“Handle the Body of Jesus with Care!”


Photo Credit: By Anonimous [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.  This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him.  When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock . . .,” Matthew 27:57-60a, NKJV

If at no other time of the year, it is during this season when we are drawn closer to the death, burial and the resurrection of Christ.  As well we should be.  In just one week we will be celebrating Easter (Resurrection Sunday) when are starkly reminded of the cost of our sins and the victory that Jesus gained  over it all.

The cost was heavy but the price had to be paid.  It was unavoidable.  But, that’s not the end of the story.  To get to the end let’s back it up some first.

Sitting at what we now call the Lord’s Supper or the Last Supper, the Bible tells us, “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to His disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’  Then He took the cup, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it all of you.  For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins,'” (Matthew 26:26-28, NKJV).

Through all of the hints and teachings, if the disciples never really understood Jesus’ mission, He clearly lays it out here.  Through the bread He showed the brokenness His body would endure.  Isaiah’s prophecy would soon be fulfilled.  “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed,” (Isaiah 53:5, KJV).

With that fulfillment a new covenant would begin.  God’s plan for salvation would once and for all be sealed by His shed blood.

Knowing that, after we arrive back to the point after His death, how must it have felt for Joseph of Arimathea to handle the lifeless body of the Savior, whom he has come to identify with, for he himself became a disciple also (Matthew 27:57)?

After His body was given to Joseph, the Bible says, “he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb.”  This is such a beautiful picture of the care and love for a Savior who gave it all up for him.

How are we handling the body of Jesus?

Joseph made sure it was wrapped in “clean linen.”  Through the brokenness of His body we have been healed.  Through His shed blood, we have been washed.  We carry the Savior and His new covenant on the inside of us.  Have we wrapped Him in “clean” vessels?

David said, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me,” (Psalm 51:10, KJV).  The spiritual house on the inside of each of us has to be clean.  Dust particles of any works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21) has to be removed.  “Such things will not inherit the kingdom of God,” (Galatians 5:21, NKJV).  “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God?” (1 Corinthians 6:19, NKJV).

When God blessed us with Holy Spirit, it’s as if we are taking on a part of Christ.  We can’t wrap Him in just anything.  We have to meticulously make sure what we wrap Him in is clean, using the same care that Joseph of Arimathea did.

Then, “he laid him in his new tomb.”  His refers to Joseph’s.  It was Joseph’s new tomb that Jesus was being laid in.  The vessel that Jesus was laid in was new.

When we have Christ on the inside of us we are not the same as we used to be.  “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new,” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV).

In handling the body of Jesus on the inside of us, we have to act like He is in something new.  Renewed!  Not to continue in all that old, used stuff before we knew and received Christ.  But, brand new!

We’re not talking about refurbished or recycled to appear new.  The vessel that Joseph had to offer Jesus was new!  Remember, as Christians, we are that which has been made new.  Are we keeping it that way?  Are we handling the body of Jesus with great care?  Is He wrapped in cleanness and laid in the new?

How did Joseph feel?  Maybe a little in awe but mostly I feel (and it’s just my opinion) that he felt honored to be able to lovingly care for the body of the Lord.  To be able to hold that brokenness with the knowing that He went to the cross and died for him and all humanity – priceless!

“This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me,” (Luke 22:19, KJV).

Let’s take special care today for how we handle the body of Jesus in our clean and new vessels.  It was given for us, therefore, let us take care of it.

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“Reap Rejoicing!”

No one could ever put into words the pain of what it felt like to hang on that cross and bear the sins of the world. But, as He hung there, with blood pouring down, He was in the gathering process. That’s why He couldn’t come down because even as He was nailed and left to die, He with great sorrow and tears, was working at gathering that would eventually lead to rejoicing.

Today, because of what Christ did, we are part of that gathering process. Rejoice in the Savior and honor Him for the sacrifice He made for you and me.

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“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bring his sheaves with him,” Psalm 126:5-6, NKJV

Good Friday or Holy Friday, no matter which name you call it by, it was a day of great tears and sorrow that ushered in a day of rejoicing.

From the Garden of Gethsemane where He prayed earnestly until His sweat became as great drops of blood (Luke 22:44), to the illegal trials at night that stripped away any rights He may have had in the human form, Jesus knew anguish.  He knew more than just heaviness of heart.  He experienced deep, physical pain – yet, the night was not over.

Had it stopped at the trials and mockery, some would say it was tolerable (though I wouldn’t).  Let us not take lightly all that Christ endured on…

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The next time when the love we shed for another seems to be all for nought, remember Christ. Remember how His love was betrayed. Remember how His love was afflicted. Remember how His love compelled Him to continue on.

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Love betrayed.  The betrayed and the betrayer locked in questioning gaze.  A tension of certainty and doubt filling the air of what was to be a beautiful last dinner spent with His disciples.

On the one hand is Christ.  He has done nothing but show love, concern and compassion toward all who met Him.  From the miracles to the teachings, He has treasured each life that came across His path enough to compel Him to know that the cross was the only way to save them all.  Love was His motto.

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Take a minute for God in the busyness of this day to pray this simple prayer . . .

