Jesus Christ Only - A dedication to our King of Kings!



We at "" are trying to assemble resources to help you understand and come to appreciate the unique person of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

We commend him to you as the answer to your life’s deepest needs and questions.

Please be sure to have a look at the "Who is Jesus" presentation.


Illustrations - His Death


IS this the Face that thrills with awe
Seraphs who veil their face above?
Is this the Face without a flaw,
The Face that is the Face of Love?

Yea, this defaced, a lifeless clod,
Hath all creation's love sufficed,
Hath satisfied the love of God,
This Face the Face of Jesus Christ

Christina Rossetti

The Lord's Supper?

Now what does all this have to do with the Lord's Supper?
Let's go back to our P.O.W.'s and imagine a group of 12 men imprisoned in a camp in North Vietnam.
They've been there six years. Somehow they have been able to communicate with the American troops and have learned that if they could escape and be at a certain point at midnight a helicopter could pick them up. So they planned, and finally were able to confiscate a timed detonating device that would explode 24 hours after being set. They decided to plant the device at the base of the surrounding fence the night before they could be set to go. One of the twelve volunteered to make the attempt to plant the charge -- he was the only one with no children. That night he managed to leap over the coils of barbed wire and land at the base of the fence and plant the charge. But then without a running start, he couldn't leap the wire. So he crept along the fence. But just before he found an opening he was spotted and shot to death.
The guards, saw what hut he was from and threw his body at the door as a lesson for the other eleven prisoners. They took him in and buried him in a shallow grave. And then in the darkness of that night they had a memorial service for him. And they thought about his death. But mingled with their grief there arose a strong hope and expectation. For this was no ordinary death; because of this death there would be release from prison and reunion with the beloved.

And that's the way it is with the Lord's Supper. A memorial service looking back to Jesus' death, but an utterly unique death -- a death that so satisfied the righteous demands of God that Jesus was granted to rise from the dead and come again as King of all. The sacrifice of Christ set the charge for the explosion of His second coming. May the celebration of His dying fill us all with a readiness and a love for His appearing.

(2 Thessalonians 1:3-10)

John Piper, Pastor (See full sermon at SERMONS)


Be warned: It doesn't matter what anyone tells you about a great "revival" or moving of the Spirit taking place; it doesn't matter how many multitudes are involved, or how loud their praises are; it doesn't matter how "successful" a particular ministry may appear to be.

If the cross of Jesus Christ is not the door through which people come, you can rest assured
-- it is not a work of God!

By David Wilkerson
December 23, 1996

"Let this cup pass from me."

As I say in Always in Pursuit, Jesus Christ is probably the greatest tragic hero in the history of literature. He knows that someday he'll be at his father's side, but that does not make dying any easier. That's why he prayed, "Let this cup pass from me." That's why he cried out on the cross, "Father, why hast thou forsaken me?" which I've said before is probably the greatest blues line of all time.
What we've lost is what you see in those Renaissance paintings of the Crucifixion. That's been covered over with Jim and Tammy Bakker and this and that. A lot of popular religion is like that poisonous Kool-Aid that Jim Jones gave those people in Guyana. It's too syrupy. The right stuff is not syrupy. It's a bitter cup. That's the way it is.

-- Stanley Crouch, contemporary essayist. Books & Culture, Vol. 4, no. 3.

See: Mt 10:39; Mk 15:34; Ro 8:17; 2 Co 4:11; 1 Pe 5:10.


Don’t miss the significance of this in a day when the question of Islam is much on people’s mind. I had my first serious conversation with a well-trained Muslim about 20 years ago. I discovered for the first time that if you share the good news of the death and resurrection of Christ with a Muslim you will find out that Muslim’s do not believe Jesus died on the cross for sinners and rose again but that there was a replacement on the cross, he escaped death and later was taken to heaven. The Q’ran, sura 4:156-157 says:

. . . and for their [the Jews’] saying: "We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God" – yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him, only a likeness of that was shown to them. Those regarding him; they have no knowledge of him, except the following of surmise; and they slew him not of a certainty – no indeed; God raised him up to Him; God is all-mighty, All-wise.

Therefore Muslims in general believe that the central message of the New Testament and of Biblical Christianity is built on a mistake: Christ did not die, and Christ did not rise. Therefore the very heart of Christianity is false.

