April 7, 2023

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Abraham Lincoln was kind of a hero of my boyhood. No, not because I knew him personally, not because I was alive when he was alive. But I'll tell you what, I did study a lot about him. He died on Good Friday. Yeah, he did. And until recently, I didn't know his final wish. He actually whispered it to his wife just before the fatal shot at Ford's Theatre, and it's pretty moving.

Abe Lincoln grew up with a God-loving mother and a religious father. But he was demanding and his dad was distant. Abe's mom died when he was a boy. And as Lincoln grew, he went from a spiritual skeptic to actually a Bible-bashing unbeliever. But somewhere along the way, he began to realize his deep need for God. I guess losing a son and carrying the weight of a bleeding nation can do that for a man.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Lincoln's Good Friday Wish."

The Civil War ended five days before that fateful Good Friday. On what would be the Great Emancipator's last day on earth, he and his wife went for a carriage ride. And, with the war over, they kind of dreamed together about the months and the years ahead.

Then at the theater that night - literally as the assassin crept into the President's box - Abraham Lincoln uttered his final wish to his wife, Mary. "We will visit the Holy Land and see those places hallowed by the footsteps of the Savior. There is no place I so much desire to see as Jerusalem." And then he was gone. In his last moments, he was thinking about Jesus. "The Savior," he called Him.

The journey Abe Lincoln wished for is actually a journey I have made, because ultimately it's a journey of the heart: Walking with Jesus, through the cheering multitudes of that Palm Sunday, through the jeering crowd of Good Friday, and then following the trail of blood to that place of death called Skull Hill.

The crown made of thorns jammed into the forehead of the King of Kings. The merciless mockers, blaspheming the One that angels worship. The spikes pounded into the hands that shaped the universe. The "God, why have You forsaken Me?" cry of God's one and only Son. My heart's screaming, "Why?"

The Bible answers in our word for today from the Word of God in Galatians 2:20. "The Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me." Did you get that? For me - that's what levels me. Jesus chose to go through that hell for me. And hell it was, because the Bible says, "He personally carried our sins in His own body on the cross" (1 Peter 2:24) - the pain, the guilt, the eternal separation from God for all the sinning of my life. Jesus took my hell so I could go to His heaven.

Yes, my heart has been to His cross. I went there with my sin and I left forgiven. I went there dirty and I came away clean. I went there without Him in my life and I left there with the promise I'll never be without Him again. Because I got what He died for when those two words captured my heart. "For me." He did this for me.

I embraced Him as the Savior for me, for my sin. And I flung open the door of my heart to this One who has loved me like no other. He said, "If you open the door, I will come in" (Revelation 3:20). He kept His promise. He's done that for everyone who's ever opened that door, and He will for you if you'll make your way to that cross in your heart and tell Him, "For me, Jesus. For me."

If you've never told the man who died for you that you're pinning all your hopes on Him, would you do that today on this Good Friday? Go to our website. It's, because I've laid out there for you how you can be sure you belong to Him, making this your personal "Jesus day." So He walked out of His grave that Easter morning so He could walk into your life today.



Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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