Category Archives:Family

The Gift Wrap and The Jewel by Wanda B Goines

The Most Glorious Christmas Message You Will Ever Hear

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

The key is believing (trusting) in Jesus. That’s the provision that God has required for those to be born again. You are born again when you, by faith, believe in Jesus Christ, that He bore God’s judgment for your sins in His death upon the cross, and you receive Him into your life. You are then born again by the Spirit of God and have become now a new creature in Jesus Christ, a son of God, a child of the King. Believing in Him, that is the key.

Then Jesus went on to declare to Nicodemus,

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:17

I do not know why we always seem to picture Christ as condemning us. Well, I guess it’s because we’re so guilty all the time. But we always are thinking of Him in that posture of condemning. “You,” you know, “you’re doing it again!” And we’re always thinking of Him in that posture of condemning. But Paul the apostle asked the rhetorical question in Romans 8, “Who is he that condemneth?” And then he answers, “Not Jesus! For He died for us; ye, rather is risen again and is even at the right hand of the Father making intercession.” God didn’t send Him into the world to condemn the world. Jesus hasn’t come to condemn you. Jesus has come to save you. “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” He didn’t need to come to condemn, because the world is already condemned.

He that believeth in him is not condemned. John 3:18

Oh, did you hear that? Do you believe that? “He that believeth in Him is not condemned.” What a glorious message of God’s grace to us tonight! That ought to thrill your soul beyond measure! “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who believe in Jesus Christ” (Romans 8:1). Isn’t that what it says? Do you believe it? Why is it that we are always going around condemning ourselves? Why is it that we are always going around feeling so defeated and so discouraged, when there is therefore now no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus? For he that believeth in Him is not condemned; however, he that believeth not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18

What is His name? Yeshua, the Lord is salvation. Jesus came to save. That’s what His name implies. “Thou shalt call His name Yeshua, for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). He did not come to condemn, He came to save. His name implies His mission. Jesus declared it plainly. He said, “I have come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Now, “he that believeth not is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

And what is the condemnation?

that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be manifested. But he that doeth the truth comes to the light, that his deeds might be made manifested, that they are wrought in God. John 3:19-21

What is the condemnation? That men won’t come to the light, Yeshua (Jesus).

The key: Believe in and trust Jesus. He is all you will ever need. Halleluyah!

 

 

Thank God for Kids

 

I dedicate this post to my daughter, Alexandra Rose,  who has been in heaven with Jesus for close to twenty six years. I never had the chance to show her how much I loved her. She died in my womb when I was 8 months pregnant. due to an automobile accident.

If you  are currently an abuser of children. STOP! Listen to Jesus! For those who have been abused as children, I pray God’s healing and anointing on you right now this very moment. Call to Jesus, and He will hear you.  Feel free to contact me if I can pray for you or help in either situation.  My information is located on my contact page on this website. God bless you, and may you and yours have a very A Merry and Blessed Christmas. Remember….Jesus is the reason we celebrate! Jesus loves you!

But He said, “Leave the children alone, and do not forbid them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Matthew 19:14

 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and He said to them, “Allow the children to come to Me; do not forbid them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”  Mark 10:14

But Jesus called them to Himself, saying [to the apostles], “Allow the children to come to Me, and do not forbid them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”  Luke 18:16

 

Prayers for Self-Deliverance & Breaking of Generational Curses

Pray ALWAYS in the Name Of Jesus Christ!

I break all generational curses of pride, rebellion, lust, poverty, witchcraft, idolatry, death, destruction, failure, sickness, infirmity, fear, schizophrenia, and rejection in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all generational and hereditary spirits operating in my life through curses to be bound and cast out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits of lust, perversion, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, and immorality to come out of my sexual character in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits of hurt, rejection, fear, anger, wrath, sadness, depression, discouragement, grief, bitterness, and unforgiveness to come out of my emotions in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits of confusion, forgetfulness, mind control, mental illness, double-mindedness, fantasy, pain, pride, and memory recall to come out of my mind in the name of Jesus.

