Good morning, Lord Jesus. I speak out Your name and listen for the leading of Your Holy Spirit, here in the embrace of my heavenly Father.  ...

"When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel with a golden censer came and stood at the altar; he was given a great quantity of incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that is before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth; and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake" (Revelation 8:1-5).

As I woke this morning, I thought of the cross. I thought of Your suffering and sacrifice, Your mercy and love. I thought of Your holy humiliation that our human minds can't begin to comprehend as You cried out from the cross, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46). And then these words came to my heart:  "Astonished Silence."

Your Spirit brought to mind the silence of heaven when You opened the seventh seal in the Apostle John's Revelation. There were "peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake" (Revelation 7:5). It was the same on the day of Your death at the cross:  "Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed His last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split" (Matthew 27:50-51).

Every prophecy is ultimately fulfilled in You, as are "all the Scriptures" of the Word of God (Luke 24:27). You are the very Word of God, the Word made flesh (John 1:14). And this morning, I see a parallel in this prophecy of Revelation and a partial fulfillment--one in the eternal realm of heaven with the Lamb of God who stands at the throne and one in the historical realm of earth with the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (Revelation 5:6; John 1:29). And in my heart I hear, "Astonished Silence."

In the midst of the earthquakes and darkness on that holy day of Your sacrifice and death at the cross, and in the midst of the ultimate judgments that must come upon the earth and upon those who would reject Your mercy and love, I sense the "astonished silence" of heaven. With all of heaven, I'm astonished that God would die for me, astonished that the fury of hell and the mercy of heaven could meet at the cross--at once, both cruel and beautiful, at a moment in time on this earth but forever timeless in the eternity of heaven--and astonished that all will not humble their hearts to receive all You've done for us at such a cost. With the silence of heaven, I am astonished at Your sacrifice of love I have no words to express. ...

As I ponder these thoughts in my heart this morning, I can hardly speak at all. I simply say Thank You, Lord Jesus. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family,I pray you experience the mercy and love of the One who sacrificed so much for you at the cross--at once, both cruel and beautiful, yet necessary for the salvation of your soul and mine, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend! 

I want to encourage you to join me by also sharing with us your thoughts, comments, reflections, and prayers you received from today’s reading in the comment box below.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website:https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC

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