A Needed Response to Christ’s Death and Resurrection

Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here; but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and on the third day rise.” Luke 24:5b–7 ESV

How do people respond to the Cross, and the death and Resurrection of Jesus?

At His cross we see indifference as the crowd watched the spectacle of the day. Followers of Jesus grieved and watched. Others mocked or blasphemed Jesus, some from their cruelty, others from their religious view that excluded seeing their need for the promised Savior who came to take away their sin.

And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the king of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” And the robbers who were with him also reviled him the same way. Matthew 27:39–44 ESV

The soldiers also mocked him…” Luke 23:37a ESV

The grace of God in the cross of Christ can transform anyone, even the one who ridicules Jesus.

One robber on the cross turned from belligerently mocking Jesus to belief in Him. The criminal saw the justice of his own punishment, and he recognized the innocence and deity of Jesus Christ. His belief is shown in his response to the other robber’s taunts to Jesus.

But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:40–43

How gracious our Lord is! He didn’t have to reassure the man that he would join Him, yet He tells him “…today you will be with me in paradise.” The sinner did not need to live righteously or earn his way into Christ’s presence. He didn’t have to do good works, be baptized, or say a prescribed set of words. All he needed was to believe in Christ Jesus.

The centurion and fellow soldiers had crucified many people before crucifying Jesus. Consider their response to Jesus’ death.

So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!” Matthew 27: 54 NKJV

Photo by Adrian Cogua on

How do we respond to Jesus’ death and resurrection?

Does Jesus’ Resurrection affect how we live life? Or do we dismiss His resurrection as a hoax? (Matthew 28: 11–15)

Are we too fearful to tell others that He was risen? (Mark 16:1–8)

The apostle Thomas doubted Jesus’ resurrection, refusing to believe unless he could see Jesus personally. Do we doubt and want proof before we wholeheartedly follow Jesus? (John 20:25)

Let’s believe! Let’s tell others of Jesus, as the women eventually did after learning that He was risen. (Luke 24:22, 23 and Matthew 28: 5–11a)

Lord, I believe You are risen from the dead. Help me to put my faith in You into action. Amen.


Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV Text Edition: 2016. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scriptures marked NKJV are taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION (NKJV): Scripture
taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION®. Copyright© 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Thank you for joining me! I hope and pray that you’ll be touched by God in a special way each time you visit. Blogs post every other Thursday and are archived for your convenience.

Coming May 16th! Introducing my new devotional book! His Broken Treasure – A 31 Day Companion Devotional for Murmur in the Mud Caves is releasing along with Kathleen Denly’s novel, Murmur in the Mud Caves.


What is Easter About?

…“Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” Luke 24:46, 47 ESV

I recall Mom telling me that the neighbor teen who was several years older than me had asked his mother what Easter was about. Surely there was something more to Easter than a bunny and egg hunts, he questioned.

His lack of knowledge surprised me, for I frequently heard at church of Jesus dying on the cross and later being raised from the dead. Yet sometimes I wonder in hearing the story so often if I lose the impact of what Jesus did for each of us, of what He did for me. Do I take His sacrifice for granted? Sometimes I must confess that I do. I get so tied up in my own life that I ignore the need of others to know that Jesus died on the cross for them. Instead of sharing the good news of Jesus, I let fear of the person’s rejection keep me from telling them what they need to know for eternal life.

I wish I could go back in time and explain to my neighbor what I am about to share with you.

Why do we celebrate Easter, otherwise known as Resurrection Day?

Jesus Christ came to earth not as a good teacher or a prophet, but as the Son of God. He came to set us free from the bondage of sin which separates us from God. Christ came to reconcile us to the Lord.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 ESV

Yet God loves us so much that He didn’t want to lose us to the eternal punishment our sin deserves. He provided the sacrifice for sin thorough the blood of Jesus Christ, who was without sin.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23ESV

Jesus willingly submitted to the Father’s will even though it meant betrayal by one of His followers, desertion by His friends, an illegal trial, and persecution even to His death on the cross, the most cruel and detestable way one could die in the Roman world.

Before Jesus died, He cried out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30) What was finished? He paid our punishment for sin. It is paid in full. The way to God the Father was now open for all who believe in Jesus.

