Today’s devotion comes from Luke 24:44-53.  The next devotion, God willing, will be Sunday, April 28, 2019.  I am going on a vacation.  “…  He leads me beside quiet waters.”  Psalm 23:2.

“Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”  Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.  And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.  While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven.  And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising God.”   Luke 24:44-53.

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In today’s Scripture, we have Jesus’ last words to His disciples before His ascension.

Generally, we think about three things that Jesus would want to do as we would want to do in any last words to our loved ones.  Jesus stated what was most important.  Jesus summarized His teachings.  Jesus showed His love.

Specifically, we see Jesus doing three things.  Jesus pointed out the fulfillment of Scriptures.  Verses 44-48.  Jesus promised the Holy Spirit.  Verses 50-51.  Jesus parted with a blessing.  Verses 52-53.

In one summary, Jesus, God the Son, glorified God the Father by doing His part of accomplishing God’s sovereignty.  “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”  John 17:4.

“9 “Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;
11 Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man of My purpose from a far country.
Truly I have spoken;  truly I will bring it to pass.
I have planned it, surely I will do it.”  Isaiah 46:9-11.

“The LORD your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”  Zephaniah 3:17.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 24:36-43.

“While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and *said to them, “Peace be to you.”  But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit.  And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?  See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself;  touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”  And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.  While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?”  They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish;  and He took it and ate it before them.”  Luke 24:36-43.

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The disciples thought they were seeing a spirit.

Many believe in some resurrection of a spirit, maybe like some vague wispy ghost.

But, here was Jesus with a resurrected body that they could recognize.  “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”  Verse 39.

When we confess the Apostle’s Creed, we confess:  “I believe in …. The resurrection of the body;  And the life everlasting.  AMEN.”

And, when we celebrate Easter in our worship service later this morning, we celebrate not only the resurrection of Jesus’ body, but we also celebrate the resurrection of our body after our death.

Consider in more detail what we confess about the resurrection of the body through the Westminster Larger Catechism.

Q. 52. How was Christ exalted in his resurrection?

A. Christ was exalted in his resurrection, in that, not having seen corruption in death, (of which it was not possible for him to be held,) and having the very same body in which he suffered, with the essential properties thereof, (but without mortality, and other common infirmities belonging to this life,) really united to his soul, …

Consider that in His resurrected body, Jesus retained some properties of His body that existed before his death such as the imprint of the nails in His hand and the cavity in His side.  See John 20:24-27.

The resurrection of our body means that like the disciples recognized Jesus, our beloved family and friends in heaven will be able to recognize us and that we will be able to recognize them.  In other words, our resurrected body will retain some essential properties that we had before our death (unlike a vague wispy spirit or ghost).  But, those essential properties will be “without mortality, and other common infirmities belonging to this life”.

Many believe the resurrection of the body is too good to be true.  They think it is good enough that there is just a resurrection of the spirit.  First, they most generally think of the body as bad, inferior to the spirit.  Second, they think, without further thought or further study of Scripture, of the body as “a body of death”.  “Wretched man that I am!  Who will set me free from the body of this death?”  Romans 7:24.  

They underestimate the power of God to forgive and justify.

They underestimate what the resurrection of Christ means to us.

They underestimate the power of God to resurrect.

“He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.”  Romans 4:25.

“So also is the resurrection of the dead.  It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body;  it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory;  it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;  it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.  If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”  1 Corinthians 15:42-44.

There is other Scripture that also builds our hope in the resurrection of the body.

When we consider that God gives life to even our mortal life through His Spirit in us, it builds our hope in the resurrection of the body.

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”  Romans 8:11.

Consider the warning.

“Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised;  and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.  Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.  For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised;  and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless;  you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.  For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.”  1 Corinthians 15:12-22.

So, what are we going to do with this resurrection of the body, this news that is too good to believe?  

Are we going to waver in unbelief?

Or, are we going to follow the example of our father in the faith, Abraham?

“yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.  Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.”  Romans 4:20-24.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 19, 2019

“Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 24:13-35.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+24&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem.  And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place.  While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them.  But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.  And He said to them, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?”

Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther.  But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.”  So He went in to stay with them.  When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them.  Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him;  and He vanished from their sight.  They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”  And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.”  They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.”  Luke 24:13-17 and 27-35.

————————–

“… “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”  John 12:21.

Today’s Scripture reveals three ways which help us to see (or recognize) Jesus.

First, the Scriptures help us to see Jesus.

“Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.”  Verse 27.

Second, the Spirit helps us to see Jesus.

“They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”  Verse 32.

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth;  for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.  He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.”  John 16:13-14.

Third, the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper (“the breaking of the bread”) helps us to see Jesus.

“They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.”  Verse 35.

“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread;  and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”  In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood;  do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”  For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”  1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 24:1-12.

“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.  And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing;  and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead?  He is not here, but He has risen.  Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”  And they remembered His words, and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.  Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles.  But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them.  But Peter got up and ran to the tomb;  stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings only;  and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened.”   Luke 24:1-12.

———————–

“He is not here, but He has risen.  Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”  And they remembered His words,”  Verses 6-8.

“These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you.  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”  John 16:25-26.

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth;  …”  John 16:13.

“So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this;  and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.”  John 2:22.

“yet, with respect to the promise of God, he (Abraham) did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised,  He was able also to perform.  Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,  He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.”  Romans 4:20-24.

“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;”  Romans 10:9.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 23:50-56.

“And a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man (he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God;  this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain.  It was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.  Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid.  Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes.

And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.”  Luke 23:50-56.

———————-

Today’s devotion is going to focus on Joseph “who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man”.

We may not be able to prevent wicked things from happening.  Joseph was not able to prevent Jesus from being crucified.

But, we should not consent to the plan and action of the wicked.  Joseph “had not consented to their plan and action” to crucify Jesus.

We may be able to do good works in wicked environment.  Joseph did a good work in going to Pilate and asking for the body of Jesus and laying Him in a new tomb.

There are good works that God has prepared us to do.  “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10.

Joseph did a good work for which he is remembered.  We are also reminded of a woman who came to Jesus Him with very costly perfume poured it on His head as He reclined at the table.  Jesus rebuked the disciples who criticized her.   “For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial.  Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”  Matthew 26:12-13.

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  Romans 12::21.

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous;  love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly;  it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

“But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”  2 Timothy 4:5.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 23:44-49.

“It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, because the sun was obscured;  and the veil of the temple was torn in two.  And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.”  Having said this, He breathed His last.  Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.”  And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts.  And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things.”  Luke 23:44-49.

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“And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”  Mark 15:38.

We learn from the following Scripture the purpose of the veil of the temple and can meditate on the significance of the veil of the temple being torn in two.  “You shall hang up the veil under the clasps, and shall bring in the ark of the testimony there within the veil;  and the veil shall serve for you as a partition between the holy place and the holy of holies.”  Exodus 26:33.

Thus, the significance of the veil of the temple being torn into two is that the blood of Jesus removed the partition which separated us from God.

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;  and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another;  and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”  Hebrews 10:19-25.

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:16.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 23:33-43.

“When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.  But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them;  for they do not know what they are doing.”  And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.  And the people stood by, looking on.  And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others;  let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”  The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”  Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ?  Save Yourself and us!”  But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?  And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds;  but this man has done nothing wrong.”  And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”  And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”  Luke 23:33-43.

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“They *crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left.  [And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with transgressors.”]  Mark 15:27-28.

“Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.”  Isaiah 53:12.

We see Jesus numbered with the transgressors.  “When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.”  Verse 33.

We see Jesus interceding for the transgressors, those who crucified Him.  “But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them;  for they do not know what they are doing.”  Verse 34.

And, we see Jesus both interceding and bearing the sin of the one criminal.  “And He (Jesus) said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”  Verse 43.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 23:26-32.

“When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.

And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him.  But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.  For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’  Then they will begin TO SAY TO THE MOUNTAINS, ‘FALL ON US,’ AND TO THE HILLS, ‘COVER US.’  For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him.”  Luke 23:26-32.

