Jesus cashed us Out

Heard this morning on the radio, the story of a cashier (I believe at Walmart), whose gesture emulates the love of Christ Jesus. As a mom with 5 kids and a cart full of groceries was getting ready to checkout this cashier (whose name I did not catch) told the mom “Looks like you can have a blessing”. The cashier walked over to the other side and while the mom expected to get a hug or a coupon, the cashier took out her own debit card and paid for the groceries in full. She cashed this family out. However, for a moment, if you let me indulge you, should the mom, who received this unmerited favor, refuse to accept the kindness and generosity of this cashier, she would not have benefitted in the blessing.

On the Cross, the sixth saying of Jesus Christ was “Tetelastai”, meaning that it is finished; it is paid in full (John 19:30). The spiritual debt that leads to the death of man, due to man’s own sin, was paid in full by the remitting blood of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:25) on the cruel cross of Calvary. In other words, Jesus cashed us out for the wages of sin is death, bringing life, eternal life, to all who believe in him for the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23).

Points to ponder:
You have been cashed out by Jesus Christ, for Jesus’ sacrifice is once and for all, accepted by God. Our spiritual debt has been paid, but if we willfully refuse to accept his offer of eternal life, we remain in the spiritual debt that can be satisfied only by death, second death, eternal death, forever separated from God.

Are you cashed out by Jesus Christ? In other words, have you willfully accepted Jesus and believed in his Salvation?

Romans 6:23 (KJV)
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

John 19:30 (KJV)
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.



Rolling the Stone

You have probably heard about the English band Rolling Stones, but have you heard about rolling the stone. Genesis 29:1-11 gives the account of Jacob rolling the stone that covered the well, where he meets his future wife, Rachel. When Jacob arrives at the land where his mother Rebekah had asked him to go – her father’s place, he looked and saw a well in the field. It was the well that watered the flocks and there were three flocks of sheep lying by it. And a great stone covered the well. When the flocks gathered, it would take a few shepherds to roll the stone off the mouth of the well to water their sheep and after the flocks were quenched of their thirst, the shepherds would put the stone again upon the well’s mouth, possibly to keep the water from evaporation or the wells from being stopped (Genesis 26:18). When Jacob saw his mother’s brother, Laban’s daughter, Rachel, at a distance, he approached the shepherds that had gathered there and asked to water the sheep and feed them, though he knew that it was not yet the time to do so. They responded that they could not, because all the flocks had not yet gathered there at the well, and that the stone on the well had not yet been rolled. Then as Rachel came toward the well, Jacob went near it, and single-handedly rolled the stone that covered the well and watered the flock of Laban, his mother’s brother, which Rachel kept as a shepherdess.

The Bible does not explicitly state Jacob’s intent in rolling the stone from the mouth of the well. We can only speculate as to whether it was a show of his strength to impress his future wife, or if it was a demonstration of his spirit of service. One thing we can extrapolate however from the sequences of events is that up to this time, we know of Jacob as the deceiver who did not really work hard to get what he wanted – usurping his brother’s birthright and blessings – but now after his encounter with the Lord God, enroute to his mother’s brother’s place, for the first time we see Jacob working hard, not to take but to give.

Points to ponder:
When we encounter the Lord God in our life’s journey, and we believe in Jesus Christ, we are changed from being deceivers (James 1:22) to becoming doers of his work and will – which is to muster his Holy Spirit (and not our own strength) to co-labor with the Lord and roll the stone covering the hearts (Ezekiel 36:26) of people, so that the God’s Holy Spirit – The Living Water – can quench their spiritual thirst. Are you and I a stone roller?

Genesis 29:1-11 (KJV)
Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east.
And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and a great stone was upon the well’s mouth.
And thither were all the flocks gathered: and they rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again upon the well’s mouth in his place.
And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence be ye? And they said, Of Haran are we.
And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor? And they said, We know him.
And he said unto them, Is he well? And they said, He is well: and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.
And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them.
And they said, We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and till they roll the stone from the well’s mouth; then we water the sheep.
And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep; for she kept them.
10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother.
11 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.

Total Surrender at the Cross :: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit

Jesus’ seventh and final saying on the Cross before he gave up the ghost was “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” which was addressed to God, his Holy Father. In this saying, we see Jesus’ total surrender to God, into God’s holy hands – from which no man can pluck (John 10:29).