The Risen Christ - Satisfied With His Sufferings
(Isaiah 53:3-12)
John Piper, Pastor (See the full sermon at SERMONS )


On May 21, 1946 in Los Alamos, New Mexico, a young and daring scientist was carrying out a necessary experiment in preparation for the atomic test to be conducted in the waters of the South Pacific.
In his effort to determine the amount of U-235 necessary for a chain reaction, he would push two hemispheres of uranium together. Then, just as the mass became critical, he would push them apart with his screwdriver, thus instantly stopping the chain reaction.
Even though the young scientist had successfully performed this experiment many times before, on that day something went terribly wrong. As the material became critical, the screwdriver slipped. The hemispheres of uranium came too close together. Instantly the room was filled with a dazzling bluish haze.
Young Louis Slotin, instead of ducking and thereby possibly saving himself, tore the two hemispheres apart with his hands and consequently interrupted the chain reaction. From his instant, heroic act, he saved the lives of seven other people in the room.
As he waited for the car that was to take them to the hospital, he said quietly to his companion,
"You'll come through all right. But I haven't the faintest chance myself."
It was true. Nine days later he died in agony.

Before Jesus Christ came to the earth, mankind was contaminated by a deadly uranium called sin.
But Jesus heroically stepped in right in the nick of time and saved mankind from spiritual destruction. He died on the cross, to free us from our sins.

Source Unknown


There is no subject more mysterious and yet more sacred in the whole realm of revealed truth. This is the heart of that mystery of the love and wisdom of God, which wrought towards, and made possible the salvation of man. At the commencement of this study I would place on record not idly, and not for the mere sake of doing so, but under the urgency of a great conviction, that I am deeply conscious of approaching things too high, and too profound for any finality of statement.
Personally I increasingly shrink from any attempt to speak in detail of the great fact of the Cross. This is not because I am growing away from it, but rather on account of the fact that I am more deeply conscious every day of my need of all it stands for, and as I have pressed closer to its heart, I have become almost overwhelmed with its unfathomable deeps, and its infinite majesty.

G.Cambell Morgan.“The Crises of the Christ” Chapter 21.
(See Chapter 28 in full in “Articles”)


Tracing the Lord through the three years in which He was constantly conscious of the Cross, it will be noticed how gradually and yet surely, he moved out into the loneliness of the final fact of His work..
After the discourse recorded in the sixth chapter of John, in which He declared He would give His flesh for the meat, and His blood for the drink, of the world, many went back and walked no more with Him. Without closely following the details, it will be seen that His approach to His Cross is marked by constant withdrawals, until at last the nearest flee, the story of their going being recorded in one tragic sentence,
“Then all the disciples left Him, and fled.” (Matt. 26:56)
He passed into the actual place of His passion, the region of that mystery of pain through which He was about to solve these problems, in utter loneliness.
No man could help.
No man could sympathize.
No man could understand.
Let this always be borne in mind when His suffering is followed and contemplated.

G.Cambell Morgan.“The Crises of the Christ” Chapter 21.
(See Chapter 28 in full in “Articles”)


Hours into which eternities were compressed! Through all in silence He endured the Cross, despising the shame; in silence, with no word of complaint and no word expressive of pain, “as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.” (Isa. 53:7).
In the hours of darkness, three words breathing tender interest and infinite love, one outcry of the spirit, and then, not so much a wail as a smothered sob of pent-up human agony, “I thirst”; the very expression of human agony, dignified, neither complaint nor appeal, but simply the statement, a terrible revelation of such suffering as is beyond explanation.
And now let it be remembered that all this is outward and physical, and human, and is but the symbol of the inward, and spiritual, and Divine. If in loneliness we pass over this pathway, and consider these scenes in contritlon and tears, we have not then reached the heart of the mystery.
Beyond all these stretch the infinitudes of suffering.

Cambell Morgan. “The Crises of the Christ” Chapter 21.
(See Chapter 21 in full in “Articles”)


“My God my God, why hast thou forsaken me - (Mark 15:34)

Alone in the supreme hour in the history of the race, Christ uttered these words, and in them light breaks out, and yet merges, not into darkness, but into light so blinding that no eye can bear to gaze.
The words are recorded, not to finally reveal, but to reveal so much as it is possible for men to know, and to set a limit at the point where men may never know.
The words were uttered that men may know, and that men may know how much there is that may not be known. In that strange cry that broke from the lips of the Master there are at least three things perfectly clear. Let them be named and considered.

