March 22nd – Born to Die!



I read about a young couple looking in a jeweller’s window. He wanted to buy her a present: “I’d love a necklace” she said “especially one with a cross on it”.
“Yeah” said the lad “How about that one with the little man on it?” And there you have it – the Cross of Christ – not only reduced to a bit of jewellery, but even the crucified one, reduced to being “a little man on a golden cross”.
For Christians the cross is the very centre and core of the Christian faith, and this week we will try, in the few seconds we have each day, to try to understand why it is so important. Let us make one point for now.
The Cross was no accident. Jesus was no mere martyr. He was not trapped like a fly in a spider’s web, caught up in circumstances from which he could not escape. It is why he came: not only to live amongst sinful human beings, like us, but to die for us. He said to his Father, as the time approached: “Father shall I say, ’save me from this hour, for this was why I was born?’”.
That is why first three Gospels focus on the end – hurrying over 21/2 years of ministry, to get to his last journey south, when he set himself deliberately to go to Jerusalem: to face rejection, suffering and brutal death. In John’s Gospel we see ‘the (sacrificial) lamb who takes away the sins of the world, before we leave Chapter One!
Remember, then, it’s quite wrong for anyone to dwell over much on the physical pain and suffering of Jesus, horrible as it was, because thousands of men died like that under the Roman rule. It was another kind of suffering, another kind of battle that only Jesus set himself to fight. That battle was the main reason for his coming. Luke’s Gospel has 24 chapters, yet it is in Chapter 9 that we read these words:
“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life”. Luke 9:22
A Prayer: We adore you Lord Jesus Christ, because by your cross and passion you have redeemed the world.
Now read John 18: 28-40

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Thought 4 The Day

If your spiritual powerlessness upsets you and all that you can offer is tears, then weep your prayers to God.

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