Debie Misir: August 27, 2008

Know His Love.......

And to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)

God’s entire purpose for us is to first know His love and then to become vessels through which He can channel His love to others. Knowledge, wisdom, healing and all the gifts of the Spirit are simply expressions of God’s love. Kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and all the fruits of the Spirit are simply characteristics which comprise God’s love. To every Christian, God seeks to first impart His fruits in us -- His love -- and then have it flow through us to others.

God is love and His love is true and way beyond human comprehension. It is divinely intimate, unconditional, and eternal (agape in Greek). As such it can never be adequately defined by carnal, conditional, finite man. However, it can be very much understood and known by the spiritual man. For in the Spirit we become as limitless as the Lord. In the Spirit we can know and experience the height and depth and breadth of His love. In the Spirit we can taste the purity and nobility of His love… and in the Spirit we can receive this love into our hearts. The word of God says He dispenses this same love to us through His Holy Spirit as recorded in Romans 5:5, “Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” God imparted His love to us by filling us with the Holy Ghost who is this very love, and who indwells every born again believer.

It is this divine love imparted to us by His grace alone which now distinguishes us from those who claim to believe, and those who are yet to believe, and which enables us to dispense His grace to all in the world. It is by this love alone that the world and the rulers of darkness know who we are; sons and daughters of the most high God and Disciples of His son Jesus Christ, not by what we proclaim or even the good we do in our own strength. "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:35) The world knows us only by the supernatural, unconditional, overcoming love of God in our hearts for all. We may be able to preach and teach with great knowledge and intelligence, and we may be operating in many gifts of the Spirit but it is all useless without this love. “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” (I Corinthians 13:1-3).

The word of God says the gifts are dispensed to us by the Holy Spirit and they must be administered through us by the Holy Spirit. But, implicit in this scripture is also the fact that we can operate in the gifts without the Holy Spirit for the gifts are given freely and without repentance. However, if we do not operate in the gifts through love then their power is null and void, for love is the only true, life-giving power behind the gifts. This love that is shed abroad in our hearts is the Holy Spirit who indwells us. Only through Him can we pray in love, operate in the gifts in love, receive and teach the word in love, preach and minister in love, live the holy life in love, and bear fruits (win souls to Christ). This love must consume us and must remain in us throughout our walk on earth and into eternity.

I first experienced God’s divine love on the day I was born again. I was alone in the basement of my mother’s home when by faith I repented of my sins and asked the Lord to come into my heart with all the sincerity I was capable of at the time. I felt the love of God flow through me, bringing me to my knees in true repentance. I felt His forgiveness setting me free from so many sins and burdens, burdens I did not know I was carrying until I felt them lift off me. This experience was and still is…indescribable. To this day, I cannot rightly explain it, nor can I forget any part of it. His love poured over me and in me with a power and a tenderness that rendered me equally totally transparent and fully repentant at the same time. There was both a deep conviction and a total restoration contained within His love that brought a deep cleansing and a divine inner healing. Every wound was healed and every empty place was filled. I was on my knees weeping for what seemed like hours. At that moment, my entire life and innermost being were revealed to me with supernatural clarity. I saw all the good and all the evil through God’s eyes without condemnation or shame and my heart repented sincerely and deeply. His love continued to wash over me in waves upon waves of tender mercies and total acceptance and renewal for many months after.

This experience has stayed with me throughout my walk with the Lord, and I have since experienced His love with the same intensity many more times in different ways….and I always knew Him. I always knew Him because of this supernatural knowledge I now have, way down deep inside of me past body and soul, of His divine, holy, multi-dimensional love which no man or demon can ever imitate. It became the spiritual taste, feel, smell, touch, and sight that I look for and discern everything by. Please understand I am not speaking of a feeling, but of a knowing down in the depths of my innermost being which is always there regardless of whether the Lord chooses to manifest His love in a feeling or not.

