Having Nailed it to the Cross

The fullness of what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross is so hard for us to understand. We strive to please Him. We blame ourselves and others when we fall short of expectations. It is good to be the best person we can be… Can we trust the Lord to guide us though?

In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. (Colossians 2:11-17 NKJV)

This is a beautiful passage that has given me much peace. The early church struggled with the issue of the converting gentiles – do they have to be circumcised and follow Jewish laws to be converted Christians? I believe the above passage reveals the depth of what Christ accomplished on the cross and answered their question. In Christ, being raised in Him through faith, we are buried with Him in baptism and made alive again. It is a spiritual/internal change, not a ceremonial/external change. Jesus paid the debt for our trespasses (breaking of the law) and the uncircumcision of our flesh (external ceremonial commitment). God performed the work of raising Christ from the dead.

We have been made free! Christ wiped out all of the man-made requirements of faith. They were nailed to the cross in a triumphant spectacle. The last sentence is key.

“So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”

We are not to judge others on their choice of custom for celebrating Christ and His good works. People will choose the food, drink, festival, moon/season  and sabbath to celebrate the Lord. The importance is Christ Himself, not the method of celebration.

The freedom in Christ takes a faith in what He has accomplished, not on our ability to please Him or earn salvation. Thank you Lord that we cannot add to your goodness. You are perfect! My freedom in You is not deserved, but I am oh so grateful!

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The Lord was with Joseph

The Lord was with Joseph in Egypt and blessed all that he did.

The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. (Genesis 39:2-4 NKJV)

It is amazing that Joseph’s master, an Egyptian, knew that the Lord was with Joseph. He even gave Joseph authority over what he had. Eventually, the master’s wife tricks him into thinking that Joseph wanted to lie with her, which he did not. The master is angry and sends him to prison.

Even the keeper of the prison sees that the Lord is with Joseph and puts Joseph in charge of the prisoners.

But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. (Genesis 39:21, 22 NKJV)

Passover in the Upper Room

Luke 22 points out that Passover was drawing near. It is also interesting how it mentions that Satan enters Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas plots for a time to betray Jesus.

The Day of Unleavened Bread arrives, when the Passover offering must be killed. Jesus prophecies to the disciples of the provision in which they will share the Passover together.

And He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters. Then you shall say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” ’ Then he will show you a large, furnished upper room; there make ready.” (Luke 22:10-12 NKJV)

Luke 22 is amazing! Packed full of information. Jesus is the offering: the blood and the body. He asks the disciples to do the Passover in remembrance of Him. We consider the people with power over others the greater person in the world; however, the Kingdom regards the lesser. Jesus Himself says that He sat at the Passover meal to serve the disciples. Jesus is bestowing on them the Kingdom of Heaven.

For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves. And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, (Luke 22:27, 29 NKJV)

Satan has asked for Peter as well. But, Jesus has prayed for Him – how amazing is the prayer?! He prays that Peter will strengthen his brethren once he returns to Him (after betraying Him).

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:31, 32 NKJV)