hope4all Poured out on Jesus
I remember it like it was yesterday even though I was only ten years old at the time. Our church had just shown a movie about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. My father asked me what I thought of the movie after we had returned home. I had cried during the movie and I thought he saw me crying. Specifically, my dad asked me if I had cried during the movie. As with most young boys, I idolized my dad. He was a WWII Veteran (82nd Airborne; 16 combat jumps under fire, Purple Heart, etc.). Thinking that crying had shown weakness and not sure what I should say, I opted for what I thought was a brave response and said, “It would take something a whole lot sadder than that to make me cry.” My dad replied simply, “There is nothing sadder than that.”
Monday…Read Psalms 22 and realize two things: 1) This was written 1000 years before the crucifixion of Jesus and 2) This was written 400 years before the Persians first used the cross as an instrument of torture and death. Can you spot the nine clear predictions in the Psalm? (Some commentators vary on the number since some predictions/prophecies are repeated.) This Psalm is one of the most incredible chapters in your Bible!
Tuesday…I know of no other religion that uses an instrument of torture in its liturgy/symbolism. Yes, the cross is sad…and horrible…but on that day when the Son of God gave His life, you and I were given a wonderful message of forgiveness and hope. Take the time to read the crucifixion accounts and then read I Corinthians 15:1-4.
Wednesday…Victims of crucifixion sometimes lived for days on the cross. Thousands and thousands of people (both men and women) were crucified by the Romans from roughly 100 B.C.-A.D. 400. When Jesus died on the cross, He said (among other things): “Tetelestai”. That Greek word literally means, “Paid in full.” It is usually translated, “It is finished” in our Bibles. That word has been found on hundreds of tiny, clay “receipts” in Palestine. When an item was paid for, the new owner received what you receive at your local stores: a receipt. Note the correct wording, “paid in full.” Jesus paid in full your sin debt–and mine. Hallelujah!
Thursday…Note the crowd around the cross. In addition to the men and women who followed and loved Jesus, in addition to some members of his family, there were those who came to gloat, ridicule and challenge. I wonder how they feel now? To remember: those who gloat, ridicule and challenge now are so very brave…because they have no idea who they are going to face. Make sure you are on the right side because the King is coming. See Revelation 21,22.
Friday…The curtain that separated the Holy place from the Holy of Holies in the Jerusalem Temple (build by Zerubbabel and added to by Herod the Great) was, according to ancient sources, some four inches thick. Think of that. When Jesus bowed His head and surrendered His Spirit to His Father in heaven, that curtain was torn in two. Torn from the top to the bottom. See Matthew 27:51 for this fact. The symbolism: God torn the curtain to let us know that our High Priest, Jesus, had paid the ultimate price and we are now free to come to His presence as we so choose. See Hebrews 9. What a privilege!
By Dale Holzbauer