Archive for the ‘Cross’ Category

Twas I that shed the sacred blood

September 17, 2011

Twas I that shed the sacred blood;

I nailed him to the tree;

I crucified the Christ of God;

I joined the mockery

Of all that shouting multitude

I feel that I am one;

And in that din of voices rude

I recognize my own

Around the cross the throng I see,

Mocking the Sufferer’s groan;

Yet still my voice it seems to be

As if I mocked alone.

Horatius Bonar

Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us, we have to see it as something done by us. ~John Stott

Why the Islamic Rejection of Jesus’ Crucifixion is Untenable

May 11, 2011

Extra-biblical evidence for the reality of the Crucifixion includes the pagan writers Tacitus (‘Christus suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius’) and Lucian the Greek (‘Christians worship the crucified sage’), the Christian apologist Justin Martyr referred to the ‘Acts of Pontius Pilate’ (now lost, but must have chronicled the death of Jesus to have been referred to) and Jewish writers Josephus (‘Pilate condemned Him to be crucified and to die….’) and Babylonian Talmud (‘He was crucified on the eve of the Passover’). Early Christians used the Lord’s Supper and the Cross as symbols of their Master’s sacrifice (I Cor 11:23) and were never in doubt about the reality of the Crucifixion. Conventionally Muslims have maintained that a substitute man was crucified but this opens a can of worms. Usually it was said to be Judas Iscariot (impossible since he committed suicide, Matt 27:5; Acts 1:18) or Simon of Cyrene (Mark 15:21, impossible since he came from Libya and would have looked very different from Jesus). Why was it even necessary to involve an innocent substitute? Why did the crucified man not cry out that a mistake had been made? Why did Mary recognise him as her Son (John 19:26)? Why would God deceive the disciples, who, the Qur’an tells us were inspired by God and believed in Jesus (sura 5:111), into thinking that Jesus had died and risen again, since this made them realise that Jesus truly was divine (‘declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Romans 1:4-5)). If Jesus was not God, this deception would have caused the disciples to worship another god, which is the greatest sin (shirk) known to Islam. How could God deceive godly men into committing the most ghastly sin imaginable – He is not a deceiver!

source

Actually, the Quran says that ‘Allah is the best of deceivers’ (Sura 3:54).

Viewing the cross without the law is like trying to assemble a jigsaw puzzle in thin air

January 12, 2010

The first message of the cross is not God loves you, but God’s law has been broken. Viewing the cross without the law is like trying to assemble a jigsaw puzzle in thin air…the spirit of the cross is eternal love, but the base of the cross is eternal justice.

Ernest C. Reisinger, The Law and the Gospel, 1997, P&R, p.158 in Michael A. Robinson, God Does Exist!, Author House 2006, p.159

MAXIMILIAN KOLBE – HE DIED IN MY PLACE

January 9, 2010

It was February 1941, Auschwitz, Poland. Maximilian Kolbe was a Franciscan priest put in the infamous death camp for helping Jews escape Nazi terrorism.

Months went by and in desperation an escape took place. The camp rule was enforced. Ten people would be rounded up randomly and herded into a cell where they would die of starvation and exposure as a lesson against future escape attempts.

Names were called. A Polish Jew Frandishek Gasovnachek was called. He cried, “Wait, I have a wife and children!” Kolbe stepped forward and said, “I will take his place.” Kolbe was marched into the cell with nine others where he managed to live until August 14.

This story was chronicled on an NBC news special several years ago. Gasovnachek, by this time 82, was shown telling this story while tears streamed down his cheeks. A mobile camera followed him around his little white house to a marble monument carefully tended with flowers. The inscription read:

IN MEMORY OF MAXIMILIAN KOLBE
HE DIED IN MY PLACE.

The example of Jesus is a bad example if it is only an example

December 16, 2009

The example of Jesus is a bad example if it is only an example.

Timothy Keller, The Reason for God, (Hodder 2008), p.278, n.6

What can I add to a great masterpiece by, say, Da Vinci? If I add my own touch to it I substract from its perfection

November 2, 2009

What can I add to a great masterpiece by, say, Da Vinci? If I add my own touch to it I substract from its perfection. So too if we add our own works to the perfect, finished work of Christ on the Cross. To add is to substract. Just like viewing a Da Vinci painitng we ought to look, admire and gaze in wonder at the Cross; but never add to it.

