A Kingdom Not of this World

Bible:

So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” John 18:33-38 ESV

Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying,

“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
who is and who was,
for you have taken your great power
and begun to reign.
The nations raged,
but your wrath came,
and the time for the dead to be judged,
and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints,
and those who fear your name,
both small and great,
and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.” Revelation 11:15-18 ESV

Reflection:

People who are subjects of the United Kingdom are subjects to the king or queen of England and of the United Kingdom. As I write, England has a queen, and if one of her subjects meets her, a man should bow, and a woman should curtsey. However, when the queen visited the United States several years ago, the American people who met her didn’t have to bow or curtsey, because she wasn’t their queen. Americans aren’t British subjects, and the queen wasn’t in her own country. She was a queen, but her kingdom was in another place and among other people.

Jesus said something a little like that. Pontius Pilate took him inside his headquarters so he could ask him some questions. He asked Jesus if he were the King of the Jews. Pilate wasn’t a Jew, so even if Jesus were the King of the Jews, he wouldn’t be Pontius Pilate’s king. Then Jesus said that his kingdom was not of this world, because if it had been, then his followers would have fought for him. But he was a king of another kind of a kingdom that would come about in another place and time. He had come to this time to tell the truth about who he was and what kind of kingdom he ruled. Anyone who listened to Jesus would know him as the truth and be part of his kingdom. None of this made any sense to Pontius Pilate. “What is truth?” he asked.

We know that Jesus himself is the truth, and that his kingdom is one that will last forever. Jesus came to bring us into his kingdom by dying on the cross for us so that our sins could be forgiven and we could become his people. He rules now in the hearts of his people, and when he comes again his kingdom will be established forever. We will know the joy of serving Jesus as our king for all eternity.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for being our king and for bringing us into your kingdom forever. Amen.

Source:

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/International/story?id=7228105&page=1

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He Had No Answer

Bible:

And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. . . . And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed. Mark 15:1, 2-5 ESV

All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth. Isaiah 53:6-7 ESV

Reflection:

Joe Gargery was a poor blacksmith. He was strong and honest and true, and also humble and gentle. His wife was a mean, cruel woman who was very unkind to him and to her little brother, Pip, who lived with them, but Joe was kind to him. Even though Joe’s wife wasn’t a kind woman who didn’t treat Joe or Pip very well, Joe never complained or tried to hurt his wife, even though he was a strong man. When his wife was terribly injured and unable to take care of herself or to talk anymore, Joe continued to be kind and helpful to her. He never complained or tried to fight back for the bad ways he had been treated by his wife.

Jesus was something like that. He was the almighty Son of God, but he allowed himself to be arrested and cruelly treated by everyone. The high priest had sent him to the Roman governor of the area, Pontius Pilate. Pilate had the power to put Jesus to death or to set him free, and he was used to criminals pleading and arguing with him. But when the religious leaders started to accuse him of all kinds of terrible things, Jesus didn’t try to defend himself. He was humble and gentle and didn’t say a word to argue or plead. Even when the governor encouraged him to talk, Jesus didn’t answer, and that amazed the Pontius Pilate. It seemed as if Jesus was letting himself be treated badly without even putting up a fight.

Jesus was humble and gentle for our sake. He knew that he would be condemned to death, and that this was his Heavenly Father’s plan. Jesus was willing to suffer and to die on the cross because he knew that we would defeat sin and death in this way and win forgiveness and life for us. Jesus’ love for us kept him from speaking up for himself or defending himself, but his love protects us and takes care of us through any trouble or sorrow we might have, until we come to be with him in his heavenly kingdom forever.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for loving us enough to be willing to die for us. Please forgive our sins and keep us close to you. Amen.

Source:

Dickens, Charles Great Expectations London: Chapman and Hall, 1861.

Hopeless Despair

Bible:

Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.” Matthew 27:3-10 ESV

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared. Psalm 130:1-4 ESV

Reflection:

There’s a story about the Eastern Redbud tree, a small tree that bears pink flowers. According to the legend, this tree once stood straight and tall and had beautiful white flowers. But then Judas hanged himself on this tree, and ever since then the Eastern Redbud has been ashamed of itself. Its blossoms are now a blushing pink instead of a pure white, and instead of standing straight and tall it now is a small tree with brittle wood that will not support the weight of anyone else who might try to hang himself on its limbs.

Judas saw what was happening to Jesus because of his betrayal, and he felt terrible about it. He tried to give the money back to the religious leaders, telling them he had sinned by betraying an innocent man. But the religious leaders didn’t care at all about that. They told him it was his own problem. Then Judas threw the money down in the temple and went out and hanged himself. He felt so terrible that he didn’t have any hope that God would ever forgive him, and so he didn’t want to live any longer. The religious leaders took the money and bought a little land where they could bury a stranger who had died and didn’t have anyone to take care of him or her. Because this field was bought with blood money, people started calling it the field of blood.

