Resurrection Egg #7: Crown of Thorns

Resurrection Egg #7: Crown of Thorns

 The Great Exchange: Victory in our Mind

I love this picture. It simply shows what God does. It is the Great Exchange (Resurrection Egg #3) He replaces something that is dead and ugly and painful with something new and beautiful. Jesus was given crown of thorns by man. Crowns typically signify royalty and authority. The thorns, however, did not signify either. Christ bled from the head so that we could have healing and peace of mind. He replaced the crown of thorns with a crown that gives us authority over the sinful fruit our mind; worry, anxiety, pride, depression, lust, greed. Jesus promises to replace the crown of thorns with a crown of life, a crown of glory that will not fade and an everlasting crown. Jesus’ crowns give us authority to have full access to His kingdom.

 

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Crown of Thorns: aka “PLANTZILLA”

The thorns were supposed to have been two inches long and when placed onto Jesus’ head they cut into His head as they encircled it. As a nurse, I have seen just how the smallest head wound can bleed, much less multiple lacerations that went deep into Jesus’ scalp. The blood would have poured down.

Thorns are considered fruit of branches. (UGLY!) They represent the curse of the earth. The Greek word for thorns that refers to the crown of thorns is the same word that descibed the thorns that choked out the word of God in the parable. If  you have ever had to kill  or remove a vine with thorns. First of all, those vines are insidious. Even with the harshest of weed killers, they seem to thrive and spread. They flourish as they wind themselves around bushes, trees, buildings, anything in their path. They eventually kill the plants they are covering. You can cut them back and they come back with a vengeance. At the beach in North Carolina we have such a vine. I have talked to several people regarding how to remove it and kill it. The only way is cut it back and spray weed killer every year until eventually you can find where the root is. Then you did up the root bulb ( which by the way can be the size of a soccer ball). This process can take 5-10 years to completely remove it. Then you are constantly spraying every year to keep it from returning. It is a very labor intensive process that takes patience and diligence. It is battle between you and PLANTZILLA! Just when you think you have it under control, it shows up on your back deck!

Battling PLANTZILLA

Well, through this battle with PLANTZILLA, God has taught me some things regarding battles of the mind.

  1. PLANTZILLA wants to cover you and strangle you so that you can’t see the sunlight. When our mind is bombarded with thoughts of “you are not worthy”, “what is the use”, “everything you touch is bad”, “you don’t deserve anything but this”, etc. Our mind is so shrouded we cannot see the light of the Word of God. The Word of God says that “We are fearfully and wonderfully made”, “God desires above all things that we prosper and be in good health even as our soul prospers”. People who are depressed talk about being in a ‘dark place’. Jesus wants to move us from that dark place into the light.
  2. PLANTZILLA likes to come back every year. We have sinful patterns in our life that like to repeat themselves. These patterns begin with our thought patterns. These thought patterns govern our actions which determine our results. Ever heard the definition on insanity (another ‘mind’ word). Well, it is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results. To get different results we need to replace the thought pattern. This comes from daily reading the word of God.
  3. PLANTZILLA has a root cause from which it springs. Ok, without God, we may be able to trim back PLANTZILLA and hold him at bay. We may be able to start listening to positive thoughts and positive people in our life and change what is going on around us. Which is good. But not great. The only way we will have complete victory is to remove the root bulb. That is going to take Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It will take prayer and fasting and getting into the Word of God. It will take sacrificing some time for ourself. It will take changing what goes into your mind. What are we reading? What are we watching everyday? It is choosing to listen to God’s voice and we will have victory.

 PLANTZILLA is now plantzilla!

Jesus gave us the power and authority to control our thoughts. We are no longer slaves to them. We are no longer a victim of sinful patterns in our life. Now we can capture every thought and replace them with the Word of God.  We now have the freedom to make right decisions. We have the ability to produce good fruit and not thorns in our life. We have peace of mind. 

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.                 ( 2 Corinthians 10: 3-6, KJV)

Resurrection Egg #7

 

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Resurrection Eggs for Adults # 5: Jesus Bled for our Shame

Resurrection Eggs for Adults # 5: Jesus Bled for our Shame

Guilt says : “I did something bad.” the feeling of “doing something wrong

shame pictures of girl
Shame says: I am bad

Shame says: “I am bad.” the feeling of “I am wrong.” Our whole sense of self has eroded. 

Do  you feel flawed or defective? Unworthy of love or belonging or relationships? Feel like an embarrassment? Feel like you are in a dark hole that you cannot escape from? Do you struggle with addictive behaviors such as alcohol, drugs, sex, food? What about feelings of anger or anxiety?

It seems to me that we struggle with guilt and shame more than anything. I admit that I did not have a full understanding of ‘shame’ before researching this Resurrection Egg.

We sin and then we feel guilty. We may ask for God’s forgiveness, but the shame of the sin still lingers. We feel like we can’t reach out to help others, teach others about the gospel of Christ, or “be used by God” because of the ‘shame’ and humiliation that we feel.  “We are unworthy of such honors,” we tell ourselves.

Especially in women we feel shame for feeling shame and the cycle continues. Men get angry for feeling shame and the angry shame cycle continues.

Shame is generational. It is passed from one generation to the next.

Shame is not productive It does not bring repentance or change in belief or behavior. Why?

