VIDEO This Jesus Must Die

Oct 31, 2010

“Hosanna (Jesus Christ Superstar/Soundtrack Version)” by Ted Neeley, Bob Bingham

“Fools, you have no perception,
The stakes we are gambling a frightfully high,
We must crush him completely,
So like John before him,
This Jesus must die.”
That’s some good writing right there.

Trail Trees

trail tree
They pierced My hands and My feet. . . . They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots. —Psalm 22:16-18

In recent years, my daughter has become fascinated with the history of the indigenous people in northern Michigan where she lives. One summer afternoon when I was visiting, she showed me a road that had a sign designating “Trail Trees.” She explained to me that it’s believed that long ago the Native Americans bent young trees to point the way to specific destinations and that they continued to grow in an unusual shape.

The Old Testament serves a similar purpose. Many commands and teachings of the Bible direct our hearts to the way the Lord wants us to live. The Ten Commandments are great examples of that. But in addition, the prophets of the Old Testament pointed the way to a coming Messiah. Thousands of years before Jesus came, they spoke of Bethlehem—Jesus’ birthplace (see Micah 5:2 and Matt. 2:1-6). They described Jesus’ death on the cross in striking detail (see Ps. 22:14-18 and John 19:23-24). And Isaiah 53:1-12 points to the sacrifice Jesus would make as the Lord “laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (v.6; see Luke 23:33).

Millennia ago, God’s Old Testament servants pointed to God’s Son—Jesus—the One who has now “borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isa. 53:4). He is the way to life.

Thank You for the simple message of salvation. Jesus, You are the way, the truth, and the life. Thank You for giving Your life for me. I love You.

Jesus sacrificed His life for ours.

By Cindy Hess Kasper

Our Humble King

Philippians 2:3-13

Typically, as the world’s kings entered their capital city, they were decked out in silver armor, riding pure white warhorses to signify their power. But the way God’s King rode into Jerusalem was similar to how He arrived in Bethlehem the night He was born. Jesus balanced on the back of a donkey, demonstrating humility and peace. Remarkably, the donkey was borrowed, just like Jesus’ first bed—a feeding trough.

He was an unemployed, homeless man without an army or any other visible sign of power. Isn’t it surprising that Jesus, the Creator of all things, had no possessions? Earlier on, He’d borrowed a boat and a boy’s lunch. One He used as a podium for teaching; the other, for miraculously feeding a huge, hungry crowd. And before this week ended, His dead body would be laid in a borrowed tomb.

This is the type of king who rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. His fame was soaring on the wings of perhaps His greatest miracle—raising His friend Lazarus from the dead—and when the crowd heard He was coming to Jerusalem, excitement reached fever pitch.

Because of the Passover, more than a million people had converged upon the Holy City. Jesus was surrounded by pilgrims, some spreading their garments on the road while others cut tree branches to place in His path. As He passed, the crowd shouted; “Save now, Son of David! Save now!”

Jesus had previously rejected all attempts to make Him king. However, this Passover was wildly different. He’d instructed His disciples to secure a donkey for His ride into the city, indicating He was the king foretold by Zechariah (9:9). From that moment on, there was no turning back or away. After this very public demonstration, the religious elite would be forced to either accept Him or reject Him—to seat Him on the throne of their hearts or nail Him to a cross.

Jesus knew that before week’s end, He’d endure the mockery of a kangaroo court, receive a merciless beating, and be forced to carry a cross through the streets of Jerusalem. He knew there’d be no cheering crowds that day. Yet this would be a week that changed the world. He knew that after He was dead and gone, He would rise again.

Thinking of Jesus riding on a donkey toward a certain and cruel death, I wonder, What does this have to do with me on Palm Sunday 2015? Then I recall the words, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,” the one who said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Phil. 2:5; Luke 9:23).

I have my answer: I am to follow Jesus to the cross, die to myself and become alive in God, then love the world and redeem it by loving and serving.

—Fil Anderson

Mindful of the Words

“That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour.” (2 Peter 3:2)

There has long been a tendency for certain Bible teachers to water down the doctrine of verbal inspiration by arguing that it is the “thoughts” of Scripture that count—not the precise words. They forget that the transmission of specific thoughts requires precise words. Ambiguous language is bound to produce fuzzy thinking and uncertain response.