God loves all people, and because of Jesus’ death on the cross for us, he is willing to forgive all people for their sins, no matter what they have done. God would have forgiven Judas if he would have trusted Jesus and not tried to make things right all by himself. Sometimes we might feel like Judas. We might feel terrible about something we’ve done wrong, and try to put things right all by ourselves. But sometimes there’s nothing we can to do put right what we’ve done wrong. And we can never make things right with God all by ourselves. But we don’t need to suffer the hopeless despair that Judas did. We can always look to Jesus, who died to pay for all our sins, and know that God loves us and will always forgive us for Jesus’ sake.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us, and for forgiving all our sins for Jesus’ sake. Help us to trust in Jesus when we feel terrible about something we’ve done wrong. In His Name, Amen.

Source:

http://capitalnaturalist.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-judas-tree.html

Blasphemy!

Bible:

And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. Mark 14:60-64 ESV

[Daniel said:] “I saw in the night visions,

and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14 ESV

Reflection:

Mr. Slate had accidentally locked himself out of his house. He didn’t want to call the locksmith, and he thought he could probably open the bedroom window if he climbed the tree and then balanced on the ledge to reach the window. But while he was balancing on the ledge and trying to get his bedroom window open, a police car drove by. The police officer thought that Mr. Slate was a burglar who was trying to break into the house to rob it. Now Mr. Slate was in trouble. The police officer didn’t believe that it was Mr. Slate’s own house and that he had a right to try to get inside. He arrested Mr. Slate and took him to the police station. It took awhile for the whole misunderstanding to get cleared up!

When Caiaphas, the high priest, asked Jesus if he was the Christ, or Messiah, and the Son of God, Jesus said, “I am.” Then he talked about the prophecy of Daniel, saying that everyone would see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven to be the judge. If what Jesus said had been a lie, it would have been a terrible blasphemy against God. Jesus was claiming to be God’s equal and the promised Savior, and no one should ever dare to claim such a thing as a lie. But if Jesus was telling the truth, then he had every right to say this about himself. Caiaphas would not see or understand that what Jesus said was the truth. All he could see or believe was that Jesus was telling a terrible lie that insulted God, and that he deserved death for it.

Because of Jesus, we have the incredible right to claim to be God’s children. We don’t deserve this right, because we are sinful people who have turned against God and insulted him with our lives. But Jesus came to take the penalty for our sins on the cross, and because of what he’s done for us, we now have the right to call ourselves the children of God. Jesus has turned what would have been an insult to God and made it into our wonderful right, to be God’s own people now and forever.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us the right to be called your children through Jesus, our Savior. In His Name, Amen.

False Witnesses

Bible:

Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But he remained silent and made no answer.  Mark 14:55-61 ESV

Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:11-14 ESV

Reflection:

In the late 1600s in Massachusetts colony there was a series of trials that became known as the Salem witch trials. A group of young girls testified in court that they had been bewitched by women in the community, and even though these women insisted they were innocent, the girls told stories about being visited by the spirits of these women who did bad things to them. The girls also screamed and contorted their bodies and had fits while they were in court, and people believed their stories. We can’t know for sure why the girls told the stories they did, or what caused them to act as if the devil was possessing them, but we know that the women they accused of witchcraft were innocent. Before the Salem witch trials were over, 19 women were hanged for being witches, and seven others had died in jail. The false testimony of a few young girls caused all kinds of grief and horror.

Jesus also faced false testimony when he stood before Caiaphas, the high priest, in court. Many witnesses came in and said all kinds of terrible things about him, but their stories contradicted each other. This meant that the stories couldn’t be accepted as evidence. What all these witnesses showed was how much Jesus’ enemies hated him and wanted to get rid of him. They would even get people to tell stories that weren’t true about him so that he would be found guilty of a crime and put to death. Jesus didn’t fight back or try to argue that he was innocent. He just stood silently while people accused him of doing wrong.

Jesus faced the hatred and false testimony of others for our sake. He knew that everything that was happening to him would lead to his death on the cross, but he didn’t try to fight back. Nothing bad anyone could say about Jesus was true, but when we stand before God, there are many things that we have said and done that would cause us to face God’s judgment. That’s why Jesus allowed himself to be accused of doing wrong and took the punishment for it. Jesus was taking the judgment that belonged to guilty people like us, so that when we stand before God’s judgment, we will be called innocent by him. Jesus let himself be guilty so that we could be innocent and live in joy with him forever.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for suffering false accusations and the punishment of a guilty person for our sake. Amen.

