Day 7 – Jesus Predicts His Crucifixion. March 12, 2019
“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” John 3:9-15
Not only did Jesus predict His death, but He also predicted the manner of His death…crucifixion. Jesus would replicate the miracle that Moses performed by lifting the snake up in the wilderness. When Moses lifted up the symbol of the serpent and people who had been bitten by poisonous vipers look to the snake, they were immediately healed. In the same way, when we look to Jesus Christ on the cross, we find immediate healing. But, unlike the people in the wilderness who were only saved in that moment, Jesus’ sacrifice saves everyone and anyone, throughout all time that will look unto Him for salvation!
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your salvation! Thank You for Your merciful sacrifice that paid for all of mankind’s redemption. I owe You all of my love and obedience. I owe You my present and my future, my whole life belongs to You. Help me to “understand these things” and recognize the heavenly gift You have given me. I love You. Amen.
Day 6 – Jesus Predicts His Death. March 11, 2019
The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken. John 2:18-22
Often times we cannot understand the meaning of things that happen to us until much later in our lives. We often need the perspective that only the passage of time can provide. Not unlike us, the disciples did not understand what Jesus was saying to the Jews about destroying the temple. But after the events of the crucifixion and resurrection the disciples would recall that Jesus predicted His death in the very earliest stages of His ministry. Nothing took Him by surprise. He knew the cross was His fate. But He also knew that the resurrection was His fate! For in three days the temple of His body would be rebuilt and death would be forever destroyed by the power of His life! And now, through Jesus Christ, our lives have that same power. Awesome.
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your intention to die for us without hesitation. Thank You for going to the cross, not avoiding the pain or the shame, but embracing it all that we too might live. Please help me to place all my faith, all my hope, and all my trust in Your finished work on the cross. Help me not avoid any pain or shame that may come from following the Way of Your cross, but rather embrace the same sacrificial life, that others might live. Amen.
Day 5 – Jesus Saves the Best for Last. March 10, 2019
When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” John 2:3-10
Undoubtedly, Jesus performed some amazing miracles. He healed the sick, He made the lame walk again, He gave sight to the blind, He knew other’s thoughts, He even raised the dead! But He began with a rather innocuous miracle…turning water into wine. Jesus protected the honor of the bridegroom by ensuring that the celebration continued, not just with some cheap knock off, but with the best of the best! Jesus was always aware that His “hour” was coming, and He would continue to march steadfastly toward that end. Jesus told us greater things were coming, but He also showed us that He saves the best for last.
Lord Jesus, thank You for saving the best for last. For waiting till just the right moment and then laying down Your life for all mankind. But, thank You that even that was not the last…You will one day come again for Your people and make all things right. Lord please come soon, but should You delay, give me the strength and courage to endure until the end. Your love is amazing and Your faithfulness endures forever. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Day 4 – Jesus Will Show Us Even Greater Things. March 9, 2019
Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”
On the heels of their encounter with Jesus, Philip immediately invites Nathanael to “Come and see” the “one Moses wrote about,” the Messiah — Jesus of Nazareth. When we have seen Jesus and spent time with Him, it is only natural to invite others to experience what we have. All too often the response may be similar to Nathanael’s sarcastic retort, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Jesus mercifully shows Himself to be worthy of following by showing just a little glimpse of His power…“I saw you under the fig tree…” Nathanael is suddenly impressed with Jesus’ ability and recognizes Him as the “Son of God.” Without missing a beat and in almost casual fashion, Jesus basically says: You ain’t seen nothin’ yet! “You will see greater things than that.” The true follower of Jesus will never be left with a lack of amazement…there are always greater things to see from our Lord.
Lord Jesus, thank You for bearing with my need to see Your amazing acts of power in order to truly trust You and believe in You. Help me to trust You even when I don’t see the miracles I hope for. But, also Lord, please be true to Your Word and show me greater things than I can ever imagine in You. My I always be amazed in Your presence and by Your grace. Amen.
Day 3 – Jesus Calls Us to Come and See. March 8, 2019
The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon. John 1:35-39
As Jesus begins His earthly Journey to the Cross, John the Baptist faithfully points out that Jesus is the Lamb of God (the Sacrifice Of God) and his (John’s) disciples quickly follow after Him (Jesus). But Jesus has an odd question for these pursuers of truth, “What do you want?” As you seek to know more of Jesus, have you ever heard Him ask you, “What do you want?” The disciples respond by wanting to know where Jesus abides… “Where are you staying?” Jesus came to show us that He abides in the Father (John 17:21), and His response is the invitation to all to abide in Him. “Come and see.” The way to know Him is to do as His followers and “spend the day with Him.”
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your invitation to come and see. Help me to put aside the other demands of my life and spend the day with You. Forgive me, Lord, for not making time for my best friend. As we spend time together, please show me more of Your love and kindness, and help me see the places in my life that need to look more like You. I love You, Lord. Amen.
Day 2 – Jesus Revealed to Us By God the Father. March 7, 2019
Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. John 1:16-18
God the Father desired to reveal Himself to us through the Son, Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, because sinful man cannot be in the presence of a Holy God and live. So mankind was given the grace of the law, through Moses, in order to have communion with the Holy One. And in place of that “grace already given” we were given grace and truth through Jesus Christ. Who, being God Himself, leads us into closest relationship with the Father. God the Father revealed Jesus to us so that we might know Him.
