Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cross Words, 1of9

~ Then & Now—The Cross Is A Badly Misunderstood Historical Event! ~

This is the first of a series regarding the last words of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ made seven gripping last statements while He was dying for our sins on the Cross of Calvary.  In subsequent Sundays we will consider each of these seven phrases. 

The Passage  ~  Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him.  And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him.  When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand.  And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’  Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head.  And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified” (Matthew 27:27-31). 

Comments  ~  In our era the Cross of Calvary is often worn as a pendant—often with little thought regarding its true significance.  On the other hand the Cross is an offense to many—often by those who have never investigated the claims of Christ. 

Don’t Miss This  ~  (1) The heart of the Cross is the “Good News” of Jesus Christ.  The Son of God died for sinners—and everyone is a sinner—Christ died for everyone.  But until a person understands their sin nature and their need for redemption/saving by the only One capable of paying the debt of their sins they will continue on their path to hell and eternal separation from God.  (2) The greater the understanding of the Cross by an unbeliever the greater offense it becomes—until they surrender to Christ and His claims.  (3) On the other hand, the greater the understanding of the Cross by a believer the more meaningful—and yes beautiful—the Cross becomes.  (4) This disparity between two groups is largely one of pride.  To accept salvation from Christ’s work on the Cross is to admit an inability to live a righteous life before God and earn our way to heaven.  Conversely, the believer accepts the “Gift of God” by grace (not by our merit).  It can be summarized rather simply—salvation is not by my doing, rather it was done by Christ at Calvary.

the key question: “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15). This is the most important question you will ever answer. If you do not answer it, or answer it incorrectly, you have made the biggest mistake anyone can make!

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

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