Which are looking for?

Roman crucifixion was common during Jesus’ day. Thousands of people were killed in this way. It was one of the worst ways a person could die. The Romans perfected it.

In fact, the word excruciating literally means ‘out of the cross’. So next time you step on a Lego, you begin to understand how excruciating pain can be.

It seems, though, that only three men were crucified on, what we now call, Good Friday.

Two common criminals. Thieves, malefactors, deserters, traders; really, the worst of the human race. One hanging on each side of Jesus.

Three crosses that stood on a hill | Easter | Pinterest | Tatuagem jesus na  cruz, Tatuagem de santo, Jesus na cruz

An inspection of the words spoken by these two men can reveal many things. Here is Luke’s version:

From Luke 23:

39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 

41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. d ”

43Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”


The first one insulted Jesus. Matthew and Mark both record more of the conversation while John does not have any recorded words about these two rebels. But whatever gospel you read, the words are negative and hurtful. For what ever reason, this criminal was yelling at Jesus.

He was looking for the acceptance of the crowd.

And he was not alone. There were comments made by others. It would easy to imagine a small crowd gathering to watch the events unfold. Hecklers are always present in a crowd.

This first criminal was just one of the crowd. He probably got some nods of agreement with his words. But eternity tells a different story.

Enter the second criminal. This accused man was mark by an attitude far different from the first one.

He looks past Jesus and rebukes the first criminal. He realized that they were doomed. Yes, physically, but even more importantly, spiritually.

He then turns to the Savior and asks to be remembered into the Kingdom of heaven.

Jesus replies, as only a Savior could, that it will happen.

The second malefactor was looking for the acceptance of the Christ.


You and I are hanging on a cross today. We have lived our lives and now we are condemned. But we have a choice.

Regardless of what we have done or where we have done it, we can make the right choice.

Even if we don’t really know or understand all the specifics about faith, we can call on the name of Jesus.

Today can be the day of our salvation.

But it will never happen if we are looking for the acceptance of the crowd.

You can rest assured, however, that it will happen if we are looking for the acceptance of the Christ.

Chronicles, the 2nd

If you recall, the first post in Chronicles of Calvary, is about Simon.

Simon was ordered to carry the cross of Jesus. You can read about him here.

Surveying the Cross” Simon of Cyrene – Daily Encouragement

Let’s move on to the second person in these Chronicles.

The centurion at the cross would have been the soldier in charge of the executions. It was his duty to make sure that all was in order and finally, that the prisoners would perish.

In Mark 15, the centurion at the crucifixion plays a prominent roll. Here are a few verses:

37With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

38The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

39And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, c he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

40Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, d and Salome. 

41In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.

42It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, 

43Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 

44Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. 

45When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. 

The Long Good Friday: The Story of Longinus the Centurion | The Inglorius  Padre Steve's World

I bolded (is that the right word?) the verses that reference the centurion.

In 39, he made a proclamation. He was fortunate enough to be present at the most important moment in the history of the world. I think that he knew who that man was, hanging there on the cross.

Verse 45 tells us that he made a pronouncement. Pilate, the Roman ruler, wanted to know for sure, that Jesus had died. The centurion was responsible for that knowledge.

Isn’t it cool that we can learn from the centurion?

We can proclaim that Jesus is God’s son. He was divine and human while he lived on earth. That is information that we can confidently shout from the tallest mountain. Proclaim it today!

We can also pronounce that Jesus died…and is risen! Our faith is for nothing if Jesus never died. Because only in death, can he be risen. And that, is what Easter is all about.

Tomorrow’s post will compare the two thieves that were crucified with Jesus. God bless!

Shadows, the good kind.

Last week, we discussed how shadows can be harmful to our faith. We can be afraid of the shadows in life. But we also know that God is light and the shadows have no power against God. Click here if you want to read last week’s post.


Ponder your shadow for a moment.

Other than our vision, how else do we perceive a shadow?

You can’t touch it. Rather, it touches you. Do you feel it?

It makes no sound and you certainly can’t taste it.

But can a shadow interact with our physical world?

As with most (probably all things) things, we can look to God’s Word for some answers.

Dealing with shadows is no different.

Here are the verses in Acts that originally prompted me to write about shadows in the first place.

12The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” Acts 5:12-16 NIV

Did you catch v. 15? Apparently, there was power in Peter’s shadow!

I see a process here. If I may, let me break that process into each step.

  1. Verse 14 says that “more and more…believed…” God was doing miraculous work in peoples’ spiritual lives.
  2. Verse 15 states, “As a result…”. Result of what? The salvation that these people were experiencing. The people must have been thinking that God can heal physical issues as well as spiritual issues.
  3. Faith was being bolstered by the numbers of salvations. When people get saved, there is always rejoicing.
  4. Due to this new hardy faith, people were taking physical action. It seems that action will follow a decision.
  5. This action led them to find the disciples, specifically, Peter. Verse 12 explains the interest in find these men.
  6. Faith surpasses proximity. Peter did not even need to touch these people. God’s power finds people of faith.
  7. Physical healings took place. God will sometimes meet spiritual needs before physical needs. Other times, it is reveresed. Either way, it was evident that there was an outpouring of God’s power.
  8. God gets the glory. Regardless of how the healing happens or even if it spiritual or physical, God is the one who is doing the healing. Yes, Peter was involved but God only because God chose to use him in this moment.
St Peter Following St John As He Heals The Sick With Shadow" Paper Art,  34"x46" - Traditional - Prints And Posters - by Global Gallery

While we live through our days, we encounter negative shadows practically every day. But God is so faithful. He can turn bad, fearful, and scary shadows into live-giving shadows.

First of all, look to God. Desire Him, not what He can do.

Once we get that priority straight, God can start to move us through the process I described earlier.

Because God is all-powerful and equally mysterious, He will do what He wants, when He wants to.

Keep close to Him and enjoy the ride!

A life lived for God is never lived in disappointment!

H.E.L.P. part 4

This past week has been uplifting. I am going to share some experiences with you but in order to protect the individuals involved, I am calling them Friend.

But before I do, here are links to the earlier posts in this series. This post, H.E.L.P. part 4, will be the final post.

Consider the Source

H.E.L.P.

H.E.L.P. part 2

H.E.L.P. part 3


Alright, back to this week. As I have been discussing God’s help in our lives, I experienced that help first hand. Here are some events that showed me how God decided to help me this week.

Friend 1 – told me that my family’s return to church (we have been going back to church in person instead of watching online for two weeks now) makes it feel “normal” again

Friend 2 – came over with his chainsaw and helped me cut wood for the fireplace

Friend 3 – gave me a hug

Friend 4 – asked me how my novel is coming along (yes, I am writing a novel but I am not ready to share it with the general public)

Friend 5 – sought out my advice on some board games he was thinking of purchasing

Friend 6 (and his wife) – had my wife and I over for dinner

These are real examples of how my day was brightened or I was encouraged in my faith. I had divine help this past week and it came in the form of People

H – Holy Spirit

E – Ekklesia

L – Logos or Library

P – People

Have you ever had a person step into your world, at just the right moment, to lift your spirit?

Did you ever need a word of encouragement only to have your best friend call you?

It seems that Jesus is often disguised in human form.

In fact, the Word tells us that “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” John 1:14 NIV

God knew that we, as humans, could not comprehend the Divine. We needed flesh and blood.

Jesus was flesh and blood. And so are the people around us. And God uses them to help us.

So, to wrap up this little journey into divine help, we can know that God wants to and is able to help us whenever we need help. The question, then, is not a question of ‘will’ but ‘how’ will that help arrive.

Friends, stick close to Jesus. Look for Him and He will H.E.L.P.

God bless you!

Until next week!

H.E.L.P. part 3

Welcome to Terrific Thursday!

This week has been an abnormal week for me. Sometimes it feels nice to mix things up though.

Along with my week, I have been debating on which word to use for the letter L.

Click here to catch up with the first two posts if you are confused.

When you have two choices and both are good, how do you choose?

Dr. Pepper or Mountain Dew?

Swiss or Cheddar?

How do you choose?!?!

3 Ways to Choose Between Two Things - wikiHow

So, in light of this minor dilemna, I will not choose one or the other.

Both words will win!

H – Holy Spirit

E – Ekklesia

L – Logos or Library

P –

In John 1, we see this word Logos. Not english Logos but greek Logos. Both ekklesia and logos are greek words.

Logos is simply defined as a word (as embodying an idea), a statement, a speech.

But we can take it a step further.

word, being the expression of a thought; is preeminently used of Christ, expressing the thoughts of the Father through the Spirit.

This definition comes from here.

And now let’s connect this to the idea of God helping us.

God gives a word about Jesus, which is the expression of His thoughts, thus aiding us in our walk.

God uses Logos to reveal to us what He is thinking! The God of the Universe, Creator of all things is giving us a glimpse of His thought process. Wow!


The other word is Library. Right away, this seems to be no nearly as exciting as Logos but hang on. Let me show you something.

There are over 170 million items in the Library of Congress. Here is the website.

It is the largest library in the world.

With that in mind, let’s look at one more verse from John.

John 21:25 says, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” NIV

Understanding the magnitude of this means that Jesus is now the largest library in the world!

We could never exhaust the resource of Jesus.

So whether you prefer Logos or Library, it does not matter.

Both bring us to Jesus and He is the ultimate resource.

If you need help today, call on the name of Jesus. There, you will be satisfied.