 

I break all curses of schizophrenia and command all spirits of double-mindedness, rejection, rebellion, and root of bitterness to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits of guilt, shame, and condemnation to come out of my conscience in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits of pride, stubbornness, disobedience, rebellion, self-will, selfishness, and arrogance to come out of my will in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits of addiction to come out of my appetite in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits of witchcraft, sorcery, divination, and occult to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits operating in my head, eyes, mouth, tongue, and throat to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits operating in my chest and lungs to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits operating in my back and spine to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits operating in my stomach, navel, and abdomen to come out in the name of Jesus.

I command all spirits operating in my heart, spleen, kidneys, liver, and pancreas to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits operating in my sexual organs to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits operating in my hands, arms, legs, and feet to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all demons operating in my skeletal system, including my bones, joints, knees, and elbows, to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits operating in my glands and endocrine system to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits operating in my blood and circulatory systems to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits operating in my muscles and muscular system to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all religious spirits of doubt, unbelief, error, heresy, and tradition that came in through religion to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all spirits from my past that are hindering my present and future to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all ancestral spirits that entered through my ancestors to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

I command all hidden spirits hiding in any part of my life to come out in the name of Jesus.

 

Uprising of Spiritual Abuse

 

Spiritual Abuse is real. There are several ways in which abuse can be spiritual abuse. People use this term with a variety of meanings and it is quite important to keep track of which definition people have in mind.

There is a sense in which all abuse can be spiritual abuse. For example, any form of child abuse can do damage to a child’s emerging spirituality. The fact that the damage includes damage to the spiritual self is what makes it spiritual abuse in addition to whatever other kind of abuse is going on.

Some abuse is spiritual abuse because it takes place in a spiritual place/context. Sexual abuse by a priest or pastor, for example, is clearly a form of spiritual abuse in addition to sexual abuse.

The use of spiritual truths or biblical texts to do harm is another form of spiritual abuse. Sometimes battered wives are told that God wants them to be submissive to their husbands. Sometimes children who are being molested by their parents are told that God wants them to be obedient. Sometimes people quote “do not think of yourself more highly that you ought” to suicidally depressed people. These are examples of abuse–even if what is said is a quote from the Bible, even if ‘submission’ and ‘obedience’ are in a general, sense virtues. It is the twisting of good things to do harm that is so disturbing about this kind of abuse.

Some abuse is spiritual abuse because the victim is perceived to be in a position of spiritual authority. Think here, for example, of the abuse of pastors by congregations. The real power in religious systems may not be in the hands of the obvious leadership.

Coercive spirituality is a form of spiritual abuse. This is most obvious in totalitarian cults. But there are many other forms of coercion. Compulsive religious practices are thought by some to be appropriate forms of Christian education of children. Others more committed to the notions of ‘soul freedom’ and ‘liberty of conscience’ are repelled at the idea of religious coercion.

Some abuse is spiritual abuse because it invokes divine authority to manipulate people into performing behaviors which meet the needs of the abuser. Example: If I am anxious in my relationship with God and I think that ‘success’ in evangelistic activities will solve that problem, then I may try to get someone to convert so that I will feel less anxious. This ‘using’ of someone else’s spiritual life to meet my spiritual needs is uncomfortably analogous to someone who ‘uses’ another person’s sexuality to meet their own needs. The latter is sexual abuse. The former is spiritual abuse.

Some abuse is spiritual abuse because it introduces a grace-less contingency in our relationship with God. This form of spiritual abuse is one of the central preoccupations of the New Testament text. Consider Jesus’ harsh comments about those who ‘lay burdens’ on others — those who make God’s love contingent on spiritual practices of one kind or another.

