The Message of the Cross(14) – The Crucifixion 2

Message of the Cross

[Matthew 27:44], [Luke 23:39 -41], [John 19:34]

[Matthew 27:44]
“In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.”

[Luke 23:39 -41]
“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ‘Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!’ [40] But the other criminal rebuked him. ‘Don’t you fear God,’ he said, ‘since you are under the same sentence? [41] We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

[John 19:34]
“Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.”

[Introduction]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this is the 14th session of the message of the cross.

In the last session, I told you about the providence in Jesus’ crucifixion, in which He was nailed through His hands and feet and His clothes were removed.

The reason why Jesus was nailed through His hands and feet was to redeem us from the sins that we commit with our hands and feet.

If Jesus had not shed His blood being nailed on the cross, we would not have been forgiven of our sins even if we repented.

We would have had to cut off our hands and pluck out our eyes if we commit a sin with our hands or eyes. If we committed adultery or idolatry, we would have had to be stoned to death according to the law of the Old Testament.

But if we just truly repent deep in our heart and turn from our sin, we are forgiven of all sins by the blood of Jesus. How thankful it is!

If we remember this love of Jesus, we can only love the Lord more and more.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you will remember this love always and dwell only in the light.

[Main]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, because Jesus shed His blood, was cursed, and hung on a tree, we who believe in this are forgiven of our sins and are set free from all the curses of the law.

Those children of God who believe in Jesus as their Savior and accept Him are set free from disease, infirmities, poverty, and all other kinds of disasters. Therefore, those who have accepted the Lord and are living according to God’s word are always protected.

Even if we live by the word, trials and tests still come, but they are tests for blessings.

James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

Also, Matthew 5:10 says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

In a situation where you face hardships acting in righteousness or for the name of the Lord, if you accept them with thanks, you will receive spiritual and material blessings.

Then, if you face tests and trials because you did not live by the Word of God, what should you do? In this case, you can just repent of your wrongdoing and turn from them.

If you break the wall of sin and pray with faith, the trials will leave you. But in some cases, you might face difficulties because of people’s mistakes, although you did not commit a sin. Even in this case, if you rely on God, He will work according to your faith.

Members of Manmin Joong-ang Church in Seoul experience these things so many times.

Even when members were in critical condition due to diseases, accidents, or disasters, God wonderfully worked for them when they relied on Him only.

God showed us works of His power in the name of Jesus Christ, who redeemed us.

For example, Pastor Kang, Young-shik, one of co-pastors of Manmin Joong-ang Church, hit an excavator by a mistake while he was driving, on October 3, 1994. In this accident, his car was so badly damaged that it had to be scraped. He barely escaped through the window, but his neck was seriously injured. Because the cartilage of his throat was shattered, if he was not operated upon, his death was 100% certain.

Because the bone that blocks the esophagus while breathing and the airway while eating food was completely broken, air was going into his body while breathing but, he would swallow blocking the airway, so he would be suffocated to death.

Furthermore, doctors said after operation, he would not be able to speak. But he did not receive any medical treatment. He left the hospital the next day to come to me and receive my prayer.

Then, he began to recover, and after three days he was able to eat. On the 7th day, he felt a tickle in his neck and coughed, and a broken piece of the bone came out.

Surgeons would have had to cut his throat and take out the broken bone piece, but God made it come out naturally.

After that, he recovered being able to eat solid food and meat. Since then, he has been doing his ministry without any problem. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in case of little babies who cannot show their faith, what should you do if they get sick or are involved in an accident?

In these cases, they can experience God’s works by the faith of their parents. Once, a big grape went into the airway of a 2-month old baby, and he was in a critical situation.

The grape went into his lung, and blood was pooling in the lung, so he could not breathe.

The doctors said he had no hope and they could not even operate on him since he was too young. Finally, oxygen supply to the brain decreased and there was a problem in his brain. They said even if he survived, he would not grow up normally.

In this situation, his parents decided to rely on God, and first of all, they repented of not having lived according to God’s Word.

Then, after they received my prayer that is recorded in telephone automatic answering service ( the ARS), the baby began to recover very quickly. The baby, who was waiting only for death in the intensive care unit, was released from the hospital after a week. A couple of days later, they took an X-ray picture, and the parents and the doctors were surprised once again.

The baby had no problem in his brain, and the grape in his lung was completely gone, even its seeds.

The almighty God destroyed it with His power. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, likewise, those children of God who believe in the Lord, if they pray with faith, can receive the answers and blessings in the name of the Lord who redeemed us from our sins.

But the greatest blessing of accepting the Lord is that we are going to the kingdom of heaven, not hell.

Mark 9:48-49 says, “where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ [49] Everyone will be salted with fire.”

I saw a vision before in which souls in hell were twisting their bodies as if they were dancing very hard. Just as salt pops up on a hot pan, they were jumping and twisting their bodies because of the pain and heat of the lake of fire.

In hell, there is not only lake of fire but also lake of sulfur, which is seven times hotter than the lake of fire. The lake of sulfur is for those souls who commit graver sins than those who are in the lake of fire.

