Summary: Commitment to Jesus - a Sermon for Good Friday
The Mother eagle had built her nest on a ledge of rock, a rock that jutted out over the steep and dangerous precipice. One day she laid four eggs, and she and her mate sat on them until they hatched. Then began the task of feeding. Both parents were involved in the endless search for field-mice and the like to fill four beaks which never seemed satisfied..
Some days later, returning to her nest, the mother was startled. Clinging to the edge of the rock with all its might was one of her babies - below it a fall of more than 1,000 feet. It could not fly yet, and if it let go its body would be crushed by the 1,000 foot drop.
Screaming, the mother flew towards her off-spring, but as she flew, the baby`s strength ran out, and it fell from the ledge. As it fell the mother swooped low beneath the jutting rock, her strong wings spread wide to break the baby`s fall, and then she caught it in her talons and glided with her little one, safely back to its nest.
That`s the picture that Moses had in mind when he assured the believers of his day: "The eternal God is your refuge, and UNDERNEATH ARE THE EVERLASTING ARMS.
I don`t know whether you have seen Salvador Dali`s great painting titled "Christ of St. John of the Cross.I always think of that story of the eagle when I see that picture. It speaks very powerfully to me. In the picture Jesus is like that eagle - suspended on the Cross with His arms wide open - he takes us upon His back and lifts us up to heaven.
It is said of this painting that, in it, Dali was trying to communicate something new about Jesus - for Dali was a native of Spain, the nation of the Bullfight, and, if you look at the picture with that in mind, you can see in Christ`s arms and shoulders the picture of the bull at the point of death - His great strength has been sapped by piercing pain, the great head drops,. the great horns lower, the blood flows out, life ebbs away.
It is a powerful portrait. It shows what Jesus did for YOU. Think of the weight that has been lifted from your back and placed on Him. Think of what would have happened if Jesus had not been prepared to give His life for you. Think of what would have happened if UNDERNEATH THERE HAD NOT BEEN THE EVERLASTING ARMS!
As we come to the end of our Good Friday Meditation, I`m going to ask you to kneel before that picture for a little while and think of the rich generosity of God, who surrendered His Son into the hands of sinful men just like us, so that we might be saved from certain death, and be carried safely home. What response will we make to a God like that?
Each one of us has only so many days, so many hours, so many minutes, so many seconds to live. When we were young those days and hours and minutes and seconds seemed endless - all the time in the world to use them - but, as the years go by and the days grow short, we begin to realise how little time there is, and how much of it we`ve wasted - wasted days, hours, minutes and seconds. Life could have been a wonderful response to the love of God...... a time when we could have shown our appreciation of that great weight that Jesus shouldered, by living a life of love for others.
But it`s never too late to start again - never too late to say thank you to God - never too late to rededicate our lives to Him. We can do it now.