With such a knowing, it does not matter what you are going through, you will taste and know the heart of God in every situation. You cannot be deceived unless you allow yourself to be distracted by flesh. Job knew. This was why He could say with great conviction “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15). Ester knew. This is why she could say with confidence, in the midst of her perilous situation, “If I perish, I perish” (Ester 4:16). Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew. This is why they followed the Holy Spirit into the fiery furnace with unshakeable faith saying, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king that we will not serve thy gods.” (Daniel 3:17,18). The twelve disciples knew. This is why they laid down their lives in service to the Lord. Even Saul before he became Paul knew. When he was afflicted with blindness on the road to Damascus, I believe the Holy Spirit came upon Him revealing His love and truth, though not indwelling at this point. This is why he responded with a supernatural knowledge, “Who art thou, Lord?” (Act 9:5). Saul knew it was the hand of the Lord that fell upon him, and did not for a moment think it was a fellow soldier or a demon. Now God’s divine love, in the form of His Holy Spirit abiding in each of us gives us this discernment in much greater measure since we are indwelt. This inner knowledge of His love far exceeds the deception any trial, tribulation, situation or circumstance can bring. For in the midst of the severest attacks on your body and soul, His love deep in your spirit will always bring truth, clarity, peace, instruction, comfort, reassurance, and victory.

God’s divine love is not only the discerning power within, but it is also the power that brings unity to the body of Christ and new souls into the Kingdom. For, this is the love that every heart longs for and this is the love that every heart will respond to. Don Nori in his book “Romancing the Divine” describes such a love as “Love without legalism; commitment without control; fullness without fear; relationship without religion.” These he maintains “are the deep longings of the soul,” and they are all contained within God’s divine love. God’s love will draw the unlovable and tenderize the hardest of hearts. It will break through all barriers of self and demonic powers; fear, pride, lust, guilt, shame, religiosity, and control; going into the deep places, the core of the human heart, where all else fear to thread. It will transcend every physical circumstance, and destroy every emotional and intellectual bondage to unite hearts at a level too deep for mere humanity to comprehend and too life-sustaining for hearts to resist. In the face of its purity, selflessness, restorative and fulfilling power, and unconditional flow, all are helpless. We all need this love and according to the word of God, if we are born again…. we already have it.

Annie Flint’s attempt to describe God’s love is probably the best that human understanding and expression can extend, and the closest to what I have experienced. Yet, by the knowledge of the Holy Spirit, I know that it too is insufficient and that I will spend a lifetime seeking and yet only begin to know His love in its fullness…

He Giveth More Grace (Annie Flint 1866-1932)

He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy
To multiplied trials he multiplies peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure
His power no boundary known unto men
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

Let us commit ourselves to know this love that is shed abroad in our Hearts….”that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God”. Let us develop an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit who is this very love. Let us love Him, the Father and the Son, with the same love that He has shed abroad in our hearts and let us allow His love to flow through us so that we may remain in unity; one Spirit, one body, one faith, one baptism, and reveal the reality of Christ through His perfect love to all those who do not yet believe. This is the entire purpose of every Christian.

Kaye Mendoza: August 20, 2008


2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace (undeserved favor, spiritual strength) and recognition and knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him [be] glory (honor, majesty, and splendor) both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (so be it)!”

We are all sinners in the eyes of God, for all have sinned and come short of the glory and honor of our everlasting God. Truth be told, we have once upon a time lied, perhaps stolen something we thought to be insignificant, or maybe looked upon another person with desire in our hearts. The law clearly condemns us – we are liars, thieves, adulterers at heart in the eyes of a holy God.

How does God deal with us? There are three ways that God implements in dealing with our sinful nature:


God’s justice will pronounce us guilty as charged; it requires us to die to pay the penalty of our actions, for the wages of sin is death. Justice cries death for all humanity, we deserve to die because of our transgressions. Mankind is doomed when God effects His justice, for no man is perfect and God requires perfection.

The law showed us that we are imperfect. We find ourselves disobeying or bending the laws so that it will fit our own personal agenda. Mere religion enforces the law – that we have to do “the works,” that is, by our own “good” works, we will be justified. However, we find it in ourselves that even our own good works are not enough, because the motives of a sinful man for doing good works are often, if not only, selfish.


God’s mercy will take us off the hook; His mercy will pardon our sins and abate His mighty hand of justice to fall upon the frail man. We sinned, we deserved death – yet we are pardoned and our death penalty is not executed. God’s tender-mercies and loving-kindness are renewed every morning. Sin’s stench reaches His nostrils, yet with His compassion and mercy, we are not destroyed.

