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He Bore It All

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by Max Lucado
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“Then the soldiers bowed before Jesus and made fun of him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!� They spat on Jesus.� (Matthew  27:26–31)

The soldiers’ assignment was simple: Take the Nazarene to the hill and kill him. But they had another idea. They wanted to have some fun first. Strong, rested, armed soldiers encircled an exhausted, nearly dead, Galilean carpenter and beat up on him. The scourging was commanded. The crucifixion was ordered. But who would draw pleasure out of spitting on a half-dead man?

Spitting isn’t intended to hurt the body—it can’t. Spitting is intended to degrade the soul, and it does. What were the soldiers doing? Were they not elevating themselves at the expense of another? They felt big by making Christ look small.

Ever done that? Maybe you’ve never spit on anyone, but have you gossiped? Slandered? Have you ever raised your hand in anger or rolled your eyes in arrogance? Have you ever blasted your high beams in someone’s rearview mirror? Ever made someone feel bad so you would feel good?

That’s what the soldiers did to Jesus. When you and I do the same, we do it to Jesus too. “I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!� (Matthew 25:40 NLT). How we treat others is how we treat Jesus.

“Oh, Max, I don’t like to hear that,� you protest. Believe me, I don’t like to say it. But we must face the fact that there is something beastly within each and every one of us.

Something beastly that makes us do things that surprise even us. Haven’t you surprised yourself? Haven’t you reflected on an act and wondered, “What got into me?�

The Bible has a three-letter answer for that question: S-I-N.

Allow the spit of the soldiers to symbolize the filth in our hearts. And then observe what Jesus does with our filth. He carries it to the cross.

Through the prophet he said, “I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting� (Isaiah 50:6 NIV). Mingled with his blood and sweat was the essence of our sin.

God could have deemed otherwise. In God’s plan, Jesus was offered wine for his throat, so why not a towel for his face? Simon carried the cross of Jesus, but he didn’t mop the cheek of Jesus. Angels were a prayer away. Couldn’t they have taken the spittle away?

They could have, but Jesus never commanded them to. For some reason, the One who chose the nails also chose the saliva. Along with the spear and the sponge of man, he bore the spit of man.

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From: He Choose the Nails
Copyright [W Publishing 1998, 2001] Max Lucado

Used by permission
To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at:
http://www.maxlucado.com/about/

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The Bodies

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by John Grant
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“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.�  (Psalm 139:14).

The exhibit recently came to our town and the departure date was several times extended to accommodate the thousand who came to view it. It was the most incredible display of human bodies I could ever imagine, showing in detail each part and system of the body, together with statistics. It was a phenomenal look at the phenomena we call the human body.

For nearly two hours I looked at bodies and body parts. I saw a human heart, one that will pump fifty million gallons of blood during it’s normal lifetime and every ounce of blood in the body passes through the heart at least once every minute. I saw bones tendons, muscles and miles of veins and arteries. I even saw the three smallest bones in the human body, all in the ear.

A walk through the fetal development section reminded us that a baby’s heart beats within three weeks after conception. We saw babies in various stages of development and if that doesn’t convince you of the homicidal nature of abortion then you have some kind of brain block.

As I walked around, I kept reciting over and over Psalm 139 ….. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. The exhibit of the brain was mind boggling as I contemplated the vast capacity of the human brain, one that far supersedes even the most powerful and complex computer ever built. Wow!

It was strange that while I was enthralled with the bodies, I had no sense they were people. More than ever I realized they were but a shell where a person had resided and now very much like a vacant home after the family has left. I kept thinking about! Corinthians 16:19: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”

Yes, I do have a temple.  As with the temple in Jerusalem, it is to be used in the service and praise of God.  If it is not, then it too needs a cleaning!  What an astonishing idea this is. As truly as the living God dwelt in the Mosaic tabernacle, and in the temple of Solomon, so truly does the Holy Spirit dwell in the souls of genuine Christians; and as the temple and all its utensils were holy, separated from all common and profane uses, and dedicated alone to the service of God, so the bodies of genuine Christians are holy, and all their members should be employed in the service of God alone.

As I walked around the thoughts of “wonderfully made� and “my body is a temple� kept  going through my mind and as I looked at the intricate systems of those bodies, all I could think of was that this is proof of an all loving all powerful God, because only God could make something like that. Well, I could go on and on but my temple just sent a signal that it was ready for lunch, so that’s all for now. 
(a thought on life from John Grant)

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John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney. He is an active writer and frequent speaker.  He can be reached by e-mail at: John.Grant@johngrant.net

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