Archive for the ‘Easter’ Category
Photo taken inside the church of the Holy Seplechure, Jerusalem, Israel in May, 2001 while on my trip there to Israel.
Don’t be afraid, for the road you take you won’t take alone.
When storm clouds come and darkness closes round,
and you fear that you might stumble, and cast your foot upon a stone,
and the burdens that you bear weigh you down and keep you bound,
and you ask, “What am I to do, does anyone really care?”
I want to tell you, I’ve walked this way before when I carried the sins of all.
With brokenness in spirit I struggled carrying my cross up the road.
And your sins? Forgotten, and no more, for I’ve born those too, you see.
You are free. I paid your price. You’re not alone if you’ll walk this road with me.
I came to save and redeem the lost if they believe.
It was all prearranged by my Father at Calvary.
Joyce E. Johnson © 2017
Matthew 28:5 & 6 – But the angel said to the women, Do not be alarmed and frightened for I know that you are looking for Jesus, Who was crucified. He is not here; He is risen, as He said He would do. Come, see the place where He lay.
He is risen indeed! 🙂 The story of Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection can be found in chapters twenty-sixth through twenty-eight of Matthew in the New Testament bible. I hope you have, and know the peace and joy that only Christ alone can bring, and I want to wish you all a happy, blessed Easter.
The Garden Tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem, Israel: photo taken May, 2001 while on tour of Israel.
He did not come to guarantee
that your life would not know pain,
but that you would have joy,
and from the clutch of sin be free.
He did not die to be remembered
as one wronged, then crucified,
but one raised up and resurrected,
and be crowned King of Kings.
Joyce E. Johnson © 2016
The story of Jesus’s death and resurrection can be found in chapters 19 & 20 of the book of John in the New Testament Bible, NIV.
I wish you all a happy, blessed Easter filled with hope, peace and love.
No throne of gold with ruling court,
just a young colt prepared to carry
the One coming; so humbled was He
with no announcement, campaign or promise,
no regal bearing, pride or clout,
no pronouncement or declaration
to any who promised to follow,
but with a mission, soon to be found
guilty, with charges brought
not by Pilate, king or crown,
but by the common people
His crime committed?
Nothing more but Love,
no threats or harsh in character
words thrown upon the crowd.
He held no hate, or bitter accusation
against his jury, judge or fate,
but stood in silent confirmation
as one sent to suffer death
by the father who sent Him
to redeem the world from sin.
Joyce E. Johnson © 2016
Today is Palm Sunday (the Sunday preceding Easter). In the New Testament gospels it is recorded as a significant time when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, humbling Himself before the people. They welcomed Him then as the One who had performed so many miracles and healed so many. They threw palm branches at his feet when He entered town. But, within a week’s time their demeanor and attitude changed considerably and it became the consensus by all, to condemn Him to death, and release to them another man, Barabbas convicted of crimes charged against the people. It was the custom back then for Pilate, the people’s Roman ruler to release one man, and put the other man to death. They chose Jesus to be the one put to death. But, it was not a coincidence that Jesus be put to death, but was God’s plan from the beginning to send His only begotten son to death for the sins of the world, so that those who believed in Him would have eternal life. This story can be found recorded in the New Testament Gospels in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. You can also find it here in this scripture passage, Mark, chapter 11: 1-11.
The tomb of Jesus, in Jerusalem, Israel – I took this photo while on a tour of Israel in May, 2001
A cross lies prone
on Golgotha’s Hill,
the body, gone.
A tomb sits empty,
a cold slab of stone
now bare but for a
shroud, stained and worn.
An angel stands near
on the third day’s morn
“The Savior’s not here.
He’s alive. He’s risen!”
The gates of Heaven
shake thunderous acclaim to
the resurrected Christ, crucified one,
Jesus, redeemer, sacrificed lamb.
Angelic hosts shout their praise,
“Glory to God!
Hallelujah, He reigns!”
His accusers stand silenced,
filled with shame.
“How could it be
that the one who was slain,
the one proclaimed
to be King of Kings
now lives and reigns?”
“Surely He is the prophesied one!”
“Praise to the Father, and praise to the Son!”
Footnotes: The life and history of Jesus, his miracles performed, his ministry on earth, and the story of His crucifixion and resurrection can be found in chapters 14-16 of the book of Mark in the New Testament as well as other parts of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I want to wish everyone a happy Easter and hope your day is filled with hope and joy in knowing the One who sacrificed His life to give us eternal life and peace.
Joyce E. Johnson (2015)
What do you think He would post? How many ‘likes’ and ‘follows’? How many views? Do you think He would post to Facebook, WordPress and Twitter, put pictures, awards or success stories up to promote himself, or be found in the search engines of Google and Bing? Jesus never needed to promote himself. He humbled himself and people were naturally drawn to Him by the thousands.
At times I wonder what it would have been like to have been born back then when He socialized with tax collectors, rebuked the critical Jewish pharisees and ministered to the crowds of people in the villages of Israel, or on the streets of Jerusalem with his disciples. Would we just watch and accuse Him like all the rest while He carried his cross to Golgotha’s Hill to Calvary to be crucified?
If Jesus had a blog today, He might use it to tell his parables or stories about what His kingdom is like. He might post the Beatitudes, or His sermons preached to the thousands on a hillside. He might share the memories He had of His life before, photos and stories of His friends and disciples he came to love. Maybe he would share with all how He would leave for a while, be put to death, then be resurrected on the third day and rejoin His disciples and friends again before ascending up to heaven to His father. And in leaving He would promise that the Holy Spirit would always be near to help and comfort us all.
Even though we have all this contained in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible today with easy access to all, and in many different languages and versions I think Jesus would have multiple stories to share that there would be no room or time to tell it all. I think He would post stories about people who have been healed of disease and disabilities of all kinds, and stories about restored relationships and marriages that would give us hope to get through difficult or troubling times, how to raise our children and gain wisdom along the way. But, most importantly I think He would tell people how much He loves them.
Footnotes: Jesus’s history, his life, stories and miracles performed can be found in the gospels of the New Testament Bible in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Joyce E. Johnson (2015)
The Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem, Israel; photo taken in May 2001 while on a tour of Israel
He came with humility
to serve; not to be served;
He came to prepare for us a place
a home where His father and eternity abides.
Wherever He went, whatever He did
people came from all around
from towns and villages to the mountainsides
to hear His teaching and wisdom found.
He came in love, He came with grace;
He chose a donkey, not a chariot or steed,
the Father’s glory shone about His face.
He was not sent to impress, or proceed
a following of men with clout or fame,
but with the twelve chosen walking beside
called Disciples, and with Him they came
to learn the ways of the One sent out
who carried our sin and carried our shame.
Footnotes: The life and history, stories, miracles and words of Jesus’s teachings can be found in the first four books of the New Testament Bible known as the gospels. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Joyce E. Johnson (2015)
The day might mean family, friends and fun,
egg hunts, bunnies, bonnets and ham
picnics, gardening, games and sun.
But whatever you do, whatever planned
Whatever your faith, wherever you reign
I wish you a happy Easter day
Where might that be, by whatever name
Gladness and joy, peace and safety,
A thankful heart and prosperity, the same
Joyce E. Johnson (2014)