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APRIL 10-Good Friday: “The Mission of Hope!” 

 

God put Our Sin on His Son and Punished it There.  Your sins have been placed on Jesus. Jesus Receives the Blow.  And since Christ is between You and God…You Don’t Receive God Wrath.  The Sin is Punished…But You are Safe—Safe in the Shadow of the Cross!

 

Hebrews 12:2 says, “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the JOY set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

 

When Jesus hung on the Cross, He was beaten almost beyond human recognition. The soldiers at His feet scoffed, religious leaders laughed, and even a criminal being crucified nearby sneered at Him.

 

In this Eternally Pivotal Moment all of Creation should have Rejoiced, for the Creator of the universe was paying the ultimate price for the Redemption of Mankind. 

 

But instead of comprehending the supreme price Jesus was paying that day, the crowd arrogantly jeered, mocked, and scorned.

 

What if You were Hanging on the Cross and People Laughed and Mocked You as You Died for them? How would You be Tempted to Feel at that Moment?

 

As we Look at the Cross…We see Jesus’ body had already been ripped to shreds by the vicious beating He received in the residence of Pontius Pilate.  Then the soldiers jammed a crown of thorns so firmly on Jesus’ head that the long, sharp spikes perforated His skin and scraped across His skull, causing blood to stream down from His brow like a river until His entire face was covered with it.

 

Huge, nine-inch iron nails were driven through His hands and feet, which pierced His nerves and sent signals of pain throughout His entire body. The weight of Jesus’ body hanging from those nails dislocated His shoulders, and His joints were pulled out of place.  He struggled to breathe every breath as His lungs began to fill with fluids that would eventually suffocate Him.

 

Yet for the JOY set Before Him, Jesus endured all of this agony, pain, and embarrassment willingly.

 

This would suggest that Jesus chose to come to earth and endure the agonies of Calvary instead of continuing in his preincarnate heavenly state.  Harris tends toward the meaning that Jesus came to earth “‘instead of’ the joy of continued fellowship in God’s immediate presence”.

 

Morris says: “He looked right through the Cross to the coming joy, the joy of bringing salvation to those he loves”.   We Cannot Fathom the depth of love that Jesus Christ had for lost humanity?

 

The horrors of Golgotha Paled into insignificance when the Savior Contemplated the Refreshing Salvation that would be Available for all who choose to obey him. (Heb. 5:9).

 

His death was the price demanded to purchase forgiveness and redemption for the very people who had done all of this to Him. He died for the people who sneered at Him, for criminals who laughed at Him, for the soldiers who mocked Him, for religious leaders who demanded His crucifixion — and for you and me.

 

Next Hebrews 12:2 says, for the joy that was set before him, He endured the cross, despising the shame.

 

The word “endured” is a compound of the words hupo and meno. The word hupo means under, and the word meno means to abide or to stay.  When the two are compounded, the new word portrays a person who is under some type of incredibly heavy load but who refuses to stray from his position because he is committed to his task…He will Not Surrender it to Anyone for Any Reason!

 

Hupomeno depicts one who refuses to bend, break, or surrender because he is convinced that the territory, promise, or principle under assault rightfully belongs to him. 

 

One expositor has translated it as staying power. My favorite translation is “Hang-in-There Power”!

 

Jesus “endured” it because the shedding of His blood was the only way to purchase our freedom from Satan, Sin, and the effects of the Curse that Adam’s disobedience brought upon the human race.

 

Just before He died, Jesus cried out, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

 

In this amazing statement, I want you to take note of the word “Forgive.”  It Means to Release, as in releasing a prisoner or setting someone free from an act they have carried out.

 

When Jesus cried, “Father, forgive them,” He was saying, “Father, Release them” or “Father, do not hold this against them”

 

Application for Us:  When You Face Unfair Criticism or being blamed for something You didn’t do; it is imperative that you keep your eyes fixed on the example that Jesus set for Us.

 

He lived a perfect, sinless life and did not deserve the punishment that was laid upon Him. Yet He willfully carried our sicknesses and bore our diseases…He did not retaliate or strike back!

 

1 Peter 2:23 says, “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”

 

You See…There are those times in each of our lives when nothing can be done to change a situation.  During those difficult times…We are required to be Silent, Stand Firm and Trust God to Take Care of it.

 

Phil 2 says:  5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death even death on a cross!

 

I’ve never hung on a cross as Jesus did…But, there have been times when God has asked me to endure some difficult things that I could have escaped by disobeying His instructions. But here is what I have learned…Regardless of how difficult it was to be Obedient…Staying on the path of obedience, though difficult or painful, eventually comes to a conclusion — and when they do, Joy Follows.

 

You may be enduring a difficult situation right now because God has called you to do a certain task or walk through a situation you would prefer to not go through.   I encourage you to focus on the example of Jesus and learn from Him. He despised the Cross; yet He endured it as a necessary part of His assignment to Procure Your Salvation and My Salvation.

James Chapter One Speaks to us Clearly and I like the way the paraphrase “Message” speaks about, Faith Under Pressure

2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

 

POINT: I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Gives Me Strength. 

 

“Ponder the Achievement of GOD”  by, Max Lucado {In the Grip of Grace}

 

PONDER THE ACHIEVEMENT OF GOD…HE DOESN’T CONDONE OUR SIN, NOR DOES HE COMPROMISE HIS STANDARD.

 

HE DOESN’T IGNORE OUR REBELLION, NOR DOES HE RELAX HIS DEMANDS.

 

RATHER THAN DISMISS OUR SIN, HE ASSUMES OUR SIN AND, INCREDIBLY, SENTENCES HIMSELF.

 

GOD’S HOLINESS IS HONORED. OUR SIN IS PUNISHED . . . AND WE ARE REDEEMED. 

 

GOD DOES WHAT WE CANNOT DO SO WE CAN BE WHAT WE DARE NOT DREAM: PERFECT BEFORE GOD.

 

Because of What Christ Did for Us on the Cross…He Ask You and Me Daily to Bring All Our Needs and Concerns to Him There…

As We Close I want to Encourage You will the Poem…HANG IT ON THE CROSS

If you have a secret sorrow, a burden or a loss,
An aching need for healing…Hang it on the Cross.

If worry steals your sleep and makes you turn and toss,
If your heart is feeling heavy…Hang it on the Cross.

Every obstacle to faith or doubt you come across,
Every prayer unanswered…Hang it on the Cross.

For Christ has borne our brokenness and dearly paid the cost,
To turn our trials to triumph…Hanging on the Cross.