April 3, 2015
“All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
If you want to know what is good about Good Friday this verse in Isaiah 53 will tell you. This verse describes with great clarity the meaning of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross when it begins and ends with the same word: “all.” The verse begins with what we might call “the bad news.” Isaiah tells us that all of us are like little sheep and have gone astray. We have turned, every single one of us, to our own way. If you want to know the meaning of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, agree that you yourself are included in that first all.
The all with which this verse concludes is what we might call “the good news.” Isaiah ends this verse by telling us that the penalty for all the things we have done after turning to our own way has been laid on Him (meaning Jesus). I don’t know about you, but for me that is very, very good news! If you and I will confess that we are included in the first and the last all in this great Gospel verse then we know what we need to know and we have done all we need to do to turn our bad news into good news. And we know what is good about Good Friday.
If you want to make this Friday of Holy Week a Good Friday, believe what Isaiah has written.
Dick Woodward, 02 April 2010
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Posted by Dick Woodward
February 24, 2015
“For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sins I will remember no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34)
When we sin, we need to look up and believe the first fact of the Gospel, which is the Good News that God forgives our sins because Jesus died for our sins. Then we need to look around, forgive those who have sinned against us and seek forgiveness of those against whom we’ve sinned. We also need to look in and forgive ourselves.
When we place our trust in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins, we need to forget what God forgets and remember what God remembers. In the New Testament we are promised that, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)
However, God remembers that we are sinners. We forget we are sinners. (That is one reason we fall into sin again & again.) After we confess our sins, we show our faith in God’s promise is flawed when we remember our sins as guilt baggage long after God has forgiven and forgotten our sins.
A Catholic Monsignor in Paris was told about a nun who talked to Jesus every night. When the nun was summoned to meet the Monsignor, he asked her, “The next time you talk with Jesus, ask Him this question: What sins did the Monsignor commit in Paris before he became a priest?” He instructed the nun to report back after she asked Jesus his question.
Several days later when the nun requested an appointment with the Monsignor, he asked her, “Did you speak with Jesus again, my child?” She replied, “Yes, your Reverence.” He then asked, “Did you ask Jesus my question?” The nun said that she had indeed asked Jesus his question. “And what did Jesus say?” The nun replied, “Jesus told me to tell you He doesn’t remember.”
If we believe what the Bible teaches about the forgiveness of our sins, that is the answer we should expect to hear.
As we receive by faith the inner healing of salvation, we simply must discipline ourselves to remember what God remembers and forget what God forgets.
Dick Woodward, from In Step with Eternal Values
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Posted by Dick Woodward
August 2, 2013
“I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me — that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said.” (1 Corinthians 15: 3-4)
I have now shared with you six eternal values that are the hallmark of people who live life in Christ at its deepest level of meaning and then “graduate” into eternal life. There is another value I must share with you because it is the supreme and absolute value, the “door” that must be opened if we are to find all these eternal values. This seventh value is the value we place on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let me explain.
Suppose I asked you to write your answer to this question: “What is the Gospel?” Imagine that I asked you to accompany your answer with Scripture verse references. How would you answer my question?
As you search the Scriptures, you will discover the seventh eternal value: Easter is far more important than Christmas. When the Apostle John wrote his Gospel, he devoted approximately half his twenty-one chapters to the thirty-three years Jesus lived on earth and half his chapters to just the last week Jesus lived. Of the eighty-nine combined chapters of the four Gospels, four chapters cover the birth and first thirty years Jesus lived, while twenty-seven chapters cover the last week Jesus lived. Why is the last week of the life of Jesus so very important, and why is Easter far more important than Christmas?
Easter is when Jesus died and rose again for our salvation. The cry of the church all over the world on Resurrection Sunday is:
He is risen, indeed.
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Posted by Dick Woodward