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Sunday, April 14th, 2024
the Third Sunday after Easter
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Daily Devotionals
The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions
Devotional: April 14th

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April 14—Morning—John 19:30

"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, it is finished."—John 19:30.

Perhaps these words formed the sixth cry of the Lord Jesus on the cross. The glorious close of all his sufferings was now arrived; and full of these high ideas which occupied his holy mind, he cried out, "It is finished!" What is finished? Redemption-work is finished. All the long series of prophecies, visions, types, and the shadows of good things to come, which pointed to Jesus and redemption by him, were now finished in their accomplishment. The law was finished in its condemning power; and the gospel commenced its saving influence. Jesus, by that one sacrifice now offered, had for ever perfected them that are sanctified. The separation between Jew and gentile was now finished and done away for ever. Jesus had now "gathered together, in one, all the children of God which are scattered abroad." The iron reign of sin and Satan, of death and hell, were now broken in pieces by this stone cut out of the mountain without hands; and life and immortality, pardon, mercy, and peace, were brought to light, and secured to the faithful, by this finished redemption of the Lord Jesus Christ. The peace, the love, the favour of God the Father, was now obtained; and that spiritual kingdom of the Lord Jesus, which shall have no end, was from this moment set up in the hearts and minds of his people. The sure descent of the Holy Ghost was now confirmed; and the Lord Jesus already, by anticipation, beheld his Israel of old, and his gentile church, as well as Ethiopia and the multitude of the isles, stretching forth their hands unto. God. Full of these and the like glorious prospects the mind of Jesus was filled; and having received the vinegar, as the last prophecy remaining then to be completed, he cried out, "It is finished!" My soul, never let these precious, precious words of Jesus depart from thy mind. Do by them as Moses commanded Israel concerning the words he gave them; "let them be in thy heart, and in thy soul; bind them as a sign upon thine hand, and let them be as frontlets between thine eyes." Tell thy God and Father what thy Jesus hath told thee—"It is finished!" He hath finished redemption for thee; and He will finish redemption in thee. He hath destroyed death, both satisfied and glorified the law, taken away the curse, made full restitution for sin, brought in an everlasting righteousness, and opened the glorious mansions of the blessed as the home and rest of all his people. Oh my soul, let these dying words of thy Jesus be made by thee as an answer to all thy prayers, and begin that song to the Lamb, which ere long, thou wilt fully and loudly sing among the church above—"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood."

April 14—Evening—Luke 23:35-37

"And the people stood beholding; and the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, and saying, if thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself."—Luke 23:35-37.

My soul! thou art not tired, I hope, of taking thy stand, night by night, and morning by morning, at the foot of the cross. Surely it is blessed to sit down by the fountain, which was opened by the soldier’s spear, in the heart of Jesus, and contemplate, one by one, the mercies which flow in it to the souls of his redeemed. There are more to be seen, more to be discovered at every renewed review; for in the death of Christ, is the life of the soul. It is not the smallest part of the excellencies which Jesus discovered in his death, that it was "the death of the cross;" for the apostle joins this with his sufferings. He not only endured the cross, but he despised the shame; and yet that shame, in all the parts of it, forms a wonderful branch in the subject. My soul! look at the cross in this point of view, and see whether thou wilt not draw sweet consolation from it, under the grand consideration, that as thy sins have caused shame before God, so the shame thy blessed Surety endured, has more than made satisfaction to the divine glory. Behold the people, with the rulers, deriding Christ with taunts and reproaches; and even the Roman soldiers mocking Jesus, though they knew him not. Indeed, every thing in Christ became the subject of their resentment. Through his whole life, this had been the case; and now, in the close of it, the whole is summoned up into the most finished contempt. His person most daringly despised: "if he be the Son of God, let God save him if he will have him," say they! His offices blasphemed: "art thou a king then," said Pilate, in the most sovereign contempt. "If thou be the King of Israel," said the rabble," save thyself and come down from the cross." "Prophecy, thou Christ," said one of them in the hall," who is he that smote thee. "And as a priest, when Jesus was stretched forth on the cross, as in the act of blessing, and truly in the act of dying for them, the taunt was, "He saved others, himself he cannot save." Thus the Lord of life and glory, as the prophet had foretold, hid not his face from shame and spitting! And, as if to crown all with the highest possible instance of shame and disgrace, while the multitude counted him for a deceiver, and all his disciples forsook him and fled, as from a person with whom it was dangerous to be found, he is hung up as a malefactor, and that between two thieves; yea, God himself allowed him, nay, appointed him to be reckoned among the transgressors. Pause, my soul, over this blissful subject; and most blessed it is, when Christ is thus beheld in relation to his people. For surely whatever shame and confusion of face is the sinner’s, due by reason of sin, the Lord Jesus hath fully paid it, yea, more than paid it, as the sinner’s representative. And herein is that scripture completely explained and applied: "Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins." Surely this was literally and truly the case in the person of her Almighty Surety and Representative, when Jesus endured the cross, and bore the shame for all his people!

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