Why The Cry From The Cross (Part 5)?

The fourth cry of Jesus from the Cross is found in Matthew 27:46 (KJV): “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani?’ That is to say, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’”  For one brief moment in time God turned His back on Jesus when He took upon Himself the weight of the sins of the world, thus becoming sin on our behalf.

Isaiah 53:10 tells us that it pleased God to crush Jesus.  God made Jesus’ soul an offering for our sin.  Why did God do this to His only begotten Son, Jesus?  The eyes of God are too pure to even look at evil. He cannot look at sin favorably because He is holy and perfect. Habakkuk 1:13 states: “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?”

Isaiah 53:5 tells us that: “Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him: and with His stripes we are healed.” God provided a way for us to get to Him through the sacrificial death of Jesus on the Cross, and in so doing He had to turn His back on Jesus for one brief moment in time.

God loves you so much that He let Jesus become what He hates: sin, so that you can become what God loves: righteousness. 2 Cor. 5:21 states: “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”

Why the Cry from the Cross?  The Cross is proof that God loves us and that He longs to save us.  Jesus died for liars, homosexuals, adulterers, wife beaters, bigots, racists, murderers, sexual perverts, and all who reject His precious name.  No one else could do it!  Praise His Holy name!

 

Why The Cry From The Cross (Part 4)?

The third cry of our Lord from the Cross is found in John 19:26:  “Woman, behold thy Son!”  Jesus looked down from the cross and saw the anguish and sorrow of His precious mother, Mary.  That great woman blessed of God was weeping as she saw her Son, Jesus, hanging naked on the Cross.

The words of Simeon echoed through the recesses of Mary’s memory.  When Jesus was just a baby, Simeon told Mary and Joseph that Jesus would be appointed for the rise and fall of many in Israel.  He told them that a sword would pierce their own soul, meaning that their hearts would be broken in anguish.  A mother’s love for her child is only second to the great love that Jesus has for us.

Those of you who have given children up to death know the depth of pain in your anguished soul.  You know how Mary felt when her Son became her Savior.  Jesus, in his own physical and spiritual torment, reached out to his mother from the Cross: “Woman, behold thy Son.”

Proverbs 31:30 states:  “Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”  Do you know without a doubt that Jesus is your Savior? Pray and ask Him to forgive your sins and be your Lord and Savior.

WHY THE CRY FROM THE CROSS (Part 3)?

The second cry Jesus gave from the CROSS is found in Luke 23:43 (KJV). “Verily I say unto thee, today thou shalt be with me in paradise.” The thief who was hanging on the CROSS beside Jesus was touched by his life.  He saw how Jesus loved people who hated him.  He became a believer as he hung dying beside the Lord Jesus.  Can’t you just hear him saying to Jesus? “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Isaiah 52:14 tells us that the face of Jesus was so mutilated that you could barely tell that He was a human. This crucified Jesus, this spat upon Jesus, this ridiculed Jesus, this dying Jesus, looked over at the thief and said: “Today, you will be with me in paradise.” The Greek word for paradise is paradeisos.  It is a picture of heaven, the place where God’s presence and glory are fully manifested and experienced.

No act of love in the world can equal the love of the Lord Jesus.  In John 13:34-35 (KJV) Jesus said: “A new commandment I give unto you; that ye love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”  Jesus also said: “Greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13 (KJV).  And then He let them crucify Him for our sins.

Words cannot describe the glory, majesty, and splendor of Jesus’ home, heaven. The streets are gold.  The gates are pearl. The walls are jasper.  No night in heaven, because the power of God and Jesus are so strong that they literally light up this beautiful city.  No one will be sad or sick.  No one will be crippled.  No one will die. Everything and everybody will be perfect!  We will have peace forever! That is where the thief is right now, heaven.

Only one class of people will be in heaven, saved people. These are people who have truly repented of their sins and made Jesus their Lord and Savior by faith.  I can hear the choir from my home church singing: “How beautiful heaven must be. Sweet home of the happy and free. Fair haven of rest for the weary, how beautiful heaven must be.”  I will be there.  Will you?

