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).
I had a neighbor who once said she only argued when she was right. Don’t we all? A Christian friend of mine asked a co-worker who was of a different Christian denomination, what they believed. He replied with great affirmation, “We believe the Bible!” My friend laughingly replied, “So do we!”
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.
Reality often becomes lost in our “Christianeze” terms and sayings. Too often we just repeat what someone has said and way too often our sayings get morphed into a false theology. Something repeated over and over gets engrained in our culture and it becomes a pseudo-truth of sorts.
The Unlikely Messiah
Hollywood tries to portray Jesus as a robed and sandaled Fabio. But according to scripture there was nothing about His appearance to attract us to Him, “He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him” (Isaiah 53:2 NKJV).
Abraham and Isaac: A Foreshadow of our Father and Jesus
Abraham had been called out by God to leave his relatives and move to an unknown land. God chose Abraham and made some strong and far-reaching promises to him and his descendants. This is the promise quoted in Genesis 12:2-23 (NKJV), “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. / I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”