Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thirstin' for the Word Thursday--Easter Edition

If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." (John 7:37b)

Feeling a bit parched? Searching to quench that thirst with an iced tea or Diet Coke? Dive into the Word for real refreshment!I try to be diligent in my Bible reading and am often rewarded by God's speaking to my heart through particular scriptures. I pause and sometimes even write them down. The reflection usually ends there, however. Now, I would like to pursue the verses that God lays on my heart by pondering how He wants me to apply these verses in my life.

Here is what spoke to me this week:

"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him."

Acts 2:22-24

Peter spoke these words in his first official sermon, one which resulted in large numbers of conversions. This short passage contains several phrases that speak deeply to me.

Peter says that Jesus was handed over to be crucified by "God's set purpose and foreknowledge." These words boggle my mind as I consider that it was God's overarching plan for His Son to be killed. It was the only way to save us:

For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eteranl life.

John 3:16

The next phrase pierces my heart rather than my mind. "[A]nd you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing him to the cross." No, we were not part of the mob yelling, "Crucify him!" Nor were we one of the unlucky Roman soldiers who hammered the nails through his body to the cross. We were not even one of those who walked by, mocking, "You saved others. Now save yourself!" Yet, our sins bear witness to our responsiblity in Jesus' death.

Early during the Lenten season, I cut two crosses out of construction paper and lots of small colored pieces to make a mosaic on top of the cross. The children glued these on to the crosses, and then I asked them for some examples of sin in their lives. We wrote these sins on the mosaic "tiles," and then hung the crosses up in the playroom/schoolroom. Our sins on the crosses serve as a visual reminder of our participation in Jesus's death.
Although Jesus was killed, "it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him." Through Him, it is impossible for death and sin to keep its hold on us! Tomorrow, when we read about Jesus and the empty tomb, we'll cover the sins with paper flowers to show that Jesus covers our sins.
Lord, fill us with the joy that Your disciples felt when they realized that You were raised from the dead! Help us truly to understand what this means for our lives, here on earth and in eternity. Thank You for Your plan to save us, and for Your willingness to humble Yourself and endure unimaginable pain on our behalf. Amen.

So, what verses have spoken to you this Holy Week? Pot those verses on your own blog, along with how you see that God wants you to apply them in your own life. Then, provide your link below so that we can all drink from one another's wells of scripture.


Kathryn said...

Beautiful post, Celly! I love the children's crosses.

I will probably write tomorrow. Too early last week, too late this week! Oh, well ...

Can't wait to see you all on Monday! Have a glorious SON-day! :-D

Lelia Chealey said...

Wonderful for the kids to do that! I am going to do that today with mine so thanks for the idea.

I linked my post on Easter...thoughts from reading the gospels yesterday.

Blessings on your day!