Why The Cry From the Cross? (Part 2)

The first cry Jesus gave from the Cross is found in Luke 23:34 (NKJV):  “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”  People in sin are blinded to their sin by the god of this age, the devil. “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Cor. 4:3-4 NKJV).  Jesus knew this fact, and while He was suffering as no man ever suffered or ever will suffer, He cried out to God to forgive His killers.

Jesus was slapped, mocked, beaten, ridiculed, and spat upon, but yet, because He was God in the flesh, He forgave.  It is the character of God to forgive sinners when they truly repent.  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 NKJV).

God does not desire to immediately pass the death sentence on you because you have sinned.  He gives all people everywhere many opportunities to repent of their sins and move forward as a new creature in Christ. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come  to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV).

It is an eternal fact that God loves you with an everlasting love that cannot be fathomed.  It is so boundless that it can only be known by faith.  “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast”  (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV).

Jesus is no longer on that old rugged CROSS!  Jesus is no longer in that grave!  He has victory over death, hell, and the grave!  The cry for forgiveness still comes from our Lord to us today.  Ask Him and He will forgive you.

 

Why The Cry From The Cross?

In Matthew 20:28 (NKJV) Jesus said:  “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Jesus was born to die and He knew it. The Cross on which our Savior died is the central point of our faith.  Without the death of Jesus on the Cross, we would be doomed to an eternity in hell apart from God forever and ever.  Hebrews 9:22 (NKJV) states:  “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”  Our sins could never be forgiven without Christ shedding His innocent blood.

The Romans were brutal executioners.  A crucified man was more likely to die of asphyxiation than of bleeding to death.  Your entire body weight was placed on nails.  The pain and strain of this position quickly spread to your chest, where the pectoral muscles became virtually paralyzed.  Breathing became almost impossible.  You could inhale, but not exhale.  To release your breath, you pushed up on the nail through your feet, straightening your legs and body until the pressure was relieved from your arms and chest.  Then, because of the severe pain in your feet, you would fall down again until the whole procedure had to be repeated.  The Romans bent your legs in crucifixion to allow this unsightly heaving; and to prolong the agony of crucifixion.

Why The Cry From The Cross?  The song says:  “When He was on  the Cross, I was on His mind.”  Jesus had some things to say to the world while He was hanging on that Cross completing the work of redemption that God sent Him to do.  Yes, He did it all for you and me!  No love in the world can compare to the love of the LORD JESUS!

March 2015

Springtime is almost here in the mountains of East Tennessee.  The trees are already beginning to have buds on them.  Then, they will bear beautiful fruit.

Jesus had much to say about His children “bearing spiritual fruit.”  In John 15:1-8 (NKJV) Jesus states:  “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.  Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”

It is this simple.  A true follower of the Lord Jesus is so full of Jesus that he/she lives like Jesus.  The Apostle Paul tells us, as God’s children, what our fruit looks like.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.  And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-25 NKJV).

As a true follower of the Lord Jesus, does your life “bear spiritual fruit?”  If not, could it be that Jesus is not living in your heart?  He is only a prayer away!

February 2015

Why should we win people to Jesus?  In Luke 19:1-10 we read the beautiful and poignant story of the Lord Jesus reaching out to Zacchaeus, a despicable tax collector.  We can clearly see how the heart of Almighty God beats for a lost world.  Jesus was determined to be Zacchaeus’ Savior and Lord.  This is the only place in all the gospels where Jesus invited Himself to be someone’s guest.  Zacchaeus gladly received Jesus into his home, as well as into his heart.  By making restitution for his sins, Zacchaeus publicly wanted the people to know that his time with Jesus had changed his life.  Jesus publicly affirmed Zacchaeus’ decision by stating: “This day is salvation come to this house.”  Then, the Lord Jesus announced His purpose in living: “For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which  was lost.”  The Greek word for seek is zeteite  (dzay-the-ee-the).  It means to go after, to strive, to pursue, to desire, to aim at, to search for, to endeavor, to get; to make that which is most important your primary concern.  The primary concern of Jesus is to save a  lost soul!