It is the cry of One Who has reached the final issue of sin.

It is the cry of One Who has fathomed the deepest depth of sorrow.

It is the cry of One Himself o’erwhelmed in the mystery of Silence. Sin, and Sorrow .

Sin at its final issue,
Sorrow at its deepest depth,
Silence the unexplainable mystery of agony, and agony of mystery.

These are the facts suggested by the actual words.

“My God my God, why hast thou forsaken me - (Mark 15:34)

Cambell Morgan. “The Crises of the Christ” Chapter 21.
(See Chapter 21 in full in “Articles”)


“My God my God, why hast thou forsaken me - (Mark 15:34)

This cry is not merely that of One Who has reached the final issue of sin, but it is therefore, and also, the cry of One Who has fathomed the deepest abyss of sorrow. Sorrow is the consciousness of lack.
What is the sorrow of sickness but the consciousness of lack of health?
What is the sorrow of bereavement but the consciousness of the lack of the loved one? What is the sorrow of poverty but the consciousness of the lack of the necessities of life? What is the sorrow of loneliness but the consciousness of the lack of companionship?
All sorrow is lack.
Then it follows by a natural sequence of that, that the uttermost depth of sorrow is lack of God. There is no sorrow like it.
There is no pain comparable to it.
The human heart through the infinite mercy of God has never in this life really known this uttermost reach of sorrow. There are moments in life when it would seem as though God had hidden His face as men pass through dark experiences, but if He had actually withdrawn Himself, the sorrow of the hiding of His face would have been as nothing, to the sorrow of the actual absence from Him.
In this hour when Jesus was made sin, and was therefore Godforsaken, He knew as none had ever known, the profundities of pain.
The vision that had been His light through all the dark days in the three and thirty years, was lost.
The strength of that fellowship with the Father which had been His on every rough and rugged pathway, was withdrawn.
Cambell Morgan. “The Crises of the Christ” Chapter 21
(See Chapter 21 in full in “Articles”)


Who can fathom the immeasurable cost to Christ of meeting all the necessity of the planned atonement?

He, who would purge our sins, must himself be made sin, ere we could stand accepted in His righteousness.

He who would be our peace, must first become accursed, ere we could be at one with God in Him.

He, who would be our joy, must first be Man of Sorrows, ere He could bring us singing to the courts above.

As the Mediator, He must needs dies to bring us into His inheritance. As Minister of the sanctuary, He must needs be touched with the feelings of our infirmities and maintain us in the house of God with His own blood. . All his life on earth from the first day to the last, in all its moments, and all its places, was utterly controlled by the need to die in the perfect appointment of God.

All his steps were mastered by the concept of ‘the tree’

Geoffrey T.Bull
“God Holds The Key. Hodder and Stoughton Limited London 1959

Faith and the Cross

Faith is the acknowledgment of the entire absence of all goodness in us, and the recognition of the Cross as the substitute for all the want on our part.
The whole work is His,
not ours,
from first to last.

Horatius Bonar (1808-1889), "The Everlasting Righteousness"


C. Truman Davis, M.D., in The Expositor's Bible Commentary writes:

What is crucifixion? A medical doctor provides a phys cal description: The cross is placed on the ground and the exhausted man is quickly thrown backwards with his shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flex and movement. The cross is then lifted into place.
The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees flexed. The victim is now crucified. As he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain-the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As he pushes himself upward to avoid stretching torment, he places the full weight on the nail through his feet. Again he feels the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the bones of the feet.
As the arms fatigue, cramps sweep through the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push himself upward


