Life Is A Race ( by Fenny West)

Life Is A Race-( In Christ)

Life Is A Race
Ordained of God
For all to pass
No matter your colour
Nation, language or class.

The Race starts at New Birth
When you’re Born Again
Before then you were dead in sin
Separated, alienated from God.

You begin the race as a new born babe
Needing the milk of the Word to grow.
You grow from ‘babyhood’ to ‘childhood’
To ‘adolescence,’ ‘teenager’  to ‘adulthood’ .
Each stage is a phase in this race of life.

There’s preparation required for each stage.
The strength of your foundations is vital.
It determines how far and high you can go.
Some sleep and slip by the way side, fall
And never get up. Others also fall but get up

and dust off and keep going.

In this Race of Life, you need good focus.
Distractions will come, and they’re many.
You must run with patience looking at Jesus,

Who began your race and will finish it.

 The good work He began in you,

 He will complete. No need to worry or be afraid.

In this Race of life, you need mentors-

Those gone ahead that you can emulate.

You must move from milk to meat,

Study to show yourself approved.

You must pray without ceasing,

Growing your faith through hearing the Word.

Discipline and pay the price

Carry your cross to get the prize,

You’re in this race right now

Do well all you know how.

Run well with patience

Run well with endurance

Fix your eyes on Jesus

Never despise the cross

Never shirk from your cross

Set your eyes on the crown ahead

Press on to finish, well ahead, the head.

Striving for a Crown

24   Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.

25   And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.

26   Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.

27   But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

 Heb 12:1, 1Cor 9:24-27

Hebrews 12: The Race of Faith

1      Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb 12:1-2

©Fenny West2020

http://www.inspiration4generations.com

 

All Because of His Great Love ( by Fenny West)

All Because of His Great Love


He went through the valley
of the shadow of death for us
All because of His great love for us.

He saw you and I
In the corridors of time
And said the cross was worth it
All because of His great love.

He foresaw your coming to the Cross
To cross over to God;
Cross over from death to life ;
Cross over from darkness to light
Cross over from the chasm to safety,
Reconciliation, justification, salvation,
So He endured the cross, despising its shame,
All because of His great love.

So what should I do?
What should you do?

As the deer pants for the water brooks so my soul longs after You.
As a dry land is thirsty for water, so my soul longs for You.

{18:1} I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

{18:2} The LORD [is] my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, [and] my high tower.

{18:3} I will call upon the LORD, [who is worthy] to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

63:1} O God, thou [art] my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

{63:2} To see thy power and thy glory, so [as] I have seen thee in the sanctuary.

{63:3} Because thy lovingkindness [is] better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

{63:4} Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.
{63:5} My soul shall be satisfied as [with] marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise [thee] with joyful lips:
{63:6} When I remember thee upon my bed, [and] meditate on thee in the [night] watches.

{63:7} Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
{63:8} My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.

{84:1} How amiable [are] thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!

{84:2} My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

{84:3} Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for

 herself, where she may lay her young, [even] thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.

{84:4} Blessed [are] they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.

{84:5} Blessed [is] the man whose strength [is] in thee; in whose heart [are] the ways [of them.

]{84:6} [Who] passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.
{84:7} They go from strength to strength, [every one of them] in Zion appeareth before God.

{84:8} O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob.  Selah.

{84:9} Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine  anointed.

{84:10} For a day in thy courts [is] better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

{84:11} For the LORD God [is] a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good [thing] will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

{84:12} O LORD of hosts, blessed [is] the man that trusteth in thee.

Without the Cross… (by Fenny West)

Without the Cross..


A crown is a curse.
The cross is a bridge to glory
The cross is Conception awaiting the New Birth,

New Creation, New Life, Being Born Again.
Without the crucifixion, there will be no resurrection.
Without the sacrifice, there will be no remission, no justification,

no sanctification, no reconciliation, no peace with God or peace of God; no fellowship with God.
The Cross brought healing and health.
The cross is an indispensable process for our prosperity and victory.

Yes, it was gruesome, but it brought wholeness.
That was why “it pleased the Father to bruise Him. “
The Cross is a ladder, a step, to the throne.
The Cross is a prelude to reigning.
We suffer with Him as to reign with Him.
Little wonder the Master said, “If anyone wants to follow Me,

let him take up his cross and follow Me.

