DAILY DISCIPLINE #4
By Colleen Donahue
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" John 14:6
These startling words spoken by Jesus have had the world up in arms for centuries. How dare he tell us that HE is the ONLY WAY to reconnect with God? Yet God had His reason for making His Son the one way for us to come back to Him. For one thing, it makes it very clear as to what we are to do. We don't need to bad-mouth other teachers, but in knowing Jesus we come to know the one the Father fully trusted for our salvation and life.
Scripture is full of snapshots, or portraits of Jesus so that we can study his life and decide if he is worth following. For if he is worth following, then it will demand our entire life. Matthew recorded these words of Jesus that should give us pause. "...and anyone who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." Matthew 10:38-39
We have been raised to be independent and self-sufficient so that we can cope in a society that is "every man for himself". The days of getting together to help each other build a barn or finish a quilt or even to enjoy each other's company are now almost gone. Our own lives are far too hectic and busy to get deeply involved with others and vice versa.
Yet, despite this growing trend to independent living there, is one man who still demands that we give our entire life to be used for His purposes. Society may be changing, but his command is the same today as it was 2,000 years ago: "....whoever loses his life for my sake will find it back again." Jesus doesn't budge an inch! His rules are simple-- if you're going to be on His team you've got to give up all rights to yourself. And once you do that you can be guaranteed that you'll be stepping out of your independent "icebox" and becoming involved and committed to the people that Jesus will lead your way.
But why would anyone give their whole life away to be used for another's purposes? How can Jesus be so bold to demand "our all"? This month I'd like you to take a look at some of the Bible's "Portraits of Jesus". If you have not yet given your whole life to Jesus then I'd urge you to study these passages carefully so you can come to your own conclusion as to whether it's worth being on His team. If you have given your life to Jesus, then rereading these passages will help you to know and love your Lord better.
PORTRAITS OF JESUS
CHRIST'S HERITAGE AND DIVINE ROLE
Day 1- Jesus started back in eternity with God
While Matthew and Luke give us the details of Christ's human lineage and his birth into it, John begins his gospel back in eternity.
"The Word" is God's name for Jesus. Because Jesus is God he was to be a "living Word" when he came to earth. His life was one that would be "read" by anyone wanting to see the "Son of God".
Then we read something that we don't usually attribute Jesus to.
When we read in Genesis about the creation of the world we just think about God doing it all. But in fact, God the Father was the Master Architect who created his universe through Jesus -- the cosmic carpenter.
Colossians 1:15-17 / Hebrews 1:1-2
When Jesus created the earth it was full of light and beauty. But by the time He arrived as a human on it, it was as though the light had gone out of it. The fall of man -- declaring independence from God -- had made the world a very dark place. Jesus, full of God's Spirit was coming to turn the light back on.
John 1:4-5, 14
Day 2- Christ's heritage
A. What family would Jesus be a descendant from?
Jesse was the father of King David and so Jesus would be a brand from this family in the tribe of Judah.
B. For as great as King David was to God and his people, Jesus would have a much greater anointing and influence. WHO will Jesus be anointed with?
These names reflect with the Holy Spirit would be to Jesus in His lifetime and then later when Jesus would pour out His Spirit on us. He would become our spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, and knowledge.
Day 3- Jesus is sovereign over the earth
Isaiah in prophesying Christ's birth indicates that Jesus would be the head of a government -- not a religion. What names does Isaiah say Jesus will be called?
Later, when Jesus starts to preach, we'll learn that this government is called the Kingdom of God. From these two verses in Isaiah, what do we learn about the Kingdom of God and Christ's role in it?
Day 4- Jesus is the King
A. John 12:12-15
B. Since many of us grew up in the various forms of democracies, the fact that Jesus is a king means little to us when it should mean a great deal. If you examine Christ's teaching, most of it had to do with explaining the Kingdom of God. When he began his public ministry his first words were these:
C. Jesus didn't come to start a new religion. He came to bring back the rule of God into men's hearts -- he came to bring back the government that God originally wanted for his people.
