Monday, September 12, 2016

John 18 - Part 2: The Kangaroo Court

It is difficult to describe this trial because of the cruelty,
The ridicule and disrespect He endured for you and me.
The band of soldiers and Pharisees bound the hands of the Lord,
Then took him to the house of Annas, their hearts in one accord.

Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the current high priest.
His influence prevailed in Jewish Law from the greatest to the least.
Annas questioned Jesus severely about doctrine and His men
Seeking earnestly for an excuse the Savior to condemn.

Jesus, knowing his evil intent said, “Why ask a question like this?
Thousands know what I taught. It’s very hard to miss.”
One of the officers standing by slapped Jesus in the face
My blood boils at the thought of such contemptible disgrace.

Annas then sent Him to the High Priest with scribes and elders assembled.
The thought of false witness against the Lord causes me to tremble.
In spite of their crafty, evil scheme, no credible evidence existed.
Finally in measures quite extreme, two liars were enlisted.

The first one accused Him of sedition, a plot to destroy their traditions;
Jesus made no defense or admission, giving no deposition.
The High priest asked, “Are you Christ, the glorious Son of the Blessed?
This Christ affirmed and the crowd went wild affirming His arrest.

The high priest tore his garments and shouted, “What terrible blasphemy!
There’s no need for additional witness. Let Him die in agony!”
They spit in His face; then covered His head so that He could not see.
Punching His face they cried out, “Prophesy! Who is it striking thee?”

These two trials went through the night. Jesus was pummeled and scorned.
In order to legally murder Him, legal charges must be formed.
Since the Jews lacked authority in their kangaroo court
Pilate would need to order the deed for their scheming not to fall short.

This we will study in the next poem as we read John’s words.
How could Pilate approve their charge so patently absurd?
How could it be that man would kill His Creator so callously?
The answer is His fallen nature marred by sin’s tragedy.

He who thinks man is inherently good is quite sadly mistaken.
Over and over and over again, captive he is taken.
He cannot control His evil behavior, His love for others grows cold;
He rejects his need for a Lord and savior; by selfishness controlled.

He avoids Bible discussion; these things make him nervous,
No thoughts of eternal repercussion, no presence at worship service.
Then the day of eternity comes; he breathes his very last breath.
To the great question of life he succumbs, “What happens after death?”

© Copyright 2016 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Friday, September 9, 2016

John 18: Part 1 – The Garden of Gethsemane

Jesus was facing a horrible test as He entered the garden that night.
He needed time to commune with God before He entered the fight.
His inner circle—the chosen three—accompanied Him there to pray.
Burdened to the point of death He needed them there to stay.

He went a short way, fell on His face, and cried out in agony,
“O my Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me.
But if it must be, I’ll carry the cross up the Judgment Hill;
All must happen not as I want but according to Your will.”

He came to His friends seeking their help in this time of emotional pain.
Facing His death He found them asleep weary from all the strain.
So much like me with good intent, they failed to prevail in prayer.
In this time of horrific torment, their comfort was not there.

A second and then a third time too, Jesus repeated His prayer
Seeking endurance for what He would do and the agony He would bear.
Sweat drops of blood fell from His face; an angel ministered to Him.
Jesus arose to endure the cross with its terror so dark and grim.

About that time Judas arrived with officials and temple guard.
For a handful of silver the Lord he betrayed, willing His love to discard.
Peter, of course, with dreams of grandeur, flashed his sword to fight.
He aimed for the head but sliced off an ear of Malchus on that night.

Jesus told Peter to stand down and put his sword back in his belt.
He picked up the ear and healed the man from the injury he was dealt.
All the disciples ran away; fear filled their hearts and mind.
But Jesus did not resist arrest; He faced the mission assigned.

In the next poem we will see the Kangaroo court and trial,
The terrible acts of evil man and torture reserved for the vile.
We will see the acts of Pilate whose cowardice allowed them to kill.
We will see all Jesus endured on the way to Golgotha’s hill.

It’s hard for me to face Christ’s death because of my personal guilt.
My sinful self would have pierced His heart up to the very hilt.
All of us who fooled themselves by declaring ourselves sin free
Knew within the depth of our hearts that we were also guilty.

