Who Killed Jesus?

Good afternoon. Got a late start today. It is Saturday, June 13, 2015.

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is shivaree. This is a noun, meaning, “a mock serenade with kettles, pans, horns, and other noisemakers given for a newly married couple; charivari,” “Informal. an elaborate, noisy celebration,” or, “to serenade with a shivaree.” That last one would be a verb, wouldn’t it?

Today is Gin Day. I confess, I’ve never, as far as I know, had any gin. So why did I pick Gin Day? Well, because the other two choices were Sewing Machine Day (now, that’s exciting, isn’t it?) and World Doll Day (see previous parenthetical statement). Have you ever noticed that “parentheses” and “parenthetical” both have the word “parent” in them? Hmmm . . .

Christi got her “post-bowling” done after work, yesterday, and, in the process, set her average for this short summer league. I won’t reveal her scores, but I think she set a good starting average, with plenty of room to improve. On the downside, she is experiencing some severe discomfort this morning. I think, between bowling nine games in two days, all that walking, and then having to bowl again yesterday, she needs some physical rest. We are not going to try to bowl this weekend, at least, not all of us. If Stephanie really wants to, she and I might go tomorrow, but I’m not planning on it.

I have a PAT (Pastoral Assist Team) meeting after church this evening, but, as far as I know, we don’t have any plans for tomorrow, other than our weekly grocery shopping, with which I will gladly assist. Then, I think, it will be a nice afternoon of rest, in preparation for the work week ahead, which will, hopefully, return to a more normal week.

It was on this date in 1983 that Pioneer 10 became the first man-made object to leave our solar system. In 1970, “The Long and Winding Road” became the last number 1 song for The Beatles. In 1966, the United States Supreme Court ruled, in Miranda v. Arizona, that police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them. So THAT’S why they’re called “Miranda Rights!” And all this time, I thought it had something to do with the lady with the fruit hat. And, on this date in 1886, the mad King Ludwig II of Bavaria was found dead in Lake Starnberg, just south of Munich, at 11:30 PM. Ludwig II is, of course, the man who gave us this:
Neuschwanstein_Castle

And here is “The Long and Winding Road.”

Today’s birthdays include William Butler Yeats (Irish writer/poet), Basil Rathbone (English actor), Dorothy L. Sayers (English author), Red Grange (American football player), Mary Wickes (American actress), Don Budge (American tennis player), Paul Lynde (American actor), Malcolm McDowell (English actor), Whitley Strieber (American author), Richard Thomas (American actor), Tim Allen (American comedian/actor), Ally Sheedy (American actress), Valeri Bure (Russian hockey player, married Candace Cameron), Chris Evans (American actor, Captain America), Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson (who doesn’t know the Olson twins, right?), and Kat Dennings (American actress).

Because of Stephanie’s love for Candace Cameron Bure, I’ll highlight the hockey player, Valeri Bure. He turns 41 years old today, being born on this date in 1974. As stated above, he married Candace Cameron, from Full House, also sister to Kirk Cameron, from Growing Pains. Here is a short clip of Valeri Bure in action.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

To the choirmaster. Of David, for the memorial offering. Make haste, O God, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me!
Let them be put to shame and confusion who seek my life! Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt!
Let them turn back because of their shame who say, “Aha, Aha!”
May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”
But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay!

Psalm 70

(From Solid Joys)

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Romans 8:32

Today’s reading is “Who Killed Jesus?”

Immediately upon hearing that question, groups of people would typically launch into an argument over whether it was the Jews or the Romans who killed Jesus. And there would be good arguments on either side.

Both sides are wrong.

Based on Scriptures like Romans 8:32, we conclude that Jesus’s own Father killed him.

God did not spare his own Son. He “gave him up for us all.” He handed him over to death. He may not have physically nailed him to the cross, but he handed him over to death. Acts 2:23 tells us that Jesus was delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God. Isaiah 53 puts it even more clearly. We esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. (v. 4) And, Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him. (v. 10)

Romans 3:25 tells us that God put Jesus forward as a propitiation by his blood. “Just as Abraham lifted the knife over the chest of his son Isaac, but then spared his son because there was a ram in the thicket, so God the Father lifted the knife over the chest of his own Son, Jesus — but did not spare him, because he was the ram; he was the substitute.”

This was the only way God could spare us, by not sparing his Son. “The guilt of our transgressions, the punishment of our iniquities, the curse of our sin would have brought us inescapably to the destruction of hell.” But God (I love those two words) gave his own Son up to be “pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities, and crucified for our sin.”

In this verse, Romans 8:32, we find the foundation of God’s marvelous promise of future grace, “that the Son of God bore in his body all my punishment and all my guilt and all my condemnation and all my blame and all my fault and all my corruption, so that I might stand before a great and holy God, forgiven, reconciled, justified, accepted, and the beneficiary of unspeakable promises of pleasure forever and ever at his right hand.”

Father, this is a sobering reading today. Many of us have spent decades discussing/arguing the question, “Who killed Jesus.” And all of our arguments were wrong. How foolish of us to think that mere men could kill the Son of God! And perhaps it is true that the physical act of murder was accomplished by men, but it was your grace and mercy and love for us that delivered him up to be killed for our sake. Some of us have even argued that we, ourselves, are the guilty ones, when it comes to answering the question. But the truth of the matter is that it was you, in an unspeakable act of grace and mercy, that delivered your own Son up to die for the sin of the world. This truth makes it even more tragic when people refuse to acknowledge this truth. I thank you that you placed within my heart the ability to believe this, and to believe in the salvation that has been wrought for me.

I pray for this day, Father. I pray for Christi to feel better. I also pray for our prayer and worship gatherings, this evening, that your name might be lifted high, and glorified in everything that we do. May your grace and mercy shine forth in our lives today. I also pray for the PAT meeting afterward, that we might accomplish what needs to be accomplished, and that all might be done in a spirit of grace as we serve each other and your Church. Give us all a servant’s heart in this, Father, and grant us all humility and gentleness as we serve.

Your grace is sufficient.

It’s a tough question, and many people are very uncomfortable with the answer. “Who killed Jesus?” God did. So that we could live.

romans 8 32

Grace and peace, friends.

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