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Thursday, April 6, 2006

"Nailed To the Cross for Me"

"This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross" (Acts 2:23).

Several years ago I was in a diner in Oklahoma and saw a man wearing a sweatshirt with this slogan, "WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH THE TOUGH USE DUCT TAPE."  I learned early on in life the many virtues of duct tape and to this day manage to find many applications for its use.  The other day I saw a t-shirt and initially the screen print of duct tape got my attention but then I asked the man to stop so I could read the entire message. "People use duct tape to fix things. Jesus used three nails." That is sure true.

The photo I use at the top of this message is a work of art by Ron DiCianni, one of my favorite artists.  It's actually on a wall in a foyer and is probably some eight - ten feet tall and is absolutely stunning. DiCianni has a powerful way of placing modern subjects in his art such as the man in modern dress holding the hammer and nail.

The nails used in the crucifixion of Jesus were likely iron spikes five to seven inches long.  In the daily text the action of nailing our Lord on the cross is taken from the Greek word "prospegnumi". It is used only here in the entire New Testament and literally means to "impale".  Do you see our English word "peg" in the middle of the Greek word?  How indescribably horrible this form of death was. 

Christ died for the ungodly, for each one of us. We are in the season when we especially remember God's greatest demonstration of love. Earnest believers look back to Christ's sacrificial death in deepest gratitude and remember the One who died in our place. A song from the seventies says it so well, "I should have been crucified, I should have suffered and died, I should have hung on the cross in disgrace, but Jesus, God's Son took my place".

Let us remember this great act of sacrifice and live today for the One who died in our place!

I was guilty with nothing to say,
And they were coming to take me away.
But then a voice from heaven was heard that said,
"Let him go and take me instead."

I should have been crucified,
I should have suffered and died.
I should have hung on the cross in disgrace,
But Jesus, God's Son took my place.

A crown of thorns, the spear in His side,
And the pain, it should have been mine.
The rusty nails were meant just for me,
But yet Christ took them, and let me go free. *

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Lord Jesus, I will never fully realize or comprehend the depth of Your sacrificial love. In my place You took my guilt and shame as You died for my sin.  You did not abandon Your mission but fully gave all so that I could be forgiven and find new hope and anticipation for what lies ahead.  Thank You for Your supreme example of laying down Your life on my behalf.

* "I Should Have Been Crucified" Jensen, Gordon © 1972 Jensen Music (Admin. by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc., 741 Coolsprings Blvd., Franklin TN 37067) CCLI License No. 2005306  Here's an audio version but on my machine it loads very slow. I Should Have Been Crucified- by The Orrels

Personal note: I am back from my trip to the Midwest.  I had a great trip and am so thankful for the many friends I visited with.

John and Joan Wiseman
John and Joan Wiseman
I met John many years ago through this email ministry when he worked for Disney World as a graphic artist.  We, along with his wife Joan, fellowshipped together while I was in Springfield.  He is 61 old and is excited that next week he will be ordained as a minister.  I was able to encourage him concerning several types of ministry.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I 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 please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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