Death Changes People

After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight.
John 19:38-39

Death has a way of changing things.

It certainly changes the person who has died, no doubt about that.

They once were breathing, then they are not.

Their heart was once beating, then it was not.

Death also changes those who are left alive.

A son must go on living while his mother is now dead.

A wife must go on living while her husband is now dead.

A father must go on living while his daughter is now dead.

Those who remain alive – after the death of someone they love – continue to live but in a new reality. The new reality of having memories of the person who has died but not the person themselves.

The death of Jesus changes people, too. But with a twist.

For Joseph and Nicodemus, the death of Jesus changed them. It changed them to the core.

While Jesus was alive, Joseph was a secret follower. He was afraid of what other people might think of him for believing in Jesus.

While Jesus was alive, Nicodemus would only come to Jesus under the cover of darkness. He didn’t want others to know that he was intrigued by Jesus.

But the death of Jesus changed them completely.

Right after Jesus died, Joseph was no longer afraid of what others will think of him. He asked Pilate for control of the corpse. He publically takes Jesus to his own new tomb.

Right after Jesus died, Nicodemus – in the full light of what was left of the day – helps carry the body to Joseph’s tomb.

The death of Jesus changed these two men. They would never be the same again.

What about you?

Will the death of Jesus change you? Or will this day after the commemoration of the death of Jesus that Christians call “Good Friday” be the same kind of Saturday as all others?

I pray that you will be changed. For death changes a person.

But the death of Jesus changes a person because of this one twist – He didn’t stay dead!

Heavenly Father, because of our sins, Jesus died on the cross. Not a travesty of injustice, but a planned act of love. Thank You for loving us so much that You sent Your Son to be our Savior from sin, death, and the power of the devil. I pray that the death of Jesus will change all people. I pray that Christians everywhere will no longer be afraid of others knowing that they follow Jesus. I pray that Christians will gather in churches around the world this weekend to worship You and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I pray that these same Christians will then leave the pews and go out into the world and proclaim that death changes people and that the death of Jesus can change everyone who believes. And most of all, I thank you that Jesus didn’t stay dead but rose victoriously on Easter and is alive forevermore! This I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

©2017 True Men Ministries

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Live the Truth

And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
Mark 15:2

Image result for Jesus and PilateWhen Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” he was basically asking him, “Who are you?”

Jesus has an answer for that question.

“I am.”

But when the chief priests accuse Jesus of many things, Jesus as no answer.

That’s because there is nothing to answer.

Pilate spoke the truth to Jesus.

The chief priests spoke lies.

Here’s our lesson.

When people ask us who we are, we should speak the truth to them.

“I am a sinner redeemed by Christ.”

When people accuse us falsely, we should give no answer that will strengthen their false statements.

Just live the truth.

©2017 True Men Ministries

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Behold the Man

So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.”
John 19:5-7

Image result for Jesus and PilatePontius Pilate points at Jesus and says, “Behold the man!”

The Jewish Leaders point at Jesus and say, “…he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.”

Jesus is the man. He is all mankind reduced to one person.

He takes the sins of all mankind, from Adam to the last baby that will ever be conceived, and they become His sins.

And for those sins, he will die. Willingly. Lovingly. To save us all.

The Original Sin is that we make ourselves God. Satan tempted Adam and Eve with the fruit in the garden saying, “You will be like God!”

All the sin that mankind commits can be reduced to that one, Original Sin.

So Jesus becomes all of mankind. “Behold the man!”

Jesus takes all of mankind’s sins upon himself. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Pilate was right.

Behold the man!

The Jewish Leaders were right.

Jesus must die.

God is glorified.

Jesus will die to save us all from our sin!

And so He does.

©2017 True Men Ministries

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Their Voices Prevailed

And their voices prevailed. 
Luke 23:23

Image result for Jesus and PilateThe crowd outside of Pilate’s Judgment Hall clamored for Jesus’ crucifixion.

Pilate didn’t want to crucify Jesus.

Not because he was magnanimous, but because he didn’t want a riot on his hands. Not another one, anyway.

But a riot was what he was getting by not giving in to the crowd’s demands.

So Pilate has Jesus’ crucified.

St. Luke tells us that, “their [the crowds’] voices prevailed.”

The crowd got what they wanted.

The Jewish leaders got what they wanted.

Jesus would die.

But consider this.

