“Lord Save Me!”
Having power over nature the Lord Jesus walked on the Sea of Galilee as if on solid ground. He enabled Peter to do the same until fear overtook Peter’s faith, then he began to sink! “Lord save me!” – Matt 14:30 was his cry and quick as a flash, the mighty hand of Jesus caught him.
Peter was saved from drowning in the sea but we need to be saved from dying in our sins. Only the Lord Jesus can do that and upon His name we need to call for salvation – ‘For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”' – Rom 10:13.
'Make your judgment of the Christian message based on truth, not the mood of our times. Moods change. Truth does not'.
The Master Potter
Jeremiah was called by the Jewish Rabbis, ‘the weeping prophet’. He felt the burden of his ministry and mourned the lack of response to his preaching. On one occasion he was sent by the Lord to the potter’s house for an object lesson about the power and patience of God – Jer 18:1-4.
The potter was making a vessel on the wheels, two stone or wooden discs joined by an upright shaft, the lower disc being worked by the potter’s feet to rotate the upper disc upon which he shaped the clay with his hands.
As Jeremiah observed the potter at work a problem appeared; the clay proved defective, and the vessel being made was ‘marred in the hand of the potter’. However, rather than discard the clay, the potter patiently remade it into ‘another vessel’.
Like the people to whom Jeremiah spoke, we too are defective vessels of clay and because of our inherent sinfulness we don’t, and can’t fulfill the purpose for which God created us. The good news is though; God, the Master Potter, has the power and patience to remake the clay into ‘another vessel’. The Lord Jesus put it this way; “You must be born again” – John 3:7.
On the Thursday evening Jesus kept the Passover with His twelve disciples in Jerusalem. Later, in the darkness of the night at the Garden of Gethsemane He was betrayed by Judas and arrested. Charged with blasphemy, and condemned to death by Caiaphas and the Jewish Sanhedrin, Jesus was ushered, early on the Friday morning to appear before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate.
Pilate passed the death sentence after the mockery of a trial in which Jesus was pronounced completely innocent. Finally, outside the city wall at the ‘Place of a Skull’, Jesus suffered the greatest humiliation of one of the worst forms of cruelty ever invented by men: crucifixion. Before the moment of death He committed His spirit to His Father and was afterwards laid in a new sepulchre by two disciples. Early in the morning on the third day after the crucifixion, the sepulchre was discovered empty. The Lord Jesus had risen from the dead!
The gospel declares the outcome of ‘Good Friday’ – ‘Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures’ – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.
“It is Finished”
Compassion & Power
A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench' – Isaiah 42:3; Matthew 12:20.
Reeds were readily available and had many uses in Bible times ranging from a measuring rod to a Shepherd’s flute. A reed lost its usefulness once it bent or cracked and being easily replaced, a bruised reed was broken and discarded.
Twisted linen cloth was used as a flax or wick to feed the oil for the flame in the lamp to give light. The wick would smoulder if not properly trimmed or was low on oil. In this condition it was in danger of going out completely and the natural reaction would be to extinguish and replace it.
Many a life has been ‘bruised’ by sin and discarded as useless. Many a life has ‘smouldered’ from the effects of sin to the point of being extinguished as worthless. Jesus the Nazarene, God’s perfect servant “did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them” – Luke 9:56. He can take the bruised and smouldering life and renew it. Will you let Him?
‘God made the world without any suffering, but he could not redeem even one soul without agonies unknown’.
‘To rank Jesus as the greatest, wisest, best or most influential man who ever lived is not to dignify Him but to degrade Him and miss the whole point of who He was and what He did’.
The Promise of Victory in the Face of Defeat
God is never taken by surprise; otherwise He would not be God. Adam’s rebellion against His word was neither God’s design nor desire. Indeed, when man’s rebellion had climaxed in widespread anarchy on the earth, the Bible records: ‘Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart’ – Gen 6:5-6.
God did though have an answer that would defeat Satan, who instigated the moral fall of Adam and Eve, and bring deliverance to man and the world. God said to the serpent: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” – Gen 3:15.
This has been called the Protoevangelium meaning ‘the first gospel’. It was the promise of a mighty deliverer who would crush the Devil and bring salvation to the human race. The ultimate answer to this promise was the virgin conception and birth of Christ - the seed of the woman, and His suffering and triumph on the Cross where He crushed the head of the serpent while experiencing the venom of his resistance.
The triumph of the Cross is yet to be fully realized in this world, but you can know its power now in your life by repenting and believing in the Saviour – the Lord Jesus Christ who died and rose again. He can free you from the bondage of sin and deliver you from the deception of the Devil.
There is a day coming in the future when Satan will be bound and held in the abyss – Rev 20:1-3 as the prisoner of the mighty conqueror, the 'Lion of Judah' who triumphed on the Cross as the 'Lamb of God' – Rev 5:1-7.
The Touch of the Master’s Hand
'Love is not an illusion created by genes to promote our evolutionary survival, but an aspect of human nature that reflects the fundamental fabric of ultimate reality'.
‘The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future’.
‘The farther back you look, the farther forward you are likely to see’.