He Who Wept and Died

Sooner slipped quietly out of his nest, as the sun rose over Jerusalem that early Good Friday and mounted up with his young eagle wings through the glorious, brisk breeze.  His wings carried him high and far over those beautiful hills — the sky as blue and clear as a sapphire.

Sooner hoped that, if he arose early enough, he might catch another glimpse of the Man who rode into Jerusalem a week ago on that colt.  He was curious about this Man the people praised, as he rode in — waving their palm branches and shouting, “Hosana!”  He appeared, as though royal…yet, on a colt?  Who was He?  Sooner had to know.

So, he searched the city far and wide gliding on his new wings — he barely believed they could carry him out, peaceful soaring — he hardly could believe they would work when his Momma pushed him out the nest.  Oh, the experience was harrowing as he fell endlessly that first time — but Momma swooped in and caught him and carried him back to the nest.  She patiently and lovingly told him, “Tomorrow will go much easier for you Sooner, you’ll see!”  Then, Sooner cried to her, “Momma, I’m so frightened!  Why can I not just stay here with you?”

Momma looked sweetly on Sooner, her only boy in the whole clutch — she knew he would be great one day and she rested all of her hopes in him.  She soothingly said to Sooner, “Boy, God has a big plan for your life and  you must spread those wings and fly to His bidding…do not fear the plans He has for you.”

He continued to soar looking for this royal Man to see Him again. Almost out of no where, he heard a sound that was whizzing and slapping so he flew in that direction.  What he found there ripped through his heart and it pained him — a pain he had never experienced before — it was the royal Man — but he was being beaten by the Roman soldiers.

There was so much blood, so much pain and Sooner did not understand what this man could have done — One so welcomed and praised only a week ago — what could this be?  Sooner found a perch, high above the court yard of Pilate’s palace, and with great grief watched, as the soldiers beat and ridiculed this man they kept calling Jesus.  The whip would come down and drag across his body and this Jesus would cry out in pain from each lash.  How could this be?  After what seemed like hours of beating, they began mocking Him, spitting on Him, and pulling on His beard — plucking out His whiskers — His face was bleeding and swollen — and when Sooner thought they would show Him some mercy, another soldier walked over and placed a crown on Jesus’ head with the same briary thorns his mother told him to avoid when hunting prey — for they were very long and sharp and if they pierced his chest, he would certainly die.

The soldier placed it on this Jesus’ head and pressed down, as hard and deep in His skull — more blood — more pain.  Then they found a purple robe and placed it on His shoulders and walked around bowing and mocking — calling Him the King of the Jews!  As if it all weren’t enough, they led Jesus off to a crowd — the people of the town — and stood Jesus before them — flaunting their King.  They rejected it — they said, “He is not our King — Caesar is our King!”  Then Pilate walked out and stared at the crowd — amazed at their insolence and distaste for the one they praised a week ago.

With a nod from Pilate, Sooner saw the soldiers bring another man out and Pilate shouted, “Today I will release one — whom shall you choose?  Here is Jesus — here is Barabbas — whom shall I release to you?”  The crowd roared loudly, “Give us Barabbas! Give us Barabbas!”  So, Pilate asked them, “What shall I do then with your King, Jesus?”  And, they exploded, “Crucify Him!”  Pilate was perplexed — for even he knew Barabbas was a murderer.  Pilate walked to a basin of water and washed his hands and said, “I will not bear this on me — it is on you.”

The soldiers then took a long wooden beam and thrust it on Jesus’ back and led Him out of the palace.  Sooner leaped from his perch and flew over-head to see where they were taking Jesus.  He followed closely, as Jesus struggled with each step along the path to the Place of the Skull, Sooner’s mother had told him about.  When they reached the top, they ripped that purple robe off of His back and the wounds tore and Jesus cried out in such pain.  They laid Him on the earth and to Sooner’s horror, they began nailing Him to that tree — His hands, His feat — and their He hung and Sooner flew to the cross beam and cried.

Jesus died that day — the King of the Jews — the promised Messiah.  Sooner understood that it was for the sins of the people that this Royal Blood was spilled — Jesus their Savior.

Sooner stayed with Him until He arose three days later — and, as Jesus ascended to Sooner’s Creator, His Father — Sooner laid down and died.

