Every one of us has one – yes, that includes you and me. Welcome to this new week of Freedom Fighters. We do not take for granted your willingness to click “open” if you are reading via email, or reading it through the web-blog.
This week we will begin to think through the greatest story ever told. It’s a story like no other. His story was quite different than yours and mine.
His birth was pretty dramatic – especially since it had been predicted decades before he was ever born. In fact, His story goes all the way back to the book of Genesis.
Despite the 400 silent years that separated the Old and New Testament, prophets were waiting for His birth.
And then it happened! His birth wasn’t in the finest hospital in the world. There were attending physicians and nurses. Not even a midwife. It was just his mother and father, and we assume because of the description of the location, He might have been surrounded by a bunch of barn animals.
For most of His life, He lived in obscurity. But for three and a half years – well let’s just say, He hit the ground running.
It started with a miracle in Canaan when His Mom told Him that they had run out of Coca-Cola at a pretty important wedding reception (It has to be Coca-Cola – I serve at America’s Keswick).
From that point on, He was pretty visible, and His life touched so many in such profound and impactful ways.
He talked with a Samaritan woman at a well – unheard of in the culture of that day. He healed sick people – lame, deaf, blind.
Although a son of a simple carpenter, once He became known – people from everywhere started following Him. When He went to the synagogues, He blew away even the Rabbis because of how at this young age, He could quote the Scripture and explain it so well.
His followers on Sunday, Palm Sunday, followed Him into the city shouting praises to His name. There was such excitement in the air.
But somehow everything turned. Life is like that sometimes. Everything was going so well – but then everything went south.
He was betrayed by one of His followers – one of the guys who had hung out with Him during the past several years. After a special dinner, He ended up getting arrested – falsely accused for crimes He never committed.
He was not just arrested – He was put on public display. People spit on Him. They pulled on His beard. They ripped his clothes off. He was beaten beyond recognition. Where was the cry about the brutality that we hear about today?
And He wasn’t just beaten with fists and hands – he was beaten with a whip that had stone and glass attached. 39 times!!! They had to stop at 39 because the 40th beating would have resulted in His death.
Finally, He was given a crown of thorns and then nailed to a wooden cross – nails in His hands and feet. A sign was placed above His head – King of the Jews.
He suffered – and oh he suffered. We sanitize the story – but truth be told, His death was horrific.
And then He died. But that was only the beginning of the story. His accusers thought it was over. His enemies thought they had silenced His voice. Everyone including the His greatest enemy thought the final chapter had been written.
But what they didn’t know was this – it’s Friday – but Sunday is coming. That’s where the story gets really exciting. And for you my friend, that Good Friday was just the beginning of YOUR story.
Overflowing and abounding with joy,
President/CEO America’s Keswick
Written by Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years and has four married kids and 11 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
Think About This: “If you knew that only a few would care that you came, would you still come? If you knew that those you loved would laugh in your face, would you still care? If you knew that the tongues you made would mock you, the mouths you made would spit at you, the hands you made would crucify you, would you still make them? Christ did.” – Max Lucado
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; You are my trust from my youth.