Friday, October 10, 2014

Matthew 27-28

Scripture connections: Mark 15-16

We get to read the Easter story today and finish the book of Matthew with Matthew 27-28.  Judas hangs himself after betraying Jesus.  Jesus is mocked, tortured, and crucified with criminals.  And then, finally, the Good News, Jesus rises from the dead.  Exactly what Jesus said would happen, happens right before our eyes.  He is truth.
illustration and definitions from In Touch Ministries

I think about how excruciating Jesus' pain must have been, both physically and mentally.  God gave His Son so that our sins are forgiven forever.  Do I really understand what that means?  I don't think so, but I know it is an amazing sacrifice because of God's deep love for me (and you).  The words "mercy" and "grace" come to life.  One of my favorite faith resources is In Touch Ministries.  I love the way they define mercy and grace so simply (illustration on the right).  If you are interested in a more detailed explanation of what God's mercy and grace mean for us as Christians, I found some good answers at

Instead of the punishment we deserve, we are blessed with God's extravagant and unconditional love, which we don't deserve.  Because Jesus died for us, there is nothing that stands in the way of our own personal relationship with God.  We have a direct line to our Heavenly Father.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split

What are we to do about it?  Jesus puts it this way,

18 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

A prayer for today-

Dear Lord and Savior,

Thank you for your mercy and grace.  You love me beyond measure.  You bless me, forgive me, and save me.  Yet, I still build walls that separate me from You.  God, help me tear down those walls.  And as I go through each day, guide me in loving others with your mercy and grace.  I pray others will experience your amazing love through me and draw closer to you.

I pray this prayer in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Holy Spirit,

Love, mercy, and grace to you,

*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.

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