Isaiah 9: 6-7
D. Here is a fact about a king different from a democracy. If the president of the United States goes to another country, the government stays in Washington. But in the case of a king (or queen), wherever the king goes the whole government goes with him. He IS the government.
God had originally made man to be a house for His Spirit. When sin came in this arrangement broke down and the Holy Spirit left man's spirit. Now Jesus had come to bring God's Spirit back to man so that the king could once again dwell in his people. Jesus has brought the Kingdom of God back to earth with Himself as the king and our way into the Kingdom. After he died and rose from the dead, he poured out His Spirit to live within anyone who would receive Him. And that's what Jesus meant when he said, "....the Kingdom of God is within in."
Luke 17:20-21 / 1 Corinthians 3:16
If the Spirit of Jesus dwells in YOU, then YOU have the entire Kingdom of God within you and all of the privileges of being a citizen (or member of God's family).
Day 5- Jesus -- "The Son of Man"
A. What name did Jesus often use to refer to Himself?
Matthew 9:6 / 16:13 / 20:28 / John 5:26-27
B. Son of Man was a name used to describe Jesus by the Prophet Daniel.
C. Jesus, while being the Son of God became one of us - the Son of Man --so He could lead us back to the Father. Paul describes this attitude that Jesus had while living on earth.
Day 6- Jesus -- The Divine Teacher
In this exchange with Nicodemus, we have one of Israel's teachers learning from Jesus the divine teacher.
The issue at hand as the need to be "born again" (the only time Jesus used this term) and it left Nicodemus scratching his head. Man had originally been made to walk in partnership with God by having God's Holy Spirit indwelling his own. Sin had driven the Holy Spirit from us and man died spiritually. Now here was Jesus bringing the Holy Spirit back to us (because He was full of God's Spirit) and saying, "You must be born again." (vs 7).
Day 7 - What was Christ's mission to be on earth? Make a list as you read these verses.
Isaiah 11:3-5, 10 / Isaiah 42:1-7 / Isaiah 61:1-3
When Jesus first started to preach, he went back to his hometown of Nazareth and went to the synagogue on the Sabbath. He stood up to read and was handed the scroll of scriptures. Jesus found these exact words in Isaiah 61:1-3 and read them. Then he sat down and said, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4:16-21).
Day 8- Jesus - the soul winner
Jesus was on a mission to win souls for God. In this passage we see the master going after not only a lowly woman but a despised Samaritan woman. So if we feel we're part of the outcasts then we're just the kind of person that Jesus wants.
Day 9 - Christ's main mission was the redemption and restoration of man
A. God the Father is the author of redemption. This means that although He saw that His children would choose to walk in sin rather than close to Him, He wanted to make a way for any person who wanted to be restored to return to how God originally made us. To fulfill this redemption, He would do it through his Son. This Son was Jesus whom John the Baptist's father --Zechariah-- would prophesy about. As you read these verses list what this Son of God would do for us.
B. God instigated the redemption process but He did it through Christ. What happens in redemption?
Romans 3:24 (Note: to be justified means to be made "just-as-if-I'd-never-sinned")
1 Corinthians 1:30 (Note: God put every person "in Christ" so that if we wanted, Christ would become for us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.
Colossians 1:14 / Colossians 2:13-15
1 Peter 1: 18-19
Day 10- Jesus is the light of the world
A. Isaiah predicted that a man would come when the world was in darkness and he would light it up like a light being turned on.
Isaiah 9:2 / Isaiah 42:6
B. And as a light what would this man do?
C. When Jesus came on the scene we find him doing exactly that.
-Notice two things from this passage. There are physical conditions not caused by sin and therefore it's never our prerogative to judge sinners. The 2nd thing to notice is what Jesus called himself in vs 5 and also in John 8:12.
