As we prepare to celebrate Easter it wouldn’t be fitting if we didn’t first recount the events that took place in the life of Jesus individually and at our place of worship during what is known as Passion Week, the time from His triumphal entry to resurrection. Jesus spent most of his time in Bethany, just two miles east of Jerusalem on the opposite slope of the Mount of Olives. He probably stayed at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Jesus spent Thursday night praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Friday and Saturday nights Jesus’ body lay in the garden tomb. [Billye Brim describes the third day from her book The Blood and the Glory.]
The third day, our Lord Jesus arose- triumphant over death, hell and the grave-and carried His own precious blood into the Heavenly Holy of Holies where it was accepted for you, me, our families and generations to come.
The precious blood of Christ- 1 Peter 1:19
Hebrews 6: 9-12
But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Let’s consider a few redeeming lives of those who have gone before us, and their maturing attributes, as they trusted in that which Christ had promised:
Thomas may have doubted until Jesus revealed himself, but he didn’t allow the doubt to remain. He matured through his belief while stating, “My Lord and my God!” Selah. [John 20:26-29 you are blessed for believing yet having not seen]
Abraham received great promises from God. Many which seemed impossible to be realized, yet Abraham trusted God with confidence and active faith. [Mature choice(s) in righteousness]
Jeremiah accused God of being unreliable [15:18]. God reminded Jeremiah of His promise to stand by him [12:5,6; 15:19,20]. Jeremiah’s questioning of God forms one of the best examples in the Bible of what it means to follow God in spite of everything. [Jeremiah matured in his depth of understanding as well as in the spiritual challenge]
Hebrews 12:2 AMP
[Looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].
I love how this one verse in Hebrews 12:2 starts with encouragement that enfolds us, you and I, in the assurance of Christ. The perfecting of faith is a part of our maturing. The word focus by definition is the center of interest or activity; focusing our eyes on Jesus is strategic victory for our completion [the will & purposes] as we follow a divine and supreme example.
Do you have promises from God that seem too incredible to fulfill?
Hear the integrity of His own heart in this verse.
Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
Isaiah 26:4 MSG – “Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.”
Unfolded Hearts Ministry
Cited Resource Chronological Life Application Study Bible
Let’s apply our diligence.
For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make every effort] in [exercising] your faith to, develop moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge (insight, understanding), and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, steadfastness, and in your steadfastness, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly affection, and in your brotherly affection, [develop Christian] love [that is, learn to unselfishly seek the best for others and to do things for their benefit]. For as these qualities are yours and are increasing [in you as you grow toward spiritual maturity], they will keep you from being useless and unproductive in regard to the true knowledge and greater understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5-8 AMP