Friday, April 10, 2009

Jesus Crucified? It Only Means Something If It Goes Beyond the Head!

Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. And the inscription of His accusation was written above: THE KING OF THE JEWS. With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "And He was numbered with the transgressors." And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, "Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!" --- Mark 15:25-30

Today is a very special day in the lives of a limited number of persons in this world of confusion, conflict, and fear. I say “limited number” because for the majority it holds no significance and Good Friday is just a combination of two words, stirring no emotions nor memories in which life has been dramatically impacted and transformed!

Earlier this AM in my daily journal I noted some things about Good Friday and why my life is different because of what happened in the city of Jerusalem a little over 2,000 years ago.

I knew about God and Jesus dying on a cross at a very early age due to having been brought up in the church by my God fearing parents. I learned a lot of facts about the Christian faith in worship services, Sunday School, and Bible School. Those items were stored in the memory bank of my brain, but that was as far as it went for a few years.

The teen years and early 20’s were what could be appropriately called the “rebel years” – graduation from high school, a year of college, some time in employment, and three years in the U. S. Marine Corps. It was the experience of a “prodigal” in a far country – but I could still tell you there is a God, that His Son was crucified on a cross and came back from the dead three days later! But it didn’t mean a thing to me in terms of my way of life.

But the day came when God in mercy began to deal with me about my way of life and opened my eyes to the fact that I was guilty of countless sins. My final destiny because of this was a horrible Hell. But God did not stop at that point leaving me suspended with a sense of hopelessness and condemned – He went on to show me that when Jesus was crucified on that Roman cross He took all my sins upon Himself, satisfied the demands of God’s justice, and paid the penalty of those sins in full so that I could be totally forgiven!

I received Jesus as my Savior and my Lord – my life was transformed and I experienced peace with God for the first time and had the positive assurance of possessing eternal life! The knowledge of Jesus’ crucifixion moved from my head to my heart, and my life was miraculously impacted by that. It’s never been the same since that day many years ago.

Today, Good Friday, will not pass by without those few who follow Jesus Christ remembering and again giving thanks that He was willing to leave the splendor, purity, and serenity of Heaven, come into this sin-saturated world, and ultimately be nailed to a Roman cross on behalf of each member of the human race.

The tragedy is that the vast majority of the members of the human race living in the world today do not realize that nor do they in the least bit appreciate it!

How about you? Has the reality of Jesus’ crucifixion moved beyond some facts in the head to the heart and life is radically different and most hopeful because of that experience?

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. --- 2 Corinthians 5:17-19

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