29. Sanhedrin – tried
30. Peter – denied
31. Pilate – acquitted
32. Mrs. Pilate – was troubled
33. Herod – was Amused
34. Pilate Condemned
35. High Priest – called him a blasphemer
36. Crowds – cried crucify Him
37. Sanhedrin – condemned Him
38. Soldiers – mocked
39. The nails – pierced Him
40. Cross – held Him
41. Centurion – eulogized Him
42. Joseph of Arimathia – buried him
43. God – raised
44. Women – praised
45. Disciples – were amazed
46. Thomas – doubted
47. Paul – persecuted
48. Peter – proclaimed
49. Paul – preached
50. John – prophesied
As I write this I am sitting in a waiting room. I am not fond of waiting rooms. It is a nice waiting room; a flat panel TV tuned to the Weather Channel just told me it is raining in Milwaukee. The magazine selection is l.p.ok, except the titles seem a little tilted towards women; I can’t seem to find a Road and Track or Popular Mechanics in the stack. The medical personnel at this facility are friendly and efficient and the furniture is modern and comfortable. Free wifi would be nice but writing on my iPad lets me do something productive while I wait. But to be honest, I would rather be somewhere else. I guess the real reason I am not a fan of waiting rooms is I am trapped here. I am captive to a schedule other than my own. I have no control over when I can be set free from this antiseptic closet. I do like being in control. I like to control my schedule, my environment, my to-do list and a hundred other things.
So, I sit here and reflect on waiting, I recall that God uses “waiting rooms” – Joseph spent years in slavery and jail before he became an official in Egypt. Moses waited 80 years before starting his mission of deliverance. David waited years from his anointing until he assumed the throne. Before He began His public ministry, Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness; Paul spent 3 years in Arabia and considerable time in prison. There must be some virtue in waiting.
Maybe the “waiting room” experiences of life are meant to help us break the addiction of control. Our God wants us to know that we need to recognize and allow His control in our lives. Our waiting is to be more than marking time- it should be a time to renew our confidence in God’s ability and involvement in our lives. If we do, our expectations, frustrations and evaluations of life will slide into a more comfortable place. We can spend more time praising and less time complaining. More joy, less stress. More peace, less conflict.
As I close, I am still in the waiting room and don’t know how long I will be here, but the above thoughts give me a little more perspective and peace and I like that. Being a little less in control is genuinely good for me. But I am going to find something on TV besides the Weather Channel.
An empty tomb and Savior who is alive. Of all places for a miracle of eternal proportions to take place, a tomb would seem the least likely. But it was a tomb where the humility of Christ ended and the exaltation of Christ began. It was the place where the hope of the disciples died and where it was reborn three days later. It was the place where death met the power of God and death lost. It appeared to be a lasting testimony of the victory of Satan but became the ground of his eternal defeat. The tomb was closed by loving hands, sealed by hateful hands, but opened by angelic hands. It was guarded to keep robbers out of the grave; it was emptied to allow sinners into heaven. When Jesus was in the tomb it separated Him from the living, after Jesus arose, the empty tomb separated Him from every would-be savior the world has ever known.
As you reflect today on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, let your mind pause by the empty tomb and thank God for all it represents to you. Thank Him for the assurance of salvation gained and eternity secured. Spend a few extra moments worshiping your Living Savior!
“Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits ” (Psalm 103:1-2).
These two verses are the middle two verses of the English Bible (some lists erroneously cite portions of Psalm 118). Since there are an equal number of verses (31,102) there can be no single “middle verse.” It may be of interest that the chapter and verse divisions that we are all familiar with were not in the original manuscripts but their addition greatly aids our navigation through the Bible, and today leads us to this focus on these two verses that point us to our God and enable us to express our heart to Him.
I note a couple of observations about these “middle verses” first they are words of worship directed to God. They are not primarily about the human condition, man’s destiny or the quality of our lives. The center of the message of the Bible is and our lives should be centered on Him. Truly it is all about Him.
Lesson: Worship is that which brings us back to having our God truly at the center of our thoughts, intents and heart. Secondly not how these verses end. We are not to forget the benefits that God heaps upon us. All “benefits” start and end with Him, and He has a great benefit package.
Maybe this would be a good time to ask how you are doing in the worship department. If it has been awhile since you really met with God in worship make time to do so.
In case you want more here is a RechargeVideo about another verse from Psalm 103.