Leaping with Joy like Calves let Out to Pasture

 

In Northern Ireland from spring to autumn we have long days of sunlight.  The sun does not get too hot here but the brighter days make one want to make up for the dark days of winter.

“Behold the winter is past the time for singing of birds has come.”  Song of Solomon.

I awake early with the sunrise.  Overhead I see at least twenty trails of aeroplanes returning to Europe from North America.  Life is going on all around.

As it is getting warmer, birds and animals are revived as well.  The local farmer moved his cows with young to greener pastures from their winter feeding area.  They were released from the stall.  They will give birth there.
Lambs are born and birds are building their nests for their young.  The cycle of new birth turns again.

I have been released as well into green pastures.  I can truly say with Psalm 23  “The Lord is my shepherd.  There is nothing I shall want.   Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose.  He guides me beside still waters to restore my soul.”

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I am receiving new strength with the joy of having my new home.  I want to do so many things.  Multitasking!  I get ideas as I sit.  I make a note of groceries to be got for this Easter weekend.

I send greetings for Easter via email and text.  I get an idea for a blog.  I want to plant some flowers that will bloom in the window boxes.  I want to pray.  I want to worship God.  It is not a chore because thanksgiving and praise rise because God has been so good to me.  I want to live and shout and sing and dance!

As the sun rises in the East may the Sun of righteousness rise with healing in his wings for you this  Spring and Easter season.

“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings.  And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. (Malachi 4:2 NLT)

 

Why is Good Friday called Good.

 

Today is Friday of Holy Week when we remember the last days of Jesus on the earth.  It is called Good Friday.

Is it not a bad day when someone dies?

Jesus died a horrible death.  He was crucified.  His back was cut open from the a whip.  His face was covered in blood from a crown of thorns that pierced his head.  Nails were hammered into his hands and feet.  He was cursed, because anyone who hung on a tree was cursed.  He was covered in blood.  His side was opened up with a sword.  He was naked.  He was hungry.  He was thirsty.  He was separated from God.

Men mocked him.  He suffered.  He was in pain.  He did no wrong.  He did not sin.  He helped people while he lived.  He was full of love.  He forgave those who killed him.  He obeyed his Father.  He did not call on angels for help.  He was the perfect sacrifice.

His close friends deserted him.  He was spat upon.  He was punished.  He was rejected and betrayed.  He was despised.  He had done no violence.  He did not open his mouth.  He did not want his own will.  He gave up his Spirit.

Adam disobeyed God and was put out of the garden and separated from God.  Someone had to bring mankind back into God’s presence.  God told Moses to sacrifice bulls as offerings.  Aaron had to sprinkle the blood over the people to bring them close to God.

Jesus became a sacrifice to God to bring mankind into God’s presence again.  He died to self.  His blood was shed for us though he had not sinned.  Through his sacrifice we can be forgiven our wrongdoings, curses, and healed of sicknesses.  He understands our pain.  He took our pain so we can be healed.  As we believe and accept his sacrifice and forgiveness we can be free.  We are reconciled to God and can be with him on earth and in heaven.

We do not have to wait to die before we experience heaven.  Jesus taught us to pray “Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.”

This is Good News.

That is why the day we remember Jesus’ death is called Good.