Posts Tagged ‘cross’

29
Mar

CARRYING YOUR CROSS

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Today is Good Friday. The only good about it is what Jesus did on the cross.

After Jesus was condemned to die by the official authorities, he was led out of town, carrying His cross. Because He had been physically weakened by the beating and the emotional distress, “As they led Him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus” (Luke 23:26). It was always the responsibility of the condemned to carry his own cross to a crucifixion, but Jesus was just taking too long and holding up the procession. There were two other condemned men also in this parade carrying their crosses down those narrow streets. What a hopelessness must have hovered over the scene.

But this was Friday and the Jewish sabbath began at 6:00PM. They had to be finished with this execution by then. So they hurried the affair along by drafting an innocent bystander, Simon, to carry Jesus’ cross behind Him.

Simon was coming into town from the country for the Passover when he was recruited to this grisly task. He didn’t deserve this assignment. He came to town to offer his lamb as a sacrifice in the Temple, not get all bloody and sweaty carrying another man’s load. This just wasn’t fair.

But soon they arrived at Mount Calvary, the crucifixion site, and Simon’s task was accomplished. He could now go on about his own way. But it was Jesus, who had no sin, that carried Simon’s burden of sin on that cross. Jesus didn’t deserve this assignment. Jesus had just come in from the country for the Passover to offer His lamb as a sacrifice. This just wasn’t fair.

But Simon represents each of us. We must come behind Jesus and help carry His cross. Earlier, Jesus had said, “And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 15:27). Consider this blog to be your invitation to join in the procession. Jesus carried your load…

Tags: , ,

14
Feb

THE SPIRIT IS LIFE

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness” (Romans 8:10).

Notice that Paul is not speaking to unbelievers here that he wants to see come to Christ. He is clearly speaking to those who have already entered into a relationship with Christ. The way we relate to Christ (who is not here but sits at the right hand of God in heaven) is through the Holy Spirit (also called the Spirit of Christ). If Christ is in you, it is His Holy Spirit, the third part of the godhead, that resides in you. You already have the Holy Spirit if you are saved. But some of us haven’t discovered that yet. We’re still struggling in the flesh.

Now, if Christ is in you, “the body is dead because of sin“. Did you know that yet? Christ went to the Cross to pay the price for your sin. You have been liberated. You don’t need to keep living in that bondage.

That doesn’t mean your bodily appetites have died. It means our bodily appetites no longer control us. Our hunger for discovering God becomes more important than uncovering someone else’s flesh.

The “Spirit is life because of righteousness“. Rather than dying daily as the result bad choices, I get to die daily to the flesh so I can enjoy the real life God has for me. Passion for life can only be fulfilled by a passion for God. Make your life count today.

Tags: ,

17
Oct

TREE OF LIFE

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

After the fall of Adam and Eve, God responded by saying, “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever…” God, thus, booted Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden and placed armed angels at the entrance to keep them away from the Tree of Life from which they would gain eternal life (Genesis 3:22-24).

Was this literal or symbolic? You decide. One thing is for sure, no one has gotten back into the Garden of Eden since, and death happens to each of us who are descended from Adam and Eve. That’s how the story begins.

But do you know how the story ends? In Revelation 22, John the Revelator describes what he saw in his vision of heaven: “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of nations (v. 2).

Here’s another important connector in the Bible: The Tree of Life is in the beginning and reappears in the ending. The Bible is one Book, with several continuing threads or truths flowing and interweaving throughout. And its especially interesting that where God made the redeeming connection with man, was up on a tree: The Old Rugged Cross!

Tags: , ,

28
Jun

A BARGAIN

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

The owner of a Denver restaurant reported, “I first tried to sell buffalo tongue as an hors d’oeuvre at $1.75 and had no takers. So I priced it at $6.75, set a limit of two to a customer, and sold out every night.”

Why are people so desirable of expensive or limited things? Why do we think that because something costs more it has a greater value? The above true example shows us that people do think that way.

But, if we make salvation a free gift, does it lose its value? Why is it people think we must somehow “earn” that salvation by doing some work or disciplining our behavior?

The truth is, salvation isn’t free at all. Jesus paid the hefty bill himself by shedding His blood on the cross. Its free to us, but it cost Him dearly. That’s why we change our lives…to live for Him who died for us.

Tags: , , ,

14
Jun

THE SAVIOR

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

A stranger in his middle 70s came in to see me last week. He said he had admired the work our church was doing and asked what we believed. I began to explain our doctrinal position, which sparked him to respond by telling what he believed. He said he was an ordained minister in a Christian Church.

He went on to explain a totally heretical view. He explained that it was never God’s desire for Jesus to be crucified, man did that out of rebellion. The cross as a sacrifice to atone for man’s sins was a concoction of man’s mind, he said. He thought Paul was a Pharisee and all his teachings oppose what Jesus taught. It all came down to one key thing for him: Repentance.  He didn’t need a Savior because he was saving himself by his good works.

He told me he had studied the Bible thoroughly and that God at no time ever required a sacrifice. So, I reminded him of the story of the Israelis in bondage in Egypt and how God directed them to all slay a lamb and offer it as a sacrifice, putting the blood of that lamb on the doorposts of their houses. Then the death angel passed over them. John the Baptist said of Jesus: “Behold the Lamb’. He scratched his chin in confusion, and had no rebuttal. His main point had been subverted.

We left on friendly terms and I told him I would be praying for him. We agreed to disagree.

We must know what we believe and why! If he is right, we’re both safe. But if I am right, this man is in big trouble on judgment day. He has no Savior but himself.

Tags: , , ,

26
May

THE CROSS

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was a world-famous Russian author who had been sent to a Siberian prison because he criticized communism. Languishing there under intolerable conditions year after year, he decided to end his life. But suicide, he firmly believed, would be against God’s will. He thought it would be better for a guard to shoot him.

So, at a public assembly of the prisoners, he sat in a front row, planning to get up and walk toward an exit, compelling a guard to kill him. But to his surprise, another prisoner sat down, blocking his exit. That unknown man leaned over and, to Solzhenitsyn’s astonishment, drew a cross on the dirt floor.

There in prison Solzhenitsyn became a Christian and was eventually set free to bear witness to the world. There is still life changing power in the cross.

Tags: , ,

19
May

THREE CROSSES

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

There were three crosses on Calvary’s hill. On one was a man dying in sin – he did not accept Jesus. On another was a man dying to sin – he trusted Jesus as Savior and Lord (Luke 23:40-43). And on the middle cross was One dying for sin. He could die for others because He was God’s Son and had no sin of His own. The center cross made all the difference for those two men hanging beside Jesus – the difference between an eternity in hell or heaven.

The whole world is represented by those two thieves and their response to the Lord Jesus. We see in the three crucified individuals a picture of the sinner, the saint, and the Savior.

What does the cross mean to you?

Tags: