Sunday, April 20, 2014

April 18, 2014   

Today's Photograph . . . . By Sitting Silently and Still In The Woods (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Matthew 27:12-14
When He was accused by the chief priests and the elders, He gave no answer. Then Pilate asked Him, "Don't you hear the testimony they are bringing against You?" But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge-to the great amazement of the governor. (NIV)

It's Good Friday. My thoughts have gone back to a day a little over two-thousand years ago when Jesus was asked that question: Don't you hear what they're saying about you? Don't you have anything to say in your defense? Jesus amazes them when He makes no reply. I stand in awe when I think of that scene. If I were in the field and a game warden was asking me questions, I would answer them, wouldn't you? If that had been me instead of Jesus, I would have said something. I would have been throwing everything I could back at the accusers. I would have had my attorney there blasting the accusers, quoting laws and legal precedents.
But Jesus made no reply. He stood in silence. Silence. Why? Because a decision had been made. It was made the night before in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus prayed, "He went away a second time and prayed, 'My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done,'" Matthew 26:42 (NIV). 

Jesus knew the need, and Jesus knew the consequences for all mankind if He refused the Cross. There in the garden, He had a choice; and by being obedient to the Father, He chose to love us, to die for us, and to take the burden of all of our sins on Himself. Jesus made this choice in spite of knowing all of the suffering that awaited Him in the next few hours.
Hebrews 5:8 says that Jesus was made perfect through His suffering. Because of His perfection, we can have eternal life with Him. Jesus made a commitment. He kept it, and He suffered during that horrible night, and later on the cross. Because of His suffering, we have this day, Good Friday; and three days later, we have Easter - triumph over sin and death. Praise God for Jesus' obedience, even to death on the Cross! 
(Cliff S)
Action Point
As you go through your day, be aware that you are God's witness to the world around you. Be prepared to answer those who ask you why you are a follower of Jesus. Tell your world about the love and forgiveness that you have found in Jesus, and that they can have the same.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Sit silent in the woods. If you're moving, the animals see you; if you're still, you'll see them.