We can see God’s mercy at work for all of us but especially for the unbelieving, sinful world. There is no covenant that holds Him to have mercy on those who do not believe in Him, yet He continues to pardon sins and prevents His judgment to fall upon those who do not acknowledge Him. Day by day, His mercy allows the wicked to live, giving them another chance to repent of their sins and turn towards Him.


The most beautiful way that God deals with the sinful man is with His grace. God’s grace is when we get what we don’t deserve – we deserve to die, yet we inherit life by the grace of God through Christ Jesus; we deserve hell, yet we are adopted into heaven’s family by the same grace through our Lord Jesus.

We are at the dispensation of grace. God gives grace for sinners like us to repent, and be removed from the penalties of breaking the law. More than ever, God desires for us to see our own fallen nature, that we are not capable of living a life that meets His standards. It is by the grace of God that our hearts are softened and we realize, “Yes, I really am a sinner. I cannot live before a Holy God because sinners get consumed in His presence. I do not deserve heaven right now because that is where His presence is… but this means I am going to hell… I want to make it right with God.”

Seize this opportunity to make it right with God. His grace abounds, His mercy is renewed every morning – yet there will always be a time for judgment, when God withholds His spirit and death overtakes a man. The day of your salvation has come; today is the day of making it right with God.

If you feel this in your heart right now, we believe that God, by His mercy and grace, is speaking to you. We beseech you not to harden your heart. There is only one way to heaven and that is through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, let us pray:

“God, I am a sinner. I acknowledge all my sins, even the smallest ones, and I ask for your forgiveness. I repent of all those sins I have committed and I ask for your grace to help me stay far away from them. I believe that you have always been merciful to me by providing me with a Savior – the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that He is the perfect atonement for my sins so that Your judgment will be stayed and I will reap life instead of death. Since He died for me, I owe my life to Him, so I invite Him right now in my heart to live inside of me. Pour upon me your Holy Spirit so that I can live a life that is victorious and overcome all wickedness in my nature. I thank You for Your grace upon me – that now I am a member of Your family and from now on, I can call You: Father.”

Debie Misir: August 13, 2008

We wrestle not against Flesh and Blood

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)

The word of God is truth and life unto us. Every scripture is very clear in what it conveys and works unfailingly, in God’s perfect timing, as we speak it over our lives and the lives of others. We have all seen it and we have experienced it over and over again. Why then is it so difficult to grasp the scripture that tells us quite clearly that “We wrestle not against Flesh and Blood?” This is as much absolute truth as all other statements of truth in the Bible. Yet every Christian wrestles with this particular truth, as we continue to fight against each other and those who are yet to believe, instead of wrestling with the powers and principalities, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness in high places that the word of God teaches us to. Ravi Zacharias maintains. “I have little doubt that the single greatest obstacle to the impact of the gospel has not been its inability to provide answers, but the failure on our part to live it out.” I totally agree, but this begs the question, why?

Our instructions are clear. The power of the Holy Spirit is working in us. Yet, when a particular situation arises that invariably wounds us, we buckle under the physical pain and emotional trauma and resort to battles of the flesh which bring no peace or satisfaction, only tremendous hurt to us as well as others. Why? The answer lies in our lack of introspection into the evil within, and the power of the devil to deceive and use us.

Truly we have underestimated the depth and magnitude of evil within our own flesh. Truly we have not spent precious soul-searching time travailing before the Lord, asking Him to reveal what is in our hearts. Truly we have not had enough of a revelation of His holiness so that we may see the full extent of our own filthiness in comparison. And, truly we must not be surrendering totally to the Holy Spirit, who is diligently working in us to bring about the experience of the death of our flesh, and the fullness of life in the Spirit.

Before we were born again, the word of God says, we were born of flesh (old, carnal man). As such we were subject to the laws of the flesh which produced fruits of the flesh as outlined in (Galatians 5:19-21) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Our flesh has been in open rebellion since the fall of Adam, when he disobeyed God and lost his meekness, his total submission to God. Flesh turned away from God and turned to self. Since then, we have exalted self as the head, relegating God to whatever we would like Him to be or to non-existence, thus giving the enemy free reign over our souls. The Bible emphatically maintains that all flesh is evil and cannot be redeemed. It must die. When we are “born again”, reconciled with God, our flesh (carnal man) was put to death as confirmed in (Galations 5:24), ”And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” This is the fact of our existence in Christ. When we first believed in Him, our flesh was put to death on the cross with Him. "But" you may say, "how could this be true? I still get angry. I still get jealous and envious. I still go after pleasures of the world….in short, I still do the things I did before I believed."

