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.

 

crown

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 #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

In due season…..Easter

In due season…..Easter

Easter images

Resurrection Eggs for Adults

I love Easter. To me it is the first hint of spring. Of new life, of a new promise. To me, Easter is not a celebration of bunnies and chocolate, but the celebration of the  resurrection of Jesus Christ. Knowing the end of the story it is easy to celebrate. Jesus is risen and the tomb is empty, our sins have been forgiven. Amen!  It is easy to forget the sacrifice that Jesus made, the shedding of His own blood for our sins. My husband reminded me that sacrifices in the Bible were pretty gruesome stuff. The Romans perfected crucifixion to be excruciatingly painful. In fact the word “excruciating” was a word originally used to describe the pain of crucifixion. I have been a Christian for long time, but studying the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice for us, opened my eyes again to the mercy and love God has for us. So I thought I would share some of what God has shown me about the cross. I am not a theologian, just a mother of three with a love for Jesus and His word. I am calling these thoughts:

resurrection eggs numbered

Resurrection Eggs for Adults.

(Resurrection eggs are plastic eggs filled with a symbol of the Passion Week. Each day your child can open them and read a scripture and learn about events leading up to the Resurrection of Christ).

My prayer is that you enjoy these posts, but mostly you will grow in deeper understanding of Jesus for the blood of Jesus is one of spiritual weapons along with the name of Jesus, and the Word of God. It is our firm foundation that everything else rests.

Resurrection Egg #1 (1)

When we think of the cross, what do we think about? Blood, cross, Jesus, sins, love??? Probably all of the above and more. The cross is pivotal in many ways. Historically it divided time, BC and AD. Spiritually it unites us with God. Ultimately it is a picture of unconditional love. To understand the cross, you need to understand Covenant and the importance of the blood.

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that make an atonement for the soul” Leviticus 17:11.

Life is in blood. In our bodies the blood supplies nutrients, removes impurities. It cleanses. The sin that came with Adam is passed down with the blood. God had given Adam a choice and he chose to give it to Satan Genesis 3:15 but God said that He would send someone to bruise his heel or to bruise his authority. Jesus is that sacrifice. He took the authority so we could have victory not just in heaven but here on earth. He overcame the devil (Revelations 12:11).

 “We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”– Ephesians 1:17

 “We are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ.”–1 Peter 1:19

Radio man

Radio man

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

With a house full of testosterone, I have learned to appreciate a good war movie every now and then. They remind me that you can have courage under fire and strength when you need it.  (FYI…..Although my husband tries to convince me that Braveheart is a love story, I am still not convinced). Recently, I was watching this movie where the combat team is highly specialized and they are on a secret covert mission during WWII. The introduction goes through each man and gives their name, rank, expertise i.e. John, Lt, sniper; Frank, Col, leader; Bill,Lt, knife expert; Joe, night vision; Sam,demolitions, etc. All have been on multiple missions and all have been highly decorated for success and bravery under fire.

Then we get to the last one, Bill, RADIO MAN.

Experience— none.

Military— only 6 mos.

Reason for being chosen— other guy got sick.

Location when picked— in chair at the radio on the plane.

Reason chosen— no time to pick someone else.

Do you ever feel like ‘RADIO MAN’ or woman ?

I ask God some times, “Why am I here, Now. Not exactly what I had planned, God.” I think that maybe Radio Man thought, ” yeah, in the military talking on the phone, should be easy.” He asked the lead commander what the mission was and was told “need to know” (standard military response for –just obey orders peon).Ok, now Radio Man is on a mission he wasn’t trained for or briefed on and he is getting shot at. Radio man just about gets sick right there. But the good news is, he is THE RADIO man. Which means maximum protection!

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Deut. 21:6

063In God’s army, we are like THE RADIO man. We have maximum protection. We may be in a battle and not know why or how, but God always has His plan and reason. The battle will bring out fruit in our lives that can only come out under fire. This is the time where our relationship with God flourishes. It is the time where Jesus shines forth in all His glory. The battle is not ours, but His. The victory is in His hands.

We don’t need to know the mission, it will be revealed to us when the time is right. In the mean time, press into the relationship with Jesus, learn to hear His voice and His voice alone. Allow Jesus to do His perfect work in our hearts.This is a time for prayer coupled with action. Let your heart stay soft and sensitive to the voice of God. Look for the miracles amongst the battle.

Praise Jesus and ‘thanks to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’  1 Cor 15:57.

In case you are wondering, What happened to Radio Man? Well, the original mission failed and had to be changed in mid battle. As it turned out, they had to sabotage a submarine minefield that was controlled by radio signals. Guess what, only Radio Man knew that equipment. The original man chosen would not have been able to do it. As a result, the American fleet made it through. When the battle is over we will be able to look back and see that it is no mistake that we were where we were. Jesus sees the big picture when we don’t.

(FYI– the movie is Ambush Bay by United Artists, 1966)

Gazebo Gallery
Gazebo Gallery

Gazebo Gallery:

When did you feel like ‘Radio man’ or ‘Radio woman’ and how did you receive ‘maximum protection from God’?