Lenten Perspectives Day 3 – Featuring Bob Hostetler

Where Jesus Died

 READ: I Corinthians 15:1-5

“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (I Cor. 15:3b, NIV)

In family devotions with our two young children, my wife and I often repeated the story of Calvary and Jesus’ death on a cross. We were not sure of the story’s impact on our son’s and daughter’s minds until one day when we were driving cross-country on a car trip.

As the miles rolled by under our car, we suddenly spied in the distance a hill with three crosses outlined clearly on the summit. My children watched silently until we began to pass the hilltop arrangement. Finally, in a voice of awe, my four-year-old son whispered, “Daddy, is that where Jesus died?”

I tried tenderly to explain that, no, the place where Jesus died was far from that hillside.

I’ve since come to regard my answer as a little hasty. Of course, Jesus did die at a specific spot on the surface of the earth. But in another sense, maybe He did die on that hillside, if that is where one of His children came to faith in Him. For me, He “died” at a scratched and pitted wooden campground altar. For one of my friends, it was literally a ditch beside a country road. For others, the place was a storefront church or a kitchen table. Perhaps that’s what hymnwriter (and Salvation Army general) Albert Orsborn meant when he wrote, “On every hill our Saviour dies, and not on Calvary’s height alone,” for wherever I accept His love and sacrifice, that place becomes a Calvary.


On every hill our Saviour dies,

And not on Calvary’s height alone;

His sorrows darken all our skies,

His griefs for all our wrongs atone.


Present he is in all our woes,

Upon a world-wide cross is hung;

And with exceeding bitter throes

His world-embracing heart is wrung.

Chorus

Go! Cry the news from every hill;

Go! Ring the earth with sacred flame;

To pardon is the Father’s will,

And Jesus is the Saviour’s name.

PRAYER: Jesus, keep me near the cross where, as a trembling soul, love and mercy found me.

 THOUGHT: The cross of Christ spans the ages and the miles to meet the needy soul. . . anywhere.

Bob Bob Hostetler is an award winning and best-selling author whose work is prolific.  He is also a gifted speaker and pastor.  

http://www.bobhostetler.com

 

Looking At The Cross

I’m not here to proselytize,
no, we will never be moved from our positions and convictions by mere words.
9 times out of 10 most will never be “saved” by signs on billboards saying “Jesus Saves”
or by a “Preacher” on a soapbox with a bullhorn.
No, none of these things seem to penetrate the heart.
None of these things contributes to the glory of God…
it only adds to the noise.

pathIt’s a slow walk…
This path towards the cross.
The place where Jesus was killed was literally called the place of the skull because it looked like a skull cap.
It was never pretty.
Death. Is. Not. Pretty.
Even when the Son of God faced death…it was not pretty.

Death is brutal. death
Death has its claws into the sides of humanity and many learn to fear it.
Even Jesus prayed for the “cup to be taken from Him” while in the garden of Gethsemane, yet He was still faithful and He still went through with it.

BloodBlood was spilled.
People spat in His face.
A crown of thorns was forced upon Jesus’ head…
more blood was spilled.
The path that Jesus walked is called the ‘Via Dolorosa’ which means “the way of suffering” or “the way of sorrow”.
No, this was not, by its own a rite, a “glorious” day…and yet we look at the cross,
we explore His gruesome execution,
we peal back the “polished” veneer of the cross’ description,
and we discover just how much our Father in Heaven desires to rescue and redeem us from our sin tattered lives.

We linger here…
we must not overlook its importance and its horror.cross1
Divine carnage, blood, suffering, pain.
We ought not turn our eyes away too quickly in order to get to the “good stuff”… just yet.

Divine love was broken and spilled out for us.
His blood became our atonement.
His sacrifice our salvation.
His willingness our redemption.
Perhaps THIS, above all else, speaks louder than any of our “big” words could.
Perhaps THIS, the mark of suffering could capture the hardened heart.
nailsPerhaps THIS, is where healing can take place…
if only Christians would get this.
if only we would live this.
if only we would “take our crosses” (no really) and selflessly follow Him.
I’m not being preachy here,
I’m listening to the groaning of my own heart
and this truth rings out in me.

So I look at the cross…cross2                                                                              for a little bit longer.

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