In his book Written in Blood, Robert Coleman tells the story of a little boy whose sister needed a blood transfusion. The doctor had explained that she had the same disease the boy had recovered from two years earlier. Her only chance for recovery was a transfusion from someone who had previously conquered the disease. Since the two children had the same rare blood type, the boy was the ideal donor.
"Would you give your blood to Mary?" the doctor asked.
Johnny hesitated. His lower lip started to tremble. Then he smiled and said, "Sure, for my sister."
Soon the two children were wheeled into the hospital room-Mary, pale and thin; Johnny, robust and healthy. Neither spoke, but when their eyes met, Johnny grinned.
As the nurse inserted the needle into his arm, Johnny's smile faded. He watched the blood flow through the tube. With the ordeal almost over, his voice, slightly shaky, broke the silence. "Doctor, when do I die?"
Only then did the doctor realize why Johnny had hesitated, why his lip had trembled when he'd agreed to donate his blood. He'd thought giving his blood to his sister meant giving up his life. In that brief moment, he'd made his great decision.
Johnny, fortunately, didn't have to die to save his sister. Each of us however, has a condition more serious than Mary's, and it required Jesus to give not just his blood, but his life.

Illustrations For Preaching & Teaching
Editor Craig Brian Larson, Baker Books, p. 25.


According to the Chicago Tribune, on June 22, 1997, parachute instructor Michael Costello, forty-two, of Mt. Dora, Florida, jumped out of an airplane at 12,000 feet altitude with a novice skydiver named Gareth Griffith, age twenty-one.
The notice would soon discover just how good his instructor was, for when the novice pulled his ripcord, his parachute failed. Plummeting toward the ground, he faced certain death.
But then the instructor did an amazing thing. Just before hitting the ground, the instructor rolled over so that he would hit the ground first and the novice would land on top of him. The instructor was killed instantly. The novice fractured his spine in the fall, but he was not paralyzed.
One man takes the place of another, takes the brunt for another. One substitutes himself to die so another may live. So it was at the cross, when Jesus died for our sins so that we might live forever.

Choice Contemporary Stories & Illustrations For Preachers, Teachers, & Writers
Craig Brian Larson, Baker Books, p. 57.


A particular church recently received personal greetings from the Kejave Medical Center staff in Kenya and read of the following amazing story.
Eight-year-old Monica broke her leg as she fell into a pit. An older woman, Mama Njeri, happened along and climbed into the pit to help get Monica out. In the process, a dangerous black Mamba snake bit both Mama Njeri and Monica. Monica was taken to Kejave Medical Center and admitted. Mama Njeri went home, but never awoke from her sleep.
The next day a perceptive missionary nurse explained Mama Njeri's death to Monica, telling her that the snake had bitten both of them, but all of the snake's poison was expended on Mama Njeri; none was given to Monica. The nurse then explained that Jesus had taken the poison of Monica's sin so that she could have new life. It was an easy choice for Monica. She became a Christian.

The Tale Of The Tardy Oxcart
Charles R. Swindoll, Word, p. 541.


Back in the days of the Great Depression, a Missouri man named John Griffith was the controller of a great railroad drawbridge across the Mississippi River. One day in the summer of 1937, he decided to take his eight-year-old son, Greg, with him to work. At noon, John Griffith put the bridge up to allow ships to pass and sat on the observation deck with his son to eat lunch. Time passed quickly. Suddenly he was startled by the shrieking of a train whistle in the distance. He quickly looked at his watch and noticed it was 1:07--the Memphis Express, with four hundred passengers on board, was roaring toward the raised bridge! He leaped from the observation deck and ran back to the control tower.
Just before throwing the master lever he glanced down for any ships below.
There a sight caught his eye that caused his heart to leap into his throat. Greg, his son, had slipped from the observation deck and had fallen into the massive gears that operate the bridge.
His left leg was caught in the cogs of the two main gears! Desperately John's mind whirled to devise a rescue plan. But as soon as he thought of a possibility, he knew there was no way it could be done in time.
Again, with alarming closeness, the train whistle shrieked in the air.
He could hear the clicking of the locomotive wheels over the tracks.

That was his son down there--yet there were four hundred passengers on the train. John knew what he had to do, so he buried his head in his left arm and pushed the master switch forward.

The great massive bridge lowered into place just as the Memphis Express began to roar across the river.

John Griffith sacrificed his son to save four hundred passengers on that train. Likewise, God sacrificed His son to save you and me.

The Tale Of The Tardy Oxcart
Charles R. Swindoll, Word, pp. 541-542.

Jesus risked Himself--even gave His life--to rescue mankind..

