CALVARY’S CROSS

The “C” in Calvary stands for the Cross on which the Lord Jesus Christ died to save us from our sins.  “For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23).   “You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions, yet now He has brought you back as His friends. He has done this through His death on the cross in His own human body.   As a result, He has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault” (Colossians 1:21-22).

A” is for Atonement.   “For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us.  We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us” (Romans 3:25)

Calvary’sL” stands for the incredible Love with which Jesus loves us.  “And here is how to measure it – the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends” (John 15:13).    “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).  The greatest expression of the love of Christ is seen in His self-sacrifice on Calvary’s Cross and in His blood that flowed from His wounded body – His head, His hands and His feet.   As the hymns says, “He could have called ten thousand angels, But He died alone, (alone), for you and me”.

V” is for the Victory won at the cross of Calvary when Jesus shed His precious blood for us.  “He paid (a ransom) for you with the precious life-blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God” (1 Peter 1:19).  “For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives its power.  How we thank God, who gives us the victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:56-57).

The second “A” stands for the Assurance we have that if we have confessed our sin and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord, we can know our sins are forgiven and know that we have eternal life.   “If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from every wrong” (1 John 1:9).

R” reminds us the Jesus is Risen from the dead!  We serve a Risen Saviour!  “And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised Him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 1:4).  This gives us hope indeed.   “If Christ has not been raised, then our faith is useless … but the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead.  He became the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again” (1 Corinthians 15:17 & 20).

When faced with such love, such sacrificial love … the “Y” stands for Your decision (and mine).  What will you do with Jesus?  Neutral we cannot be.  “Look!  Here I stand at the door and knock.  If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in …” (Revelation 3:20)

And now a prayer …

Dearest Lord Jesus, help us to understand how much You love us.   Today as we remember the great price You paid to purchase our salvation, help us to respond and seek to know You as our Risen Saviour and Lord.   In these difficult days when Christ’s blood and atoning sacrifice is hardly mentioned, help us to realize anew just what it cost You to purchase our salvation.  Please deepen our understanding of the meaning and power of the Cross and Your precious blood that was shed for us at Calvary.

I close with the very meaningful words of a song written by Stuart Townend & Keith Getty:

Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death,
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

This, the power of the cross:
Son of God, slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!

As we approach Easter …

Cross with soft cloud backgroundDuring February this year (2017) the BBC commissioned a survey of 2010 people.

The tragic results showed that at least a quarter (25%) of people who described themselves as Christians in Great Britain,  don’t believe in the resurrection of Jesus.   Only 31% of Christians believe word-for-word the Bible account of the resurrection.   It rises to 57% amongst so-called “active” Christians (those described as going to a “religious” service at least once a month).

In my book, “Moments of Encouragement”, I wrote about God’s infallible Word.  I asked the question:  ‘How far has the message of the modern church strayed from the Truth of God’s Word, His infallible Word?”

The “infallible Word of God” – this is the issue eating away at the Church today!   I have have heard first hand a minister say from the pulpit that God’s Word is fallible!   That same church was one that discouraged the use of Bibles in church and removed all Bibles from the pews.

The BBC article quotes the acting general secretary for Modern Church (which actually promotes Liberal Christian theology) as stating the following:

“I think [people answering the survey] are being asked to believe in the way they might have been asked to believe when they were at Sunday school. You’re talking about adults here. And an adult faith requires that it be constantly questioned, constantly re-interpreted, which incidentally is very much what modern church is actually about.” She continues by saying:  “Science, but also intellectual and philosophical thought has progressed. It has a trickle-down effect on just about everybody’s lives.  So to ask an adult to believe in the resurrection the way they did when they were at Sunday school simply won’t do and that’s true of much of the key elements of the Christian faith.”

What an utter lie and deception this is.   A statement like that comes from the great deceiver himself.   God’s Word is infallible.  It does NOT change to fit in with man’s thinking.  It stands forever.  We do not adapt the Bible to man’s interpretation, but rather, we build our faith and lives on the unchanging Word of God.   Is it any wonder that society is as it is these days?

