Mediator

Sunday – December 15

Advent Reading: 1 Timothy 2:1-7

I have recurring dreams in which I am helplessly lost in the midst of crowds of people. These turn into long, restless nights where the scenes play out before me as I just keep pushing toward what I know is a familiar way out. Only, the night ends and I am still pushing for the way! As the day dawns, I can feel some hopePicture15 that all will be well – even though I am still lost – because the light always brings hope. But what also helps is that sometimes, in these dreams, I get a glimpse of a familiar face and I realize that someone has been looking for me all along! This scenario is what I think of when I think of Jesus as Mediator. He is that familiar face that was seeking me because He knew the only way home and wanted desperately for me to find it, too. Our scripture states clearly that there is only one God and only one mediator between God and men – that mediator is Christ. We are all living life seeking answers. We don’t always realize that it is God whom we are seeking, and the only One who can take our hand and lead us to God is Jesus.

In the beginning of 2019, I was led to these verses in 1 Timothy 2:1 when I was seeking direction as to how to pray for a certain three loved ones whom God had laid on my heart. I made a note to “plead for God’s mercy upon them and give thanks for all He is going to do for them.” That wasn’t what I expected God to say, but I find peace in this practice and an assurance that it will bear fruit. Actually, God wants us to also pray this way for all leaders and those in authority over us . . . because He wants us all to come to Him and find the true path. It occurs to me that I am becoming a “mediator” between the needy and the true Mediator – Jesus. It is almost like a teacher’s aide . . . .

I wonder if we realize that all Christians are called to do this very thing – to point to the Mediator, who will bring them right into the presence of God. I am so very thankful for the many believers who have interceded for me, who told me about God and His plan. They are still interceding for me, I believe, either here or in Heaven where they wait for that glad reunion! This Christmas, as we celebrate the arrival of our Mediator, let’s make a list of those who need to hear this news. Write their names above  1 Timothy 2:1 in your Bible or in your prayer journal – or post it somewhere where you will see it daily. In this way, you will possibly be bringing Christmas anew or providing a way out of the darkness and lost-ness that envelop so many today.

 

The Way

Saturday – December 14

Advent Reading: Isaiah 35:8-10

People in positions of leadership have the “right”, if they so choose, to say, “Because I said so. . .” Humanly speaking, in this new age, most will expect to have to explain and defend their words, when challenged. Jesus, however, was never on that plane. What He said stands – whether you like it or not. Take, forPicture14 instance, “I am the way . . . no one can get to the Father except by means of me.”  Lots of people have other ideas, lately, and choose to dispute His words. Doesn’t matter. . .He said so and that’s it! He’s not being mean – just stating the facts. If you want truth, life, and Heaven, then you have only one choice. I like it when someone is honest and up front with me, and I am happy to take Jesus at His word. He came from His position with the Father just to provide a solution to the darkness that was in the world – He knew what He was talking about and I accept that.

For me, clear instructions and a clearly laid out path have always provided security and peace, assuming I know and believe in the source. When I first began to walk on the narrow path (the Jesus path), I was filled with an overwhelming assurance, inside and outside, that this was truly the way to truth and real life. After 64 years, I still have that assurance – and it has proven to be right! Only in Him is there satisfaction, peace, joy, love, understanding, wisdom, purpose – and so much more. Isaiah 35:8-10 wonderfully describes this path that goes through our parched land – We “ransomed of the Lord will go with singing into Zion and everlasting joy will be upon our heads.” This is the holy highway, the Jesus path, and the only way to God!

This Christmas, pay special attention to the songs of the season. Sing of His birth, and teach them to your children and grandchildren. And then keep on singing all the songs that tell how He came to save you and to point the way to God. Tell how, on Easter, He finished the work God gave Him to do. The story began so long ago, but in you and me, it continues – don’t let it be forgotten in our generation.

 

The Gate

Friday – December 13

Advent Reading: John 10:7-10

Gates or doors are very important and sometimes even vital parts of a building or enclosed area. That is how we and anything else gets into and out of the area we are concerned with.  The words are ingress or egress. However, that is not allPicture13 gates/doors are vital for. They are also important from the aspect of protection. They are the way in, the way out, and provide protection for whatever is in the confined area.

This name or “face” or description of Jesus is certainly one of the better known descriptions of who Jesus is. John’s Gospel is famous in part for The “Great I Ams” of Jesus, including this one. All seven “I Ams” are included in this series of Advent devotionals. It is certain no list of His names would be complete without them. These are His own declarations of who He is according to the Apostle John.

It wouldn’t be difficult at all for each of us at this point to take pen or pencil in hand and write down all the ways this description of Jesus as The Gate or Door could have impact on us individually and even collectively. We are not talking merely about an opening but a space that can also be closed off to keep things in or out of the area that concerns us. At the beginning of the 10th chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus is talking about a shepherd’s responsibility for the sheep in the sheepfold. He then goes on to say that He is the Gate/Door. A few verses later on he states He is the Good Shepherd. In fact, He states it twice – in verses 11 and 14. Often a sheepfold was simply a walled in area with an opening for the sheep and shepherd to go in and out. The shepherd was often actually the “gate” as he would lay across the opening to prevent sheep from coming back out or anything or anyone dangerous from getting into the sheepfold to harm the sheep. Jesus actually had a lot to say about sheep and His relationship to them. I think that would make a good Bible study all by itself!

What about this “face” of Jesus! How does this description of Jesus as The Gate impact you? Have you recognized His great desire to protect and defend you? How does this speak to His great love for you? We are the sheep of His pasture, of His sheepfold, so He is always there to watch over us. When Jesus calls any of us to be “under-shepherds” and work for Him in caring for His sheep (God’s people); are our responsibilities any different, except perhaps in intensity remembering His role as Shepherd over each one as well? It can be odd thinking of us as both sheep and shepherds, can’t it?  Whether or not we recognize it, we are all (as believers) both sheep and shepherd. God often uses any of us to mentor and help other believers mature in the faith. But, the important thing here today for this devotional is that Jesus is The Gate.  Is He really your gate? Or, are you trying to be your own gate? Let Jesus be The Gate and you can focus on being the very best sheep you can be with your Shepherd’s help!

Branch

Thursday – December 12

Advent Reading: Isaiah 11:1-10

This is a reference to the lineage of the Messiah. This time He is referred to as a branch from the Root of Jesse. Jesse is in reference to the father of David, second king of Israel, after God disowned Saul as king. This means that Jesse was in thePicture12 lineage through which the Messiah was to come.  The “branch” is that part that shows above the “root” of a tree, or plant. It draws its sustenance from the root. It is a portion of the major “growing” portion of a plant or tree. Thinking in terms of a tree makes it much more meaningful.

A “branch” is much more visible than a “root”, correct? In fact, our scripture text says it “(Branch of the Lord) shall be beautiful and glorious!” One of the newer worship songs we sometimes sing together calls Jesus, “Beautiful!” “Beautiful! Beautiful! Jesus is Beautiful . . .” It seems that the prophet is referring to the Messiah as a visible expression of God’s love and concern for those who He will come among. He is not only beautiful but “glorious!” The branch is what spreads life from the root into the rest of the tree or vine. It is the visible presence of life and highlights the glory of God to those who look upon it.

The Branch is an integral, visible and glorious part of the whole; in fact it represents the whole because it is the part that is seen most. It is also what holds the fruit for which the tree or vine was planted in the first place. Thus, there are several applications of Branch to be presented. In a real sense, He (Jesus), as Branch, is the most visible part of the Godhead.

This “face” of the Messiah presents us with a picture of Jesus as a visible representation of God and in reality also of life.  What better representation of life could there be than a living Branch? Is He the Branch from which you hang as fruit? Can you see that?

 

Redeemer

Wednesday – December 11

Advent Reading: Psalm 130

Growing up with Saturday morning cartoons, you may remember the super hero, “Mighty Mouse”, where each episode began with him flying in to the tune of, “Here I Come to Save the Day!”  If you can picture that, it reminds me of our scripture for today, both Psalm 130 and Isaiah 59:20. In both cases we read ofPicture11 how God looked down and saw evil and the pain it caused. He was so moved with compassion that He, Himself, stepped in to save us, through His mighty power and justice. The Living Translation says, “. . . He is loving and kind, and comes to us with armloads of salvation. He Himself will ransom Israel from slavery to sin.” So that is what Christmas is really all about – our redemption and a new relationship with God! Sure the little baby coming at Christmas (we all love little babies!) was a marvelous way to begin the process of God becoming man, but all those years later, when Easter came, we finally understood the magnitude of our mighty super hero  coming to save the day!

Do you ever picture Jesus as a hero? A few years ago, on a sleepless night, the song, “Did You Ever Know that you’re My Hero?” kept crowding my mind. I got up to make a list of those to whom I could sing that song – but when all was said and done, I realized that no one but Jesus would fit the bill. He is the only one perfect in every way, and while I have other legitimate “heroes”, only He is flawless. And so on Christmas, that is why He had to come to be our hero-redeemer. God required a perfect sacrifice for our sins, and only Jesus met the criteria.

So what do we do for a hero? (1) We highly esteem him and aspire to be like him. (2) We hold him up as an example to the next generation. (3) We do all we can to keep his memory from fading as the years go on. Is this your regular Christmas celebration? If not, try to do all these things this year – at least those three, and more, if you think of some. At the very least, make the Crèche a primary focus, and use it to draw attention as you read Luke2:1-20. The coming of the “original”, real, super hero is a day for joy and thanksgiving! We have been redeemed!

 

Morning Star

Tuesday – December 10

Advent Reading: Genesis 15:1-6

I have had a change of heart recently about mornings. For many years I have been glad to be “early to bed and early to rise.” I have built a very satisfying schedule around that practice and assumed it would not be changing any timePicture10 soon, but all of a sudden I find myself sleeping in several days a week and wishing I could do it all seven! Gasp! You know what still makes it easier to greet the morn, though? It is when the morning light comes in the window!

I think my spiritual life is mirroring my daily life these days. I have been willing to “sleep in” and I’m beginning to feel the loss of a bright and sunny attitude and outlook. One of our scriptures for today says, in part, “when you consider the wonderful truth of the prophets’ words, the light will dawn in your soul and Christ the morning star will shine in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19, TLB). This Advent I have decided to concentrate on how the Old Testament prophets’ words all came true, and what it means to me that Christ’s earthly coming was foretold long before He actually came on the scene. The more I think on these things, the brighter He shines and the more “awake” I become! It may seem like a small start, but Christ is becoming a morning star, shining in my heart and giving me a new way to worship Him. I feel a stronger connection than ever to those who have gone before me – from the patriarchs to the 12 disciples, to my own mentors – Christmas truly connects us to all that matters. So, no matter if I begin to awaken early again, or not, this Advent season, spiritually, the Star will awaken in me the excitement of knowing the Bridge (Christ) and walking with Him on the path to find fulfillment. The future now looks bright because I can see where I’ve been and where I’m heading.

Does this speak to you in 2019, or has a different “face” of God piqued your interest? I’ve been thinking a lot about the different stages of life that we go through – both physically and spiritually. One stage is not necessarily better than another just different. We grow and change in each new stage but the point is to keep on heading toward being like Christ.

So far, this season, I have seen Christ as the one who is and always will be. I have seen Him as my shepherd who leads, guards , and protects and cares for me – and I want to be always in His flock. And I have recognized Him as the one who shines a light on the past to point me toward the things that matter. How has He appeared to you this season of your life? Write it down and begin your own journal of the faces of God that you are seeing in your current life. I promise you, it will change your Christmas!

 

Bread of Life

Monday – December 9

Advent Reading: John 6:44-51

I have loved bread all my life, especially my mom’s homemade bread! It was thick and sweet and the crust was the best part! When I had labored for two and a half days to deliver my first-born, and was finally able to eat, theyPicture9 offered me anything I wanted. My response – “Just some nicely browned toast and coffee!” There is nothing better, in my world. Now that I have Type II Diabetes, my choice is always Sourdough, because it tests the best, and I enjoy the taste. Even so, this kind of bread has no special qualities or effects like the bread that Jesus speaks of in John 6. He refers to Himself as The Bread of Life and says that whoever eats it (believes on Him) will live forever! I want that kind of bread, even more than I desire Sourdough. He says that He came down from Heaven to do the will of God, which is to share the plan of salvation for all who believe, and to raise them to eternal life at the last day – all this from His “bread”! Let’s have the whole Loaf, then!

