Home> The Lower Lights> Feb 2002

   THE

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  Alan Jones, Editor

  (734) 942-7956

 

 

 

"Brightly beams our Father's mercy

From the lighthouse evermore;

But to us He gives the keeping

Of the light along the shore."

       Published monthly by the church of Christ, 35900 Palmer Road, P.O. Box 86-233, Westland, MI  48166     

Volume 1                                                                             Feb 2002                                                                                    No8 

 

I STAND AMAZED

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If you have never heard the story of Jesus, you will find it simply amazing. If you have heard the story of Jesus a million times, you will be amazed once more as I tell it to you using a medley of Scripture:

 

Jesus Came Into the World As a Man. In the be-ginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being... Although He existed in the form of God, (He) did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself...being made in the likeness of men... Since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself also partook of the same... The Word became flesh and dwelt among us., and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (Jn 1:1-3, Phil 2:6, Heb 2:14; Jn 1:14)

 

Jesus Suffered and Died for Man. The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many... And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross... He knelt down and began to pray, saying, "Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done."...And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground... And they (the Jewish council) all condemned Him to be deserving of death. And some began to spit at Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, "Prophecy!" And the officers received Him with slaps in the face... And wishing to satisfy the multitude, Pilate released Barabbas

 

 

for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he delivered Him to be crucified... And they (the Roman soldiers) dressed Him up in purple, and after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on Him; and they began to acclaim Him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they kept beating His head with a reed and spitting at Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him. And after they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, and put His garments on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him. (Mt 20:28; Phil 2:8; Lk 22:41-42,44; Mk 14:64-65; 15:15, 17-20)

Jesus Died for Sinners. For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God... He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed... For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man, someone would dare even to die. But God demonstates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (1 Pet 3:18; Isa 53:5; Rom 5:6-8)

How amazing it is that Jesus came- even more that He suffered and died- but the ultimate amazement is that He died for unworthy sinners like you and I!! As songwriter Charles Gabriel wrote,

"I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene, And wonder how He could love me, a sinner, condemned, unclean.

How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be: How marvelous! How wonderful! Is my Savior's love for me!"


WHAT EFFECT SHOULD THE STORY OF JESUS HAVE ON YOU?

  

The story of Jesus should not only amaze you, it should move you. Several years ago, I went to a woman's home once a week to show her some Bible filmstrips. One night I showed her a filmstrip which vividly portrayed the death of Jesus. As we looked at a frame which pictured Jesus' outstretched arms on the cross, we heard the sound of the nails being driven into his hands. The filmstrip soon ended. The woman turned on the lights and, without a word about what we had seen and heard, began serving popcorn and drinks. The "show" was over and it was time for refreshments and socializing. I shuddered at how anyone could be so unaffected by Jesus' sacrifice.

 

Before His death, Jesus said that His death would be like a magnet to draw men to Him. As He indicated the kind of death He was facing, he said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." (Jn 12:32-33). The death of Jesus cries out for man to respond! Jesus' demonstration of love should compel men to love Him back. As John simply put it, "We love because He first loved us." (1 Jn 4:19)

 

What should a man's love for Jesus motivate him to do? Paul wrote, "For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all; and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf." (2 Cor 5:14-15) He de-scribed his own grateful surrender to Jesus this way, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life

 

which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me." (Gal 2:20)

 

Anyone who truly appreciates the magnitude of the love of Jesus will find that they are left with no other choice than to surrender their will and their life to Him. How can they do any less?

 

A eunuch from Ethiopia was reading a passage of Scripture which he did not understand, "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; as a lamb before its shearers is silent, So He does not open His mouth. In humiliation His judgment was taken away; who shall relate His generation? For His life is removed from the earth." Philip began at this Scripture and preached to him Jesus. The eunuch then understood it was Jesus who went quietly and without protest to His death, and that Jesus had died for him. As soon as they came to some water, he was baptized, to receive the forgiveness provided by Jesus' death. He buried the old man of sin in water and rose to walk in newness of life, surrendering his will and his life to the One who delivered Himself up for him. (Acts 8:26-39; Acts 22:16; Rom 6:3-4)

 

What about you? Has the story of Jesus been just heart warming entertainment to you? Won't you let it be the life-changing message God intended for it to be? As the eunuch did, respond with love to Jesus who first loved you. Make a lifetime commitment to live for Him who died for you. Then spend a lifetime learning the length, height, and depth of Jesus' love. (Eph 3:18-19)


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