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In today’s Scripture, what do Simon of Cyrene, the daughters of Jerusalem, and the two criminals have in common?

They would suffer.

But, they were very different also.

Simon of Cyrene suffered for doing what is right.  But, the daughters of Jerusalem were part of the group who suffered for doing what is wrong by rejecting Christ.

The theme of this devotion is the subject of suffering. 

First, it is important to note that we should not live in fear.  “Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?”  1 Peter 3:13.

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,”  2 Timothy 1:7-8.

Second, even if we do suffer for the sake of righteousness, we should consider ourselves blessed.

“Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?  But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed.  AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;  and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.”  1 Peter 3:13-17.

The Apostle Paul recognized “the fellowship of His sufferings” that we have with Christ.

Paul said:  “… I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, … that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;  in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”  Philippians 3:8-11.

One of the criminals who were being led away to be crucified with Jesus exhibited on the cross this “fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death”.  And, we see from Jesus’ promise, that he also did “attain to the to the resurrection from the dead”.  See Luke 23:39-43.

Third, God gives us grace sufficient to handle any sufferings that we may experience.

“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake;  for when I am weak, then I am strong.”  2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.  Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.  After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.  To Him be dominion forever and ever.  Amen.”  1 Peter 5:6-11.

Fourth, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us“.”  Romans 8:18.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 23:13-25.

“Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him.  No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us;  and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him.  Therefore I will punish Him and release Him.”  [Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner.]

But they cried out all together, saying, “Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!”  (He was one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection made in the city, and for murder.)  Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, but they kept on calling out, saying, “Crucify, crucify Him!”  And he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done?  I have found in Him no guilt demanding death;  therefore I will punish Him and release Him.”  But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified.  And their voices began to prevail.  And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted.  And he released the man they were asking for who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but he delivered Jesus to their will.”  Luke 23:13-25.

———————

Today’s Scripture emphasizes Jesus’ innocence.  “I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him.  No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us;  and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him.”

The importance of Jesus’ innocence may be seen from the following quote from Westminster Larger Catechism and Scriptures.  

Q. 44. How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?

A. Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering himself a sacrifice without spot to God, to be reconciliation for the sins of his people;  and in making continual intercession for them.

“The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”  John 1:29.

“knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”  1 Peter 1:18-19.

“7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
9 His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

10 But the LORD was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.
11 As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.”  Isaiah 53:7-12.

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 23:8-12.

“Now Herod was very glad when he saw Jesus;  for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had been hearing about Him and was hoping to see some sign performed by Him.  And he questioned Him at some length;  but He answered him nothing.  And the chief priests and the scribes were standing there, accusing Him vehemently.  And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate.  Now Herod and Pilate became friends with one another that very day;  for before they had been enemies with each other.”  Luke 23:8-12.

—————–

“For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.”  Acts 4:27-28.

Other doctrine teaches us that man has free-will and that all that Pilate and Herod did to Jesus was determined by their free-will.

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches that man does not have free-will and that all that Pilate and Herod did to Jesus was determined by what God’s sovereignty and purpose predestined to occur. 

The three verses before the Scripture quoted above quote verses from Psalm chapter 2 to show that although man may rage and appear that he has free-will, God is in total control.

“And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, “O Lord, it is You who MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA, AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM, who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said,

‘WHY DID THE GENTILES RAGE,
AND THE PEOPLES DEVISE FUTILE THINGS?
‘THE KINGS OF THE EARTH TOOK THEIR STAND,
AND THE RULERS WERE GATHERED TOGETHER
AGAINST THE LORD AND AGAINST HIS CHRIST.’”  Acts 4:24-26.

Other doctrine expresses the desire of man to be free from the control of God.  

Acts 4:25-26 above quote verses in Psalm chapter 2 which were immediately followed by the following verse.

“Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”  Psalm 2:3.

But, Reformed Doctrine points to the very next verses of Psalm chapter 2 which teaches the sovereignty of God despite man’s desire to be free from the control of God.

4 He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
5 Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”  Psalm 2:3-6.

“The LORD has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.”  Psalm 103:19.

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