But the souls in the lake of sulfur were not either jumping or screaming. The pain and agony was so intense that they could not even move their bodies or make any sound.

The souls in hell suffer the eternal punishment without any rest in the lake of fire and sulfur, and they cannot even die even if they want to.

Therefore, the Bible says it is better for us to cut off our hands and feet so that we will not sin and not go to hell. But among those who have seen hell, by God’s grace some say they saw some other kinds of punishments than the lakes of fire and sulfur.

They say they saw people suffering from snakes coiling around the body or eagle’s pecking their eyes. They saw people receiving tortures with spears, swords, and needles.

But the Bible definitely says hell is the lake of fire and sulfur. Therefore, the place where other kinds of punishments are given is Hades.

Hades is the place where the dead souls who are not saved will be waiting until the final judgment. This place also belongs to hell in a broad sense, and the pain is so great, but it is not the hell of true punishments.
Those souls who receive punishments here before the judgment will go into the lake of fire or sulfur after the judgment. The pain of the punishment in the lake of fire and lake of sulfur cannot be compared to the punishments in Hades. If you know the fear of hell, you will confess from the depth of your heart that it is much better to cut off your hands and feet than to go to hell.

When I came to know about this fearful hell, I made up my mind again and again saying, “I should not let any of our members fall into this hell.”

Also, because I feel very sorry that so many souls around the world are going to hell because they do not know the truth, I have been trying my best, in the world mission, to save even one more soul.

Thankfully, those of you who have met and accepted the Lord can be forgiven of your sins through the sufferings that Jesus took on the cross, and you will be able to the kingdom of heaven.

But it is not that you can be forgiven by just confessing with your lips, “Lord, I believe.” 1 John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” In this verse, you can see there is a condition to be forgiven of sins.

The condition is that we have to walk in the light.

Nowhere in the Bible, including Old and New Testament, does it say that we can be saved even if we commit sins.

What God, the prophets, Jesus, and Jesus’ disciples teach is that we have to cast off our sins and become holy. Matthew 7:21 says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

Only when we repent, leave sins, and try not to commit sins again and live in the light, can we be forgiven of our sins by the blood of Jesus.

Only this kind of person will receive the grace of Jesus who saved us.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, when Jesus was hung on the cross, many people gathered around the cross and mocked and insulted Jesus.

They said, “If you are truly the Son of God, come down from the cross now.” This is the evil aspect of foolish people who were mocking and insulting Jesus, who was dying for them.

If we had not known the truth, we would have done the same, but since we came to know the truth and accepted the Lord, we know what a thankful thing it is. While many people were mocking Jesus, there were two criminals who were hung on cross at either side of Jesus.

Matthew 27:44 says, “In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.” But Luke 23:39-43 says something different.

When one of the criminals hurled insults at Jesus, the other criminal rebuked him.

Then, why is there this kind of difference in the Bible? It is the work of God who wanted the readers of the Bible, who would read at a later time, to feel that scene more realistically.

The scene of Jesus crucifixion could not be recorded by video like today, and it could only be written with words.

To write everything in detail in the Bible that writes about the human cultivation and the way of salvation, even thousands of books will not be sufficient.

In this sense, even the scene of crucifixion had to be summarized, and God let it be recorded in such a way that we can feel the scene in the most realistic way. Why don’t you just try to imagine this scene. There are three crosses on Golgotha, and the crowd that came to watch the scene is talking very loudly around the crosses.

The Roman soldiers are blocking the crowd holding their spears and shields. People were standing in a semi-circular shape with the cross and soldiers in the center. Thus, according to which side a person is on, they could hear different things.

If one was at the side of the criminal who was hurling insults at Jesus, he could clearly hear what the criminal was saying, but he could not hear well what the other criminal was saying.

Also, since the criminals were dying on the cross, they could not really speak out clearly.

In this situation, the criminal who repented rebuked the other criminal who hurled insults at Jesus. But to a person who is at the outside of the criminal who was hurling insults, this might have looked like the criminal who repented was also hurling insults at Jesus. But someone who was at the side of the repentent criminal or beside Jesus could clearly hear the words of both the criminals and Jesus, and record it correctly.

Of course, the almighty God can let the writer know what exactly happened and let him record it that way.

But by allowing this kind of difference in the record, those who read the Bible with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit can feel the actual situation so realistically as if they were watching the scene itself.

All 66 books of the Bible were written by God’s inspiration, so there is not a single error or flaw. Therefore, when you read the Bible, even if there are things that do not agree with human thoughts, I hope you will not judge anything with your fleshly thoughts.

I urge you to ask God for the spiritual meaning of it and clearly understand the will of God contained in that verse by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Jesus suffered many great pains on the cross for many hours, and finally breathed His last. John 19:31 says, “Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.”

It was Friday when Jesus was hung on the cross.

The next day was Saturday, which was the Sabbath for the Jews.

Because they could not hang a cursed dead body on a tree on the Sabbath, the Jews asked the governor, Pilate, to have the bodies on the crosses taken down.

If you break the legs of those who are hung on the cross, they cannot support their body weight with their legs any more, so they suffocate and die more quickly. The two criminals at either side of Jesus were taken after their legs were broken, but it was not the same with Jesus.