And whoever puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the Kingdom.
When I see the blood, I will pass over.
Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin.

They overcame Him by the blood of the Lamb and

by the Word of their testimony, that they loved not their lives unto death.
Behold, the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world.

 

Jesus Predicts His Death and Resurrection

He dramatised His crucifixion and resurrection
21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Take Up the Cross and Follow Him
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. Matt16:2125

Isaiah saw it over 700 years ago before it happened

Isa52:14 Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men;

And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they made His grave with the wicked — But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.

It was the Father’s will and Pleasure

10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.

John-the Baptist acknowledged Him as the LAMB…

“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John1:29

David not only echoed His very words on the Cross but gave us a graphic description of the crucifixion scene and what He suffered 100s of years before He came and died.

1 My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? 6 But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
7 All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
8 “He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”

12 Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
13 They gape at Me with their mouths, Like a raging and roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.
16 For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet;
17 I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me.
18 They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.
17 I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me.
18 They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.
19 But You, O LORD, do not be far from Me; O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
20 Deliver Me from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog.
21 Save Me from the lion’s mouth And from the horns of the wild oxen! You have answered Me.
Ps22:1

Even from the beginning the Father foreshadowed the cross

15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

The innocent animal that was killed to clothe Adam and Eve pointed to the Savior Who would be our substitute for a sin offering and salvation

21 Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. Gen3:15,21

Through His blood He purified us: made us acceptable

22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Heb9:22

The deliverance, protection and salvation of the Israelites in Egypt all pointed to Jesus that was to come

“…And when I see the blood, I will pass over you;…” Ex12:13

The scapegoat on whom the sin of the people was yearly confessed and sent away into the wilderness pointed to Jesus

8 Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat.
9 And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the LORD’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering.
10 But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness. Lev16:8-10

©Fenny West

http://www.inspiration4generations.com

 

Crucifixion and Resurrection ( Prophetic) (by Fenny West)

A prophetic look at the Crucifixion and Resurrection

What Wonderful Words of Prophecies!

 

The Father said He would send a Saviour after man fell

15            And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” Gn3:15

He was foreshadowed in a prophecy to Abraham

3     I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Gen.12:3

 

Isaiah saw it about 800 years before He came

14            Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.Isa7:14

6     For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7              Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.Isa9:6-8

 

 

David gave us graphic descriptions of the crucifixion about 1000 of years before He came and died on the cross

Bible passage: Psalm 22:1,7,8,16,17,18
Prophet: David
Written: About 1000 BC

My God, My God (by Fenny West)

https://youtu.be/iaD4Bf0JUG4

Psalms 22: The Suffering, Praise, and Posterity of the Messiah To the Chief Musician. Set to “The Deer of the Dawn.” A Psalm of David.

1     My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?

6     But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people.

7     All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

8     “He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”

12   Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.

13   They gape at Me with their mouths, Like a raging and roaring lion.

14   I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me.

15   My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.

16   For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet;

17   I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me.

18   They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.

20   Deliver Me from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog

21            Save Me from the lion’s mouth And from the horns of the wild oxen! You have answered Me.

He came to save us from our Sins

21   And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Matt1:21

29   The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

 

He Knew Why He Came

Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” John18:37

18   ” The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

19   To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”

 

He confirmed all the prophecies in His ministry and in His crucifixion and resurrection

 

Resurrection

7     Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.

8     Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle.

9     Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.

10                                Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah

Ps24:7-10

10   For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.

11   You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

“Why do you seek the living among the dead?Ps16:10-11

6     He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee,Luke24:6

 

Jesus Predicts His Death and Resurrection

He set his face like a flint to face the music of the cross despite its horror.

 

21   From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

22   Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”

23   But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

 

He Himself said:

“All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”  Luke2:19

39Jesus replied, “A wicked and adulterous generation demands a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40For just as Jonah wasthree days and three nightsas  in the belly of the great fish,so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  Matt12:39-40

On the cross, He prayed for those crucifying Him

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are
doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. .Luke23:34

He took care of His Mother

25Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother and her sister, as well as Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus saw His mother and thedisciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 27Then He said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” So from that hour, this disciple took her into his home.… John19:25-26

He showed His humanity

It Is Finished

28   After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!”

29   Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth.

