THE HATED CROSS
(An Easter story)
Freelance writer: Lupie Riley
A chill was in the air that night in the garden grove where Jesus deciples were assembled to hear the words of their Master. Voices from an angry mob could be heard in a distance. Armed with clubs, spears and swords they descended upon the small group of believers to arrest their Messiah. Judas, the betrayer, walked up to Jesus and gave him the customary kiss of greeting that identifyed him as the man they were looking for. Peter, in an act of defense, drew out his sword and cut off the ear of the high Priests servant. The miracle worker and healer that Jesus was known to be went into action restoring the servants ear to wholeness. This was to be one of the last miracles Jesus would perform before his crucifixion. The worst was yet to come. The disciples, through fear for their own lives, deserted him and he was left alone to face his enemies. The angry mob led Jesus from one high authority to another where he was mocked, spit upon, punched, kicked, beaten with fists that dislocated his nose and gave him a black eye. Then came the Romans soldiers whips that went well beyond the legal lashes with each opening the skin from their sharp, metal, tips. They placed a beam over his bruised and wounded shoulders that would complete the cross they would nail him to. A crown of long thorns was place upon his head as drops of blood streamed down his face. The mocking and torture continued until daybreak. (Isa. 52:13-15) Finally, nails were pounded into his hands and feet as they heard Jesus utter the words "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)
Jesus, God incarnate (sinless) in a human body was the one time sacrifice for sin that would offer forgiveness and restore mankindís relationship with a righteous and Holy God, Creator of all there was, is and will be. (Col. 1:15-19) Jesus death on the cross was the price that was paid for every sin that Satan could think up. Nothing new under the heavens has been added since-- all was covered by Jesus shed blood.
The symbolic cross is hated by those who love their sin and choose their own way because it represents conviction and salvation. They don't wish to change.
Three days after his crucifixion, Jesus arose from the grave defeating the power of death that had come upon the earth from the disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve. (Heb. 2:14,15) He now offers immortality of Spirit and new body that will never die for all who put their trust in him and turn away from sin. (II Cor. 5:1-5) What an incredible free gift this is for those who receive him into their life through faith. Jesus paid the price for all sin and is alive and well ready to come in to anyone who will open that door to their heart. He is the living God, Jehovah. (John 1:1-5)
The Easter holiday should be called "A celebration of life" as we live it with Jesus who gives us the strength, hope and peace that we all seek so desperately in a world that is on high speed headed toward self-destruction. He also promised to take believers out of this world before the tribulation begins and come back again to rule all nations as King of Kings for a thousand years (Rev. 19:16--20:6) Yes, there is a better tomorrow for believers and that day might come sooner then we think. Now is the time for salvation (Heb. 3:15) Make that decision today that will determine your eternal destination. Confess your sins and invite Jesus into your life so you can secure your place in heaven with the rest of God's family. Read these verses and let the Truth of His Word set you free. Remember "Jesus is the reason for the holiday"