Gracious God!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 10/21/2021

32 Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution.

33 When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left.

34-35 Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.”

Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God—ha! The Chosen—ha!”

36-37 The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it. They toasted him with sour wine: “So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!”

-Luke 23:32-37 The Message

Verse 32: Now, two others, who were criminals, were also being led away to death with Him.

The Crucifixion

Verse 33: And when they came to the place called The Skull, they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.

Verses 32-33 studies: The skull is another name for Golgotha. It was probably located somewhere outside on a hill in Jerusalem along the main road. The Romans executed people publicly as examples to the people. So when James and John asked Jesus for the place of honor next to him in his kingdom, he told them they didn’t know what they were asking (Mark 10:35-39). Jesus was preparing to inaugurate his kingdom through his death; places on the left and right of him were taken by criminals who were dying. So when a person wants to be close to Jesus, you have to be prepared to suffer and die. The way to the kingdom is the way to the cross.

Verse 34: But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”] And they cast lots, dividing His garments among themselves.

Verse 35: And the people stood by, watching. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”

Verse 36: The soldiers also ridiculed Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine,

Verse 37: and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”

Verse 34 study: The Roman soldiers divided up the clothing of executed criminals among themselves. When they cast lots for Jesus’ clothes, they fulfilled the prophecy in Psalm 22:18. Jesus asked God to forgive those who put him to death; the Jewish leaders, Roman politicians, soldiers and bystanders. God answered the prayer by opening up the way of salvation to Jesus’ murderers. The Roman centurion and soldiers who witnessed the crucifixion said, “Truly this was the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54). After that, many priests were converted to the Christian faith (Acts 6:7). Because we are sinners, we do play a role in putting Jesus to death. The good news? God is gracious! He forgives and gives us new life through his Son.

Father, we tend to hold grudges when someone hurts us. With the crucifixion in the works, Jesus asked God to forgive those that put him to death. Now everybody has access to salvation and new life through your Son. Let us forgive those that hurt us, swallow our pride. Let this serve as a reminder of Jesus’ example of how to handle those who hurt us. In Jesus’ name. Amen!`

Weeping With Tears

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 10/20/2021

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

23-25 But they kept at it, a shouting mob, demanding that he be crucified. And finally, they shouted him down. Finally, Pilate caved in and gave them what they wanted. He released the man thrown in prison for rioting and murder and gave them Jesus to do whatever they wanted.

Skull Hill

26-31 As they led him off, they made Simon, a man from Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside, carry the cross behind Jesus. A massive crowd of people followed, along with women weeping and carrying on. At one point, Jesus turned to the women and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children. The time is coming when they’ll say, ‘Lucky the women who never conceived! Lucky the wombs that never gave birth! Lucky the breasts that never gave milk!’ Then they’ll start calling to the mountains, ‘Fall down on us!’ calling to the hills, ‘Cover us up!’ If people do these things to a live, green tree, can you imagine what they’ll do with deadwood?”

-Luke 23:23-31 The Message

Verse 23: But they were insistent, with loud voices, demanding that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail.

Verse 24: And so Pilate decided to have their demand carried out.

Verses 23-24 studies: Pilate didn’t want to give Jesus the death penalty. He thought the Jewish leaders were jealous men that wanted to get rid of a rival. The crowd threatened to report Pilate to Caesar (John 19:12), Pilate became afraid. Past records showed that Pilate was already warned by Roman authorities about the tensions in his region. He did not need a riot added to that in Jerusalem before the Passover time. The city was crowded with Jews from all over the empire. So Pilate decided to turn over Jesus to the mob to do as they pleased.

Verse 25: And he released the man for whom they were asking, who had been thrown into prison for a revolt and murder; but he handed Jesus over to their will.

Simon Carries the Cross

Verse 26: And when they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, as he was coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.

Verse 27: Now following Him was a large crowd of the people and women who were mourning and grieving for Him.

Verse 28: But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.

Verse 29: For behold, days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are those who cannot bear, and the wombs that have not given birth, and the breasts that have not nursed.’

Verse 27-29 studies: Luke mentions the tears of the Jewish women while Jesus was being led through the streets to his execution. Jesus told them not to weep for him but for themselves. He knew the temple and Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Romans 40 years later.

Verse 30: Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’

Verse 31: For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Verse 31 study: Some people feel this proverb is interpreted to if the innocent Jesus (green tree) suffered at the hands of the Romans, what would happen to the guilty Jews (dry tree)? This is why this proverb is a little difficult to translate.

Father, the question I have is, do enough people empathize with what happened to Jesus like the Jewish women did? These women showed tears, but not everybody showed tears and had different ways of showing emotions. Let us show emotions when it is time, grief, anger for the things we know that happened that shouldn’t have. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Broken Holy Laws

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 10/19/2021 8:00am

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

18-20 At that, the crowd went wild: “Kill him! Give us Barabbas!” (Barabbas had been thrown in prison for starting a riot in the city and for murder.) However, Pilate still wanted to let Jesus go and so spoke out again.

21 But they kept shouting back, “Crucify! Crucify him!”

22 He tried a third time. “But for what crime? I’ve found nothing in him deserving death. So I’m going to warn him to watch his step and let him go.”

-Luke 23:17-22 The Message

Verse 17: Now, he was obligated to release to them at the feast one prisoner.

Verse 18: But they cried out all together, saying, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas!”

Verse 19: (He had been thrown into prison for a revolt that took place in the city and for murder.)

Verses 18-19 studies: Barabbas has always been a part of the rebellion against the Roman government (Mark 15:7). He was a hero among some Jews, although he was a political agitator. Isn’t it ironic Barabbas was released on the same crime Jesus was accused of (23:14)? So, who is Barabbas? Jewish names had names that would identify them with their fathers. Let’s use Simon Peter, for example; he is called Simon Barjona (Matthew 16:17), meaning the son of Jonah. Barabbas was never identified by his given name, as his name doesn’t help either – bar-abbas means “son of Abba” or son of daddy. He could have been anybody’s son, which is the point. Barabbas is a son of an unnamed father that committed a crime. Because Jesus died in his place, he was set free. We are sinners as well and criminals who have broken God’s holy law. We deserve to die just like Barabbas, but Jesus died in our place for our sins, and we are set free. We don’t have to be essential people to accept our freedom in Christ. Thanks to Jesus, we all have been taken and adopted as sons and daughters and given the right to call him Abba – “daddy” (Galatians 4:4-6).

Verse 20: But Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again,

Verse 21: but they kept on crying out, saying, “Crucify, crucify Him!”

Verse 22: And he said to them a third time, “Why, what has this man done wrong? I have found in His case no grounds for a sentence of death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him.”

Verse 22 study: When Pilate said he can have Jesus punished, it is referred to as having him killed. The usual procedure was to bare the upper half of the victim’s body and his hands to the pillar before whipping him with a three-prong whip. The lashes depended on the severity of the crime, which can be up to 40 under Jewish law. Matthew and Mark recorded other horrors Jesus endured. Some of them are slapped, punched by fists, and mocked. Next, a crown of thorns was placed on his head. Finally, he was beaten with a stick and stripped before being hung on the cross.

Father, there is a lot of criminal things going on in the world. Down to politicians, down to us. In the Bible, the Politicians are talked about a lot as being corrupt. Followers who follow Jesus, we have broken holy laws. Let us pray on this, meditate on it, and get back on track with correcting our broken ways. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Denial To This Day!

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 10/18/2021 8:00am

Monday, October 18, 2021

13-16 Then Pilate called in the high priests, rulers, and the others and said, “You brought this man to me as a disturber of the peace. I examined him in front of all of you and found there was nothing to your charge. And neither did Herod, for he has sent him back here with a clean bill of health. It’s clear that he’s done nothing wrong, let alone anything deserving death. So I’m going to warn him to watch his step and let him go.”

-Luke 23:13-16 The Message

Pilate Seeks Jesus’ Release

Verse 13: Now Pilate summoned to himself the chief priests, the rulers, and the people,

Verse 14: and he said to them, “You brought this man to me on the ground that he is inciting the people to revolt; and behold, after examining Him before you, I have found no basis at all in the case of this man for the charges which you are bringing against Him.

Verse 15: No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him.

Verse 16: Therefore I will punish Him and release Him.”