Eagle Crying

 

 

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Choose You This Day Who You Will Serve

Dave and Joshua are out working on the lawn — which has looked terrible by the way and I have been sitting writing out thank you cards, letters, reading and studying — while also pondering my vote in the primary come Tuesday….
I became a “registered” Republican in what was my very first vote in 1984 for incumbent, President Ronald Reagan. I have to admit that I didn’t understand government very well or politics for that matter — I voted for President Reagan simply because my Daddy did — I trusted him, valued his opinion, and knew that he was voting wisely — it was good enough for me, at that time.
As I matured and began developing my “own” opinions (which I sure have some), I began considering my vote more seriously and studied the candidates, their values, their policies, and how all of that intersected and lined up with my Christian values. I have always been very discerning and have attempted to use Godly wisdom when considering how a candidate aligns with the sanctity of human-life, the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman, freedom of religion, and their support for our dear friend, Israel. These are all very important platforms for me and I also believe they are important for our country, as a whole, although most only see them as issues important to evangelical Christians. However, they are not — as long as our president values those issues, they protect us all — because when moral fiber of a country decays, the country decays too, and quickly.
The past two presidential elections have been the most difficult for me and have caused me a great deal of anxiety. This one is proving even more disconcerting for me and here is why:
Evangelicals have remained largely silent in the past two elections — throwing in the proverbial towel and conceding that it truly was no use for them to get out and vote. Because of that attitude, we’ve seen President Obama win both elections and truly destroy most of what was still left as “good” in our country. Honestly, our country has been on a moral decline since around 1960. From since the end of World War II, we have taken God out of our public school systems, legalized the murder of MILLIONS and MILLIONS of unborn children, accepted that we are JUST another animal in the animal kingdom instead of souls created in the image of an Holy God, pandered to and accepted the deviance of many sexual sins (not just homosexuality) and thus confusing and marginalizing our children, rather than teaching them that God has a perfect way for us; and, completely and whole-heartedly diminished our Constitution and God’s Word. In addition, we’ve turned our backs on Israel and God’s chosen people, after our World War II veterans liberated the Jews from the very same genocide and ethnic cleansing we are seeing TODAY being carried out by ISIS.  We erroneously believe that IF we stand up to their terror we are Islamophobic.   We also are not teaching our children to have backbones and work hard.  We cater to them and we give them everything they desire — we hold them harmless when they treat others poorly — and we’ve thus created an entitled generation of socialists. I no longer hear children respect their elders — I no longer see parents teaching them to say, “Yes m’am and yes sir” — we don’t teach them to do things they don’t WANT to do because it is good for them, but because we want to be their friends instead of their parents — we “want them to like us.”
I have been criticized by many because I don’t trust Donald Trump and will not vote for him in the primary — I’ve been told that, “how do I know it is not who God has chosen for this country?” My question to my brothers and sisters in Christ is: Why do you think he is? The way I see it is, if you nominate him in the primary over Ted Cruz (who is a born-again believer in Christ Jesus and there is fruit to show it) you’ve not trusted God. That may seem harsh, but what makes any of you think that you are “helping” God by making that willful choice and nominating Donald Trump or anyone else who does not genuinely serve HIM?? What, for crying out loud, would cause you to choose a profaning, adulterating, money hungry, waffler over a God-fearing brother? Sure, I do pray for Donald Trump — I pray that he will repent and turn to God — but he remains openly and outspokenly unrepentant. Yet, professing Christians are going to dare to know and understand the mind of God by nominating him because they believe “he is the only one who has a chance of beating Hilliary.”
Since when did God tell us to choose between the lesser of two evils?? Do you think God is going to honor you for turning your back on a brother in Christ and more importantly voting for he/she whom does not honor God in ALL things??
I read today that 78 pastors in Florida are endorsing Ted Cruz — reread that! SEVENTY-EIGHT pastors — only 78! Now, I know Florida has more than 78 God-fearing pastors — I also know there are countless evangelicals in the State of Florida — pastors are afraid to endorse a candidate or advise their sheep to vote for a God-fearing candidate because they are too concerned about their precious tax-status or jail. To state it bluntly, God doesn’t care about our tax status — we only need to follow Jesus — Matthew was a tax collector and left it all to follow Jesus — there is your answer right there!
So, the question begs — why are TRUE born-again, evangelical Christians voting for Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Hilliary Clinton or any other candidate who does not align with our Christian values?
In Joshua, chapter 24 verses 14 – 18 is this account:
“Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods, for it is the LORD our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. And the LORD drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God.” But Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins.If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good.”And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the LORD.”Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the LORD, to serve him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD, the God of Israel.” And the people said to Joshua, “The LORD our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey.” So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and put in place statutes and rules for them at Shechem. And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the LORD that he spoke to us. Therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God.” So Joshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance. “
Whom will you serve?? Don’t turn your back and then question God why He has withdrawn Himself and left us to our ways and to our judgment.