Friday, April 3, 2015

character on the cross

I am not talking about the character or the man who was nailed to the cross.  I am talking about the character of the man on the cross.  This event that we celebrate this weekend, Easter, is one that we cannot over look.  If we believe what God says and do what He has done, we will have some of the same results, and we will have peace.

The character of the man on the cross is something that we can talk about in many different ways and in lots of veins.  But His character is clear and something that we have heard, seen and pondered before.

This man was full of love and understanding.

Follow the entire story, from His birth to his resurrection, and you see the character of God coming through His son.  That is the character of loving people.  Jesus went out of His way to show compassion and understanding in the middle of pain, struggle and hypocrisy.

Luke 23:34  NLT
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”  And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.

This was demonstrated insight in dealing with another man.

If we were at the crucifixion of Jesus and heard these criminals speak to Jesus, we would either be very upset or in deep mourning.  Jesus said to the second man that he would be with Jesus that day.  Jesus could see through all the pain to the man’s heart.

Luke 23:41-43  NLT
 We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” 43 And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

This man was a son.

Jesus is God’s son, but He was also the son of Mary who was there when He was murdered.  His heart went out to His mom.  This is one more instance of the humanity of our Savior.  He loves His mom.

John 19:26-27  NLT
When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” 27 And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.

This man was God in the flesh, living with purpose.

For all three years of Jesus’ earthly ministry He told people that what He said and did was directly related to what His heavenly father told Him to do and to say.  He taught us that a connection to the father is vital to all of life.

Mark 15:34  NLT
Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

This man is our Savior and our example.

I cannot imagine what it must have been like to watch Jesus die on the cross.  It was a moving experience.  Some people were mourning while others were pleased with His death.  Yet it is true that people learned the truth of God as they saw Jesus and followed His example.

Matthew 27:54  NLT
The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

It is Friday.  It is the day that we remember the cross of our Savior.  But Sunday is coming.  The resurrection of our Savior will be celebrated because it is a reality.

The character of the man on the cross was the character of God.  It is also the character that we are to emulate every day!

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happy birthday, Julie

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