Biblical references on spiritual abuse

Spiritual abuse as speaking for God when God has not spoken
Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain. Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says’-when the LORD has not spoken.
Ezekiel 22:28


Spiritual abuse as adding burdens

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30

They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
Matthew 23:4

“why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?”
Acts 15:10

Spiritual Abusers as Ravenous wolves
“Beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”
Matthew 7:15

Spiritual Abusers as Whitewashed tombs
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside, are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside, you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
Matthew 23

Spiritual Abusers as “Brood of vipers”
“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?”
Matthew 23:33

Spiritual Abusers as “Blind guides”
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.”
Matthew 23:23-24

RESOURCES

  • The National Association of Christian Recovery nacr.org
  • Three lectures on the topic of spiritual abuse by Jeff VanVonderen:

Healthy and Abusive Spiritual Dynamics

The Abusive Religious System

How We Get Hooked

This video can also be viewed online for free here

 

Do You Want to Stop? Then Find the Escape Hatch.

The most important strategy for beating temptation is avoid it all together. Stay out of the contest. Do not even go near it. As humans we like to play with danger, to have options, and take trouble head-on, because we believe that we can always pack on more power than our opponents. Not true!
With these temptations our instincts get us into trouble. You see, temptation pits us against our own sin nature and all the powers of evil. Just look around you. Sin weakens us and compromises our ability to receive God’s favor that He wants to give us.
Ponder this thought, we would never sin if we were never tempted. Stay away from the deceptive tactics of Satan whenever possible. Eve would not have eaten the forbidden fruit if she stayed away from the forbidden tree. The same is true for us.
For example, I overcame drug addiction. And because I have decided not to smoke pot, or use any other recreational drugs, I avoid places that are prone to have drugs available; parties and friends that use drugs. Someone who has overcome drunkenness will tell you that having decided not to drink, they stay out of bars, liquor stores, and away from drinking friends.
Someone who struggles with pornography has stated that he had started pulling into an adult video store on his way home from work. It had now become a habit. He was asked “is there another route you can take to get home?” He admitted that he never considered that option, but also watched trashy shows on HBO while his wife was sleeping at night. “Do you really want to quit?“ he was asked. He answered in the affirmative. He was advised to cancel his subscription to HBO. He did, and now enjoys sleeping with his wife in peace.
When you are ready to quit something that is ruining your life, you will do whatever necessary to remove that sin. But know this, it is refreshing to know that if you ask God to help you avoid evil, He will. He is your Father and watches out for you even when you do not. Just ask Him and He will tell you where not to go.
The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “13 No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].”
Imagine for a minute that you are standing in front of your home and see a stranger coming up your street. He is dressed in black and walks in your direction. You notice that he is checking mailboxes and house numbers. You realize that this figure is here to do you harm, so you suck behind some bushes. A soon as the stranger finds your address, he steps up to your door and knocks.
As you watch, the door opens, and you see something remarkable. The person answering the door is Jesus.
The stranger hesitates, “Excuse me, but isn’t this the house of _____?” And he speaks your name.
Jesus replies, “As a matter of fact, it is. But My friend has asked Me to guard the door.”
The stranger tense, grinds his teeth, and seems to consider forcing his way in. Then he looks down at the hand on the knob. He sees the nail scars. He glances up at Jesus’ head and the marks left by the thorns.
And the stranger scowls as he turns away…
This is a defensive measure used by Martin Luther, the reat reformed of the sixteenth century, when he faced temptaions of all kinds. On the front lines of a spiritual awakening that wa shaking the world. Luther felt himself under constant attack. His story of Jesus answering the door of his home when temptation came calling had a specific purpose. It was his way of meditating on a powerful truth about Christ’s power to help us escape temptation. “Because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted, He is able to help and provide immediate assistance to those who are being tempted and exposed to suffering.” Hebrews 2:18.
This is the wonderful escape clause in 1 Corinthians 10:13. In His faithfulness, God pledges to not allow any temptation to push you beyond your ability to resist.
How do I use this? I say aloud, “This temptation to (name of sin) is not too strong for me, because my Father has limited it to what I am able to cope with right now; the truth of it is that there is a way out of this temptation, and God will not allow it to overpower me!”
You see my friend, God will help you in your temptation. He will open the way for you to escape.
If you do not already have a personal relationship with God, and desire one, why not prayer this prayer:
God I’m sorry for my sin. I turn from it right now. I thank You for sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sin. Jesus, I ask You to come into my heart and life right now. Be my Lord, Savior, and friend. Help me to follow You all the days of my life as Your disciple. Thank You for forgiving me and receiving me right now. Thank You that my sin is forgiven and that I’m going to Heaven. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Perhaps you have strayed from Jesus Christ. You have been a prodigal son or daughter. God will forgive you right now if you will return to Him. He tells us in Scripture, “My wayward children, come back to Me and I will heal your wayward hearts” (Jeremiah 3:22, If you would like to return to God and rededicate your life to Him right now, you may want to pray like this:
God I’m sorry for my sin. I’m, sorry that I have strayed from You. I ask You to forgive me now as I repent of my sin. I don’t want to live like a prodigal any longer. Renew and revive me as I once again follow You as my God. Thank You for Your forgiveness. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Lose Yourself to Gain Yourself

