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What are we Thinking?

P1020901We have entered into the remembrance of  the last days leading to  Jesus’ crucifixion.

Together we are moving again toward the dark moment in which, according to the Scriptures, justice and mercy met together in a terrible act of execution and death, for our rescue and deliverance.

Many of us have learned to think of Jesus’ suffering and death as the ultimate expression of Divine justice— whereby the full weight of the law, and the wrath of the Father in heaven fell on the body and head of his Son— dying sacrificially in our place.

Along the way, however, some of us might have heard questions raised about the heart of the Father, who according to Isaiah, was pleased to see his son crushed for us (Isa 53:10).

For example,

A.  When we read the Gospel accounts of Jesus crucifixion, or even the mysterious foreshadowing of his sacrifice in Isaiah 53, do they, at face value, read as an act of divine justice, or as the most scandalous of all injustices?

B.  When we read the accounts of the Lord’s suffering do we see an expression of the wrath of God– or men?

C.  Where are we supposed to see our invisible God? Is he mysteriously hiding in the insults, and hatred of the religious leaders who want Jesus dead? Or in the whipped up rage of the mob who followers their leaders in mocking the Son of man?

D.  Whose anger is our Lord bearing for us as the perfect lamb of God?

E.  Whose hurt and hurtfulness is our God bearing as a consequence of our sin?

F.  By whose disobedience is all of this happening? And by whose obedience are we being rescued?

According to the Apostle Paul, because of Adam’s sin we died, and because of Jesus’ perfect obedience  (as the second Adam), we can be made alive (Rom 5:17-21).

I wanted to raise these question because I have been hearing more and more authors and teachers reminding us that there is probably far more of the love and goodness in the death of Christ than we have yet seen.

And if we are not careful we might miss the intent of what Isaiah was saying when he wrote about the sacrifice,  i.e. “we thought he was getting what he deserved at the hand of God” (Isa 53:4).

Am guessing we’d agree that how we read the Bible tends to shape our thoughts of God.

So as we enter this holy week of remembrance, it might be worth thinking again of whether we see in Jesus death, the emotions of an angry Father, or— rather a Father, Son, and Spirit, expressing their immeasurable love for us by bearing the consequence of our disobedience, murderous rage, and fearfully violent attempts at self-defense— to show us— not how angry our Father is, but how much of our anger he was willing to bear… to offer us his love.

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63 Responses to “What are we Thinking?”

  1. tracey5tgbtg says:

    So much to think about in this post. I really need to meditate on the questions to try to come up with some kind of glimmer of a response. These are deep questions.

    I do know it is my sin, anger and disobedience that He bore and that of everyone else as well. But His love is so immense, so unimaginable…

    I do think I will hop over to youtube and listen to “How Deep the Father’s Love” again. And again.

  2. oneg2dblu says:

    Interesting group of thoughts here Mart.
    Makes one wonder about where our mind actually is, with its being jaded, protected by self, looking through our own filters, bringing our own mess into the reading of the scriptures, if you will, certainly has some weight upon what we take away from them.
    Compared to what we take away when we first open our minds in prayer, clearing out the world’s impressions and asking God to speak directly to our soul, then through using those very same words that others may only read as they clearly come away unchanged by them.
    Having the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to direct our minds before we gather ourselves to read, to me, is one way to finding the divine and eternal meaning that the world can not see in God’s Word, because is not ever “alive” to them.
    Until the renewing of the mind takes place, which is of the greatest value as it translates the words with a helper, not understanding them as alone and separated, or by only worldly meaning, because when renewed by the Holy Spirit, they produce the living fruit of change they bear.

  3. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    These are the questions of Lent, it seems to me. We are in the last week of the season of self-examination, clearing out, spring cleaning of our souls.

    What is destroyed more and more as the blessed Holy Spirit moves in, through and among us is the childish notion that God is without passion — that God is unflinching and cruel in destroying the wicked. Damage to evil-doers is collateral damage, it seems to me. God’s perfect will is to be among a people devoted to their Creator God.

    In the midst of descriptions of the bloody fate of the persecutors and the dishonest people who cause suffering, God speaks through the Prophet Isaiah:

    “For He said, ‘Surely, they are My people,
    Sons who will not deal falsely.’
    So He became their Savior.

    “In all their affliction He was afflicted,
    And the angel of His presence saved them;
    In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them,
    And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.”

    The journey from “the days of old,” I am convinced is the great Exodus — like the journey out of Egypt but extending over the entire age of humankind. God is the same “yesterday, today and forever.”

    When the Father sends the Son finally, aren’t we seeing the very sacrifice of the Lord Himself for the sake of His beloved people? Isaiah says:

    “The Lord has bared His holy arm
    In the sight of all the nations,
    That all the ends of the earth may see
    The salvation of our God.”

    D. Whose anger is our Lord bearing for us as the perfect lamb of God?

    The answer would be “ours,” in our unfaithful godlessness.

    E. Whose hurt and hurtfulness is our God bearing as a consequence of our sin?

    The answer would be “ours,” when we sin and are sinned against.

    “What Are We Thinking?” is the main question when we see the crucified Son of God on the cross this coming Friday.