The fact is if we have believed in the death and resurrection of the Lord and the work of the Cross, then we must also believe that our flesh has been crucified with Him. This is told to us by a God who cannot lie. Since we have believed that we (the old man) were crucified with Him, then we must now exercise the same faith to cooperate fully with the Holy Spirit whose work is to now turn the fact of the death of our flesh into actual experience in our lives. We must now mortify the deeds of our bodies through His power. Paul says…“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13).” If we do not surrender, we will find ourselves living after the flesh and not the Spirit which will eventually lead to certain death. We will find it difficult to “turn the other cheek”, to “bless those who curse us”, and to “pray for those who despitefully use us.” We will find it difficult to “give them our coat also when they take away our cloak” – in short to we will find it extremely difficult to “love our enemies”, as the Lord has taught us to. What impossible tasks these are to the flesh which is inherently selfish and evil? But to the spirit, led and empowered by the Holy Spirit, filled with the unconditional love of the Lord, it is not only possible but can and must become our way of life.

How then do we cooperate with the Holy Spirit in bringing about the experience of the death of flesh and life in the Spirit? We can start by recognizing the evil within our own flesh knowing this is what the enemy uses to bring about the destruction of God’s children. We can start by internalizing and living the scripture… “We wrestle not with Flesh and Blood”, knowing that the power to live the abundant, victorious life lies in our obedience to this powerful word. In my early walk with the Lord, the very first lesson I learned as this word began to test me was in taming my tongue which has been a weapon of mass destruction in the past. I fought many great battles which the Lord allowed to come through many situations with my family, close friends, my job, outside influences, and my church, in order to overcome. Why should silencing the tongue be one of the first lessons you may ask? Because the word of God promises, “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. (James 3:2). Although, some major strongholds have been broken, it is a continuous war with many levels I find.

How can we gain victory in taming the tongue?, you may ask. When the attacks begin; be it gossip, abuse, slander, temptation, financial hardship, affliction, curses, jealousy, anger, etc…the strategy is to first remember that “We wrestle not against Flesh and Blood”, and begin to question where the attacks are really coming from, completely disregarding how you are feeling or any flesh it is coming through. At this time your flesh will be rising up in great strength. Your peace, love and joy will be threatened. You will desperately want to respond in kind. Remember if you do this, you will no longer be operating in the fruits of the Spirit; Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control. You will no longer be living after the Spirit, but you will be living after flesh which is the primary goal of the enemy. Let the love of Christ constrain you. Continue to question the true source of the attack. As you do this the enemy will start to weaken. Quickly separate your attacker, the Accuser of the Brethren himself, from all flesh. Any flesh that does his will is merely in agreement with him.

Next, humble yourself before the Lord in prayer, with forgiveness in your heart for all flesh and God. We must come with true forgiveness, otherwise we cannot be set free. Unforgiveness is like a jail keeper, who locks us in a cell of torment and stands guard. We must respond like Paul when his closest brethren who had labored faithfully by his side deserted him for the pleasures of the world. “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. (2 Timothy 4:16) “. We must like Stephen when he was being stoned to death cry out “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge (Acts 7:60). And we must like the Lord himself after he was mocked, scorned, reviled, scourged and nailed to a cross say “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Forgiveness is the key to keeping your heart pure before God. At all costs, forgive. Even when you don’t feel it, make the decision to forgive. The Lord will do the rest.

Know that once you have won this battle and you are able to hold your tongue, because you have not allowed the enemy to use you to hurt others, the enemy will immediately turn against you. The battle will now internalize quite ferociously. All the anger, hurt, disappointments, and discouragements he is seeking to wound you with will begin to rage and torment your soul, stealing your peace, love, and joy. Left alone, these will quickly advance into offences, hate, bitterness, depression etc. Resolutely, maintaining your silence and a humble, forgiving heart, stay at the Cross until you are set free. Fast and pray in the Spirit as the Holy Spirit leads (Spiritual Warfare), and never give up and give in to the enemy. Continue to love even when you don’t feel like it. Know that love also is a decision, not a feeling. Remember to bring the blood of Jesus over all involved, not only for yourself, but for those who are seemingly coming against you. Many times, they are deceived and cannot recognize that the enemy is using them like a weapon aimed to destroy both you and them. Pray for them and release them to the Lord for blessings. The struggle may take a few minutes, a few days, or even a few months, but the Lord will set you free. He is never late, so whatever time He has allowed for you to remain in the battle, know that it is valuable time He is using to bring about the transformation in you that He desires.