And He (Jesus) was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].

Luke 9:23

When I was dealing with discouragement and despair I noticed that it was because I was putting my focus and trust in everything else besides God. I was constantly dwelling on my problems and taking my eyes off of God.

Self-preoccupation is disorienting, because when we are looking at ourselves we are not looking to Jesus. and we are not looking at the road we are running on. The Bible states that Jesus is our example in Hebrews 12:1-2:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].

Note: Sometimes the public shame of the cross is overlooked when one thinks of the pain and agony inflicted by it, but in the Roman Empire crucifixion was a shameful and disgraceful way to die, a form of capital punishment from which Roman citizens were exempt; and in Roman comedy it was used in a curse: “Go to a bad cross!”

It is disappointing because we never find in ourselves what we are looking for. Therefore, it frequently leads to discouragement and despair. Ironically, we are often lured into self-centered introspection, which leads us into a vicious cycle of self-improvement efforts, self-indulgence, self-disillusionment, and new self-resolves.

When you do this that gives the devil an opportunity to tell lies such as God is not near you and He will not help you.

Please don’t listen to these lies. I found out what I was doing wrong and I went into prayer mode.

Take your eyes off the things of this world. Allow difficulty to bring you to your knees in prayer. Fight off those lies by crying for help. Trust in the Lord, not your circumstances.

The Bible states that Satan is a liar and deceiver. Follow:

Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.] 1 Peter 5:8-9

The one who practices sin [separating himself from God, and offending Him by acts of disobedience, indifference, or rebellion] is of the devil [and takes his inner character and moral values from him, not God]; for the devil has sinned and violated God’s law from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8

Jesus tells us that if we are not of Him, we are of the devil:

He who is not with Me [once and for all on My side] is against Me; and he who does not[unequivocally] gather with Me scatters. Matthew 12:30

He who is not with Me [believing in Me as Lord and Savior] is against Me [there is no impartial position]; and he who does not gather with Me [assisting in My ministry], scatters. Luke 11:23

43 Why do you misunderstand what I am saying? It is because [your spiritual ears are deaf and] you are unable to hear [the truth of] My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and it is your will to practice the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar and the father of lies and half-truths. John 8:43-44

The key to overcoming despair is keeping your mind on the Lord, which will keep your mind at peace.

Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value]. Colossians 3:2

Take your eyes off the things of this world. Allow difficulty to bring you to your knees in prayer. Fight off those lies by crying for help. Trust in the Lord, not your circumstances.

