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Sometimes a scripture seems to jump out at you, leaving an impression that cannot be erased. Here are some of those indelible scriptures that have captured a place in my mind.

Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour. Leviticus 19:15

And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. Deuteronomy 8:17-18

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalms 1:1-3

The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Psalms 12:6

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. Psalms 29:2

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Psalms 50:2

Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Psalms 85:10

Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Psalms 85:11

O how I love thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Psalms 119:97

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalms 119:105

He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD. Proverbs 17:15

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Proverbs 24:16

Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Proverbs 24:17

I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Proverbs 24:30-31

Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another: Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away. Proverbs 25:9-10

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Proverbs 25:11

Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked. Proverbs 25:26

As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man. Proverbs 27:19

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29:18

An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked. Proverbs 29:27

The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces. Proverbs 30:28

That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past Ecclesiastes 3:15

He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. Ecclesiastes 5:10

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20

Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them. Jeremiah 5:14

And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. Jeremiah 3:15

For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk; the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.Hosea 8:7

But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. Amos 5:24

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. Mark 12:30

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Hebrews 2:14-15

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me Hebrews 13:5-6

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. Hebrews 13:15.

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18



What Crime?

The sky is dark, it looks like rain today-
Look at those purple clouds before the sun!
Why such a crowd gathered along this way?
Who is this man, what heinous crime was done?

Who is that woman wailing at his feet?
Who is he to her, how deep will be her loss?
Who is that man, what the crime, I repeat,
Whose bloodied flesh is nailed into the cross?

The stormclouds are turning black as night,
With rolling thunder comes the stinging rain.
"I thirst", he cries, an agonizing sight.
He writhes in tortured body wracked with pain.

To fight the pain no more, he makes the choice,
And looking skyward cries, "It is finished!"
(In the thunder I distinctly heard a voice:
"This is my Son!" just as the storm diminshed.)

Who is this, thorn-crowned, and side spear-riven?
Why are so many standing, still and awed?
What was his crime, what judgment was given?
"King of the Jews, begotten Son of God!"

08/11/98 by Bernie Parsons

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My Lord and My God!

I see a man being led to his crucifixion. The Roman soldiers laugh and mock him, thrusting at him with their spears. He stumbles under the heavy load of his cross. I see pain in his eyes, the glazed look of a man who has been whipped, and deprived of sleep. Yet there is a softness, a tenderness that touches my heart as his eyes light upon me. He grimaces as he tries to smile at me through the pain.

Curious, I follow on. A crowd is running alongside, and behind us, and in front. There are angry shouts, accusations and curses hurled at the man. Some laugh, and taunt, while others shake their heads in disgust.

Eventually we come to the place of the execution, a high spot so that all passing by the city can see. I draw close to the man, who finally required assistance in bearing his heavy load. He looks at me with interest, the pain still clouding his eyes. The soldiers stand around him, afraid that some zealot might break through the ranks to deliver the prisoner.

“Nail my hands to the cross,” he says in a low and kind voice. It is not a plea, but a command.

Startled, I step back, repulsed by the thought. “I will not pierce your tender flesh with these ragged nails!” I protest.

“You must,” he replies tenderly. “Pick up the nail, position it, then strike with the hammer!”

“I will not!” again I declare.

“You will,” he says sadly. “You will.”

Quite distraught, I cry the third time, “No, I will not, I say!”

“You already have,” the man says softly. “When you lie, you put the nail to my flesh. When you envy your neighbor, you pick up the hammer. When you speak God’s name in vain, you strike a solid blow. When you lust in your heart, you drive the nail deep. When money becomes your God, you pin me to the crossbeam. Blow after blow, you secure me. You can not control your tongue, you have malice in your heart, you hold grudges, refusing to forgive. You see people starving, and sick and weak, lost souls, and you do nothing to help. With each sin, the hammer rises and falls, the nails piercing skin and muscle and veins. My back is bloodied with the whip cuts intended for you, and because of you, I die upon this cross.”

I look down and see the bloody nails and the hammer in my hands. Horrified, I fall to my knees in shock and dismay. “My Lord, and my God!”

 

02 April 1999 Copyright Bernie Parsons

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1Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. 2And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, 3And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. 4Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. 5Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! 6When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. 7The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. 8When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; 9And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. 10Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? 11Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. 12And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. 13When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! 15But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. 16Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. 17And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: 18Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. 19And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. 21Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. 22Pilate answered, What I have written I have written. 23Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. 24They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did. 25Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. 28After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 30When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. 31The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 33But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 34But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 35And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 36For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 37And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced. 38And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. 39And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 40Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 41Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. 42There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

John Chapter 19, KJV

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