Thank You, Almighty Father for revealing Yourself to me through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You for grace upon grace, for Your all surpassing goodness. Thank You for taking on human flesh so that I would not perish in Your presence but now see You as You truly are. Thank You for the Cross, and thank You for the hope I now have in You. Amen.
Day 1 – Jesus Was With God. March 6, 2019
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5
Jesus began His Journey to the Cross being with God. Jesus was not surprised by God’s plan, because He was not just with God, He was God! His design from the beginning was to bring life as a light to all mankind. He knew that only through the sacrifice of His life, His body, and His blood would you and I have an opportunity to experience eternal life. Jesus was not hijacked by Satan or ever truly in the hands of evil men, the Cross was His plan to redeem mankind. And He accomplished what He set out to do. He overcame the darkness to set us free. How good to know that even in our darkest moments God is in control.
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your purpose and intention from the beginning to bring redemption to me by offering Yourself. And thank You for Your loving kindness toward me. In this season of Lent, please help me to draw near to You and to know You more. Reveal Your purpose and plan for my life and help me to be a light for others that they too may have eternal life. I praise You and thank you. Amen.
We are excited to share a devotional written by Senior Pastor Scott Bosier in preparation for Lent. You can view the devotion each day on our Facebook page (fb.com/cometothecreek), our website (www.cometothecreek.com) or sign-up for our newsletter to receive it via e-mail.
A Journey to the Cross – A Word About This Devotional
This devotional was written as an aid to draw nearer to God during the season of Lent. The season of Lent is typically 40 days starting on Ash Wednesday and culminating on Easter Sunday. Lent is often characterized by fasting or “giving up” something as a sacrificial way of observing this holy season. Some people give up sweets, or soda, sometimes they give up a meal, or TV, the computer…you get the idea. Then why is this devotional for 47 days? Typically, the seven Sundays of Lent are not fast days but feast days. So, for the sake of continuity and keeping a regular devotion, I chose to do one for every day of the season. The purpose of Lent is not a penitential act to earn God’s favor, but rather a time to deeply reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice and draw near to God through prayer and devotion. The devotion is formatted with a Scripture reading, short devotional insight and a small prayer. The theme of a Journey to the Cross is to reflect on Jesus Christ’s journey as recorded in John’s Gospel. In following Jesus’ journey, the hope is that you will see your own Journey to the Cross with Christ and encourage you to keep walking along with Him on that journey.
It seems like we were just celebrating the birth of Jesus and the advent of a New Year…time really does fly! Next week starts the celebration of Lent, beginning with Ash Wednesday, March 6th. Traditionally, Lent is a seasonal observance of 40 days of fasting, devotion and prayer in order to reflect upon Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for us upon the Cross.
The ultimate “reason for the season” is to draw closer to God. Through religious observance, sacrifice (fasting), and re-commitment many challenge themselves to a higher level of spiritual experience with Jesus. Around this time of year many give up things like: sweets, soda, certain foods, chocolate, TV, internet, hobbies or personal interests. In our world today, giving something up in order to get something doesn’t always make sense. We don’t naturally want to give up one good thing to get another. We just want to add one more thing, and then another, and then another…until our hands are so full that we can’t grasp even one more thing.
But Jesus told His disciples, “whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” (Luke 9:24) Jesus pointed to a paradox of life — the more we try to hold on to something, even something good, the more it slips through our fingers. But, if we surrender everything to him, including and especially the good things, we will gain more than we ever expected. It is the way of the Cross, Jesus said that as His disciples we must deny ourselves and take up our cross daily and follow Him (Luke 9:23).
For ultimately, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” (Luke 9:25) As we enter this season of Lent, is there anything that God is telling you to put down so that you and He can be closer?
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the Year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19
Welcome to a New Year! Perhaps you are looking for a fresh start, turning over a new leaf, or maybe beginning a new chapter or phase of life. No matter how you look at it, the New Year gives everyone a sense of resetting the clock, of starting over…a pre-programed “do over.” But isn’t it funny, that we were just a few hours, days, weeks away from the end of the year? Just trying to finish strong (or maybe limping to the finish line), drawing things to a close, putting the finishing touches on the latest chapter, closing out the books on a another year.
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems nothing has really ended or begun…things just seem to keep on going as they always have (kind of like the Energizer Bunny). Another year runs right into the next, just like it did the year before that (and the year before that). But isn’t it interesting that we somehow desire, even crave, some sort of beginning and ending to things? We’re almost hard-wired with the need to stop and start, to turn the computer off and reboot.
However, when I look at God’s Word, I am reminded that we were not initially created with this need. We were created with an eternal, never-ending, Energizer Bunny kind of life! Sin brought the stop in our lives of death…the need for a reboot, a fresh start, a “do over.” That’s why Jesus said in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven a person must be “born again.” There must be an end (death) to the old life and a start (rebirth) that brings about a new life. And when we have new life in Jesus, it is not just new life in the old way, it is new life in a new way…it is eternal life! A never-ending, Energizer Bunny life that will never spoil, perish or fade…it will go on here until our physical body expires, but our new life will continue even when the final chapter of this book seems to have come to a close.
Maybe that’s why this year, if you are in Jesus Christ, it seems to me like there really is no need for a “do over.” Because in Jesus Christ, our lives are a never ending “do over.” They are an ever present reality of new life in a new way, every day. May the Lord make His new life an ever-present reality in our lives, so that there is no stop or start to His love, mercy, peace, hope and grace. May there be a relentless, unbroken, never ending abundance of His presence and power. And may this year and every year be the Year of the Lord’s favor upon us. Amen.