Friday, March 25, 2016

A Million Miles Wide and a Half Inch Deep

It's Good Friday and much like 2000 years ago, the entire world is hanging by a string. The fact that the string never breaks is, to my mind, a testimony that God is in control after all. He gives us choice and also uses the events of the day to create the future. Even the worst disasters seem to work themselves out in the end. But I digress.

The ongoing election disaster continues to flare today. It's being reported by the National Enquirer, yes the tabloid, that Ted Cruz has had no less than 5 mistresses during his marriage. The NE article is discussed on The Last Refuge blog in detail. The writer believes that he has identified 3 of these women and that the story has legs. I have suspected for some time that Ted had feet of clay (as all men do). That this should be so easily discovered should tell you much about the candidate's lack of character. For you Christians out there that think Ted is the epitome of Christian leadership, you might want to do some research. Faith and politics do not combine satisfactorily. If God wanted us to run the government, He would have said so. He did not. Please show me in scripture where this was said, even indirectly. Leave governing to the people that have no scruples. Christian, you are better than that.

There are those that say American Christianity could also be labeled "Christianity Lite". It tastes great and is less filling. Generally speaking, so is cotton candy. Even so, I wonder about the truth of this. How will we stand when the hammer falls or the blade of Islam is at our necks? Do we fight or run or suffer martyrdom as our predecessors did? Where will our faith be when we are tested for real? Some of us will, I suppose, fold like a stack of cards. Others of us will stand because we know how to do nothing else. I think this time of testing is coming. We need to pray for ourselves in this regard; that we might stand as Jesus stood on Good Friday for all of us. The time is coming.

The shallowness and enormity of the Christian community in the US startles me. We are, in many respects, a million miles wide and a half inch deep. So then, let us pray for depth, that we might stand in the great and terrible day. We must build that relationship with our God. We are His adopted sons and daughters saved by His grace. His Son, our Brother Jesus, died for us. Are will willing to do the same for Him?  As you read what's below, think about how much you love Him and what He did for you so that you could be with Him. Are we worth this? God thought so.

Matthew 28:27ff     

Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.
38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

The Death of Jesus

45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[c] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[d]
47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

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