When Jesus becomes Life to a believer, everything changes. What used to satisfy, no longer does – you long for the real thing. The places you go, the entertainment you choose, the people you are close to – all these things are filtered through the lens of “better things.” Once you have tasted the real thing there’s no desire to accept less. Of the many ways that Jesus reveals Himself to me, this is the most important – that He is Life to me, both now and eternally. Because I eat of this Bread of Life, I long for (and receive) His shepherd care, His Light to guide my way, His compassionate Love, and so much more! This Christmas I have already received the best gift of all – HIM and all that He is. How I desire that I could pass this gift on to everyone on my list. Unfortunately, many will not accept it – preferring the store-bought bread over the real stuff!

As you consider gift-giving this year, why not consider mini-loaves of home-made bread (yours or someone else’s) wrapped and tagged with John 6:48 and a small testimony of what He means to you. Perhaps it will stir some heart to re-think what Christmas is all about.

 

Lamb of God – Sunday Sermon

Sunday – December 8

Sunday Sermon – Second Sunday in Advent

Kamal Saleem is an author who wrote a book called, “The Blood of Lambs” in 2009. In it he describes his life as a terrorist and how he hated Israel andLamb of God - Scripture Logo America. He also couldn’t stand Christians–that is, until God brought some Christian men into his life after he had a serious car accident. He saw how the Christian God answered prayer and so he cried out in desperation: “Allah, I want to hear that you love me. If you are real, speak to me.” He writes: “I poured all my hope and faith into my prayer. But there was only silence. Stillness…A deep sadness engulfed me. My whole life had been a vain masquerade…Empty and void.” In despair he thought about using one of his many weapons to kill himself but then decided to call on the true God with these words: “If you are real, I want to know you!”

Kamal had a vision and heard these words, “I am the Alpha and the Omega. I have known you since before the foundation of the world.” Kamal answered, “My Lord, I will live and die for you!” And then he heard something that forever changed him: “Do not die for me. I died for you that you may live.” He writes: “At that moment I knew I met the Christian God. I knew I had met my Creator. There was no turning back.”

“Do not die for me. I died for you that you may live.” This Advent season we are looking at a few of the many names of Jesus found throughout the Old and New Testaments. Names are important and each name given for Jesus offers something vital God wants to communicate to us about Him. Today’s name comes from John 1:29. It says, 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus is the Lamb of God.

I want to take us back a ways to help us understand the importance of this name. In Genesis 22 we have the story of Abraham and Isaac. You remember Isaac? The child of promise? Of course you remember this story as well. God calls upon Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac to Him. God was testing Abraham and Abraham trusted in God, despite this unusual demand. It probably wasn’t too uncommon with other religions at the time but we really don’t see this kind of desire from the real and only true God. We don’t really know all that crossed through Abraham’s mind during this event. In fact, the retelling of the event has a wonderfully direct and simplistic form to it. God told Abraham to go to such and such a mountain and, there, sacrifice his son Isaac to Him. Abraham doesn’t doddle. He gets up first thing in the morning and they all head to the mountain. It takes three days to get there. Did you catch that? 3 days.

On the third day they arrive at the mountain and Isaac asks a very poignant question. Here’s what it says in Genesis 22:6-8: So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.”

“Where is the lamb?” He says. “My son, God will provide the lamb,” says Abraham. Isaac was the child of promise because he was promised by God to Abraham and Sarah. He promised in order to fulfill the promise God had made to make Abraham’s offspring into a nation. Isaac, then, represents not just the continuation of the line of Abraham but also the coming of the Messiah, who was to come through his line. So God stays the knife of Abraham. Isaac, a human, and therefore blemished sacrifice, was set free and another sacrifice was provided in his stead.

I know the questions on your mind. Why would God do this? Why put Abraham through this if he never had the intention of carrying it through? In reality, God knows everything. He’s omniscient. He knows what Abraham’s going to do before he does it. He knows Abraham will follow his command all the way up that mountain and through the plunging of the knife that would end the life of his son. So why did this story happen? Well, first, because Abraham needed it. This was, first, a spiritual experience for him that would prepare him for everything to come. It was a step of obedience and you shouldn’t be surprised when God places opportunities for obedience in your path, either.

Secondly, Abraham’s act of obedience is to help everyone understand there was a real sacrifice needed for our sin but sacrificing Isaac would never have fulfilled that need. Embedded within this story is a prophecy of the coming Messiah and the reality of what He was here to do. Abraham’s son could never do it; only the Son of God could be the spotless Lamb offered as the sacrifice for the sins of the world. Jesus is the Lamb of God.

1 Peter 1:17-21 says, 17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”

We need Jesus. We need the Lamb of God. He is the sacrifice for our sins. His blood is what washes our sins away. Romans 5:6-11 says, For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” “Father, where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” Isaac could never do that but Jesus could. “Son, God will provide the lamb.” Jesus is the Lamb of God.

So when John sees Jesus coming he points at him and calls him the “Lamb of God.” It was the lamb’s blood, smeared on the door posts, that kept the Angel of Death from stopping at their homes as the Egyptian households lost their firstborn sons. It was a lamb that was offered as a daily sacrifice in the temple each morning and evening. It was a lamb, silently led to the slaughter, that was used as a prophecy of the Messiah to come in Isaiah 53:7. It was the sacrificial Lamb of God that now turns away the wrath of God and saves sinners, like you and me, from the eternal death we deserve.

In his book “Eternity in their Hearts” Don Richardson, a Missionary, writes of cultural compasses in other cultures and their languages that point to one and only one person, Jesus, preparing the way for the Gospel to be heard.

He tells the story of Robert Morrison who landed in China in 1807 and began to translate the Scriptures into the Chinese language with the help of a Chinese man with a limited English vocabulary. Chinese uses more than 200 pictures to combine in different ways to make Chinese words. When they got to the word righteous, he asked how to translate it and when his Chinese helper wrote the word in Chinese, Robert Morrison saw him use two symbols. On top was a picture of a lamb and on the bottom was the symbol for I, first person singular. So when the Chinese were writing the word righteous, they were writing theLamb over Me symbols which mean the lamb over me. Jesus, the Lamb of God, spoke through the Chinese language and that became the cornerstone for Robert Morrison introducing them to Jesus, the lamb under whom you and I are found to be righteous.

This led him to study the language even more intently to discover other signs within their language and he found more than 120 other spiritually significant messages of the Gospel within the Chinese language. So Robert Morrison discovered these symbols within their own Chinese language and used them to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.

He’s your Lamb. He’s my Lamb. He’s our righteousness. Jesus is the Lamb of God. He died for you that you may live.

Lamb of God

Sunday – December 8

Advent Reading: Romans 5:1-11

What an interesting way to speak of the Son of God! John the Baptist speaks of Jesus as the “Lamb of God.” It is a descriptive phrase for sure. What could be the meaning of calling Him God’s Lamb? What reason is there for this? Well, a lambPicture8 represented many things to the people of that day. It could be a source of food for certain. It would eventually provide wool for clothing. It could be used in bartering for other needs its owner might have. And, if considered a perfect lamb, it could become a sacrifice on the altar for the sins of an individual, a family, and even a nation. Now, I wonder which representation works best in this narrative.

It is obvious from the rest of the words of John the Baptist that he is referring to this Lamb as a sacrificial lamb. But, this isn’t just any “perfect” lamb but rather the Son of God who was to become the PERFECT sacrificial Lamb. This Lamb was meant to die as a sacrifice for the sin of the world.  Really obvious, isn’t it? This reference is for a perfect Lamb, chosen by God Himself, to be the sacrifice for the sin of the world. Notice the wording -–not for the sin of Israel (I’m sure they were sinful.) but for the WORLD. This raised the stakes, so to speak, beyond the people of Israel. Now God is doing something very special for the whole world! John the Baptist is prophesying here that Jesus would be the sacrifice for the sin of the whole world. It is not just Israel that will have their sin problem taken care of (they are included since they are part of the world) but it is the sin problem of all of the world’s people that is potentially being taken care of by this Sacrificial Lamb. God never sends any other “Lamb” to be sacrificed for the sin of the world. This is the only one.

The name “Jesus” is a form of the name “Joshua” with both having the meaning of “Savior.” This Savior (Jesus) was to BE the sacrifice (Lamb) that takes away the sin of the world. Isn’t that a rather bald statement by John the Baptist? The following verse makes it clear that John the Baptist knew exactly who Jesus is and His reason for coming to the earth, not only as a Man but as a Lamb who would be sacrificed to take away all sin. It is obvious this would not be a repetitious sacrifice but a one-time only sacrifice.

What are you thinking now about this name of Jesus? “Lamb of God” carries obvious symbolism and results. We are told in the Bible that we must believe in this Lamb for the taking away of our sin (individually and collectively). This puts us in a new relationship with God the Father and the rest of the Godhead (the Son and the Holy Spirit). It is a relationship that leads to eternal life. Have you taken advantage of what the Lamb of God has done for you? The sacrifice has already taken place and now has to be received by us personally as being for us. Each of these names of Jesus present a new facet of just Who Jesus really is. This one is humongous!  Is this “face” of Jesus as the “Lamb of God” going to affect you going forward, especially into eternity?

The WORD

Saturday – December 7

Advent Reading: John 1:9-18

I remember how long it took just to go through the first 18 verses of John’s Gospel under Professor Magill at Roberts Wesleyan College. There is so much theology about Jesus Christ found here, but the key word is translatedPicture7 as “Word”. That word in the Greek is Logos (an English transliteration of the Greek letters), which means “Word” for us. What depth of meaning we find here! We can go back to verse 1 and following of this chapter and discover that this “Word” was not only there in the beginning but was actually God. And He was with God in the beginning of all of creation, and even before that, since He was also God. Suddenly the narrative focuses on John the Baptist for a few verses then jumps back into speaking of “The Word” in verses 9 through 14 and even more.

John clearly equates Jesus Christ with “The Word” and as being the Creator of the world and even all of creation. Even a cursory reading would give you that information. This “face” of Jesus is one that “spoke creation into existence. He spoke and it literally came into being.

Perhaps the even more amazing thing is that the Word (God) actually became flesh through the immaculate conception of Mary by the Holy Spirit. Christ was not the “seed of man” but the “Seed of the holy God” as no man was involved in the conception. This is the only time an event like it has ever happened. Can you put a “face” to this “Word”? What would it be like to look upon the face and form of God Himself in human flesh? Can you imagine how difficult it was for the early disciples of Jesus to truly see Him as the actual Son of God in a human form? Artists show Him as having a glowing halo around His head. Do you think that was an actual thing or just the artist’s way of indicating His divinity?  How was it that Peter put it in Matthew 16:16? “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” By this time they had all walked with Him for over 3 years and saw Him in many different situations and interacting with the world around Him in many different and unique ways. This Jesus was different and not of the same mold as any of them – and yet, and yet, they knew He was who He said He was. The saw Him heal by the words of His mouth and the touch of His hands and through obedience to His command. The Apostle John came to see Him as the Word of God incarnate in a human body. He was totally convinced that He really was the Son of God. The exigencies of human frailty often got in the way but in essence each of the apostles, especially after the Resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit, came to thoroughly accept He was who He said He was; and that, even unto death.

Can you see the “face” of Jesus as the Word incarnate as you read the Scriptures? Can you truly trust Him even unto death? All of the Apostles died in rather horrible ways and yet none of them ever wavered in their faith. They had seen and experienced too much with Jesus to doubt His Word. Believers through the centuries have faced these situations also with the same calm assurance. Can you? Can you see His ”face” in the Word of God and even in His own words?