But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness[His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. Matthew 6:33

Waiting for Answers

Daniel 10:12 KJV

Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

An interesting story in the Old Testament book of Daniel offers us a rare, behind-the scenes look at what happens when we pray. The Bible tells us that Daniel was praying and that his prayer reached heaven. God heard Daniel’s prayer and dispatched an angel with a special message for Daniel. But the angel who was sent from heaven was held up for twenty-one days because he was engaged in spiritual warfare with a powerful demon spirit. As a result, God dispatched Michael the archangel. (You might say that Michael is a head honcho among angels.) Michael was sent, who overruled the demon power, and the answer eventually was brought to Daniel. But it took twenty-one days for the answer to get there.
Sometimes when God doesn’t answer our prayers as quickly as we would like Him to, we think that He is letting us down. We need to understand that delays aren’t necessarily denials.
When we pray and don’t see an answer as quickly as we would like, it may be a result of circumstances that we can’t see. There might even be a spiritual battle raging behind the scenes. Maybe you’ve been praying for someone to come to know the Lord. Maybe you’ve been asking God to heal you. Perhaps you’ve been asking the Lord to open doors of opportunity for you to serve Him. Don’t give up. Don’t be discouraged. Keep praying. Jesus said to keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking, and the door would be opened. So be persistent. And watch what God will do.

Be Aware: Occult Symbolism that is Hidden in Plain Sight

Over thirty years ago I was involved with Menconi Ministries, an organization founded on keeping parents involved in their children’s lives. The purpose was to aid parents and grandparents in connecting communicating with their children and grandchildren so they could instill family values and lead them to Jesus. One of these ways was to be informed as to the music these children were listening to and to share with them the dangers of the modern day musicians. As most of you know, Lucifier, (Satan) was the Worship leader in Heaven. He  is now the worship leader of the Earth. Not of Christ Jesus, but to himself. This is a perfect example:

There are many symbolisms and occult references that stand out in the music culture today. From historical artifacts, to the music artists today, it seems the occult world has never really gone away, but in fact has become more flagrant and blatant. The problem is that many are unaware of the meanings behind what many consider to be just artistic entertainment that appeals to the senses with no real hidden meanings, or agendas behind them. There are many artists that promote their music through occult influence. The evidence that will be provided will show striking similarities with occult ideologies that are synonymous with many artists in the music industry.

Kanye West is a popular musical artist who promotes music and imagery with deep occult meaning, which is rooted in Freemasonry. The pictures presented will parallel historical pictures from ancient cultures to recent ones. There are too many similarities for it to be just coincidence. The music culture has aligned itself with something much more than just poetic lyrics and sounds, but is progressing into something much bigger that is symbolic of the veil that is thinning between the physical and spiritual realm. It is important to be aware of the occult agenda that is manifesting in greater force these days.

The representation of the pillars behind Kanye West are ubiquitous with many cultures as an entrance, or gateway which holds the key to power and enlightenment. Kanye West is pictured at the gateway as the chosen one to represent the hidden rulers of the world that reside behind him.

The ancient Egyptian god, or deity known as Horus was considered to be the Sky god, which represented the symbol of the single seeing eye. The one eye is the most well known in occult symbolism as the all-seeing-eye; the Great Seal of the United States originates from Horus

The symbolism of Horus is very important in Freemasonry. The path of the initiate, through the Masonic degrees, is described as the process by which the Eye of Horus is opened.

The pillared gateway is for the exclusive illuminated ones. Kanye West is wearing a Horus pendant, which has importance and significant meaning not only in ancient Egyptian culture, but in Freemasonry as well.

The horned females next to Kanye represent two goddesses ofancient Egypt, Isis and Hathor. Isis was the goddess of nature, magic, and motherhood. Hathor was the goddess of music, dance, and fertility. They are known as the protectors of the dead as they journey into the afterlife.

In the occult, the initiate symbolically dies and is reborn. Kanye West is standing under the sword of Damocales as part of a Masonic ritual to obtain the 33rd degree. The rite happens in public; the more there are witnesses, the more power is given. In a metaphorical sense, Kanye West kills off his former self and is reborn to receive power right in front of the eyes of the public audience.

