Reality Sunk In. Jesus was Gone. He is Risen! Just as He Said.

He is Risen Just as He Said! (Music Video Arise My Love by Newsong) via www.JeanWilund.com

REALITY SUNK IN. JESUS WAS GONE.

“It is finished,” He’d cried.

Then He lowered His head

and gave up His Spirit. 

Jesus’ followers watched

as darkness descended.

Reality sunk in.

Jesus was gone.

They laid Him in a tomb.

A stone sealed away hope.

Reality sunk in.

Jesus was gone.

The disciples mourned.

One day.

The world slept.

Two days.

Reality sunk in. 

Jesus was gone.

Three days.

The earth shook.

The stone rolled away.

The Truth was revealed.

Jesus was gone.

Then his disciples remembered. 

And reality sunk in.

Sin had lost its power. 

Death had lost its sting.

Hell had been defeated.

He is risen!

Just as He said. 

“Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered His words.”
~
Luke 24:5-8

The Red Thread of Jesus via JeanWilund.comCelebrate Resurrection Day with the music video below Arise My Love by Newsong featuring powerful scenes from the movie The Passion of the Christ


1 Day...2 Days...3 Days...Reality Sunk In. Jesus was Gone. He is Risen just as He said!… Click To Tweet

Remember

He is Risen Just as He Said! (Music Video Arise My Love by Newsong) via www.JeanWilund.comJesus’s disciples had known the truth. He’d told them He’d rise from the dead.

But the facts that faced them proved He’d been wrong. Jesus was gone.

Dead and gone.

But after He rose again, they remembered. Jesus is sovereign over all—even facts

Just as He’d said He would do, Jesus conquered sin and death and rose from the grave. 

No matter your circumstances or feelings, remember the truth. Remember Jesus’ wordseven when everything inside you screams otherwise.

Jesus has never let you down. He won’t start now.

He is faithful. Just as He said.

Trust and believe!




One Day. Two Days. Reality Sunk In. Jesus Was Gone.

RIP One Day. Two Days. Reality Sunk In. Jesus Was Gone. It was the Saturday Before Resurrection via www.JeanWilund.com

REALITY SUNK IN

“It is finished,” He’d cried.

Then He lowered His head

and gave up His Spirit. 

Jesus’ followers watched as the earth moved.

Reality sunk in.

Jesus was gone.

They laid Him in a tomb.

A stone sealed away hope.

Reality sunk in.

Jesus was gone.

The disciples mourned.

One day.

The world slept.

Two days.

Reality sunk in. 

Jesus was gone.

(to be continued . . . )


One day. Two days. Reality Sunk In. Jesus was gone. (To be continued...) #Easter #SundaysComing Click To Tweet

I hope you’ll share this, but remember the story isn’t over. 

It’s only Saturday after Friday before Sunday.

RIP One Day. Two Days. Reality Sunk In. Jesus Was Gone. It was the Saturday Before Resurrection via www.JeanWilund.com




Three Powerful Ways Christ Said I Love You

Three ways Christ Said I Love You via www.JeanWilund.com

I love you. 

The three best words ever spoken. 

In French, they say Je t’aime.

In Italian, Ti amo. Spanish, Te amo.

Germans say Ich liebe dich.

But on Good Friday, Christ said I love you with three different words: It is finished.

With these three words, Christ had taken all our sin upon Himself and set us free from its destructive, powerful grip. He bought us eternal life.

No more would we have to pay the penalty of our sin. Christ paid it all. It is finished. 

I love you couldn’t be said better . . . unless perhaps followed by three other words on the third day: He is risen.

On this Good Friday, let’s focus on these three powerful, extravagant ways Jesus said to us, I love you.

Three Powerful Ways Jesus Said I Love You


I love you.Three ways Christ Said I Love You via www.JeanWilund.com

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13 ESV


It is finished.

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
~ John 19:30 ESV


He is risen.

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
~ Matthew 28:6 KJV


Three Ways Christ Said I Love You #Easter #Christ Click To Tweet




How Jesus and Barabbas Are Similar but Very Different – And That Makes All the Difference

How Jesus and Barabbas are Similar but Very Different -- And that makes all the difference for us via www.JeanWilund.com


Just imagine1. . .

Barabbas, the son of the father

“He’s so beautiful,” the baby’s mother said to her husband. “Look, he has your eyes. Let’s call him Barabbas, son of the father.”

