This is HOLY WEEK for Christians, the week leading up to Easter - or Resurrection Sunday, as some Pastors now call it. (I have a rant on that, but I'll leave it.)
A guy I worked with years ago told me that he didn't celebrate Christmas or Easter (or birthdays or anniversaries - and didn't even wear a wedding ring). I told him that was okay, but confusing. I can see why you might not celebrate Christmas (I LOVE Christmas) because everyone is born.
But EASTER? Not everybody rose from the dead, buddy.
And though Jesus rising from the dead was the end-game to provide the gift of salvation, we tend to forget that Jesus is with us all the time.
Some people think Jesus cannot understand the pain they suffer, the hardships, the temptations...
We sometimes think that Jesus knows of sin only distantly, perhaps a Godly abstraction to ponder while He watches us from above.
Yet Jesus became fully man, and knew all the same temptations we do.
Hebrews 2:17-18 (NIV)
For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.Jesus knows the troubles you've seen, the pain you endure.
As a matter of fact, He suffered pain I cannot imagine and the Romans beat him beyond recognition.
Is 52:14 (GNV)
Many people were shocked when they saw him;Jesus gave up Heaven to come to Earth. You'd think He would at least retain some of the glory of Heaven in His earthly form. He could have, but instead he had "no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him." (Is 53:2b NASB)
In fact, it wasn't only the twelve people closest to him that rejected him at the end.
Is 53:3 (NASB)
He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.The rest of the fulfilled prophecy doesn't read any better (posted below).
Here's the point. If you're hurting, you are not alone. If you despair, you are not alone. If darkness surrounds you, and you feel there is no place to escape, you are not alone.
You need never be alone, but can always have the Living God standing with you.
For He is Risen, and that is the Hope of us all.
God bless you all.
God bless you all.
The rest of the fulfilled prophecy, written about 700 years before the birth of Jesus. The complete book was found in the caves of the Dead Sea (the Dead Sea Scrolls).
Is 53:4-9 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand; He shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.