 

Eight Ways Jesus Suffered for You

1. He was betrayed by His disciple Judas. Jesus’ pain was not just physical. Can you imagine the sorrow He felt when one of His own trusted friends became the ultimate traitor? We aren’t exactly sure how to calculate the modern value of 30 pieces of silver, but many scholars suggest about $950. All the pain Jesus endured on Good Friday began the night before, when Judas took blood money to have his Master arrested.

Think about it: There’s a bit of Judas in all of us, and we all betrayed Jesus to get our own way. Yet He chose to forgive us!

2. He was abandoned by His other followers. We often focus on Peter’s denial of Jesus. But the Scriptures remind us that all of Jesus’ disciples “left Him and fled” after His arrest (Mark 14:50, NASB). Jesus had to suffer alone. All the men He had taught and invested in for three and a half years abandoned Him in His hour of need.

Think about it: Jesus paid it all. He accomplished His work of redemption without our help. But He forgave us for our denials!

3. He carried the burden of the sins of the world. Jesus’ greatest agony didn’t start on the cross. It began at Gethsemane, where God laid on His Son the sins of the world. Jesus agonized so intensely in those moments that He sweat drops of blood (Luke 22:44). Scholars say He probably developed a condition known as hematidrosis, in which blood is emitted through the sweat glands because of intense stress.

Think about it: Your sin was transferred to Jesus’ account, and He bore the punishment you deserved!

4. He was falsely accused and rejected by Jewish leaders. Can you imagine the heartache Jesus experienced when the very people He was sent to save spat in His face, blindfolded Him, cursed Him and accused Him of blasphemy? The Sanhedrin set up a kangaroo court and sentenced the Son of God to death.

Think about it: Jesus did not open His mouth in self-defense when He was falsely accused. Now, when Satan accuses you, Jesus argues your case and declares you not guilty!

5. He was mocked and abused by Roman guards. After Pilate caved into pressure from the Jews, Roman soldiers flogged Jesus with a whip, drove a crown of thorns into His scalp, beat His head with sticks and mockingly pretended to worship Him. The flogging alone—which would have involved leather cords with pieces of lead or bone attached—would have drained much of Jesus’ blood.

Think about it: Jesus could have called on angels to stop His torture—but He chose to endure the pain because He loved us!

6. He was crucified between two thieves. We cannot even fathom the pain of crucifixion. Metal spikes were driven into Jesus’ hands and feet, and He had to slide His mangled body up against the wood of the cross in order to catch His breath. And because it was the habit of Romans to crucify criminals naked, Jesus endured the ultimate shame. What’s more, He hung on that crude cross next to two men who had been convicted of crimes—while He was completely innocent.

Think about it: We should have been on death row, not Jesus. But He took our place!

7. His body was pierced with a spear. Even after Jesus took His last breath, a soldier jabbed a spear up through the chest cavity—most likely to make sure Jesus was dead. John tells us that blood and water spilled out (John 19:34), evidence that the spear pierced the pericardium, the sac around the heart. Jesus’ heart was literally broken for us.

Think about it: Just as Adam’s side was opened to bring forth the first woman, Jesus’ side was opened to bring forth the church. His piercing produced a fountain of life for us!

8. He tasted death for all. This is the most horrible reality of the cross. Christ did not die metaphorically or symbolically. He died literally. The Son of God, who had never sinned—and who was least deserving of death—died so we could have life. His heart stopped beating, He stopped breathing and His spirit left Him. First Peter 3:18 says: “For Christ also died for sins once and for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God.”

Think about it: Because Jesus died in our place, we no longer have to die. Eternal life is His free gift to us!

This Easter season, ponder the steps the Savior took from Gethsemane to Golgotha. Look at His nail-pierced hands and feet. Take a careful survey of His wondrous cross, and thank Him for hanging there six hours for you.