The proud father smiled.

Years flew by, and Barabbas grew up.

Somewhere along the path of his life, Barabbas became involved with a terrorist group in the midst of an attempted revolution and became a murderer. (Mark 15:7, Luke 23:19)

Now Barabbas sat in prison as another prisoner stood before Governor Pilate.

Jesus, the Son of the Father

“Crucify Him!” the people shouted. Some screamed and pointed at Jesus as He stood before Pilate in Jerusalem.

Pilate looked at the crowd of angry Jews and asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas 2, or Jesus, who is called the Messiah?’” 

The crowd shouted, “Give us Barabbas!” 

Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” 

“Crucify Him!” they shouted.

“Why, what evil has He done?”

But they shouted all the more. “Crucify Him!” 

Freedom

Sitting in prison, Barabbas heard the guard approaching.

“Barabbas, this is your lucky day. Come with me. You’re being released.”

Barabbas stood with a look of shock mingled with confusion and elation.  

“Pilate wants to release some man named Jesus, the Jew’s Messiah,” the guard said, “but the Jews seem determined to crucify Him. Pilate ordered me to bring you. He’s going to make them choose between you and Jesus.”

“Their want to crucify their own Messiah? What crime did He commit?” 

“Nothing that I can tell. But they want to crucify him anyway.”

Barabbas shook his head and laughed. “This may be my lucky day after all.”

Similar but Different

How Jesus and Barabbas are Similar but Very Different -- And that makes all the difference for us via www.JeanWilund.comBarabbas and Jesus were both the son of the father.

Barabbas literally means “son of the father.”

Some ancient manuscripts of Matthew 27:16–17 record his full name as “Jesus Barabbas.”  

Jesus was the Son of God the Father. (John 10:36)

Being the son of the father was their only similarity, though.

Jesus did the will of His Father, God. (John 6:38)

Barabbas did the will of his father, Satan. (John 8:44)

Barabbas stood guilty but not condemned. (Mark 15:7)

Jesus stood innocent but condemned. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Pilate set Barabbas free so that Jesus, the Son of His Father, God, would not, in order that we could be free.

The Rest of the Story

I wish I knew the rest of Barabbas’ story.

If I continued to imagine the parts of his story not included in the Bible, I’d place him in the back of the crowd gathered at Calvary.

He’d watch and wonder about this strange man named Jesus who seemed both helpless and yet powerful.

I’d imagine Christ, as he hung on the cross, looking into Barabbas’ eyes with love. 

And as Christ died, I’d like to believe Barabbas would understand and believe. And be saved.

I guess I’ll find out when I get to heaven. I hope he chose well and became Barabbas, not just the son of his father, but Barabbas, a child of God.

Believe

As Easter approaches, consider the minute details God orchestrated to ensure we would have no excuse to know, understand, and believe that Jesus Christ is the true Son of the Father, and He came to die for you.

“Jesus said to him,

“I am the way,

and the truth,

and the life;

no one comes to the Father

but through Me.”

(John 14:6 NASB)

Believe!

Please believe. 

Jesus Christ offers us the free gift of salvation. (Romans 10:9)


1 This post is taken from the following biblical passages AND my imagination of what could’ve happened. The Bible doesn’t tell us anything about Barabbas’ childhood or family. We know very little about him, but the Bible does tell us through his name that he was “the son of the father” and why he wound up in prison. Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, John 18, and Acts 3:14; Matthew 27:17; John 18:40; Matthew 27:22-23

2 Some ancient manuscripts of Matthew 27:16–17 list the name of the murderer as Jesus Barabbas. Others list his name only as Barabbas. 

See how Jesus & Barabbas are Similar but Very Different #Easter #Christ Click To Tweet


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Jesus, The King of Peace. Us, the Donkey?

Easter ~ Jesus, the King of Peace. Us, the Donkey? Lessons from Christ at Easter (via @JeanWilund.com)

Jesus, The King of Peace

The end was near.

Jesus’ ministry on earth was approaching its climax, but the large crowd gathered in Jerusalem for Passover remained unaware.

All they knew was this man called Jesus was coming. 

They hoped He was coming to set them free from the iron rule of Rome.

Crowds lined the streets with palm branches as they would a victorious ruler — a warrior king.

