DayBreaks for 4/23/19 – The King and the Poison

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DayBreaks for 4/23/19: The King and the Poison

From the DayBreaks archived, 2009: (sorry, I just can’t let go of Easter yet – it is too good to be done already!)

From Max Lucado’s Six Hours One Friday comes a parable-type telling of the garden and the crucifixion:

“Finally that hour came.  The Son went for one last visit with his Father.  He met Him in another garden.  A garden of gnarled trees and stony soil.

“Does it have to be this way?” 

“It does.”

“Is there no one else who can do it?”

The King swallowed.  “None but you.”

“Do I have to drink from the cup?”

“Yes, my Child.  The same cup.”

He looked at the Prince of Light.  “The darkness will be great.”  He passed his hand over the spotless face of his Son.  “The pain will be awful.”  Then he paused and looked at his darkened dominion.  When he looked up, his eyes were moist.  “But there is no other way.”

“The Son looked into the stars as he heard the answer.  “Then, let it be done.”

Slowly the words that would kill the Son began to come from the lips of the Father: “Hour of death, moment of sacrifice, it is your moment.  Rehearsed a million times on false altars with false lambs; the moment of truth has come.”

“Soldiers, do you think you lead him?  Ropes, you think you bind him?  Men, you think you sentence him?  He heeds not your commands.  He winces not at your lashes.  It is my voice he obeys.  It is my condemnation he dreads.  And it is your souls he saves.

“Oh, my Son, my Child.  Look up into the heavens and see my face before I turn it.  Hear my voice before I silence it.  Would that I could save you and them.  But they don’t see and they don’t hear.

“The living must die so that the dying can live.  The time has come to kill the Lamb.

“Here is the cup, my Son.  The cup of sorrows.  The cup of sin.

“Slam, mallet!  Be true to your task.  Let your ring be heard throughout the heavens.

“Lift him, soldiers.  Lift him high to his throne of mercy.  Lift him up to his perch of death.  Lift him above the people that curse his name.

“Now plunge the tree into the earth.  Plunge it deep into the heart of humanity.  Deep into the strata of time past.  Deep into the sees of time future.

“Is there no angel to save my Isaac?  Is there no hand to redeem the Redeemer?

“Here is the cup, my Son.  Drink it alone.”

God must have wept as he performed his task.  Every lie, every lure, every act done in shadows was in that cup.  Slowly, hideously they were absorbed into the body of the Son.  The final act of incarnation.

The Spotless Lamb was blemished.  Flames began to lick his feet.

The King obeys his own edict.  “Where there is poison, there will be death.  Where there are goblets, there will be fire.

The King turns away from his Prince.  The undiluted wrath of a sin-hating Father falls upon his sin-filled Son.  The fire envelops him.  The shadow hides him.  The Son looks for his Father, but his Father cannot be seen.

“My God, my God….why?”
The throne room is dark and cavernous.  The eyes of the King are closed.  He is resting.

In his dream he is again in the Garden.  The cool of the evening floats across the river as the three walk.  They speak of the Garden – of how it is, of how it will be.

“Father…”, the Son begins.  The King replays the word again.  Father.  Father.  The word was a flower, petal-delicate, yet so easily crushed.  Oh, how he longed for his children to call him Father again.

A noise snaps him from his dream.  He opens his eyes and sees a transcendent figure gleaming in the doorway.  “It is finished, Father.  I have come home.”  – Six Hours One Friday, Max Lucado, Multhomah Press, 1989, pgs. 101-104

Prayer: God, forgive us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

 

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DayBreaks for 3/29/18 – The Time Has Come

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DayBreaks for 3/29/18: The Time Has Come

From the DayBreaks archive, March 2007:

John 17:1 – After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.

“The time has come.” 

These words should haunt us, coming as they do from Jesus’ lips.  John, and the other gospels writers have taken us on an amazing journey of discovery of the Son of God.  His power has wowed us.  His love has stunned and surprised us.  His tenderness has given us hope.  And now, can’t you hear the weariness, and yes, apprehension, in his voice? 

How we view the arrival of something depends on what we anticipate that “something” will be like: good or bad, blessing or trouble, peace or distress.  I hate it when the appointment comes when I’m supposed to go to the dentist.  I’ve taken others to the hospital for major surgery, and the dread is palpable as we travel in the car.  We hate the moment when we are due to pile into the car for a trip to the funeral parlor for a service for a loved one who has died.  On the other hand, we rejoice when the time has come to leave for the airport to pick up your spouse or children or grandchildren whom you haven’t seen for a long time, or to go away for a much needed and long anticipated 3-day fishing retreat away from the noise and troubles of the world.  In either case, the anticipation can be excruciating. 

