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December 24th, 2015

Should God Die For Man?

Should God Die For Man

The Bible says: ‘The earth shook’ when Jesus breathed his last breath. Not only the earth, but also the heaven with all the angels, saints and wise men, stood in awestruck state of perplexity, to see the mighty God hang on the cross bleeding drop by drop between the heaven and earth. No one ever understood the greatest mystery behind this great event, the climax scene of the life of Jesus, fulfilling every prophesy.

Questions One May Ask

To a person who has not known Christ, a series of questions come rolling down like:

Three people die on the same day, same way, crucified…yet we know not the name or the face of the other two…only Jesus is known by almost all the mankind for 2015 years. How can this happen? Why only him? Why churches only for him? What is so special about his death? Were not the apostles also crucified? Why don’t we do the same for them? …and many more questions like these.

God’s Plan For Jesus

John 3:16 says God so loved the world. Yes, His love for us was so infinite and unfathomable that He chose His only son as the man to die on the cross with one and only one crime and that is LOVE.

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. [song of solomon 8:6-7] Yes indeed, Love is as strong as Death. He needed His own son’s blood as a redeeming sacrifice. “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains” (Taken from the hymn ‘There is a fountain filled with blood’).

Jesus understood his father’s plan and willingly came forward to offer his body as a living, loving sacrifice. He says “sacrifice and offering you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; behold, I have come to do your will, O God.” [Hebrews 10:5-7] For he knew that it is impossible for blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Amen! [Hebrews 10:4]

Why Should God Die The Way He Did?

14 How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the “eternal spirit” offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!15 For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant. 16 Where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 Hence not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood.

19 For when every commandment had been told to all the people by Moses in accordance with the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the scroll itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.23 Thus it was necessary for copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves need better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself now to appear in presence of God on our behalf. [Hebrew 9:14-23]

Consequences Of Crucifixion

In the book of Isaiah we read ‘He poured out soul to death’ [Isaiah 53:12]. This is the difference between the death of others crucified and death of Jesus. They are not the same, never! His soul was tormented by the evil power, the entire world’s sin was upon him, his communion with God the Father was disconnected, for sin is defined as ‘going away from God’.

The physical torture lasted for three full hours on the cross which everybody saw. Parallelly in the spiritual realm, his soul so pure and unblemished underwent pain and agony, words cannot explain. That was the price the devil wanted from God to release mankind from his grip. We are all bought with a price. We are priceless. We are liberated, ransomed, forgiven, healed, renewed. Our access to heaven for eternal life was made possible by and only by the blood of our lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the spirit. [1 Peter 3:18]

Stigmata

The lover wants to be like the beloved! The sheer depth of immense love is a divine gift to his bride. This is a mystical ecstatic love intimacy with Jesus in everything. St.paul, Catherine, Helen, John of cross, Padre Pio, Sebastian, Francis of Assisi and many more experienced this intimacy and sustained the wounds, sometimes even invisible, as in the case of St.Faustina. Deep meditations on the passion and death of Christ brings the scenes alive, becomes flesh in them. One surprising thing to be noted is that all these saints have taken holy communion and had undoubted faith in the Eucharistic Lord.

Crucifixion Through Holy Mass

Jesus says “for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. [Matthew 26:28] Thus crucifixion is happening every moment, every second, as and when each priest lifts up the host and says “this is my body” and not ‘like’ my body. The priest gets transformed into Christ. This transubstantiation is in accordance with the divine exchange that took place on the cross. It has to be this way till the second coming, that is why he said “do this in memory of me”. He humbled himself to nothing and became obedient unto death, even death on the cross…[Philippians 2:6] “In him we find redemption through his blood ,forgiveness…” [Ephesians 1:7]

Victim Becomes The Victor

“When love meets sin, it is crucified; but it will rise again” says Fulton Sheen. Jesus is love personified, love is God. This love became flesh, took our pains, sins and shame and came back to glory in the fullest form. We can never bury the truth and expect it to be there. It will definitely surface and come out just as Jesus did. He said I am the way, the truth, the life and He proved it. So let us not have an iota of doubt in our minds in surrendering our lives to Jesus and walk out of our graven situations with full glory, honour and might as Jesus did. Amen!

The emptiness of the tomb of Christ is enough to fill any emptiness in your life. It is the greatest symbol of hope! Let us march towards that glorious finish. Amen!

– – – written by Cecilia Francis

October 13th, 2015

From My God to My Lord

From My God to My Lord

The word GOD means perfect, omnipotent, divine, immortal etc. When we consider our God as God, we stand in awe of his might and potential. We feel that we are like dust before him as St.Paul said. From our childhood we develop a sense of fear, reverence and begin to follow a ritualistic routine so as to abide and align our life in a way pleasing to God and society.

The word LORD

The word LORD Kyrios[Greek], Dominus [Latin], Dynamus [dynamite], Adonai [Hebrew] means ruler, master with power and authority. In the Bible if we watch carefully the word lord refers to husband, Lord to king and LORD (all caps) to Yahweh. He is full of power and authority.

From My God to My Lord

As long as God is God in our life, our relationship with Him is a passive one and His potential is not fully effective in our life. If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.[Romans 10:9] The moment we accept JESUS as our LORD, our life transforms completely. We ourselves allow Him to use His power to lead our lives. We must not have any inhibitions.

This is the time His will becomes our will. God’s will, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. He is our living companion, taking control of every situation, every moment, every day and our entire life, with power and authority, depending upon the degree of trust we have in Him and how far we have surrendered our lives to Him. He will lead us to the pinnacle of success and summit of Glory.

Life – A chariot with many horses

Our life is like a chariot with many horses. If each go in its own direction, we just cannot move one bit forward. Now is the time to give the reins to our Lord and Master. Give him the reins, see him reign, let abundance of Grace and Mercy rain on us. Let Lord Jesus Christ be a dynamic God so kinetic in our lives.

God is not an abstract entity. He is an absolute reality. Every creation of the creator should find God, experience Him and feel His presence, by the time our life cease to exist. All prayers and formations are just starter packs for this greater purpose.

God Experience

On one fine day, which is sure and certain in everyone’s life, we will have that ‘GOD EXPERIENCE’. Then we come to know the purpose of our existence, our mission and target, bringing focus to our future. The Joy of this moment is just awesome. From that moment, we are led by that Kindly Light and a tender whisper guiding amidst encircling gloom. We must sustain this light and voice all our lives, never let it fade, or die out.

St.Padre Pio said “Let us first look at ourselves. The infinite distance between the azure and the abyss generates humility.” God is infinite in all dimensions. This God so infinite seeks your finite heart to rest, live and make you one with him. He knows you before your birth and is going to be with you after your death. Only during this earthly life we fail to seek him. St. Augustine says “My heart is restless until I find my Rest in Thee”.

Let seeking and being with God be our prime aim in our life. Let every prayer be addressed to Abba father, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen.

– – – written by Cecilia Francis

August 24th, 2015

Encounter With Jesus

Encounter With Jesus

When we travel, say a train journey, we meet people. They are not friends but we call them acquaintances. But certain people who enter our lives help us, support us, stand by us, transforming us to reach the sky, the zenith of glory, the summit of success or the pinnacle of joy. Such transformation leaves everlasting memories, gratitude and breath of a new life in our hearts.

Encounter with Jesus

The word ENCOUNTER means “bring a change after contact so that you are no more the old self.” i.e. leaves an impression on someone. The same happens with our relationship with Jesus. We all know him as God, His life, His glorious finish and so on. This knowledge cannot help us in any way.

When Jesus was walking along the roads of Jerusalem and Judea many people flocked around him. They were all gifted to see him face to face which none of us got. Yet how many of them benefited? Only the ones who allowed Jesus to transform them completely.

Let us now look at three encounters people had with Jesus:

1. Bartimaeus [Mark 10:46-52]

Bartimaeus, a beggar on the roadside, totally blind, has heard so many talk about a man named Jesus. He pondering over His power, fully desires to meet Jesus, awaits with anxiety, as his last chance of hope in life. Bartimaeus cries out yelling in full surrender “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me” as He passes by him. Jesus, fully aware of the situation, moves forward. Now the beggar hears (for he cannot see) the sound fade and Jesus moving beyond him, his last ray of hope fading, throws himself and yells “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me”. Now Jesus turns back, calls him and asks “What can I do for you?”. He answers “I want to see You”. That is it. His sight was restored! This is what Encounter is all about!

2. The Woman with Hemorrhage [Luke 8:43-48]

A woman with heavy bleeding for 12 years comes to Jesus, “For she said in herself, If I may touch but his garment only, I shall be whole.” A huge crowd was pressing Jesus, still He particularly felt some power leaving him. He knew that a woman with full hope of being healed is touching Him. Jesus asks “Who touched me?” Peter says “Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?”. This is the difference between being pressed by a crowd and touched by a single one with faith, full of hope and surrender to be transformed. At this perfect timing healing becomes instantaneous. The woman certainly had an Encounter with Jesus.

3. Martha and Mary [John 11]

The dynamics between the two sisters and Jesus is just awesome, revealing and releasing many graces and blessings in stages. When Lazarus dies, the whole of Bethany gather in their home in mourning. Martha comes to know that Jesus is in town. She runs to the street, meets Jesus and says “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died”. Then she runs home, tells her sister and brings her to Jesus and now Mary repeats every word of Martha “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died”. Jesus is deeply moved and seeing the crowd weeping He too weeps. The crowd says “He who opened the eyes of the blind, can he not prevent this man from dying?” Again Jesus is deeply moved. Now comes the glorious finish. “Lazarus come out”! The whole audience then had an encounter with Jesus…dumb struck, standing in awe to see a dead man coming out to dine with them! Amen.

We can go on with many more examples like Centurion, Zacchaeus, Leper – they all had a desire to go to Jesus with their whole heart and faith. We also see that Judas, Pilate, High Priest, Herod, Pharisees – they all had the greatest chance of seeing Jesus face to face, yet they were lost in their own world of mortality, filled with hidden agendas and missed the mark and lost the valuable eternal life.

Let us seek Jesus to get transformed, to have an encounter with full confidence, hope, trust and faith, without even the slightest ray of doubt or apprehension. We are sure to be transformed in our six areas [Job 5:19] of life viz: physical, mental, spiritual, family, society and finance. Amen!

– – – written by Cecilia Francis

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