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Calvary’s Love

CALVARY’S CROSS

Calvary is such a beautiful word and it signifies such love, the love of God for a lost and sin-sick world.   That love which knows no limits!   This short article, written in the style of a mnemonic, will help you understand more about the  love that drew salvation’s plan, the grace that brought it down to man and the mighty gulf that God did span, at Calvary!

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)

And now a prayer…

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.

[This is an extract from my book “Moments of Encouragement”, published 2011]
(* New Living Translation used throughout)

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!

 

A very Different kind of King!

A DIFFERENT KIND OF KING!

Although the LORD made many references to His Messiah-ship, His Lordship, His Deity, during His years of ministry … He didn’t want that fact trumpeted around.

But now … what is referred to as the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, 6 days before the Jewish Passover, and His crucifixion, there is a change…

Jesus now enters Jerusalem, riding a donkey, and He allows the people to praise Him.  In Luke 19 we read that “As He rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of Him. When He reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of His followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. ‘Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord!  Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!’” (v.36-38).   Or as the NIV puts it: “Hosanna!” “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the King of Israel!”   And when the Pharisees in the crowd saw and heard what was happening and what was being said, they told the Lord to “rebuke Your followers for saying things like that!” (v.39), Jesus replied and said, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”

But why was Jesus entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey?   Why would a king, leave alone our precious King Jesus, use a donkey?

  • Firstly, it fulfills prophecy“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey,
    A colt, the foal of a donkey”. (Zechariah 9:9)
  • Also, believe it or not, it was common practice for Kings to ride donkeys when they came “in peace”.  King David and King Solomon are just two examples.   However, when coming in “war”, kings used horses(You can read more about this in the book of Judges and Samuel).   Jesus came as King to Jerusalem, in peace, as the Prince of Peace(“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” – Isaiah 9:6). 

If we read further, we will see there is something else different that Jesus did which would appear to be unlike a King.   Jesus lamented over Jerusalem. He wept. “But as He came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, He began to weep. How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes’.” (Luke 19:41-42)   And in Matthew 23:37, it says: “”O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let Me”.

He came as a loving Saviour! Jesus came in peace, bringing salvation to His people, but they rejected it.

When Jesus comes back a second time, He will not come as the Prince of Peace and Saviour, He will come as Judge, King of Kings and Lord of Lords!   And this time He will be riding a white horse!  Revelation 19:11-16 says: “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose Rider is called Faithful and TrueWith justice He judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns. He has a name written on Him that no one knows but He Himself.  He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following Him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.  Coming out of His mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty On his robe and on His thigh, He has this name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION.   The King who came as a lowly servant. He died for you on Calvary’s tree. He rose again on the third day and is alive forevermore. He would love to be your Saviour too.   There is only ONE WAY to be saved and that is to come to God through what Jesus has done for you on the Cross.   Jesus says: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6)

He made the triumphal entry into Jerusalem as the Prince of Peace.   Have you let Him make the Triumphal Entry into YOUR heart yet?

Don’t delay.  The Lord is coming to take those who know Him as Saviour to be with Him soon.  We just do not know the day or the hour.   Only those who have come to know Him as their Lord and Saviour now will be taken to meet the Lord in the air.   (More about this topic in a few days’ time!!)

TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION.

 

If you want to get to know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, follow this link for further help.

The Reason Why …

Have you ever stopped to think about this?… Why is the Easter period so important and so precious to true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ?

To me, remembering the death of our Saviour (on Good Friday) and His resurrection from the dead IS the Gospel Message.   The Good News.   It has changed my life and the lives of countless others.  Let’s look a bit closer

I could go back even further, but for now, let us go back to the Garden of Eden.  God created ALL things perfect, including man, and He was pleased with all He had made.   Then the enemy came and deceived man and sin separated us from God, because God cannot look on sin.

But God, in His foreknowledge, knew what would happen and He planned a way to unite us with Himself again.   Initially, in terms of the Old Covenant, God instituted animal sacrifices.  As His Word says: “In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” of sin. (Hebrews 9:22).   But, it wasn’t possible to continue these sacrifices as this could never provide permanent forgiveness.

BUT THEN … when the time was right, God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Passover Lamb, to die on the Cross of Calvary.   Jesus, God in the flesh, was sinless. “This High Priest of ours (Jesus) understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15).  He was the perfect sacrifice.  His blood, shed on Calvary, made atonement for our sin – once and for all!

There is NO OTHER WAY to be saved from eternal separation from God, except through Jesus!

There are so many enemies of the Cross and the Truth out there.  Some blatantly deny it all together.  Others come with the story that all roads lead to God.   That is a lie!   Others are teaching the lie that Mary can save you or that she is the co-redemptrix.   Do NOT follow that teaching folk … it is part of the great deception that the Lord says will occur in the days just before His return for those who have put their trust in Him for salvation!

Let’s make this for the here and now …

Have you ever wondered WHY one needs to get to know Jesus… or HOW to get to know Him?

First of all, let me tell you what the Gospel or Good News is:
“It is this Good News that saves you … 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” (1 Corinthians 15:2-4)

The bad news is that we’re all born sinners which is why we need to be born again to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. We were all born with the death penalty over our heads because we were all born sinners.

The Good News is that your debt has been paid in full by the Lord Jesus Christ!  Jesus went to His death in our place!     “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).

I close with some of the words from this beautiful and meaningful hymn written by Isaac Watts:

Not all the blood of beasts
on Jewish altars slain
could give the guilty conscience peace
or wash away the stain.

But Christ, the heav’nly Lamb,
takes all our sins away;
a Sacrifice of nobler name
and richer blood than they.

My faith would lay her hand
on that dear head of Thine,
while like a penitent I stand,
and there confess my sin.

If you want to know how to get to know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, CLICK HERE to find out more.

If that isn’t love …

“”Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” … And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew21:5 & 9)

As we enter this special time of year, and more specifically, this wonderful and amazing week when we remember the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are aware that this period all started with what is commonly known as “Palm Sunday”.   It was that day when Jesus entered the City of Jerusalem and the crowds hailed Him as king, waving palm branches and spreading “their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road” (Matt 21:8).

But He was another type of King.   A King that laid down His life for us.   But it didn’t end there, He rose triumphant from the grave, a Victor o’er the dark domain and death, and He lives forever, with His saints to reign.

Over the next few days we’ll be looking at …

  • the reason Jesus came,
  • a different kind of King,
  • why they nailed Him to Calvary’s tree (to the cross),
  • the resurrection and
  • the Blessed Hope.

The Lord’s death and resurrection makes me think of a song we used to sing quite a lot a number of years ago ….

He left the splendour of heaven
Knowing his destiny
Was the lonely hill of Golgotha
There to lay down His life for me

 And if that isn’t love
Then the ocean is dry
There’re no stars in the sky
And the sparrows can’t fly
If that isn’t love
Then heaven’s a myth
There’s no feeling like this
If that isn’t love!

(Words by Bill & Gloria Gaither)

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”]