In July of 1976, when, in a swift display of military precision, courage, and sheer daring, Israeli commandos rescued 102 Jewish hostages from Uganda, in Central East Africa.
You see, what had happened was their plane had been hijacked by Palestinian terrorist and flown to a safe haven protected by the madman, dictator Idi Amin. The hostages were probably good as dead if something could not be done to save them. Well, something was done.
To rescue the hostages, a raiding party from Israel was selected and honed to a strike force specially trained in air-assault operations. They were among the finest military men in the world, led by thirty-year-old Col. Jonathan Netan-yahu, who had moved to Israel from the United States when he was only two.
Deep in the desert at the isolated military base, they practiced the raid again and again, shaving the group rescue time down to fifty-five minutes.
Once the team landed in Uganda, the cargo plan's huge tail ramp dropped and out came a large, black Mercedes Benz limousine, closely followed by tow land rovers filled with Israeli commandos dressed in Palestinian uniforms. In the back of the limousine was a bulky Israeli officer dressed like Dictator Idi Amin.
The license plate on the limousine was identical to that of Amin's official car. As the party drove up to the terminal building, the Ugandan guards snapped to attention, allowing the Israeli commandos to get within a few yards of the building before the first shots were fired.
Bullets were soon raining on the airport like hail in a thunderstorm. Within ten to twenty minutes, the shooting was over. The commandos ordered the hostages to the planes that were waiting in take-off position, engines still running. As the hostages ran to the planes, great fireballs erupted in the distance as Israeli commandos blew up the eleven parked MIG jets that would have scrambled to intercept the escaping Israeli planes. As the hostages and commandos rushed onto the huge Hercules, the rear hatch slammed shut. Fifty-three minutes after the raid began, the planes began moving into position for takeoff. The hostages were saved!
The rescue, however, was not letter perfect. Three hostages lost their lives and one Israeli commando lost his life--the assault-force commander, Col. Jonathan Netan-yahu. A sniper in the control tower killed him with a bullet in the back. The Col. Gave his life to save others.
As great as this mission was, it pales in comparison to the greatest rescue in history--the saving of mankind by God. Mankind found itself lost in life, held hostage by evil, helpless and hopeless. Jesus risked Himself--even gave His life--to rescue mankind. His is the greatest of all acts.

Author unknown.

The Cross and the Blood

It is the closing scene in the motion picture, "Ben Hur." The sky is disappearing behind the ominous looking cloud formations. The movie camera takes a long shot of three crosses rising out of a distant hill. Then the camera moves in close, closer, to the figure stretched out on the center cross. Lightning reveals a man squirming in silent agony to the rhythm of the flashes. It is raining hard. With each flash of light, the pool of rain water at the foot of the cross grows larger. Suddenly a single drop of blood drips into the pool and scatters. Then another drop falls. And then another. The pool is now tinted light red. The rain comes harder and the pool overflows into another pool immediately below it. The second pool reddens and enlarges, overflowing into still another pool which, in turn, overflows into a small stream. The blood-stained stream flows into a larger stream which meets a river which flows into an ocean. (Matt. 26:28)

See: Rom 5:9; Eph 1:7; Col 1:19-20; 1 John 1:7

The darkness
I do not know what happened in the darkness, but this I know, that as I have come to the cross and received the suggestions of its material unveiling, I have found my heart, my spirit, my life brought into a realm of healing spices, to the consciousness of the forgiveness of sins. And there is no other way and there is no other gospel of forgiveness.

In the darkness He saved not Himself, but He saved me. He declined to move toward His own deliverance in order that He might loose me from my sin. Out of the darkness has come a light. The word spoken to Cyrus long ago has been fulfilled in the spiritual glory to the Son of God,
"I will give thee the treasures of darkness"—Isaiah 45:3.
And because fulfilled to the Son of God by the Father who loved Him, and wrought with Him through the mystery of His forsaking, the word has been fulfilled also to the sons of God who are born not of blood, nor of man, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God.
He gives us the treasures of darkness.

From the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land, and from the darkness have come the treasures of
and peace,
of power,
and of purity.

