Trying Jesus

Luke 22, 23

Futile case

Spurred by men

To try the Son of God

Again

Finding guilt

In Him they tried

And would not stop

Until He died

To make the point

Of God blasphemed

The men against His own Son

Screamed

Over, over

And over, they said

He’s an imposter

We want Him dead

How many?  Seven?

Seven times

Led to the judgement

Of no crimes

The leaders should have

Called Him Lord

But they betrayed

Called for the sword

That soldiers bring Him

To their court

Then priests and scribes

Came up short

They could not trick Him

Into saying

He was God.

They were playing

A game

He did not answer who He was

They would, though,

Because

Innocence

Highest Sacrifice

Must give Himself

To pay our price.

 

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

 

Image result for house of caiaphas high priest

http://www.biblewalks.com The House of Caiaphas, the high priest, in Jerusalem.

Losing Wait

Job was a patient man

The most that ever lived

I wonder if we can

Come close.

 

We think we have it bad

Waiting, contemplating

What might turn out to be sad

What may never happen.

 

But during the wait?

We become stronger

Forgetting our imagined fate

Turning thoughts toward Him.

 

Lose the wait?

Instead seek eternalness

Think in the higher state

Where God is.

 

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

 

The Western Wall, Jerusalem

 

 

 

Test of Faith

“Simon,” said Christ twice, emphasizing

“Satan asked to sift you like wheat,”

He prayed the disciples’ faith would not fail

After washing their dust-covered feet.

 

The ruler should serve his subjects

Waiters greater than their lead

Reward would come at a later time

The plant, after the seed.

 

The twelve would judge the twelve

Tribes from each of their thrones

Like the prophet Ezekiel had seen,

A nation resurrected of bones.

 

But Simon was sorely tested

In the hour when need was the most

He denied he knew the Son of God

Leader of Heavenly Hosts.

 

Once, twice, and again!

How could he do it?  Why?

Simon Peter refused to believe

He would ever His King deny.

 

Why, he’d trail his Master to prison

Or to death if it were required

And not then, but much later in time

The vow finally transpired.

 

Faith tested.  Not conquered.  Intact

Jesus explained it must be so

He gave them a visible, audible sign

Distinct: a rooster’s crow.

 

Before leaving the room Jesus told them

They would from then on provide

Supply, protect their brothers

After He suffered and died.

 

The Scriptures foretold a new age

Messianic predictions fulfilled

After Jesus poured out “His life unto death”

His precious, holy king’s blood spilled.

 

And the lessons, for us, abounding

This pattern of self-centeredness

Should change, and our faith will be strengthened

In lives which God promised to bless.

 

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

 

Photo: The Church of All Nations at the Garden of Gethsemane

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When Darkness Reigns

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“This is your hour,” the Master said

To His betrayer, who would see Him dead

The others, enraged, tried to fight back

Then Jesus healed the results of attack.

 

He did not desire to be taken this way

But gave in to his Father’s will as he prayed

In the Garden.  An angel helped Him be strong

That He could endure to right the great wrong

 

Of sin.  Though darkness’s prince reigned that hour

He’d never maintain it, never devour

Believers in Christ, never crush them again

They’d never experience one moment when

 

Satan was the winner.  And he will not be

Because Christ sacrificed so we could be free

It was his cup, He told them, in pain

His death was our life — His agony our gain.

 

It won’t be forever, this darkness we see

The hour will pass and eternity

Will blot out all memories of past suffering.

Death, not the victor, finally void of its sting.

 

Poem Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

 

Luke 22:39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Luke 22:45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” 47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. 52 hen Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? 53 Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.”

Photo: The Garden of Gethsemane, Jerusalem.

Bear the Load

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Romans 15: 1-7

In Christ, we’re free
But cautious should be
Toward others.

.

Judging seems the easy part
However, freedom from the heart
Nurtures sisters and brothers.

 

God gave parameters for what not to enter in:

Sin.

All else may be disputed.

 

We agree to disagree
And leave to those in authority
To approve or refute it.

 

So appease the weak
Not pleasing yourself as you speak
Not tearing down, but building others up.

 

Jesus takes brunt for us
Of words that are an affront to us
They fall on Him.  That is His cup.

 

Let’s help bear the load
For those who walk the road
After the One heaven-sent.

 

Scripture cites endurance.
We need no other assurance
Than our Creator’s encouragement.

 

He passes hope to us.  In a voice of one
Praise the Father,
Spirit,                                                                                                                             Son.

 

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

Photo: Church of the Beatitudes, Galilee

 

 

Return

Ezekiel 37: 1-3, Matthew 24: 32-34, Acts 2:19-20

Wonders in heaven and signs on earth
Will show us when the time is near
The fig tree, Israel, will bloom
A notice that summer will soon be here.

God once showed Ezekiel bones
Away, deep down in a valley
The heap was the nation of Israel
The prophet translated what was to be.

Our Maker will bring them back, these bones
Life and Spirit breathed on them
Israel will be in its land
A formidable force once again.

Should we be afraid?  No.  He is Lord
With complete control over all
Israel, finished?  No, the people
Had suffered just another fall.

God’s reasons we don’t understand
But He gave us seasons to show
His chosen’s return when they approach
For one last time, the foe.

Know that we are part of the plan                                                                          Stand safe, confident
Do your best.  Do all you can.                                                                                   He will show us what He meant.

Follow His commands and show His love
Each moment in His Son’s light
Instead of darkness.  Like His people
To the end, keep up the fight.

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

Image result for fig tree

A fig tree.  http://www.copiosa.org

 

Ten

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God wrote on stone

His own

Commandments.

 

Before Moses could reveal them,

The people God chose turned against Him

And made golden idols.

 

Moses stood with God again

On the same mountain

For forty days and nights.

 

The Lord made a convenant

By Moses sent

To Israel.

 

“You shall have no other gods before Me

You shall not make idols

Or misuse My Name.”

 

“You shall keep the Sabbath holy

Honor your fathers and mothers

Never murder.”

 

“You shall not commit adultery

Steal or lie

You shall not covet.”

 

Later His Son added,

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

 

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

 

Photo: replica of the Seat of Moses in Israel

Leaving

Ezekiel 10: 18-23

 

God was forgotten.

His glory left

The temple’s rubble

With no one bereft.

 

He rose from the threshold

And stopped just above

The cherubim.

Where was the love

 

The people had had

For the Most High?

Not one showed it

Not even a sigh.

 

Winged creatures and wheels

Flew to the gate

God’s glory over them

His power innate.

 

Again, nothing.

No protest

The Creator was leaving

The people He’d blessed.

 

Who’d worship Him now,

And where?

The temple was empty

The land in despair.

 

East of the city

He stopped at a mount

His people carried off

Seventy years forward to count.

 

God wouldn’t return

Till the moment His Son

Walked the road

To Jerusalem.

 

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

 

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Treasure

Proverbs 22:9, Matthew 25:35, 2 Corinthians 9:9, I Timothy 6:18-19

In appreciation of our friends at Food for the Hungry

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

 

Look at the face, joy evident

Of a beautiful child, heaven-sent

To parents who care but can’t provide

Enough on which to subside.

 

We can take opportunity

To help ones in poverty

In a landscape far away from here

So hunger will not be something to fear.

 

Saving up a lot of stuff

In a cache, never enough

Will never be real treasure

For it uses an opposite measure.

 

What matters is relationship

Discovered by people on a trip

To a place hot, arid, and poor

Where the norm is to live on a dirt floor.

 

They give back to us,

Our spiritual hunger satisfied thus.

They love unconditionally

And our needs are met to a higher degree.

 

“I was hungry and you fed me,” they said

“You fed me,” we answer instead

An honor forever our deeds will be

This is what sets us free.

 

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

Steps of Stone

Steps of stone top one another

Inside the wall of the old town

O’er the ages groaning with

The weight of beings bearing down.

 

David, king, wished a home

For the Ark to be at rest

As a warrior, he could not make it;

So bid his son to do his best.

 

“It endures forever – God’s love!”

In the temple lined with gilt

Rightly, prayerfully, dedicated,

For “The Great I Am” was built.

 

Solomon’s wisdom in the past,

Jerusalem in Judah’s realm

Northern Kingdom, Israel

Numbered ten tribes at the helm.

 

By Nebuchadnezzar and his army

Battered steps would soon be found

God’s chosen exiled, to Babylon

The stones scattered over the ground.

 

Persians conquered, a nation freed

It went back home to build anew

The second temple rose from rubble

A testament for every Jew.

 

Then the Greeks of Alexander

Brought their culture in a trample

Maccabees came to the rescue,

Purged and purified the temple.

 

Herod stretched the Temple Mount

The steps now Roman; the stones now theirs

And –- came God’s Son!  For the city cried

And then died, to make us heirs.

 

Persian, Muslim empires ruled

God’s people went into decline

More armies, large, determined

Took the walls in Palestine.

 

Foreign rulers held the stones

Until Crusaders filed in

Sacrificing limb and life

For God, a holy war to win.

 

Then — four hundred years of sultans,

Ottoman Turks of Istanbul

Steamships bringing travelers

Prosperity, suffering in this rule.

 

To the British went the spoils

Of a horror: worldwide war

Expansion of the island kingdom

One more sovereign, gaining more.

 

Finally!  Home!  The people came

Conflict first, among the camps.

Agreements, but then more fighting

Always facing terror rants.

 

Whose will be the final footsteps

Above the staircase hewn from stone?

God has promised, and we know that

It is Jesus, Christ, alone!

 

“His love endures forever!”

 

Poem Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

 

II Chronicles 5: 18: “But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!

 

Psalm 125: 2: “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, both now and forevermore.”

 

Ezekiel 48:35: “…And the name of the city will be, ‘The Lord is There.’”

 

Zechariah 8: 3: “Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city…”

 

Matthew 24: 2 “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

 

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Ancient steps in Jerusalem