“But when they came to Jesus, and saw that He was dead already, they brake not His legs” (John 19:33).
A few verses later we find out why they didn’t break the Lord’s legs. “For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of Him shall not be broken” (John 19:36). It was no coincidence that Jesus died before the soldiers came to break the legs of those on the crosses. The Jews, in their Passover celebration, were not allowed to break any of the bones of the sacrificial lamb. “This is the ordinance of the passover…neither shall ye break a bone thereof” (Exodus 12:43, 46). So Jesus, in fulfilling the type, did not suffer any broken bones—just a broken heart. He could say, “Reproach hath broken My heart” (Psalm 69:20). Jesus died voluntarily. He gave up His life. No one took it from Him.
The Israelites were never to forget their redemption and deliverance from Egypt, and we are never to forget the work of Calvary, which is the basis of our redemption and deliverance. He has asked us, “This do in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19).
“Charity [love] never faileth” (1 Corinthians 13:8).
Standing in a store window on Broadway in New York City, there used to be a battered old safe which bore the sign, “It stood the test—the contents were all saved.” It had been through one of the hottest fires New York City ever experienced. But the old safe had carried its treasures and contents safely through it all.
Perhaps there’s a reader who has just tasted in some little measure the Saviour’s love and fears that it will not last. You fear that it will not “stand the test.” Look back at Calvary’s cross! It stood the test. That love which stood the hottest fires of judgment, that love which many waters could not quench will NEVER fail. “Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end” (John 13:1). His love has been tested, tried and found true.
If you are not saved, now is the time. God loves you; Jesus loves you. Come and receive His gift of eternal salvation. The invitation is, “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him” (Psalm 34:8).
Q. Is it wrong to say to someone, “God bless you?”
A. Usually people say this with a sincere desire that the person would enjoy the favor of God, who, of course, is the source of all blessing. So, in that way, we can apply verses such as, “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee” (Numbers 6:24), and, “The blessing of the Lord, if maketh rich” (Proverbs 10:22).
Thus it is not wrong to use the expression, but we do need to keep in mind that in Christianity we already have all the blessings that God can give us. “God…hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings” (Ephesians 1:3). We do not need to be seeking to obtain blessing. Many believers feel that they need to attain to a certain spiritual level in order for God to bless them. WE HAVE ALL THE BLESSINGS, FROM GOD, THROUGH CHRIST JESUS. This was not so in the Old Testament. Blessing and favor largely depended on obedience and faithfulness.
The full, unhindered enjoyment of our blessings will not be until we are in heaven, “For we know in part…but then shall I know even as I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:9,12).
“Put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book” (Psalm 56:8)?
“God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17).
How many tears have you shed? Who can tell?…countless, no doubt. But there is one who knows every tear that you have ever cried. And every tear you have ever cried is stored up in His bottle and will be remembered and dried by the Lord Jesus in a coming day.
This act of drying our tears seems like such a simple thing, but what depths of relief are found here for the child of God. There are so many sorrows, even in youth. There is much pain, even while we are young. But it will all be wiped away with a tender stroke of His nail-pierced hand. And as the last tear is brushed into the past, what a glorious future lies ahead. No more diseases or excruciating pain. Finished is the grief of losing loved ones in death, the bitter disappointments, the tragic personal failures. No more haunting fears or weariness. It is all passed away! Forever finished! “There shall be no more…crying” (Revelation 21:4).
The Lord wants to be our guide all through this life. Here are some verses from the Psalms that show this very clearly:
“The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way” (Psalm 25:9).
“For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for Thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me” (Psalm 31:3).
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye” (Psalm 32:8).
“For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death” (Psalm 48:14).
“Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory” (Psalm 73:24).
These verses show that when there is the proper attitude and a real desire to know what is right and pleasing to the Lord, then He wants to show us, and counsel us with the wisdom that only He can give. To seek His counsel and to follow in His ways is the secret of a happy Christian life. Remember, one of His names is, “Counsellor” (Isaiah 9:6).
Yes, because you have a powerful and subtle enemy. This enemy, Satan, is constantly on the prowl. As another busy week of activity begins I would plead with you to WATCH OUT! “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
He wants you! He wants to make you fall. He wants to make you lose the joy of your salvation (although he cannot take that salvation from you). He wants to spoil your testimony. He wants you to get so discouraged that you give up following the Lord. He wants you to focus your attention on the world and lose interest in reading your Bible, in praying, in the Lord’s things. So be vigilant—always on the lookout for the enemy. Keep clear of danger zones and keep close to the Lord and be always “looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2).
A couple of weeks ago we had some Scriptures from John’s ministry concerning the love of God and Christ. Here is a further meditation on the theme of LOVE.
“The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the Lord loved you” (Deuteronomy 7:7-8).
This was spoken about Israel, but we certainly can take it and apply it for ourselves. When we see the vast majority of people in the world leading godless lives, we can find joy and comfort in the fact that God loved us so much that He chose us to belong to Him—not because we were better, or had more brains or money. No. Just simply because He loved us. Just because He chose to.
Let that love fill your soul today and every day to come. Let’s be like the bride in the Old Testament who said, “We will remember Thy love” (Song of Solomon 1:4). How much does that love mean to you? Does it overwhelm and warm your heart? It ought to!
“He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18).
Alice really didn’t intend to be late for the gospel service but it was her 18th birthday. As she opened the door and tried to slip in quietly, the first words she heard from the preacher were, “Ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?” (Luke 13:16).
These words went straight to her heart. “Bound these 18 years…That’s me,” she repeated to herself. “If I don’t belong to the Lord, I must be serving Satan.” She heard little of the rest of the sermon. She saw that she had spent all her life—those 18 years—in pleasure and forgetfulness of God.
The meeting ended, and Alice returned home and knelt by her bed. As she prayed, the rays of God’s sunshine beamed into her soul and she was set free, delivered, loosed, saved on her 18th birthday.
“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
It is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that makes Him so precious to our hearts. No set of doctrines, however correct, can meet and satisfy our hearts. We each have a large heart, and there is but One who can fill it, the One who came down from heaven. What the gospel of God’s grace presents is a living person and the glorious work of the blessed Saviour, the Son of God.
The gospel of God concerns His Son. Human ears and hearts may be indifferent to that gospel, but there is an ear above that delights to hear the story told out time and time again, however feebly it may be presented. There is one theme of which the ear of God never tires and that theme is the gospel that exalts His only begotten Son as the Saviour of sinners. Share this good news of the grace of God with someone today. It will bring joy to His heart, your heart, and hopefully the heart of the hearer.