Illustration results for Cross: Agony
Staff Picks of Free Sermons and PRO Church Media
The Gospel is good news of mercy to the undeserving. The symbol of the religion of Jesus is the cross, not the scales.
-- John R. W. Stott
Total Sacrifice Bryan Chapell tells this story that happened in his hometown: Two brothers were playing on the sandbanks by the river. One ran after another up a large mound of sand. Unfortunately, the mound was not solid, and their weight caused them to sink in quickly. When the boys did not return home for dinner, the family and neighbors organized a search. They found the younger brother unconscious, with his head and shoulders sticking out above the sand. When they cleared the sand to his waist, he awakened. The searchers asked, "Where is your brother?" The child replied, "Iím standing on his shoulders" With the sacrifice of his own life, the older brother lifted the younger to safety. The tangible and sacrificial love of the older brother literally served as a foundation for the younger brotherís life.
"You better watch out, you better not pout, you better not cry, I’m telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town. He’s making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty and nice, Santa Claus is coming to town. He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake."
I never liked that song as a kid. You can’t fool Santa. He knows it all. Well, great! Then he knows I lied about scratching the car with my bike. He knows I hit my sister. He knows I was cussing up a storm with my friends down the street. He knows it all. That’s just great! What chance do I have for a decent Christmas present now? I might as well just keep on being bad.
You know. That’s how people often look at their lives as Christians. Jesus is coming back. You better watch out - you better be good, cause He knows it all. You better be ready, prepared, faithful, loving, because there’s no fooling Him. And when you look at it this way, any honest person would say, "That’s just great!" Then I have no chance, cause I know I’ve been bad." But that misses the point of the grace of God. Ephesians 2:8-10 tells us that we cannot be good enough to earn God’s favor. Instead, He gives us the gift of eternal life when we believe in Jesus, and He recreates us in Christ so that we can do good things.
THE PERFECT MATCH- COMMUNION MEDITATION
From Daily Encounter comes this story by a Chaplain Robinson:
ďIn 1949, my father had just returned from the war. On every highway you could see soldiers in uniform hitchhiking home to their families. The thrill of the reunion with his family was soon overshadowed by my grandmotherís illness. There was a problem with her kidneys. The doctors told my father that she needed a blood transfusion immediately or she would not live through the night.
Grandmotherís blood type was AB negative, a very rare type. In those days there were no blood banks like there are today. No one in the family had that type blood and the hospital had not been able to find anyone with that rare type. The Doctor gave our family little hope. My Dad decided to head home for a little while to change clothes and then return for the inevitable good-byes.
As my father was driving home he passed a soldier in uniform hitchhiking. Deep in grief, my father was not going to stop. But something compelled him to pull over. The soldier climbed in but my father never spoke. He just continued driving down the road toward home. The soldier could tell my father was upset as a tear ran down his cheek.
The soldier asked about the tear. My father began telling the stranger that his mother was going to die because the hospital couldnít find anyone who could donate AB negative blood. My father explained that he was just heading home to change clothes. That is when he noticed the soldierís open hand holding dog tags that read AB negative. The soldier told my father to turn the car around and head back to the hospital.
My grandmother lived until 1996, 47 more years. To this day my family doesnít know the name of that sol...
Foot and Mouth
The most recent attack on the foot and mouth disease that is ravaging farms in the U.K. has been the sad slaughter of thousands and thousands of unaffected cows & sheep, together with their newborn spring lambs. This is to create a “firebreak” between the infected and the uninfected farms. Some farmers have been seen on TV talking of how difficult they’re finding it to hand over to slaughter the “innocent”. But it has to be done, many admit. If there is no other way…
Our Lord Jesus is called the Lamb of God. He died, the innocent for the guilty – the pure for the polluted, to save us from the judgement on our sins.
“There was no other good enough
To pay the price of sin..
Says the old hymn. There was no other way. And there is no other way for you to avoid the wrath of an angry God. You must turn to the Saviour today & find in Him protection from the slaughter our sins deserve.
Rev. Graham John Rhondda, South Wales, UK
A cartoon has been found on a wall in the ruins of ancient Rome showing how crazy the Christian message seemed to the people of that time. Itís a caricature of Jesusí crucifixion, showing a manís body hanging on a cross - but the body has the head of a donkey. Thereís also a figure of a young man with hand raised as if in worship. Underneath is the inscription, "He worships his God!"
A crucified god? It just defied all reason. The non-Christian says that God would never involve himself in the world like that!
Thereís a famous painting by Rembrandtís of The Three Crosses. Those who view have their attention drawn first to the centre cross on which Jesus died. Then they look at the crowd gathered around the foot of that cross, impressed by the various facial expressions and actions of the people involved in the awful crime of crucifying the Son of God. At the edge of the painting thereís another figure, almost hidden in the shadows. Art critics say this is a representation of Rembrandt himself, for he recognised that by his sins he helped nail Jesus to the cross.
POWER IN THE CROSS-COMMUNION MEDITATION
There is power in the cross. It's undeniable. Even unbelievers seem to squirm when considering its potential.
David Brooks, of the Weekly Standard, reports "of the conniption being thrown by the American Atheist, the group founded by the late Madalyn Murray O'Hair (may God have mercy upon her soul). It seems that when the World Trade Center collapsed, the force of the fall, or some supernatural force, fused two steel beams into a 20-foot-high cross, which has been kept on the edge of the site. The atheists want the cross removed, of course, but in their passion to do that, they are actually revealing their faith in the power of the cross. If it didn't have power, why get so upset?"
There is power in the cross. It's undeniable. As we come around the Lord's Table, we consider the potential of the cross--it's potential to reconcile al...
Oswald Chambers writes, "In the Cross we may see the dimensions of Divine love. The Cross is not the cross of a man, but the exhibition of the heart of God. At the back of the wall of the world stands God with His arms outstretched, and every man driven there is driven into the arms of God. The Cross of Jesus is the supreme evidence of the love of God."
Herbert Lockyer says, “ At the old rugged cross we see man at his worst, but God at his best.”