Jesus commands us to do so.  In Acts 1:8 Jesus told His followers before he went home to heaven: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit  has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  The Greek word for witnesses is martures (mar’-tour-ehs).  This is the same word as martyr.  We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are to be so committed to  reaching men, women, boys, and girls for Jesus that we are ready to die as martyrs if need be.  A genuine, Spirit-filled Christian becomes by nature a witness for the Lord Jesus.  When you live in deep communion with the Lord Jesus, the life of Jesus will naturally flow from your lips.  Dr. Darrell Robinson states: “Sharing Christ is both the natural expression and the obedient lifestyle of a true believer.  It is the outflow of the overflow of the inflow of the Christ-filled life.”  Over 93,000 people die every day all  over the world without Jesus.

Jesus tells us that heaven is a real place.  In John 3:3 Jesus told Nicodemus: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  The kingdom of God is heaven.  The New Testament refers to heaven 225 times.  People who have truly repented of their sins and made Jesus their Lord and Savior will be in heaven.  What is heaven like?  In Luke 23:43 Jesus told the thief who was hanging on his own cross beside Jesus: “Today you will be with Me in paradise.”  In Psalm 16:11 David said: “Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right  hand there are pleasures forever- more.”  In 1 Cor. 2:9 Paul states: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”  The physical attributes of heaven are likened unto one gigantic, brilliant jewel. The streets are pure gold and the walls are made of jasper. Heaven is a reflection of the glory and power and wealth of the God of the universe. No sadness, sickness, death, and suffering will be in heaven (Rev. 21:4).

Jesus tells us that hell is a real place.  The word hell is used 22 times in the New Testament.  In Luke 16:19-31 Jesus tells the story of the rich man and Lazarus.  The rich man died and found himself in a literal  burning hell, not because he was rich, but because he never repented of his sins and made Jesus his Lord and Savior by faith.  Jesus does not send you to  hell.  Your rejection of Him sends you to hell.  What is hell  like?  Outer darkness with wailing and weeping and gnashing of  teeth (Matthew 25:30).  No one can get to you and you cannot get to anyone.  You have eternal separation from God and man.  You are in a lake of fire  and brimstone.  You burn without burning up.  You are punished according to the degree of evil you have done just as you are rewarded in heaven for the good you have done after conversion (Luke 12:42-48).

It is very clear as to why we should win people to Jesus.  I plead with you to make it your life’s goal to win as many people as you can to Jesus!  You will see them in heaven and they will thank you.

Happy New Year 2015!

Happy New Year!  It is hard to believe that another year is here.  With all that is within me, I plead with you to leave 2014 behind  you!  Let Your Past Be Passed! In Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV), the Apostle  Paul states: “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing  I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  Do not live in bondage to your past which has been forgiven and forgotten by your Lord.

Paul had a torrid, wretched past, but he did not live in bondage to it.  Before his dramatic conversion, he had Christians killed and thrown into prison.  He even beat them himself (Acts 22:4, 19-20)!  He held the coats for the people who stoned God’s great servant, Stephen, to death (Acts 7:58).  How could a man who murdered Christians say “I forget those things which are behind?”  Paul could say this because the living God of heaven and earth forgave him for his terrible sins and then called him into His service.  Look at what he said in 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV): “Therefore, if  anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

It is not God’s plan for you to allow the devil and man to condemn you for sins that have been repented and forgiven already by your Lord.  In John 8:36 (NKJV) Jesus states: “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”  Almighty God wants you to be free in Christ!  Refuse to allow the devil and man to use your past to keep you from moving forward in faith.  Paul states in Romans 8:1-2 (NKJV) “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”  When you are forgiven, you are free!  Move forward in faith and go where your Lord leads you to serve Him.