D. Jesus was the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy.
Matthew 4:12-16 (especially vs 16)
E. Why was Jesus the light for the world then and now?
John 1:4 / 1 John 1:5
F. Man was created to have the Spirit of God (called the Holy Spirit) dwell within his own spirit. When Adam and Eve sinned by choosing to live independently from God, the Holy Spirit left and the light went out. From that time man began to live in darkness. Jesus was the first man back on earth full of the Holy Spirit -- full of God's light and truth -- and he wanted to give this to anyone who would choose Him. When we believe in and receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour He gives us His Spirit to once again dwell in our own spirit. And it's this light of God who shines forth in every believer. We become like a lamp carrying a flickering flame so that others can see where they are going.
2 Corinthians 4:6-7 / Ephesians 5:14
Day 11- Jesus is a friend of sinners
So often religious people take a self-righteous stand against those they perceive to be "sinners". They do that without realizing their own sin of pride and self-righteousness is worse than what they perceive as a greater moral sin. It's this situation that Jesus is confronted with here. Read it through and then we'll look at it more closely.
-Who brought the woman to Jesus? vs. 3a
-Where did they make her stand? vs 3b -- You only do this kind of cruel expose' if you have a major point to make highlighting your own righteousness.
-What moral sin had this woman committed? vs 4
-What law was in effect at that time and what did it require? vs 5
- Notice that they were trying to find some way to trap Jesus by uncovering something they could accuse him of. Instead of reacting to what they were doing, what did Jesus do? vs 6
In this way, Jesus "hit the pause button" for himself and for them. No doubt some in the crowds were horrified by the whole scene and were anxious to know what Jesus would do.
-Only a skillful master could have answered as Jesus did. Vs 7
The Pharisees and teachers of the law had created a big divide: us righteous people who follow the law of Moses vs. those other immoral people who sin.
But Christ's answer knocked down the dividing wall. Suddenly, the whole crowd was a crowd of people who had sinned against God one way or another and now they were all the same.
-While Jesus let his words sink in, he patiently waited while what happened? vs 9
-Now alone with the woman, he asks her one question: vs 10
-Then came his startling affirmation - vs 11a
It has been a comfort since Christ's time to our own that Jesus did not come to condemn us but to save us. He is a friend to sinners because there is no other kind of people to befriend. (Romans 8:1)
-Was Jesus condoning the sin of adultery? vs 11b
No, for he leaves her with one plain directive, "...leave your life of sin." Jesus never gives a command to us that we can't do. When we are "caught" in our sin as this lady was, or just plain sick of our sin, we can find in Jesus the forgiveness we seek. But we can also expect his firm directive, "go and leave your life of sin" and his presence and power will make that possible for us.
Day 12 - Jesus is the true vine -- What being part of the family of God means:
John 15:1-16 -- Read these through and then we'll look at them closely.
- All families have connection -- some closer than others. But Jesus likens being in the family of God as being on the true vine and being organically connected as a branch of that vine. vs. 1
- The whole purpose of existing as a branch on the vine is to bear fruit for the life of the world around you. vs 2
- So, if we want to be part of this family, we need to realize we can no longer be an independent "lone ranger", doing what we want. vs. 4-5
- If we decide to keep living as we were before becoming part of the family of God -- i.e. in our own independent ways -- then what will happen? vs 6
Sadly this is what happens to so many. They say they believe in God but basically live their life without Him.
- Staying vitally connected with Jesus day by day comes with great privilege. vs 7-8
- The family of God wants every one of us to remain vitally a part of it and to stay within its folds of love. How do we do that? vs 9-10
- This is the way that our joy will be complete in life! vs 11
- And by our obedience what are we privileged to be called? vs 12-15
-Finally, Jesus wants us to know that we have been chosen and appointed to fulfill our role in the family of God. And for a second time repeats our privilege. vs 16 (and vs 7)
If we are connected to the vine then we can't just independently take off and do what we want. So when we have a need connected with our role in the family of God then we are invited to ask in Jesus' name knowing that God will give it to us.