 

He Foresaw the completion of His Work

30            So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. John19:28-30

 

He forgave one of the thieves crucified with Him

42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” 43And Jesus said to him,“Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke23:42-43

He was separated from the Father

. 34At the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” whichmeans, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”35When some of those standing nearby heard this, they said, “Behold, He is calling Elijah.”… Mark15:34-35

He died

46Then Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit.” And when He had said this, He breathed His last. Luke23:46

 

But thank God, He did not die in vain. He rose again.

2     Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

3     And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?”

4     But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away — for it was very large.

5     And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.

6     But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.

Mark16:2-5

Luke 24: He Is Risen

1     Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.

2     But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.

3     Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

4     And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.

5     Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?

6     He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee,

7     saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ “

8     And they remembered His words.

Luke24:1-8

He’s Alive

https://youtu.be/BbzS0zYe74o (by Fenny West)

Christ is Risen

https://youtu.be/8zmMS4_IbXQ?list=PLS_hZ32Bg440E4-ZTYJnjRkHlHp6CO7Ey

 

Christ is Alive(by Fenny West)

https://youtu.be/D52lnNyBbsc

He Rose up

https://youtu.be/fZIlur6_-1w?list=PLS_hZ32Bg440E4-ZTYJnjRkHlHp6CO7Ey

 

He’s alive He is Risen(by Fenny West)

https://youtu.be/fz-_nF5OEsQ

Crucifixion and Resurrection

https://youtu.be/1eIYjbwRjSE?list=PLS_hZ32Bg440E4-ZTYJnjRkHlHp6CO7Ey

Easter Songs

https://youtu.be/3OtzYu93Jqg?list=PLS_hZ32Bg440E4-ZTYJnjRkHlHp6CO7Ey

Dominion Lost Regained

https://youtu.be/AkPmL2NLqiE?list=PLS_hZ32Bg440E4-ZTYJnjRkHlHp6CO7Ey

As the Sun Rose, Jesus Rose

https://youtu.be/fV9IqSUs-sg?list=PLS_hZ32Bg440E4-ZTYJnjRkHlHp6CO7Ey

 

Happy Easter

The Place Called Calvary ( by Fenny West)

The place which is called Calvary.”


Luke 23:33

 I did this for you jesus btwen two criminals jesus btwen two criminals2 In Christ easter blood easter 3 cross in Christ what have and are crossroad CG96

 

The Place Which is Called Calvary

Carries a lot of history.

That was where Jesus was crucified.

It was there that the Saviour died.

There Prince of Peace was vilified.

That was where He paid the price

So that we may obtain the prize-

The prize of freedom and salvation.

At Calvary an innocent blood was shed

There the Lamb of God bled.

At Calvary it pleased God to bruise Him

It was there the sinless was made sin.

There Jesus bore the sin of the world

So that He may reconcile the world-

Enemies of God back to God.

At Calvary Jesus prayed for us

It was there He justified us

There He was numbered amongst transgressor

Even though He was the Saviour.

At Calvary Jesus finished the deal

There Satan’s fate was sealed

There principalities were disarmed

There was fulfilled God’s righteous demands.

 

What is good about Good Friday? ( by Fenny West)

Have you ever imagined what is good about Good Friday– the day of the crucifixion of Jesus?

Let’s examine events leading up to this day and what eventually happened on that fateful day.

Judas, one of the disciples of Jesus, had connived with others and betrayed Jesus, selling Him for 30 pieces of silver. Jesus had been treated like a chattel, to be exchanged for money. Love of money was working, big time. The entire lessons Jesus taught had gone into one ear and out the other. Judas, who was the treasurer and accountant, was not content with helping himself from the treasury, he wanted more and Jesus was his ultimate scalp, spoil, loot, prize- His Master.( Matt26:14-16)

Could you believe it?

However Jesus had predicted that one of His disciples would betray Him and His word would not fall to the ground. He had also said a man’s enemies are members of his household and we can see this truth played out.

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

And so after the money had changed hands, the hordes of hell, in the form of Roman soldiers were unleashed, with Judas at the helm of the pack, on their way to look for Jesus on concocted charges. Jesus had just finished praying in the Garden of Gethsemane and they came swooping down like hawks on their prey-Jesus. Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss to identify the ‘prize’ or target.

