Sunday, March 29, 2009

You Did This For Me?

Anthony and I were discussing this morning about how it seems that we make such a bigger deal about the birth of Christ and not so much about the resurrection of Christ. I know a lot of this is because of all of the commercialization that goes on with Christmas and the parties and cards etc that we include in what seems like a month long celebration. Often it seems Easter comes and goes in the blink of an eye (maybe some of this has to do with the fact that it doesn't have a set day of the year). Anyhow, I thought over the next two weeks I would share summaries from the book He Chose the Nails by Max Lucado (one of my all time favorite authors by the way). Consider it a sort of advent, as we lead up to the celebration of our Savior's selfless sacrifice for sinful man.

Chapter 1
You Did this for me?

Have you ever wondered why God gives so much? We could exist on far less. He could have left the world flat and gray; we wouldn't have known the difference. But he didn't...

If we gives gifts to show our love, how much more would he?...

God's gifts shed light on God's heart, God's good and generous heart... Every gift reveals God's love. . . but no gift reveals his love more than the gifts of the cross. They came, not wrapped in paper, but in passion. Not placed around a tree, but a cross. And not covered with ribbons, but sprinkled with blood.

The gifts of the cross.

Much has been said about the gift of the cross itself, but what of the other gifts? What of the nails, the crown of thorns? The garments taken by the soldiers. The garments given for burial. Have you taken time to open these gifts?

He didn't have to give them, you know. The only act, the only required act, for our salvation was the shedding of blood, yet he did much more. So much more. Search the scene of the cross, and what do you find?

A wine-soaked sponge.

A sign.

Two crosses beside Christ.

Divine gifts intended to stir the moment, that split second when your face will brighten, your eyes will widen, and God will hear you whisper, "You did this for me?"

(excerpts from He Chose the Nails pages 6-8)

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