Verse 15 study: Jesus was tried by the Jewish and Roman authorities six times but was never convicted of a crime deserving death. When he was condemned to execution, he was convicted of no felony. To this day, no one can find fault with Jesus. But people like Pilate, Herod, and religious leaders refuse to acknowledge him as Lord.

Verses 13-25 studies: Pilate sentenced Jesus to death. Although he wanted to release Jesus, he listened to the crowd that demanded him to condemn Jesus to death. He didn’t want to lose his position, which was already shaky because he allowed a riot to happen in his province. Throughout his political career, he understood the importance of compromise. He saw that Jesus was more of a political threat than a human being with rights and dignity. When peer pressure is up, it is the hardest thing to do for many people to stand up for what is right, and easy to see opponents’ problems to be solved than to be respected. If Pilate had been courageous, he would have done what was right, releasing Jesus no matter the consequences. Instead, the crowd roared, Pilate cracker under pressure. Many people are like Pilate, knowing what is right but not making the right decisions. When you have tough choices, don’t discount the effects of peer pressure. Remember that the right decisions will have unpleasant consequences. Social rejection, career derailment, and public ridicule. Think of Pilate and stand up for what is right no matter what other pressure people try to make you do. Uncrack the pressure.

To this day, no one can find fault with Jesus. But, father, I pray that people will not crack under the pressure of conversations such as someone saying false things about Jesus. Let us learn from Pilate and be better than the peer pressure, the pressure of other things, and not doing what is right. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Herod

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 10/17/2021 8:00am

Sunday, October 17, 2021

6-7 When Pilate heard that, he asked, “So, he’s a Galilean?” Realizing that he properly came under Herod’s jurisdiction, he passed the buck to Herod, who just happened to be in Jerusalem for a few days.

8-10 Herod was delighted when Jesus showed up. He had wanted for a long time to see him; he’d heard so much about him. He hoped to see him do something spectacular. So he peppered him with questions. Jesus didn’t answer—not one word. But the high priests and religion scholars were right there, saying their piece, strident and shrill in their accusations.

11-12 Mightily offended, Herod turned on Jesus. His soldiers joined in, taunting and jeering. Then they dressed him up in an elaborate king costume and sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became thick as thieves. But, always before, they had kept their distance.

-Luke 23:6-12 The Message

Verse 6: Now, when Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean.

Verse 7: And when he learned that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, since he also was in Jerusalem at this time.

Verse 7 study: Herod, called Herod Antipas, was in Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. Note that this is the same Herod who killed John the Baptist. Pilate wanted to pass Jesus off to Herod because he knew that Jesus lived and worked in Galilee. But Herold wasn’t much help. Herold was curious about Jesus and made fun of Jesus. Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate with the verdict of “not guilty.”

Jesus before Herod

Verse 8: Now Herod was overjoyed when he saw Jesus, for he had wanted to see Him for a long time because he had been hearing about Him and was hoping to see some sign performed by Him.

Verse 9: And he questioned Him at some length, but He offered him no answer at all.

Verse 10: Now the chief priests and the scribes stood there, vehemently charging Him.

Verse 11: And Herod, together with his soldiers, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, dressing Him in a brightly shining robe, and sent Him back to Pilate.

Verse 12: And so Herod and Pilate became friends with one another that very day, for previously, they had been enemies toward each other.

Verse 12 study: Herod was part Jewish ruler of Galilee and Perea. Galilee, Perea, Judea, and Samaria, these four provinces together with a few others, were united under Herod the Great. Herod died in 4 B.C. And when he died, the kingdom was divided among his sons, called “tetrarch.” The name means ruler of the fourth part of a region. Archelaus was removed from office within ten years, and his provinces were ruled by a succession of Roman governors, of which Pilate was the fifth. Archelaus is the son that received Judea and Samaria. Herold Antipas had two advantages over Pilate. He came from a hereditary which is part Jewish monarchy, and he held his position much longer. Pilate had two advantages over Herod. He was a Roman citizen and envoy of the emperor, and his position was created to replace Herod’s ineffective half-brother. It is not surprising they were uneasy around each other. Jesus’ trial brought the two together. Pilate understood Herod’s authority over Galilee, Herod stopped feeling threatened by a Roman politician. Neither one of them knew what to do in this situation, so the common problem united them.

