John 19:17-37 As Jesus hangs on the cross, and breathes his last breath, he cries out “it is finished!” The mission of salvation for which his was sent has been completed. All of the types, promises, and prophecies from the Old testament are now fully accomplished in him. This is a momentous proclamation, and it changes everything. As we look to the cross this Good Friday, we mustn’t miss the significance of what has been accomplished in Christ.
Matthew 2:1-12 That first Christmas, a king was born. And he’s still king today. As we take a closer look at the way that Herod, the wise men and the religious leaders respond to the birth of Jesus we’re led to ask “which of these characters am I most like?” How do you respond to King Jesus?
Hebrews 10:1-18 Like many religions still today, the ancient Israelites showed remorse for their sins by approaching God through a complex system of animal sacrifices. Year after year they sacrificed an animal at the temple to symbolise their repentance. But this was a never-ending ritual that could never truly expunge their sin. What was needed was a perfect sacrifice. Finally God provided that sacrifice Himself by sending His sinless Son, Jesus, who willingly gave Himself for us on the cross.…
The details of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ are clearly set out in the New Testament accounts. They are vivid and make for difficult reading. Brutality was certainly not spared that day. But what does the death of Jesus mean? That’s the question we must ask ourselves as we ponder this story. The clue comes in the very last words Jesus spoke before he died: “It is finished”. The whole reason for His coming into the world in the first place reached its climax at that moment. His death became the final, perfect sacrifice by which sin could be forgiven and sinners could be made right with God. That day two observers (Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus) came to understand this great truth personally. Jesus had died for them! Do you realise that He died for you, too?
Perhaps the most fascinating part of the Christmas story is the journey of the wise men to find, then worship, the baby Jesus. For hundreds, if not thousands, of kilometres they followed a star all the way to Jerusalem, then to Bethlehem, in their relentless quest. Three things stand out: the diligence of their search, their unquestioning belief in the Old Testament prophecy about the birthplace of the Messiah, and their humble worship of this baby born to a very ordinary peasant couple. No wonder we refer to them as “wise men”. Their wisdom led them to Jesus. On this Christmas Day 2015 are we wise enough to look for, believe in, and worship Jesus too?