This Sunday, we had a guest speaker at our church. Of course, I love the pastor we usually have, but this guy's sermon was incredible. I wanted to write down a few key points since I'll need to be reminded of this. (Actually, I should probably get a baseball cap and tape the key points to the bill so they're always in my face.)
Anyway, the sermon was "Why The Cross?"
I'd never really thought about that - really thought - I just assumed it didn't matter why, it only mattered that, if you know what I mean. So anyway, he started off by saying "why would God choose such a gruesome way to show His Love? Why not just write "God Loves you", or "Jesus Saves" on the moon? No one could deny it was God who wrote it, and it'd be a beautiful display every month when the full moon shined." At this point, I turned to the friend sitting next to me and said: "because sometimes you need something gruesome to see the picture of what love really is." For the most part, I was right. But what he went on to say drilled the message so powerfully and effectively that I'm sure everyone in that church understood if they were listening. See, God had the idea in His Head since before the world began - He was going to save us - and He was going to do it by dying a horrible death on a cross. If He'd written on the moon instead, although we'd know He loved us, we wouldn't know who He was. If a person gives you a beautiful piece of jewelry, and another gives their life to save yours, which loves you more? Surely, the one who gave their life. The minister told us a story about his son, too. His son, you see, was born with a heart condition, and when all the other boys were off to basketball camp, or were rough-housing on the playground, he couldn't join in. It pained his father, and he just wished he could give his heart to his son, and have the heart condition himself. That's only a milligram of the love God showed us with the cross. Jesus was beaten beyond recognition, nails driven through his wrists and feet - then lifted up for that cross to stand, splinters digging into his pierced back. There isn't a way for us to understand this kind of extreme pain. But on a cross, one doesn't die of pain - they eventually suffocate on their own blood. Yet this is the sacrifice that had to be made in order for us to go to Heaven. This is what had to happen. He lived a perfect life - never sinning once, while we sin every day. I'm not trying to offend anyone, it's the plain Truth.
You see, in every other religion, it's man trying to get to God. Christianity is the only one in which God came to man. Every other religion is do, do, do, and just maybe it'll be good enough. Christianity is the single one with the message: Done.
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