But Jesus rarely did the expected.

He came, not as the conquering king mounted on a warhorse, but riding on the colt of a donkey as the King of Peace.

It appears many felt betrayed that Christ chose to come as the King of Peace because they wound up betraying Him in the end.

Cries of “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel,” would soon be replaced with shouts of “Crucify Him!”

Jesus Christ, as the King of Kings (Revelation 19:16), could’ve rightfully marched into the capital city on a warhorse. 

He could’ve taken His place on any throne in the world, starting with the one in Jerusalem. But by design, He humbly rode in as the King of Peace on a donkey instead.

Us, a Donkey?

Jesus was pleased to ride on this humble beast of peace just as He is pleased for His Spirit to live in all who trust in Him. 

In a sense, the King of Glory has once again humbled Himself to ride a donkey. 

I guess I just called Christians donkeys. 

Calling Christians donkeys sounds worse than it is.

Kings of old traditionally rode donkeys during times of peace. They weren’t despised. They symbolized peace.

But they weren’t handsome warhorses, either. I’d rather see myself as a regal Arabian horse than a round, awkward-looking donkey.

But then again, as Christians with Christ living His life through us (Galatians 2:20), we’re really both.

We possess the strength of a warrior steed (Romans 8:37) with the calling of a peaceful donkey (Hebrews 12:14). 

Christians are Donkey Warriors

Even while seated on a donkey, Jesus never ceased to be the conquering, all-powerful Great I Am. (John 8:58)

Christians are called to be a people of peace through which the Great I Am displays His own glory. 

What donkey could feel degraded when the Great I Am sits upon him?

The warhorse suddenly becomes nothing in the presence of a donkey on which rides the King of Kings. 

It’s Not About the Steed. It’s About the Rider

I don’t want the world to notice me, but Christ in me.

I’m not always a pretty sight, marred by selfishness, anger, and impatience.

But if others see Christ in me, they’ll see the peaceable strength of love, grace, and mercy even in times when those three seem out of place.

Let’s aim to be Donkey Warriors — Christians who exude Christ’s calling of peace with the quiet power of Christ’s Spirit. 

He must increase, but I must decrease.
~John 3:30

If we live like Donkey Warriors, perhaps we’ll hear the same words spoken of our generation as were spoken during the last week of Jesus’ ministry on earth:

 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.”

I can’t think of anything better that could be said about me than that my life made others go after Christ. 

I admit I’ve feared that my life has driven people away from Christ instead of to Him!

Read, Listen, & Reflect

I encourage you to read John 12:12-19 and consider what it would’ve been like as Jesus entered Jerusalem on the donkey while listening to Michael W. Smith’s song “Giving” from his “Freedom” album.

This song seems to fit the somber mood Jesus and the disciples may have felt as He entered Jerusalem in peace.

Then the mood in the music and Jerusalem intensifies as the people worshiped their coming King only to discover He’s not the King of War they want. Instead, He’s the humble King of Peace they need.

How can we reflect Christ’s peace to those around us today?

What can we do today to show the world the King of Peace they so desperately need?

The Red Thread of Jesus via JeanWilund.com

The Red Thread of Jesus via JeanWilund.com

I hope you’ve been encouraged today, and I hope you’ll join me tomorrow as we move closer and closer to Resurrection Sunday. 

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A Cross, Not a Stone Because Jesus Came to Set Us Free, Not Be Set Free

Easter Tuesday ~ Everything could've been different, but God required a Cross, Not a Stone ~ Jesus Came to Set us Free, Not to be Set Free (Featuring "Freedom" by Michael W. Smith)

A Cross or a Stone?

Everything could’ve been different—horribly tragically different—if God hadn’t intervened. 

Whew!

One of the first lessons we learn in church is that Jesus came to set us free from sin and He accomplished it through His death on the cross. 

But did you know God chose the time, place and manner of Jesus’ death before the foundations of the world? 

And that man tried to change it with some stones?

For years, I never stopped to think about all the complex orchestration and maneuvering Christ’s crucifixion required. 

As man moved, God moved because He required a cross, not a stone, and Jesus came to set us free, not to be set free. 

Let’s consider just a few of the main events God had to coordinate.

But first, for your listening pleasure, hit the play button on Michael W. Smith’s song “Freedom” from his Freedom album. It could be the soundtrack to Jesus’ life.

