Category Archives: 3:16

A King a Curse and a Secret Princess (A True Christmas Story)

A king, a curse and a secret princess.

It was the last days of Judah.

(the Southern kingdom of Israel)

Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) was king.

2 Kings 24:8-15

To paraphrase…Jeconiah was an evil king.

Can a corrupt throne be allied with you–

a throne that brings on misery by its decrees? Psalm 94:20

The prophet Jeremiah was sent by the Lord numerous times with a word telling Jeconiah to straighten up and live right with God.

Hear the word of the LORD to you, king of Judah, you who sit on David’s throne–you, your officials and your people who come through these gates. Jeremiah 22:2

Jeconiah set himself against the prophet Jeremiah.

Yet, another warning from the Lord that Jeremiah

was delivered to Jeconiah :

 …”O land, land, land, Hear the word of the LORD! “Thus says the LORD, ‘Write this man down childless, A man who will not prosper in his days; For no man of his descendants will prosper Sitting on the throne of David Or ruling again in Judah.'”

Jeremiah 22:29-30

A curse to Jeconiah’s (and King David’s) blood line?

Jeremiah prophesied in Jeremiah 2:37 that Jeconiah would leave his throne and his land in captivity.

You will also leave that place with your hands on your head, for the LORD has rejected those you trust; you will not be helped by them.

Jeconiah, his  son Shealtiel, and many others were taken captive and moved to the city Babylon.

The descendants of Jehoiachin the captive: Shealtiel his son,

1 Chronicles 3:17 

Some years later, after the exile, Jeconiah’s  great grandson Zerubbabel (son of Pedaiah) returns to his land and should be king but, he is not (only a Governor) due to the curse on Jeconiah’s throne and the land.

The royal line of David appears to be broken.

Years passed.

Here is a line of descendants to follow Zerubbabel

(from Matthew 24: 13 -16)

Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim,Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud, Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

What?

Isn’t this is interesting?

So, Joseph, son of Jacob, husband of Mary…should have been a Prince or the sitting King during his lifetime?

Yet, Joseph grows up poor and humble (yet righteous man)

Joseph is off of the throne due to a curse of his forefathers?

The Old Testament prophesied that Messiah and King would be from the line of David but with this blood line it seems impossible.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.   Isaiah9:6-7

Now what?

Is there another blood line of King David’s that isn’t cursed?

A secret prince …

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…or princess?

Yes.

Nathan.

Nathan’s blood line was a line not cursed by Jeconiah’s

foolish decisions and disobedience to God.

Nathan was King David’s and Bathsheba’s child.

David reigned in Jerusalem thirty-three years, and these were the children born to him there: Shammua,  Shobab, Nathan and Solomon. These four were by Bathsheba daughter of Ammiel.

1 Chronicles 3: 4-5

Mary (mother of Jesus) was of the royal blood line that came through Nathan!

Mary, the secret Princess?

Here is Mary’s abbreviated line chronicled in Luke 3:31:

the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha,

the son of Nathan, the son of David, 

(You can read King David’s complete blood line in 1 Chronicles 3)

(You can read Mary’s and Jesus’ complete blood line in Luke 3)

(3…the number of the Trinity…interesting)

So, here we have two poor, humble, God fearing people,

(Joseph and Mary)

who will soon be married by an arrangement made by Mary’s father.

I wonder…

Did either of them realize that they were of “Royal Blood”?

Or, had everyday life and hard times erased any image or thoughts of royalty from their minds and lives?

A secret Prince.

And…a secret Princess!

Now, this is the awesome part!!

Because this was a virgin birth…

Mary conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit, not Joseph…

There is NO CURSE!!!

This is described in Luke 1:26-35:

God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

The curse is broken!

Royalty is restored!

King Jesus sits on the restored throne of David!

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Do you realize that our story is so similar?

You and I were also born under a curse.

You know the story, right?

The curse of Adam.

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 The woman, the apple & the serpent.

(That sounds like a book title)

Any way…

We too are a “secret Prince” or “secret Princess” through our Messiah and King Jesus.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.    Peter 2:9-10

Has everyday life, sin and hard times erased any image or thoughts of royalty from our own minds?

Sin does not have to reign in your kingdom and close the door to our royal priesthood.

Grace returns our crown!

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.    Romans 6:11-14

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Wear your crown with your head held high!

You are royalty!

So am I!

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Matthew 24 – Part 8

 

 

In Matthew 24 – Part 8 we look at Jesus’ final words of

instruction to His disciples:

36“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,f but only the Father.

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We cannot know the day or the hour.

The angels do not know when they will be called for the harvest.

The Son (Jesus) does not even know that appointed time.

But God’s people are suppose to be studying God’s Word,

(like Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 and Revelation)

so we can know the signs and discern the season.

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37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

What were the days of Noah like?

The LORD saw how great the wickedness

of the human race had become on the earth,

and that every inclination of the thoughts

of the human heart was only evil all the time.

The LORD regretted that he had made human beings

on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.

Genesis 6:5-6

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.

God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth

had corrupted their ways.

Genesis 6:11-12

Sound familiar?

Genesis 6:9 described Noah like this:

This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous

man, blameless among the people of his time,

and he walked faithfully with God.

He walked faithfully with God.

What is faith?

Hebrews 11:1 describes faith like this;

Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us

of the existence of things we cannot see. (GWT)

Noah believed things he could not yet see.

Noah built a very large boat NO WHERE near a body of water.

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Noah prepared for a flood when he and his peers

had no idea what rain was yet.

Noah prepared to house and feed many animals on his boat

(at least 2 of every kind)

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and those animals did not currently even live on his property,

much less in his own town or country.

 Noah built an ark because he believed his God.

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Do you believe your God?

How much faith do you really place in God’s Word?

Do you believe what He has written?

 Genesis 6:22 also says,
“Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”

Noah did everything God commanded him…

Regardless of his neighbors heckling him.

Regardless of the fact he may have looked foolish to men.

Regardless of the fact Noah saw no rain.

Regardless of the fact Noah saw no animals (yet).

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Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

 

Hebrew 11:7  says this about Noah:

By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Noah was warned about things not yet seen.

In reverence to God, Noah prepared.

Noah prepared because he had faith in God’s words.

Because of Noah’s faith,

he became an heir of righteousness.

Because of Noah’s faith in God,

his family survived.

The earth healed.

Noah’s remnant repopulated the earth.

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38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

It was a normal day.

Life was happening.

People were eating, drinking and marrying.

Because Noah listened, walked in faith and saw the signs

he was prepared to enter the boat at the first rain drop.

The rain came and took the others away.

40Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

One taken.

One left.

Which will you be?

42“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

Jesus is telling us to keep watch.

We will not know the exact day.

But, understand this…you must be ready.

(So after all the things happen that we have discussed in

Matthew 24 blogs 1 through 8,

keep watch and be ready because the time is near)

45“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

The faithful and wise servant found completing their tasks

 and in good standing when the master returns will become

in charge of all the masters possessions.

Would you call yourself a “faithful and wise servant”?

Will the Master return finding you doing what

He has placed you here to do?

48But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

What about the wicked, unaware servant with the

“while the cat is away, the mice will play” attitude?

The one not expecting the Master’s return?

Not too good.

They will be assigned a place with the hypocrites,

where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

What???

Hypocrites???

(That is a another post for another time)

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Alive

Jesus had been crucified and laid to rest

in the borrowed tomb.

A Roman soldier had guarded the tomb 24 hours a day.

“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.”  So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

Matthew 27:65-66

Mary Magdalene was exhausted; mentally,

emotionally and physically.

Her heart ached due to her sorrow.

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Functioning with little sleep.

She couldn’t sleep.

Every time she closed her eyes,

she saw that awful event happen again and again.

Mary was broken.

The grief she felt was overwhelming.

She rose early this morning to visit Jesus’ tomb.

It had now been three days.

Surely the guards must be gone by now.

What if they were still there?

Would the guards allow her to get close?

Would they even allow her to mourn outside of Jesus’ tomb?

Would she be arrested also?

Persecuted?

The walk to the tomb was a quiet one.

The grief filled silence sliced through the early morning darkness.

The closer she got to the tomb,

the heavier her tears flowed.

What she saw that morning, she surely were not expecting.

No one was guarding the tomb.

A moment of happiness…no guards.

But then, then unthinkable.

The stone that protected Jesus’ lifeless body had been rolled away.

As she looked more closely toward the tomb she could see

that Jesus was not in there.Image result for Mary running from the tomb

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. John 20:1

Where was Jesus?

Where did they take Him?

Why would they take Him?

Who would do this to her Jesus?

Mary  was shaken to her core.

She had to go tell the others.

She ran so fast.

Her adrenalin was flowing.

Her heart was racing.

Her breath was gone.

Once the others realized it was safe to open the locked door

they knew something was wrong…but what?

She tried to get the words out to tell Peter and John that

Jesus was missing.

So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” John 20:2

Peter and John ran in unbelief but then saw the painful evidence.

Jesus was gone.

Nothing remained but the cloth that had been wrapped

around Jesus’ body.

Why would anyone do such a thing?

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. John 20:3-8

They now believed He was gone.

However, they still didn’t understand.

The puzzled disciples tried to comfort Mary and coax her to

return back to the house with them.

Mary would not budge.

Finally, they left her in the garden crying

as they went back into hiding as dawn quickly approached.

(They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to where they were staying. John 20:9-10

Mary felt a presence.

She opened her eyes and looked towards the empty tomb.

To her surprise, she saw angels in Jesus’ tomb.

One angel asked Mary, “Why are you crying?”