Eventually, if not immediately, the attacks will cease for He is faithful and true. You will then feel an almost physical as well as spiritual release as if a great burden has been lifted. A peace will fill your heart and then the love of the Lord will once again flow. You will now be able to love your enemies, even though the physical situation still remains the same. In the midst of temptation, you are now able to stand. What a sweet victory! You will experience the glory He promised at the end of every trial and you will now fully understand the battle you have just fought and recognize where you came from. For, you have just entered a greater glory. You will realize that the situation or circumstance that brought on the battle was really very insignificant and many times misinterpreted and magnified by the enemy of your soul. You will also find that the Lord has not only worked in your heart, but he has also worked in the hearts of all others involved and in the physical circumstances or afflictions to resolve everything for your good, in his perfect time. Such is His love when we submit to His ways and obey.

Always remember who we wrestle with, understand how the enemy operates, and be prepared and perpetually alert. The army of Satan is organized, strategic, systematic, and relentless. Their purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy God’s children, most often by pitting us against each other. Read to consider, the organization, purpose, and strategy of Satan’s army taken from excerpts of Rick Joyner’s “the Final Quest” in which he penned these revelations: The demonic army was so large that it stretched as far as I could see. It was separated into divisions, the foremost divisions marching under the banner of “Pride, Self-Righteousness, Respectability, Selfish Ambitions, Unrighteous Judgment, and Jealousy. The leader of the army was the Accuser of the Brethren himself. The weapons they carried were also named: the swords were named Intimidation, the spears were named Treachery, arrows…Accusation, Gossip, Slander, and Faultfinding. Scouts and smaller companies of demons were named Rejection, Bitterness, Impatience, Unforgiveness, and Lust. These were sent in advance of the army to prepare for the attack. This army was marching specifically against the church, but it was attacking everyone it could. The primary strategy of this army was to cause division on every possible level of relationship – churches with each other, congregations with their pastors, husbands and wives, children and parents, and even children with each other. The scouts were sent to locate openings in the churches and the people, Rejection, bitterness, unforgivenss, lust etc, and to exploit and make them larger. Then the following divisions would pour through the openings to completely overcome their victims. The most shocking part of this vision was that this horde was not riding on horses, but on the backs of Christians focused on getting them to fight with each other. It was obvious that these believers just had to stop agreeing with their demons to get free of them..

That is all it takes beloved, we need to stop agreeing with the demons whispering in our ears, behind our backs, or speaking out loud in front of our faces. We need cooperate with the Holy Spirit in bringing about the experience of the death of our flesh by not acting and reacting in the flesh whenever we are facing a trial. This is the only way the love of God can constantly flow in and through us bringing us into abundant life in the Spirit. For the word of God says that by this love alone... we know that we have life …“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. (1 John 3:14).

Debie Misir: August 06, 2008

The Power of the Cross

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

The word of God says we are born into a world of sin with a sinful nature, and we have all chosen to sin. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior who paid the wages of our sins by dying an agonizing death on Calvary’s Cross for us. To those who do not yet believe, the way of the Cross may seem foolish. But our merciful and omniscient God chose the foolishness of the Cross with all its sufferings, pain, and death to demonstrate His perfect love, mercy, and forgiveness to all of mankind. He is sovereign and all-powerful. He could have chosen the way of power and force, but He desires to win our love and change our hearts, not to rule by the sheer power of His might. He overcame suffering and pain by enduring them to their fullest intensity. Therein lays the true power and ultimate strength of the Cross. Below, Dr C. Truman Davis gives a medical account of what Jesus Christ endured on the day He died for our sins… yours and mine. As you read, I pray that you experience His deep, abiding love for you.

After Jesus is sentenced

Preparations for the scourging are carried out. The prisoner is stripped of His clothing and His hands are tied to a post above His head. It is doubtful whether the Romans made any attempt to follow the Jewish law in this matter of scourging. The Jews had an ancient law prohibiting more than forty lashes. The Pharisees, always making sure that the law was strictly kept, insisted that only thirty-nine lashes be given. (In case of a miscount, they were sure of remaining within the law.) The Roman legionnaire steps forward with the flagrum (or flagellum) in his hand. This is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each.

