Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What is Easter to you?


Since this message from Billy Graham is so clear, I wanted to post for my friends :)  

Every time the Gospel is proclaimed, those who hear the message and receive Christ as Savior come to faith by way of the cross.

Four dimensions of the cross come to my mind

First, I think about the breadth of the cross. The love of Christ is manifested in the cross to everyone. When I study the world population and see how fast it is increasing, I am staggered. Yet God loves us all. His love extends to Africa, to Asia, to Latin America, to Russia, to China, to the United States, to Canada-to the whole world. It includes you, whoever you are, whatever your religion, even if you have no religion. God says from the cross, "I love you."

Then there is the length of the cross. It has no measure. It extends from eternity to eternity, from everlasting to everlasting. When Noah built the Ark, it was 450 feet long. When Solomon built the Temple, it was 60 cubits long. If you build a shed for garden tools, you can measure the lumber with a tape measure. But how can you measure God's love for us on the cross? The Bible says that God's love surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:19). There is no way that our finite minds can even begin to understand the love God had for us when He gave His Son on the cross to die for us, because you and I deserve death. We deserve judgment and hell.

Then I think of the height of the cross-it extends to the throne of God. It doesn't matter how high Heaven is. Through the cross, God draws all people to Himself. But you have to make a decision about Jesus Christ.

And I think about the depth of God's love for us on the cross. You can fall into the pit of sin and degradation. You can live like an animal. You can be a murderer, a rapist. But you can't get beyond the love of God. The cross covers to the very gates of hell. How deep is God's love? The Bible says, The depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”  Romans 11:33

It can draw every sinner up to the exalted height of Heaven.  Jesus said, "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself."  John 12:32

Think of Christ's suffering for you.

Those nails through His hands and feet were driven by you and me and all the peoples of the world. We all had a part in the death of Christ because of our sins. Our sins put Him on the cross-and you participated.

You will never understand the Bible, you will never understand the death of Christ on the cross, until you understand that God is a holy and righteous and pure God. He cannot even look upon evil.

In that terrible time of the agony of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, a shadow came between God the Father and God the Son. God cannot look upon sin, and in that moment He was laying your sins and mine on Christ.

He who knew no sin was made to be sin for us. 2 Corinthians 5:21. That means that He had never known sin, never told a lie, never had an evil thought, never had any greed or lust. But all of the filth and dirt from your life and my life descended on Him. None of us will ever understand the mystery of that moment. It was God's great love for each of us that allowed His Son to take that suffering.

You and I have sinned against God. We have broken His laws. God told Adam that if he broke God's law, he would surely die (Genesis 2:17). But Adam and Eve broke His law.
They sinned. We have all deliberately rebelled against God. God would not be God, He wouldn't be just and righteous and holy, if He came along and patted us on the back and said, "You're forgiven." We either had to die for our own sins, or somebody who was qualified had to die for us. That Person who was qualified was Jesus Christ, and He volunteered to do it. He died in our place. People will do almost anything to get rid of their guilt. The place to get rid of guilt is at the cross. Jesus came to die. On the cross He said, "It is finished." John 19:30

God had given Jesus a work to do, and in the Gospel of John we read that Jesus said, "I have finished the work which You have given Me to do." John 17:4. We wonder why He didn't feed everybody and heal everybody. He could have done it. He healed some people and fed some who were hungry, and He did that out of compassion. But His real work was the cross; there He was dealing with eternity.

Your body will go to the grave. Your soul, your spirit-the part of you that lives forever-will live on. Where will you spend eternity? Heaven or hell? That will be decided by what you do about the cross, because from the cross Christ is asking you to repent of your sin and receive Him as your Lord and Savior.

From the cross, Jesus reached out by His death and rescued us.  On the cross Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit." Luke 23:46  They did not take His life from Him; He laid it down voluntarily. He gave up His Spirit to God the Father. And in saying this, He conferred upon every one of us the possibility of the gift of eternal life. You can have eternal life, too. Jesus' invitation is to Heaven.

We were lost, confused, without purpose or meaning in life, without assurance of a future life. But from the cross Jesus reached out by His death and rescued us. We can say to Him today, "Lord," "Savior." Are you sure that He is your Lord and your Savior? Thousands of people attend church, but they are not sure that they have committed their lives to Christ.

Do you know Christ? Do you know the forgiveness of the cross and the power of Christ's resurrection? Are you forgiven? Have you received new life, resurrection life? I am asking you to make your commitment to Christ. God will help you, if you are willing.

For prayers or questions, contact Syd 

@ www.simplewithsyd.com

7 comments:

  1. Humbling. Beyond my piddly words I have only to say as the sinner I am... Thank you Jesus for Your finished Work on the Cross and may I lay down my life for You. I could never as You did so perfectly. Thank you Sydney.

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  4. Stacey - thankful that you know what He did for you and that you have received His life :)

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  5. Humbled that a Perfect Man with nothing to be charged against Him would take all my messiness because He chose to. He didn't have to. He chose to allow that dark cloud to separate Him from His Father in anguish and allow my selfishness, my covetousness, my greed, my shame and guilt to be layer upon Himself so I am free?? Who can comprehend such Love?? Not I. And not only that but then He says "Forgive them Father for they know not what they do."

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  6. "But from the cross Jesus reached out by His death and rescued us." Beautifully written, Sydney.

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  7. Brett
    I thought Billy Graham's message was clear for all.
    Right, what a price He paid so we could live :)

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