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While God never changes in His nature, He does change the way He works with human beings. Jesus announced a significant change when He held up a cup and identified it with His blood that would establish a new covenant.
The church can be described as a body, a family, an army. It’s a movement of influence—one that seeks to bring glory to God and point people toward the Savior. On the night Jesus was betrayed and arrested, He initiated the movement with a meal.
Many people say that kids and students are the church of tomorrow but that statement could not be further from the truth. They are the church of today. There is so much hope and promise in the younger generation.
I imagine the crucifixion scene from the vantage of a mother. To witness the brutalizing public display of degradation and horror must have felt more than any mother could ever possibly bear in a lifetime. Jesus’s mother, Mary, remained by her child’s side, helpless to stop the horror, but a faithful presence of love in the midst of so much hatred. How could she let her son go, even in death?
A man named Joseph of Arimathea learned this when he played a major role in the burial of Jesus. Joseph appeared to be an upstanding citizen and a decent human being, but there was nothing special or extraordinary about him.
What is considered to be an uneventful portion of the narrative of Jesus’ crucifixion was actually a stepping stone to the greatness and impact of the resurrection.
He’d lost count of how many crucifixions he’d witnessed. Too many. It wasn’t something a person ever got used to – the visceral brutality of the Roman death penalty ensured it left an impression – but after participating in so many over the years, he’d gotten numb. Numbness was preferable to flinching at every stroke of the whip during a scourging, gagging at the feel of the nails piercing flesh or pitying the criminals as they spent hours suffocating to death while hanging on the cross.