See the full sermon in Sermons

Meaning in the death of Jesus of Nazareth

Unless there is some profounder meaning in the death of Jesus of Nazareth than the end of His life, then the Cross brings me into the realm of the greatest mystery, the deepest darkness, the most unfathomable wonder I have ever known.
I will put this as superlatively as I feel, and as carefully as I may; unless there be some meaning in that Cross for others than the One dying on it, then the Cross makes me an unbeliever in the government of God. I cannot believe in the beneficence and goodness and righteousness of God if the Cross is nothing more than the ending of the life of Jesus.
We speak of the problem of evil; it confronts us everywhere, but that Cross is the crux of it.
If Incarnate Purity must be mauled to death by vile impurity, and God never interfere; if a life absolutely impulsed by love must be brutally murdered by devilish hatred, and God say nothing; and if that is all, then I decline to believe in the goodness of God.

There must be some other explanation of the Cross if I am to be saved from infidelity. If in the life of Jesus the Cross was an accident,
then the world is handed over to chaos,
there is no throne,
there is no government, and we are but puppets,
and none knows the issue.

See the full sermon at Sermons

Man needs is pardon

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.
Let the water and the blood
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from guilt and make me pure.
The first thing that a sinning man needs is pardon.

The note of preaching may differ in the West from that of the East,
but whether in West or East, North or South,
amid high or low, rich or poor, bond or free,

the first fact that attracts men to Christianity is the fact that it proclaims pardon for sin; and as a man begins to weigh his life by the infinite balances, and to measure it by the undying standards, the first consciousness that breaks in upon his spiritual conception is that he needs forgiveness.

See the full sermon at Sermons


All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.
And now there are those who feel their need. You say, Of course, I need it; I need forgiveness, I also am a sinner, I also have sinned. That is the first step toward obtaining. And what next? There must be a recognition on your part of the supremacy and sovereignty of God, and that I think is included in your confession of a sense of need. What next? Now there must be on your part repentance, the renunciation of the wrong, the spirit willing, if only the power be given you, to turn from the sin.

Dr. Pierson once gave me a great illustration on this subject. He told me of how in one of the Southern States a man lay condemned to die for having murdered another man; and a brother of the condemned murderer, who himself was a pure, strong man, and had laid the State under obligation to him, went and pleaded the cause of his condemned brother with the authorities, and though the case was one of clear murder, though there was no question about this, for the sake of the brother who had saved lives they consented to pardon the brother who had taken life. Then he went with the pardon of his condemned brother in his possession. He did not tell him immediately, but presently in talking to him he said to him, "If you had your pardon, supposing you had it now, and you were to go out free, what would you do?"
And with a gleam of malice and hatred in his eye the murderer said, "I would find the principal witness and I would kill him, and I would kill the judge."
And that brother said nothing of the pardon, but leaving the cell he tore it to pieces and destroyed it, and you know that he did right.
Pardon for a man who is persisting in sin is impossible. It would continue the disorder, and make it infinitely worse. God will pardon you even though you cannot undo your past, pardon you without any merit on your part; but if in your heart you still cling to sin, He cannot, dare not, pardon you. And that is why the condition of receiving remission is repentance toward God. And repentance does not mean that a man quits sinning, it means that he is willing to quit if but the power be given him to do it. And that is the condition. You have committed sin. Are you willing to cease, if only the past may be dealt with, and power given to you by which you shall sin no more? That is repentance.

See the full sermon at Sermons

Taking your place

Years ago, R. G. Lee told a powerful story about a mountain school that had a hard time keeping a teacher. It seems there was a group of big, rough boys who took pride in running the teacher off. The biggest and roughest of them all was named Tom.
A new young teacher won over the boys, however, by letting them write the rules for the school--which were very strictly enforced with a rod. For example, cheating would be punished with five strokes of the rod, and stealing with ten strokes, both to be given with the offender's coat off.
Everything went well until one day Tom's lunch was stolen. A frail little boy in hand-me-down clothes that were too big for him admitted his guilt. The school rules demanded that he be whipped. When the teacher called the little fellow up front, he came whimpering and begging to leave his coat on. The pupils insisted he obey the rules and take off his coat. When he did, a deathly silence settled over the room, for he had no shirt on and his emaciated body looked like skin stretched over bones. The teacher gasped and dropped the rod. He knew he could never whip that little boy.

Suddenly, big Tom strode up and stood between the two. "I'll take it for him, Teacher, for after all it was my lunch he stole." He shrugged out of his coat. At the third blow the switch broke, and the teacher threw it in the corner and said, "That's all, school dismissed." The frail little boy laid his hand on big Tom's arm and through his tears said, "Thank you, Tom, it would have killed me."

