Highlighted New Testament Bible

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

St Matthew, Chapter 16, verse 25, The Cross of Man: Life!

Our paragraph topic is: (The doctrine of the cross) Part 2.   

Death was in the minds of the disciples.  Death was the fear of the disciples.  Death was the unknown factor that all feared, for no one knew except Christ what happened after death.  But death was upon them, for Christ had spoken to them of his impending fate.  As they were going up to Jerusalem Christ instructed his disciples as to his fate.  He told them that he would suffer at the hands of the Gentiles and that he would face death.  And the disciples knew what kind of fate that death meant.  It meant death on the cross, a fate too horrible to imagine or to think of.  And they were fearful.  They were in doubt.  They did not know what to do.

Simon Peter spoke up to Christ but only out of fear.  He spoke because evil had entered into his heart and wanted to persuade Christ to change his mind and his heart.  Evil again wanted to interfere into the plans of God to redeem man from death.  And it was through fear of death that it sought to stand in the way.  But Christ rebuked the evil of fear and moved Satan from his path.  And his path led him to walk through death into his destiny.  And it was this destiny that Christ instructed his disciples to follow.  As horrible as it seemed and as fearful as it appeared to them, Christ gave them the instructions to follow him.  Take up your cross, he said and follow me.  For he instructed them:  "For he who would save his life will lose it; but he who loses his life for my sake will find it."

Two thousand years ago, those were his instructions to his disciples.  And today these are his instructions to the church.  Life is good.  We are born into it.  We experience it as children.  We love it as toddlers.  We are amazed by it as young children through our formative years.  We grow with it as teenagers not fully comprehending it yet wanting to experience more of it.  We spring forward and dive headlong into it as young adults wanting to conquer it to the fullest.  And as mature adults we seek to be on top of it as we are given to believe what we must do to have it to the fullest.  Then, as time marches forward, we embrace it or we struggle with it as age begins to take hold of our physical bodies.  For life is to be experienced and we want to experience it all, especially in these modern times when we have the technology that shows us all that we are able to have with the fullness of physical life.  

So we struggle to hold onto life.  We struggle to have more life.  We seek to save the life we know that we may experience it for all eternity.  For we hope that as time marches on that, through our own intelligence, we will conquer death and live eternally in this physical realm of life.  We seek to save our physical life.  But the will of God has spoken and death will overcome us.  Attempt to save your physical life and you will loose your eternal spiritual life is what Christ told his disciples.  But if one saves his spiritual life through Christ, then he must loose his physical life to death.  Christ is our example.  He walked through death and came out again into the physical and spiritual life of eternity.  He gave us the example so that we may know the truth of who we are.  We are life eternal in Christ.  But, if we are not life in Christ then we loose that eternal life to death. 

It fills my heart with joy to hear those who have died and experienced heaven to come back and say that they did not want to come back to this physical life.  They went home to Christ.  They went home to their loved ones who came before them in Christ.  They went home to peace and love and joy and happiness, all the things that we search for here on earth and can only find temporarily.  But, in heaven, they are permanent. 

Why would one want to come back?  Why would one, after having experienced the truth of eternal life, want anything other than eternal life in heaven?  Yet we fear death and cling to physical life as though it is the ultimate that we have to live for.  Embrace death, for through it we go home.  Embrace, what death has to offer, for with it we come to life.  Seek the truth of who you are in Christ and death no longer has fear within you for you know that through death you will live.  Christ came that we will have life and have it more abundantly.  For it is through Christ that comes the truth if who we are.  And it is through that truth that we begin to experience true life here on earth and abundant life in heaven.  Come!  Follow the path set before you and begin to experience the truth of who you are in Christ

Read the sign of the times! Read the Highlighted New Testament Bible and lift the scales from your eyes that you may see, that you may know, that you may find the truth of who you are in Christ. Read it as though you would read a good book, from cover to cover, and see for yourself. Do not study it in parts reading one passage and then skipping to another, but read it for understanding. Read it for knowledge. Read it for faith. Read it that your eyes may be opened, that your ears may hear, that your heart may be filled with the light of Christ. The Holy Spirit awaits you. Christ seeks to know you. Open the door and let him in!

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