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The Dying of Jesus

June 3, 2016

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The Dying  of Jesus

For now,  we all have earthly bodies.     We can get sick,  hurt,  or killed.    And,  of course,  we all  go through the aging process.     Some people even have jobs  that put their earthly body  in jeopardy every day.     The apostle Paul was most glad  to spend his life  going about preaching the gospel,  but his job  was dangerous.     He was  in physical danger  much of the time  as Christians were being imprisoned,  tortured,  and killed.

In all of his physical weaknesses,  Paul compared his body  to an earthen vessel — a clay jar — that is very breakable.     His weak body  is what he had to use  to carry the gospel  wherever he could.     So,  he traveled by land  and sea  through all the countries  along the Mediterranean Sea  with a body  that had experienced beatings  and imprisonments.     Since many were wanting  to kill Paul,  he wrote  to the Corinthian congregation  about using his weak body  to carry his precious treasure — the gospel  of Christ.    Paul says  in 2 Corinthians 4:7-11,

But we have  this treasure  in earthen vessels,  that the surpassing greatness  of the power  may be  of God  and  not  from ourselves;   we are afflicted  in every way,  but not crushed;  perplexed,  but not despairing;  persecuted,  but not forsaken;  struck down,  but not destroyed;  always carrying about  in the body  the dying  of Jesus,  that the life  of Jesus also  may be manifested  in our body.   

For we  who live  are constantly  being delivered over  to death  for Jesus’ sake,  that  the life  of Jesus also  may be manifested  in our mortal flesh.

Very few Christians today suffer  in the same way  Paul did.     Nevertheless,  we can make a comparison  to Paul’s life  with our whole lives.     In our bodies,  we can experience being afflicted,  perplexed,  persecuted,  and being struck down  in various ways.     What Paul wants us to know  is that such suffering  has a purpose.

As we live  a Christian life  in faith,  love  and obedience,  the world will see  that we have all sorts  of physical weaknesses.     But,  they will see us continuing on  in the true faith,  in spite of  our physical weaknesses,  trials  and set backs.     Our earthly bodies  do go through  all sorts  of challenges,  but we remain  spiritually strong  in the truth — even as we get old  and decrepit.

We are carrying  a treasure  in our weak bodies — that treasure is Jesus Christ  and the gospel  of salvation  through Him alone.     So,  no matter what is happening  to us physically,  we are “always carrying about  in the body  the dying  of Jesus.     Our weak bodies  are a witness  to the fact  that God Almighty chose  to save us  through the physical weakness  of a human body  in Jesus Christ.     Although He is God,  Jesus let His body suffer mockings,  tortures,  crucifixion  and death,  so that His sinless life  could pay  for the punishment we deserve  for our sins.

So now,  when we live our weak lives  for the Lord,  we are also witnessing  that we,  too,  will be resurrected  —  just as  Jesus was resurrected.     We are able  to accept  whatever happens to us physically,  because we know  we have a better life  —  an eternal life  —  with Jesus Christ.     Instead of centering our lives  on ourselves  and our desires,  we center our lives  on Jesus.     Everything we do  is for Jesus’ sake,  because He is the one  who gives us  eternal life.

When  in our weakness,  we still faithfully witness  to salvation  in Jesus,  the world can see  that we are not the ones  who are powerful  —  they can see  that the power of God  is manifested  in our weaknesses.     That’s the way it should be  —  even though the world  does not expect  to see God  in our weaknesses,  they know there’s something different  in the Christian’s life.

Paul put it this way  in Romans 14:8,

For  if we live,  we live  for the Lord,  or  if we die,  we die  for the Lord;  therefore  whether we live  or die,  we are the Lord’s.

There is a blessedness  and peace  in knowing  we are the Lord’s  in every situation.     In giving up our lives  for the Lord,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord, it is so good  to know  that Your suffering  and death  have paid  for all of our sins.     Now we are  free  to live  for You.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect, but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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