Father, thank you for giving us life. Today, I just want to thank you. We, as a group, are continuing to study Jesus and his crucifixion. Thank you to the followers who sit down and read this and take your word at heart. Thank you. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Lean on God

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 10/17/2021 8:00 am

Sunday, October 17, 2021

The book of Luke, chapter 23, is the last to read and study Jesus’ crucifixion. We started in the book of John and stopped at chapter 19. Then went to the book of Mark, chapter 15, and now we are in the book of Luke, chapter 23. After we study the last of Jesus’ crucifixion, we will finish up the rest of the book of John, continuing to study about Jesus and his love for everyone. We will then go into the book of Hebrews chapter 9 to learn about the veil after Jesus died. Feel free to follow along or take a head start and study yourself.

Pilate

23 1-2 Then they all took Jesus to Pilate and began to bring up charges against him. They said, “We found this man undermining our law and order, forbidding taxes to be paid to Caesar, setting himself up as Messiah-King.”

3 Pilate asked him, “Is this true that you’re ‘King of the Jews’?”

“Those are your words, not mine,” Jesus replied.

4 Pilate told the high priests and the accompanying crowd, “I find nothing wrong here. He seems harmless enough to me.”

5 But they were vehement. “He’s stirring up unrest among the people with his teaching, disturbing the peace everywhere, starting in Galilee and now all through Judea. He’s a dangerous man, endangering the peace.”

-Luke 23:1-5 The Message

Jesus before Pilate

23 Verse 1: Then, the entire assembly of them set out and brought Him before Pilate.

Verse 2: And they began to bring charges against Him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.”

Verse 3: Now Pilate asked Him, saying, “So You are the King of the Jews?” And He answered him and said, “It is as you say.”

Verse 4: But Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no grounds for charges in the case of this man.”

Verse 5: But they kept on insisting, saying, “He is stirring up the people, teaching all over Judea, starting from Galilee, as far as this place!”

Verse 1 study: Pilate is the Roman governor of Judea. He likes to harass the Jews. In one instance, Pilate took money from the temple treasure and used the money to build an aqueduct. In another example, he assaulted the Jewish religion by bringing imperial images into the city. Pilate knew it could backfire on him. If the people were to report Pilate, meaning makes a formal complaint against his administration, Rome might remove him from his post. Pilate felt insecure enough in his position when the Jewish leaders brought Jesus to trial. The question is will he give in to the demands to condemn Jesus? Or would he badger with the Jews and risk his political future? These are the questions facing Pilate on that spring day Friday morning nearly 2,000 years ago.

Father, as we continue to study Jesus’ crucifixion, right at the beginning, we see the peer pressure that Pilate face. The right thing or the wrong thing to do. Pilate didn’t want to put his political future at risk all because of the pressure of losing his job. I pray that we can do the right thing and lean on you when we can’t make the right decision. It is hard enough in this world to make our own decisions, why can’t we lean on you? Let us go into the discipline of letting you make the decisions. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

The Right Thing

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 10/16/2021 8:00am

Saturday, October 16, 2021

42-45 Late in the afternoon, since it was the Day of Preparation (that is, Sabbath eve), Joseph of Arimathea, a highly respected member of the Jewish Council, came. He lived expectantly, on the lookout for the kingdom of God. Working up his courage, he went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate questioned whether he could be dead that soon and called for the captain to verify that he was really dead. Assured by the captain, he gave Joseph the corpse.

46-47 Having already purchased a linen shroud, Joseph took him down, wrapped him in the shroud, placed him in a tomb that had been cut into the rock, and rolled a large stone across the opening. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses, watched the burial.

-Mark 15:42-47 The Message

Jesus Is Buried

Verse 42: When evening had already come, since it was the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath,

Verse 43: Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself also waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.

Verse 42 study: It was against the Jewish law to do physical work or travel on the Sabbath. The Sabbath started at sundown on Friday, ended at sundown on Saturday. Jesus died a few hours before sundown on Friday. It was against Jewish law to let a dead body be exposed overnight (Deuteronomy 21:23). Joseph came to bury Jesus’ body before the Sabbath began. If Jesus had died on the Sabbath when Joseph wasn’t there, the Romans would have taken his body down. If the Romans did take the body, no Jews would have confirmed his death, and the opposition could have disputed his resurrection.

