Posts Tagged 'The cross'

Why Jesus had to Die

JESUS SPEAKING

     Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem.  And they talked together of all these things which had happened.  So it was, while they conversed and reasoned that Jesus himself drew near and went with them.  But their eyes were restrained so that they did not know him.  And he said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”  Then the one whose name is Cleopas answered and said to him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have you not known the things which happened there in these days?”  And he said to them, “What things?”  So they said to him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.  But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel […] Then he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!  Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory?”  And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself (Luke 24: 13-27.) 

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

  After the annual Passover feast, millions of pilgrims were departing from Jerusalem and returning to their homes.  Two of Christ’s followers joined in the mass exodus; their hearts had been broken and their minds were filled with confusion; like many, they had believed Jesus was the messiah; but their hopes were shattered at the foot of the cross, and buried with Christ in His tomb.  Thinking he was dead, the two disciples debated the meaning of his brief existence.  Suddenly Jesus Christ himself drew near to them in the guise of another pilgrim traveling along the road.  The men could not comprehend why the messiah would need to suffer and die.  Quoting the Old Testament scriptures, Jesus cited prophesies that foreordained his punishment and affliction.  The cross was not a display of weakness, but rather, an illustration of strength; nor was his blood a symbol of death; for every drop that was shed has come to represent God’s forgiveness.  Jesus Christ took the punishment for sin upon himself; he died so that others could live.

   In 1943, a ship named the USS Dorchester was sailing to Greenland as a part of a World War 2 navy convoy.  The Dorchester was carrying 903 American soldiers and 4 chaplains.  One evening, as the ship slumbered through the icy waters of the North Atlantic, the men were abruptly awakened by a loud explosion.  A German U-boat torpedo had torn a hole in the bow of the vessel.  All of the men immediately appeared on deck.  The four chaplains began distributing the life vests to the soldiers as they abandoned the sinking ship.  Within a matter of minutes, they had run out of vests.  One of the chaplains bravely removed his vest and gave it to a soldier; the other three chaplains followed his example. These brave men then locked arms and began to sing and pray before drowning in the frigid waters.  They chose to die so that others could live.  

     The disciples did not initially understand why Jesus Christ had to die.  He died because the punishment for sin had to be administered; and the punishment for sin is death.  He perished in our stead.  He embraced agony and suffering so that we could inherit eternal life.  He took our place because he loves us.  We can return that love today by embracing Him.  We should thank Him for His sacrifice and honor Him for His courage; we are only alive today because he was willing to die for us.

  “Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you and praise you for enduring our punishment.  We understand that it was necessary for you to suffer for our sins.  You loved us when no one else could.  Because of your sacrifice we have eternal life.  May we never forget what You have done; may we always remain grateful; and may we continually serve You and worthily magnify Your Holy name.  We love You Jesus, we thank You, and we praise You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!

Look to the Cross

JESUS SPEAKING       

        “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to myself.” This he said signifying by what death he would die. The people answered him, ‘We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light” (John 12: 32-36.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

          While addressing his followers, Jesus prophesied concerning the manner in which he would die. He would be crucified, and the cross would come to symbolize healing, forgiveness and reconciliation with God. Those who look to it in faith receive everlasting life and the free gift of salvation; those who refuse to accept Christ’s sacrifice continue under condemnation, and will eventually face eternal judgment.
          In the Old Testament, God lead the children of Israel out of slavery and bondage in Egypt. They passed through the Red sea unharmed, and they entered the desert. While in the desert many Hebrews rebelled against God and the authority of Moses. Angered by their arrogance, God sent poisonous snakes into their midst to bite them. Moses fervently approached the Lord and begged Him to show mercy. Moved with compassion, God told Moses to sculpt a brass snake and fasten it to a long pole; he was then told to raise the pole up in the middle of the camp so everyone could see it. The Israelites were instructed that if they looked upon the snake in faith, they would be healed from their venomous bites (simply put: look at the snake and you will live; refuse to look and you will die.) Jesus Christ was also lifted up on the cross for everyone to see; those who look to him in faith receive eternal life; those who refuse, experience judgment and eternal separation from God. Jesus said in John 3: 14-16, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him would not perish but have eternal life.”
          The cross has always been a powerful symbol. It has the power to bring light into the lives of those who walk in darkness. It has the power to heal and the power to reconcile sinful man with a pure and Holy God; it has the power to grant eternal life to those who would but look to it in faith. May you look upon the cross and receive the free gift of salvation. May you receive the blood of Christ and the forgiveness of sins. May you be ‘reborn’ and may God guide you as you travel toward His eternal kingdom.
          “Lord Heavenly Father, we praise You for Your wonderful plan of salvation. As we look to the cross in faith, we receive Your sacrifice and we embrace our new lives with You. Forgive us of our sins through the blood of Christ Jesus. Grant us eternal life. Heal our hearts and minds; help us to be ‘children of light;’ that others might see our good works and honor You. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.” God bless all of you.

JESUS SPEAKING                

                “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to myself.”  This he said signifying by what death he would die.  The people answered him, ‘We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you.  Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.  While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light” (John 12: 32-36.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                While addressing his followers, Jesus prophesied concerning the manner in which he would die.  He would be crucified, and the cross would come to symbolize healing, forgiveness and reconciliation with God.  Those who look to it in faith receive everlasting life and the free gift of salvation; those who refuse to accept Christ’s sacrifice continue under condemnation, and will eventually face eternal judgment.                     

                In the Old Testament, God lead the children of Israel out of slavery and bondage in Egypt.  They passed through the Red sea unharmed, and they entered the desert.  While in the desert many Hebrews rebelled against God and the authority of Moses.  Angered by their arrogance, God sent poisonous snakes in to their midst to bite them.  Moses fervently approached the Lord and begged Him to show mercy.  Moved with compassion, God told Moses to sculpt a brass snake and to fasten it to a long pole; he was then told to raise the pole up in the middle of the camp so everyone could see it.  The Israelites were instructed that if they looked upon the snake in faith, they would be healed from their venomous bites (simply put:  look at the snake and you will live; refuse to look and you will die.)  Jesus Christ was also lifted up on the cross for everyone to see; those who look to him in faith receive eternal life; those who refuse, experience judgment and eternal separation from God.  Jesus said in John 3: 14-16, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him would not perish but have eternal life.”

                The cross has always been a powerful symbol.  It has the power to bring light in to the lives of those who walk in darkness.  It has the power to heal and the power to reconcile sinful man with a pure and Holy God; it has the power to grant eternal life to those who would but look to it in faith.  May you look upon the cross and receive the free gift of salvation.  May you receive the blood of Christ and the forgiveness of sins.  May you be ‘reborn’ and may God guide you as you travel toward his eternal kingdom.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we praise You for Your wonderful plan of salvation.  As we look to the cross in faith, we receive Your sacrifice and we embrace our new lives with You.  Forgive us our sins through the blood of Christ Jesus.  Grant us eternal life.  Heal our hearts and minds; help us to be ‘children of light;’ that others might see our good works and honor You.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you.


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