The Story of the Crucifixion

As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large crowd trailed behind, including many grief-stricken women. But Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are coming when they will say, ‘Fortunate indeed are the women who are childless, the wombs that have not borne a child and the breasts that have never nursed.’ People will beg the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and plead with the hills, ‘Bury us.’ For if these things are done when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry? ” Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!” But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” By this time it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last. When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped 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. But Jesus’ friends, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching. Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph. He was a member of the Jewish high council, but he had not agreed with the decision and actions of the other religious leaders. He was from the town of Arimathea in Judea, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come. He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long sheet of linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock. This was done late on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation, as the Sabbath was about to begin. As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed. Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to anoint his body. But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law.
Luke 23:26‭-‬56 NLT


(Zentangle(R)-inspired art by yours truly!)

19 years ago, I gave my very own heart to Jesus Christ; In the spring of 2000, Christ came into my heart at just the right time: I had been living with my mother and stepfather at the time while had been living in Philadelphia (I now live in Dover, Delaware in the Felton area). I had been forced by my parents to go out on the street and panhandle for them, and I think that I do know the real reason why: My stepfather had been a heroin addict while my mother had been an alcoholic, vices that would soon contribute to their deaths, the former in 2011 and the latter a few years earlier, in 2004.
As the calendar changed from the 20th to 21st century in 2000, by that time I became very scared and becoming desperate in need of something that would help me pull through all the trials of life. That year, I had discovered a book called Power For Living, and this book explains how people have been saved while having a personal relationship with God through the blood of Jesus Christ; I read that book and began to feel that, well, if Jesus could save those people, then maybe He could surely save me. So I began to pray and ask the Lord God to forgive me of all my sins…
19 years later, I am still blessed for the fact that Jesus has saved me through the precious blood that He has shed on the cross. But recently, there are those in my family, especially my uncle and aunt, who have ultimately closed their ears, because, in my own heart, they really do not want to hear any of the Gospel of Jesus and instead want to go about their own lives in their own way. I really do not want for them to miss out on the most wonderfully blessed fact that, because He loves us and in order for Him to save each and every one of us all, God sent His only Son to pay the ultimate price of His life on the cross, so that all of us could be saved and have the most extravagant gift of all: Life eternal. 

Of course, there are times when Satan has tempted me to give up on my Christian faith as well as praying for my family; He somehow whispered in my mind that my family shall not ever change and that I should just give up. But God does not want me to; He whispers to me that no matter what, just keep on praying…Just be patient, and it shall happen. I am hoping for that day in which my family shall finally change and then repent of their sins shall come someday, if not very, very soon.
I am so very grateful that the Lord God has been at my side throughout good and bad times; In the next year, I shall be celebrating 20 years since I have given my heart to the One who paid the price on the cross for me, Christ Jesus. And He shall be with me always, “…even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20, NLT) 

COME, FOLLOW JESUS: “Have Faith in God”

Mark 11:15-17, 22-24

“Your unfailing love will last forever…” (Psalm 89:2) (Illustration by Jenn Webster)

Today is Palm Sunday, the final Sunday of the life of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, thus beginning a week that is so very special for Christians like us: Holy Week, a very special week, one that commemorates the final week of Christ’s life; In that commemoration of that final week, the Son of our Heavenly Father would do something that nobody else in this whole, wide world could do: He took our place on the cross to be punished for us, to be whipped, beaten, suffer, and to die for us, so that every one of us could be saved through the blessed power of salvation that can only come from the precious blood that only the Lord Jesus Christ could ever shed for us.
     In the 11th chapter of the Gospel of Mark (NLT), shortly after making His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Jesus entered in the Temple, and instead of seeing people praying, He sees people buying and selling things such as animals for sacrifices. So with that, Jesus completely drove out each and every person who had done this instead of praying; Afterward, Jesus said to the people, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations’, but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”
     Of course, shortly after what Jesus had done, leading priests and teachers of religious law began to plot how they would kill the Christ, but because the people became so amazed at His teaching, they became afraid of Him (Mark 11:18, NLT).

Later on, Christ Jesus said the following to His disciples: “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea’, and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”
      Yes, Jesus simply told His disciples to just have faith in God; But what about you? Yes, you? Have you been having faith in yourself recently, only to have bad things come in your life, such as a job loss, a relationship breakup, or even a divorce? And have you also been trying to soothe those pains with nothing but vices such as drugs, alcohol, pornography, and even gambling? Do you so desperately need to have a change in your life?
     If so, then you are not alone-There are many other people just like you who ever so desperately need something that would change their lives for the very better, and do you want to know something else? I have some very wonderful news for you, in fact, Good News! In spite of all that you have gone through in your life, God loves you anyway, and He has finally found a way to save you from your darkness while showing His love for each and every one of you: In order to show His love for us, our Heavenly Father sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to take the place of a common criminal, allowing Himself to be forced to carry, to be beaten, to be whipped, and then to be nailed to, and then to suffer, bleed, and die on the cross for the payment of each and every one of our sins, both in the past and in the present.
     And then, three days later, our Lord God simply raised Jesus Christ from the dead and defeated death, then went out of that dark tomb, so that each one of us could very well have life eternal! Yes! Jesus died for YOU! Amen! My dearest friends, on this Palm Sunday, there is simply no greater gift than the gift of salvation that has been won for us by the precious blood that has been shed on the cross by Christ; This most precious gift is yours if you would only just fully accept it by repenting your sins and to ask Jesus to come into your heart.

 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:16-17, NLT)
     So on this Palm Sunday, are you ready to accept the free gift of salvation that Christ has won for you on the cross? Then please pray this prayer with me: “Oh, Lord God, Heavenly Father, I admit that I am a sinner. I have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed. I believe that You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die on the cross for my sins, and that you have raised Him from the dead on the third day, defeating death as He went out of that cold, dark tomb, so that I could have eternal life. I ask that You please forgive me of all my sins and that you allow Your Son, Jesus Christ, to come into my heart, so that I could follow Him always as my personal Savior. Thank You so very much that Your Son sacrificed Himself to save me. In Jesus name. Amen.”
     If you have just prayed this prayer with me, then you are now a part of God’s Great, Big Family! And now that you have given your very own heart to Jesus Christ, the very next thing that you yourselves need to do would be to read God’s Word, the Holy Bible, each and every day of your life; And then, you must attend Sunday service at your church, not just on any Sunday, but each and every Sunday of your life, so that you can praise, worship, and to thank our Lord God for loving you and saving you by sending Jesus to die on the cross for you. I very much hope as well as pray that you would make the most important choice of your life by giving your heart to Jesus Christ, not just today on Palm Sunday, but every day, and always. I would like to thank you so very much for taking the time to read my message today, and that, Lord willing, next week I shall bring you a very special Easter message. Until then, may the Lord God ever so richly bless you.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.