Do you know where you can lean? Do you know where you can turn? Do you know who you can trust? Do you know who is the same yesterday, today, and forever? Do you realize that even though you may stray, He is still faithful? Do you realize that even though you may walk away, He is waiting on you and hoping you will come back? Do you realize even though you left the protection and the provision He is still calling and desiring for you to come back? Do you realize that in this world you will have troubles? Are you setting yourself up so that in those moments you will have what you need and you will be in relationship with Jesus who has told us to take heart because He has overcome the world? Do you realize that when you have a living relationship with Jesus, He provides a way that goes beyond all understanding providing you peace, so that you can consider it pure joy when you face trials of any kind? Do you realize what you are setting yourself up for when you walk out from the covering and the protection of Jesus? When you are in the open for the attacks of the enemy? Do you realize what God has to offer? Do you realize the gift that is available to you? Do you realize that it is free and just requires for you to choose it? The gift of salvation comes through grace, not by works so that nobody can boast!
So where are you at today?
Do you know where you can go?
Let’s get started with our reading from the book of Hosea…
Ephraim Multiplies Lies
1“Ephraim surrounded Me with lies and the house of Israel with deceit.” Though Judah roams restlessly with God, yet he is faithful with holy things. 2Ephraim is grazing on wind and pursuing the east wind. All day he multiplies lies and ruin: making a pact with Assyria, while carrying oil to Egypt. 3Adonai also has a dispute with Judah: He will punish Jacob for his ways, repaying him for his deeds. 4In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel, and in his vigor he strove with God. 5Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won; he wept and sought his favor. At Bethel he will find us, and there He will speak with us. 6Even Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot— Adonai is His memorial-Name. 7So you should return to your God, keep covenant loyalty and justice, and wait for your God continually. 8A merchant loves to extort, with deceptive balances in his hand. 9Now Ephraim has said: “How rich I have become! I found wealth by myself. I won’t be guilty of any sin with any of my property.” 10“Yet I have been Adonai your God, since the land of Egypt. I will yet again make you dwell in tents, as in the days of the moed. 11I also spoke through the prophets and I multiplied visions. Now through the prophets I will make parables. 12Since Gilead is full of iniquity, they are utterly worthless. In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls— even their altars will become heaps of rocks along the furrows of My field.” 13Now Jacob fled to the field of Aram, when Israel served for a wife— yes, he kept watch for a wife. 14So by a prophet Adonai brought Israel up out of Egypt, and by a prophet he was kept. 15Ephraim has provoked bitter anger, so his bloodguilt will remain on him— his Lord will repay him for his contempt.
–from Hosea 12
There is only one way back! It’s to turn to God! He is like the Father who is awaiting the prodigal or lost son, hoping and waiting and looking for any sign of his return! There is only one under heaven and earth by which we can be saved! Only GOD can save!
No Other Savior
1When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling. He exalted himself in Israel, but he became guilty through Baal, and died. 2But now, they sin more and more. They made themselves molten images, idols skillfully made from their silver, all of them the work of the craftsmen. They say about them: “Let those who sacrifice kiss the calves.” 3Therefore they will be like morning clouds, like dew passing away early, like chaff blown from the threshing-floor, or like smoke from a chimney. 4“Yet I have been Adonai your God since the land of Egypt. You should know no God but Me, and there is no Savior apart from Me. 5I Myself knew you in the wilderness, in a land of terrible drought. 6While they were fed, they were satisfied. Filled, their hearts became haughty. Therefore they forgot Me. 7So I became like a lion to them— like a leopard lying in wait by the way. 8I will meet them like a bear robbed of her cubs, and I will tear open their chests. There I will devour them like a lioness. A beast of the field will rip them to shreds. 9It has corrupted you, O Israel, for you are against Me— against your Helper! 10Where then is your king? So, will he save you in all your cities? Or your judges, to whom you said: ‘Give me a king and princes!’ 11I give you a king in My anger, and take him away in My wrath. 12Ephraim is bound by iniquity; his sin is treasured up. 13Pains of birth come on him. He is not a wise son. When the time comes, he should not delay at the opening of the womb. 14Should I ransom them from the hand of Sheol? Should I redeem them from death? O death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting? Comfort is hidden from My eyes.” 15Because he is the son of kinsmen, he should have been fruitful. An east wind will come— the wind from Adonai, coming up from the wilderness. His spring will become dry, and his fountain will dry up. He will plunder the treasury of every precious vessel.
–from Hosea 13
Jesus paid the price! He gave His life on the cross that we can be reconciled back unto God! He gave His life on the cross to provide a way for us to be forgiven for our sins! Not just some of them, but all of them! Will you give your mistakes, your problems, your issues, your problems, your sins up to Him and nail them to the cross? Jesus died once for all! No more sacrifices are needed — we just need to give them over to Him! Jesus not only died on the cross, He conquered the grave to provide for freedom! True freedom! Jesus knows! He isn’t surprised! He knows us better than we know ourselves! So don’t run away! Don’t get lost! Turn back to Him! Ask Him for forgiveness! Allow His power to break the chains of fear, of doubt, of worry, of bitterness, so that you can take hold of the gift of salvation and hope and love and freedom!