Could you believe it? Mark 14:44, Matt 26:49

As they tried to arrest Jesus and Peter became bold and brash and unsheathe his dagger to defend Jesus, cutting off the ears of one of the soldiers.

53When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Luke 22:48-53

 Notice, Peter, instead of getting a commendation, got a rebuke from Jesus. ‘, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”

John 18:11

Jesus then proceeded to heal the man whose ear was dangling in the floor, while he reeled in anguish. What goodness! How exemplary! Would you have done that if you were in the shoes of Jesus? What a lesson to us on Good Friday!

Jesus wanted the disciples not to be in harm’s way even in that dark hour.

8 Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,”

 The miracle that Jesus did never softened the hearts of the soldiers. He was still maltreated and dragged away to be interrogated.

Next we see Jesus on trial, accused of heresy. The people clamoured, even clamoured for his blood, like hounds on their prey: Crucify Him! Crucify Him! they chanted. Pilate did not see any fault in Him, yet he was obliged to release someone on that occasion. The people wanted a criminal- Barabbas released instead of Jesus. (Luke 23:18-21)

6Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away. John 19:16

Jesus Mocked and Beaten (Luke 22: 62-65)

Jesus Questioned by the High Priest ( John18:19-22)

Eventually, Jesus was condemned to die an ignominious death on the cross. He was scourged- beaten with rods and ropes that had spikes on them such that the spikes lodged themselves into his skin as they flogged Him. And as they pulled the ropes, flesh and blood was ripped out. (Matt 27:26, Mark 15:15, John 19:1, Luke 23:25)

 What is good about this?

Jesus was beaten, battered and broken, under the most excruciating pain imaginable. He had envisaged this barbarism as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, when He cried, ‘42saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

44  And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’Luke22

 

After the thorough scourging that marred and disfigured Him so badly, (There is no beauty that we should desire Him (Isa 53:2 ) He was given a cross to carry to Golgotha. As He carried the cross, it weighed Him down and He fell under its weight several times as drops of sweat and blood dripped down His body.

Eventually they reached the scene of the crucifixion where they put the nails to His hands and feet and mocked Him: Hail, king of the Jews.’ Others said,’He saved others but He cannot save himself.’ If You are the Son of God, come down from that cross.’

Others were interested in His seamless gown and cast lots to see who will win.

( Matt 27:5)

The Soldiers Mock Jesus ( Matt 27:27-31,37-44)

This was still Friday. Have you seen any good in all this yet? Wait for it.

Summary of the Horrors

We have seen:

  • the unbelievable betrayal of Jesus by one of His disciples,
  • the trumped-up charges and accusations,
  • the sham and shameful trial like a criminal
  • His rejection and the triumph of the mob who preferred a criminal in the place of Jesus,
  • the injustice meted out by the high priest, even though He was innocent
  • the barbaric scourging,the mocking;
  • the crown of thorns criminals being crucified with Him, shameless casting of lots for His garment, apart from beating Him mercilessly beyond recognition
  • We saw how He was forced to carry His cross  despite the excruciating trauma He was going through. Many times along the way to Golgotha, He crashed under the weight of the cross until they drafted Simon of Cyrene to help carry the cross. Matt 27:31-32
  •  There was the driving of the nails into His hands and feet and suspending Him between heaven and earth with the sign ‘All Hail King of the Jews. There was the piercing of his side, when water and blood flowed
  • His disciples forsook Him and fled.
  • One of the disciples He had trusted most-Peter- denying Him not just once or twice but three times.
  • He died eventually.

In this catalogue of woes where is the good?

What a day it was!

So what is good about Good Friday?

 

Now let’s see the goodness in Good Friday:

Thank God for Good Friday!

Jesus, facing the ominous darkness that would descend on Him soon as He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, came to a cross road where He was tempted to backtrack, bypass the cross (the bitter cup)- the reason why He was born but He resolved: ‘Not my will but your will be done.’

 If He had backed out, we would have remained in our sin. Salvation plan would have been aborted.

 Thank God for Good Friday!

On that day when the hordes of hell came to arrest Him, remember when Peter tried to defend Him in bravado and cut off the ears of one of the soldiers, Jesus rebuked Peter and rose above the occasion and healed that man. That was a lesson for us all that we can rise over evil with good, regardless of what we face.

Jesus handled His trial with dignity as an example for us to follow when we are tried or falsely accused. There were moments when He was simply silent before his accusers in fulfilment of prophecy (Isa:53:7). We too must learn to leave our case with God when we are falsely accused and mocked as we face the Race of Grace in pursuance of our destiny. There is a price to pay in the pursuance of purpose. Jesus paid His and we must be ready to pay ours as His disciples.

Jesus died for those He created, those who rejected Him. And that includes you and I. He died for our sins He was our perfect Lamb slain to take away our sin. ‘Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.’ ( Heb9:22)

Before Jesus died, He taught some powerful enduring lessons in His seven immortal statements, even as He hung on that cross. These truths teach us many powerful lessons about the goodness of Good Friday.

  1. “Father, forgive them. For they know not what they do.”

What a powerful statement and prayer of magnanimity and forgiveness in His hour of death; an example for us to follow in time of crisis. He saw through the eyes of the Father and so should we in our moments of crisis. We too should pray for our persecutors.

  1. “Woman, behold your son!”.’ He was still thinking of taking care of His mother even whilst on the cross and suffering such agony. John19:27

We too should look beyond ourselves and provide for our loved ones regardless of what we go through. That is selflessness, love and care openly demonstrated.

 3. “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

Whilst one of the criminals hung with him mocked Him: “He saved other but He cannot save Himself the other was very respectful and acknowledge He was innocent and prayed to be remembered. Jesus immediately assured him of his salvation. This is a powerful lesson about penitence and salvation which He taught us on the cross. This is surely a powerful truth about Good Friday.  God would forgive anyone of their sin if they acknowledge it, no matter when. Luke23:43

  1. “I thirst” When Jesus made his utterance we saw His humanity permeating His divinity. He was thirsty, dehydrated like we would be and asked for water. But instead of giving Him water they gave Him vinegar mixed with gall- a poison. He was teaching us that you cannot rely on man. Man will disappoint you. Only God is totally reliable.

 5. It Is Finished John 19:30

‘It is finished!’ He finished that the Father gave Him to do- saving us from our sins.

Henceforth, anyone who confessed their sins and accepted Him as Lord and Saviour, will be saved and have a home in heaven assured of eternal life.

30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

You and I can also finish the work the father has for us to do. Paul finished and was able to say I have fought the good fight of faith, I have finished my course. I have kept the faith… 2Tim4:7-8

 

  1. My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? Ps22

Jesus dies on the Cross

45     Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.

46     And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Matt 27:45-46

 This echoed the prophetic Psalmist’s ( David) Words in Psalm2. It shows us the enormity of sin- separation from God. Yes, even the Son of God was separated from the Father. for a moment, not because of His sin, but because your sin and my sin. He was sinless. He who knew no sin was made to be sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ. ( 2Cor5:21)

It also teaches us that you and I will come to this moment of My God, my God why have you forsaken me moments. This is a dark moment when you could feel abandoned by God. When it happens just remember that Jesus was there. However do not forget that He also told us He will never leave us nor forsake us until the end of the age. That should cheer you up.

33   These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John16:33

“…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matt28:20)

  1. ‘Father into Your hands I commit my Spirit.’

Jesus Dies on the Cross

God is the ultimate keeper of your soul and my soul. And what is committed into His hands, He is able to keep against that day .He is able to keep us faultless and present us before the presence of His glory with exceeding great Joy. Satan shall not triumph over us. Evil will not prevail. When we go through our good Fridays, we will be reminded that all things work together for our good because we love God and are called according to His purpose. Sunday, Resurrection day is coming!

He was assured that His sacrifice was enough and accepted and that there will be an eventual reunion. This is an assurance you and I should have too.

10   For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.

11   You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

 The devil and his cohorts played into God’s hands when they crucified the Lord of Glory. Through it God’s redemption plan was fulfilled.

So regardless of what the enemy tries to do to you, it will work out for your good.

And so on the third day, just as Jesus predicted before He died, it happened, as He was raised from the dead. The grave could not hold Him. The cross could not keep Him. He rose up triumphant, truly the King of Glory.

The angel told Mary: ‘Look not for the living among the dead. He has risen, just like He said.’
The Resurrection and the Life is Alive.