The story of Easter, starting with Palm Sunday (today) IS the Gospel of salvation.  It is the most significant period in the Christian calendar.   It IS the central theme and fantastic reality of the mercy and grace of God by sending His One and Only Son to take on Him the punishment of our sin.  If one takes anything away from the Bible, God’s Word, one is in a very dangerous position.

Let the Bible speak for itself:   All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17).   “ I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve.After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church” (1 Corinthians 15:3-9)

Paul continues in his letter to the Corinthian church:  But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.

20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.

21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back”

If one denies the literal death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be lost eternally.   That is the crux of the Christian message.   But there is time (not much time) left to turn to Jesus and ask His forgiveness and believe in the One and Only Saviour, the Lord Jesus Himself.

As Lorraine Lorenz puts it so clearly in her excellent devotional book “Amber’s Story – Walking Back into the Light”:

“There are certain foundations of our faith, which are made very clear in the Bible.  It is essential that we believe these with all our hearts.  In this post-modern age there are Christians who have ‘second thoughts’ about them.   Where do you stand?”

My next blog will contain a further extract from her book where we will take a quick test and see where we stand.

1 Timothy 4:16 says:  “Watch your life and your doctrine closely”

So as we enter this Easter period, the most sacred and holy period in the Christian calendar, please stop and think about what it really means.  Not Easter eggs and Easter bunnies, etc.    It is the greatest love story ever told, that Jesus loved us so much that He laid down His life for you and me, so that if we believe in Him, put our trust in Him as Saviour and Lord, we will have eternal life and be set free from our sin.

And now a prayer:   Father, help me to realize afresh that Your Word is Truth!  Help me to accept it as such without any doubt.  Help me to love it more and more and to strive to hide Your Word in my heart so that I can learn to live in a way that is pleasing to You. Thank you for Your Word, the Bible. Amen.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this article, do not hesitate to contact me.

Day Ashton
Email: dayashton.uk@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

CALVARY’S CROSS

The “C” in Calvary stands for the Cross on which the Lord Jesus Christ died to save us Cross with soft cloud backgroundfrom our sins. “For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23) “…… You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts & actions, yet now He has brought you back as His friends. He has done this through His death on the cross in His own human body. As a result, He has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault” (Col 1:21&22)

A” is for Atonement. “For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us” (Rom. 3:25)

Calvary’s “L” stands for the incredible Love with which Jesus loves us. “And here is how to measure it – the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends” (John 15:13). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16) The greatest expression of the love of Christ is seen in His self-sacrifice on Calvary’s cross and in His blood that flowed from His wounded hands and feet.

V” is for the Victory won at the cross of Calvary when Jesus shed His precious blood for us. “He paid (a ransom) for you with the precious life- blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God”(1 Peter 1:19) “For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. How we thank God, who gives us the victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor.15:56 & 57)

The second “A” stands for the Assurance we have that if we have confessed our sin and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord, we can know our sins are forgiven and know that we have eternal life. “If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from every wrong” (1 John 1:9)

R” reminds us that Jesus is Risen from the dead. We serve a risen Saviour! “And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised Him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 1:4) This gives us hope indeed. “If Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless …. but the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead. He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again” (1 Cor.15:17& 20)

When faced with such love, such sacrificial love … the “Y” stands for Your decision (and mine). What will you do with Jesus? Neutral we cannot be. “Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, ….” (Rev. 3:20)

Dearest Lord Jesus, help us to understand how much you love us. Help us to to respond The Crossand seek to know you as our Risen Saviour. In these difficult days when Christ’s blood and atoning sacrifice is hardly mentioned, help us to realize anew what it cost You to purchase our salvation and deepen our understanding of the meaning and power of your precious blood. Amen.

(* New Living Translation used throughout)

[This is an extract from my book “Moments of Encouragement”]