June 10, 2022
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Okay, I've got to confess that sometimes my attention wanders a little when I'm listening to someone speak in a public meeting. I'm sure someone who's been in a meeting where I was the speaker is saying right now, "Oh, that's pretty funny. That's what happened when I heard you speak."
Well, one of the things that's almost sure to divert my attention is someone providing sign language interpretation of the talk that's being given for the hearing impared people there. Now, there's something really beautiful and thought-provoking about the visual representation of words that I've heard many times. In fact, the signing version of certain words can kind of give you the deeper meaning to them. Well, with one word in particular.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Two-Letter Word Your Heaven Depends On."
I love the way that our deaf friends say the name of Jesus. The signer takes one finger and puts it into the palm of the other hand, and then puts a finger into the other palm. It's clearly a symbol of what might well be the most identifying characteristics of Jesus if you met Him today - the nail prints in His hands. In a sense, His hands tell it all. His hands bring home the central issue that you and I have to deal with when it comes to Jesus. The thing God considers decisive in where we will spend eternity.
Many people have a fondness for Jesus. He's the one person revered by most of the great religions of the world. Many people are aware of the awful death He died on the cross. You may be one of millions who celebrate Jesus' death in the sacraments or the ceremonies of your church. That's all good, it's just not enough.
That's what one of Jesus' closest associates discovered after Jesus' resurrection that first Easter. Thomas, one of Jesus' 12 disciples, had not been in the room when the other disciples were visited in person by their risen Master. And, honestly, Thomas didn't buy it.
In John 20, beginning with verse 25, our word for today from the Word of God, Thomas says: "Until I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe it." Thomas had been with Jesus for three years, he'd heard every sermon, he'd seen every miracle. But like many who've been around Jesus for years, Thomas had apparently never yet really committed himself to Him.
But the following week, Thomas was there when Jesus appeared to His friends. The Bible says, "Then He said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.' Thomas said to Him, 'My Lord and my God.'"
That little two-letter word is the difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus, between an eternity in heaven and an eternity in hell. It's the word "my." Jesus may have been a Lord, or even the Lord, to you. But maybe you've never made Him your Lord and your God, and that could happen this very day. If you'll put yourself in the Good Friday picture and walk up Skull Hill to the foot of that cross where God's Son is dying to pay for your sin and you say those two words that change everything, "For me. You died here for me."
If you've never welcomed the Savior as your Savior, don't stop one step short of being forgiven; one step short of heaven. Like Thomas after that first Easter, let those wounds, suffered for you, finally capture your heart. Bow before Jesus. Tell Him, "Beginning today, you're my Lord; you're my Savior from my sin. I'm placing all my trust in you." This could be the day you actually begin your personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
You know, we've set up our website so you can go there and find out how to be sure you belong to Him. Please go there today. It's ANewStory.com.
Jesus wants to be with you every remaining day of your life, and He wants you to be with Him forever. Please reach out to Him today. And when you've taken your last breath, you will meet Him at last.
And you'll know Him when you see Him by the print of the nails in His hands.