  4. remarutho says:

    My Scriptures are: Isa 63:8-9, Isa 52:10 & Hebrews 13:8.


  5. poohpity says:

    Under the last topic Gary said something like why couldn’t God just have forgiven us without shedding the blood of innocence(my paraphrase). It has caused me to think about that and this topic has even caused that thinking to go deeper.

  6. jayemem says:

    Good Morning All,

    Mart asks an either/or question as he ends his BTA thought inducing article.

    Over the last several months I have been blessed to attend a Bible Study on Salvation. The first part had to do with Salvation & the second part, which will finish today, has been about the God of that Salvation. It has been a great study to be involved in.

    The study has reinforced my thankfulness for God’s Great Salvation. So my response to Mart’s either/or – ‘Father, Son and Spirit, expressing their immeasurable love for us by bearing the consequences of our disobedience, ……. not how angry our Father is, but how much of our anger he was willing to bear…to offer us his love.’

    The older I get (am 75) the more wonder I feel for what was accomplished at Calvary.

    Have a wonderful day & am hoping the temperature will soon be a little warmer.


  7. poohpity says:

    On “C” how the religious leaders lead to a mob mentality. Just like what happened in Ferguson Mo. with the false accusations/narrative that MB had his hands up and was saying don’t shoot. Those mob accusation lead even our countries leaders to stand on the floor of Congress to believe it was true when it was started by someone lying about what happened in a self protection stance but others bought into it, similar to Jesus who was not guilty of anything but because the accusers were so loud. When one person said something it continued until they had so many others to believe just like the vigilantes of old no one any longer cared what was true.

  8. street says:

    Thank You Mart!

  9. SFDBWV says:

    Here I go again, trying to make a characterization of God, by only able to think like a man.

    I have certainly gathered from all I have read and understood from Biblical teaching that forgiveness will always trump punishment-vengeance-wrath-justice.

    So why didn’t God just forgive Adam and Eve and show them the same grace He offers us and *demands* we give others?

    Is it as I have read that Because He is a Holy God that any infraction of His rules demands retribution in order to maintain His Holiness?

    After all who does God have to answer to or explain His actions to? Us? Angels? Satan?

    I know that to suffocate in torment on the cross is a horrible death, and to be whipped and beaten so badly that the very flesh was torn is by itself enough to cause death from trauma; but can several hours of torment equal out to all the sins of all mankind?

    There were plenty of men, women, even children who had undergone the same tormented death for centuries, not to mention people who suffer pain in their bodies and minds their entire lives, whereas the only release from suffering was death.

    So here I am looking at “Divine justice” and wondering what took place here that we don’t really understand. Only able to partially see it as the torture and death of the crucifixion, a mechanism of man’s design.

    The brutality of which we can relate to, something we can understand as punishment or revenge or *justice*.

    But on a “Divine” level we may not truly be able to comprehend what took place on that hill upon that cross, except that because it took place we all can be forgiven by God and returned to a relationship with Him, restored to the place Adam had before the fall only better.

    Maybe that is all we need to know.


  10. joycemb says:

    Mart thank you. I’ve been thinking about this so hard I’m getting a brain freeze.
    Jesus = fully human + fully God

    Jesus’ death brought about by the wrath of mankind. (Yet he ALLOWED himself to be killed)


    Taking God at His word, “It is finished.”

  11. lovely says:

    Hebrews 9:22 , Justice demand blood to be shed. Jesus’s blood isn’t any blood but the perfect blood of Christ that has cleanse us, and because of that we’re in the new covenant.I will see GOd’s love rather than His anger on the cross.

  12. oneg2dblu says:

    What are we thinking…?
    I am thinking, I see only the fulfilling of Promise of Death on the Cross that day, where, “It is finished,” was uttered.

    But. at the revealing sight of the Empty Tomb, I see that the other Promise was fulfilled, the overcoming of death,with Eternal Life in the Resurrection.

    When we read the bible with only the love perspective, we may see only love being described on that cross, as in John 3:16, “for God so loved the world…”

    However, the demanding evil voices of crowds saying, “Crucify Him,” were falling so heavily upon the ears of those who feared an uprising, they did their ugly duty, which allowed Christ to later utter, “Father forgive them…

    That was where love overshadowed the evil being rendered.


  13. oneg2dblu says:

    Call it double vision if you will.

  14. cbrown says:

    Thinking that the emphasis on the blood for justice can cause us to not see His sacrifice in Love.

  15. SFDBWV says:

    Mart’s comment, “Am guessing we’d agree how we read the Bible tends to shape our thoughts of God.” Reminds me of the subject we have broached often during many topics.

    Our genetic makeup, as well as our environmental influences during our developmental age and even our education molds how any of us see anything and everything analytically.

    We see who we are and how we think in any subject.

    The physical world around us is the only example of anything we have. When we step into the subject of existence beyond that, we still only are able to rely on what we know of in order to *picture* an existence beyond this one.

    All of the examples God gives through His Prophets and the examples Jesus gave is given in examples we can relate to.

    So we come to the subject Mart has offered up. Is the action of the cross and act of love or *Divine justice*?

    O. Henry (William Porter) was known for his wit and surprise ending in the short stories he created.

    I see a similarity, perhaps borrowed from the story of the cross in O. Henry’s writing in the story of “The Gift of the Magi”. For any who are not familiar with the story the young bride cuts off her hair and sells it in order to have enough money to buy her new husband a watch fob for his watch, whereas the husband sells his watch in order to buy a hair beret for his wife’s pretty hair.

    They each loved the other enough to give up their prized possession in order to give to the other.

    The irony of the action of the cross is that God Himself allowed for the Savior of all mankind to be executed as a substitute for everyone else. That because He is the only person qualified to be the Savior, he then is also the only sacrifice that is able to accomplish the task.

    Remembering that all of this business is done so that mankind could be reestablished and reunited with God according to the mystery of why it the only way for it to be accomplished by God’s own reasons.

    It is clearly all about God’s love as well as some justification He required.

    Something to think about.


  16. cbrown says:

    Right after I posted the above comment I went to you tube and listened to “How Deep the Father’s Love” again.

  17. jeff1 says:

    When I get into arguments, as sometimes happens when I get upset by those who say Science is the answer in the world today, I have been told that is my opinion but they do not share it and that I am typical of religious folk wanting to rule the world my way. I have realized that I sound to them as self righteousness and I wish that I could find a better way but if I am honest I see the world today as on a destructive course and because of believing that God allows things for a reason then I can only see the world’s waywardness as the reason God is allowing the destructiveness as a warning or as a judgement as happened in Noah’s time.

    As individuals I believe we see God differently depending on our walk with him but by focusing on Christ we can be united by our faith for he is as Steve says all we need to know, at this moment, the first and the last, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end.

    When the storms of life are raging
    Stand by me
    When the storms of life are raging
    Stand by me
    When the world is tossing me
    Like a ship out on the sea
    Thou who rulest when wanted
    Stand by me

    When I’m growing old and feeble
    Stand by me
    When I’m growing old and feeble
    Stand by me
    When I do the best I can
    And my friends misunderstand
    Thou who never lost a battle
    Stand by me
    Thou who never lost a battle
    Stand by me

  18. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    Hope all is well in your lives! I was truly blessed by all of the comments on the previous blog topic. Wish I could have taken part in the discussion, but (as I shared on my birthday) life has been pretty busy for me. I thank God for the prayers of friends, family members and dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. Thank you, joycemb, forever, narrow, Steve, and all who prayed for me and or sent me happy birthday wishes.

    I did, indeed, have a happy birthday, and I thank and praise God as I have been blessed with a kind and godly attorney. Thank you all so much for your prayers! Typed this comment on my smart phone at work, so I don’t have much time to share my thoughts or comment on this new blog topic.

    I’ll keep you posted regarding my transition, and I so welcome your prayers on my behalf.

    75 degrees in Dallas right now…

    Love to all,

  19. foreverblessed says:

    The last few weeks I also was pondering about God’s wrath. It was because of a new bible translation, we read in church 1 Cor 13:1-8 and in verse 5, is not easily angered it says in the NIV, but in the new one in normal dutch speaking language, it says: does not want wrath.
    I was thinking, maybe it is not saying that in the original text, no done deal. No need to think any further.
    But God gave the commandment to Abraham to sacrifice his son, when finally Abraham was going to do that, God forbid him. God says, I do not delight in sacrifices in Psalms.
    God does not delight in sacrifices.
    But He sacrificed His Son, so I do believe that if God could have just forgiven us, He would have done that.
    Maybe it is something with buying us free from the kingdom of darkness?
    Col 1:13
    We were bought with a price, bought from whom the kingdom of darkness. Did that kingdom ask for a price?

    And then it is written, that for the healing of our sins the Spirit in Jesus had to be struck, and flogged, and spitted, and then was to be given out to us, to heal us.

    With God everything is upside down,
    when you want to rule, you serve…
    His wrath is our wrath…

  20. poohpity says:

    I have listened to many Christians who say they do not read the Bible because of all the rules, regulations and things they needed to do to get God’s love and blessings. It was like to them this ladder with 10 rungs they were trying to climb in their own power but as they climbed and found themselves lying or thinking evil of someone or being prideful because they made it to another rung it would take them back down to the bottom again. Striving to be obedient to all that God called for only to find they were never successful and even in that, their eyes were on themselves and not God. It was the obedience of Jesus and our believing in Him that brings us to God.

    God called Jesus His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased before Jesus had even done one miracle or any service. It seems God was pleased with Jesus because of who He is not for what He had done. Now for those who are in Christ and believe in Him we can hear the Father saying, “You are my beloved child in whom I am well pleased” (Eph 1:6-7) Now we can read the Bible as a love letter seeing all the times God’s grace was shown.

    The work of stepping up the rungs of the ladder were done by Jesus who offers us the same love the Father gives Him. God now looks at those who believe through the precious blood of the spotless Lamb. If this kinda love is what one truly believe in then sin and temptation loses it power (Romans 6:14 NLT).

    When we are consumed with addictions, worry, anger, depression we can close our eyes and say “I am a beloved child and God is well pleased with me because I am in Christ Jesus”. Even in the midst of failures until I am in His presence, He knows what I am going through and understands and wants me to be held in His arms and joined in a close relationship through what happened this very week to offer us that kind of love.

  21. oneg2dblu says:

    Let me see if I understand what I just said, If we are obedient it is because we are striving, proud, rung counters, who do not have our eyes on God, but we are only focusing on ourselves.

    Yet,if we are consumed with addictions, worry, anger, depression, we can close our eyes, (where we would actually be focused on nothing, or darkness,) then, we can say we are Children of God?

    If we are living in Christ, and with Christ-like obedience to God, then we are not focused on God?

    So, if having obedience is so displeasing to God, Who also says, Children are to obey their parents, then, I am confused again about what is pleasing to God, who was clearly pleased by His Son, a son who was always obedient, even to death on the cross.

    Obedience to me, is not the opposing force of God’s Grace or Love is it?

    To say God is not pleased with what we do in obedience, but only in what we do not do obediently, is a little confusing to me.

    Perhaps, I had read the bible incorrectly… or out of context.

  22. poohpity says:

    Casting Crowns wrote “Who Am I”

    Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
    Would care to know my name,
    Would care to feel my hurt?
    Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
    Would choose to light the way
    For my ever wandering heart?

    Not because of who I am
    But because of what You’ve done.
    Not because of what I’ve done
    But because of who You are.

    I am a flower quickly fading,
    Here today and gone tomorrow.
    A wave tossed in the ocean.
    A vapor in the wind.
    Still You hear me when I’m calling.
    Lord, You catch me when I’m falling.
    And You’ve told me who I am.
    I am Yours, I am Yours.

    Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
    Would look on me with love and watch me rise again?
    Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
    Would call out through the rain
    And calm the storm in me?

    Not because of who I am
    But because of what You’ve done.
    Not because of what I’ve done
    But because of who You are.

    I am a flower quickly fading,
    Here today and gone tomorrow.
    A wave tossed in the ocean.
    A vapor in the wind.
    Still You hear me when I’m calling.
    Lord, You catch me when I’m falling.
    And You’ve told me who I am.
    I am Yours.

    Not because of who I am
    But because of what You’ve done.
    Not because of what I’ve done
    But because of who You are.

    I am a flower quickly fading,
    Here today and gone tomorrow.
    A wave tossed in the ocean.
    A vapor in the wind.
    Still You hear me when I’m calling.
    Lord, You catch me when I’m falling.
    And You’ve told me who I am.
    I am Yours, I am Yours, I am Yours.

    Whom shall I fear?
    Whom shall I fear?
    ‘Cause I am Yours, I am Yours.

  23. oneg2dblu says:

    Turn your (closed) eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, (with your eyes closed no less) and the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the Light of His Marvelous Grace.

    Makes sense to me… only if we are speaking about our spiritual eyes.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  24. poohpity says:

    Gary, perhaps you have not read the Bible at all as you have stated in the past but seem to lead others to believe that you have now. So are you being obedient by bearing false witness about yourself ooops back down to the bottom of the ladder. God demands perfect obedience and there was no human being alive except Jesus that is why what He did on Calvary seemed like injustice and was so very meaningful to those who believe.

  25. oneg2dblu says:

    Perhaps spiritual obedience is the obedience we are talking about here, and we are not actually climbing up one rung at a time, but just following our God-given inner voice, the Promised Helper.

  26. poohpity says:

    What is spiritual obedience to you Gary? Why would we need to climb when Jesus did it all and belief in that is what changes us spiritually and then it is lived out by grace. Nothing one can do but believe and if that is the spiritual obedience you speak of then I share that belief with you. We stand beneath the heavens that are opened up to us by the Son.(Genesis 28:12-13)

  27. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… Oh how the past comes to hunt us down, whether it reveals any truth or not, it hunts anyhow, like a loin at the door hoping to devour, as it constantly throws out its cunning labels of, “liar, liar,” always accusing and hoping for an emotionally led, equally accusing and course reply, where it seeks for itself a sly smile.

    Sorry, but those things will no longer play on this “well read, and well disciplined,” side of the street.

    I’ll move on now in love, beyond or above the fray, and with my eyes obediently wide open.

    Have a Blessed Day,

  28. oneg2dblu says:

    Nothing one can do but believe?

    That sounds like possessing a faith without works, and from what I have read, having read every word I might mention, and read every word several times now, I do believe, and I do believe what the word says, when it says “Faith without works is dead.”

    Context or a lie?

    Was that a spiritual ladder, or are we to believe that it actually exists?

    Oh yeah, that was a dream, if I read it correctly.

    Good night all, Gary

  29. oneg2dblu says:

    Sweet Dreams!

  30. narrowpathseeker says:

    Sweet Dreams Gary. Your insightful post and very Wise strategy was very encouraging.

  31. joycemb says:

    Mart you said: Am guessing we’d agree that how we read the Bible tends to shape our thoughts of God.

