This year, as I have four of the past six years, I’ve been using John MacArthur’s devotional book, Strength for Today as my devotional guide for my morning quiet times with God. This month will be no exception. For introduction to this month’s focus, however, let me say before I begin journaling my devotional thoughts, that MacArthur will be highlighting Christ’s passion this month, probably because Easter usually occurs in April. So, having been through this month of devotionals for several years now, I know I’m going to get a lot closer to knowing my Lord from this study; and I pray that you will too if you follow along. … wrb
A Year of Daily Devotionals: A Journal by Bill Berry … April, 2008
Passage of the Day: Matthew 26: 2 …1 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2 "As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified."
My Journal for Today: The cross of Christ, about which Jesus informed His Disciples shortly before that fateful Passover celebration [see Matt. 26: 1-2], is the fulcrum of human history. It is the crossroads of redemption for mankind to which the Apostle Paul declared, (in 1st Cor. 2: 2) …” For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified;” … and in 1st Cor. 5: 7 … “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” Everything we believe as Christians rests on the truth of what happened on that cross at Calvary and the reality of Christ’s resurrection.
Jesus, in a Spirit inspired word of knowledge from the Father, knew that His walk on earth, especially those awe inspiring times of Passover during His Passion, was totally determined by His Father’s sovereign time table. Yes, Jesus had complete control over His walk (see John 10: 17 – 18). However, Jesus walked in total surrender to the Sovereign plan of God, the Father.
John, the Baptist, had certainly recognized that his cousin, Jesus, was “THE ONE” Who came to save mankind (see John 1: 29); and later Luke wrote of how all of the players in Christ’s pre-scripted passion played their parts – in total free-will – to bring about God’s redemptive plan for His church and for all of mankind (see Acts 2: 22 – 24) …
SCRIPTURE: Acts 2: 22 …"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through Him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing Him to the cross. 24 But God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him.
And one can see through history, the glorious coming together of all of these events at the time of Christ’s final Passover in that fate-filled time of the world to display the panorama of God’s scheme for His church – all of it known from the foundation of time (see 1st Peter 1: 20).
And it was all for me (and you)!
My Prayer Today: Hallelujah, my Lord! You died for me! Amen
Administrative note … Again this month, I will be quoting Scriptures in the body of my journal entries, which may require you to look up these passages if you’re serious about the passages which you don’t know “by heart.” A very good website to have ready if you’re following along with my entries online is BibleGateway.com [linked here], which will allow you to look up the passage in the version of the Bible you prefer.