The Story of the Crucifixion

As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large crowd trailed behind, including many grief-stricken women. But Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are coming when they will say, ‘Fortunate indeed are the women who are childless, the wombs that have not borne a child and the breasts that have never nursed.’ People will beg the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and plead with the hills, ‘Bury us.’ For if these things are done when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry? ” Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!” But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” By this time it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last. When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, “Surely this man was innocent. ” And when all the crowd that came to see the crucifixion saw what had happened, they went home in deep sorrow. But Jesus’ friends, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching. Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph. He was a member of the Jewish high council, but he had not agreed with the decision and actions of the other religious leaders. He was from the town of Arimathea in Judea, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come. He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long sheet of linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock. This was done late on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation, as the Sabbath was about to begin. As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed. Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to anoint his body. But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law.
Luke 23:26‭-‬56 NLT

COME, FOLLOW JESUS: “Adam, Eve, and Lent”

Genesis 3

“The LORD is King! He is robed in majesty. Indeed, the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength. The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.” (Psalm 93:1, NLT) (Zentangle(R)-inspired illustration by Jenn Webster)

We are still into the Lenten season, a season in which Christians should put their focus on their faith, and the reason of why we have that faith in Jesus Christ in the first place, due to the fact that He has shed His blood for each and every one of us? Well, that is supposed to be the focus of Lent to begin with: to put our focusing minds on the fact that, because God loves us so very much that He has found a way to save us while showing that He loves us, has sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to take our place as punishment for our sins, dying on the cross at a certain place called Calvary, and then has been risen from the dead on the third day, defeating death when He went out of that cold, dark tomb, so that each of us could very well have life eternal.
     Yes, it is because of that sacrificial love that God had for us in which our freedom has been purchased with Christ’s blood on the cross that Lent should be a time to focus on the fact that we have been saved, and that we should share that Gospel with others. Now, there happens to be another reason why we should focus on the Lord God during Lent: Our very first parents, Adam and Eve, have tried their darndest to follow the Lord God’s orders; What happened next is explained in the third chapter of Genesis 3(NLT); the devil, in the form of a serpent, asked Eve if God really said she must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden, and Eve replied that it is only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden and that they must not eat it or even touch it, because if they do, they shall surely die. 

     Of course, the serpent became such a liar, because he is, after all, the father of lies; He lied to Eve and told her, “You won’t die…God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” Eve then began to believe his trickery, and then she ate the fruit, and then later gave some to her husband; And then, you know what happens next-God learned of Adam and Eve’s sin, and then He cursed the ground as well as the serpent, and then He banished Adam and Eve from that garden called Eden, then later experiencing pain, suffering, and toil…

My friends, that was how sin had been brought into the world by Adam & Eve; who disobeyed God, thus they both have sinned; However, we would end up in this dark world of sin forever had it not been for the fact that God offered us something that would save every one of us, and to bring us back to Himself. That something is Jesus Christ. “(Jesus) humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8) That means that Jesus took the place of a criminal and died in the criminal’s place, thus while shedding His blood to wash our souls clean of sin, and to save us from the brutal punishment that we otherwise deserve. “(Jesus) canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing into the cross.” (Colossians 2:14) that means that Jesus canceled our debts for us on the cross, so that, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there.” (Galatians 5:24) So it is with that that when Jesus died on the cross to save you from your sins, He has saved you from the ultimate punishment because He has nailed all of your sinful nature in your past on the cross! My friends, this season of Lent is the perfect time to rethink your life and to make the most ultimate decision of all: Giving your very own heart to Jesus Christ!
     Now, those of you who have just started to read this message just now have been going through the most painful times in your life right now, things such as a loss of a loved one, loss of a job, a divorce, a relationship breakup, or any other such crisis, and that you have been trying to soothe those pains with every kind of vice imaginable: Drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography, etc.; Let me tell you something: Those things may be temporary, but they do not ever make you happy, and instead only bring you as much more misery and pain as before!

My dearest friends, if you want to really be truly happy, then I suggest that you do not look any further than the cross of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, because He is the only One who saves you, and how does he save you? By allowing Himself to be whipped, beaten, then forced to carry, and then nailed to, suffering, bleeding, and then dying on the cross and then rose again from the dead three days later to save YOU from your sins! There is no better time to reach out your heart to Jesus Christ than right now! This Lenten season, won’t you reach out to Christ?