But Jesus came to pay the price; the Spirit to convict of sin.
We repent and turn away from the person we had been.
We place our trust in Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on the cross.
Our fellowship with God is restored; we’re free from eternal loss.

And now we celebrate the cross; without it we are condemned.
No longer controlled by sin’s impulse; it’s power the Spirit transcends.
A new creation we have been made transformed in spirit and mind,
Adopted into the Father’s home, no longer spiritually blind.

For all these things we thank our God and celebrate Calvary
There on the cross salvation was won by the Man from Galilee.
O what grace was given that day when our redemption was won!
The hero that brought it here to stay is Jesus, God’s glorious son.

© Copyright 2016 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, September 8, 2016

John 17:Part 2 - The Lord’s Prayer for His Disciples

O what a prayer Jesus prayed on that fateful eve
For the disciples given by God whom He soon would leave!
The Father in heaven had chosen them; brought them to our Lord,
Who taught them of eternal life and heaven’s splendid rewards.

This prayer is a model for all to heed if they would mentor others.
Seeking the Lord is a great need among all sisters and brothers.
Jesus sought the Father’s care for these He held so dear
Knowing just how they would fare when He was no longer here.

He prayed for them to live in love retaining their unity
Knowing the devil’s evil attack would seek opportunity.
“I have taught and kept them true, except the son of perdition,
Now I commit them unto You to carry them through their mission.”

“The world will hate them terribly just as it hated Me
The devil will make them nominees for pain and hostility.
I do not ask they be removed from facing worldly rejection;
I pray their devotion will improve, kept by divine protection.”

“Just as I came as an intervention into this world of sinful men,
I send them forth to preach redemption over and over again.
For this purpose I gave my life, put on the nature of man,
Paying the price of reclamation for his salvation plan.”

“They belong to a heavenly kingdom distinct from this world of sin;
Protect them by your glorious power, sanctified within.
I pray the Word of Truth abounds, their glorious source of light;
May this wondrous scripture expound and its truth ignite.”

“As you sent Me, so I send them. As I leave, they go.
As I loved them by Your grace, so Your grace they show.
No longer do I call them servants; now I call them friends.
Keep them, Father. This is my prayer. Now I say amen.”

Here is a final thought to consider in this poetic address:
This world today thinks wealth and fame are measures of success.
Help us to see an honest name, unwavering in godly devotion
Is unattached to this futile world but focused on heaven’s promotion.

© Copyright 2016 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

John 17:1-5: The Lord’s Prayer for Mankind: Part 1

Do you know why Jesus came to earth,
Why He added the nature of man?
How sin’s stain became man’s dearth;
Without a salvation plan?

All of creation was exposed
To the horror of sin’s world entrance?
Thus deliverance was proposed
To avoid an eternal death sentence?

Someone had to pay the price
To bring about true justice;
Someone sinless—no lamb would suffice—
To satisfy perfect justness.

That which was planned from the beginning of time,
To obtain salvation for man,
The murder that marks man’ heinous crime,
Was carefully, craftily planned.

Our Lord was not taken by surprise,
For He knew the effects of sin,
How man fell from Creator’s design
To be scarred and polluted within.

“Now that the hour has arrived,”
Our Lord prayed to God above,
“Glorify Me and man revive;
Transform him by Your love.”

“Sustain Me by your grace, O God,
Accept my life sacrifice,
Raise me in power from this sod,
I surrender my earthly life.”

Jesus glorified God on earth,
Fulfilling His mission for you.
Providing for man a spiritual birth,
So what are you going to do?

Will you receive Him; believe His Word?
Or will you just muddle through?
Respond to the message you have heard,
To the provision God made for you.

The glorious Creator of time and space
So loved His highest creation,
He came to take our deserving place
To save us from condemnation.

Do you not see this truth so clear?
His death provides salvation.
Your greatest decision on this sphere
Is to accept its consummation.

His death is sufficient for the soul
Who will believe and acquiesce.
Oh place your life in His control!
It’s the key to spiritual rest.

© Copyright 2016 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved