Archive for the ‘Jesus’ Tag
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 Sea of Galilee, Tiberias, Israel, May, 2001, Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson
Nothing but chaos, crowds and noise
greeted the young couple, desperate to find
a quiet place, warm and dry
for the birth of their child, the newborn king.
Foretold and promised generations ago,
news of his birth was heard throughout the lands,
and the star in the east that lit up the sky
guided men of wisdom across desert sands.
Shepherds fled their flocks
frightened by angels that came nigh
announcing the news of Jesus’s birth.
To the king they hurried, and in haste found
the tiny babe chosen to rule and reign
lying in a feeding trough upon a cold bare ground.
Hope and redemption was born that night
where cattle grazed, and sheep and goats brayed.
No throne or palace was awarded this king,
yet people came from all around
seeking the savior born that day.
Now in a world where chaos, crowds and noise
leaves hearts searching and seeking one to follow,
where joy, comfort and peace
is eternal, lasting and hallow,
there waits the savior born that day
to reign in hearts that just believe.
Joyce E. Johnson (2016)
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today, in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:10-14 NIV, New Testament Bible.
I would like to take this time to thank all of my blogger friends, followers and visitors who have visited my blog site through 2016, and wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year of peace and joy in 2017. The amazing friends and opportunities I have, and the positive comments received are what makes blogging fun, rewarding, and an inspiration to my writing. Blessings to all. JEJ
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.
Christmas draws near as I sit and ponder
The years gone by, the memories, so many
I count myself blessed
For the family I have, my husband, my home
And the children we’ve had.
But, I look at the lives,
and heartache of those,
their loneliness, their sorrow
their loss, and I’m sad.
If it’s only just to pray and in some way
I’ll offer encouragement, or just be kind.
Some suffer what they’ve lost;
A loved one gone
We may never know, or understand
What they’ve gone through
Or at what cost.
Lord, grant them favor, that they find grace
And their Christmas be filled with the promise of hope
And their lives know the Gift you sent us with love
born of a virgin a long time ago
who came to this world a baby King,
to bring us life and bear the world’s sin
the Messiah, Redeemer, King of Kings.
Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope it will be a happy one, filled with joy, peace, good will, and God’s best, and that you will have health, prosperity and good things in 2016.
Joyce E. Johnson © 2015
The Sea of Galilee in Israel; Photo taken May, 2001 while touring Israel just four months before the 9/11 attack on the U.S. Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson
The shepherd struggled to his feet. Smoke rose into the sky as winds carried the smell of death and destruction of Bethlehem to the hillside.
The annual pilgrimage of thousands who came each year to see the place where the Christ child was believed born was only a trickle this year in the wake of all the terrorist attacks.
They are the smart ones, who stay away. The Palestinians did not fear the Jews, or their retaliation to the missiles and suicide bombs, but instead the much darker force of evil who controlled the region destroying and desecrating all historic or religious sites. Like a plague of death their victims fell to their swords, and their black flag now flew over Gaza.
Hassan heard a soft bleat.
One has survived.
He made his way through the carnage to the sound growing weaker with every step and found him half buried under rock and debris carried by the blast. Bleeding, legs broken, but alive his eyes pleaded with silent cries.
As the night grew dark, and now quiet the shepherd tended after the lamb. He supposed the rest of his flock was now dead, or scattered. Like all the nights before when the stars came out he looked up, searching, studying those that never failed to shine their bright light upon the hills of Bethlehem.
A glow penetrated the cave dwelling. A star has fallen!
“Hassan! It is I.”
He shook with fear. Where did that come from!?
“Hassan, you alone have survived. Don’t be afraid. I will be with you. Worship me, Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ sent to save the world from its sin. I came so that you may have eternal life. Believe only in me, and you will be saved.”
He had no understanding or comprehension of what had just happened, or what he had heard. Yet, a calm came over him, seeping into his very soul. Food and water appeared mysteriously before him. Provisions?
He ate. Taking the lamb he rose and walked to where the destroyed grotto now lay in ruins.
It is only a shrine.
Lifting his voice toward the heavens he cried out. “If I stand alone to tell my story I will tell how you came to save me, and that I live to worship You.”
One by one the scattered sheep came back, compelled by the sound of their shepherd’s voice.
It mattered not that he alone survived the attack, but that he was no longer alone. His time remaining he did not know. He was alive. He had this moment now.
Footnotes: The above story is only fiction. Thank heaven for that. Literally. 🙂 Bethlehem was one of the places we visited while on our tour of Israel in May, 2001. Although the U.S. has seen much of its own terrorism (the 9/11 attack and the one most recently in San Bernardino, Ca.) and those in Paris and elsewhere I remain very thankful I live in a free country, and can still worship the living Savior who came to this world born of a virgin, went to the cross to die for the sins of this world, and was buried and resurrected so we can have eternal life. The real story (a much happier one) of the shepherds and Jesus’s birth can be found in Matthew and Luke, chapter 2 of the New Testament Bible.
“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46 (NIV)
Joyce E. Johnson (2015)
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)