Jesus’ story wasn’t over as he laid dead in a borrowed tomb. Jesus’ body was not robbed from the grave by His followers. He didn’t swoon and then come to and push a massive boulder uphill to open the tomb’s doorway. Three days after His death Jesus took up His life again. He is risen! Righteous Jesus is victorious over death and over the penalty of sin because He paid it.

After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to hundreds of His followers over the course of forty days. At one of the gatherings soon after Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to the eleven disciples and those who were with them and He showed them His hands and feet so they would know it was He. Jesus helped them to understand what had happened.

“These are the words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets, and the Psalms concerning Me.” He opened their understanding that they might comprehend the Scriptures. The He said to them, “Thus it was written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.” Luke 24:44-48 NKJV

Christians celebrate Resurrection Day because Christ’s resurrection declares His victory over death and sin, and because of the promise of eternal life for those who follow Him.

As we enter this time of Easter celebrations, let’s remember what our Resurrected Jesus did for us.

Lord Jesus, Thank you for Your sacrifice for me. Thank you for the victory You made possible through Your death and resurrection. Amen.


Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV Text Edition: 2016. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scriptures marked NKJV are taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION (NKJV): Scripture
taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION®. Copyright© 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Thank you for joining me and for reading my devotional blogs. I hope and pray that you will be touched by God in a special way each time you visit. Blogs usually post every other Thursday. Past devotionals are archived for your convenience.


A Journey From Palm Sunday through Good Friday and the Cross

Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday – Part One of Two

Yet it was the LORD’s will to bruise him; He put Him to grief. When His soul shall constitute an offering for sin, He shall see His followers, He shall prolong His days, by His hand shall the LORD’s will advance. The results of the sufferings of His life He shall see—He shall be satisfied. By knowledge of Him shall My Righteous Servant make many righteous, for He shall bear their guilt.  Isaiah 53:10-11 MLV  

Resurrection Sunday is coming! It’s a joyful time for Christians, of far greater importance than Easter egg hunts and candy. Yet before we can get to Resurrection Sunday, we must journey from Palm Sunday through Good Friday and the Cross. Without remembering the significance of the Cross, Easter Sunday has little meaning.

Picture the crowd on Palm Sunday, placing branches down on the path before Jesus as He came into Jerusalem on a donkey. They shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! The King of Israel!” (John 12:12-19) Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead and fed the multitudes. The crowd was ready for Him to be king.

Being a political king was not Jesus Christ’s purpose of coming to earth. During His illegal trial before Pontius Pilate, Jesus told him, “You say that I am king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice.” John 18:37 RSV 

It was not truth the people were interested in. How quickly the crowd was swayed to shout “Crucify Him!”

The Cross did not surprise Jesus. He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that the cup of His sacrificial death would pass from Him, but He willingly submitted to His Heavenly Father and to all He knew was coming. “…Not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39) Jesus was committed to His Father’s will. His love for mankind prompted Him to provide the rescue for us even while we were yet unfaithful to Him.      

The Savior’s death should not have surprised the disciples.  Jesus told them, “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” (Matthew 26:1-2 NKJV) At the upper room Jesus said, “One of you will betray Me.” The disciples were unaware that Judas Iscariot had made arrangements with the chief priests to betray the Savior for thirty pieces of silver, as prophesied by the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 11:12-13; Matthew 26:14-16, 20-25) Mary of Bethany was one of the few to understand He would die; she anointed Him for His burial. (John 12:1-8)

How can we prepare our hearts as we journey from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday?

  • Reflect on why Jesus came to earth. He bore our guilt to make us righteous through belief in Him.
  • Set aside time to thank God for His love for us. Let’s remember what His love cost Him.
  • Let’s examine the areas where we struggle and need to be faithful to Jesus.
  • Seek truth.

The second part of this devotional series will go into the glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus.

Lord Jesus, may I never take Your love for me for granted. Thank you for suffering and dying for my sins. Thank you for the hope I have in You because You live! In Jesus name, Amen.


Thank you for joining me and for reading my devotional blogs.  Blogs post every other Thursday. Past devotionals are archived for your convenience. The previous devotional follows this one on the web page.