Who could help but be moved to gratitude by someone willing to take your place--take your punishment--suffer your consequences?

The Cross of Jesus Christ

Maybe you know the story of Sir John Bowring. A brilliant man who spoke five languages, Sir John was twice elected to Parliament. Knighted by the queen, he served at one time as governor of Hong Kong. It's said he wrote thirty-six books on a variety of subjects. If you visit a library, though, you will only find one of Sir John's writings. It's all we have left. And you're likely to find it in a hymnal.
It's a poem which he wrote after a boat trip, sailing along the coast of China. Passing Macao, a city devastated by an earthquake, he spied the ruins of a mission church. Protruding from those ruins was the cross which had stood atop the chapel. The impact of that cross caused him to write these memorable words:

In the cross of Christ I glory
Towering o'er the wrecks of time.

The cross of Jesus Christ does tower over the wrecks of all humanity's hopes, dreams, and follies. It is towering today.


Corrie Ten Boom put it like this: "In the forest fire, there is always one place where the fire cannot reach. It is the place where the fire has already burned itself out. Calvary is the place where the fire of God's judgment against sin burned itself out completely. It is there that we are safe."


“If our greatest need had been information,
God would have sent us an educator.
If our greatest need had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest need had been pleasure,
God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness,
So God sent us a Savior!

SOURCE: Chuck Swindoll in “The Grace Awakening.”

The Cross - Our Symbol.

The Gospel is good news of mercy to the undeserving.

The symbol of the religion of Jesus is the cross, not the scales.
— John R. W. Stott


Only one act of pure love, unsullied by any taint of ulterior motive, has ever been performed in the history of the world, namely the self-giving of God in Christ on the cross for undeserving sinners. That is why, if we are looking for a definition of love, we should look not in a dictionary, but at Calvary.
John Stott, The Cross of Christ. Intervarsity Press: December, 1986.


Near Mobile, Alabama there was a railroad bridge that spanned a big bayou. The date was September 22, 1993. It was a foggy morning just before daybreak when a tugboat accidentally pushed a barge into the bayou. The drifting barge slammed into the bridge. In the darkness no one could see the extent of the damage, but someone on the tugboat radioed the Coast Guard. Moments later, an Amtrak train, the Sunset Limited, reached the bridge as it traveled from Los Angeles to Miami. Unaware of the damage, the train crossed the bridge at 70 mph. There were 210 passengers on board. As the weight of the train crossed the damaged support, the bridge gave away. Three locomotive units and the first four of train’s eight passenger cars fell into the alligator infested bayou. The darkness and fog was thickened by fire and smoke. Six miles from land; the victims lay as food for the aroused alligators. Helicopters were called in to help rescue the victims. They were able to save 163 persons.

One rescue stands out. Gery and Mary Chancey were waiting in the railcar with their 11 year old daughter. When the car shifted and began to rapidly fill with water, there was only one thing they could do. They pushed their young daughter through the window into the hands of a rescuer, then succumbed to their watery grave. What a picture of our salvation, especially when you know that their daughter was imperfect by the world's standards. She was born with cerebral palsy and needed help with even the most routine things. But she was so precious to her parents.

And we too are imperfect--lives filled with mistakes and misjudgments, sin and helplessness. But we are still precious to Jesus--so precious that he sacrificed his life to save us.

And that is what we remember at communion. We remember that an perfect God sent his perfect Son to save an imperfect world.
"And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation." (Hebrews 5:9)

Whoever takes the Son gets it all." - The Collector

Recently, read a story of a very wealthy man who, with his devoted son, who shared a passion for art collecting. They traveled around the world together, adding only the finest paintings to their collection. Included among them were works by Picasso, Van Gogh, and Monet.

The old man was a widower, but son filled up the void in his life, and this was their common bond.

But war erupted, and the young man enlisted and was sent overseas. Day after day, the old father prayed, held his breath, and waited for news.

One autumn day near Thanksgiving the dreaded telegram came, bordered in black. The young man had died bravely in combat, trying to evacuate those caught under fire. Distraught and lonely, the old man faced the upcoming holidays with anguish and sorrow.

