What is Easter?
Reference: from LifeChurch and Written by R.Kosh.
Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”
As He suffered on The cruel Cross, Jesus called out to God The Father, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”.
Jesus interceded to The Father on their behalf, asking that He forgive them because they were ignorant of what they were doing and Who they were crucifying.
He also thought about you and I because it was our sin that put Him there. We were also once guilty of not knowing what we were doing as we formerly lived in sin and separation from God.
Jesus came to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 2:2-4) He is the payment for our sins and in these words He expressed love, grace, compassion, and sacrifice beyond measure.
I don’t know about you, but when I’ve had times of suffering and agony. I’ve not always been the most grace filled and loving person that I should be… but, Jesus is and was and He knew exactly what He came to do.
In His great love, He gave His life so that we might have forgiveness and we’d no longer be separated from God upon receiving His free gift of salvation.
Jesus, The One Who has unlimited strength and power could have called down legions of angels from heaven to remove Himself from His own suffering, yet He showed restraint and chose instead to fulfill God’s plan of salvation for us. He also showed unlimited love and compassion through His humble, loving, and compassionate prayer.
I pray that you never reject His free gift of salvation and I pray that you’ve received His gift.
If you’ve already received His gift of salvation, may you never take the love, forgiveness, and compassion He has for you for granted. May you never forget that when He died for your sins, it was for all your sins and even when you sin today, He still forgives you because of His complete sacrifice for you.
May you be moved all the more by the compassion, grace, and love He has for you as you reflect on the prayer He prayed, as the prayer was for you as well in part as it was our sins that put Him there.
Scripture Luke 23:33-34 KJV
33And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. 34Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
33When they came to the place called Latin: Calvarius; or Calvary;Aram: Golgotha; Greek: Kranion.The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. 34Some early mss do not contain the words “And Jesus was saying…doing.”And Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing His clothes among themselves.
John 3:1-21 Amp Version
1Now there was a certain man among the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler (member of the Sanhedrin) among the Jews, 2who came to Jesus at night and said to Him, “Rabbi (Teacher), we know [without any doubt] that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs [these wonders, these attesting miracles] that You do unless God is with him.” 3Jesus answered him, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless a person is born again [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified], he cannot [ever] see and experience the kingdom of God.”
4Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born, can he?” 5Jesus answered, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot[ever] enter the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh [the physical is merely physical], and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be surprised that I have told you, ‘You must be born again [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified].’ 8The wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it is coming from and where it is going; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
9Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be possible?” 10Jesus replied, “You are the [great and well-known] teacher of Israel, and yet you do not know nor understand these things [from Scripture]? 11I assure you and most solemnly say to you, we speak only of what we [absolutely] know and testify about what we have [actually] seen [as eyewitnesses]; and [still] you [reject our evidence and] do not accept our testimony. 12If I told you earthly things [that is, things that happen right here on earth] and you do not believe, how will you believe and trust Me if I tell you heavenly things? 13No one has gone up into heaven, but there is One who came down from heaven, the Son of Man[Himself—whose home is in heaven]. 14Just as Moses lifted up the [bronze] serpent in the desert [on a pole], so must the Son of Man be lifted up [on the cross], 15so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life [after physical death, and will actually live forever].
16 “For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His[One and] Jesus, God’s only Son, the One who is truly unique, the only one of His kind.only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but that the world might be saved through Him. 18Whoever believes and has decided to trust in Him [as personal Savior and Lord] is not judged [for this one, there is no judgment, no rejection, no condemnation]; but the one who does not believe [and has decided to reject Him as personal Savior and Lord] is judged already [that one has been convicted and sentenced], because The Greek refers to an unsaved person who has made the decision not to believe in the Son, Jesus Christ, that is, not to accept the salvation offered by the Son and commit to follow Him. Such a person stands condemned by God unless he changes his mind.he has not believed and trusted in the name of the [One and] only begotten Son of God [the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, the One who alone can save him]. 19This is the judgment [that is, the cause for indictment, the test by which people are judged, the basis for the sentence]: the Light has come into the world, and people loved the See note 1:5.darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.20For every wrongdoer hates the Light, and does not come to the Light [but shrinks from it] for fear that his [sinful, worthless] activities will be exposed and condemned. 21But whoever practices truth [and does what is right—morally, ethically, spiritually] comes to the Light, so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are—accomplished in God [divinely prompted, done with God’s help, in dependence on Him].”
1 John 2:2-4 Amp. 2And He [that same Jesus] is the propitiation for our sins [the atoning sacrifice that holds back the wrath of God that would otherwise be directed at us because of our sinful nature—our worldliness, our lifestyle]; and not for ours alone, but also for [the sins of all believers throughout] the whole world.