The living God of heaven and earth mightily used the Apostle Paul.  He  wrote 13 of the 27 books in the New Testament and he started many churches.  He personally led many to faith in Christ and discipled them.  He was not haunted and held back because of his past.  He was motivated by his past!  In 1 Corinthians 15:9,10 (NKJV) he states: “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.  But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

When God forgives you, you are clean enough for service in His  kingdom!  Kay Arthur states: “The past is past and will never be changed.  Why focus on what cannot be changed?  Why dwell on what only makes you miserable?  It is forgiven by God.”  Live for JESUS in 2015 as you have never lived for Him!  Your Lord needs you to make a difference for HIM in this cold and spiritually lost world! I love you!

Jeffrey Harvel, the man and His message BLOG 41

Nothing in this world can compare to the love of God!  He has loved us  before the foundation of the world (Jeremiah 1:5).  He knows every word on our tongues before we ever speak them (Psalm 139:4).  He knows that we are sinners bound for an unproductive life here and an awful, dreadful eternity in hell (Romans 3:23).

 That is what Christmas is all about!  God loves us sinners so very  much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die on the CROSS for our sins.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John  3:16).  No one else could die for our sins, but Jesus.  His life was and is  pure and sinless.  He was the supreme sacrifice for the sins of mankind:  past, present, and future.  “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8-9 KJV).

 Think about the love of God for you this Christmas season.  If you were the only person to have ever been born, JESUS would still have died for you.  You do not have to live an unproductive life here and experience an eternity apart from God in the place called hell.  Jesus said:  ”The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10 KJV).

Only a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus can give your life meaning  and purpose.  Only a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus can give you  peace in knowing that when you leave this earth you will immediately be in His presence in heaven.  “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8 KJV).

 Do you have the peace and assurance in knowing that JESUS, sweet  life-giving JESUS, lives inside of your heart?  Please do not let this Christmas season pass without knowing that you have asked JESUS  to forgive your sins and that you have made HIM the Lord of your life.  The Bible tells us in Romans 10:13: ”For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  Simply pray: “Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and that I  need your forgiveness.  I know that you died on the CROSS for me.  I repent and turn from all of my sins.  Please forgive me.  Come into my heart and save me.  I now trust you as my Savior and follow you as my Lord.  I give you complete control of my life.  Give me the assurance and peace that I have been saved.  Amen.”

JESUS loves you. I love you.  Experience HIM this Christmas as never before in your life!

Jeffrey Harvel, the man and His message BLOG 40

In the 24th chapter of Matthew the Lord Jesus tells us how it will be in the last days before He returns.  In verse 12 He vividly describes the cold heartedness of the people of the last days. “Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.” (NLT)  This is America and the world today!  Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such rampant sin all over the world.

Abortion, homosexuality, hatred for God’s chosen people, the Jews, and the persecution of Christians is of cataclysmic proportions.  The devil has unloaded a living hell on the world! It is difficult for the strongest of Christians to keep a “hot and loving heart” for the Lord Jesus.  Living in the midst of such wickedness can make one very cold hearted unless you daily cultivate a deep and intimate walk with your Lord.  “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Lament and mourn and weep!  Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:7-10(NKJV)

The late George Beverly Shea sang these words:”In times like these we need an anchor.  In times like these, we need a Savour.  Be very sure. Be very sure.  Your anchor holds against the solid Rock.   This Rock is Jesus. Yes, He is the One.  This rock is Jesus.  He is the only One”.  When you know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is your Lord and Savour, you can look at the perverted and sinful world system and loudly proclaim: “Jesus is my Rock and I will not be moved!”  David, God’s great servant, states:”The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.” 2 Samuel 22:2-4(NKJV)

A number of quality Spirit-filled men are saying that we are in the last of the last days.  Only our Lord really knows, but we can see the “handwriting on the wall.”  The living God of heaven and earth is not wringing his hands in desperation and fear and neither should His people!  The Apostle Paul told a young Timothy:”For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7(NKJV)  Live for Jesus every day as if it will be your last day on earth before He returns!