May those who are angry, confused, and hateful, come to the foot of the cross; letting the stones fall from their hands.
At one time, you may have accused and condemned others, even yourself, but when you look at Jesus hanging on the cross, may you finally see the great love that was poured out on your behalf and on the behalf of those you stand accusing.
Jesus did not live, die, and come back to life in order to bring the righteous to repentance; He came for sinners. So, come to the foot of the cross, look upon the broken, battered, and bleeding form of Jesus Christ and understand that you are far from righteous. May you say in that day; “It was for me that Jesus died. My hands are not clean, for they have beaten and crucified the King of kings and Lord of lords. Surely, this man is the Son of God, so I put my trust in Him.” (Mark 15:39)
We cannot literally see Jesus hanging on the cross today. Movies have tried to depict His death and the price of sin, but they still fall hopelessly short. How can man reenact perfection, complete obedience, and painful sacrifice? Every human is imperfect and so far from being holy. We do not need Hollywood to show us Who Jesus is; His Word is more than sufficient.
Jesus is the Word made flesh, so His Words left behind on our behalf (The Holy Bible), serve to testify of Him and of our desperate need for salvation. I realize that not every soul will come to redemption and life in Christ, because not every soul will humbly bow at the foot of the cross. But if a soul would only look to Jesus, reading and listening to His Word with open ears and open eyes, then how could they choose anything else other than eternal life in Jesus Christ? If they do not believe, then they are still blind and deaf, choosing ignorance and death over wisdom and life.
With Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, He brought an end to the power of sin and death. His victory was sealed when He arose from the grave, but when He said, It is finished, on Good Friday, the battle was won. (John 19:30)
O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
Those three words, It is finished, signaled the end of death and sin, and marked the continuation of joy for all of creation. We cannot (and should not) rejoice at the brutality of Christ’s death, but we can (and should) rejoice that He came, that He gave His life willingly, and that He took His life back again, all on our behalf. The stones in our hands may seem more real than the Savior of the world, but God’s Word teaches that those stones weigh us down; dragging us away from Heaven, hope, and our only true Friend.
We could make excuses for not believing in Jesus or not following Him wholeheartedly; excuses like: life is too hard, it is so easy to sin, even my friends don’t follow Jesus wholeheartedly, I would be seen as weird, and I would be an outcast. However, any excuse we spit out for sin or lukewarm faith evaporates at the foot of the cross and before His empty tomb.
One day, all souls will stand before His throne.
When you stand before Jesus, do you think He will listen to your excuses and say it was right that you gave into sin and didn’t follow Him wholeheartedly? No. Jesus may, in fact, say to you, I never knew you: depart from Me, you worker of iniquity. (Matthew 7:23)
All it takes is a childlike faith to be held safe in the arms of Jesus. But if you refuse His arms, turning away from your first love and entertaining your fleshly desires, then you show that you don’t want to be a part His Kingdom on earth. If you do not want to be part of His Kingdom here, then how do you expect Him to force you into His Heavenly kingdom?
Are you blind? Are you deaf? Do you not understand that you must confess with your mouth, Jesus as Lord, believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, and become a new creation in Christ; having positively changed actions and affections? How can you tell if a candle is lit if it is hidden under a box? Surely, without oxygen that flame would soon go out, as though it had never been lit. If you confess Jesus Christ as Lord, then it must follow that you are born again; having put off the old man, with its sinful desires and lusts, and put on the new man, which seeks to be holy as Christ is holy. (Ephesians 4)
We do not serve a cruel, vindictive dictator. Jesus does not hate anyone on this planet, and He does not force those who hate Him to love Him. Instead, He bowed down to clean their feet and He allowed Himself to be hung on a cross; all the while, waiting for the lost to see their salvation and believe on Him. He gave humankind a choice: life or death. No soul can blame God for their choice of death. In the moment of making such an excuse before the throne of God, they would be thrown out into utter darkness, where there is only weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Life or death? It is your choice. No more excuses. While you still move and breathe, come with me to the foot of the cross. By putting off the decision between life or death, Christ or sin, you have already chosen death and sin. There is no middle ground. You cannot serve sin and God.
Do the words, It is finished, resonate within you, or the words, Crucify Him? As long as you wait and stand on the fence of sin and rebellion, you stand accused of murder; the blood of Jesus works to condemn you and not to save you.
Excuses cannot comfort. Excuses cannot save. Someone is still dead because of you. So, what are you going to do about it? Will you waste away in guilt? Will you sear your conscience and try to forget anything ever happened? Or will you accept grace and forgiveness and transformation from the living God?
It is a wonder that One person could do so much through His life and death, but it is because He is the Son of God that He arose from the grave and that He has the power and the place to judge between the living and the dead. His blood brings grace, but it also brings judgment to all those who live and die in rebellion.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believes on Him is not condemned, but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. – John 3:16-21
I do not write this post with the intention to make you more angry and hateful, but to encourage you to open your eyes. You stand before the cross of Jesus Christ with stones in your hands. You can either throw those stones at the King or you can lay them down at His feet. Know that if you choose to throw them at Him, they will return to you and you will be crushed. But if you lay them at His feet, allowing your heart to be broken, then He will build for you an eternal habitation, where hatred, anger, pain, fear, and sorrow are nonexistent.
The only way you can walk up to the gates of Heaven and be welcomed in is to bow at the feet of Jesus before your time is up; coming before Him with nothing but empty hands and an open heart.
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is why the Gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. – 1 Peter 4:1-8
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing. – 2 Timothy 4:1-8
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