    The discussion today was a perfect example. A discussion that will go on until we all meet in heaven someday…I don’t think it will matter a bit, in the end, but for now the best grace I think would be to agree to disagree, and if someone feels so responsible to make sure the other makes it through the pearly gates, well, soldier on then, I guess.

    It would be great if we could all paint a picture of what God looks like and share it. We do somewhat with words, but words can be as easily skewed as a scene in an impressionists’ painting–my favorite is Monet– where much is left to the beholder to decifer.

    Sweet dreams all…

  32. phpatato says:


    I like your idea of each of us painting a picture of what God looks like. It would certainly be very interesting to see just how people portray Him wouldn’t it?

    Thank you for that thought! I will be going to bed trying to paint a picture in my mind as to how I see Him.

    Regina – Happy Belated Birthday!! Please know that I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. May God bless and keep you in every step of the way.

    Good night and may God Bless each of you


  33. SFDBWV says:

    Joyce like Pat I find some rest in thinking about a portrait of God imagined from any or all of us.

    Moses wanted to see Him, but we are told God would only show him His backside. Maybe I shouldn’t, but I have always seen humor in that concept.

    That God even has a backside we would recognize gives credibility to the understanding we are made in His image.

    Almost every church I have ever been in shows a portrait of Jesus, usually in His prayerful pose in the Garden of Gethsemane. Yet some churches have a black Jesus and some others more Arabic in image. A casting problem movie makers have worked through for years.

    I can’t pass by this subject without mentioning the famous “Shroud of Turin” a very interesting piece of Christian history. For any who aren’t familiar with it, it is a shroud thought to have been the burial cloth Jesus was placed in immediately after the crucifixion and His image left intact from the moment of His resurrection. Very mysterious as no one has figured out how any of it could have been done by known means.

    Of course is seeing Jesus the same as seeing God? More questions.

    Personally Joyce I think most people would paint an old white haired man with a long white beard…or is that Santa Claus???

    Some I am sure would paint a picture of themselves.

    Thanks for the time out.

    25 degrees and clear skies.


  34. SFDBWV says:

    Jayemem, I admit when I seen you sign out as “Joyce” I was a bit confused as you may have been “joycemb”. Though I thought her to be closer to my age of 67. I thought maybe she had changed her sign in name.

    I apologize to you both for my confusion and thank you for your comment. I hope you continue to share with us and be an active member of our little community.

    I will refer to you as either jayemem or Joyce II in the future or as you may prefer.


  35. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, that passage about Moses asking God to show him His Glory, some time ago in my church house group a lady took that bible verse Ex 33:18,19,20-23
    And then she read on in the next chapter, Ex 34:1-7

    He who has an ear let him hear.
    How could I have not known what the glory of God is, having read that passage over and over again?
    I was focussed on seeing something, on the clouds, on the bright light,
    The glory of God:
    Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed His Name, the Lord. And He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming:
    The Lord, the Lord the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger*, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished…
    verse 5-7
    That last line is of course difficult, again, is it the punishment of God, or is it the automatic consequences of a persons choice, what we choose and we do not repent, we effect even the lives of our children. Unless we turn to Jesus, and all is washed clean in His blood, and no effect on our children either, God takes away the consequences of our wrong choices.

    * again that “slow to anger”, as some have stated: God wants no wrath, what is the original text, or what is the original meaning of the Holy Spirit? God wants no wrath, it is our wrath that He has taken up on the cross, our shortcomings, the consequences of our sins.
    anyway Ex 34:6 looked it up in the biblehub that goes with a com and the interlinear sections shows the Hebrew, anger is actually: face, and slow is long. Face and long, and we talk about slow anger, is it our interpretation of the Hebrew. what does the Spirit say to this?

  36. foreverblessed says:

    The same wording that is used in Ex 34:6 is used in Proverbs 15:18 e-rek (long) ap- pa- yim (face)
    and there it is interpreted as: a patient man
    ???? What are we thinking?

  37. foreverblessed says:

    In the NIV version that is, Prov 15:18(NIV)

  38. remarutho says:

    Mart, you wrote:

    “I wanted to raise these question because I have been hearing more and more authors and teachers reminding us that there is probably far more of the love and goodness in the death of Christ than we have yet seen.”

    Though it is out of fashion to stay with the topic, I will press into “What Are We Thinking?”. The Creator and Redeemer and Sustainer of the universe would have to condescend (or come down) very far to experience the form of life of human creatures. Why would the Almighty, who has no limits in time, space or material, choose to squeeze Himself into one of these meat sacks we inhabit?

    The Lord has raised up many devoted and eloquent prophets to bring the Word of Truth to God’s people over the centuries. Humanity has always tortured and killed them. As in the parable of the vineyard (Matthew 21:33-46), God knew that His only Son would meet the same end. It was God’s will that Jesus’ death would count for something eternal, and so it does. This one is for keeps.

    It seems to me that God sent Jesus to bring humanity back to God’s self — out of the self-imposed alienation and misery of disobedience and rebellion we showed in Eden.

    This is an act of such profound love that, as the teachers and authors assert Mart, we have not yet fathomed the depth of that Love.

