Sharon writes: "I am retired and enjoy spending time writing and being with the grandchildren. God has blessed me so much and I love reading His Word to know Him better."
Marj sat in the parking lot of the church. Strong memories caused a pain
that wracked her whole being. Not a physical pain, but a deep emotional
pain. She recalled her Dad’s outburst to her Mother, the last of many
arguments her parents had had. How her dad yelled at her mother that he
never wanted a kid.
“We could have gotten rid of her, but no, you wouldn’t do that. Now, here I am stuck in a marriage I hate and with a kid. This is all your doing!”
Marj shuddered as looked up to see her mom sobbing out of control. She hated her dad at that very moment. At least she knew why he drank all the time. She could not cry for the pain consuming here was so deep. This whole mess was because of her. They never wanted her. No one wanted her. What did she have to live for? She had no friends, for she was too ashamed of her parents to ever let anyone see how she lived. She hated her life.
She looked up to see she was in the parking lot of a church. Why? She had no idea. She took a deep breath, got out, and walked quickly inside. Her eyes were downcast as she rushed through the double doors. She looked up and saw a seat in the very back toward the exit. She slipped into the pew and sat huddles into her coat, trying to make herself invisible.
Music filled the room. It was different from any she had ever heard before. It was nice, yes, very nice. She closed her eyes and listened to the sweet sound surround her. She felt a peace. How long had it been since she felt this type of peace?
Marj was not exactly sure when the music stopped but she heard a man greeting the people.
“Good morning to you all. May I say you are all looking good this morning?” This brought a laugh from some. Today’s message is on the crucifixion, resurrection and love of our Lord, Jesus Christ. “
That announcement caused a rumble go through the church. He smiled widely and nodded. “Yes, you are right. But let me assure each of you this is not just an Easter message. This is a message of love.”
Marj wanted out of there but for some reason she just sat there and listened. She had no idea why.
The man continued, “All four of the Gospels tell us of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Today I want you to turn to Isaiah chapter 53. The prophet Isaiah wrote about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus 780 years before it took place. Can you imagine that? How could he do that? Let’s go on with the chapter and read just what it says. I am starting with verse one through seven. “Now, in verse one we see the Good News of salvation, the supernatural death of a King. In verse 2 we see that Jesus was born humble in a humble place. Jesus is completely God and completely human. The Son of man and deity. The Scripture tells us that He was nondescript. There was nothing about His appearance that made Him stand out.
In verse 3 we are told how He was rejected and despised by men. Verses 4-6 inform us that He took our sins and our shame. The major purpose of the cross was Jesus died as our substitute. He Jesus was quiet, for He took our shame upon Himself. Next we see where He took our separation. God, the Father turned His back on Jesus because our sins we put upon Him. The sinless lamb. Here we are told Jesus cried our “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani, which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Now In verses 9-10, Jesus took our suffering. First I want to inform you that the crosses that you see with a small amount of blood on his brow and wrists and feet are not at all how it was. Jesus was beaten by a whip with iron and sheep bones that tore at His flesh each time it struck him. His back was torn open. Many died after a beating such as he took. Then they put a crown of thorns on His head and repeatedly stuck his head with a staff causing excruciating pain while the spit upon him all the while.
Jesus was so weak; Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry the cross for Him. They led Him to Golgotha where He would be crucified. They offered him mixture of vinegar, gall and myrrh but he refused to drink. Stake-like nails were driven into his wrists and feet fastening him to the cross. He was crucified between two criminals.
Christ’s death provided the complete sacrifice for sin so now all people through Christ can approach the throne of grace.
Jesus died and arose on the third day. We serve a living God. He sits on the right hand of God, His father. Jesus is shown to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead. The only hope of this world is Jesus coming again.
Now, I want you all to listen to this, if you would had been the only person in the whole world; Jesus would have died for you. This is LOVE. He loves you that much!
Marj sobbed and sobbed. She never knew, No one ever told her. She felt an arm go around her shoulder and looked to see Shirley her neighbor. The sweet lady who always had a good morning and a smile for her.
The Pastor continued, if you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior, come to the front and we will pray with you.
Marj could barely stand up but she made it to the front with Shirley’s help. Between sobs, she asked Jesus to come into her life.
Marj’s life changed that day. Did everything become perfect? No not at all. But, she had a peace and someone who loved her no matter what. With Jesus she felt loved and whole. Her neighbor, Shirley was always there for her. She made friends with teens from the church.
As she set up the table for a snack after teen night she smiled. Marj no longer hated her dad, she prayed for both her parents daily. She prayed that his anger be changed to love, true love that only comes from Jesus Christ.
(© 2014 Sharon Niese – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)