What The Cross Is Not
I suspect most of us have seen movies where a cross is used to ward off evil. The thought is that holding a small replica of a cross will provide protection from satanic forces, or from vampires and such.
Others will wear a cross around their necks as though it were a lucky rabbits foot, offering some value to the one wearing it.
I have nothing against the wearing of a small cross. It can be a useful reminder of what Christ did for me. As well as telling the world around me just who I belong.
But there is nothing magical about a cross, any cross. A cross will not ward off evil more than any other object I might hold up. It is just a lifeless object with no inherent power.
Even the cross that Jesus hung on has no magical power. It was a simple instrument of execution used by the Romans to punish and deter rebellion. The significance of the cross lies not in its physical being, but in what it represents.
Was Jesus Crucified On A Cross Or Stake
Jesus was crucified on a cross, not a stake however, whether on a cross or a stake, the purpose is unchanged He died for our sins. All four apostolic books give evidence to the device of Jesus demise. In Matthew, the people put, This is Jesus the King of the Jews above His head, leading us to believe there was a cross beam, the same beam Jesus carried.
Moreover, the crowd specifically tells Jesus to come down from the cross if He is the Son of God. Although, before Christ, there were four come forms of the cross used for crucifixion, and which one was used for Jesus may always be uncertain. The Greek word for cross is stauros and translates to a pointed stake or pale , which leaves some room for interpretation. The Romans used several forms of crosses, including a pole, stake, and inverted cross, and even a Saint Andrews Cross, which was shaped like an X.
Other verses in the Bible lend more credence to a traditional cross as found in almost all Christian symbolism. In John 20, Thomas said he would not believe he had seen Jesus unless he could nail holes in Jesuss hands, and nails were not used for a stake or a pole but for a cross to keep the arms outstretched. No matter what version of a cross Jesus was on, He was on it to die on purpose for redemption.
13. Acts 5:30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the deadwhom you killed by hanging him on a cross.
Father Into Thy Hands I Commend My Spirit
And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
From Psalm 31:5, this saying, which is an announcement and not a request, is traditionally called “The Word of Reunion” and is theologically interpreted as the proclamation of Jesus joining God the Father in Heaven.
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What Does The Bible Say About Gray Hair
I want to point your attention to three Scriptures that talk about gray hair. They each bring a different perspective as to what gray hair represents.
Gray hair is a reminder of Gods faithfulness.
Even to your old age and gray hairsI am he, I am he who will sustain you.I have made you and I will carry you I will sustain you and I will rescue you
Anyone who has lived a while and walked with God can testify to his faithfulness. Living longer just means you have had more opportunities for God to prove and demonstrate his faithfulness to you. Let the gray hairs be a reminder of how many times God has honored his word in your life. He has promised to be faithful, and he has lived up to his promise.
Gray hair is a picture of a life well lived.
Gray hair is a crown of splendor it is attained in the way of righteousness
Though we have no guarantees of living a long life on this side of eternity, there are many who have chosen to live in righteousness. Their commitment to Christ has been rewarded with years of life on this earth to give glory and honor to God. For these people, the gray hair represents a life well lived.
Gray hair is a sign of wisdom.
The glory of young men is their strength,gray hair the splendor of the old
Who Were Some Significant People In The Bible Who Were Old
The Bible says God is no respecter of persons so this also means God is no respecter of ages. In Gods economy there really is no such thing as retirement. This means that regardless of how old you are, God still wants to use you. We find examples of God using people in the Bible who were advanced in years. For example:
– God called Abraham when he was 75 years old, and he had a son at 100.
– God allowed Abrahams wife Sarah to give birth at 90 years old.
– God called Moses when he was 80 years old to go and deliver his people from Egypt.
I do want to direct your attention to one of the most inspiring stories of God using someone who was older. That person was Caleb. Caleb and Joshua were the only two spies who came back with an encouraging report letting the Israelites know they can take Jericho. Because of his courage, God made him a promise . Forty-five years later he came to claim the promise. These words are so exciting I will let you read them straight from the Bible.