    Happy April Fool’s Day,

  39. jeff1 says:

    I have been thinking how tired God must get of telling me it is finished and that I am a:

    Sinner Saved By Grace

    If you could see what I once was
    If you could go with me
    Back to where I started from
    Then I know you would see

    A miracle of love that took me
    In it’s sweet embrace
    And made me what I am today
    Just and old sinner…saved by grace

    I’m just a sinner saved by grace
    When I stood condemned to death
    He took my place

    Now I live and breathe in freedom
    With each breath of life I take
    Loved and forgiven, backed with a living
    I’m just a sinner saved by grace

    How could I boast on anything
    I’ve ever seen or done?
    How could I dare to claim as mine
    The victories God as won?

    Where would I be
    Had God not brought me
    Gently to this place?
    I’m here to say I’m nothing
    But a sinner saved by grace

    I’m just a sinner saved by grace
    When I stood condemned to death
    He took my place

    Now I grow and breathe in freedom
    With each breath of life I take
    I’m loved and forgiven backed with a living
    I’m just a sinner saved by grace

    Now I grow and breathe in freedom
    With each breath of life I take
    I’m loved and forgiven backed with a living
    I’m just a sinner saved by grace

    May you find the renewal of hope, health, love and the spirit of God. Happy Easter to all.

  40. poohpity says:


  41. poohpity says:

    Maru, even though on one hand not many discuss the topic but isn’t the behavior in and of it’s self the very reason that Jesus did what He did on the Cross. He bore anger, malice, rage found in self defense, blame, excuses, ignorance and disregard for God in His sinless body for those undeserving? He had regard for those who regarded Him not. He loved and cared for those who did not love or care for Him. He was obedient for the disobedient. He gave and gave and gave even to those who spit in His face, punched, ridiculed, denied and deserted Him in the very hour of need.

    At the foot of the Cross who was standing there? In His compassion and mercy He made sure His mother was cared for and asked the Father to forgive those/us who did such horrific things to Him.

  42. poohpity says:

    I can see His mercy in each word spoken and each dark heart revealed. I can see His grace in each person that thinks they are well read and disciplined or each person who is honest in their estimate of their selves. I can see the reason the Cross was both justice and mercy all wrapped into one because of who God is.

  43. joycemb says:

    Pooh those are very grace-filled posts!

  44. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… What are we thinking, and saying?

    I thought I read somewhere, that we were Created in the Image of God, not as mere meat sacks.

    As Christ Followers, I thought I read somewhere, that we are to consider ourselves as Born Again, as Children of God.

    I thought I read somewhere, that our bodies are to be thought of as being the very Temple of the Holy Spirit.

    But, if meat sacks reads well for some,, or works better for keeping the discussion moving along, then I say, let’s move it along.

    Good Friday is closing in, as the cross awaits its God-filled expression of Love to hang upon it in obedience to the Father’s Will.

    Having faith really costs us nothing, but acting in obedience…. that is the proofing work of the Saints.

    Be Blessed,

  45. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning (here) Foreverblessed. I loved the enthusiasm in which you read the story of Moses and God revealing His “glory” to Moses and may I say to all of us who read of it.

    Equally I always love it when we read some word of Scripture we have read many times, yet when the Holy Spirit reveals its meaning for us for the first time it is so exciting and personal.

    Thank you for sharing.

    I am going to tell a little story in hopes it may help illustrate some of what I gather from what I understand of God’s declaration of His mercy as well as His punishment.

    Just yesterday afternoon a young man came to my house to get a building permit in order to put up a fence around his yard. He has a couple big dogs and wants to allow for them to run in the yard without being tethered or getting out.

    I explained some of our animal ordinance to him and explained we have an animal ordinance because some people have no respect for their neighbors and so force the municipality to make laws in order to protect the innocent, including the animals themselves.

    As our Lord explained to Moses, as an enforcer of the law, I delight in giving mercy and forgiveness much more than inflicting punishment, but sometimes I am left with no other choice then to protect others by punishing the offender.

    I know it is a weak example, but one I can relate to.

    The evil in men has caused God to delight in being graceful and forgiving, but at a price and not without consequences. When pushed or forced He has to then show His hand.

    It all comes back to that free will He gave mankind. Some people are always going to see kindness as weakness and until they change there will always be a need for keeping order by means of force in its many forms.

    It is good to know that Our Lord is open to forgiveness first and if we ask for it we are assured to receive it. He is a loving Father.

    22 degrees Fahrenheit and a clear starry morning.


  46. jeff1 says:

    Having brought up Steve to believe that the laws were there for good, what when those who are leaders try to get around those laws to benefit themselves, those who are telling us that the laws are there to protect us all, break them, like fiddling their taxes and the claiming of expenses scandal that happened in our country a few years back. These were men in Government whom are to set an example but they are enforcing laws that put Joe Bloggs in jail if he were to commit either of these crimes while they manipulate the laws to get off lightly themselves.

    My neighbour told me the other day that her cousin has given up their job teaching to educate those in prison. Offenders are now coming out of jail with degrees they got while in jail for punishment while young people starting out in life are struggling to pay high university fees and they have to pay it back when they start working.