Verses 42-43 studies: After Jesus’s death, Joseph of Arimathea asked for his body and sealed it in a new tomb. Joseph was an honored member of the Jewish Council; Joseph secretly followed Jesus as a disciple. Not all the Jewish leaders hated Jesus. Joseph took account of his risk and reputation to give a proper burial to his Lord. It’s scary, but Joseph took the risk and did what was right. If your Christian witness endangers your reputation, remember Joseph. As of today, he is remembered with admiration in the Christian Church. Can you name other members of the Jewish Council like that?

Verse 44: Now Pilate wondered if He was dead by this time, and summoning the centurion, he questioned him as to whether He was already dead.

Verse 44 study: Pilate was shocked he died so quickly, so he asked an official for a report to verify it. To deny the resurrection, people will say that Jesus didn’t die. His death was confirmed by the centurion. Pilate, Joseph of Arimathea, the religious leaders, and the women who witnessed his burial. Jesus suffered physically on the cross to die.

Verse 45: And after learning this from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph.

Verse 46: Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb which had been cut out in the rock; and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.

Verse 46 study: The tomb was a man-made cave hewn from a hill. It was large enough to walk into. Joseph wrapped the body, put it in the tomb, and rolled a heavy stone across the entrance. The religious leaders watched where Jesus was buried. They put guards there to guard it and sealed the tomb to ensure no one would steal Jesus’ body and claim he had risen from the dead (Matthew 27:62-66).

Verse 47: Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses, watched to see where He was laid.

Verse 47 study: These women can only do so much. they couldn’t speak before the Council in Jesus’ defense; they couldn’t appeal to Pilate; they couldn’t stand against the crowds or couldn’t overpower the Roman guards. They did what they could. The women stayed at the cross when the disciples fled; they followed Jesus’ body to its tomb and prepared his body for spices. Since they used the opportunities given to them, they were the first to witness the resurrection. God blessed their devotion and diligence. As believers, we should take advantage of our opportunities and do what we can for Christ. We shouldn’t worry about what we cannot do.

Father, we can understand that we can do what you want us to do. But our biggest worry is what we can do and not do. I pray that we do what is right and not worry about what we can’t do because you are perfect and know how to set things right. Let us remember this daily. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Last Words

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Friday, October 15, 2021

37-39 But Jesus, with a loud cry, gave his last breath. At that moment, the Temple curtain ripped right down the middle. When the Roman captain standing guard in front of him saw that he had quit breathing, he said, “This has to be the Son of God!”

Taken to a Tomb

40-41 women were watching from a distance, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of the younger James and Joses, and Salome. When Jesus was in Galilee, these women followed and served him and had come up with him to Jerusalem.

Mark 15:37-41 The Message

Verse 37: But Jesus let out a loud cry and died.

Verse 38: And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

Verse 39: And when the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw that He died in this way, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

Verse 40: Now, there were also some women watching from afar, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome. Verse 41: When He was in Galilee, they followed Him and served Him, and many other women came up with Him to Jerusalem.

Verse 37 study: When Jesus uttered a loud cry, that is believed to be his last breath. John 19:30 believed his last words were, “it is finished.”

Verse 38 study: A heavy veil hung in front of the temple room called the holy of holies. It is a place reserved by God for himself. Symbolically, the veil separated the holy God from sinful people. Once a year, the room was entered on the day of atonement by a high priest to make a sacrifice to gain forgiveness for the sins of all people. When Jesus died, the veil was torn in two, meaning that his death for our sins has opened up the way for us to approach what God had upon the way. Hebrews 9 has a better explanation. We will study it after the last recorded crucifixion of Jesus.

Father, the veil is not talked about. The veil is a good thing because it gives us access to you. Let us understand and take advantage of coming to you with our sins, our troubles, and how to get out of them. You always have your attention on us, and we don’t take advantage of it to be better. Let us do that. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Love Your Enemies

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Thursday, October 13, 2021

31-32 The high priests, along with the religion scholars, were right there mixing it up with the rest of them, having a great time poking fun at him: “He saved others—but he can’t save himself! Messiah, is he? King of Israel? Then let him climb down from that cross. We’ll all become believers then!” Even the men crucified alongside him joined in the mockery.

