Terrorism Down at the Cross

terrorism-cross

In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, Brussels, and other places, I would like to remind you and the world that the greatest act of terrorism occurred at the cross.


TEXT: Philippians 2:5-8

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

– – – – – – – – – –

In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, Brussels, and other places, I would like to remind you and the world that the greatest act of terrorism occurred at the cross.

It has been well-documented that the process of Roman crucifixion was the cruelest, most painful, and most humiliating form of execution ever devised up until that time. Yet, today, on Good Friday, we celebrate Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God Himself, who submitted to this form of death in order to save us.

The Roman philosopher Cicero described the terror of crucifixion when he wrote these words: “The executioner, the veiling of heads, and the very word ‘cross,’ let them all be far removed from not only the bodies of Roman citizens but even from their thoughts, their eyes, and their ears. The results and suffering from these doings as well as the situation, even anticipation, of their enablement, and, in the end, the mere mention of them are unworthy of a Roman citizen and a free man. …Neither our exploits nor the lives we have lived nor honors bestowed upon us will liberate us from scourging, from the hook, and, finally, from the terror of the cross.”

While Roman citizens saw punishment by crucifixion as a thing to be avoided at all costs, the perfect Son of God was not afforded such luxury. We might think that God would have devised an honorable death for His Son, but He didn’t. Instead, He allowed an act of terror to be perpetrated against Jesus Christ so that all people could have a chance to be reunited with Him both now and in eternity. Allow me to briefly share with you three aspects of this act of terror.

First, the crucifixion was an act of terror by Satan against the world. The devil thought that by crucifying Jesus, He could halt God’s plan of redemption for humanity. The Bible tells us in Luke 22 that ‘Satan entered into Judas’ heart’, leading him to go to the high priests and betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. The devil thought that by killing Jesus — letting the Roman government scourge and crucify Him — he could ensure the damnation of the entire world and humanity’s continued enslavement to sin.

Second, the crucifixion was an act of terror by mankind against Jesus. First Peter 2:24 says Jesus “bare our sins in his own body” on the cross. The question has often been asked, Who is really responsible for the death of Jesus? Was it the Romans? the Jews? the disciples who did not defend their Master? The ultimate answer is that it was you and I and every human being who has ever lived. Jesus carried our sins in His very own body. It was us who nailed Jesus to the cross. It was our sins that sent the scourge slicing across His back. It was our crimes that jammed the crown of thorns down onto His head. It was our atrocities that sent the spear plunging into His side. We carried out the act of terror against Jesus.

Finally, the crucifixion was an act of terror by God against the darkness and sin of the world. It is a hard truth, but one the Bible teaches plainly. Second Corinthians 5:21 says, God “hath made [Jesus] to be sin for us…” Someone once said, “Don’t marvel that you have become righteous. Marvel that Jesus became sin.” That is what happened on the cross. Jesus became sin and God poured out His wrath on His Son. Romans 8:3 explains further: “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” The law could not condemn and eradicate sin in the human race; it had failed.

So, God sent His Son to become human — to take on “the likeness of sinful flesh” — and God Himself “condemned sin in the flesh.” The word “condemn” comes from two Greek words, one meaning ‘to judge’ and the other meaning ‘to bring down or come down.’ Dr. Paul Ellis wrote, “How hard [did God come down against sin]? So hard that the sins of billions were condemned in the space of a few hours. So hard that the Son of God himself couldn’t live through it. So hard that sin has been dealt with once and for all. The cross was a total catastrophe for sin and a total victory for us.”

The day Jesus was crucified was a terrible day — so much violence, so much blood, so much sin all wrapped up in the space of a few hours. But today we call it “Good,” because it is. Satan’s act of terror against us, our act of terror against Jesus, and God’s act of terror against sin was only a prelude to the resurrection. The devil didn’t know it, we didn’t expect it, but God had planned it. Colossians 3:14-15 says that Jesus ‘blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us [that is, the law], which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled [or ruined the Satanic] principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

Terror was turned into triumph when Jesus rose from the dead three days after His crucifixion. Since then, millions who shared in the terror of the cross have shared in the triumph of the Resurrection. This hymn by Isaac Watts demonstrates what was accomplished at cross:

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For sinners such as I?

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away
’Tis all that I can do.

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

You too can be ‘happy all the day’ if you would only place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. God will no longer hold your sins against you and He will give you eternal life. Here is how you can receive that gift today.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Remember, because of what Jesus did on this Friday 2,000 years ago, you are not living under the shadow of the terror of the Cross, but in the sunshine of the triumph of the Resurrection. God loves you, we love you, and may God bless you.

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