Points to ponder:
Jesus totally surrendered  himself at the Cross. Today, he expects the same from you and me. Can we look at him today, and totally surrender over selves into his hands. Can we say, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.

Luke 23:46 (KJV)
46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Belonging On the Cross :: It is Finished

Jesus’ sixth saying on the Cross was “It is finished.” which is not particularly directed to anyone specifically, but was a profound declaration of the all of creation, the new state of affairs – the world forever changed – as the devil, the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and his power over man, which is death (Hebrews 2:14), was finished. The words, “It is finished” comes from the Greek word “Tetelastai” which means paid in full.

When we owe a mortgage on a property, until that property is paid off in full, we cannot claim total ownership of that property. The moment we pay the loan in full, the rights of ownership is transferred along with the title of that paid property to us.

Points to ponder:
Jesus declared that it is finished. In other words, he was saying that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), but those wages have been paid in full – there is no more payment needed for those who have receive him and who believe in him. Jesus bought us with his own life and now he holds the title of ownership of our life in his hands. We belong on the cross, but because of Jesus taking our place, we now belong to him, if we believe in him. Where would you like to belong – on the Cross or in the hands of Christ? Considering the fact, that it (the work of Salvation) was finished, this should be a easy question to answer.

John 19:30 (KJV)
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Craving on the Cross :: I thirst

Jesus’ fifth saying from the Cross, which is “I thirst” has often been expanded as one which was the result of his physical needs for being quenched due to dehydration or metaphorically as one in which Jesus thirsted for the souls of those lost and those who had not yet placed their trust in him.

Points to ponder:
The dictionary defines the word “thirst” as a strong or eager desire or craving. How could the one who is the very source of living waters thirst? I would like to believe that Jesus strongly desired or craved for the restoration of mankind unto God, which was the mission he had come to accomplish and having known that all things he had come to accomplish was accomplished, in order to fulfill the scripture, he cried out, I thirst (John 19:28). In other words, Jesus strongly craved for your and me on the Cross.

In a world that is lonely and desolate, we can take solace in the fact, that Jesus craves and desires to be in a relationship with us. The question that begs to be answered to then is “Do you have a strong and eager desire to be in relationship with God?” “Do you crave for Jesus?”

John 19:28 (KJV)
28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst

It gets personal on the Cross :: Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?

Jesus’ fourth saying from the Cross, as he lived up to His Name, which was to save His people from their sins, was a question directed, not to any man but, to God. It is the only question in the seven sayings of Christ from the Cross and it was Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being translated, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Mark 15:33-34; Matthew 27:46)

In the past, from both the pulpit as well as in articles (posts), servants of God, including I, have exposited on the plausible reasons as to the reason for Jesus questioning God as to why he had been forsaken. While we may never fully comprehend the extent to Jesus’ cry to God, we can see that in this saying, Jesus used the first person personal pronoun, ‘my’ in his address of his Father as God – not once, but twice. The word ‘my’ implies possession. When Jesus addressed God as ‘My God, My God’, he was making a personal address.

Points to ponder:
It gets personal on the Cross. In like manner, today, God is seeking you and me to have a personal Father-child relationship and to all who receive Jesus and who believe in his name, he has given them the power to be called the children of God (John 1:12). If you are yet to accept Jesus as your Savior, Lord and King, come to the Cross and make it personal today. It got personal on the Cross, the day they crucified Jesus. Today, get personal with God so that you can address God as “My” God, “My” God.

Mark 15:34 (KJV)
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Family Relationship :: Woman, behold thy son! … Behold thy mother!

Jesus’ third saying from the Cross was directed to his mother and to his beloved disciple who was standing by her. To her, he said, “Woman, behold thy son!” and to him, he said, “Behold thy mother!” In this saying, Jesus takes two people who are unrelated and establishes a family relationship (mother – son) between them.

Points to ponder:
To all who receive Jesus and who believe in his name, he gave them the power to be called the sons of God (John 1:12) and Jesus expressed that whoever does the will of God his Father, is his brother and sister and mother (Matthew 12:50). In other words, Jesus relates those who are unrelated into a family – the very family of God. On the Cross, Jesus established a family relationship. Today, he seeks to establish your relationship and mine with God himself. Have you tasted the joy of God’s salvation? O taste and see (behold) that the Lord God is good (Psalm 34:8) wanting you to become part of his family. Do you believe? Behold …

John 19:26-27 (KJV)
26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.