Death—the great preserver!

This might sound like an oxymoronic statement, but let me explain.  Think about JFK.  What do you picture? A man in his eighties or a man in his prime?  That youthful face will always be remembered because of his untimely death. Even our Savior is never pictured as an older man because His substitutionary death took place while He was in His thirties. Sort of an unusual thought, but there is a lesson to be had.

Death—the great preserver.  During this time preceding the death and resurrection of our Lord, we may do activities which help us to better understand and appreciate the gift given to us because of Jesus’ great sacrifice. Some will reenact His brutal death, walking down the Via Dolorosa, carrying a cross; but even so, can we ever truly understand the whole meaning of His death?  Can we truly understand that His death is our great preserver?

Because He died, we live.  It’s that simple, and yet so complex! One of the most profound verses in the Bible is Isaiah 53: 10:

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin

The sin-debt needed to be paid, and all the blood of lambs or bulls could never pay it!  They simply served as a reminder to the sinner that one day, the Lamb of God would come and be that sacrifice which would satisfy the debt we owed to God for our sin.

Recently, I heard some disturbing news concerning Ronald Reagan, Jr.. He is a long-time atheist, and in a commercial,he openly states that he’s not afraid to burn in hell. How sad. I wonder how many burning buildings he has run into to prove his statement? He will not be preserved, no matter who his father is or how nice a person he is. Jesus’ blood has not been applied to his account; therefore, what he does not fear will happen, or the Bible is not true. He will burn forever, experience eternal death in the lake of fire.

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelations 20:14,15

These words were not written to scare or harass anyone, but to warn. Consider this: if a man brutally raped and then savagely murdered your child, would you want him to walk free? Suppose he didn’t believe in our courts of law. Does that exempt him from the law?  How much more then are we guilty before a holy God because our very nature is sinful.  Have you ever noticed that we do not work to teach our children to do bad things but good? We sin because we are born as sinners, and whether we want to admit it or not, sin is our biggest problem!

I’m so thankful that my soul is forever preserved because of the death of Jesus Christ on a cruel Roman cross.  I’m thankful that we serve a merciful God who saw our need and willingly sacrificed his own Son for our sakes!  I praise Him for a new heaven, a new earth, and a home in heaven!

May this Resurrection season find you resting in the fact that you saw your need for a Savior and called out to Him to save you, or may this be a precious time for you to also be “resurrected” as you trust the only One who can save you: Jesus Christ!  The Preserver of Life is waiting for you!

And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 2Timothy 4:18

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: John 1:12

 

 

The Great Divide

ID-100314857Jesus crucified is the true touchstone revealing what the world is: “The people stood beholding” in stolid indifference; the rulers, who wanted religion, but without a divine Christ crucified for their sins, “reviled”: the brutal amongst them mocked or railed; the conscious sinner prayed; the covetous sat down before the cross and played their sordid games.  The cross is the judgment of this world. (Rev. C. I. Scofield)

I’ve been reading the daily accounts of Jesus’ footsteps this week, following along as He rides triumphantly into the city, cleanses the temple, preaches, prays…  As I think of the disciples, I try to put myself in their place.  They saw so much: Jesus healing; Jesus stopping the Pharisees with his words of wisdom; Jesus, as he raised the dead!  And now this!  All their hopes and dreams are lying trampled in the dirt.  They thought He would usher them right into His kingdom; but instead, He was arrested, brutally beaten and whipped, mocked, and most humiliating of all: crucified like a common thief! 

Yesterday, I stopped to see my mom.  I knocked on the garage door.  No answer.  I looked in the window of the garage and saw her car, so I knew she was home.  I walked to the front door.  No answer.  Now I believe my mom will live to be a hundred (don’t we all!), but that moment, a horrible dread went through me.  Where was Mom!  What would I find when I got inside?  I stopped and thought how everything could change in that moment. Then I walked to the side porch thinking she might be working out back.  That’s when I heard the piano.  What a welcome beautiful sound!

For about thirty-six hours, the disciples experienced that dread of the unknown.  It was over.  What would happen next?  Would they all be arrested for treason against the temple?  What would become of them?  Then, early in the morning of the first day of the week, they heard the news.  Could it be true?  Many still doubted, but then He was there in their midst with those reassuring words:  “Peace be unto you.”  What a welcome beautiful sound!

Some may be indifferent to the greatest story ever told; others will count the revenue they can make on this holiday weekend like those who “sat down before the cross and played their sordid games”; some will gather in their places of worship like the rulers, having “religion, but without a divine Christ crucified for their sins”; some mock us, dear Christian and rail on our beliefs – we take the Bible too literally, they say; but the conscious sinner will pray at the cross and walk away rejoicing that his sins are gone because He is Risen!  Praise the Lord!!!  Hallelujah!  What a Savior!!!

…blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.  And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

John 20: 29a-31

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The Great Divide

ID-100314857Jesus crucified is the true touchstone revealing what the world is: “The people stood beholding” in stolid indifference; the rulers, who wanted religion, but without a divine Christ crucified for their sins, “reviled”: the brutal amongst them mocked or railed; the conscious sinner prayed; the covetous sat down before the cross and played their sordid games.  The cross is the judgment of this world. (Rev. C. I. Scofield)

I’ve been reading the daily accounts of Jesus’ footsteps this week, following along as He rides triumphantly into the city, cleanses the temple, preaches, prays…  As I think of the disciples, I try to put myself in their place.  They saw so much: Jesus healing; Jesus stopping the Pharisees with his words of wisdom; Jesus, as he raised the dead!  And now this!  All their hopes and dreams are lying trampled in the dirt.  They thought He would usher them right into His kingdom; but instead, He was arrested, brutally beaten and whipped, mocked, and most humiliating of all: crucified like a common thief! 

Yesterday, I stopped to see my mom.  I knocked on the garage door.  No answer.  I looked in the window of the garage and saw her car, so I knew she was home.  I walked to the front door.  No answer.  Now I believe my mom will live to be a hundred (don’t we all!), but that moment, a horrible dread went through me.  Where was Mom!  What would I find when I got inside?  I stopped and thought how everything could change in that moment. Then I walked to the side porch thinking she might be working out back.  That’s when I heard the piano.  What a welcome beautiful sound!

For about thirty-six hours, the disciples experienced that dread of the unknown.  It was over.  What would happen next?  Would they all be arrested for treason against the temple?  What would become of them?  Then, early in the morning of the first day of the week, they heard the news.  Could it be true?  Many still doubted, but then He was there in their midst with those reassuring words:  “Peace be unto you.”  What a welcome beautiful sound!

Some may be indifferent to the greatest story ever told; others will count the revenue they can make on this holiday weekend like those who “sat down before the cross and played their sordid games”; some will gather in their places of worship like the rulers, having “religion, but without a divine Christ crucified for their sins”; some mock us, dear Christian and rail on our beliefs – we take the Bible too literally, they say; but the conscious sinner will pray at the cross and walk away rejoicing that his sins are gone because He is Risen!  Praise the Lord!!!  Hallelujah!  What a Savior!!!

…blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.  And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

John 20: 29a-31