Thus the apostle Peter, in his last chapter, urged his followers to heed the words written by the Old Testament prophets. And Paul—in his final epistle—stressed that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). That is, all the writings are “God-breathed.” The “Scripture,” of course, means the writings, the actual words written down—they are “God-inspired,” not just the concepts.

Similarly John, in his last chapter, warned of the grave danger incurred by anyone who would either “add to” or “take away from,” not just the ideas, but “the words of the book of this prophecy” (Revelation 22:18-19). Actually, “he which testifieth these things” was not just John but the glorified Jesus Himself (see Revelation 22:16, 20).

In fact, Jesus frequently quoted passages from the Old Testament, sometimes basing His entire thrust on a single word (e.g., John 10:34, 37; arguing on the basis of the word “gods” in Psalm 82:6). In that connection, He stressed that “the scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35), referring to the actual words written by Moses and the prophets.

Near the end of His earthly ministry, He made a startling promise: “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away” (Mark 13:31). Thus the actual words of the Bible have come ultimately from God, and we do well to learn them and make them a part of our lives. HMM

Just A Huckster

He must increase, but I must decrease. —John 3:30

Some young preacher will study until he has to get thick glasses to take care of his failing eyesight because he has an idea he wants to become a famous preacher. He wants to use Jesus Christ to make him a famous preacher. He’s just a huckster buying and selling and getting gain. They will ordain him and he will be known as Reverend and if he writes a book, they will make him a doctor. And he will be known as Doctor; but he’s still a huckster buying and selling and getting gain. And when the Lord comes back, He will drive him out of the temple along with the other cattle.

We can use the Lord for anything—or try to use Him. But what I’m preaching and what Paul taught and what was brought down through the years and what gave breath to the modern missionary movement that you and I know about and belong to was just the opposite: “O, God, we don’t want anything You have, we want You.” That’s the cry of a soul on its way up.

Lord, give us that hunger to know You; deliver us from the pride that makes us want to use You. Let me pray today with John, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Amen.

It Is Modern Man Himself Who Is the Dreamer

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the nigh,, nor of darkness… let us watch and be sober. 1 Thessalonians 5:5, 6

We of the Christian faith need not go on the defensive, for it is the modern man of the world who is the dreamer, not the Christian believer!

The sinner can never be quite himself. All his life he must pretend. He must act as if he were never going to die, and yet he knows too well that he is. He must act as if he had not sinned, when in his deep heart he knows very well that he has. He must act unconcerned about God and judgment and the future life, and all the time his heart is deeply disturbed about his precarious condition. He must keep up a front of nonchalance while shrinking from facts and wincing under the lash of conscience. All his adult life he must dodge and hide and conceal. When he finally drops the act he either loses his mind or tries suicide.

If realism is the recognition of things as they actually are, the Christian is of all persons the most realistic. He of all intelligent thinkers is the one most concerned with reality. He pares things down to their stark essentials and squeezes out of his mind everything that inflates his thinking. He demands to know the whole truth about God, sin, life, death, moral accountability and the world to come. He wants to know the worst about himself in order that he may do something about it. He takes into account the undeniable fact that he has sinned. He recognizes the shortness of time and the certainty of death. These he does not try to avoid or alter to his own liking. They are facts and he faces them full on.

The believer is a realist—his expectations are valid and his faith well grounded!

Let Fear Become Trust

Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear. ROMANS 8:15

What can we do but pray for the throngs of defiant men and women who believe that their humanistic view of life is all sufficient? They believe that they are responsible “captains” of their own souls.

The sad fact is that even while they are joining in the age-old rejection of Jesus Christ—”We will not have this Man to rule over us”—they still are beset with fears within.

The present competitive world and its selfish society have brought many new fears to the human race. I can sympathize with those troubled beings who lie awake at night worrying about the possible destruction of the race through some evil, misguided use of the world’s store of nuclear weapons. The tragedy is that they have lost all sense of the sovereignty and omnipotence and faithfulness of the living God.

Although the material world has never understood it, our faith is well placed in the Scriptures! Those who take God’s Word seriously are convinced of an actual heavenly realm as real as this world we inhabit!

Dear Lord, thank You that You are a strong tower where we can find shelter and protection. I choose to put my trust in You.