Mary looked away part in fear, part because of the intense light

the angels projected as she gave her answer to them.

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”  John 20:11-13

As she was giving her answer to the angels,

she heard another voice  from behind her ask why she was crying.

At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

John 20:14-15

Then Jesus said her name.

In the way only Jesus said it…Mary.

Rabboni!

Yes, it is Jesus!

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). John 20:16

Then Jesus said to Mary…

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” John 20:17

Now it all made sense.

It seemed so simple now to understand everything Jesus had been trying to tell them for months…maybe even years.

Mary screams, “I must go tell the others!”

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Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news:

“I have seen the Lord!”

And she told them that he had said these things to her.

John 20:18

Jesus is alive!

Praise God today that Jesus Lives!

Below is a link to a song by Natalie Grant, ALIVE.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AFpgzjRD44

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRinDx8INwk

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Because He lives, an eternal peace can be yours.

Receive Him today.

He is waiting for you.

“Dear Lord Jesus,

I know I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead. I trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior. Guide my life and help me to do your will.

In your name, Amen.”

Perfect Sacrifice

3:00 quickly was approaching.

The sky had been dark for several hours now.

The wind was blowing madly.

Lightning and thunder had violently entered the atmosphere.

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From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lemasabachthani?” (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)Matthew 26:45-46

Those close to the cross could hear Jesus

cry out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lemasabachthani?”

(“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)

Then, it seemed to be over.

 Jesus gave up His spirit.

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And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice,

he gave up his spirit.  Matthew 26:50

As breath and life left His body,

the earth shook below the

 guards, mockers, spectators and mourners.

What was happening?

The ground below them was unstable.

Many hit the ground and fell to their knees.

Rocks were splitting and

tombs were crumbling around them.

An earthquake.

Someone just ran from the temple screaming that

the curtain in the temple had been torn in half

from top to bottom.

“How?”

The terror struck crowd asked,

“How could such a thing happen?”

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” Matthew 26:51-54

Death,  fear and defeat hung heavy in the air.

Blood was flowing…

from the cross and from the Temple.

As the sacrificial lambs bleated at the end of

 their lives over at the temple,

the now lifeless body of Jesus was

suspended between heaven and earth.

Could no one sense the Holy triumph,

pardon and grace that

immediately sweetened the atmosphere?

Satan did.

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 God’s timing was perfect.

His plan was now almost complete.

As the evening sacrifices were beginning,

the perfect sacrifice for mankind was now finished.

He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. John 19:30

Fear engulfed those who taunted Jesus through town and

at the foot of His Cross.

Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. Matthew 26:27-31

They now ask, “Was this the Son of God?”

“Was He really the King of the Jews?”

They dropped there weapons and ran like children.

Mary, Jesus’ mother, was weeping beyond measure.

The innocent baby she had birthed in a manager…

the child Joseph had raised and loved as his own…

a divine gift from God…

now draped bloody and lifeless from a sinners cross.

John comforted Mary the best he could.

Who would comfort him?

John felt so lost…so empty…so alone…so vulnerable.

Mary was now his responsibility.

John would honor Jesus’ last request.

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

John 19:25-27

For those who loved Jesus,

it seemed like a day of loss…

a day of sadness and darkness.

Even though Jesus’ had told them time and time

again what was going to happen,

they never grasped that this was The Father’s plan.

They never really quite knew His purpose.

“As you know, the Passover is two days away–and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” Matthew 26:2

Now, Jesus is dead.

Their friend and leader was gone.

His disciples…now scattered like sheep.

Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “ ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Matthew 26”31-32

One betrayed Him.

Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?” Matthew 26:25

One denied Him.

He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. Matthew 16:72-75

As they now mourn over their behavior

and the loss of Jesus’ life,

 they all feared for their own lives.

They wondered in cowardly silence,

“Will I be the next to die?”

As men removed Jesus’ mangled body,

they are filled with so many questions.

Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.” John 19:31-37

Thankfully, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for His body.

At least Jesus could find His rest in a borrowed tomb.

Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night.

In his own shroud of secrecy, Nicodemus would prepare

Jesus’ body according to Jewish customs for burial.

Nicodemus prayed to Yahweh that his peers would

not find out and punish him.

Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. John 16:38-42

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As they brought His mangled flesh to the garden,

Nicodemus also sobbed as he anointed Jesus’ body with myrrh.

Did Nicodemus know that myrrh was one of the

same gifts offered to Jesus by the Magi over thirty years earlier?

Mary remembered as tears rolled off her cheeks

and onto Jesus’ body.

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When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:10-11

The group cried and mourned as they rolled the stone

over the door to seal the dark tomb and Jesus’ fate.

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But that is not the end of the story!

“Resurrection” is coming!

 

Hope

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For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whoever believes in Him shall not perish,

but have eternal life.

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world,

but that the world might be saved through Him.

John 3:16-17

Now, is the time to…

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True life.

True love.

True hope.