 

The doctrine of substitution must be true; it could not have been invented by human wit

October 29, 2009

The doctrine of substitution must be true; it could not have been invented by human wit. Prima facie it bears the mark of truth upon it. It is the most wonderful story that ever was told: God himself condescends to suffer in the place of his enemies, he bears the sin of those who are rebels against his divine authority, that without injury to his justice or taint upon his righteousness, he might pardon sin, and receive the sinner into favor. Herein is love indeed! Here is justice truly vindicated, and great love glorified. Love both devised the plan and carried it out, and this day love makes it effectual in all who believe in Jesus.

Spurgeon, THE CURSE; AND THE CURSE FOR US. NO. 2093 DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, MAY 26TH, 1889.

In 1942, Wladyslaw Misiuna, a teenager from Poland, was recruited by the Germans to help inmates at the concentration camp start a rabbit farm to supply furs for soldiers at the Russian front

October 17, 2009

In 1942, Wladyslaw Misiuna, a teenager from Poland, was recruited by the Germans to help inmates at the concentration camp start a rabbit farm to supply furs for soldiers at the Russian front.  Misiuna felt responsible for the thirty young women he supervised.  He stuffed his coat pockets with bread, milk, carrots and potatoes and smuggled in food for them.

But one day, one of his workers, Deborah Salzberg, contracted a mysterious infection.  Misiuna was beside himself.  He knew if the Germans discovered the open lesions on her arms they would kill her.  He had to cure her, but how?  He took the simplest route.  He infected himself with her blood and when the lesions appeared, he went to a doctor in town.  The doctor prescribed a medication, which Misiuna then shared with Deborah Salzberg.  Both were cured and both survived the war.

Eva Fogelman, Conscience and Courage, p.70

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows.

Isaiah 53.4a

I did it

October 3, 2009

The day’s work had ended; the tools were being counted, as usual. As the party was about to be dismissed, the Japanese guard shouted that a shovel was missing. He insisted that someone had stolen it to sell to the Thais. Striding up and down before the men, he ranted and denounced them for their wickedness, and most unforgivable of all their ingratitude to the Emperor. As he raved, he worked himself up into a paranoid fury. Screaming in broken English, he demanded that the guilty one step forward to take his punishment. No one moved; the guard’s rage reached new heights of violence.

“All die! All die!” he shrieked.

To show that he meant what he said, he cocked his rifle, put it to his shoulder and looked down the sights, ready to fire at the first man at the end of them. At that moment the Argyll (Highlander) stepped forward, stood stiffly to attention, and said calmly, “I did it.”

The guard unleashed all his whipped-up hate; he kicked the helpless prisoner and beat him with his fists. Still the Argyll stood rigidly to attention, with the blood streaming down his face. His silence goaded the guard to an excessive rage. Seizing his rifle by the barrel, he lifted it high over his head and with a final howl, brought it down on the skull of the Argyll, who sank limply to the ground and did not move. Although it was perfectly clear that he was dead, the guard continued to beat him and stopped only when exhausted.
The men of the work detail picked up their comrade’s body, shouldered their tools and marched back to camp. When the tools were counted again at the guard-house no shovel was missing.

John Piper comments: The guard had miscounted. The young soldier who stepped forward had not stolen a shovel. He had given his life for his friends.

Extract from, Ernest Gordon, To End All Wars

Seeing a Japanese grenade falling in the midst of his colleagues, Osborn shouted a warning and threw himself on it as it exploded, saving at least six others at the expense of his own life

October 3, 2009

Seeing a Japanese grenade falling in the midst of his colleagues, Osborn shouted a warning and threw himself on it as it exploded, saving at least six others at the expense of his own life. After the war, when returning PoWs tell of Osborn’s deed, he is awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross, the only one of the Hong Kong defense.

Martin Gilbert, WWII, p.280 (December 18th, 1941)

Company Sergeant Major John Osborn was a World War I veteran.