Allow Love to Rise Above Misunderstandings

Once upon a time, long ago in a land far away, an innocent man was betrayed by a friend. Wrongly convicted of a crime he did not commit, he faced an illegal trial and was sentenced to death.

The man’s heartbroken widowed mother attended her son’s execution.

During the condemned man’s final moments, he looked at his mother. Understanding the gravity of his death upon her, he spoke to a cousin standing beside his mother. The dying man asked his cousin to take care of the grieving woman.

The cousin willingly agreed. Taking his aunt into his home, he treated her as his own mother.

Despite the unimaginable torture Jesus endured during his crucifixion, he was concerned for his widowed mother, Mary. In his final moments, Jesus made preparation for her care. He entrusted Mary to John, one of Jesus’ closest disciples the son of Salome, Mary’s sister.

I believe many thoughts probably flooded Mary’s mind as she witnessed Jesus’ excruciating death. Perhaps among those thoughts were the words said over her eight-day-old baby boy in the temple thirty-three years earlier by the aged Simeon.

I have seen God’s salvation, which God prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of God’s people Israel! This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul, Mary. (Luke 2:30-35)

Do you think it possible Mary didn’t always understand the reasons Jesus did what he did, or the way he went about his ministry?

From my experiences, I’ve found misunderstandings have a way of causing confusion which can escalate and separates people. If there were any misunderstandings between Mary and Jesus, it doesn’t appear those misunderstandings affected their loving relationship.

There might be times our children don’t understand the reasons we do what we do. There might be times we don’t understand the reasons our children do what they do.

This lack of understanding can result in misunderstanding. Fertile ground for confusion and estrangement. Fertile ground for loving relationships to diminish.

As the day set aside here in the States to remember the women in our lives who nurtured and loved us approaches on May 12, perhaps instead of letting our differences separate and divide us from people we love, even in the worst of times, we’d be wise to  consider Jesus and Mary’s example.

Perhaps we should make sure we allow love to rise above any misunderstanding that threatens to separate us from those closest to us.

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Standing near his cross were Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the follower he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the follower, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, the follower took her to live in his home. John 19:25-27 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Remember Me

We remember on the day the crucified Christ died alongside two criminals, one of the men mocked Jesus. The man told Jesus, if indeed he was the Messiah sent to save the world, Jesus should save himself and the man who hung beside him as well.

The other criminal recognized Jesus as the sinless Christ. God’s Only Son. Savior. Redeemer. Messiah.

This man admitted he deserved to die for his sins, but Jesus didn’t.

Acknowledging who Jesus was, this second man asked Jesus to remember him when he came into his kingdom.

Upon hearing the man’s confession of faith, Jesus assured the man he would be remembered. Jesus said he would be with Christ in Paradise that very day.

Although Jesus accepted the sins of both men upon his perfect sinless self; the one who believed and the one who mocked, only one of the men would be with Jesus in Heaven.

One of the criminals on the cross recognized the truth of who Jesus is. He admitted his sinfulness deserved punishment. He confessed his belief in Jesus as Lord. Because of that, Jesus gave his solemn promise the man would be in Paradise.

The other man’s lack of faith and sin separated him from Christ.

Jesus died for all so we could have life eternal with him in Heaven. It’s up to each individual to decide whether to accept Christ’s invitation or not.

Jesus paid the debt we could never pay with his life.

The decision we must make is what will we do with that sacrificial gift.

Accept it? Or reject it?

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One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”

But the other criminal protested. “Don’t you even fear God when you are dying? We deserve to die for our evil deeds, but this man hasn’t done one thing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

And Jesus replied, “Today you will be with me in Paradise. This is a solemn promise.” Luke 23:39-43 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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The Day Jesus Christ Died

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

This past Sunday, Palm Sunday, we celebrated Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Crowds lined the road. As Jesus passed by, they shouted out their hosannas and praises. Yet, within five short days those praises turned to condemnation and calls for Jesus’ death.

Crucify him! Crucify him! Crucify him!

Although Pilate could find no wrong in Jesus, he capitulated to the crowd’s demands and  handed Christ over to be crucified. After that, Pilate washed his hands of Christ’s innocent blood.

Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb of God. He willingly endured God’s wrath against mankind’s sins upon his sinless self, so we wouldn’t have to. Christ’s sacrifice allows those who claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior entrance into the very presence of God.

By Jesus Christ’s suffering and death our sins are forgiven. He who knew no sin took on the sins of the world, so that by His wounds we can be healed. No one made him do it. He did it because of his perfect Love.

Before you get to the music video at the bottom of the page, this video of a trauma surgeon describes the effect of crucifixion on the human body.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

When we were unable to help ourselves, at the right time, Christ died for us, although we were living against God. Very few people will die to save the life of someone else. Although perhaps for a good person someone might possibly die. But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners. So through Christ we will surely be saved from God’s anger, because we have been made right with God by the blood of Christ’s death. While we were God’s enemies, he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Surely, now that we are his friends, he will save us through his Son’s life. And not only that, but now we are also very happy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we are now God’s friends again. Romans 5:6-11 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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This post originally appeared on Woven and Spun March 26, 2013.

Forgiven

Bing photosThe thief on the cross.

He knew he deserved his punishment. He knew he deserved to die in the most horrific way Rome had ever devised. Death by crucifixion. To struggle for every breath, against the insufferable pain and torture of the spikes driven through his hands and feet, until that final, last, ragged breath left his lungs. He knew he got what he earned for his crime.

Yet…the man in the middle. The man they called the Christ. Messiah. Son of God. The thief was convinced, Jesus did not deserve the unjust punishment. The thief knew Jesus was innocent. The thief understood Jesus to truly be Redeemer. Savior. Lord.

The thief cried out to Jesus. And Jesus answered him, just as surely as he answers us when we cry out to him today.

The debt we owed, but could never pay, was paid in full by Jesus. Our King. Our LORD. Our Messiah. Our Savior. That’s how love conquered death. That’s how Christ’s love won.

Jesus took our place on the cross. He died so we wouldn’t have to. His wounds can heal even our deepest sins. We only need to ask.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong. ”Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:40-43 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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