One of the greatest stories in the Bible is the turnaround of Saul of Tarsus who we now know as the Apostle Paul. He was a Jewish Pharisee who had a blood-boiling rage against the early Christian Church that was known at the time as the Way.
Christians are sometimes criticized for claiming our religion is exclusive when we are adamant that Jesus Christ is the only avenue to eternal life. That is why I am evangelistic about my faith in Christ; it is not that I take pleasure in someone being excluded but rather I have strongly held beliefs about Jesus Christ. The invitation to follow Jesus is inclusive, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13 NKJV).
When I leave my home I travel a little over three miles before coming to a “T” intersection. I have a choice then of going north or south; that is my only choice. If I turn north, you could say I’m going toward the city of Boaz or Albertville but if I turn south, you could say I’m going toward Attalla or Gadsden. Our direction of travel indicates our destination. How foolish people would think me to be, if I traveled north hoping to arrive at a city to the south. So it is with life, too many folks are traveling north with the thought of arriving somewhere south.
Today is Good Friday. It is the day we commemorate the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. I read somewhere that the “Good” may have begun as Holy; we are really not sure. It is good for us but it was a terrible day for Jesus. The night before, He had been betrayed and arrested. Then the humiliating trials began, before the Jewish High Priest and Council, Pilate, Herod, and back to Pilate again. He was mocked, spit upon, and scourged. Would this mockery and torture ever end? Hardly, now he had to endure the death march to Calvary and then the horror of crucifixion.
Light of the World
Jesus said He was the light of the world, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12 NKJV).
These statements on the surface may seem to be light and cheery; something to put on a decorative poster or on a greeting card. Yet the underlying truth to this statement belies a dark truth—we live in a dark world. The evening news reports mostly on the darkness; a car-bombing, an outbreak of cholera in a third world country, a flu epidemic here, or another war there. DARKNESS!!