Day 13- Jesus the Good Shepherd
A. King David, who loved God with all his heart, did not know Jesus and yet he often prophesied about him. In probably the most famous psalm in the world, what does David boast about?
B. How did Isaiah describe Jesus when he would come?
C. And then, when Jesus came how did he describe himself?
Looking a little more closely at these verses in John 10:
-What did Jesus call himself two times? Vs 7 & 9
A sheep pen would often be in a natural enclosure of some kind and in the opening would stand the shepherd accounting for each sheep coming through. Once the sheep were inside, he stood there to guard against any thieves or predators. In calling himself "the door" Jesus is telling us how to get into his flock. We come to Him and ask -- only one way -- and that makes it simple and clear.
-Now again, what does Jesus call himself two times? Vs 11a , 14
-As the good shepherd, Jesus has a sober responsibility to all who are part of his flock. vs 11b, 15
-In saying this Jesus was predicting his own death on our behalf. vs 17-18
D. But it would be a death followed by a resurrection.
For you and I, this means that as a member of Christ's flock Jesus has gone through all the tough things ahead of us and is prepared to lead us through death and to an eternity of life with Him.
Day 14 - Jesus is greater than any earthly High Priest.
The High priest was a man selected from among the Jewish people to represent them before God -- especially in regards to their sins. He was called by God and then confirmed by men. Therefore it was a place of great honor and authority. As you read these verses answer for yourself why Jesus was much greater than any High Priest.
Hebrews 2:17 / Hebrews 4:14-Hebrews 5:10
Day 15- Jesus is better than the prophets and angels
We would all say that the Old Testament writers and prophets were pretty special people. We'd also say that God's angels were very special messengers. But in this passage, the writer of Hebrews tells us why Jesus is far better than the prophets and angels. List out why He is superior as you read through this chapter.
Day 16 - Jesus a man of sorrows
These next predictions by Isaiah are some of the most important and relevant to you and I. Isaiah describes how Jesus would become a man of sorrows for our sake. What would happen to Jesus on account of what we did? Make a list as you read through these verses.
We move now to the New Testament Gospel of john. While the other three gospel writers focused on Jesus as a man sent by God who did amazing things, John focuses on what those amazing things tell us about Jesus.
Day 17- Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life
John 11:1-44 --Read through this entire passage and then let's look at it more closely
- This family of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were Christ's friends. They were so close that when Lazarus became ill who did Mary and Martha send word to immediately? vs3
-Now, the natural response of Jesus would have been to RUN to Bethany upon a word from the sisters. But what did he do? vs 6
- Jesus knew that God had a higher purpose in this situation. What was it? vs 4
- Both Mary and Martha had the same response when they saw Jesus. vs 21 & 32
"Lord if...... then......" How often do we say the same?
-Then Jesus gives a radical command and there is protest! vs 39
How often do we say the same when he wants us to do something out of the ordinary?
-How is it that we will see the glory of God in our situations? vs40
- When we believe in the Lord Jesus we can expect to see unusual things -- sometimes miraculous--- sometimes special only to us. But they will deepen our faith and love to Jesus because they show how intimately Jesus knows us. vs 43-44
WHAT JESUS DOES FOR US
Day 18- Jesus is the Restorer of the Penitent
A. The universal problem of all mankind is that we have sinned against God.
Genesis 6:5 / Psalm 53:3
B. It's true that many of us think we are "good people" in comparison to others, but what does God think?
And what is, therefore, true about us?
1 John 1:8
C. So, if we go on living in sin, sometimes the only way for God to get our attention is just to allow the consequences of sin to keep falling on us until we "wake up". These are God's words to Israel through Jeremiah -- and he could just as well be speaking to us!
D. When anyone of us wakes up to the fact that we are sinners and not "good people" before a holy God, then we take on a new attitude. What is that attitude?
E. A humble and contrite heart is what delight our Heavenly Father. And when He sees us with this kind of heart to Him what does He do for us?
Micah 7: 18-19
F. Most of these verses just read were addressed to God's chosen people the Jews. But God's love is towards the entire world. By sending His Son Jesus He had a plan in place to save everyone. These verse in Isaiah are predictions about what Jesus would do for you and I.
G. What Isaiah predicted came true.
1 Corinthians 15:3 / 1 Peter 3:18
H. The fact is, Jesus died ONCE and for ALL, to deal with our sins and the sin nature that keeps us sinning.
Yet notice in vs 28 the phrase, "Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of MANY people." Why doesn't it say "ALL people"?
I. While Christ's sacrifice on the cross is adequate for everyone, yet it will only be available and applied to one group of people.
Luke 13:2-3 / Acts 3:19 / Acts 17:30
Day 19- In this next amazing passage Jesus calls Himself, "The bread of life"
Read this passage through and then let's look more closely at it.
-Bread is what keeps us alive and then satisfies us as well. Jesus is saying that He is the one who will give us life and bring us true satisfaction. Hunger represents the dissatisfaction of man. Who gives us our "true bread"? - vs 32
-Who is the true bread from God identified as? Vs. 33
-Just so there is no confusion as to who this true bread is, Jesus tells us plainly four times. Vs 35A, 41, 48, 51A
-WHO is this living bread meant to give life to and satisfy? vs. 33, 40, 45
-While God wants Jesus to be life and satisfaction for EVERYONE, who will actually receive life and satisfaction? vs 35, 37,47,51,54,56
-Coming to Jesus and believing in Him are what enables us to be satisfied. And if we do these two things, what are we promised? Vs. 35, 37, 40, 44, 47,51,54,56-58
A. Four of these verses apply to satisfaction in both this life and the next.
B. Three of these verses promise that we will be raised up on the last day.
C. Five of these verses promise us eternal life with God.
This adds up to an eternity of satisfying life.
But the idea of eating and drinking Christ's flesh and blood was revolting to the people. When we take a simple meaning of scripture and our common sense, we can understand what Jesus is saying to us.
At this point only Jesus knew that a bloody death awaited him by crucifixion. By this death his blood would flow in sacrifice for our sin, it would procure pardon, and be life for man. Now Jesus in this discourse had been talking about eating and drinking and had referred to himself as the bread of life so it was natural to carry on with this vein. Among the Jews he was speaking to, eating and drinking was expressive of sharing in and partaking of the privileges of friendship.
Day 20 - Jesus is the Water of Life
If Jesus is the bread of life who satisfies our hunger, then to be the water of life must naturally follow.
Bread meets the physical needs of man, but here Jesus as living water was also ready to meet our spiritual needs. We know this from the next verse.
In life, men and women can live quite a long time without food, but without water, death comes within a few days. And so our spiritual life and health are of even greater concern than our physical.
Man was created to have God's Spirit indwelling our own. But sin drove the Holy Spirit from us. Now Jesus came to bring him back to us. When he rose from the dead, He would pour out his Spirit to all who would receive Him? Sin in these few verses, Jesus tells us how to receive His Holy Spirit.
1. Be thirsty
2. Come to Jesus for the bread of life but also for the water of life.
3. Drink until there is an overflow.
Day 21- Jesus is the reason that we can have His Spirit indwelling us.
John 16: 5-15
God had originally made man to be a vessel filled with His Spirit so that our lives would be a partnership with Himself. Because of sin, the Holy Spirit left his home within the spirit of man and we died spiritually.
Christ's purpose in coming was:
a. to defeat Satan that controls us
b. to make us ready to receive the Holy Spirit: through the forgiveness of our sins AND the death of our old sinful nature that keeps us sinning.
Jesus was the first man back on earth who was full of God's Spirit -- a prototype of what God wanted all of us to be like. For God wants a big family -- just like His Son -- and it's the Holy Spirit indwelling us that makes us like Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is also God, and the Spirit indwelling both the Father and the Son. Romans 8:9 is one verse that talks about "the Spirit of God" and then "the Spirit of Christ" all in the same verse. If WE don't have this same Spirit what does it signify? (see vs 9b)
So receiving the Spirit of Jesus back into our own spirit is our reconnecting link to the family of God. He's not just an optional extra but the vital necessity for anyone wanting to be part of the family of God.