Jesus: His Cross and His Resurrection – Part 2 of 4

A special weekly series for the Easter Season

Reflections on the hymn The Old Rugged Cross

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. I Corinthians 1:18 NKJV

The cross of Jesus is despised by some. It seems like foolishness to the world. Why would God come to earth for humankind, knowing that they had already rejected Him or would do so in the future? Yet Jesus suffered and died on that cross to pardon and sanctify us. He sets us apart to follow Him, and to someday live in heaven with Him.

It is the message of the cross that led George Bernard to write the words and music to The Old Rugged Cross. He cherished the old rugged cross. (1913. Public domain.)

Verse 1: 

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,  
The emblem of suff’ring and shame;  
And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best  
For a world of lost sinners was slain.  

Verse 2: 

O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,  
Has a wonderous attraction for me;  
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above  
To bear it to dark Calvary.  

Verse 3: 

In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,  
A wonderous beauty I see;  
For ‘twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died  
To pardon and sanctify me. 
Good Friday – Image by Marinas32 on Pixabay

Just think, Jesus left heaven for sinners- that’s us! I pray I’ll be faithful to Him, as George Bernard said in verse 4 and the refrain:  

Verse 4:	

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true, 
Its shame and reproach gladly bear; 
Then He’ll call me someday to my home faraway, 
Where His glory forever I’ll share.


So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, 
Till my trophies at last I lay down; 
I will cling to the old rugged cross, 
And exchange it someday for a crown

Our sins were nailed to the cross with Jesus. He removed our sins as far as the east is from the west. I remember when I was on a church youth group trip, we wrote down our sins on pieces of paper and nailed them onto a board. After a time of silent confession, the nails with the attached papers were removed. Nail holes remained. For me personally the holes were a reminder of the consequences to sin, but that Jesus forgave my sins and chooses not to remember my confessed sins any longer. A variation of this is to write down our sins on a piece of paper, confess them, and then to burn the papers. I think I want to do that again. Perhaps you would like to do something similar? 

Dear Jesus, Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for removing my sins and not holding me eternally accountable for anything You have already forgiven. May I gladly bear the reproach of others for Your cross, and lay everything at Your feet. Amen.

Watch for the rest of this four-part special Easter series, Jesus: His Cross and His Resurrection.

3/18/21     Part 1-  At the Cross  
3/25/21     Part 2 - The Old Rugged Cross
4/1/21       Part 3 - Christ Arose
4/8/21       Part 4 - Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Devotionals post every other Thursday (Special series may occur more frequently, such as the Easter series, Jesus: His Cross and His Resurrection.) They are archived under Devotionals.


Jesus: His Cross and His Resurrection: Part 1 of 4

A Special Series for the Easter Season

At the Cross

He humbled Himself and became obedient to death… on a cross! Philippians 2:8

Easter is less than a month away. I find myself singing or humming the great anthems and hymns telling of Jesus’ crucifixion and atonement for my sins, and songs of His resurrection. I love these songs, because they are packed with truths from God’s Word. I find that the songs lift my soul and bring me into the worship of my Savior.

Consider the lyrics in At the Cross (a.k.a. Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed).

Isaac Watts published the text in 1707. The refrain was added by Ralph E. Hudson in 1885. (Public domain) The emphasis in bold is mine.

Verse 1:         

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sov’reign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

Verse 2:     

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

 Verse 3: 

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Verse 4:

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

Verse 5:

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
’Tis all that I can do

Refrain (Hudson):

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Photo by Pixabay on

Sin is such a burden to us. We mess up. The accuser points out our faults and tries to convince us that we don’t measure up, and that we might as well give up trying to please God. The devil wants us to stay blind to God’s great love and forgiveness He has for us. That evil rascal would rather have us wallow in the guilt of our sin than to confess it to our Lord. Jesus frees us from our guilt because He paid our penalty. With faith, our eyes are opened to the freedom God provided us through Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection!

Let’s reflect on what Jesus Christ did for you and for me. May we enter this Holy season of Christ’s death and resurrection with a new view and appreciation of His love and sacrifice for us.

Dear Jesus, Thank you for loving me so much that You willingly took my punishment for sin. You died in my place. Soften my heart so I am quick to grieve when I sin and to confess it. May I be thankful. Lord, I give myself to You. Amen.