Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 1 Peter 1:18-21
Before the coming of the Lord, there was a lamb. A wee little thing of purest white, without blemish, the best in the bunch. We know that the sacrifice of the lamb meant forgiveness of sins for the year, but what if you had no lamb? What if you sinned again? What of your poor family and friends? What if you were not Jewish? This was not a good enough plan…we needed something better.
The Lord Jesus had a plan that would help all of mankind. It was an AMAZING plan, filled with danger, and sacrifice. The very Son of God himself volunteered to leave all the glories of Heaven to be born as a man and take the place of the lamb. He knew that we needed a better plan, and that without it we would have no hope.
As Easter approaches I find myself thinking of how much He had to love us. He was more willing to suffer and die, than to live in Heaven without us. He went from riches to poverty. He went from royalty to servant. He traded crowns of gold for a crown of thorns. He gave up His robes of finery for homespun rags. He traded comfort for pain. He left the protection of the all mighty God for torture on earth by the devil and man. He went from worship to rejection.
Why did He do it? Why did He care about us? This spotless lamb who can take away the sins of the entire world. Only one word can answer this question. “LOVE.”
Whether we deserved it or not, He loved us enough to die.
Easter has long time been my all time favorite holiday. It’s that one time of year that most people remember what God did for us and come to church. It might just be that one time all year, but what an opportunity to tell of Gods love.
How good are you about loving people the way that God wants you to? We know He sent His only Son to die for us. We know He wants us to tell others. But do we really look at others the way the Lord did from the cross?
Is there anyone that you really don’t care to talk to about the Lord? Maybe I am hitting a soft spot, and I hope that I am. I have a friend who works with the Gypsy’s in Romania. She recently told me that there are several men of God in that country that have told them not to waste their time because Gypsy’s do not have a soul. To most of us this is shocking. We can hardly believe that some people think like this, but its true. Another missionary friend told us that he knows a pastor who said this about black folks. It makes me want to cry when I think about how we are as Christians.
Maybe we would NEVER take it that far. Maybe we think we don’t have a prejudice bone in our body and that we would share the gospel with all men. Inside our hearts we think we are good people who want everyone to be saved. But I ask you, how concerned are you with the prisons? My best friend is a missionary’s wife to the prisons in Oklahoma. She told me that several pastors have told them, on deputation, that they are not interested in supporting a work to prisoners. Is it because we get an idea that they are getting what they deserve? This attitude it like saying ‘a murderer does not deserve to go to Heaven’.
Have you ever witnessed to a gang member? How about a biker? Maybe we are too intimidated? Maybe we think they don’t want to hear about it. Maybe we think they are past saving. Who are we to judge?
Would you share the gospel with someone that you KNEW was beating his wife? How about someone that you KNOW is a child molester? Do we really think that a man who rapes and abuses little children deserves to go to hell? Maybe we do. These are not good people, they kill and maim and crawl into the deepest slimiest pits.
This week there has been a great controversy on the news about same sex marriages. True, Christians have the right to be angry at sin, but would you allow one to come into your church so they can hear the Gospel?
My husband is Chaplain at the hospital here in town and this week he had quite an opportunity. When he arrived he never knew that he would meet a man on his deathbed. He was so young to be dying, and so heart broken at his sin. He was a homosexual, and he was in the final stages of full blown Aids. I am happy to say that he bowed his head and asked the Lord into his heart.
I once heard a rumor that the serial killer, Theodore Bundy, actually accepted the Lord before he was executed. Some do not believe that someone that vile CAN get saved. Then there are those who believe that it is not right that he could live such a life and still get to go to Heaven.
Of course, most of us do not even have an opportunity to witness to someone like that. We deny that we would have that sort of attitude. Are you aware that in churches all over the country that there are kids who are not allowed to come to church? They say that John Dillinger was a little guy who came to Sunday School and was rejected by those around him. He later went into a life of crime because no one thought he was important enough to share the gospel with.
Do you think bus kids are important? Do you think God cares about them? They have no money, or nothing to offer the church. What do you think about spending your time and hard earned money on winning someone to the Lord of another race? Is a gothic dressed teenager who looks like death warmed over really worth your time? A tattooed gang member? An ex-prisoner? A child molester? A thief? An adulterer? A murderer? What about someone in Iraq?
A friend from Germany told me that one of the soldier boys went to Iraq and was passing out Arabic tracts to the nationals there. This is highly illegal and very dangerous to do in a Muslim country, especially in the midst of war. Arthur is this young soldiers name, and he loves the Lord. He was sent over there on assignment, but he knows what the real call is. Arthur is only 19 years old, and yet he is wiser then most Christians I know. Risking life and limb for his country, and for his God, he gives tract after tract out to those he passes on his way.
One day he meets an Iraqi man and slips him a tract in his language never expecting to see him again. Later that night, while at his post, he hears a sound in the night. “Pizzztt….pizzzztt” He sees an Iraqi man trying to get his attention from the other side of a building.
Cocking is gun and not knowing what he will walk into, he slowly rounds the corner of the building to find the man alone. He begins to slowly reach into his robe and pulls out a tract that Arthur had given to him. Not knowing how to speak each other’s language, the man looks at Arthur and slowly points to the tract and says one word.
He then points his finger to his heart. With tears in his eyes he takes Arthur by the shoulders and pulls him into a hug, and then walks away.
When Arthur’s pastor told us this story, it was with a heart of love for a sinner saved. It was told with a quiver in the voice and he was openly weeping.
We are no better then any of these men I mentioned. We are all liars.
……All men are liars. Psalms 116:11
We are all thieves if you have EVER not paid your tithe once in your life for instance.
Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Malachi 3:8
All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers…... John 10:8
We are all murderers.
Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:15
Did God die for that Iraqi man? Did he die for the lowest degenerate? Does He care about these people? The answer is YES. Not only did he die for them…but they were on his mind when he willingly opened his arms and laid down so he could be nailed to the cross.
On Easter Sunday when you walk into your comfortable church in your nice new Easter Dress I challenge you to scan the room. Do you see that tiny little boy in the corner? It’s his first time ever riding the bus. “Look, everyone is dressed up…they must be rich.” He thinks. “Surely this was a mistake, I don’t belong here.”
Over in the back row there is a homeless man in tattered clothes. He does not smell good, and has dip in his teeth. No one will talk to him because they know he just got out of jail a few months ago.
Or that lady with the crying kids. Her husband has abandoned her for another woman. She is barely making the bills, and hardly speaks any English.
This could be the best Easter they ever had. This could be the Easter Day that changes their lives. They are that person that was on His mind when He hung on the cross. Look over there….It was THEM! He died for THEM! These are the ones for whom the lamb was sacrificed. Go and tell them…what are you waiting for!
…………Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29