Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2018 John 13:34.

John 13:34. A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another.

Well my friends and fellow believers it’s Friday, but a special Friday, one that only occurs once a year. And we call it Good Friday! I know some of us must be wondering how can we call a terrible Friday like that good, where our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was horribly crucified, shamed and violated without remorse.

But it’s not what happened, so much as the reason for the happening and the resultant consequences. Christ was crucified, gave His life for us, so that we could have eternal life. He took ALL our sins on His shoulders, so that we could have the option to return to a right relationship with Almighty God. That’s what’s good about it friends!

The once and for all sacrifice, the once and for all payment for our sins, that’s what makes it good! Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, the Lord washed clean all our sins, forgave us of our disobedience and welcomed us back as His children. Wow! How can we not call such an event good eh?

True, it resulted in the terrible abuse and violence toward Jesus, but that was the only way for our sins to become paid up; forgiveness called for a blood sacrifice. And today, as we flock to the Lord’s house to sing His praises and glorify His holy name, let’s remember the significance of this day.

And as always, before we hear the word, let’s offer up some praise and worship with sacrificial voices to our heavenly Father. And today we’ll sing one of my all time favourites, one that I cherished since I was a boy growing up in Tobago.

It appropriately describes the scene that took place at Calvary, two thousand years ago. The words apparently were written by Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895) and the music by John H Gower (1855-1922) and it was based on the scriptural texts of John 19:16-20 and Hebrews 13:12.

Please sing with me: ‘There is a green hill far away, outside a city wall, where our dear Lord was crucified who died to save us all. We may not know, we cannot tell, what pains he had to bear, but we believe it was for us he hung and suffered there. He died that we might be forgiven, he died to make us good, that we might go at last to heaven, saved by his precious blood.

There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin, he only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in. O dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, and trust in his redeeming blood, and try his works to do.’

Yeh friends, the story’s told simply and tenderly, but the reality of it all is oh so heart wrenching and tear jerking! Just imagine an innocent man nuh, being crucified; one of the worse methods of death and punishment ever subscribed to by man, to pay for the sins of a motley, unappreciative group of people.

And the beauty of the story is that He underwent that gruesome ordeal without a word of complaint, because He knew that He was the ONLY person who could pay for the transgressions of the entire world, and besides, that was what His heavenly Father required of Him. As the Good Book says: He was ‘obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:8)

Ah mih people, yuh see what Jesus did for us, for you and I? But how many of us are obedient to the Lord’s doing nowadays eh? Not as many as there should be. But let me point out the most important part of our hymn above: ‘O dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, and trust in his redeeming blood, and try his works to do.’

Yes precious people of God, that’s all Jesus requires of us in return for His sacrificial death on this day so long ago: LOVE as He LOVED; trust in His redeeming blood; and do the work He wants us to do!

Oh, my fellow believers, it does look simple and sounds good on paper, but from personal experience I know that it’s not easy to do. However, if we are serious about living and working for Christ, we can do it with His help, because we know that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Phil. 4:13)

Now let’s turn to our Bit: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another.’ Yes friends, I purposely stayed away from the story of the cross, because we all know it and rehashing it isn’t going to make much difference at this stage of the game.

What we truly need to know and recognize is why Christ died for us; and the simple answer is that He LOVED us. And His earthly ministry was one of sincere LOVE. Plus the only new thing He told us is that we must LOVE each other as He LOVED us. And that LOVE is just treating each other and ourselves in a decent, pleasant manner, not necessarily going overboard in our attentions.

But unfortunately, in today’s cruel, crazy and godless society, those pleading words of Jesus have fallen on deaf ears. However friends and fellow believers in Jesus, I’m pleading with us, today, as we recognize Jesus’ immense sacrifice on our behalf, let’s learn that the lesson the cross really teaches us, is not one of death, but of LIFE and LOVE.

Jesus died because He LOVED us, and wanted us to have life eternal. Let’s show our appreciation by living the way He wants us to nuh. Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus…means living in LOVE…

P.S. Yes I know we didn’t sing the workingman’s song, or our Friday Chant, but this was a special Friday. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

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