Category Archives: History

The Witnesses

Slowly, they walked up the hill at Golgotha, trying desperately to function beyond their feelings of dread. Golgotha. It was aptly named. In Aramaic, this was known as “place of the skull.” It was known for death. Breathing deeply with every step forward, they assembled there. Storm clouds formed in the sky and the wind picked up around them. They pulled their cloaks tighter and looked amongst each other nervously as darkness fell across the land. Hours went by. They were watching. Waiting. Wondering what this would mean. Fearing what this would mean. Everyone was silent. Everyone but Him who was laid bare on the tree.

“Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ When He had said this, He breathed His last.” Luke 23:46

Thunder clapped and echoed across the sky and the earth shook with grief. The tremors shot terror through the hearts of those standing witness, and pulsed furiously a half mile west to the Temple Mount.

“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split …. 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 27:51,54

Grief. Confusion. Anger. A complete and total loss of words. For the Apostles, the world as they know it just came crashing down on top of them. The hope they held out seemed like a distant memory and the One they called Master was now a lifeless body hanging before their eyes. Walking away from Golgotha was longer and harder than walking to it. They wondered what all of this was for now. Their mission. Would they even still have one? They wondered if all those things Jesus told them were even real. Nothing made sense anymore. Nothing.

* * *

Swiftly, the angels assembled, ready to bear witness to the most significant moment there ever was and ever would be in the history of both the kingdom of man and of God. Even the very earth was astir, its clouds rolling and wind sweeping, unable to contain its anticipation. They were watching. Waiting. But they were not wondering. They all knew what was to come. It would be hard to watch, but they knew He did it for the joy set before Him (Hebrews 12:2). A hush fell over them as every sin that ever was and ever would be committed laid on the shoulders of the One who came to save them. The Hope of all Hopes gave up His last obedient breath…

“…Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” John 19:30

Thunder clapped and echoed across the sky and the earth shook with the joy of celebration. The tremors pulsed victoriously a half mile west to the Temple Mount.

“Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them …. Unlike the other high priests, He does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when He offered Himself.” Hebrews 7:25,27

Joy. Faith. Celebration. Songs of praise and worship. For all of Heaven knew the veil had been torn, no longer separating man from God, but creating a bridge to the Holy of Holies. Hope was now alive. As alive as their Lord and Savior. All the hard work was validated and the prophesy about Jesus fulfilled. It was the new reality for all of mankind. Everything made sense now. Everything.

Be blessed,
C.K.

Exponential Impacts

Do you wonder what kind of an impact you’re making? Do you get discouraged when it seems like what’s going on around you might be taking you farther from the goal? When God’s in control, never underestimate the impacts. You may not see them right in front of you, but they are there. Let’s look at an incredible example of this – one that continually blows my mind every time I really think about it.

“…and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong.”

Romans 1:10-11

In 60 A.D., Rome was estimated to have more than four million people. In comparison, it would be like taking the city of Green Bay, WI and multiplying that forty times over. It would take fifty Lambeau Field stadiums to hold everyone! Paul had been hearing reports on the faith growing among the people and expressed his longing to visit them. Simply put, he was stoked to walk into this great imperial city and put on his preacher show at the Colosseum. It was the city center amphitheater which dreams were made of. Paul made it to Rome alright. But it wasn’t the colosseum he sat in. It was a prison cell. He landed himself on house arrest as a result of freeing a slave girl from a demon (Acts 16:16-24).

For the next two years, the only people Paul saw were the Roman guard and any visitors allowed to him. Can you imagine the discouragement he must have battled, feeling so far from the goal? Hardly a colosseum of people. But he made the most of his time preaching to his captive audience. He also did something quite extraordinary. During his time in prison, Paul wrote four books of the New Testament – Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. Now let’s get to the really cool part.

Statistically, the Bible is recorded to be the best selling book of all time, with over five billion Bibles in circulation. Combine this with all of the Bible apps, like YouVersion, that people can download for free. Now add in every person who’s ever listened to a message from one of these four books. I don’t know if I even know how to do the math correctly to come up with that number. All I know is, it’s staggering. That’s as scientific as I’ll get on one cup of coffee.

Paul expected to preach to a colosseum of people in Rome, but God had a much bigger plan in mind. The impact from the writings he did there were completely exponential to what he would have ever imagined, and those numbers grow daily! It’s mind blowing, really. Is Paul sitting in heaven feeling disappointed now? I think not.

If you’re working toward the things God laid on your heart, be confident the impacts will be both exponential and eternal, in His timing. If you expect Him to do immeasurably more (Ephesians 3:20), He’ll never disappoint you.

Be blessed,
C.K.