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April 3, 2021

This week believers of the gospel of Jesus Christ all have the opportunity to celebrate His life, death, and resurrection. Jesus was sent to earth with a purpose to redeem man back to God. He was born in a barn in Bethlehem of Judea, and Mary, his mother, laid Him in a manger. On His birth day, shepherds were informed of His birth, and they sought Him and found Him. After which the scripture in Matthew 2:20 said, “And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”

Shortly after that, Joseph was instructed in a dream to flee to Egypt with Mary and Jesus, for Herod was looking for Jesus to kill Him. After Herod’s death, Joseph and his family returned to their native land and lived in Nazareth.

The bible stated in Luke 2:40, “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him.” Besides that verse, the only recorded event in the life of Jesus’s boyhood was when he was twelve years old, and his family traveled to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. While traveling back home, Mary and Joseph discovered that He was missing, so they returned to Jerusalem and found Him in the temple, conversing with the doctors doing His Father’s business.

Jesus’s life story reopens at age thirty when He began His earthly ministry teaching the kingdom of God principles, healing the sick, raising the dead, and casting out demons. At the end of three years, Judas Iscariot betrayed Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, and Jesus was brought before Pilate by the Jews to be prosecuted. Pilate acquiesced to the desire of Jews and sentenced Jesus to death.

Before crucifying Jesus, the Roman soldiers spat in his face while others struck him.  They put a platted crown of thorns upon his head and beat the crown into his head with a cane. Their final act of cruelty was to scourge him, and then they took him to Golgotha and crucified Him in between two thieves. During that torturous day, Jesus at any time could have stopped the men from their evil acts, but He bore all of the bodily pain and bruising to redeem us.

There has been a debate on the actual day that Jesus was crucified. To be three days in the earth, scholars have said He needed to be buried either Wednesday or Thursday and not Friday. To me, whatever day He was buried is insignificant. What is important is that He died, He fulfilled His purpose, and He completed His earthly assignment.

So, the soldiers hung him on the cross in the morning, and He died in the afternoon around the ninth hour of the day. Joseph the Arimathaea took His body, wrapped it in clean linen, and laid it in a new tomb. While His body lay in the tomb for three days, He descended into the lower part of the earth and preached to the spirits in prison (1Peter 3: 18-19). On the first day of the week, the grave could no longer hold Him, and Jesus arose. He became my kinsman-redeemer, and for this, I am grateful, and I celebrate his resurrection knowing He did this for me. Thus, I must end this blog with the lyrics of the song “Just for Me” by Donnie McClurkin, which I’ve been humming all week.

               JUST FOR ME

What does the cross of Jesus mean?
It’s more than songs we sing, yeah
Much more than that emblem on your chain
But it means I’m free, yes from the chains of slavery
And the blood that shed won’t let my sins remain, oh my

Upon the cross my saviour died, the lamb was crucified
Showed us love that this world had never known
Oh what love, divine so divine, true a love you’ll never find
So that we might live, love came and died alone, Hallelujah

Well the cross will always represent the love God had for me
When the Lord of glory, heaven sent gave all on calvary
He did it just for me, just for me, Hallelujah
Jesus came and did it just for me, help me sing

Just for me, just for me (oh yes)
Jesus came and did it just for me (oh)
Just for me, just for me
Oh, Jesus came and did it just for me.

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