Either the sadness and dread can drive us into the ground, or the joy we anticipate gives us the butterflies in our stomachs that makes it hard to keep our feet on the ground when we walk.  In many cases, we don’t know what to expect – and the anticipation, the unknowingness involved – makes us nervous and anxious, hopeful yet not too hopeful lest we should be disappointed.  “The time has come.”  With Jesus, it wasn’t a question of anticipation for he knew fully what to expect.  He created the nervous system that would report the details of the crown of thorns, scourging and nails to his brain.  He had known all his life why he’d come to this earth.  Every event of his life had led to this tipping point, this fulcrum.  And when the time comes, what does Jesus do?  He prays.  How did he feel about this “time” which had come?  We see mixed emotions:

FIRST: In the garden we see his human side, trembling and fearful of the great anguish and suffering that lay ahead, begging with the father that this cup, and this time, could pass.  And who can blame him?  Think of your own most terrifying and dark moment – didn’t you cry out for it to pass?  Didn’t you cry out for God to take it away?  Jesus was as human as we are.  He had all the same feelings as we do.  His nerves fired pain impulses just every bit as exquisitely and perfectly as those of any other human being.  He made no exceptions for himself when it came to being able to identify with us in our humanity, he permitted himself no indulgences or luxuries to bypass human suffering.

SECOND: In Hebrews 12:2, and here, we see something about how the Divine side of Jesus dealt with this time.  He was God – every bit as much God as he was human.  As God, he could see the future outcome of events and happenings, and he could foresee the joy at the end of this “time” which had come.  And that joy he beheld was your face and my face.  It was being able to see us eternally before the throne of God in heaven in His Presence, and knowing that it was because of this “time which has come” that was to make it possible.  That joy, of seeing his brothers and sisters redeemed from the pit of hell and cleansed from the stench of sin, that gave Christ the power to move into this time which has come, and pray, “Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You.”

“The time has come”…what does that mean for you and I?  It means the time has come for us to be done with our past lives of sin and rebellion, to put our faithlessness and infidelity to God in the past.  The time has come for us to walk by faith, not by sight.  The time has come for us to take up our cross and follow him.  The time has come for the church to rise up in the power of the Spirit and speak truth into the world once again.  And ultimately, the time will come for us to face our own death and destiny.  Jesus had prepared himself along the way for the moment when his time would come.  Have you?

PRAYER: For Jesus’ resolve in the hour of his trial, Father, we are eternally grateful.  For strength for our own time which has come, we beseech Thee.  For the courage to speak truth into the world and the lives of those around us, we plead.  For Your mercies, which are new every morning, we give You praise.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 1/13/17 – The Man Who Drove the Nails

DayBreaks for 1/13/17: The Man Who Drove the Nails

FROM THE DAYBREAKS ARCHIVE, January, 2007:

The Bible doesn’t tell us the name of the man (almost certainly a Roman soldier) who drove the nails into the wrists and feet of Jesus.  The Bible tells us the name of the man who betrayed him, but not of the man who actually crucified him.  It isn’t likely that it was the centurion who stated, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” because centurions typically stood around and directed activities and left the work to the private or corporal.  I wonder, though, what the man must have thought as the afternoon wore on and the skies darkened, the earth shook and Jesus died.  I wonder if I’d have been able to sleep that night.  If my wife asked me, “What did you do today, honey?”, what would I have told her?

As I was browsing a book today in the Christian bookstore (it looked real good but I didn’t buy it yet – you know, cash flow!), I was captivated by a thought in one of the books I read.  The name of the book was When God Weeps (I think that was it), written by Joni Earickson Tada and Steve Estes.  At one point in the book, they were reflecting on the crucifixion of Christ and God’s willingness to endure suffering like one of us rather than to distance Himself from what we have to experience. 

Christ had all power – for in him dwelt the fullness of God.  He could have called legions of angels at any time to do his bidding, for how could one of his angels not have obeyed his command?  But what I’d never quite pictured or thought about was this: Colossians 1.16b-17 tells us that everything that exists was created by Christ.  That includes the mountains, lakes, skies, earth, you, me, our dog, and yes, even the person who pounded the nails into his hands was created by the Crucified One.  But Colossians 1.17 also tells us that “…and in him all things hold together.”  I think that means exactly what it says.  At a subatomic level, what is it that makes all the particles of an atom hold together?  Christ’s power.  What is it that makes atoms bond together to form molecules, compounds and chemicals?  Christ’s power.  What is it that holds people together?  Christ.  What holds the universe in control so the moon doesn’t go spinning off into space, or the earth go spinning into the sun?  Science would say gravity – I would say Christ. 