“However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts.” — John Calvin


“When Jesus Cleansed our Temple…”


One of the events most etched in people’s minds and history when recalling the events that occurred during this blessed time of the years was the cleansing of the temple (Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45-46).  It is during this time when Jesus had had enough! It was time to get the house of God cleaned up! Unashamedly and without regard for roving eyes and the tsk tsk tsking of the people’s lips, He flips tables over and starts throwing people out to get His Father’s house back in order.  With holy force, He sought to reclaim what was rightfully God’s.

But, can I tell you, His fight didn’t stop there.  He wanted more than a building to reclaim for God, He wanted people that rightfully belong to Him.  He wouldn’t gain that by flipping over tables, rather He flipped over the gates of hell.  He wouldn’t get there by driving people with wrong intents away, but with force, He drove the enemy of our soul away and crushed him under His feet. He wanted to win the temple of people’s heart for His Father and this fight could only be won on the cross.

The whips that were used against Him were nothing in comparison to the sting He was delivering to the enemy.  The ridicule He experienced couldn’t overshadow the words of comfort and the prayers of forgiveness He offered as He hung there.  The thorns that were placed on Him and the sword that pierced His side couldn’t contend with the piercing plea of souls searching for everlasting freedom the cross could provide.  On the cross, He would remain until the victory to reclaim the lost and hurting world to His Father was won.  On the cross, He would stay until the temple of the one who would believe in Him could be cleansed and made new that true worship and true fellowship with the Father could be restored.

When Jesus stepped in the place for us, He cleansed our temples with the only thing that could work: His Blood.  His blood is the only thing that could turn the enemy of our soul upside down.  His blood is the only thing that could deliver from the eternal death to come.  His blood is the only way to reclaim the hearts of the people; the temple of their souls for the Father.

When Jesus cleaned our temple, He did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves.  More than a building was rightfully returned to God.  You and I and everyone who believes were won by the cleansing power of the cross.

When Jesus cleansed our temple He did more than flip over tables.  He took who we used to be and made us brand new.  He turned our world upside down and gave us entrance into the kingdom of God, and we are so glad He did.

“Religion says earn your life. Secular society says create your life. Jesus says, ‘My life for your life.” – Timothy Keller

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Only the blood of Jesus can cleanse us, yet if we withhold ourselves from that blood, we will be unclean forever.” – Aiden Wilson Tozer

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Titus 3:5

“What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” – Robert Lowry

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

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“Are you thirsty for God?”

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Are you thirsty for God? 
God, You are what my soul seeks after…
“O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.” – Psalm 63:1

“The Truth about Self-Doubt”


One of our most famous struggles in life is with doubt.  We have faith in and for others.  We believe God to the fullest.  Yet, doubt seeks to rob us in another area.  It’s when we allow thoughts of inferiority to enter our space.  It’s when we let the insecurity we experience on the inside come to the surface and convince us we are not enough.

We know that God is good.  And,  we know He is awesome in everything He does.  But, when it comes to convincing ourselves of what He can do in and through us we have a hard time accepting that truth in our lives because something or someone has caused us to believe we don’t measure up; we don’t have what it takes to adequately pursue what God has placed on the inside of us.

One Bible verse that has recently helped me overcome that low-level thinking; thinking that keeps your hopes and dreams submerged in the sea of doubt is this: “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ,” (Philippians 1:6).  Meaning God will finish what He started in you and He will keep on working on you until that day of Jesus Christ.

A lot of us, as the young people today say, feel some type of way about where they are in life right now.  They are viewing their lives through the lens of the journey rather than the destination.  All that God wants to do through us and for us will always be a continuing and evolving work.  We as long as we are on the face of this earth can never say that we have arrived.  We will never fully meet our destination point until we are face to face with Jesus.

But, already knowing where our destination finishes should give us hope for the journey.  Rather, we tend to let the journey disappoint us; we let the journey decide for us what our future will turn out to be like, telling us what we are and what we’re worth.

Our journey shouldn’t be a measure of stress or discouragement causing seeds of doubt to be planted about what God has placed in you.  Your journey is the process that’s taking you in the direction of your destination.  And, I don’t care who’s doing this or that over there or here – God still has His hands on us.  God is still working on the behalf of His children.  God is still perfecting and performing stuff in our lives.  God still has a glorious future up ahead for each one of us if we will just believe, hold on, and wait through the process of His performance in us.

So, the truth about self-doubt is this: God is not finished with you yet.  Your journey is still moving.  Your story is not over.  You are not in a race to live in comparison with others.  You are a follower of His lead until you become everything He has designed you to be.  As long as you are alive and kicking, His purpose in you is alive and kicking.  Don’t count yourself out.

Another truth about self-doubt is this: it’s not about whether we think we are good enough.  It’s about the good He is able to do in us (another God-inspired thought).  You are more than what your journey appears to be.  You are measured by your destination.  You are measured by Jesus Christ inside of you leading to your destination; drawing you to trust Him in everything He is calling you to be.  If He has placed something wonderful in you, He will bring it to pass.  Just believe and hope in Him.  For in Him is where your real self-worth is found.  Therefore, since your worth is in Him and He is the one perfecting and performing your process, don’t doubt yourself and what God is able to do in you and through you.  You are so much more than the doubt!

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“If My People…” Sunday School Lesson Summary and Activities, 2 Chronicles 7:12-22

This week’s Sunday School Lesson Summary Notes and Activities are available once again, just in case you missed it. Enjoy and have a beautifully blessed weekend 😊