“Their voices prevailed” could also be used to describe what the Holy Trinity wanted.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit – one God in three persons – agree in all things.

They agree that mankind must be saved from sin, death, and the power of the devil.

And they agree that the only way to save mankind is by the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

Jesus says He will go. He says he will become man. He will bear their sin. He will die.

The Father and the Holy Spirit agree.

Their voices prevailed.

Jesus is crucified.

We are saved.

©2017 True Men Ministries

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Removing Barriers

Image result for Jesus Clears the templeAnd Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
Matthew 21:12-13

Jesus the King enters Jerusalem on a donkey. He fulfills prophecy and shows that He is the Prince of Peace, not a conquering King.

But the Peace that Jesus brings will be brought by conquering evil, conquering sin, and conquering the devil.

First stop, the Temple. Jesus drives out those who have turned it into a “den of robbers.”

The King who rides a donkey brings peace back to the Temple of God. Instead of selling, buying, and turning a profit, people will be able to pray to God in peace.

In a few days, Jesus will open the way to God forever by removing the Temple Curtain between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place in the Temple.

Jesus brings peace by removing the barriers between man and God. Barriers that man first built up by his son, and barriers that needed to be put into place by God to protect man.

Jesus removes our sin with His sacrificial death on the cross. And takes down the barriers erected by God because when sin is removed, God can safely be approached.

©2017 True Men Ministries

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A King Come

Image result for palm sunday

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9

Kings ride horses.

I did a Google search for pictures of kings for a recent school chapel service and a lot of those pictures have kings riding majestic white horses.

Many of those pictures have the king clad in shining armor, wearing a crown on his helm and brandishing a gleaming broadsword, leading an army of noble warriors.

And riding a powerful, usually white, warhorse.

Then there’s Jesus. He rides triumphantly into Jerusalem just days before He will die on a cross to save us all from sin, death, and the power of the devil.

The people are shouting, “Hosanna to the son of David!”

Basically saying, “He’s our king! Coming to save us!”

But this King Jesus is not riding a powerful, or even white, horse.

No, Jesus is riding a donkey. An insignificant, little, pack animal.

What’s up with that?

Jesus is making a bold statement riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.

His statement is that, yes, He is a king, but no, he’s not coming into Jerusalem as the King of kings and Lord of lords to defeat the Romans or the Jewish leaders in battle.

He rides a donkey to show that He’s the Prince of peace. He has come as the King who will reconcile God to the people, bring peace through the forgiveness of sins.

The time will come when Jesus will ride the powerful, white horse as King of kings and Lord of lords – but that’s not this time.

Now Jesus comes to fulfill the Old Testament prophecy of Zechariah that our King is humble, righteous, and brings salvation from sins to His people.

©2017 True Men Ministries

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Death

Image result for mary anoints JesusJesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial.” John 12:7

There are only a few days left in this Season of Lent.

We are rapidly approaching the days of Holy Week, when we will celebrate the institution of the Lord’s Supper, commemorate the death of Jesus Christ, and celebrate Jesus’ glorious resurrection from the dead.

Notice that in the middle of the celebrating is death.

Notice that every time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper we remember His death: “Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night He was betrayed….”

Whenever we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we cannot escape the fact that He was betrayed and, as a result of that betrayal, died.

“This is my body, given for you….”

“This is my blood … shed for you….”

That happened on the cross on the first Good Friday.

We celebrate Jesus’ resurrection – and we can’t do that unless He actually died.

And then there’s Mary, the sister of the once-dead-man Lazarus. A week before Jesus’ death she anoints the feet of Jesus with pure nard – a funeral spice.

Jesus uses this event to point ahead to His death – which is only one week in the future.

My point is that we cannot escape the death of Jesus. We are presented with the death of Jesus almost constantly.

Go into just about any Christian church on the planet and you will see a cross.

A Roman instrument of death. But for the Christian the symbol of our life!

The death of Jesus is of paramount importance. It is the one event that changed the history of the world.

But more than that, it is the one event that all of history points to!

It is the reason for everything you see around you. The death of Jesus means that God is reconciled. The requirement of His Law is satisfied.

The death of Jesus means that you will live!

In the days ahead, let us focus on the death of Jesus.

But remember this: you can never separate the death of Jesus from the resurrection of Jesus! They go together – always.

©2017 True Men Ministries

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