WOL Newsletter 181: The Pearl
March 27, 2016
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Edited by Stacie Thomas

There's not a whole lot left to say after this message. Or after any Easter message, really. Jesus died for you to live.
I find it sad that the life He gave up for us, led to nothing more than the pathetic lives we choose to live for ourselves, not for Him.
I know the evidence shows that Jesus died of heart failure, but I can't help but wonder if it was more of a broken heart; knowing that we will never fully appreciate, accept and return the love He has for us.
The hope that remains, is that He overcame death, and we, too, can overcome our 'death', if we just choose to live for Him going forward.

The Pearl

It would be good, and fair, and just, for God to just take away all of those people that would murder or rape someone else, and do anything that would make innocent people suffer in any way, wouldn't it? But, we have one serious problem now: where does the line get drawn? When is the evil good enough to pass by? If God has to do away with all evil in the world, He has every right to start with you: Romans 6:23. Our Holy, All-powerful God can’t accept the thought of losing us. He loves us in our hateful, spiteful, self-destructive ways, because He sees what we could be—what He made us to be, and He can’t give up on us, in His love. Jesus saw that there could be only one answer, no matter how incomprehensible it may seem: Give the sentence that He had to give, then, step in and take that sentence for us, as God Himself: Romans 6:23. The penalty was paid; mankind could see the consequences of evil and its result, but we could still be with our King, Jesus. 1 Peter 3:18, 1 Peter 2:24. Don’t think that Jesus didn’t have every freedom to abandon the entire mission and still live in eternity with our Father: Matthew 26:51-53, John 10:17-18, Luke 4:5-6: He didn’t do it for the Power of ruling; He chose to suffer for the Love of the Father and saving His beloveds.

Matthew 26:36-39: Jesus took His closest three disciples with Him because He was about to experience the most crushing, intimate, terrifying moment of His earthly life, and He wanted to open this most personal time up only to His closest friends—to see how far Jesus allowed Himself to be pushed in His human suffering; He openly admitted that He was crushed with despair that He literally thought He could die. Luke 22:43-44: the ‘bloody sweat’ that Luke mentions here is a documented medical phenomenon brought about by unbearable stress and pain (hemathidrosis); this condition meant that left untreated, He was literally dying from the weakened stage of shock His body suffered. Jesus allowed Himself to be so broken that He sweat blood through His very pores as He asked the Father to find another way. These drops of blood were by far, the sweetest drops shed at the highest price, of all the Blood He was about to spill for us. The disciples had never seen Jesus like this—the Messiah stood before them in tears, sweating Blood, and asking why they couldn’t sit up and pray with Him. Why would God allow Himself to suffer this humiliation and pain for something He didn’t do, for a chance to save people that didn’t even love Him back? He prayed for God to take it away; He didn’t fear the physical pain that was coming, but the agony of all of our sins being put into His innocent heart and soul; the agony of hell that we don’t have to feel because of Him; the hell of total aloneness and rejection from all love and hope. He asked God three times to find another way, and received silence from the Father. (When you think you’re not being heard- even though you are- Jesus understands). The final answer was the parade of guards armed with swords and clubs to carry Jesus to illegal trials in the night. Crucifixion was the most cruel and torturous death that one could endure. Matthew 26:28. What kind of strength, will and determination would it have taken for Jesus to begin His journey, already sweating blood because His body was racked with stress and suffering hypovolemic shock, to continue to be beaten by soldiers until He was literally unrecognizable, scourged until His flesh ripped open, bones and organs in view, enduring massive blood loss and dehydration, with a crown of thorns shoved on His brow, spat at; then struggle to carry the patibulum of the cross to the site of His Crucifixion—that is designed to make the victim suffer just to breathe for hours. To be certain of His death, a legionnaire drove a spear through His chest, which resulted in blood and water coming out separately, evidence that He died of heart failure. Even during this torture, Jesus prayed for those that were killing Him; that the Father wouldn’t hold these crimes against them.

Jesus never tried to impress or beg anyone to come to Him. He did everything, gave everything, in love to save them—if they chose. He let them know He only wanted those who would love them back with the same abandonment. Matthew 13:44-46: the One Pearl of Great Price is found in God who would allow Himself to be pushed beyond His own human capacity to handle the punishment we were to receive; to be humiliated and tortured, spit on and defiled; to take the blame for every terrible thing we’ve done, and suffer the separation and hell that came with it. When you realize that it is the All-powerful God that humbled Himself in love, to do this for you, you have found the Pearl.

Since Jesus created you, died for you (even though you have worked against Him), you should be thrilled and desperate to have Him; you should go to Him, seeing His love and sacrifice…whatever the cost, declare your love for Him.

Revelation 5:11-13

Upcoming Events:

March 20: Easter Egg Hunt @ Culloden Elementary: 3p-5p
March 26: FLOCK Youth Ski Trip- see Jay
March 27: Sunrise Service (leave church 6:15am); breakfast at Teays Valley truck stop afterwards 7:45am
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