May 31, 2019
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We were speeding along the interstate in Texas, and suddenly there it was - a huge, illuminated metal cross. It just dominated the landscape, especially on the flatlands of Texas. That cross is actually 19 stories high and it can be seen from 20 miles away. They claim it's the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere. We've been by there before, but this was the first time we ever stopped and looked at it more closely.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Speeding by the Cross."
We had been like most people, we'd never stopped to check it out. As impressive as that cross is, most folks just speed right by it, which is okay with that cross. But it's dangerous to do that with the cross - the one where Jesus died to pay for every wrong thing you and I have ever done.
But for all its eternal importance in determining our heaven or our hell, too many of us just glance briefly at Jesus' death on the cross, think it's nice, and drive on by. Maybe you've made many stops on your life-journey, looking for that spiritual or emotional fill-up that would satisfy your soul. But nothing ever has: none of those relationships, none of those accomplishments, none of your religious or spiritual experiences. So you keep speeding along on your journey, looking for a better place to stop, maybe driving right by the only place where your lifelong search will end.
In our word for today from the Word of God in Mark 15:39, we see what a life-changing thing it can be to stand at Jesus' cross. The man we're about to read about was a Roman officer. He was the man actually in charge of the execution of the Son of God. But before this day ends, this hardened executioner has a dramatic change of heart. Let me just tell you what the Bible says, "When the centurion who stood there in front of Jesus...saw how He died, he said, 'Surely this man was the Son of God!'"
What happened here? This man comes to this hill to execute Jesus and apparently leaves believing in Jesus. What in the world! What was it about "how He died" that changed this man's heart? It had to be the things Jesus said from that cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they're doing" ... "Today," He said to a thief next to him "you will be with Me in paradise." Just before His last breaths he said "It is finished!" Jesus was forgiving the very people who were responsible for Him being on that cross. In a very real way, that's me - that's you. Because it was our sins that Jesus went there to pay for. And now He can say to anyone who puts their trust in Him, "You will be with Me in paradise. I'm taking you to heaven with Me!"
Maybe you've never stopped at the cross. You know about it, maybe you think it's nice. It might be part of your religious beliefs, but you've never stopped there to make your peace with God. Would you stop today finally? maybe right now right where you are tell Him, "Jesus, I get it now. Some of those sins you were dying for there were the things that I've done. You died for me and I've never responded. Jesus, I'm going to give you today what you died for. I'm giving You me."
Now, you want to begin that relationship with Him, reach out to Him? Do it right now. Just say, "Jesus, I'm Yours."
I would love to help you cross that finish line into beginning that relationship with Him and that's why I'm inviting you to our website, ANewStory.com. It could begin for you today, your new story. Please go to ANewStory.com. A lot of people have gone there and come away knowing they belong to Jesus.
There's so many miles you've traveled, and maybe so many times you've breezed by the Son of God who died for you. But this is your day to stop and experience for yourself what Jesus died on the cross to give you. I can tell you this, you will never be the same.