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:16-17)
     So, are you ready to ask the Lord God to repent, and to ask His Son to come into your heart? You can do this right now-Please pray this prayer with me: “Oh, Lord God, I admit that I am a poor, miserable sinner. I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for me, and that You have raised Him from the dead on the third day, defeating death so that I could very well have eternal life. I ask now that You please forgive me of my sins, and have Your Son to come into my heart, and to follow Him always as my personal Savior. I thank You so very much from the bottom of my heart for allowing You Son to sacrifice Himself to save me. In His name. Amen.”
     If you have just prayed this prayer with me, then I would very much like to welcome YOU into God’s Great, Big Family! Now, the very next thing that you need to do now that you have given your heart to Jesus Christ would be to read the Holy Bible, God’s Most Blessed Word, each and every day of your life. And then, when you need to praise, worship, and to thank our Lord for sending His Son to die for you, then I very well suggest that you go to a good, Christian church each and every Sunday of your life, and when you can, try and visit the mid-week services at church too. I very much hope that you would make this most blessed choice of all time by following Christ Jesus today, for always. I would very much like to thank you all for reading my message today; Until the very next time, may the Lord God ever so richly bless you.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

COME, FOLLOW JESUS: “God’s Appeal”

2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10

“Because of Your unfailing love, I can enter Your house; I will worship at Your temple with deepest awe.” (Psalm 5:7, NLT)

Two weeks ago, the season of Lent began with Ash Wednesday; Now I would very much like to state that the season of Lent is not about giving up things like chocolate, coffee, shopping, or any other unreasonable thing such as those. The season of Lent is a time when we, as Christians, should re-focus on the One who took our place as the payment for our punishment for our sins, Jesus Christ, the Son of the one true God, a God Who felt that He loves us so very much and thought that the only way to show His unending love for us while at the same time saving us was that He had sent His only Son to take our place and died on the cross for all of us. Yes, we are sinners, but God loves us anyway, so He shows the fact that He loves us anyway by sending Jesus to die to save us, and by inviting us to repent of our sins because of Jesus’ blood shed for us on the cross. Jesus is the best, period!
Our Heavenly Father is making this Lenten season appeal for us, especially you, to come right back to God through the blood of Christ Jesus; In 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10(NLT), the apostle Paul makes this statement so very clear: “God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’ For God made Christ, Who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ…As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. For God says, ‘At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.’ Indeed, the ‘right time’ is now. Today is the day of salvation.”
“We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us imposters. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”

What Paul had just addressed is true: As Christians, we are the ambassadors of Christ, and we have been assigned to send His message of the Gospel to those who have yet to hear of it and be saved; Once we have trusted in our Lord Jesus Christ, then we make the life-changing exchange: He takes all our sins and then make us right with God. At His crucifixion, our sins have been laid on Jesus, while His righteousness has been given to us at our conversion. Our Heavenly Father offers this gift of salvation to each and every one of us, not just me and you; However, there are those who just simply ignore His Word and put off the decision to follow Christ Jesus, thinking that they would wait until a much later time, but unfortunately, they can miss this glorious opportunity altogether, and worse, once the day of judgment comes, it would all be too late for them to repent!
My dearest friends, if you have been embattling your sins for so many years while you have been depressed by the bad events in your own life and have been wanting to look for something that would make your life all the while, then there is no better time than right this very now to receive the forgiveness of God through the precious blood shed on the cross by our Lord and Savior, as well as God’s Son, Jesus Christ-Please do not let anything hold you back from repenting of your sins and by coming to Christ Jesus! The very right time to repent is right now!
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in His grace, freely makes us right in His sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when He held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for He was looking ahead and including them in what He would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate His righteousness, for He Himself is fair and just, and He makes sinners right in His sight when they believe in Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-26, NLT)

     And so, with that said my friends, are you ready to receive that most blessed gift of all, the gift of salvation that has been won for us by the precious blood that has been shed for us by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? Then please pray this prayer with me: “Oh, Lord Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner. I believe that You have died on the cross and have shed Your blood for my sins, and have been raised from the dead on the third day, defeating death so that I could have eternal life. I repent of my sins because of You, and ask that You please come into my heart, and let me follow You always as my personal Savior. I thank You so very much for making the ultimate sacrifice of Yourself to save me. In Your most holy and blessed name. Amen.”
If you have just prayed this prayer with me, then I would very much like to welcome you into the Family of God! Now, the very next thing that you need to do now that you are officially a follower of Christ would be to read God’s Word, the Holy Bible, each and every day, and then go to a good, Christian church, each and every Sunday of your life, so that you could praise, worship, and thank our Father for sending His Son to make the ultimate sacrifice for you. I very much hope as well as pray that you would make this most important choice of your life in following Jesus Christ today, for always. I would like to thank you so very much for taking the time to read this message this week. Until next week, Lord willing, may God ever so richly bless you.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.