Summary: God has given each of us all that we need, in Jesus Christ, in his death, and resurrection, in His Spirit, and His presence with us on the roads of life, that we have all divine power.
God has given each of us all that we need, in Jesus Christ, in his death, and resurrection, in His Spirit, and His presence with us on the roads of life, that we have all divine power. We have everything we need through the knowledge of Him, who called each of us by His glory and goodness.
That’s where we begin today, at the foot of the cross. Can you see Jesus there? Can you see him, with his hands and feet pierced? Can you see the Son of God offered up for you? Many have tried to imagine it. Some have tried to paint it. One such person was the famed painter Rembrandt.
If you were to look at Rembrandt's painting of The Three Crosses, your attention would be drawn first to the center cross on which Jesus died. Then as you would look at the crowd gathered around the foot of that cross, you'd be impressed by the various facial expressions and actions of the people involved in the awful crime of crucifying the Son of God. Finally, your eyes would drift to the edge of the painting and catch sight of another figure, almost hidden in the shadows. Art critics say this is a representation of Rembrandt himself, for he recognized that by his sins he helped nail Jesus to the cross. -Source Unknown.
It wasn’t just a far off event for Rembrandt, it was personal. He was not just an observer. Indeed, we are not just far off observers, of a historical event, the crucifixion of Jesus. It’s more than that. We serve a living savior, a God though he has died for our sins, he currently lives, and is active in our lives. He speaks to us, in our personal prayer times, he speaks to us in our study of scripture. He speaks to us when we slow down long enough to listen. He speaks during life group, during bible study. He speaks through our friends and family. He speaks when we gather for services on Sundays.
We all once delighted in evil, brothers and sisters. We served ourselves. We lived for the world. We lived for money, for pleasure, and for our own enjoyment above all else. But now we serve something greater. We serve a great cause, the cause of the salvation of the world.
Yes in our day and age many reject God, and don’t want anything to do with Jesus. But still Jesus holds out his hand to this lost world. He is very patient with us. He was very patient with me. Holding out his hand for years. But what matters is now I have taken his hand and walk hand in hand with him, and you’ve done the same. You’ve received Jesus Christ as your savior, and thus God has become your Heavenly Father.
It reminds me of the famous story of John Newton, the man who wrote “Amazing Grace.” Did you know that he used to be captain of a slave ship? Yet Christ took hold of His life, and so he became a completely different person. He wrote this poem… listen carefully to the words as I read it to you:
“In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopp'd my wild career:
I saw One hanging on a Tree
In agonies and blood,
Who fix'd His languid eyes on me.
As near His Cross I stood.
Sure never till my latest breath,
Can I forget that look:
It seem'd to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke:
My conscience felt and own'd the guilt,
And plunged me in despair:
I saw my sins His Blood had spilt,
And help'd to nail Him there.
Alas! I knew not what I did!
But now my tears are vain:
Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
For I the Lord have slain!
A second look He gave, which said,
"I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid;
I die that thou may'st live."
Thus, while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too.
With pleasing grief, and mournful joy,
My spirit now if fill'd,
That I should such a life destroy,
Yet live by Him I kill'd!”
John Newton, 1725-1807.
Jesus died for you. Jesus died for me. Jesus was willing to do this for us. He paid our debt of sin by doing this. Each of us, added to the weight on his shoulders, so that the weight on our shoulders could be lifted. I recall how light I felt when I first got saved not so long ago. The weight on me, all that guilt and shame was gone. Gone away. I was free.