The soldiers saw that Jesus’ breathing had already stopped and did not break His legs.

Psalm 34:19-20 says, “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; [20] he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.”

Jesus was crucified to take all the sins of the mankind, but Jesus Himself was not a sinner. He was a righteous man who was blameless and spotless. God protected Jesus so that none of His bones were broken, as prophesied in the Old Testament.

Also, in Number 9:12 or Exodus 12:46, God commanded the people of Israel to eat the lamb, but not break the bones. In the Bible, the lamb symbolizes Jesus. So, God commanded them not to break the bones of the lamb, which stands for Jesus.

As prophesied, Jesus’ bones were not broken, but the soldiers pierced His side with a spear. John 19:34 says, “Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.”

Jesus head and face were covered with blood because of the crown of thorns. Also, His whole body had cuts from the whipping, and His body was in a very wretched condition with blood all over.

After seeing Jesus who was in such a wretched situation, and even after seeing that He was already dead, they still pierced Him with a spear. Just as violent animals tear the body of dead animals, they did such an evil and cruel thing. Just by seeing this, we can see how evil man is.

Today, sin is prevalent, and it is much wickeder than in the time of Jesus. Even if we show them such clear evidence to believe in God the Creator, evil people still do not want to believe in God.

They follow the lust of this world, becoming more stained with sin. Those who are the more evil hate and persecute those who preach the gospel to them. Even if we perform the miracles in the name of Jesus Christ and show them signs and wonders, there are many people who stand against God.

Still, Jesus was crucified for all these people. I hope you will be more thankful in your heart for the love of God who gave His one and only Son and the love of the Lord who gave all His life for the sinner. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, there are also spiritual meanings in Jesus’ being pierced in His side and shedding blood and water.

First of all, this is the proof of Jesus coming to this earth as a man. John 1:14 says that Jesus is the word who came to this earth in flesh, which means God, who is spirit, came in a human body. Jesus was not conceived by the union of man’s sperm and woman’s egg, but by the Holy Spirit.

But he still had the same body and grew up just like a man. Because He came as a man, He had the qualification to become our Savior.

The first condition to become the Savior of mankind is that he must be a man. Angels or animals cannot redeem mankind from their sins. Only a man can redeem other men from their sins so that they can receive salvation.

Thus, Jesus came to this earth in a human body that had bones and flesh, just like us. He felt the pain when He was whipped, and He also felt tiredness, thirst, and hunger.

Matthew 4:2 says, “After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.” Also, John 4:6 says, “Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.”

Likewise, to prove once again that Jesus had the human body, it writes water and blood came out when pierced with a spear.

Secondly, Jesus’ shedding His blood and water testifies that mankind, who has a body, can participate in the divine nature.

Our Father God is holy and perfect, so He wants His children to be holy and perfect, too.

Matthew 5:48 says, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” 1 Peter 1:16 says, “for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Philippians 2:5 says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:”

2 Peter 1:4 says, “Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

Jesus had the same body as men, but He lived a holy life without committing any sins during His whole life.

Because He had the same nature as ours, He had the same emotions as men, but He defeated the temptations of the devil and lived on by the truth.

He only obeyed God with ‘yes’ and ‘amen’, and fulfilled His duty completely. Therefore, we can participate in the divine nature just like Jesus.

If anyone believes in the Lord, prays fervently, and tries his best, he can receive the grace and strength of God and the help of the Holy Spirit to be able to cast off sins and evil.

You cannot give an excuse saying, “Jesus is the Son of God, so He could live a holy life. But I am a weak man, so I cannot.” So, thirdly, Jesus shed His blood and water to testify to the fact that we gain true life and enjoy eternal life through Jesus’ blood and water.
The blood of Jesus, who had neither original sin nor self-committed sins, is precious blood that has no blemish or spot. We can be forgiven of our sins and enjoy eternal life because Jesus shed His precious blood.

Also, water spiritual symbolizes the ‘word’. To the extent that we listen to God words and practice them, we can cast of sins and become righteous.

Therefore, the blood and water that Jesus shed is the blood and water of power that can change us and the blood and water of life that saves us from death.

The shedding of Jesus’ blood and water testifies once again that we are forgiven and gained true life by receiving the strength to live by God’s word.

[Conclusion]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Jesus walked the way of suffering with joy and thanks thinking that numerous souls would be saved through His sufferings. He did not try to escape from the sufferings until the last moment of the crucifixion. He only prayed until His sweat became drops of blood to accomplish the providence of the Father.

He only wanted just one more soul would be saved from the punishment of hell and recover the lost image of God.

I hope you will always remember the sufferings that Jesus took for us and His sacrifice and love of shedding His blood and water.
Jesus took all the sufferings and shed His water and blood not because of or somebody else but because of your sins and to save you.

What should you and I do, since we received this great love of Jesus?

Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children [2] and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

I hope you will realize the love of the Lord deep in your heart and remember it, and cast off sins and evil quickly and recover the lost image of God completely. I pray in the name of the Lord that you will enter into the kingdom of heaven on the last day, praise the love of the Lord fully, and enjoy eternal life.

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