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Friday, April 18, 2014
"The Three Crosses"
to us read this
"When they came to the place
called the Skull, there they crucified Him, along with the
criminals--one on his right, the other on his left" (Luke 23:33).
One of the blessings we have often seen as we
travel, particularly in the southern states are three white crosses
placed up on a hill or mountain that can be seen from the highway as a
witness to the landowners' faith. Normally Christians use a
single cross as a symbol of their faith but the three crosses also have
rich symbolism as a reminder of the three crosses on Mount Calvary.
Jesus hung on the middle cross, vicariously dying for the sins of all
mankind. Two criminals, representative of the human race, were hanging on crosses on
each side of Him. These three crosses each represent:
The cross of rejection.
One criminal represents the masses that to the very end rebel against
God and reject His plan of redemption. But rarely is such
sneering so openly expressed, and this by a dying man as he hurled
insults at Christ. This unnamed criminal is merely expressing the
viewpoint of so many who reject God's only remedy for our sin problem. This criminal died in his sins.
The cross of repentance.
The other criminal represents those who repent of their sins and place
their faith in God. He came to realize that he and the other
lawbreaker deserved the death penalty and was quite frank when he
spoke: "We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds
deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong" (Luke 23:41). His faith
is humbly expressed in these words: "Jesus, remember me when you come
into your kingdom." Our Lord's dying words brought eternal hope to the
repentant criminal as well as spiritual hope to millions throughout the
centuries, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in
paradise." This criminal died to sin.
The cross of redemption.
On the middle cross Christ dies once for all time for all people. "In
Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in
accordance with the riches of God's grace" (Ephesians 1:7). "For God
was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to
reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in
heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross"
(Colossians 1:19,20). Peter, a witness to these things, stated, "For
Christ died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust" (1 Peter
3:18a). Our Saviour died for our sins.
Today is a day of decision. For many it will be a reaffirmation of a
decision previously made, for others this is a special day. The cross of
redemption was singularly accomplished by Jesus Christ. Are you living
your life in rejection of Christ or in repentance, acknowledging that, "we are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds
deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong" (Luke 23:41).
This Good Friday let us, through faith with thankful hearts, accept God's only
solution for our sin problem. Let us faithfully live for the One
who died for us.
And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior's blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Father, thank You for the record in Scripture that
makes us more than just curious bystanders during the crucifixion of
Your precious Son. Jesus' recorded conversation with the
criminal helps us to see how immediate redemption for all humanity
was being provided through His death on the cross. Thoughtful
on this day brings about grief and sadness as we recall the rejection,
pain, and suffering Christ underwent. In Luke 22:53 Jesus spoke to
those who seized Him in the garden as a time when darkness reigns.
Though He was speaking figuratively in the garden the next afternoon
literal darkness fell upon the earth as He breathed His final breath.
Surely all hope dissipated for those who stood by our Lord as He hung
on the cross. But I'm so glad we don't have to wait for
the rest of the story to unfold since we know, through Scripture, the
final outcome and the way
of salvation Christ made possible for us. Thank you, Father, that
loved the world so much that You gave Your one and only Son to die for
our sins, that
whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. We call upon
the Lord Jesus to save us, cleanse us from our sins, and to indwell our
Maundy Thursday Service
Last night we had a moving Maundy Thursday service recalling Christ's
sacrificial death for our sins and the events that took place the
evening of His betrayal.
A light meal was served followed by Communion, Hymns reflecting the
cross, Scripture reading, Prayers and Testimonies. Pastor Jay presented
a meditation based on John 13 when Jesus washed His disciples' feet.
After the footwashing Jesus commanded them, "Now
that, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, should wash one
another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have
done for you" as followers of Christ, (John 14,15). Pastor challenged us, to have a servant's heart and to be "People of the Towel".
took several photos that we share with you today. Those participating
in the footwashing, whose photo was taken, gave us permission to share
Suggested Music and
"And Can It Be That I Should Gain?" Video Sovereign Grace Music
"The Man In The Middle" Video The Cupps
"Man In The Middle" Video Wayne Watson
"At The Foot of The Cross" Video Kathryn Scott
"Love Held Him To The Cross" Video Harvesters Quartet
"When He Was On the Cross" Video John Starnes
"It Is Finished" Video Gaither Vocal Band
"The Old Rugged Cross Made the Difference" Video Gaither Vocal Band
"The Old Rugged Cross" Video Gaither Vocal Band
"He Was Wounded" Video
Major Events of the Passion Week
astounding 30 of the 89 accumulative chapters in the four gospels cover the
period beginning with Christ's triumphal entry through His resurrection
and post-resurrection appearances. Mathematically this means that
approximately 33% of the written material in the Gospels deals with a
mere .05% period of His life! In the providence of God we have a
much greater proportion of Scriptural revelation dealing with God's
greatest act of mercy in providing our redemption.
an interesting chart from a Study Bible that may be helpful as you
study the Bible this week. It sure helps me to have a sense of when the
events took place and is inspiring to read these Scriptures in the daily sequence leading up to Easter.
Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-40; John 12:12-19
Jesus Clears the Temple: Mt. 21:12,13; Mk. 11:15-17; Lk. 19:45,46
Jesus' authority challenged in the temple: Mt. 21:23-27; Mk. 11:27-33; Lk. 20:1-8
Jesus teaches stories and confronts the Jewish leaders: Mt. 21:28-23:36; Mk. 12:1-40; Lk. 20:9-47
Greeks ask to see Jesus: Jn. 12:20-26
The Olivet Discourse: Mt. 24; Mk. 13; Lk. 21:5-38
Judas agrees to betray Jesus: Mt. 26:14-16; Mk. 14:10,11; Lk. 22:3-6
The Last Supper: Mt. 26:26-29; Mk. 14:22-25; Lk. 22:14-20
Jesus speaks to the disciples in the upper room: Jn 13-17
Jesus struggles in Garden of Gethsemane: Mt. 26:36-46; Mk. 14:32-42; Lk. 22:39-46; Jn. 18:1
Jesus is betrayed and arrested: Mt. 26:47-56; Mk. 14:43-52; Lk. 22:47-53; Jn. 18:2-12
is tried by Jewish and Roman authorities and disowned by Peter: Mt
26:57-27:2, 11-31; Mk 14:53-15:20; Lk 22:54-23:25; Jn 18:13-19:16
Jesus is crucified and buried: Mt 27:31-56; Mk 15:20-41; Lk 23:26-49; Jn 19:17-30
(This material is developed from an outline in the Life Application Bible)
The glorious resurrection: Mt. 28:1-10; Mk 16:1-11; Lk 24:1-12; Jn 20:1-18
to Stephen &
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am created by God to bring
Him glory. Through God’s Son, Jesus Christ, I have been
redeemed and I make it my life’s goal to honor God through my
faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for
the weak things in the world,
That no flesh will glory
in His presence."