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Day 23 – The Torn Curtain

By Erwin W. Lutzer

Today’s Reading: Hebrews 9
Today’s Reference: Hebrews 10:12,14 “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God…For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”

“It is finished.”

Jesus came to Earth with a task: to suffer, preach, heal, and die. In the midst of the crucifixion ordeal, He cried out in triumph that He had fulfilled His mission to the last requirement. There was nothing He left undone, nothing to regret.

The heavy curtain separating ...

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Day 22 – Paid in Full

By Erwin W. Lutzer

Today’s Reading: Mark 15:37-38; John 19:30
Today’s Reference: Colossians 2:13-14 “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

“It is finished.”

In Greek, this cry of Jesus is one word, tetelestai, and in legal terms it could also mean “paid in full.” Jesus wants us to know that our sins are paid in ...

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Day 21 – A Greater Thirst

By Erwin W. Lutzer

Today’s Reading: John 4:4-26
Today’s Reference: Revelation 22:17 “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.”

“I thirst.”

The One who called Himself the Living Water is thirsty—what irony! Jesus has given up the privileges of deity to drink the “cup of wrath” prepared for Him at full strength. He would do no miracle here to spare Himself one tiny bit of punishment for our sins.

But ...

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Day 20 – A Simple Thirst

By Erwin W. Lutzer

Today’s Reading: John 19:28-29
Today’s Reference: Matthew 25:35, 40b “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

“I thirst.”

After all His suffering, of course He was thirsty! A part of the anguish of crucifixion is the dehydration of the body. But why force His tortured body to say the words aloud? John makes it clear His ...

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Day 19 – Who Died on the Cross?

By Erwin W. Lutzer

Today’s Reading: Psalm 22:1-11
Today’s Reference: 2 Corinthians 5:18-19a “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself.”

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Did the Father really forsake the Son on the cross, or did Jesus only feel forsaken? Did He suffer only as a man, as some people suggest, or did He suffer as God?

It is necessary for a holy God to turn His face away from sin. He ...

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Day 18 – An Anguished Father

By Erwin W. Lutzer

Today’s Reading: Mark 15:33-34
Today’s Reference: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

 

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

If Mary’s heart was wrung at the foot of the cross, how much more anguish was in the heart of the Father! This was the Son in whom He was “well pleased,” the Son with whom He had communed from before the beginning of time. Now the Father had to watch that Son ...

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Day 17 – A Forsaken Son

By Erwin W. Lutzer

Today’s Reading: Matthew 27:45-46
Today’s Reference: Nahum 1:6
“Who can stand before his indignation?
Who can endure the heat of his anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire,
and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.” 

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

No longer does Jesus say, “Father.” Into the thick, unnatural darkness that covered the land during the last three hours of His dying, He cries out to express His pain at separation from God. But still He says, “My God,” trusting even through despair.

This was the ...

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Day 16 – A Disciple’s Duty

By Erwin W. Lutzer

Today’s Reading: Mark 10:35-45
Today’s Reference: Mark 3:34b-35 “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

 

“Behold, your mother!”

When Jesus was arrested, the disciples all fled in terror and shame. The only one at the foot of the cross that day was John. Apparently he also had fled. Imagine his guilt as he slunk back to the One he’d promised to serve—the One in whose kingdom he’d hoped to be exalted!

Now imagine his incredulous joy, even at such a painful ...

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Day 15 – A Mother’s Grief

By Erwin W. Lutzer

Today’s Reading: John 19:23-27
Today’s Reference: Luke 2:34-35a “And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also)…’"

 

“Woman, behold, your son!”

I wonder if Mary thought of Simeon’s words as she stood at the foot of the cross. If she hadn’t understood them before, she did now, all too painfully. And when she heard Jesus tell John to assume His duties as eldest ...

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Day 14 – Saved and Unsaved

By Erwin W. Lutzer

Today’s Reading: Luke 23:39-43
Today's Reference: Matthew 12:30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

 

“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Do you realize that both thieves offer up a prayer? The unrepentant thief said, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us.” That’s a prayer. He wasn’t so concerned about eternity. He said, “Just get me off this cross.” He prayed and yet was lost forever, because he cared only for physical deliverance in ...

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