Posted in cross, end of days, forgiveness, prophecy, sins

Jesus did not die for you

I am working on a couple of other blog entries, plus the weekly newsletter, but this comes to mind now and I felt compelled to write it. I hear all the time, “Aww, Jesus died for me. He died for my sins. Just for me.” Actually, He didn’t.

Jesus died because God required a punishment for sin, and that punishment was a spotless sacrifice. Jesus obeyed God to become that sacrifice. He chose to become God incarnate and He chose to die. “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.” (John 10:18) and also John 6:37-40: “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all … “. In this way, Jesus died for GOD. We are beneficiaries of His obedience.

I don’t know why God has it set up that a blood sacrifice is required to satisfy a sin-debt. We get a glimpse in Genesis and Leviticus, “But you shall not eat flesh with its life – its blood”. (Gen 9:4) “For the life of the flesh is in the blood…for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul” (Lev 17:11)

Jesus kind of did die for us. I was being provocative above 😉 If Adam and Eve had not fallen from grace then Jesus never would have had to incarnate to die on the cross, shedding His blood for OUR sin. But first and foremost Jesus died to satisfy His father, in the universe’s ultimate act of obedience and love. It is why Jesus deserves all the glory and all the praise.

I find it helpful to keep this perspective, because it keeps the spotlight off me, my sins, and my decision to accept the benefit of His work on the cross. I am sinner, yes. But it was His choice to do this for us that I praise and I am eternally grateful for. It keeps the spotlight on Him. Which is as it should be!

Posted in Colosseum, cross, faith, italy, martyr

Take heart, O grieving family members!

I went to Italy in the 90s several times. I always enjoyed the Colosseum. A marvel of Roman ingenuity, architecture, and history, I visited it while admiring all the qualities that make it a famous attraction. I took many photos. My favorite is this one. I had it enlarged and have had it hanging on my wall ever since:

The underground chambers were called Hypogeum and refer to the vast network of rooms, cells, tunnels and passages under the Roman Colosseum. The floor of the Colosseum was over 6 acres, so the hypogeum was easily able to accommodate a huge number of underground tunnels, passages and chambers used to house animals, stage props and slaves who worked there. It was these facts and the thrilling sight of the actual subterranean chambers that entranced me at the time.

Tonight, I was sifting through mounds of photos for a photo project I am doing that is unrelated to Italy, and I came across the photo below. I have visited the Colosseum and I have viewed this photo many times, but never until tonight, the first time I looked at the picture since I’ve been saved, I noticed immediately the cross in the foreground. Immediately.

Until now, I had never even seen it. I had never seen it before this moment. Despite having visited the place and lingered there for hours, despite having taken photos from many angles, the cross was simply not in my field of spiritual vision. Why? 2 Cor 4:4 “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” My god at that time was the god of this age, and boy, was I ever blind.

I teared up looking at that simple cross amid the history of the debauchery of the late Roman age. I remembered my history: the Christians that were killed there by lions, their last moments ones of terror, feeling the crunch of the sand under their feet as they perhaps ran from sure death, seeing the lions’ claws reaching for their necks, hearing the roar of the crowd jeering as they drew their last breaths. Their sacrifice kept a nascent religion alive, so that I, wretched I, could visit the place and never even notice the emblem of Christ’s shame and glory.

It was ten years later at age 44 that I came to the cross as a repentant sinner. It was unexpected given my family history, a miracle, truly. It is a testament to the power of the Holy Spirit Who draws those to the cross those whose hearts are not hardened. I was blind, my ears were dulled, but my heart stayed open just a bit, and the truth broke through. I know that others were praying for me, they told me so later. Take hope, praying Christians, for family members and friends who are not saved. The blind DO eventually see, the deaf DO eventually hear. Prayer works. Keep praying for the lost.

Posted in barack obama, cross, end time, new york times, prophcy

Memo to NY Times: Get a room

NY Times’s graphic depicting a silhouetted Obama against a cross is over the top even for the old grey liberal lapdog to present. Have they no shame? No, said Paul. In the time of the end, they will have no shame at all:

2 Timothy 3
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.