Because shame is how we View ourselves

Remember the novel, the Scarlet Letter? We may feel that wherever we go we have a Letter A on us just like the girl in the novel, Scarlet Letter.  Shame seems to me to follow sexual sins and indiscretions the most. Hence why Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book the Scarlet Letter, reaches people on many different levels. Hester Prynne, is caught pregnant out of marriage, she is forced to move out of the village and live on her own. She also wears a scarlet letter ‘A’ on all her clothing. ( OK, I read this in high school, so it has been awhile).

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Today, sexual sins and addictions are  rampant. We like to think that there is no consequences in our souls or how we see ourselves. Sex and addictions may be a temporary fix for the loneliness we feel.  A way to establish relationships and fill the dark hole of shame in our life. But then how do we feel about ourselves? The shame is temporary gone, but only to return once the high has gone. Then comes the feeling of defective and wanting to escape. This leads to facing what happened last night which leads to loss of control. When we are caught in sexual sins specifically, we feel like everyone knows or everyone is seeing us as ‘that girl’. Our life is not what we had planned. We wanted something different than our friends or family.  Eventually that letter ‘A’ is not just on outside clothing but has moved to our very core of our being. We are wearing it on our heart and soul. The ‘A’ becomes our identity and pervades our decisions.

Praise God Jesus bled for our Shame!

“I (Jesus) offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. (Isaiah 50: 6-7, KJV) (Matthew 27:30)

Jesus bled from beard

Isaiah was prophesying regarding what Jesus would experience. In Matthew 27:30, Jesus was beaten in the face, mocked, spit upon. Jesus bled so that we are not controlled by the shame. He did not hide his face in shame so we don’t have to! We now longer feel unworthy or lack a sense of belonging. Jesus did not see us as unworthy. He loved us so much that He went through the beating. He bore the shame we may feel.  Jesus did not shun us. He accepts us and forgives us unconditionally. Jesus will be with us and help us and we will not be disgraced. We are not alone. We can trust Jesus and we will not be put to shame. Jesus is our identity!

Resurrection Egg #5

 

 

Resurrection Eggs for Adults #4: The Garden of Gethsemane

Resurrection Eggs for Adults #4: The Garden of Gethsemane

 I had a hard time finding a picture for this post. Most portray Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He is calm, almost serene. Hands clasped, face lifted toward heaven. The glory of God is shining down upon Him. Well, I don’t know about you other moms out there but when I am desperately praying for myself or my family. I am just that –desperate. It is not pretty. It is down on my face before God with the tears flowing.

In Matthew 26:38 Jesus tells His disciples,

Jesus in garden with glory
Calm and Serene Jesus

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”

Matthew goes on to say that Jesus “fell on His face, and prayed” (Matthew 26:38).

Luke reports  “And being in agony, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44)

Luke, the physician, would notice sweat like blood. You can ‘sweat blood’ when you are under extreme pressure. You actually break capillaries in your forehead due to the mental anguish and pain. In fact, the Greek word for agony used in this scripture is only used once in the Bible and this is it. This Greek word for agony, ‘agonia’, is a noun. It does not describe something. It is something. A thing  can be removed, a description can’t. It means a mental and emotional struggle. A wrestling. It was a wrestling that was so intense that God sent an angel to minister to Jesus. (Luke 22:43)

A Struggle for Victory

 Ok, this picture is getting there. I have been here. When you are mentally exhausted and fully given up. Complete obedience.  When we completely surrender. God can minister to us and heal our mind and heart.  Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane what Adam could not do in the Garden of Eden. He said ‘no’ to His flesh and said ‘yes’ to God.  We can now say ‘no’ to sin, bondage, and self seeking actions. Jesus pressed into His destiny rather than backing off. The Garden settled His mind for the road ahead.

Just like God met Jesus in the Garden, He meets us in our prayers and agony as well. God in His mercy will hear our cries and strengthen us for the road ahead. Praise God that Jesus shed his blood in the Garden that we may have Victory over our flesh, specifically our mental and emotional struggles.

 

jesus-in-the-garden
Less Serene, not on His face but there is agony. “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39)

 Resurrection Egg #4

Resurrection Eggs for Adults #3 — The Great Exchange

Resurrection Eggs for Adults #3 — The Great Exchange

Resurrection Egg #3Remember that when there is a covenant items are exchanged, blood is shed and names are changed. With the New Covenant there was an exchange of items.

Clothing: Robe 

In John 19: 15 the Romans put the robe on Jesus and a crown on His head. He was brought before Pilate.

Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!– John 19:5 (KJV)

Pilate did not say Behold the King of the Jews or Behold the Son of God, but Behold the Man. Jesus was in his humanity clothed in the only clothing we could offer Him, robe and crown of thorns from the ground.

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”–Philippians 2:8 (KJV)

In Exchange, Christ clothes us in His righteousness (Galatians 3:26-29). In Luke 24:49, Jesus tells us that He will clothe us with power from on high (Holy Spirit) and Ephesians 4:20-24 talks of putting off your old self and put on the new self, fashioned after God in true righteousness and holiness.

Clothing: the Crown

crown

Jesus also replaced the crown of thorns. 1 Corinthians 9:25 talks of those who complete the race will receive a crown that will last forever. 2 Timothy 4:8 talks of us receiving the crown of life that the Lord promises to those who love Him. 1 Peter 5:4 talks of the crown of glory that will never fade away.

Names are Changed

We now have the spirit of son ship. We can cry, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15, NIV). But when the set time had fully come, God sent His son, born of a woman, under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to son ship. (Galatians 4:4-5, NIV). As a son God has made us an heir (Galatians 4:7-9)

 

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