33-34 At noon, the sky became extremely dark. The darkness lasted three hours. Finally, at three o’clock, Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

35-36 Some of the bystanders who heard him said, “Listen, he’s calling for Elijah.” So someone ran off, soaked a sponge in sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down.”

-Mark 15:31-36 The Message

Verse 31: In the same way, the chief priests and the scribes were mocking Him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself!

Verse 31 study: We all know that Jesus could have saved himself. But he didn’t; he is selfless. He didn’t save himself because he loves all of us, so he endured the suffering. There were so many things Jesus could have done. For instance, killing those who mocked him. He could of spare himself the humiliation and pain. But he did it because he loves his enemies. We all play a part in the drama-filled afternoon because our sins were on the cross. Jesus died for us on the cross; the penalty for our sins was paid by his death. The response we should give to Jesus is to confess our sins and freely accept the fact Jesus paid for it, so we don’t have to pay for it. Insulting God with indifference towards the greatest act of genuine love in history is total disrespect.

Verse 32: Let this Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, so that we may see and believe!” Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him.

Verse 32 study: James and John asked Jesus for the places of honor next to him in his kingdom. Jesus told them, you don’t know what you were asking (10:35-39). Jesus was preparing to inaugurate his kingdom through his death. Two spots on the right and left of Jesus were taken by dying men, who were criminals. Jesus explained to the two disciples that a person who wants to be close to Jesus will have to prepare to suffer and die as he was doing. To get to the kingdom is the way to the cross. If you want the glory of the kingdom, be willing to be united with the crucified Christ.

Verse 33: When the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour.

Verse 34: At the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabaktanei?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Verse 35: And when some of the bystanders heard Him, they began saying, “Look! He is calling for Elijah!

Verse 36: And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink, saying, “Let us see if Elijah comes to take Him down.”

Verse 34 study: Jesus quoted Psalm 22. The psalm is a prophecy expressed in the Messiah’s death deep agony for the world’s sins. Jesus knew he would be separated from God temporarily the moment he took upon himself the sins of the world. The separation was what he didn’t look forward to as he prayed in Gethsemane. The physical agony was horrible, but the spiritual alienation from God was the ultimate torture.

Father, we don’t think to love our enemies or stay close to them. Our goal is to stay as far away from them as we can. But you stay close because you still love everybody. So with our disagreements, toxic behaviors, let us learn to still love and understand that toxic behavior is not the right direction. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Never Too Late

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 10/13/2021 8:00am

25-30 They nailed him up at nine o’clock in the morning. The charge against him—the king of the jews—was scrawled across a sign. Along with him, they crucified two criminals, one to his right, the other to his left. People passing along the road jeered, shaking their heads in mock lament: “You bragged that you could tear down the Temple and then rebuild it in three days—so show us your stuff! Save yourself! If you’re really God’s Son, come down from that cross!”

-Mark 15:25-30 The Message

Verse 25: Now, it was the third hour when they crucified Him.

Verse 26: The inscription of the charge against Him read, “THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

Verse 27: And they *crucified two rebels with Him, one on His right and one on His left. 

Verse 28: [And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with transgressors.”]

Verse 29: Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, shaking their heads and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days,

Verse 30: save Yourself by coming down from the cross!”

Verse 25 study: Crucifixions are feared and shameful. It is cruel. The person executed was forced to carry their own cross to the longest route to the crucifixion site to warn bystanders. There were different methods of crucifixions and shapes for crosses. Jesus was nailed to the cross. Sometimes, condemned men were tied to their crosses with ropes. Death came by suffocation, no matter which one it was, ropes or nails. The weight of the body and strength made breathing difficult.

Verse 26 study: A sign stated that condemned man’s crime was often placed on a cross as a warning. Jesus was never found guilty; the only accusation placed on his sign was a “crime” of being King of the Jews.

Verse 27 study: Luke recorded one of the robbers repenting before death, and Jesus promised that criminal that he would be with him in Paradise (Luke 27:39-47).

This verse shows it is not too late to get people to Jesus. So what plans do you have to get people to Jesus?

Father, as we see in verse 27, a robber repented to Jesus as he was dying. The robber gets to spend Paradise with Jesus all because he repented before Jesus died. This tells us that it is not too late to get people to Jesus. I pray we will continue to work to get people to you and get them saved. In Jesus’ name. Amen!