Why Jesus? Who is Jesus? How can Jesus help me with hope after homicide?
For answers to these and related questions, keep reading the devotional below, taken from Hope Beyond Homicide: Remembrance Devotionals.
HOPE BEYOND HOMICIDE
June Hetzel, Dean of Education
Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation. . . Romans 12:12a-b (NASB)
Jesus was murdered.
We all know the story.
Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, was raised by Mary and Joseph, prepared for ministry for 30 years, served in ministry for three years, and then as an innocent Lamb, was slain on the cross. Jesus knew, from the beginning of His life, that His role would be to die. The mode of death: murder, a slow agonizing death by crucifixion.
Jesus was spit upon, beaten, and whipped. He had a crown of thorns placed on His head. He was ridiculed, mocked, and taunted by the crowds. He had nails hammered into His hands and feet, and He was raised upon a cross between two common criminals. While on the cross, Jesus was speared.
As Jesus, the Son of God, hung on the cross, he said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34a). One of the criminals on the cross adjacent to Jesus said, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” (Luke 23:42). Jesus responded, “. . . today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43b).
Jesus died for a purpose . . . to bring new life and to bring forgiveness of sins. Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb, fulfilling the whole Old Testament law.
Your loved one has died, and with that death you have endured difficult emotions through which you continually may face fear, hatred, and tormenting memories. Jesus offers you new life in Him. Just as Jesus resurrected from the grave three days after His crucifixion (Luke 24), you too can resurrect to new life in Jesus. Through Jesus, you can replace fear with peace, hatred with love, and tormenting memories with the knowledge of Jesus.
You can have hope beyond homicide; that hope is in Jesus.
Heavenly Father, I embrace You now. Amen.
TIME OF PERSONAL REFLECTION AND LIFE APPLICATION:
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
Is there anything that is stopping you from embracing Jesus? Is so, write down your questions and ask God to answer them. If not, embrace the Lord now. Thank Him for His faithfulness. Spend time praising God.
To learn more about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, click on the menu tab that reads “Knowing Christ.” To receive your copy of Hope Beyond Homicide: Remembrance Devotionals, click on the menu tab called “Christian Books.”