The Red Thread of Jesus via JeanWilund.com

The Red Thread of Jesus via JeanWilund.comStone Him!

A short time before the week leading up to the cross, Christ enraged the Jewish leaders.

He claimed equality with God. 

Them’s fightin’ words by Jewish law. Stoning words, to be exact. 

“anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them…”
~ Leviticus 24:16a

The Jewish leaders declared utmost loyalty to the Law of Moses. Moses was The Man to them.

But even with their devotion to God’s laws passed down to Moses, the hardness of their hearts blinded them to the truth standing before them.

They refused to see Jesus, the Christ, for who He really is—God in the flesh. Messiah, come to save them from sin.

Thus, those loyal leaders faced Jesus and bowed low to the ground—but not to worship—to pick up stones. 

“We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
~ John 10:33

But God Required a Cross, Not a Stone

God had already predetermined that Jesus would be crucified on the cross, even before Roman crucifixion was a thing. Even before being Roman was a thing. 

Long ago, through their hero Moses, God had pointed to Christ on the cross. 

“The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”
~ Numbers 21:8 

The Red Thread of Jesus via JeanWilund.com

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;”
~ John 3:14

Through the prophet Zechariah, God had revealed how Christ would die.

“…they will look on Me whom they have pierced…”
~ Zechariah 12:10

The leaders picked up stones and set out to kill Jesus, but fortunately, God is not hindered by man’s plans.

“…they tried to seize Him, but He escaped their grasp.”
~ John 10:39

Not even a crowd can hold onto one man if that one man is the Son of Man. 

Two other times Jesus slipped away from those who wanted to kill Him before His appointed time, place, and manner. (John 7:30, Luke 4:30)

No one could lay a hand on Jesus at that time because God required a cross, not a stone.

Jesus Came to Set Us Free, Not Be Set Free

The Jewish leaders had tried to kill Jesus before His hour had come. 

The Roman Governor, Pilate, tried to do the opposite. He tried to set Jesus free.

So Pilate said to Him [Jesus], “You do not speak to me?
Do You not know that I have authority to release You,
and I have authority to crucify You?”

The Red Thread of Jesus via JeanWilund.com

Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me,
unless it had been given you from above . . .”
As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him . . .
~ John 19:10-12a

Jesus’ words transformed Pilate from speaking with boldness and arrogance about his great authority to quaking in his Roman sandals.

Pilate had set out to put Jesus in His place. Jesus showed Pilate that His place is above all earthly rulers.

It seems Pilate grasped this truth enough to make “efforts to release Him.” 

When you’re one of the heads of the government in Jerusalem, that shouldn’t be too difficult, unless the Head over All intervenes.

God moved because Jesus came to set us free, not to be set free. 

Christ Had an Appointment With The Cross He Couldn’t Miss

God wouldn’t allow Pilate to cancel Jesus’ appointment with the cross even though Pilate was right. Jesus wasn’t guilty of any wrong.

Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.”
~ Luke 23:4

The Red Thread of Jesus via JeanWilund.com

And Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him.
~ Luke 23:14

The Red Thread of Jesus via JeanWilund.com

And he [Pilate] said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him.”
~ Luke 23:22

All through the last week of Christ’s life, God moved each of the players into place so our relationship with Him could be restored. 

If Jesus had been killed before the appointed time, place, or manner, or if He’d been set free and not crucified, we’d be lost today.

Everything would be different.

We’d be without our Savior, and we’d have a God who wasn’t able to save us. 

We’d be without hope. 

But God is able, and we do have a Savior—a crucified and risen Savior.

We’ve been set free because Jesus wasn’t.

for truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your plan had predestined to take place.
~ Acts 4:27-28

If God Can Orchestrate Christ’s Life, He Can Orchestrate Yours

At times, it looked like God’s plan was falling apart. But He never lost control.

God worked all things out perfectly for our good and His glory.

But sometimes even God’s perfect plan involves pain and heartache for a good purpose that we, unfortunately, don’t always get to understand this side of heaven.

Let’s not lose heart when we feel like the plan for our life must be falling apart.

Pray and trust God to work in His time.

Look to Him for your next step.

God never fails. 

The Red Thread of Jesus via JeanWilund.com

Share this post with your friends and family and join me tomorrow as we move through Easter week to Resurrection Day. 

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