But here’s the thought that I read that struck me: not only did God have to be willing to suffer as a man for man’s sake, but the same God who was suffering as the nails pierced his flesh was holding together the atoms of the man’s body that was doing the crucifying.  With just one thought, Christ could have willed the man’s atoms to dissociate from one another and the man wielding the hammer would have disintegrated and been no more.  According to Colossians 1.17, Christ was the one who held the man together, who willed the man to stay together, to finish the task that he had begun with the first swing of the mallet.

Commitment to purpose.  Commitment to mankind.  Commitment to obedience.  Commitment to love, no matter what the cost.  “Be imitators therefore of Christ…”

PRAYER: Father, thank you for the commitment of Christ to see the job through, to not just start the ball rolling for our salvation, but to drink the cup to the dregs.  Teach us to be more committed to you and self-controlled.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016 by Galen Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 7/21/14 – The Purpose of Spit

DayBreaks for 7/21/14 – The Purpose of Spit

He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to crucify him. Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire battalion. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. They made a crown of long, sharp thorns and put it on his head, and they placed a stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery, yelling, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and beat him on the head with it. When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.  (Matt.27:26-31 NLT)

Few things seem more degrading or humiliating than someone spitting in your face.  In He Chose the Nails, Max Lucado makes this observation about the spit of the soldiers: “The soldiers assignment was simple: Take the Nazarene to the hill and kill him. But they had another idea. They wanted to have some fun first. Strong, rested, armed soldiers encircled an exhausted, nearly dead, Galilean carpenter and beat up on him. The scourging was commanded. The crucifixion was ordered. But who would draw pleasure out of spitting on a half-dead man?

“Spitting isn’t intended to hurt the body– it can’t. Spitting is intended to degrade the soul, and it does…They felt big by making Christ look small.  Allow the spit of the soldiers to symbolize the filth of our hearts. And then observe what Jesus does with our filth.  He carries it to the cross.  Through the prophet he said, ‘I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting’ (Isa.50:6 NIV). Mingled with his blood and sweat was the essence of our sin…For some reason, the One who chose the nails also chose the saliva. Along with the spear and the sponge of man, he bore the spit of man. The sinless One took on the face of a sinner so that we sinners could take on the face of a saint.”

It wasn’t just the soldier who spit in Jesus’ face.  One way or another, we all have.  And he carried our spit to the cross, too, and forgave it.

PRAYER: Your love and forgiveness are incomprehensible, Lord Jesus.  We are ashamed for the many times we have spit in your face through our actions and words!  Thank you for bearing our shame to the cross.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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DayBreaks for 02/04/14 – Going Home in Deep Sorrow

DayBreaks for 2/04/14 – Going Home in Deep Sorrow

Luke 23:44-49 (NLT) By this time it was noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 45  The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. 46  Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last. 47  When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, “Surely this man was innocent.” 48  And when all the crowd that came to see the crucifixion saw what had happened, they went home in deep sorrow. 49  But Jesus’ friends, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching.

For my quiet time, I’ve been using the gospel of Luke. Though it isn’t near Easter yet, I am at this point in the gospel. This has always intrigued me, not just because of the pathos of the crucifixion and the meaning it has, but because of a couple of statements in these verses.

First: how poignant is the statement The light from the sun was gone. It could have been said that the “Light from the Son was gone” and been equally true.  What happened to cause this three- hour darkness? Some suggest it was an eclipse, but those don’t last for three hours. Cloud cover? Possibly – a very thick one. Was it that God had for those 3 hours turned away from the earth and His glory wasn’t there anymore? Was it symbolic of the sway that evil was having during those ghastly hours? I don’t know. But the point is that it was dark, as if all creation was mourning the suffering and death of its Creator. And God clearly was directly involved with the event and the disappearance of the sun. Nothing He does is by accident. For God it was a time of deep sorrow and grief – and black is the color of mourning. I suspect this may be why, but we shall have to ask some day to really understand.

The reactions of the Roman centurion and the people as they left were interesting. For the centurion, it led to some level of faith or at least belief. The reaction of others after the death of Christ was, appropriately, deep sorrow. Did they now realize what they’d done? Remember, these were the people who mere hours before were chanting “Crucify him!  Crucify him!”

I can only surmise something here. My guess is that that not a single person among the crowd would have made the decision all on their own to kill Jesus, nor would they have pounded the nails into his hands or feet, nor mocked him. But people in crowds do bizarre things and it only takes one or two (in this case probably the “exalted” religious leaders and a few of their zealous adherents) to have incited them to such “Crucify him!” chants and to demand his death.  Often, it is only in hindsight that we see the gravity of our actions and how wrong we were. Jesus’ words from the cross were more spot on than we can imagine: Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing. It appears that was precisely the case as the people, when they did realize what they had done, were filled with deep sorrow.

What do you do when the crowd presses hard on you to compromise your faith or simply to do something that your spirit tells you is a compromise that is not honorable? Stand strong so that you won’t have to go home in “deep sorrow”.

PRAYER: Jesus, we all played a role in your crucifixion. We often don’t know what we are doing or how we hurt you, but forgive us all the same! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

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DayBreaks for 06/12/12 – Lessons in Human Nature #2

DayBreaks for 06/12/12 – Lessons in Human Nature #2

Mt. 27:55 – 55 And many women who had come from Galilee with Jesus to care for him were watching from a distance.

The various descriptions of human behavior around, or at the time of the crucifixion, are fascinating.  Here, we learn that there were many women who were followers of Jesus (after all, they’d followed him all the way from Galilee to Jerusalem) were witnesses to the crucifixion.  This is not surprising, I suppose.  Just as in modern times, it seems that women are often the first to follow Jesus, and a visit to a local church will find more women than men in attendance.  So, first of all, let’s give women their due.  There is a great deal that we men can, and should, learn from them!

But here, we find the women “watching from a distance” – what a description!  Why were they at a distance?  It wasn’t apparently because women weren’t allowed to be close to the actual site, for Mary, Jesus’ mother, was at the foot of the cross.  I suspect it was a combination of fear and revulsion.

The revulsion part comes in to play at any gruesome scene.  Consider cars passing by a fatal accident on the road.  There is a fascination with what is going on, but does anyone really want to stick their head inside the car and witness the carnage if you don’t have to?  No.

The fear part is obvious.  Death and crucifixions were afoot.

The lesson here is this: we want to be involved with Jesus, to see him and his story and hear his words, but only from a distance.  When we get too close to Him, the temperature rises and the water gets hot, just as Peter learned in the courtyard of Pilate.  These women were most likely very interested and concerned about what was happening, but also terrified – Romans didn’t care if they crucified men, women or children – and these women may well have been terrified for their lives so it is hard to blame them.

That makes me ask: what would you and I have done?  Would we have been there at all?

PRAYER: Lord, I know you don’t want followers who follow at arm’s distance, but disciples who are covered in your dust, disciples who have your blood fall on them from the cross, not who stand at a distance.  Forgive us our quaking fears for our own safety over the advance of Your Kingdom.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 has just launched another project: to put in a water system for what will be the only pediatric hospital in all of Rwanda!  If you are interested in learning more, go to our blog: http://iam2.org/blog to read about it and learn how you can help! We are trying to raise up a massive army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us deliver this water system through our partner, BeyondPoverty.org.  The budget for this water system is $8300.  Every gift matters…and every gift is appreciated!  They ALL make a difference!

Also, don’t forget our other project, Bright Future Children’s Home.  You can read the latest update about them at the blog, too, and can help us move forward with the feeding, clean water and protection these 37 kids in Kenya need to not just live, but grow!!!  We still need to raise a bit over $4000 to fulfill our mission.  Donations are tax deductible for 2012.  If you prefer to send a check rather than give through PayPal, write it and mail it to: I Am 2 Partners, Inc., c/o 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092.

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DayBreaks for 06/28/11 – Avoiding Our Crucifixion

DayBreaks for 06/28/11 – Avoiding Our Crucifixion

NOTE: Galen is on Sabbatical until 7/11.  Until he returns, DayBreaks will be publishing prior devotions (that is, if Galen has access to the Internet!)  Thanks for your understanding!

Crucifixion, by Van Dyk

Matthew 26:39 – “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.

From Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane, it is clear that he wished for another way out – another way for man to be redeemed that would be less costly to him in personal terms.  Yet, he knew it wasn’t possible – there was no other way, and as a result, he laid down his own life, willingly and joyfully.  Even Jesus, as the son of David in his humanity, rebelled at the thought of the crucifixion.  Perhaps it is that very fact that makes his statement in Luke 9:23 so amazing: “Then he said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’

Jesus’ invitation is clear.  If we want to follow him, the price must be our lives.  Having been in a similar situation himself, facing a crucifixion, he hoped for another way out.  But there was no other way out for him, or for us.

I’m sure that Jesus didn’t make his statement in Luke 9:23 lightly.  Of course, at the time he spoke those words, he’d not yet faced his own crisis.  His crisis, I’m sure, was felt as deeply as we feel any of ours.  In many ways, his was much worse because he was beginning to feel the burden of the sin of the world in Gethsemane, the separation for God.  I can barely carry the weight of my own sin.

Satan has always been the patron “saint” of unholy self-interest.  He knows that, just as Jesus shrank back from the idea of the crucifixion, that we shrink back from the words of Jesus that tell us we share his destiny.  As Calvin Miller put it, “We sin when we try to picnic in Gethsemane.  Every time we refuse the cup of our own crucifixion, we serve the enemy of him whom we say we love.

Let’s stop trying to picnic in Gethsemane.  We’ve got a cross to bear.  It is the price of following Jesus.

Copyright 2001 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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