The Grief Of Remorse

26th-27th March

Weekend Edition

When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshipped God and said, “Surely this man was innocent.” And when all the crowd that came to see the crucifixion saw what had happened, they went home in deep sorrow.”

Luke 23:47-48

Have you ever done something so bad that had huge consequences, then after you do it, you are filled with an immeasurable amount of shame, guilt and remorse? Maybe not, but there are plenty of people throughout the Bible who had. One such man was the Roman officer, commissioned to oversee Jesus’ crucifixion. We may not know a lot about this man but based on Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s accounts of Jesus’ final moments, we can assume that this man knew he had made a big mistake in executing, not just an innocent man, but as Matthew records in 27:54, “..the Son of God!”

As Jesus breathed His last breath the Heavens mourned for the Only Begotten Son of God. There was an earthquake, the skies were turned black, and the curtains of the temple tore in two. There was chaos. This had never happened before after someone had been crucified. Was it a coincidence? What is a natural phenomenon? No! It was the pains of the Son of Man dying and at the same time the victory cries that what Jesus set out to do had been completed.

These events caused such a stir, that many people began to question, ‘did we just call for the head of an innocent man?’ Even the crowds, who a week earlier had rejoiced in Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem on a colt with palm trees and songs of praise, who then called for Jesus’ crucifixion with such hatred, seemed to also be filled with great remorse as they went home with “..deep sorrow.” We can also recall the story of when the resurrected Jesus met two His followers on the road to Emmaus and told Jesus that He must be “the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened…” in the last few days.

Jesus’ death and resurrection still causes shocks today. Opinion is divided as people recall the event of 2000 years ago. Some people, like the Roman officer, feel remorse for their sins and realise that what Jesus did on the cross was for them. Others ignore what He did. Yet for those who do accept, great joy and freedom await. What will you choose?

The Joy Of Jesus’ Birth

15th December

She (Anna) came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.

Luke 2:38 (Anna the Prophet’s name added)

How did you react the first time you heard that Jesus was born to rescue us from our sins and to give us new life in Him? Joy? Gladness? Or no emotion at all?

In today’s story we learn of the prophet Anna who was daily found in the temple praying and fasting. In fact she never left the temple. She knew that one day a Saviour would come to rescue her people from persecution and to restore Jerusalem (Israel) as a sacred place of worship. As soon as Ana saw Jesus, she began praising God, because she knew that the child with Mary and Joseph was the One who would set her people free. So great was her excitement that she told everyone about it.

When you have been expecting good news and it finally arrives, our reactions are of such joy that we want to tell the whole world about it; so it was with Anna. Our excitement should be the same. We know that a Saviour did come to set people free. He did come to liberate. His liberation was far more powerful than just freedom from political powers but freedom from sin, freedom from the enemies grasp and freedom to be who God created us to be. That Saviour was Jesus Christ, the Son of God. And we are all part of His great plan. That is worth rejoicing about, right?

Rejoice….It’s A New Day

24th March

“This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24 

Psalm 118 is filled with fulfilled promises about Jesus the Messiah. Many wonderful songs have been written using the Psalmist’s wonderful words. Yet none more so than today’s verse. We could take this verse and build it into its context of hardships and struggles. However, simply lets take this verse as face value.

Whatever you are going through, this is the Lord’s day. Whatever challenges you may face, this is the day that God has made. Be strong and rejoice. Rejoicing is a choice. You choose to rejoice in the day, because you know God Himself has made it for you. The Lord has made this day for you to enjoy…REJOICE.