The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus shoulders, back and legs. At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they are cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles. The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows. Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped.

The half-fainting Jesus is then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with His own blood. The Roman soldiers see a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be a king. They throw a robe across His shoulders and place a stick in His hand for a scepter. They still need a crown to make their travesty complete. A small bundle of flexible branches covered with long thorns (commonly used for firewood) are plaited into the shape of a crown and this is pressed into His scalp. Again there is copious bleeding (the scalp being one of the most vascular areas of the body.) After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp. Finally, they tire of their sadistic sport and the robe is torn from His back. This had already become adherent to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds, and its removal, just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, causes excruciating pain...almost as though He were again being whipped - and the wounds again begin to bleed.

In deference to Jewish custom, the Romans return His garments. The heavy patibulum of the cross is tied across His shoulders and the procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves and the execution detail of the Roman soldiers, headed by a centurion, begins its slow journey along the Via Dolorosa. In spite of His efforts to walk erect, the weight of the heavy wooden cross together with the shock produced by copious blood loss, is too much. He stumbles and falls. The rough wood of the beam gouges into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders. He tries to rise, but human muscles have been pushed beyond their endurance. The centurion, anxious to get on with the crucifixion, selects a stalwart North African onlooker, Simon of Cyrene, to carry the cross. Jesus follows, still bleeding and sweating the cold, clammy sweat of shock. The 650 yard journey from the fortress Antonia to Golgotha is finally completed. The prisoner is again stripped of His clothes - except for a loin cloth which is allowed the Jews.

The crucifixion begins, Jesus is offered wine mixed with Myrrh, a mild analgesic mixture. He refuses to drink. Simon is ordered to place the cross on the ground and Jesus is quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexibility and movement. The patibulum is then lifted in place at the top of the stipes and the titulus reading Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews is nailed in place.

The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The victim is now crucified. As He slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain - the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As He pushes Himself upward to avoid this wrenching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet.

At this point, another phenomenon occurs. As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen. It was undoubtedly during these periods that He uttered the seven short sentences which are recorded:

The first, looking down at the Roman soldiers throwing dice for His seamless garment, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.

The second, to the penitent thief… Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise.

The third, looking down at the terrified, grief stricken, adolescent John,(the beloved Apostle), He said, Behold thy mother, and looking to Mary, His mother, Woman behold thy son.

The fourth cry is from the beginning of the 22nd Psalm, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting joint- rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins. A deep crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart. Let us remember again the 22nd Psalm (the 14th verse), I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax, it is melted in the midst of my bowels. It is now almost over - the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level – the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissue - the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to draw in small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues send their flood of stimuli to the brain.

Jesus gasps His fifth cry, I thirst.

Let us remember another verse from the prophetic 22nd Psalm: My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaved to my jaws; and thou have brought me into the dust of death. A sponge soaked in Ponca, the cheap, sour wine which is the staple drink of the Roman legionnaires, is lifted to His lips. He apparently does not take any of the liquid. The body of Jesus is now in extremis and He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues.

This realization brings out His sixth words - possibly little more than a tortured whisper.

It is finished.

His mission of atonement has been completed. Finally He can allow his body to die. With one last surge of strength, he once again presses His torn feet against the nail, straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters His seventh and last cry,

Father into thy hands I commit my spirit.

Jesus Christ was sinless. As such, the punishment for all the sins of mankind was a million times more unbearable than what is described above or what we can imagine. Yet, He willingly chose to endure the Cross with all its agony and pain, scorning its shame, so that we can be forgiven of our sins and reconciled with our Heavenly Father, receiving the gift of eternal life. The Power of the Cross does not stop here, but continues to work in our lives to free us from all sins and fears daily, transforming our hearts into that of our Lord Jesus and enabling us to life a victorious, abundant life on earth. In the Cross Jesus Christ demonstrates His perfect love for us.

If you have never received Christ into your heart and would like to receive Him now, pray this prayer……..

“Lord Jesus, I believe you died and rose again. I repent of my sins and ask you to wash me clean. Please come into my heart and be my Lord and my God. I thank you Lord”