Tuesday, September 11, 2018
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Beslan-it's a Russian town that joined the ranks of places known for the terror that happened there. Some have called that three-day terrorist takeover of a school in Beslan, and the violent deaths of hundreds of school children and adults there, Russia's equivalent to America's September 11. In the midst of Beslan's horror, there emerged a photo that embodied hope in the middle of death. It showed a girl's bloodied hand clutching a golden cross. Viktoria was hospitalized with shrapnel in her brain, but she was still a survivor. The fourteen-year-old said that she prayed every day while she was being held captive, always clinging to her cross even after being wounded in the violent ending of that awful siege that killed more than 330 hostages. Even as she lost consciousness, she never let go of the cross. In Viktoria's own words, "I felt that if I had that cross in my hand, then everything would be fine."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Terror-Proof Cross."
In a scary world, an uncertain world, there's nothing better to hang onto than the cross. No, not a piece of jewelry or a religious symbol-there's no power there-but in the substance of what that cross represents. In terms of the only security we can never lose, it's our only hope. You can know about the cross, you can wear the cross, you can worship at a cross, and still not be hanging onto the cross as if it's your only hope. And that's what matters.
To some, the death of Jesus Christ on an old rugged cross is just a historical event. To others, it's an important religious focus. But you'll never have your own personal relationship with God. You'll never enter the gates of heaven until you understand how intensely personal what happened on that cross is for you.
In Colossians 1, beginning with verse 20, our word for today from the Word of God, He shows us the real meaning of what happened that day that nails were driven into the hands and feet of the Son of God and the day He cried, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46) Colossians 1:20 says He was "making peace through His blood, shed on the cross."
Our sin-that's every wrong thing we've ever thought or done-was a declaration of war against the God of the universe. The lifetime unrest that you've felt in your soul is because you've been away from the God you were made for. No peace with God; well, there's no peace in your heart. But Jesus executed a peace treaty between you and God, signed in His blood.
The book of Colossians goes on to say, "He forgave us all our sins...He took it away, nailing it to the cross" (2:13-14). So, you can be clean inside. You can be clean in God's eyes, because when He was nailed to the cross, the guilt of your sins was nailed there, too. When He cried out, "Father, forgive them" (Luke 23:34), He was forgiving you. Now the question is: has there ever been a time in your life when you abandoned all other spiritual hopes, your goodness, your church, your religion, your Christian beliefs or background and you've pinned all your hopes on one thing; what Jesus did on the cross for you? If you don't know you did, you probably didn't.
A young girl clinging tightly to a blood-stained cross. Wow, what a picture of your only true safe place in a dangerous world, anchored to an unloseable love relationship with God because you're hanging onto what Jesus, His Son, did on the cross for you. His love is recession-proof, terror-proof, divorce-proof, and death-proof. And your personal relationship with Him can begin this very day if you'll tell Him, "Lord, I'm yours. I'm placing all my hope in you and your death on the cross for me and your resurrection from the dead. You're alive, and I welcome you into my life this day."
Really that's what our website is all about, to help kind of build a bridge so you can know for sure that you belong to Him. So I urge you to go there. I think it would be worth the visit - ANewStory.com.
See, life's way too uncertain to hang onto anything but the only thing you can never lose, and that would be that nail-scarred hand of Jesus Christ.