Who Am I? A New Way to Define Identity

Over the course of our lives, each person’s identity is being formed and shaped through individual experiences, relationships, culture, media, and the world around us. We are constantly seeking to define who we are in any way that we can. David Benner, a psychologist and author of the book, The Gift of Being Yourself, defines identity as “who we experience ourselves to be – the I each of us carries within” (Benner, 2004). Often, we feel the pressure to define our “Is”, or individual self, through our jobs, financial status, successes, grades, appearance, what other people say about us, and many other means. But what happens to our identity when we experience failure? Or lose someone’s favor? Or become burnt out in our jobs or place of service? The very foundation of our identity is shaken and altered, resulting in us hustling to define ourselves by something or someone else. A stable sense of self cannot fully exist when we place our identity in external things. When we do so, our identity constantly changes along with our circumstances.

We may receive an overwhelming amount of messages telling us to define ourselves by external measures, but what would it look like to base our identity on the way God sees us? Benner states that “an identity grounded in God would mean that when we think of who we are, the first thing that would come to mind is our status as someone who is deeply loved by God” (Benner, 2004). How would viewing yourself in this manner change the way you live? What are some obstacles in doing this?

First, we must know how God sees us. One of the riches passages about identity in the Bible is found in Ephesians 1:3-14. In this passage, Paul addresses the church of Ephesus, explaining the new identity given to a person when they are in Christ. According to Ephesians 1, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing, we have been chosen, adopted, redeemed, forgiven, grace-lavished, and unconditionally loved and accepted. We are pure and blameless for every sin committed, and we have received the hope of spending eternity with God. When we are in Christ, these aspects of our identity can never change depending on what we do.

Often times, however, a gap exists between intellectually knowing these truths about who God says we are and living them out. This can be affected by how we see ourselves, life experiences, and the ways we allow the world to define us. In order to live out of the fullness of our new identity in Christ, we must determine what is hindering us from doing so, which varies from person to person. Many times, a false belief has wedged itself between how God defines us and seeing ourselves in the same light. For example, the opposite of “pure and blameless” would be “impure, stained, or guilty”. Perhaps a life experience has caused you to feel impure, so you believe God sees you this way. You then create and live out of an identity based on your actions, which is contrary to how God sees you.

In order to fight against these false beliefs, we must discover the exact belief we are allowing to form our identity. When reflecting on the passage in Ephesians 1, some false beliefs we may live out of are rejected instead of accepted, in bondage instead of redeemed, under the law instead of covered by grace, feeling orphaned instead of adopted, and so on. Living out of one of those identities opposed to our new identity in Christ then affects our behaviors. If we still think we are under the law, we may think we must “do” more for God in order to be right with Him. We may bury ourselves in ministry or service or other good works to feel as though we’re in good standing with God instead of resting in Christ’s work on the cross.

Once you recognize the false belief, surrender it over to God in repentance, which means in Greek, “to change one’s mind”, according to blue letter Bible. Then replace the lie with truth found in Scripture. Sometimes the lie is connected to a very real, painful experience. Take some time to grieve the experience and invite God into the place of brokenness. After you have surrendered the lie over to God, pray that He will help you believe the truth about who He says you are, and make you aware of the times you are not believing it. Then, make the choice to believe it! We may not always “feel” forgiven or blameless, but the truth is, God sees us that way. This is where faith comes in. Second Corinthians 10:3-5 states, For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” God has given us everything that we need to demolish strongholds or false beliefs, and he empowers us to do so.

If we lived out of an identity based on how God sees us, we would no longer feel the need to find our worth in our external circumstances. It would free us up to live in a confident and stable manner, instead of changing who we are based on others, the jobs we receive or don’t receive, how we see ourselves, and all the other ways we try to define our significance. It would give us the opportunity to experience God’s unconditional love for us in new and fresh ways. And it would allow us to confidently and boldly share His love with others. It’s certainly a battle as we live in a world that seeks to define us by it’s own standards. But it’s a battle that, when we engage in it, could impact everything about us! How would believing the truth about your new identity in Christ change the way you live?