Source:

Bullies

Bible:

Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him. Luke 22:63-65 ESV

But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered;
they gathered together against me;
wretches whom I did not know
tore at me without ceasing;
like profane mockers at a feast,
they gnash at me with their teeth.

How long, O Lord, will you look on?
Rescue me from their destruction,
my precious life from the lions!
I will thank you in the great congregation;
in the mighty throng I will praise you. Psalm 35:15-18 ESV

Reflection:

Calvin was playing at recess when the class bully, Moe, came up to him. Moe gave Calvin a hard shove and made him fall down and drop the ball he was holding. Then Moe walked away, laughing and making fun of Calvin. Calvin hadn’t done anything to Moe to make him angry. Moe was just a big, strong bully who enjoyed hurting people who were smaller and weaker than he was. He thought it was funny to make Calvin fall down and get hurt.

The guards who were guarding Jesus were also cruel bullies. Jesus hadn’t done anything to them to hurt them, but they were having fun hurting Jesus. They beat him and made fun of him. People had said that Jesus was a prophet, so the guards put a blindfold on him and then took turns hitting him. Then they’d say, “Which one of us hit you that time?” They thought the whole thing was very funny. Jesus seemed to be so weak and helpless, so they could have all kinds of fun with him, hurting him and laughing at him.

Jesus wasn’t weak and helpless, but he let himself be hurt for our sake. We are the ones who were helpless and under the power of sin and death and all the forces of evil, and Jesus came to set us free from everything that was hurting us. He went all the way to the cross to do that, and he let people beat him and make fun of him on the way to his death. Jesus seemed to be weak, but by his death he destroyed the power of death. He rose again from the dead to set us free from everything evil and to give us life with him forever.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for letting yourself get hurt for our sake. Help us to live lives of love for you. Amen.

Source:

Watterson, Bill Yukon Ho! Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel, 1989, p. 71.

Fear and Shame

Bible:

And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Luke 22:58-62 ESV

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. I John 4:15-19 ESV

Reflection:

An African folktale tells about a lion who was about to eat his meal when an eagle swooped down and stole it. The lion, who was the king of the land animals, called them all together and declared war on all the birds in the sky. So the land animals and the birds began to battle each other, and the bat saw that the land animals were winning. He went to the lion and hid his wings and showed his fur, saying that he was related to the rat and wanted to join the battle on their side. But later, when the birds started to win, he went to the eagle and showed his wings and said that he was one of the birds, so he fought on their side. Later, when the birds and the land animals ended their war and decided to live in peace, the bat was so ashamed of how cowardly he had been that he went to live hidden in the darkness of a cave forever.

Peter was a little like this bat. He acted in a cowardly manner when Jesus was on trial for his life. He had been on Jesus’ side, but when it seemed as if Jesus was losing, Peter became afraid that he might be arrested or hurt the way Jesus was, and he didn’t want that to happen. He had already denied Jesus once, and when people continued to say that he was a disciple of Jesus, he denied it two more times. Then Peter heard a rooster crow, and he remembered that Jesus had said that Peter would deny him three times before the rooster crowed. And just at that moment, Jesus turned to look at Peter. Peter felt so terribly ashamed of himself that he went out of the courtyard and cried and cried.

We also sometimes act like cowards and deny Jesus with our words and with our lives. Sometimes we feel like the bat, and want to go and hide in a dark cave, and sometimes we cry like Peter did. But Jesus sees our shame and our tears, and he knows our hearts. He knows when we deny him, and he calls us to return to him. Jesus came to die on the cross so that all our sins could be forgiven, including our fears and our shameful behavior. He loves us and is with us always to help us and give us the strength to live as his people.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, forgive us for the ways we deny you with our sins, and please help us to follow you with courage. Amen.

 

An Unfair Trial

Bible:

The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. John 18:19-24 ESV

Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not hear?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
and you will not save?
Why do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.
So the law is paralyzed,
and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
so justice goes forth perverted. Habakkuk 1:2-4 ESV

Reflection:

Back in 1936 in the State of Mississippi a man named Raymond Stewart was murdered. Three black men named Arthur Ellington, Ed Brown, and Henry Shields were accused by the police of committing the murder. The police did some terrible things to these men, such as beating them and hanging them from a tree, until they confessed to the murder so that the police would stop hurting them. The police used their words when the men went to trial, and they were convicted of the murder. But they didn’t believe they had received a fair trial. They said they were innocent, but forced to say they were guilty, and then their words were used in court. Their case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and all the judges on the Supreme Court overturned their conviction. They agreed that these men didn’t get a fair trial.

Jesus also didn’t get a fair trial. When his trial was just beginning, Annas, who was the father-in-law of the high priest, asked him about his teaching and about his disciples. Jesus said that he had always talked in public and that many witnesses could testify to his teachings. In a fair trial, Annas would have called witnesses, but he didn’t want to do that. He just wanted to get rid of Jesus. Then one of the soldiers slapped Jesus, and this also was wrong. He was trying to make Jesus say what Annas wanted him to say, rather than to tell the truth. Jesus was not going to get a fair trial, but instead everyone would work to make sure he would be put to death.

Treating somebody unfairly in this way dishonors God, who is a God of justice and does not want innocent people to be treated as if they were guilty. But Jesus came to suffer this kind of injustice. He was treated as if he were guilty and put to death, even though he was innocent of doing anything wrong. Jesus was put to death for our sake, because he wanted to bring us back to God. He died to pay for our sins, and even though he was innocent he suffered the punishment of guilty people. We, who are guilty, are treated as if we are innocent by God because of what Jesus has done for us.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for suffering cruelty and injustice for our sake. Amen.

Source:

https://study.com/academy/lesson/brown-v-mississippi-1936-case-brief-summary.html

Ashamed of Jesus

Bible:

So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.

Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself. John 18:12-13, 15-18 ESV

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV

Reflection:

Sue moved into New York City into a high rise apartment with her family. Her father was the superintendent of the building, and when another girl named Rosalie moved into the building she thought that she was better than Sue because of Sue’s father. Rosalie made sure that Sue was left out of the clubs and parties that the other girls at school were part of, and Sue ended up spending time with Magda and Magda’s cousin Anton, who were recent immigrants to the United States. Magda’s father was a janitor, and Sue sometimes felt ashamed of her friends. She was embarrassed when one of the girls at school found out that she had been spending time with Magda and Anton.

Peter and John  might have started to run away along with the other disciples when Jesus was arrested, but then they decided to follow along and find out what would happen. John was able to go right into the courtyard of the high priest because they knew each other, but Peter had to stay outside the gates until John spoke up for him. Then Peter was allowed to come into the courtyard and warm himself by the coal fire in the chilly night. There were other people standing around the fire, and when the servant girl who had let Peter in asked him if he was one of Jesus’ disciples, he felt ashamed of the man who had been arrested and was now on trial. Peter said that he was not. He denied Jesus.

People who don’t know Jesus sometimes think of him and of his people in negative ways, and sometimes we feel ashamed of Jesus. We might try to hide the fact that we are Christians so we don’t have to be embarrassed. But Jesus went through great shame for our sake. He was arrested and treated as a criminal and died a humiliating death on the cross so that we could be his own. Now he is in the position of the highest power and authority in the universe, and someday he will come back and take us to be with him always. Jesus is a Savior that we can be proud of, and he calls us to follow him as his own people, now and forever.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, please give us the courage to follow you and to be witnesses for you. Thank you for your great love for us. Amen.

Source:

Friedman, Frieda The Janitor’s Girl New York : William Morrow and Company, 1956.

The Scriptures must be Fulfilled

Bible:

Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled. Matthew 26:52-56 ESV

A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:6-8 ESV

Reflection:

During World War I, a British officer named Robert Campbell was taken prisoner by the German army. While he was in prison he heard that his mother was dying of cancer. Captain Campbell wrote a letter to the German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm, begging him to let him go home to visit his mother before she died. He promised that if the emperor would let him do this, he would return to prison after his visit. Kaiser Wilhelm gave his permission for Captain Campbell to go home for a visit, and the captain could have stayed in England and not honored his word. But Robert Campbell kept his promise and returned to prison in Germany after visiting with his mother for a week, even though it must have been a terribly hard promise to keep.

God promised in his word that he would send a Savior who would bring people out of sin and death and back to him again, and he kept his promise in Jesus. When Peter tried to defend his Lord by taking a sword and cutting off Malchus’ ear, Jesus told him to put his sword back. He didn’t need Peter to defend him. He said that if he wanted, he could ask his Heavenly Father for more than twelve legions of angels to protect him! But if Jesus had done that, then he couldn’t have kept the promise God had made in Scriptures. He also told the people who had come after him that there had been no need for them to hunt him down with weapons and soldiers in the dark of night. They could have taken him any time they wanted while he was teaching, but they hadn’t done that. This also fulfilled what God had promised in the Scripture.

God always keeps his promises, and that is very good news for us. For Jesus to come and suffer and die for us was a very hard promise to keep, but Jesus did what he had come to do. He didn’t choose to take the easy way out and call on his Father to send angels to rescue him. Jesus did this because he loves us, and he wanted to bring us back to him. Because of Jesus, we are his people, and we can trust him to keep all of his promises to us, now and forever.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for keeping your promise to save us in Jesus. In His Name, Amen.

Source:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-23957605