Anointed for Burial
1Now it was two days before Passover and the Feast of Matzah. The ruling kohanim and Torah scholars were searching for a way to grab Yeshua by stealth and kill Him. 2“But not during the festival,” they were saying, “so there won’t be a riot among the people.” 3And while Yeshua was in Bethany at the house of Simon ha-Metzora, reclining at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive oil of pure nard. Breaking open the jar, she poured it over His head. 4But some got angry and said among themselves, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? 5It could have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor!” And they kept scolding her. 6But Yeshua said, “Leave her alone. Why do you cause trouble for her? She’s done Me a mitzvah. 7For you always have the poor with you, and you can do good for them whenever you want; but you won’t always have Me. 8She did what she could—she came beforehand to anoint My body for burial. 9Amen, I tell you, wherever the Good News is proclaimed in all the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” 10Then Judah from Kriot, one of the Twelve, went out to the ruling kohanim to betray Yeshua to them. 11They were delighted when they heard this and promised to give him money. And Judah began looking for a chance to hand Him over.
New Covenant at the Last Seder
12Now on the first day of matzah , when they were slaughtering the Passover lamb, Yeshua’s disciples say to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?” 13He sends two of His disciples and tells them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, 14and wherever he enters, tell the homeowner, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is My guest room, where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 15He will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.” 16The disciples went out, came to the city, and found just what Yeshua had told them. And they prepared the Passover. 17When it was evening, He came with the Twelve. 18As they were reclining and eating, Yeshua said, “Amen, I tell you, one of you who is eating with Me will betray Me.” 19They began to be sorrowful and to say to Him one by one, “I’m not the one, am I?” 20He said to them, “It’s one of the Twelve, one who dips with Me in the bowl. 21For the Son of Man indeed goes, just as it is written about Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born!” 22And while they were eating, He took matzah ; and after He offered the bracha, He broke it and gave it to them and said, “Take; this is My body.” 23And He took a cup; and after giving thanks, He gave to them and they all drank from it. 24And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25Amen, I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God.”
26After singing the Hallel, they went out to the Mount of Olives.27And Yeshua said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28But after I’m raised up, I will go before you to the Galilee.” 29Peter said to Him, “Even though all fall away, I won’t!” 30And Yeshua said to him, “Amen, I tell you, today—this very night—before a rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” 31But Peter kept insisting exceedingly, “Even if I must die with You, I’ll never deny You!” And they all were saying the same.
A Night of Painful Prayer
32Then they come to a place whose name is Gethsemane; and Yeshua says to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33He takes with Him Peter, Jacob, and John; and He began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34And He tells them, “My soul is deeply grieved, even to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch.” 35Going a little farther, He fell to the ground and began praying that if possible this hour might pass Him by. 36And He was saying, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You! Take this cup from Me! Yet not what I will, but what You will.” 37Then He comes and finds them sleeping; and He tells Peter, “Simon, you’re asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? 38Keep watching and praying, so that you do not enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39Again He went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy. They didn’t know what to answer Him. 41And He comes the third time and says to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is being delivered into the hands of sinners. 42Get up, let’s go! Look, My betrayer is near.”
Betrayed and Abandoned
43Right away, while Yeshua was still speaking, Judah comes up, one of the Twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the ruling kohanim, Torah scholars, and elders. 44Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, “The One I kiss, He’s the One! Seize Him and lead Him away under guard.” 45As soon as Judah came, he drew near to Yeshua and said, “Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 46Then they threw their hands on Yeshua and seized Him. 47But one of the bystanders, drawing his sword, struck the servant of the kohen gadol and cut off his ear. 48Yeshua said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, to capture Me as you would against a revolutionary? 49Every day I was with you in the Temple teaching, and you didn’t seize Me. But this is so that the Scriptures would be fulfilled.” 50And all fled, abandoning Him. 51A certain young man was following Him, with nothing but a linen cloth around his body, and they grabbed him. 52But he ran away naked, leaving behind the linen cloth.
53Then they led Yeshua away to the kohen gadol . And all the ruling kohanim, elders, and Torah scholars gathered. 54Peter had followed Him from a distance, right into the courtyard of the kohen gadol . He was sitting with the guards, warming himself by the fire. 55Now the ruling kohanim and all the Sanhedrin kept trying to get evidence against Yeshua so they could put Him to death, but they weren’t finding any. 56Many were giving false testimony against Him, but their testimony wasn’t consistent. 57Some stood up and began to give false testimony against Him, saying, 58“We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this Temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.’” 59Yet even then, their testimony didn’t agree. 60The kohen gadol stood up in the middle and questioned Yeshua, saying, “Do You have no answer? What is this they’re testifying against You?” 61But keeping silent, Yeshua did not answer. Again the kohen gadol questioned Him, “Are you Mashiach, Son of the Blessed One?” 62“I am,” said Yeshua, “and you shall see ‘the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Powerful One,’ and ‘coming with the clouds of heaven’!” 63Tearing his clothes, the kohen gadol says, “Why do we still need witnesses? 64You’ve heard the blasphemy. What seems right to you?” Then all condemned Him as deserving death. 65Some began to spit on Him, to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, saying, “Prophesy!” Also the guards slapped Him around.
The Rooster Crows
66As Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the kohen gadol comes by. 67Seeing Peter warming himself, she looked straight at him. “You also were with Yeshua of Natzeret,” she says. 68But he denied it, saying, “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about!” Then he went outside to the gateway, and a rooster crowed. 69Seeing him, the servant girl began again to tell the bystanders, “This is one of them.” 70But again he denied it. And a little while later, the bystanders were again saying to Peter, “Surely you’re one of them, for you’re also a Galilean.” 71But he began to curse himself and to swear an oath: “I do not know this Man you’re talking about!” 72Right then, a rooster crowed a second time. Then Peter called to mind the word Yeshua had said to him: “Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And he broke down and began to weep.
–from Mark 14