Thank God for Good Friday. It was grim, grotesque, gruesome, traumatic, dark and dastardly but it paved the way for Easter. Yes, on Easter Sunday, the stone was rolled away, the Sun and the Son- the Sweet Rose of Sharon rose again from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. Glory! Hallelujah!

 

 

Seven Poignant Revelatory Statements ( by Fenny West)

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Seven Poignant Revelatory Statements of Jesus On the Cross

  1. Luke 23:43: Truly, I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise.

  2. Luke 23:34: Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.

  3. John 19:26–27: Woman, behold your son. Behold your mother.

  4. John 19:28: I thirst.

  5. John 19:29-30: It is finished.

  6. Matthew 27:46 & Mark 15:34 My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?

  7. Luke 23:46: Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.

Looking at the seven poignant revelatory statements of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, we can attest that the words that He spoke were Spirit and life. Let us now ponder on and feast on the immortal words that tumbled out of the mouth of our Saviour, Who though very God, was also very man. His words are as comforting and inspirational as ever even after over 2000 years since they were first uttered.
We have the Holy Spirit, Who is here, to breathe new life into those words. 

Jesus himself said, ‘The Words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life.’
Come with me as we partake of fresh Bread from Heaven. John6:63 KJV

39And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 
40But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 
41And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 
42And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

As we all know, two thieves were crucified with Jesus, one on either side. One of them joined with other who said, ‘he delivered others he could not deliver himself,…’ ’ if you are the Son of delivered yourself and us. If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. . He cast aspersions and disrespected the Saviour. The other man was more sensible. He knew Jesus was innocent and that they deserved their punishment. He rebuked his fellow criminal ‘Don’t you fear God?’ This man is innocent .He went on to ask Jesus to remember him when He came into His Kingdom. And Jesus said:

1.“Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” 
Luke 23:42-44

What is our lesson from Jesus’ statement?
God is merciful, and no matter how far gone we may think we are, all we need to do is to be humble and penitent. One of the criminals realised he was a sinner and asked the Lord to remember him and that was enough to save him. The truth remains, that when we are full of our own ways it becomes a stumbling block to reconciliation with God. Furthermore, reconciliation with God is often made complex but it is as simple as saying, ‘Lord, I am sorry for my sins. Accept me as one of your own. Forgive me.’ And that will mark a New Beginning, a fresh start on a glorious New and Living Way.

He said in His word, ‘Come as you are’ ‘ Come all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. ..Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. ‘ ‘ The Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. ‘ ‘ As many as received Him, He gave the power to become children of God.’ ‘If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old has gone and the new has come.’

If you do not know Him as Lord and Saviour, this is a good time to commit your life to Him and let Him come into your heart to take His rightful seat.

9     that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

10   For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Rom10:9-10

knock

2.“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
And they divided His garments and cast lots. 35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.” Luke 23:33-35 NKJV

Jesus was agonising on the cross with excruciating pain arising from the scourging. He had been beaten, tortured, battered, broken, abused, yet he had the time, patience and compassion to pray for those who crucified Him. He knew they were blind and acted in ignorance. He knew they were fulfilling the scriptures. He knew it was the only way He could redeem you and I and so He prayed for them. ‘Father, forgive them..’

Often we look at those who crucified Him and wonder, ‘How could they do such, cruel, barbaric deed?’ but we fail to realise that it was our sins also that necessitated his hanging on the cross. In other words, we are also guilty and it was the love of God that caused Jesus to come and die for each one of us. ‘It pleased the Father to bruise Him.’

10Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. KJVIsa53:10

10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, 
and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, 
he will see his offspring and prolong his days, 
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.Isa53:10NIV

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
2 Corinthians 5:20
6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all Isa53:6
Even right now, Jesus is still praying for us at the Father’s right hand as our Advocate, Attorney and Intercessor. He always lives to make intercession for the saints. That gives you and I hope doesn’t it?

Today, we can see in various parts of the world, as it had been in times past, persecution of Christians. Many are in jail because of their belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. We should be praying the same, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ We should be praying that that the eyes of their understanding be enlightened to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, just like Saul of Tarsus was converted to Paul the Apostle.

Secondly, when we are persecuted we should not take it personal if we are to continue the Race of Grace with confidence, courage and determination without falling by the wayside. When Saul of Tarsus was persecuting the early believers and was arrested, Jesus asked Him: Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?

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3.‘Behold your mother!’ 

26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home John19:26-27

Knowing that he would be gone soon, Jesus committed his mother into the hands of one of his disciples, John, the beloved. He understood the pain that his mother was going through and had to make provision for her even on the cross. It shows us how caring and compassionate He was not just for spiritual things, but for our emotional and material well-being.

He remains the same, compassionate, faithful, true, a friend that sticks closer than a brother, good and upright, without injustice. He the Rock of Ages cleft for you and me.
He is the God who supplies all our needs according to His glorious riches through Christ Jesus, Jehovah Jireh.

4.‘I Thirst!’

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” John 19:28
Here we see His humanity evident. He thirsts as we thirst. In Hebrews we are told that:

15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Heb.4:15

Here we see the humanity of Jesus married to His divinity, and this qualified Him to be our Saviour. He knows where and how we hurt and how we are tempted. He and He alone is able to bring succour and relief to us. He is the Way the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through Him.

5.“It is finished!”

30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. John19:30
Casting our minds back at the onset of his ministry, he said ’Don’t you know that I about My Father’s business and to finish it?’ he all also said , ‘ My food is to do the Father’s business and to finish it. This was why when it was time for him to go to the cross He set his face like a flint, undeterred. He would not let even one of His closest friends, Peter, to dissuade Him from His mission. Remember how He rebuked him sternly: ‘Get thee behind me satan…’

What is our lesson?
You and I have a mission, an assignment individually and corporately. We need to identify it and identify with it and pursue it until we finish it like Jesus did. We need to be focused in spite of the distractions that come our way. We too must be single minded and realise that often the enemy will use those closest to us to distract us from or purpose in life. We must be sensitive and stand our ground until we finish our calling.

6.“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Matt 27:45-46

At this point our sins were heaped on Him, and just as sin separates, he was separated from His Father for a while. Like a scapegoat He bore our sins and carried our sorrows, bruised for iniquities, visited with the punishment that bought and brought us peace with God. We can also see the enormity, gravity, and sordid weight, wedge and barrier and alienation occasioned by sin. Again we can see the purity, righteousness and holiness of God.

7.“Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’”

46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having said this, He breathed His last 
Luke 23:46

Jesus commits his spirit into the hands of His Father. He surrenders all to Him who is faithful and able to keep against that day that committed into His hands. He had laid down His life for His sheep. He knew he would be back in business after His resurrection. He knew he would multiply Himself after his resurrection. He knew that
‘…Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

And so He was confident to commit His Spirit into the Hands of the Righteous Judge, the Judge of the whole earth.

We too can confidently commit our spirits into God’s mighty, powerful, faithful, capable hands now and when we are called home to be with Him. Our Father owns the land on both sides of the river. We can go with peace, assurance, confidence, that absent in the Body is presence with the Lord.

8We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 2Cor. 5:8

The words of Jesus are always spirit and life. His words are dynamic, powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword. They are a light to our path and a lamp to our feet. We can feed our souls on them and be satisfied. Little wonder Mary pondered on them whilst Martha was distracted. Even on the cross He continues to teach, preach, forgive, love, pray, demonstrate faith.

May you and I catch the fire in His bones even today, Amen.

The Reason For the Season ( by Fenny West)

The Reason For the Season

birth of Jesus2 birth of Jesus4 purpose jesus in Christ what have and are pray without ceasing

He Descended from the Heights

to Lift Us from the Depths

He laid aside His majesty

To change our story.

 

He stooped down so low

To free us from the foe;

To lift us up from the dung.

Despite all our wrong.

He emptied Himself

To make us one with Himself.

He took our pain

To give us a gain

Took from the devil, the reins

That we with Him will reign.

 

 

He drained His life.

To fill us with life.

He clothe us with His garment

Like a Groom full of commitment.

He brought us into His parlour

Because of His favour.

He washed us with His blood

To remove the stains from sin-mud.

He made us us worthy of his embrace.

All because of His great, super-abundant grace.

He interceded for us

To justify us.

He made us accepted in the beloved.

Because of His great love.

He took our place on the cross

So to the Father we can cross.

Today, if you hear His Voice

Make Him your prime choice.

Because He is the reason

For the season.