too often, living as we do in our own personal comfort zones, we forget that Jesus died on the cross at Calvary to save our sins.

Will you join me in making room for Christ this Christmastide?

Let him not have died in vain!

With many heartfelt blessings

Geoffrey

 

 

 

It Was The Last Thing I Could Do For Him – the Voice of Mary Magdalene

I didn’t know what to do!!!

I didn’t know which way to turn.

My world had been completely twisted upside down and inside out. And it was not my world.

Everyone was affected and changed.

Everyone that was there, everyone that heard, and everyone that engaged: second and third hand after that.

It was the weekend that changed the world forever. Let me tell you about it.

It was dark and cold, my eyes were sore from crying and grief was the only emotion I understood. The weekend had been blacker than black and every flicker of hope had been destroyed.

We had held Him in such esteem, we had believed that He was the one. We had walked with Him, listened to Him, heard His stories and witnessed the miracles. We had caught a glimpse of the New Jerusalem that He had told us about, but then it was all gone.

He was arrested, and tried in some mock court.

Beaten, and ridiculed and led out to die a criminal’s death.

He was alone, betrayed, denied and deserted by his friends. Only the women folk looked on, unable to speak out, unable to stand.

Then came the Sabbath – nothing could be done then.

But the morning came, and, as it was the last thing I could do for Him, I gladly did it. I gathered herbs and spices and some of the other women and while it was still dark we journeyed to His tomb to anoint His body.

We didn’t think ahead: what would we say to the guards on duty? How would we move the stone away? We would cross that bridge when we came to it, we thought.

But when we got there;

There was no bridge to cross, there were no guards, no stone, nothing. There was not even a body. Just some folded grave clothes and a shining light.

“He’s not here – He has risen,” we were told. But what did that mean?

We ran to get Peter and the others to explain that someone had stolen the body of our Lord.

Two came running, Peter and John to see that everything was just as we had said. They went away dismayed, but I lingered; I could not tear my- self away.

Suddenly a memory stirred in my mind. A light of revelation sparked.

A gardener stood by, a gardener that called me by name. And then my vision cleared, I understood, I was speaking with my Lord.

I fell at His feet and clung to Him. He was alive – just as He had said He would be and I didn’t want to lose Him again.

“Don’t stay, don’t cling, go and tell!” He told me.

He sent me out. What was I to do? Stay silent or stand up, speak out and change the world around me, as He had changed mine?

It was the last thing I could do for Him!!!

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

 

A Mother’s Cry – The Voice of Mary

I listened, but only because I had no choice. I heard, but only because I needed to.

I watched, but only because He was my son, and I winced and I crumbled inside, because of what they did to Him.

He was and is my son, He always will be. I held Him, cared for Him, and comforted Him when He cried.

Now, I could do nothing. Now I felt helpless and useless. I hid my eyes, but I could not hide my tears, as they flogged Him, mocked Him, and drove Him out of the city with a cross upon His back.

I followed, close enough, but not too close, in love and pain.  As I did so, I began to remember his birth, the presents from the strangers, and the man in the temple. He told me my heart would break, and now it was breaking, with every step He took to His death.

I looked on in horror as they pushed Him to the ground, stripped Him of his clothes, and nailed Him to the wooden cross.

I could hardly breathe as they lifted it skyward, and jerked it into place.

I felt His pain, almost as if it were my own, and in some strange way it was.

The crowd was full of anger; they who only days before had hailed Him as their king now laughed and ridiculed Him.

The priests ordered Him to save himself. The Romans rolled dice for His clothes, and His friends – they had deserted Him long before.

Only I stood watching, near enough to hear Him cry:

“Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.”

I saw and felt His agony. The nails in His hands and feet, the crown of thorns upon his head, but more that that, the moment of separation from His Father’s side.

I watched the sky turn black, and heard the temple curtain rip, as He uttered:  “It is finished!”

I cried every tear I had left to cry, a mother’s heart broken in two, and the hope of the nation dashed. They dragged me away; nothing left to see, just my son’s broken body, hanging on the tree.

(Deacon Becky Lovatt)

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With many Profound blessings for this Eastertide,

God Bless each and every one of you

Geoffrey

 

It Wasn’t Me!

It wasn’t me who betrayed Him, surely that was Judas, with his hands firmly in the till, without a care for anyone but himself.

It wasn’t me who denied Him, surely that was Peter, so worried that he too may end up dead.

It wasn’t me who shouted “Crucify” – surely that was the crowd, with fickle minds, who are far too easily led.

It wasn’t me who washed my hands, surely that was Pilate, too afraid to stand up, and upset the authorities.

It wasn’t me who flogged Him, or drove the nails home, surely that was the soldiers, under orders, unable to disobey.

It wasn’t me that mocked and jeered, surely that was the priests, concerned about their own identity, and their own lives.

And it wasn’t me who left Him dying alone, surely that was His friends, who ran in fear.

However, today on this Good Friday, over 2000 years on, I look and see that Jesus is crucified again. And as I look more closely, I see the part I play, hear the words “Forgive them,” and know that they are for me.

It is me who betrays Him, each time I turn away, and hurt a fellow human with the things I do or say.

It is me who denies Him, each time I do not stand and fight against injustice, or lend a helping hand.

It is me who shouts out “Crucify”, for I’m of fickle mind; it’s easier to run with the crowd, and leave the cross behind.

It is me who washes my hands, and in doing so, I wash away the guilt. I refuse to see this Jesus, and the New World He has built.

It is me who flogs and nails him upon the wooden tree, but how quick I am to forget that He died to set me free.

It is me who mocks and jeers, as if I didn’t care, but after all He’s done for me, what makes me think I dare?

It is me who leaves Him dying, out in the cold and rain. I begin to see more clearly now that I have caused His pain.

So  Jesus  is  my  Saviour,  who  I  see  now  that  I’ve  killed,  but  with resurrection glory, my life will soon be filled.

(Deacon Becky Lovatt)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey