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Thursday, April 11, 2024

The Eclipse of the Son that outlasts and outshines them all...

Total Solar Eclipse, 8April2024, courtesyof NASA.
https://plus.nasa.gov/video/2024-total-solar-eclipse-through-the-eyes-of-nasa/Dear Friends and Intercessors:

This NASA photo of the April 8th total solar eclipse paints an extraordinary picture of an extraordinary event. It won't be repeated in such entirety for another 250 years or so it and drew sightseers from around the world. The 4 minutes and 25 seconds of the blocking of the sun's direct rays along its northeasterly path across North America was made much of as a "once in a lifetime" opportunity.

There have been countless eclipses over the centuries and they all capture human attention where they have been observed, but there was one in particular that changed everything forever. When Jesus was crucified Matthew 27:45 says, "Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land." When He said, "It is finished" and gave up the ghost—the price was paid in full for the sins of all mankind. That was really just the beginning.

Having just come through the Easter season, the scenes are fresh in the mind. The culmination of God's majestic plan of salvation has once again been made clear. It started off with Jesus at the last supper with his disciples, known as Maunday Thursday. Maunday, coming from the word commandment, referred to when Jesus instructed his disciples the 'new commandment" to love one another as He has loved them, that the world might know that He came into the world to bring salvation to lost souls.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ecce_homo_by_Antonio_Ciseri_%281%29.jpg#/media/File:Ecce_homo_by_Antonio_Ciseri_%281%29.jpgPilate's wife had an ominous dream about Jesus and expressed her concern to Pilate about his innocence. You can see that detail in this amazing scene, painted by Antonio Ciseri in 1871. John 19:5 explains, "Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, 'Behold the Man!'" His declaration had a far greater significance than he could possibly have known. The events of that day began the fulfillment of God's words in Genesis 1:3, "Let there be light."

When Jesus gave up His spirit, the whole of the universe took on new shades of glory, and a new dimension of light was birthed. Those hours of darkness were setting the stage for much more than the payment in full for our sin. Through His resurrection, He became the living proof of eternal life to all those who believe. As it says in Colossians 1:13-14, "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins."

The floodgates of God's mercy have been opened wide, and whosoever will may now come to Him freely. The desire of all nations—God's living temple—is established! The Body of Christ lives in His Kingdom today, and He lives in and through us to reach others with His gifts of love and salvation.

Romans 8:26 elaborates further, "...the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans." And then follows vs.29, "And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God."

Rainbow over Rhyd Lewis in sunset colorsIn the completeness of God's plan for us, He says in John 8:12, "Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, 'I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'" And we are instructed in 1 John 1:7, "But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."

As the darkness increases in the world around us, people are seeking the light. We are seeing the fulfillment of Amos 8:11. "'Behold, the days are coming,' says the Lord God, 'That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.'" We have been entrusted with the words of light and life for such a time as this.

May these words in Colossians 3:14-16 encourage us all "But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another..."

God bless you and your nearest and dearest, and those who don't even know they're looking for you yet,

Dick & Gladys


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