Friday, February 7, 2014

Crucified with Christ - Painful...but not forsaken

Being crucified is NOT a piece of cake. There are definitely hardships involved BUT the good news is that it was worth it for Christ and for you as well.  Before we get to that, though, we need to talk about 2 more issues. The world teaches us opposite, but if we follow Christ, we must follow His way.

8. You must forego “your rights”

In our culture, we are taught that we have “rights.” I  am thankful for our freedom, especially our freedom of religion and freedom of speech, but unfortunately we take our “rights” and abuse them.

Friend, you may have “the right” to be angry, or the right to leave your husband, the right to kick out your child or defend your _______________.  You may have the right to sue a company or the right to tell someone off BUT being crucified means giving up “your rights”  In B.Moore’s words, it means that "you volunteer to forego all your personal rights except one, your right to be filled by the Spirit of Christ that dwelleth in you".

In Matthew 27:32-44 we see Christ surrendering his rights, His power to come down off the cross. And friend, He had the power to do so.  Instead, he choose to surrender that power.  He choose to take the pain and persecution for our sins, so that we could be saved from a life without God.

Don’t just ignore “your rights” instead surrender them to Christ and ask Him to replace them with a supernatural work of the Spirit, with healing, with wisdom and with power.

9. You must accept that death is VERY painful

Death hurts! When we lose someone we love it’s painful, when we go through death someday, it will be painful as well. We desire and we want our desires fulfilled.  We love our flesh and it hurts to have our desires crucified.  So death is very painful and death hurts but when it comes, it is not a reason to forego the will of God.

In Matthew 27:34,48, Jesus refused the anesthetic to dull the pain.  He choose (Hebrews 2:9) “by the grace of God….to taste death for every man”  When our life gets painful, when it hurts to do the right thing, it’s tempting to do the easier thing, to numb the pain, to leave the situation, but Jesus didn’t.
Don’t forget this positive fact…

10. Because He was forsaken, you will NEVER be.

This is the one difference in what Jesus went through and what we will go through.

Matt 27:45-46 "Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?... Jesus had to deal with this but this is one thing that we will never have to go through.

Romans 8:38-39 "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord"

 Hebrews 13:5 "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."  

In Romans and Hebrews it tells us that NOTHING can separate us from God! The Bible tells us that NOTHING can separate us from God!  Be content because He will never forsake you.  He will never leave you.    Praise Jesus!

So, after listing all those trial and hardships, why would we choose to go through them?

What makes it worth it all?  “so that others can see Him.” …so that others can know Him.  Jesus fought death and won.  He was resurrected. He was the only one to battle death and win.  He won our souls.  Through this battle, many including myself, have been able to come to the throne of God and know a personal God. 

John 20 says”The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him....11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. 14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

 One of my favorite illustrations is when Mary was in the garden looking for her Lord.  She was looking for Jesus and was weeping that they had taken him. If you have gone through the death of a loved one, you know how hard it is.  You just wish you could hear their voice just one more time.  She heard His voice saying “Mary” and knew that it was Him calling her.  I know that if my baby or husband called my name I would know it because I was familiar with the sound.  Here, after she thought she had lost him, she heard Him call her name. Their relationship was able to continue because he fought the trial and won.  

We can know Jesus.  We can know His voice. Why? …because he fought that battle. He won!  He allowed himself to be crucified and it hurt. But we can know Him because He choose to stay on that cross for us.

Take the time to thank the Lord, for his crucifixion, for our salvation.  It was HORRIBLY difficult but many were and are saved because of his sacrifice.  What about you?  Are you willing to be "crucified with Christ" so that others can know Jesus? Have you come to the point where you can say “YET NOT I, BUT CHRIST” It's painful, but you will not be forsaken and in the process, you may lead others to Christ. - Rejoicing in the Present

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