Jesus tells us clearly the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives:
a. First, He will convince us that we are not the "good people" that we think we are. We have in fact sinned against God and man. John 16:8
Our main sin is that of rejecting Jesus (John 16:9) and is the sin preeminently offensive to God. If unrepentant, we are sure to be condemned.
Mark 16:16 / John 3:36
So it's the first sin that the Holy Spirit will convict us of.
b. Secondly, the Holy Spirit will convince us of the innocence and righteousness of Jesus Himself and therefore one we can trust with the salvation of our souls. (vs 10)
c. Third, the Holy Spirit will convince us that because God is just, he will execute judgment. The death and resurrection of Jesus was a sound condemnation of Satan who started the lie going that we could all be like gods knowing good and evil for ourselves and living independently from God. Therefore, since God vanquished his great enemy through Jesus, He will subdue all others in due time including us, if we don't repent and accept all that His Son has done for us. (vs 11)
d. These three things that the Holy Spirit convinces us to come because he gently guides us into the truth of Christ. He'll teach us only what He hears from the Father.
Then, he'll take what Jesus said and did and remind us of those things even if we don't own a Bible! vs 14-15 (also John 14:26)
e. If we choose to live by the truth that the Holy Spirit will show us, what will happen?
Day 22 - Jesus is a Servant
A. John 13:1-17
B. Now, here's something that sets Jesus apart from all other kings. Kings with all their power and authority are the ones who are served from morning till night. But Jesus as the King in the Kingdom of God turned the table on this protocol and came to serve us!
Matthew 20:28 / Luke 22:27 / Philippians 2:7
C. In washing his disciple's feet -- which was usually done by a household slave -- Jesus set the example for all of us who would become his followers.
Day 23- Jesus is the Great Physician.
He healed all who wanted to be healed. But he first made sure that this is what they wanted. Notice the seemingly obvious question he asks in these verses.
Healing is part of God's covenant with His children. He wants us to be well. But many don't believe that and therefore remain in their condition. Fortunately for this man that he believed Jesus and did what he was asked. His 38 years of paralysis was over. He was free!
Day 24- Jesus is our example in suffering
A. The sufferings that Jesus would endure for the sake of all men and women were predicted by Isaiah.
Isaiah 50:6 / Isaiah 53:3-5
B. Jesus had come to earth essentially to die for us and therefore He knew these predictions were about Him.
Luke 9:22 / Luke 22:37
C. Here is the example Jesus sets for us in suffering.
Mark 14:36 / Philippians 2:7-8
D. Suffering is never a pleasant thought, but Jesus wants his followers to be prepared. If they mistreated Him they will mistreat us.
Matthew 5:11-12 / Matthew 10:22
E. Suffering for Jesus' sake will always have its reward.
1 Corinthians 9:25 / 2 Corinthians 4:11 / James 1:12 / 1 Peter 5:4
Day 25 - Jesus Prepares the way for us
Jesus in speaking much of what John records in Chapters 13-16 of his gospel, was trying to prepare his beloved disciples for the real reason of his coming. He had come to earth to die. By his death, he would redeem his people. By his resurrection from the dead, he would triumph over sin and Satan so that man could be restored to God's original purpose for us -- you and I full of Christ's Spirit living in partnership for all eternity. Jesus was paving the way for all this to happen so that we would not fear the physical death we would each need to pass through to get to eternity. I don't know about you, but the fact that Jesus is preparing a place for me and then coming back to get me is a very sweet thought.
Day 26- Jesus is the conqueror of death
A. When our first parents sinned by disobeying the one command that God gave them, it brought them into spiritual death. God's Spirit left man's spirit and we were on our own to live life without the presence and power of God. This would secondly produce physical death instead of living forever with God in His kingdom. Man, in falling for Satan's deception forfeited his dominion over the earth leaving Satan to be the ruler of this present world. Satan's hatred for man is the antithesis of God's love for us. He wants us dead -- both now and eternally -- and works hard to keep us under his control.
Matthew 13:19 / John 8:44
B. Now God, knowing Adam and Eve's choice and because of His great love for us, had a plan in place even before the foundation of the world. By sending His Son Jesus, "in the likeness of sinful flesh", he was able to relate fully to you and me in our human struggles. But Jesus being God as well was not pulled into our hopeless condition. He was the first man back on earth full of the Holy Spirit and the power of God to overcome our common enemy Satan.
Colossians 1:19 / Colossians 2:9
C. While this first world exists, it will always be a fallen world under Satan's control. But you and I can opt-out of being under his rule by choosing to follow Christ. Christ's death in our place deals with all the sins we have done against God and other men and enables God to forgive us.
Ephesians 1:7 / Hebrews 9:22
D. Then, in a cosmic miracle, God put us (our sinful natures) into Jesus on the cross so that when He died, we died. (Romans 6:6) Our death with Christ puts a stop to our old sinful nature controlling us. We no longer have to stay living under the power of sin unless we choose to.
Ephesians 2:1-9 / Colossians 2:10-15
E. The forgiveness of our sins and our death with Christ enables Jesus to give us His own Spirit to once again fill our human spirit. This "law of the Spirit of life" sets us free from the "law of sin and death".
Romans 8: 1, 9-14
F. Jesus, in bringing back the Holy Spirit to earth could only release Him to us if he died. That is the meaning behind this word that Jesus spoke.
G. Satan thought in killing Jesus that he had put a nail in God's coffin. But in actual fact, when Jesus rose from the dead by the power of God's Spirit, he overcame physical death for himself. And then in giving His Spirit to anyone who would receive Him, He was multiplying Himself. The Holy Spirit back in our human spirit makes us all like "little Christs" roaming this earth and doing what Jesus did.
John 14:12-14 / Acts 1:8
H. So by killing Jesus, Satan's plan backfired. All of us have a choice as to our spiritual destiny -- life or death. It's true that we will not stay here in this fallen world and therefore we will experience physical death. But that will be our entrance into an eternity with God. God has plans for a NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH. You and I will be coming back to earth to rule and reign with Jesus as had been planned from the beginning.
Notice specifically in the middle of verse 4 that death will no longer exist. That's because Jesus has conquered death and it was one of the main reasons for which he came.
Day 27- Jesus is the great intercessor
John 17:1-26 is an entire chapter where we get to "listen in" on Jesus praying to His Father in front of his disciples on the eve of his death. Read the chapter and then let's go through these verses together.
- First, we see Jesus praying for himself. What did He want God to do for Him? vs1, 5
- Then, perhaps for his listening disciples, Jesus summarized his life work and confirmed with the Father that He had completed it. vs. 2-4
- Second, Jesus switches to praying for his disciples. In these three verses, what does He confirm about them? vs.6-8
- Who is Jesus specifically praying for and not praying for? vs9
- Then in the next verses list what Jesus asks for his disciples. vs10-19
- Now Jesus switches again to pray for all believers. vs 20
- And what does he want for them? vs 21-26
- It should be a great comfort for all of us to know that Jesus is today at the right hand of the Father praying for us!
In fact, that is Christ's great work now. He has entrusted the winning of souls to His church on earth and then Jesus joins with us to pray for those believers and us as well.
- Jesus, in having a life like our own, understands the difficulties of being human and that's what makes Jesus a great High Priest that stands before God day and night and able to pray for us in our specific needs.
Hebrews 2:17 / Hebrews 4:4-15
You and I are NEVER alone for even one minute. If no one else is praying for us, Jesus is praying for us and always keeping our name before the Father.
Day 28- Jesus is faithful to keep his promises
We'll end this study with certainty. Jesus will be faithful to keep His promises to us. And because He does that, what will we be able to do?
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