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When All is Stripped Away

Sometimes I work on a piece of writing for hours, days, or even months on end. Other times, I sit down to spend time with my Savior and words flow from an unexpected place in my heart. Today was one of those days. Healing. So much healing can come from putting a pen to paper and allowing my hands to be a conduit of God’s Grace back to my own heart. I hope this poem can be an encouragement to anyone who struggles with finding their significance in what they “do” for God, instead of the new identity God has given you in Him. You are His child. Rest in who He says you are.

When all is stripped away,

I begin to see you for the very first time.

But what do You look like?

This God, I’ve concealed with good deeds and doing.

What do you desire of me?

As someone who searches for significance in sacrifice.

My worthiness is fading.

Or is it?



Longing for You in Your purest form.

Not covered by heavy expectations and burdens.

You alone.



My righteousness, fashioned by my own heart.

As dirty rags in your presence.

Why?



Do you not delight in all I bring you?

My broken spirit, my honest heart,

Your only hope for me before you.



Can it be so simple?

My presence You want.

You call me Your child.

You say You rescued me, because you delighted in me.

Will I believe it?

That You love me, just because I am me?

Chosen. Redeemed. Known. Desirable.

My position before You, because You sacrificed it all.



Spotless.

Pure.

Blameless.

Ransomed.

Forgiven.

Grace-Lavished.

Loved.

Enough.



Worthiness.

You alone make me worthy.

Not what I have done.

Not what I will do.

You.

This God I’ve hidden beneath my futile offerings.

You.

The One who abandoned everything for me.



Perfect.

Good.

Sacrificial

Holy.

Redeemer.

Merciful.

Loving.

Savior.



What I can give, what I can do, it will never be enough.

This doesn’t seem right.

But all You have given and all You have done is enough.

It always has been and it always will be.

Rest.

Your burden is light and Your yoke is easy.

Rest.

In the arms of the One who became the ultimate Sacrifice.

And now I see you clearly for the very first time.


A Great Song by Will Reagan:
"Looking for a Savior"
https://youtu.be/W4YhvfN4_Vk

Engaging with Suffering: Facing Grief Head-On in a World That Fears Emotional Pain

View this article on Relevant Magazine: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/what-grief-teaches-about-god

Common to humanity, nobody desires to experience suffering. Whether physical pain, emotional trauma, daily trials, wrestling with sin, or any other form, most of us want to avoid suffering. In fact, the ideologies of Western Society encourage people to orchestrate their lives in a way that will prevent them from suffering at all. When suffering does hit, we often don’t know what to do with it. Our default reaction is to move through the hurt as quickly as possible, which generally means putting a Band-Aid over a gapping wound. We try to numb the pain caused by suffering through turning to relationships, work, food, alcohol, media and many other outlets.

Why do we do this? Because it hurts! Navigating through disappointment, betrayal, loss, death, sin, failure and trials involves heartache. It’s scary and messy. It requires us to feel our way through the sense of loss produced by suffering. The danger in running from grief, however, is that it can actually hinder us in our relationship with God, others, and ourselves. In order to truly heal the broken places suffering has touched we must face it. Whether we realize it or not, suffering impacts us.

How do we deal with the grief produced by suffering without simply numbing the pain? A “one size fits all” formula doesn’t necessarily exist. Because suffering comes in many different varieties, and each person has unique temperaments and life experiences, we process through grief differently. But as believers, we know one thing: we can confidently invite the One who endured the ultimate suffering into ours. He was beaten, bloodied, humiliated, and rejected by His own Father. If we take the time to process through our grief and invite Christ into it, our intimacy with Him can be strengthened.

I’m not normally one to face grief “head-on”, but after walking through a recent personal season of trials, God has shown me ways to courageously bring Him into my pain instead of running from it. As a result, I have experienced Him in a deeper way. I hope these few realizations will help grow your intimacy with Christ in the midst of suffering too.

Deepen Your Understanding of God’s Character

 Our belief in God’s character is often tested through trials. We are bombarded with questions such as, “Do I believe God works all things for my good?” “Do I trust His unconditional love for me?” “Do I know He is in ultimate control?” “Do I have faith His promises are true?” The depth we know and believe the character of God, will determine how we engage with Him in our suffering. Sometimes it isn’t until we are in the storm that our false beliefs about God are uncovered. But we can strengthen our faith in His unchanging character through reading and trusting what He has revealed about Himself in Scripture. Hold fast to those Truths in the midst of any trial.

 Be Patient in the Process

 When it comes to processing through grief, we may desire a “quick-fix” solution. The pain we experience hurts, and we want to move through it quickly. However, we must remember that grief is a process, and the length of time it lasts depends on many factors, such as the type of grief and the personality of the person walking through it. I often become impatient with both God and myself in the process, wanting to simply “be done” with the trial or grief I am experiencing. But God ultimately cares more about our personal growth and intimacy with Him than checking grief off a list. When you become impatient with the process, fix your eyes back on Christ, and rest in knowing that His grace is always enough and His power is made perfect in weakness.

 Don’t Compare Your Suffering

 Often, we look at the trials and difficulties of others and think, “My life isn’t nearly as bad as someone suffering from cancer or someone who has lost a loved one, so I shouldn’t feel down about a broken relationship or losing my job.” But when we minimize our hurt because we are comparing our suffering with another persons’, we miss out on allowing Christ to meet us in our pain. Or we may fall back into seeking to numb our pain, because we don’t believe it’s “bad enough”. Sure, we need to keep our trials in perspective, but each of our trials and difficulties will look different. Don’t miss out on allowing God to grow you and heal you through your experiences.

 Invite Others In

 Do you have a few safe people in your life you can invite into your darkest moments? People who will show compassion, empathy and understanding when you are walking through the valley? Sharing our weaknesses and being vulnerable with others can be difficult. We often try to tackle trials alone, fearing our brokenness being seen. This however is not the way God intended us to live. Throughout the New Testament, we see the body of Christ relying on one another in a variety of circumstances. Paul exhorts us to “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). He himself continually relied on the prayers and support of other believers. The body of Christ can be the hands and feet of Jesus, speaking, grace, truth and hope into our lives at times when we need it most.

Keep a Right Perspective of Suffering

Throughout history, suffering has struck all people regardless of culture, ethnicity, personality or location on earth. Because we live in a broken world, we know that suffering is a guarantee. All throughout the Bible, we see God’s people “meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2). Trials or suffering found in Scripture come in the form of personal sin, physical ailments, death, persecution, relational discord, emotional turmoil and many other varieties. Regardless of the type of suffering, we will each encounter it. When Jesus said, In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33), He shares we will endure suffering, yet our hope is not in what we experience on earth. Our hope is found in the Ultimate Sufferer: Jesus Christ alone.

To The Feet of Jesus

A few weeks ago, I went on a run to process through multiple difficult conversations I had throughout the week that left my mind churning with more thoughts than I had words for. The conversations contained similar elements about both the deep brokenness of the world and our own personal brokenness that we are all too familiar with.

Whether we are hurting due to personal choices we have made or from being marred by the ever-present darkness of a fallen world, we cling to Jesus. We run to Him, fall at His feet and allow Him to whisper His words of love to us. Our God, our Savior, longs to lavish His love and grace on us no matter where we have been. All we have to do is receive it!

As I was running, these words impressed upon my heart:

Let discovery of our brokenness lead us to Jesus, wetting His feet with our tears of desperation, soaking in His tender affection, lest our stubborn self-determination drive us back into the shadows of hiding; from ourselves, others and our awaiting Savior.

So wherever you are or wherever you’re going, He welcomes you with open arms. Resist the temptation to withdraw from Him, numb your pain or hide from others. Run into the light of Jesus and holdfast to Him. He desires you. He longs for your presence. And He wants to reveal to you His deep love in the midst of anything you may be walking through!

A Fresh Word: Calling and Obedience

Find this Article Published on “Thrive Connection”: http://thriveconnection.com/2016/04/05/calling-and-obedience/

Over the past two years, I have had to make multiple “big life decisions”. I recently wrote an article about what the process of finding ‘God’s call’ on my life looked like last year, and how we can ultimately allow that process to lead us into deeper fellowship with Him. I hope that it will do just that for you!
“Tucked away in the Swiss Alps, I gazed out the window of my quaint hotel room and watched the snow silently weave together a thick, white blanket. I took a weekend trip away from the city I lived in to wrestle, process, and pray through a big decision. To what or where was God going to call me next? I stood at a crossroads: I had spent close to two years working in full-time ministry in Italy, and I needed to commit to another three years in that location or return to the United States. As each snowflake floated to the ground, I could not help but reflect on both the grandeur and intimacy of God. As they say, no two snowflakes are alike. Each contains a unique design with a distinct shape, pattern, and framework. Similarly, no two people walking the earth have an identical makeup. God has fashioned the hearts of every individual with various passions, gifts, strengths, weaknesses, desires, and personalities.

As believers, we know that God has set aside good works for us to fulfill during our brief stay on this planet. According to Ephesians 2:10, We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. So what exactly are those good works? How can we discover them? How do we know what God calls us to do individually and corporately as the body of Christ? Learning our vocation or calling is a part of the faith journey we are on.

During that silent evening in Switzerland, I deeply longed for God to display the exact blueprints for my life so that I could confidently follow them. Could God have plainly said, “I want you to stay here or go there?” Certainly. He is God! Sometimes He does do that, but I have often found that we are not very comfortable with how often His calling for our lives remains hidden. Often, God uses the journey of uncovering our hidden callings for the greater purpose of strengthening our faith in Him and His promises as we step out into the unknown.

Perhaps you are wrestling through an important life decision. Maybe you are wondering if you are in the correct job, place of service, or ministry. As I have processed through some significant life decisions relating to my own calling and vocation, I have found a few helpful tools to guide me to discern my next steps. I hope this will not only help you discover your calling and vocation, but that your faith and love for Christ would also be strengthened along the journey.

Search the Scriptures

First, we can know the general calling for all believers through God’s revealed Word, the Bible. Scripture does not tell us what job to take, the ministry we should do, or where we should live. However, the Bible does give us specific exhortations to implement regardless of the situation in which we find ourselves. For instance, all Christians are called to: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and … love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37–39); make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19); seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33); be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18); and many other specific callings. As believers, once we have entered into a relationship with Christ, we have been given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18) in which we are called to share the hope of the Gospel with a lost and dying world. However, God seems to leave room for us to discover the context in which we will do so.

We each play a unique role in the grand plan of redemption for the world. As we seek to discover our individual callings, we first need to align ourselves with the revealed general will of God found in the Bible, and then all of our decisions should flow from that. Are we surrendering our whole hearts to God? Seeking first His Kingdom? Laying down our fleshly desires? Looking for opportunities to share the Gospel with others? As we spend time reading Scripture, praying, relying on the Holy Spirit and connecting with the Body of Christ, we can confidently take steps down various paths of life even if we do not hear God explicitly say, “Go here or there.”

Know Yourself 

I have spent much of my life looking at others and wishing I had their gifts, talents, and strengths. By doing so, I have missed out on the way God has uniquely made me. When assessing your calling or vocation, be honest with yourself about who you are and who you are not, because that will help you determine what you do. When we write with our dominant hand, it is more natural than when we write with the opposite hand. As we work out of our passions and gifts—writing with our dominant hand—we will thrive more than when we force ourselves to fit into something that goes against our makeup and nature. According to Paul in Romans 12, within the Body of Christ, each member has a distinct and unique role: For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them (Romans 12:4–6).

So how do we know our gifts and passions? Spend time asking yourself some questions such as,

“What do I enjoy doing?”

“What excites me?”

“Is there a specific people group I am naturally drawn to such as the youth, peers, the homeless, people of different ethnicities, etc.?”

“Does a career or area of service exist that encompasses what I am passionate about?”

“What are a few things other people have said I am really good at?”

Assess your values, passions, gifts, strengths, and desires. Lay them all before the Lord and ask Him how He wants to use them.

Do you enjoy social justice? Teaching?

Serving the homeless? Global work?

Business? Psychology?

Once you learn what you are passionate about and where your strengths lie, pursue a career or area of service where you can use them. The Holy Spirit will empower your passions and gifts when you entrust them to God.

Although we would ideally like to work out of our strengths and passions all the time, we may not always be in a job or place of service where we are able to do so. If you find yourself in that situation, ask God to show you how He wants to use you in that place. It may be a season of personal growth or a time for you to take steps of faith to share the Gospel with the people around you. As Paul exhorts us in 1 Corinthians, no matter where we find ourselves: Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). In the end, our main purpose as believers is to reflect the glory of God to others wherever we go.

Remember, This World is Not Our Home

As we pursue both the general calling of God for all Christians, as well as our individual life callings, we need to fix our eyes on the end goal: eternity. Everything we do on earth, all that we sow and reap, is for that which cannot yet be seen. As believers we are exiles on earth and our citizenship is in heaven. Our greatest purpose is to love God and love others. No perfect vocation, city, family, or friendship exists this side of eternity, and we will never be completely comfortable.

Because our citizenship lies in heaven, as we pursue God with our lives, we will encounter trials. In one of Christ’s final sermons to His disciples, He said: In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world (John 16:33). Paul shared with Timothy in his last days: Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). Both statements are emphatic that following Christ will never be easy. However, He has not left us to our own demise. He gave us the Holy Spirit as our Guide, our Comforter, our Helper and Counselor on whom we can rely every day. As you pursue your calling, you can know: It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Hold fast to His Word, keep your eyes on Christ, and remember that this world is not your final destination.”

Note: All Scripture references are ESV 

Reflect, Remember, Imagine Part 2: The Grave Could Not Hold Him Down

The hope that we have in today is that the grave could not hold Him down! Christ came, fully God and fully man, lived a perfect life, hung on a cross taking on the punishment that we deserved for our sinfulness, and three days later rose from the dead. He conquered the grave. He conquered death. And through believing in Christ and His saving work on the cross, we too can overcome death. What news! What glorious, life-changing, unspeakable news.

This world is a broken, painful, dying, tearful, and heartbreaking place at times. But there is hope. There is always hope. And that hope is found in the One who overcame death and will one day restore the whole world to the way it was meant to be. Today, take the time to reflect on the significance of Christ raising from the dead. Again, put yourself in the shoes of those who encountered Jesus after He came back to life. Ponder how this will affect your life today, and think about the hope given to you.

Matthew 28:1-10: “Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 

His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.”

So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

1 Corinthians 15:3-7: “I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles.”

1 Corinthians 15:54-57: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Isaiah 25:8: He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces.”

CHRIST HAS RISEN; HE HAS RISEN INDEED

* If you have a desire to give your life to Jesus and want to know how, click this link to learn more: http://www.everystudent.com/features/gettingconnected.html

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Reflect, Remember, Imagine: The Death of Jesus

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I would love to encourage you to take some time to reflect on the meaning and significance of this day: Christ’s death on the cross. The day in which He bore all the sins of humanity on Himself; the pinnacle of redemptive history. Although this day is a day of mourning, it’s not the end of the story. On Sunday morning, our eyes will be directed to the hope of the resurrection. But for now, engage fully with Christ as He took all our sins upon Himself in a painful, gruesome, heart-wrenching death on the cross to fulfill the purpose in which He came to this earth.

Read the four different Gospel accounts of the scene. Fully enter in to the story with your entire being. Put yourself in the shoes of the Roman soldiers, the disciples, the women following Him, the Jewish synagogue leaders, the criminals hanging beside Jesus. Imagine the moment when Jesus took His last breath and darkness filled the land and the earth quaked and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Don’t miss today. This is God’s narrative of redemption for all people. And if you are in Christ, this is your narrative too.

Posted below are pieces of the four different Gospel accounts describing His death. Reflect. Remember. Imagine. And sit in the moment with your Savior. I pray that today, you will experience His profound and mysterious love for you.

Luke 23:32-47:Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!”

Mark 15:33-41: “And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.”

 Matthew 27:45-51: “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 

John 19:24-30: “So the soldiers did these things, but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

Isaiah 53:5 

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” 

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