Could any but a Crucified Savior?

Hebrews 2:10

In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.

A sublime paradox. A great crime; a great love. The world’s worst; heaven’s best.

Could any but a crucified Savior reveal our sins? Whenever you feel tempted to feel that it’s only a “white lie,” whenever you are greedy, slanderous, selfish…look at the cross.

Could any but a crucified Savior save us from our sins? Without the shedding of blood there is no remission. It is death that gives life. The New Testament has the atonement–but not an explanation.

Could any but a crucified Savior meet us in our agony? If I had no crucified Savior with which to greet those who had been broken by the tragedies of life I would not know what to say and even do for my own sake. Those pierced hands says, “I have suffered.”

 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.

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The Reason for Christ’s Death

Isaiah 53:10,

…the Lord makes his life an offering for sin…

God is holy. And God is just.  That is the necessity of His nature. But His heart desires to forgive. So Jesus was sent to stand in our place, to face our punishment.

For our sin we were condemned to eternal separation from God and all things good. God did not send Christ forever into hell but He placed on Christ a punishment that was equivalent to that.

What better testimony can we bear to the love and faithfulness of God than the testimony of a substitution eminently satisfactory for all who believe in Christ?

The Cause of Christ’s Death

Isaiah 53:10,

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer.

By just reading history we would trace the death of Jesus to the hatred of Jewish leaders and to fickle Roman leaders. The crime and sin of Jesus’ death lies at the feet of humankind.

But when we read the Bible with eyes of faith, we see the solemn decree of God fulfilled by men who were ignorant but guilty (see Acts 2:23).

Jesus Christ did not die to make God loving. He died because God was loving. Christ was sent into the world by His Father as the consequence of the Father’s affection for His people.

Underneath the Church are the everlasting arms; but underneath Christ there are no arms at all.

When Christ Seems Lost

There are seasons when Christ seems to be lost.  Just like Jesus was absent for his disciples in death before his resurrection, there are times when there is no peace, no rest, no beauty because the Lord seems lost.

There are times when Christ seems absent from the world and evil triumphs without hindrance. In those times Christ seems absent from the Church and absent from the soul. Faith seems dead and comfort has departed and we’re ready to cry like Mary, “They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him” (John 20:13).  Then we pray and it mocks us. The Bible seems dry. Such seasons are hard to bear.

I beg you not to misjudge Christ. When He seems lost, He is not far away. We may be adrift but He is on the shore. Only it takes a little love to see Him and to cry in the dawn, “It is the Lord!” (John 21:7).

Opposition is Opportunity

Our spiritual opposition is ordinarily our spiritual opportunity.

The New Testament is clear that the Christian makes their way only by overcoming a strong host of foes. The Christian has strong assurances from God, but not that of immunity from attack and hidden pitfalls. The genius of the Christian life is not that it believes in spite of evidence but that it proceeds in scorn of consequence.

Resist Uniformity; Insist on Individuality

1 Samuel 17:38-39 says,

Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.

“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.

Saul stands for the desire for uniformity. David stands for the assertion of individuality. We must resist the tendency to uniformity and insist on individuality if we want to serve Christ.

Saul thought there was only one method of fighting, one equipment for war. he sought to dress David up in his own armor. He wanted to make David into a second Saul.

The whole tendency of society is to destroy individuality and to produce a level and monstrous uniformity. Every child who comes into this world from the hand of God is unique, an original. But society has its forms and conventions and standards, and these it seeks to impose upon every living person. It distrusts the innovator. The person it loves is the correct, respectable, orthodox person who respects traditions, worships convention, and falls in with established customs and ways.

David declined to be an imitation Saul. If he had not, there would have been no victory over Goliath.

So be yourself!

Work in your own way.

Listen to mentors and elders in your life but think your own thoughts and  believe your own beliefs.

What blessings followed David’s assertion of his own individuality!

How would the Church have grown if we had two Peters and no Paul or vice versa?

It is as we are that God wants us. With our poor sling and five stones, let us offer ourselves to Him. He will use the weak things of the world to put to shame the things that are strong.

Much of our Worship is Lame

LAME!  That’s how I would describe many worship services that I attend or am a part of.  All that was alive (the Word of God) gets smothered by a rules-oriented religion.  How many people have only experienced worship in that way?

Most of the people love God with their minds but they miss the part about their hearts.  This ritual religion may think and act biblically but it doesn’t prompt the followers of Jesus to FEEL what they should be feeling.  There’s no passion, just listlessness and watch-watching.  You might label it apathetic, formulaic, even perfunctory.  I just call it lame.

Some will argue that the dramatic encounters of the Bible are not essential today because we have the Bible in our hands and the Holy Spirit in our hearts.  But don’t let that allow you to settle for a faith from the shoulders up.  God needs to penetrate our hearts through the Word’s truth and drive the indifference and complacency from our souls.

Lord, disallow that indifference in my heart.