    While God’s laws are meant to protect the innocent the reality of Government’s enforcing the laws has a very different outcome. Government here has been given free pardons to terrorists to keep them from further terrorist activity while their victims are still living with the scars of the horrors of bombs and bullets.

    Ordinary people are getting angry with bad Government’s who promise them the moon, the sun and the stars and in reality give them poverty, slave labour and injustice.

    As in Jesus’s day this world is as in need of divine intervention as it was then. Come quickly Lord Jesus!

  47. SFDBWV says:

    A quick good morning from me Vivian as I only have a little time until later to respond.

    Matthew (my son) and I have a saying, “people suck”, though mildly vulgar it is meant to imply that where there are people there is wrong doing at every level.

    Injustice in the world has to be met with God’s wisdom of justice, not ours. Your corrupt government you speak of is no different than anywhere men govern over others without fear of God and retribution for their actions.

    The only perfect government is yet to come when Jesus sets on the throne and the world under His rule.

    The sun rises on a new day.


  48. cbrown says:

    I was going to make a comment on another subject this morning but waited until after reading this morning’s, April 2,”Daily Bread”. What a blessing!

  49. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    Mart, you wrote:

    “And if we are not careful we might miss the intent of what Isaiah was saying when he wrote about the sacrifice, i.e. ‘we thought he was getting what he deserved at the hand of God’” (Isa 53:4).

    The verse you cite out of Isaiah, here from the NASB:

    “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.”

    I agree that the way we read the Bible will strongly affect what we think of disobedience and its consequences. Jesus, the man of radical obedience, bore all the pain and death for all of disobedient humanity. Unlimited grace is there for those who believe Him. I am remembering this today and Friday through Saturday midnight!

    Jesus came bearing such great love for humankind from the Father that He took upon himself the suffering we earned by our rebellion. Jesus’ obedience is the perfect model of seeing the Law fulfilled, represented as you point out CBrown, in the bread and the cup of the Lord’s Supper.

    What a Savior!

  50. poohpity says:

    I was wondering if what Mart said, “Am guessing we’d agree that how we read the Bible tends to shape our thoughts of God.” can go a different direction that our thoughts of God can shape whether one ever even attempts to read the Bible. If one believes that God is a angry, punishing God why would one want to read about it?

    I remember back 25 years ago when I understood the extent of what Jesus did and I was flooded with the joy of His forgiveness even though I did not yet know very much about Him but the significance of the Cross drew me to want to know more about our God. The God who gave so much for someone like me. The desire to even read the Bible was not something I had ever even considered much less crave but then after experiencing mercy I was overwhelmed with the desire to find out all I could.

    So to me it is our thoughts about God that shape whether we read the Bible or not.

  51. poohpity says:

    So our thoughts about God shape whether we go to church or not or share in the communion of the saints or sing songs that reflect our heart’s desire to worship and sing His praises or whether we turn our wills, desires and wants over to God. It shows whether we trust God above all else and who would want to turn their lives over to someone we did not think had a love beyond anything we could imagine for us?

  52. bubbles says:

    Off topic, however I wanted to share a blessing. In recent days I’ve been made aware of the protection of God’s hand in several ways. We are blessed to have a Heavenly Father who watches over us even when we don’t ask for protection each day. The Lord knows those who are His and I’m so thankful for His protection.

  53. poohpity says:

    The 3rd part of “Six Miracles of Calvary” on Day of Discovery is out. If you have not watched it yet it really puts the focus on Jesus and what we celebrate during this season.

    I find it simply amazing that this was God’s plan from the beginning. The very willingness of Jesus to go through all this when He knew that there is evil in the heart of mankind. Jesus was born to die for His creation, to reveal the heart of the Father so that we could have life in Him.

  54. foreverblessed says:

    Bach’s Mattheus passion, two times this week have I participated in singing. The story of the crucifixion according to the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus took up all our sins, He who had no sin, took them on Him, and then God had to leave Him, Jesus was left alone, that must have been horrendous! And that all so that I can be forgiven.
    God had to leave Him alone, God is too holy to be near sin. This is the hard stuff, God could not overlook it, just say: ohh it OK.

    But it was my sin that drove God away from Jesus, when He carried it.

    Another thought, that I just read in God at eventide, April 2
    “My followers forget that the scourging at the pillar, the Divine control (“He answered never a word”) and the Cross, the man- rejected, man-forsaken, all these preceded the Resurrection.

    Without these there could have been no Resurrection. These steps in Spirit-conquest had to be, before My all-powerful, Divine Spirit could be released to be forever available for those who would hear My Call, and would will to walk in My Way.”

    The depth of the crucifixion, too deep for me to fathom, but Jesus bought me with a great price, His own life. Now I am His, and He is mine!
    Song of songs 2:16

  55. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All —

    Just a few minutes remaining in Good Friday here on the Pacific Coast of the U.S. Have thought all through the day, through the reading of John 18 & 19 earlier, about what is yet to be revealed as the outcome of Jesus’ sacrifice for all who believe him for restoration ad transformation:

    “…there is probably far more of the love and goodness in the death of Christ than we have yet seen,” as you say, Mart.