On Christmas morning, a knock sounded at the door. The father opened it to find a soldier there, carrying a small package. As they talked, the soldier said, "Your son and I became very close, and he told me all about your joint art collection. I myself am an artist, and I wanted to give you this."

The man took this package in his feeble hands, unwrapped it, and there was a portrait of his son in striking detail. It wasn't a masterpiece, but it was the most precious work of art the old man had ever seen. As he gazed at it, he wept.

As the young soldier left, the lonely father pushed aside thousands of dollars worth of art to hung the portrait of his son in the prized spot over the fireplace.

As the months passed, the old man received letter after letter, from his sons friend telling him of his son's bravery and selflessness, and of how many lives he had saved and how many more he had touched.

With each passing day the portrait over the fireplace became more precious, and he told his friends that it was the greatest gift he had ever received.

The following Spring, the old man grew ill and passed away. The art world was
full of anticipation, wanting to get its hands on this man's fabulous collection.

A day was set to auction it all off, and according to the old man's instruction the first painting was one that was not on any museum's list—the painting of the man's son. When the auctioneer asked for an opening bid, the room was silent.

"Who will open the bidding at $100?" he asked. "The moments stretched on awkwardly, and finally someone in the back of the room said, "Let's go on to the next piece" "No," replied the auctioneer. "We have to sell this one first." Finally a neighbor of the man spoke. "Will you take fifty dollars for the painting? That's all I have, but I knew the boy and I liked him, so I'd like to have it."

"Fifty dollars, we have fifty dollars," shouted the auctioneer.

"Will anyone go higher?" No one did.

"Going once, going twice, gone." And the gavel fell.

Everyone breathed a deep sigh of relief, thankful that now they could proceed
with the "real" auction and get their hands on the masterpieces. But imagine their
shock when the auctioneer suddenly declared that the proceedings were over.

A loud clamor arose. Stunned disbelief. "What do you mean it's over?" the people shouted. "What about all the masterpieces?"

The auctioneer replied,

"It's very simple. According to the will, whoever takes the son gets it all."

The Bible says, "God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He
who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."
(1 John 5:11-12)'

"It was the sight of Thy dear cross,
First weaned my soul from earthly things,
And taught me to esteem as dross
The mirth of fools, the pomp of kings."

D-Day and General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

I read this week that General Dwight D. Eisenhower spent the night before the D-Day invasion with the men of the 101st Airborne Division. As the men prepared their planes and checked their equipment, Ike went from soldier to soldier offering words of encouragement. Many of the men were young enough to be his sons and he treated them as if they were. One correspondent wrote that as Eisenhower watched the C-47s take off and disappear into the darkness on their way to their destination behind enemy lines, his hands were sunk deeply into his pockets and his eyes were full of tears. Then, when the last plane was no longer visible, the general went to his quarters and sat at his desk. He took a pen and paper and wrote a message-one that would be delivered to the WHITE HOUSE in the event of a defeat on the beaches of Normandy. The note was as brief as it was courageous. He wrote , "Our landings have failed. The troops, the Air, and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches itself to the attempt, it was mine and mine alone." Dwight D. Eisenhower

Now, with this action, General Eisenhower took responsibility for the actions of those soldiers who were far below him in rank. He modelled a quality seldom seen in our modern society of lawsuits, dismissals, and divorces.

You see, most of us are willing to take credit for the good we do. Some are willing to take the rap for the BAD they do. But few will assume the responsibilities for the mistakes of others. And even fewer still will shoulder the blame for mistakes that have not even been committed yet. But that is what General Eisenhower did.

And to a magnitude that is INFINITELY greater, this is what Jesus did for us on the cross. Long before time began in fact, He loved you and me and every human that would ever be born to the extent that He was willing to take the blame-the punishment of our sins upon Himself.

So, Jesus' death on the cross was a SUBSTITUTION because He died in our place.


by Andrew Lansdown

Finally, one arrives at the place
of the skull because there is nowhere
else to go. And there before the face
of bone one pauses in despair.

The culmination of all evil
is displayed before one's eyes.
Man's heart conspired with the devil
and cared little for disguise.

Yet if, at the sight of the Cross,
a light is struck on the rough of the brain
and the mind conceives all bar this is vain,
there comes a voice that reassures: Thus
is the seed of tenderness sown
in the cleft of the heart of stone. (Used by permission)

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