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Friday, April 15, 2022
O mighty cross, what throne of grace
He knew no sin yet took my place
His sacrifice on Calvary
Has made the mighty cross
A tree of life to me
"Remembering Good Friday"
Message summary: God intended the Cross for good. This Good Friday let us praise and thank God for the mighty cross!
Listen to this message on your audio player.
“He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5) “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). “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
We will hear a lot of news today, some good but the majority is distressing. In today's message we will consider an essential element of the ultimate good news of the Gospel. "But He (Jesus) has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Hebrews 9:26). We especially remember the day Jesus became our sin offering as He took all our sins upon Himself while hanging and dying on the cross. Today people all around the world will commemorate this event as they reflect on the crucifixion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Of the seven last sayings of Christ from the cross three are specifically directed to His Father. The God of creation and the Lord of the universe was surely there when His only begotten Son was crucified. Consideration of the Father’s perspective at the crucifixion of His Son gives us much to think about.
But this much is clear; the Father was not a mere passive Spectator. The first phrase in the third daily text reads, "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us".
Three words in that sentence especially grip my attention. Read them slowly: "God made Him..." Due to the complexities of the English language perhaps some clarification is needed. We often use the word "made" to describe one forcing another to do something against his will or desire, such as "My Mom made me mow the yard".
But the Father did not force Christ to be our sacrifice. The Greek understanding of this verse would more clearly read, “for Him who knew no sin, God hath made sin, or a sin-offering for us.”
Today we look back nearly 2,000 years to the great Sacrifice Jesus made so that our sins could be forgiven. We realize that this day, Good Friday, is indeed good because it is the day that God showed us the full extent of His love and provided for our eternal redemption. The patriarch Joseph, whom many see as a type of Christ, made a statement that many years later found even greater fulfillment at the Cross: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20). Yes, surely God intended the Cross for good. This Good Friday let us indeed praise and thank God for the mighty cross!
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we thank You for Jesus who was wounded for our transgressions, who bore our sins in His body on the tree. For our guilt He gave us peace, and from our bondage to sin He gave sweet release. The triumph of the cross is witnessed by the myriads of believers who follow Christ into heaven. We thank You for Jesus who is our victorious and soon coming King! We honor Him by surrendering our lives wholly to His set purpose. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Amen.
Brooksyne’s Note: My prayer is based on the hymn, "He Was Wounded for Our Transgressions" written in 1941 by Thomas Chisolm well known for his hymn, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness". Years ago I laid awake one night because the words of this song kept playing over and over in my mind. It’s never been one of my “top ten” favorite songs due to its tune which is somewhat difficult to sing and the tone which is quite gloomy, but its message lingered in my spirit throughout the night and even the next morning. I kept thinking of the many things Jesus gave up or endured on His earthly journey that would conclude at the cross even as the tune played in my mind:
* His glory in heaven.
* His royal privileges.
* His being subjected to Satan’s temptuous ways.
* His incorruptible body being subjected to physical death.
* His being numbered with transgressors while the guilty were freed.
* His being abandoned by those closest to Him.
* His silence when false accusations were hurled at Him.
* His being subjected to betrayal and physical cruelty by those He came to save.
* His bearing all our sin to satisfy what the law demanded.
What really struck me is the growing list of all that He did for me, while I did nothing, yet I freely and eternally benefit from His sacrifice. I can only respond with the words of another old hymn, “O what wonder! How amazing! Jesus, glorious King of kings, deigns to call me His beloved, Lets me rest beneath His wings!” ("All For Jesus" by Mary James, 1871)
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"O Mighty Cross" Video Integrity Music
"Mighty Cross" Video Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
"The Power of the Cross" Video Shane & Shane
"The Old Rugged Cross" Video Redeemed Quartet
"It's Still The Cross" Video Gold City
Yesterday we stopped by the Silverstone Inn to visit two carpenters, Justin and Mason, who work for Smuckers Home Improvement where we serve as chaplains. They were repairing a porch roof damaged by a falling tree. You can imagine the damage, not only to the porch but also the trim above the top right window, based upon the large stump in the foreground!
The Silverstone Inn is a stately bed & breakfast and wedding venue.
Click on photo to enlarge
Some people think they have smart dogs, but we really do. Sadie is borrowing Brooksyne's glasses so she can say to her viewers, "Here's looking at you, Kid!"
Major Events of the Passion Week
Here's a helpful chart from a Study Bible as you contemplate the events that took place this holy week. It's inspiring to read these Scriptures in the daily sequence leading up to Easter. We will leave these materials up all week. If you choose only one gospel to read, Luke is often more detailed than others though there is much to be gleaned from each gospel.
(This material is developed from an outline in the Life Application Bible)
"It's Still The Cross!"
(A selection of Scripture verses focusing on the Cross for personal, family or congregational reading.)
Pastor: Here they crucified Him, and with Him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. John 19:18
Congregation: 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
Pastor: For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18
Congregation: May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14
Pastor: By abolishing in His flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. Ephesians 2:15-17
Congregation: He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name. Philippians 2:7-9
Pastor: 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
Congregation: When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13,14
All: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3
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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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