    There is more to discover of God’s love for each one who continues to follow Him wherever He leads. His goodness is greater than we know.


  56. SFDBWV says:

    Thinking a bit this morning (between wind driven snow showers, 33 degrees) about Mart’s musings whereas he ask “Divine Justice or as the most scandalous of all injustices?”

    Bringing it forward to so many of the Christian’s question of why so much “injustice” continues in a world conquered by Jesus on the cross?

    As we, somewhat, together have taken on many of the “divine” questions here many times with no consensus nor satisfactory answers. It seems to always come back to just having “faith”, faith that what the Bible has said is truth and fact and what occurred on the cross did occur just as recorded.

    Realizing that much of the stories of the Bible test the most open minded of logical thinkers and certainly the Christian declaration of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

    Because today’s people insist on immediate gratification on all levels, our test of faith becomes more of a pop quiz. When we don’t get an immediate answer we go off analyzing God and answering for Him in such a way as to be *satisfied* with our self-served answers.

    I was greatly amused this morning as I read a most marvelous quote by Stephen R. Covey; “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand. Most people listen with the intent to reply.”

    Also a quote by Jonathan Lockwood Hule; “Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.”

    It appears to me that injustice continues and that what all of us consider unjust may be debatable, but what all of us do see as unjust continues just the same.

    No wonder why so many of us have placed our hope in Christ and the work of the cross as so many of us no longer are even able to see what is right and what is wrong as the two blur together.

    Thank you Father for this season of Easter and your offer of hope to all that look up to the cross for it with rest and peace.


  57. joycemb says:

    Been thinking about grace these past days and remembering back just a few years ago when the word grace was a loaded word among fundamentals but welcoming to other denominations. Yes I think along with you, Mart, that there is much more to God’s love than we can even begin to imagine.

  58. bubbles says:

    Could you explain what you mean when you wrote grace was a loaded word among fundamentalists? I ask out of curiosity, and am not trying to be argumentative here. I am curious about your perceptions. Thank you.

  59. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all… as I was rowing on the river these last two days, much of the rest of life was going full steam ahead, Spring was in the air. The Dolphins that were so playfully gently courting yesterday, were in full on frenzy as the newer females were being aggressively pursued and nature’s hormones overwhelmed the whole community.
    My Pigeon friends under the low bridge had already raised a chick this year, and mom was dutifully back on the nest!
    Today thoughts of the Tomb where in my mind, knowing the physical pain endured yesterday is over, and the transformation was underway.
    Then, thinking about why the stone was rolled away, when Christ in His transformed body could walk through locked doors, it occurred to me, it was rolled away for us!

    Making the evidence so revealing that only those blinded by God would refuse to see what actually happened, the Resurrection had taken place, and even Death was overcome.

    Today we all await that most revealing moment coming into full view, and await the hearing again, “He is Risen!”

    “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

    I guess until one’s eyes are opened by the evidence of new life, faith is only a detached word, which blinded men, can debate and never resolve.

    For one can not hear, what they do not understand.
    1 Corinthians 2:14

    Faith comes by hearing…
    Be Blessed,

  60. joycemb says:

    Sure Bubbles,
    What I meant was that grace meant to me back when I was fundamental that it was only used in connection with ‘being saved’. Then once you were saved the party was over and the long hard work of ‘working out’ this wonderful salvation experience really began. Grace was never really mentioned much and the fear of retribution hung heavy over our heads. God became once again a sort of untouchable almost unreachable entity who became angry almost at the drop of a hat. And woe to anyone who committed a sin that all could see! I still sometimes feel scared to talk to Him when I am having doubts or even question His existence and authority. My intellect also sometimes strains to believe what my heart knows is true, that God is good and only wants goodness for us.

    In my struggle I am rather enjoying the idea that grace covers all of life; not just the beginning of my new life in Christ and ‘hopefully’ (with tongue in cheek) the end.

  61. bubbles says:

    Thank you. I guess there is a difficult balance between us understanding God’s grace and His holiness. Seems we have a tendency lean too much either way.

  62. joycemb says:

    Bubbles I agree.

  63. jeff1 says:

    It is just my perspective has changed on life as when I was young I was brought up to believe in good and bad. I was taught good behaviour brought rewards. Life, however was never that cut and dried and I soon discovered that bad behaviour could get rewarded. I came to the belief that I should do what was right because it was the right thing to do and not for the rewards but in my humanness I failed in all my good intentions. It has taken me all my life to realize that God got it right for if Christ had not died for my sins then there would be no hope for me. Knowing that now I believe that God intended the same for all mankind whether they know it or not. For it is in God’s time and not in mine that God will reveal himself to all men.

    When I Must Leave You

    When I must leave you for a little while,
    Please do not grieve and shed wild tears
    And hug you sorrow to you through the years,
    But start out bravely
    with a gallant smile;
    And for my sake and in my name
    Live on and do all things the same,
    Feed not your loneliness on empty days,
    But fill each waking hour in useful ways,
    Reach out your hand in comfort and in cheer
    And I in turn will comfort you and hold you near;
    And never, never be afraid to die,
    For I am waiting for you in the sky!

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