Caleb was eighty-five years old and was still as alive and vigorous as he was forty years earlier. He was vibrant and still motivated to run after and get everything God had promised him. I am not eighty-five, but this encourages me.
If you are more advanced in years, and your head is full of gray hair, let this be a reminder to you that if there is breath in your lungs, God is not done with you yet he still has purpose for you.
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Sayings Of Jesus On The Cross #: Today You Will Be With Me In Paradise Luke 2: 43
Many of us have heard this account. Jesus wasnt the only man condemned to die that fateful day. To both, His left and right were thieves that were also to be executed. We find two very different experiences. One thief mocks Jesus and challenges Him as to whether or not He was the Messiah.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: Arent you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!Luke 23:39
The other criminal, however, makes a heartfelt statement on behalf of Jesus.
But the other criminal rebuked him. Dont you fear God, he said, since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.Luke 40:40-41
The criminal takes 3 crucial steps in the life of any follower of Jesus. First, He has a reverence for God . Next, he acknowledges his own faults and imperfect nature. The criminal then takes the final step toward His salvation and that is confessing Jesus as Lord.
Then he said, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.Luke 40:42
The condemned man declared Jesus as Lord and acknowledged that He, in fact, was King. He not only says Jesus You are Lord but also Take me with You. What did Jesus say on the cross to the thief who repented? He answered him:
Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.Luke 40:43
The criminal could do nothing to help himself but by calling on the Name of Jesus, He was saved!
Bible Verses About Taking Up Your Cross
Jesus led by example of how to take up your cross by literally taking up our cross. In both Mark 8:34 and in Luke 9:23, Jesus tells the people that to follow Him, they must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him. The first breaks down to they must stop thinking about their needs and desires and take up Christs will. Second, the cross was a known enemy under Roman rule, and they knew the victim of such was forced to carry their cross to the spot they would be crucified.
When Jesus told the people to take up their cross and follow Him, He was explaining life as a believer would not be pretty, but painful to the point of death. To follow Jesus was to give up all parts of yourself, take up His will, and follow Him not man. Taking up your cross and following Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice with an eternal reward.
42. Luke 14:27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
43. Mark 8:34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
44. Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
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What Does It Mean That Jesus Paid Our Debt In Full
Under the old covenant or the Law, we as sinners legally would have been bound to die. The Law was the Ten Commandments of which Jesus perfectly kept each which fulfilled the Law. Because of His obedience, the Law was fulfilled, and He was able to be a sacrifice as someone pure and keeping with the Law. He took our punishment of death for us and, by doing so, paid our Debt to God, who set the Law and the punishment of death. When Jesus died on the cross, He canceled out debt by sacrificing the blood necessary to allow us into the presence of God . Like the Passover, we are covered by Jesuss blood, and no longer will our sin show to God.
45. Colossians 2:13-14 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
46. Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us debate your case, Says the Lord,Though your sins are as scarlet, They shall become as white as snow Though they are red like crimson, They shall be like wool.
47. Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
Bible Verses About Jesus Death On The Cross
Matthew brings the story of Jesus dying on the cross, followed in suit by Mark, Luke, and John. Each telling starts with Judas betraying Jesus, sending him before the governor Pilate with the charge of Jesus claiming to be King of the Jews. Pilate washed his hands of Jesus judgement leaving the decision to the Jews who chose to crucify Jesus on a cross.
The mental picture of Jesus death paints a scene of horror and hatred for the truth. Once the decision set into motion, the people ordered Jesus flogged by a device with multiple ropes each ending in a sharp object. His skin was flayed before He even went to the cross by His own people. They dressed Him like a king replete with a crown of thorns while mocking and spitting with an unparalleled vengeance.
Jesus took up the cross carrying it to Golgotha with the help of a man named Simon when He became too weak to continue dragging the massive beam. He refused a drink meant to lesson his pain before they nailed His hands and feet to the cross for him to suspend in humiliation before His murderers. Even in the last of His life, Jesus proved His love by saving a man on cross beside Him.
29. Acts 13:29-30 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead.
32. 1 John 2:2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
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The Cross Is The Center Of The Story Of The Scripture
A Bible without a cross is a Bible without a climax, a Bible without an ending, a Bible without a solution. The spiral of sin that began in Genesis 3 must be stopped the death of Jesus terminates the downward spiral. In Jesuss body, he took on the sin of the world and paid the price of all humanity. At the cross the new Adam, Abraham, Moses, David arises to create a new humanity, family, and kingdom. That is why Paul doesnt say he decided to knowing nothing except the incarnation, resurrection, or the ascension of Jesus, but the nothing except Jesus Christ and him crucified . Wisdom was found not beyond the cross, not above the cross, not below the cross, but in the cross.
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Is There A Biblically Sound Reason Not To
Having a desire to let our light shine and to share our faith are positive goals! In order to answer this specific question, though, we must also consider the background of the cross, the New Testament record and Jesus’ teaching about how to display our Christianity.
One of the first questions we might ask is, Who decided that the cross was to be the sign of Christianity? This tradition of wearing a cross does not come from the Bible or the practices of the New Testament Church. Though there are at least seven different types of crosses, we are not even certain that Jesus was crucified on a cross-like apparatus. Though crucifixion on a cross was common at the time, the Bible allows that Jesus may have been put to death on an upright pole .
A study of history shows that the cross symbol predates Christianity. According to author Ralph Woodrow, “Centuries before the Christian era, the cross was honored as a religious symbol by the people of Babylon. It is seen on their oldest monuments. Historians say that it was a symbol associated with Tammuz” . From Babylon, the cross spread to other nations and was associated with paganism long before Jesus’ crucifixion in A.D. 31.
Woodrow further explains, “It was not until Christianity began to be paganized that the cross came to be thought of as a Christian symbol. It was in 431 A.D. that crosses in churches and chambers were introduced, while the use of crosses on steeples did not come until about 586 A.D.” .
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The Agony In The Garden
Let’s go to the scene of the agony in the garden. Jesus is praying to God The Father. He is sweating drops of blood because He is so petrified in His humanity of the events that were about to unfold. He knew very well that He was about to be taken away and sentenced to death on a cross. He prays the prayer, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”
Jesus knows that it is the Father’s will that He dies on the cross. Jesus willfully accepts this because of His perfect submission to God’s will and His Love for you and me.
He knows what He will go through will be painful, and he will suffer very much. But He knows that God’s plan will triumph and He will rise again on the third day.
The Cross Is A Trinitarian Event
The Christian faith is distinctively Trinitarian and cross-shaped. Therefore, the cross must reveal the Trinity. God the Father sent the Son to save the world, the Son submitted to the Fathers will, and the Spirit applies the work of redemption to Jesus followers. Redemption is predestined by the Father , accomplished by the Son , and applied by the Spirit . God did not withhold the Son, and the Son surrendered to the Father. Yet the Father is not sacrificing the Son. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit all possess a single will. The sacrifice, while uniquely the Sons work, is also the will of the three persons.
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The Cross Has The Power To Set Men Free
Whether they admit it or not, people carry in their hearts an incredible load of anxiety and fear because of guilt. This is normal because all men are guilty of sin, and this fact has been well documented in the Bible. The universality of sin is a core Bible doctrine.
What then? Are we better than they? Not at all for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,- Romans 3:9-12 23
All are guilty, and this problem has moved people to seek relief from the mental, emotional, and physical ravages caused by the effects of sin. Social reform, new philosophies, escape through drugs, magic, even denial , all of these and more have been tried to no avail. No avail because none of these so-called solutions can do what the cross does: remove the cause of guilt, which is sin. These other things deal with the symptoms of sin but the cross effectively eliminates the root cause: sin itself.
And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness for by His wounds you were healed- I Peter 2:24
Repent and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. – Acts 2:38