3And this is how we know [daily, by experience] that we have come to know Him [to understand Him and be more deeply acquainted with Him]: if we habitually keep [focused on His precepts and obey] His commandments (teachings). 4Whoever says, “I have come to know Him,” but does not habitually keep [focused on His precepts and obey] His commandments (teachings), is a liar, and the truth [of the divine word] is not in him.
Romans 5:8. 8But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Luke 23:43 “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise”
Two criminals flanked Jesus on either side of Him as He was nailed to and hung suffering on The Cross.
These two common criminals both deserved punishment for their crimes but Jesus was guilty of nothing. He committed no crimes and yet He still faced death on The cruel Cross. Jesus endured this as it was according to God’s great love and His plan of salvation for us.
One criminal mocked Him while the other recognized Jesus for Who He was and expressed faith in Him.
Both would die along with Jesus that day and even in their inevitable death, they had a choice to make: Receive Jesus’ free gift of salvation and have life or reject Him and receive eternal death and separation from God. This was literally their last opportunity.
The criminal who recognized Jesus for Who His is said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom”., (Luke 23:42)
In His humanity, Jesus could have simply ignored this man but here again, Jesus came for this reason, in order to save sinners like this thief, or like you and I.
In great compassion and through great physical suffering, Jesus reassured him that he’d be in heaven with him that very day. “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise”. (Luke 23:43)
Note that Jesus didn’t ask him first to try and get down off The Cross and clean himself up, or do anything but believe in Him and receive Him as he expressed remorse and repentance for his sins. Jesus forgave him right then and there and received him into His kingdom.
What amazing grace, compassion, sacrifice, and love Jesus showed this man. This is the same grace, compassion, sacrifice and love He shows us.
Jesus and the two criminals died, and one criminal entered heaven rejoicing, joining together with all of heaven worshiping Jesus, while the other entered eternal hell where he faced eternal punishment and separation from God.
We are like the two criminals. We deserved death and eternal punishment for our sins but God in Great love for you and I sent Jesus to die on our behalf.
The question remains for each of us, do we want to be in paradise with Him too when we die like the thief who received His free gift of salvation? Or, do we want to be like the other criminal who mocked and rejected Jesus and went not only to his physical death, but his eternal death and punishment separated from God forever?
While you still have life in you, may you choose to receive His free gift of salvation and if you already have, don’t ever take it for granted and may you seek, love, and serve Him will all that is within you all the days of your life.
39One of the criminals who had been hanged [on a cross beside Him] kept hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us [from death]!” 40But the other one rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41We are suffering justly, because we are getting what we deserve for what we have done; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42And he was saying, “Jesus, [please] remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” 43Jesus said to him, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, today you will be with Me in I.e. possibly the third heaven, the special place or “garden” (Gen 2:8-10) between death and resurrection.Paradise.”
8But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word [the message, the basis] of faith which we preach— 9because if you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart a person believes [in Christ as Savior] resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous—being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]; and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his] salvation.
13For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord [in prayer] will be saved.”
1 John 2:1-2
1My little children (believers, dear ones), I am writing you these things so that you will not sin and violate God’s law. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate [who will intercede for us] with the Father: Jesus Christ the righteous [the upright, the just One, who conforms to the Father’s will in every way—purpose, thought, and action]. 2And He [that same Jesus] is the propitiation for our sins [the atoning sacrifice that holds back the wrath of God that would otherwise be directed at us because of our sinful nature—our worldliness, our lifestyle]; and not for ours alone, but also for [the sins of all believers throughout] the whole world.
1 John 4:9-10
9By this the love of God was displayed in us, in that God has sent His [One and] only begotten Son [the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind] into the world so that we might live through Him. 10In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [that is, the atoning sacrifice, and the satisfying offering] for our sins [fulfilling God’s requirement for justice against sin and placating His wrath].
John 19:26-27 “Dear Woman, here is your son!” and “Here is your mother!”
Pause for a moment and consider that there has never been a moment that God has not supplied for the needs of His people. The needs and not the wants.
It’s also incredible to realize that from eternity past He knew every need we’d have, and in turn He supplies for every need we and all of His creation have each day.
He provides for us through many everyday things that we often take for granted. Things like the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, the clothes we wear, and even though at times we don’t deserve it, yet His grace is greater, and He provides anyway.
He also knew every problem, hardship, trial, and heartache we’d face and He ministers to us making a way through these seasons.
When Adam and Eve fell and sin entered the world, He already knew what His plan would be to meet the problem we were all born with which is sin and separation from Him. The solution was to send His One and only Son, Jesus, as the payment for our sin that separated us from Him.
God thinks about you, provides for you, and He spares no expense. This is evident in the ultimate provision of Jesus sacrificing it all on The Cross, so we’d have The Way of salvation if we received His free gift.
Now, in what was part of Jesus’ final moments on The Cross, we see another example of His provision.
He sees His mother standing near The Cross with John the Apostle. (John 19:26-27) He then says to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”
It’s no doubt that because of His great love, care, and compassion for His mom that even amidst His suffering on The Cross, Jesus made sure His mother was cared for once He died. What amazing grace and love!
Just as Jesus cared for His mother, in similar fashion He took care of us through His sacrifice. He also took care of us through the provision of His Holy Spirit to those who receive His gift Who takes up residency within us, helps us, guides us, gives us wisdom, intercedes for us, and more.
May you pause and give God praise for His great love, sacrifice, and care for you as you reflect on all He did for you through His sacrifice on The Cross.
26So Jesus, seeing His mother, and the
John, the Apostle and author of this Gospel was Jesus’ cousin.
disciple whom He loved (esteemed) standing near, said to His mother, “[Dear] woman, look, [here is] your son!” 27Then He said to the disciple (John), “Look! [here is] your mother [protect and provide for her]!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
1Now the serpent was more crafty (subtle, skilled in deceit) than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And
The relationship between Satan and the serpent is not made clear, but Satan is identified with the serpent later in Rev 12:9, 14, 15, and 20:2. It seems difficult to believe that Eve would not have been suspicious of a talking creature, but at this point in time Eve probably knew next to nothing about animals; and in any case, the serpent, as it existed before the curse (v 14), was a very different creature from the reptile that is familiar to us today.
the serpent (Satan) said to the woman, “Can it really be that God has said, ‘You shall not eat from
any tree of the garden’?” 2And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees of the garden, 3except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God said, ‘You shall not eat from it nor touch it, otherwise you will die.’ ” 4But the serpent said to the woman, “You certainly will not die! 5For God knows that on the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened [that is, you will have greater awareness], and you will be like God, knowing [the difference between] good and evil.” 6And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise and insightful, she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband
This may have been sometime later. Jewish tradition said that Adam was absent at the time of Eve’s conversation with the serpent (according to the Talmud).
with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of the two of them were opened [that is, their awareness increased], and they knew that they were naked; and they fastened fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
8And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool [afternoon breeze] of the day, so the man and his wife hid and kept themselves hidden from the
presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9But the Lord God called to Adam, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10He said, “I heard the sound of You [walking] in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten [fruit] from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12And the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me—she gave me [fruit] from the tree, and I ate it.” 13Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent beguiled and deceived me, and I ate [from the forbidden tree].” 14The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all the cattle,
And more than any animal of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And dust you shall eat
All the days of your life.
15And I will put enmity (open hostility)
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed (offspring) and her
Many consider this verse the protevangelium, the first announcement of the gospel. This is the first prophecy about the Messiah (Christ), who through His death on the cross and resurrection would ultimately defeat Satan, the power behind the serpent, with a death blow. See Is 9:6; Matt 1:23; Luke 1:31; Rom 16:20; Gal 4:4; Rev 12:17.
He shall [fatally] bruise your head,
And you shall [only] bruise His heel.”
16To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth;
In pain you will give birth to children;
Yet your desire and longing will be for your husband,
And he will rule [with authority] over you and be responsible for you.”
17Then to Adam the Lord God said, “Because you have listened [attentively] to the voice of your wife, and have eaten [fruit] from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’;
The ground is [now] under a curse because of you;
In sorrow and toil you shall eat [the fruit] of it
All the days of your life.
18Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you shall eat the plants of the field.
19By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread
Until you return to the ground,
For from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”
12Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, so death spread to all people [no one being able to stop it or escape its power], because they all sinned. 13Sin was [committed] in the world before the Law [was given], but sin is not charged [against anyone] when there is no law [against it]. 14Yet death ruled [over mankind] from Adam to Moses [the Lawgiver], even over those who had not sinned
Lit in the likeness of Adam’s transgression.
as Adam did. Adam is a type of Him (Christ) who was to come [but in reverse—Adam brought destruction, Christ brought salvation].
15But the free gift [of God] is not like the trespass [because the gift of grace overwhelms the fall of man]. For if many died by one man’s trespass [Adam’s sin], much more [abundantly] did God’s grace and the gift [that comes] by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, overflow to [benefit] the many. 16Nor is the gift [of grace] like that which
26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?
32Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave
Two early mss read us.
2 Corinthians 6:18
18And I will be a Father to you,
And you will be My sons and daughters,”
Says the Lord Almighty.
5He predestined and lovingly planned for us to be adopted to Himself as [His own] children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the kind intention and good pleasure of His will—
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]? 20You were bought with a price [you were actually purchased with the precious blood of Jesus and made His own]. So then, honor and glorify God with your body.
Day 4 = To Be Continued
Day 5 = To Be Continued
Day 6 = To Be Continued