People Around The Cross (1 of 8) by Jim Henry

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Jim Henry, Pastor
First Baptist Church
3700 L. B. McLeod Road
Orlando, Florida 32805-6691
Reprinted from Radio Program, "WE BELIEVE"
Program #184, CT 502242

"PEOPLE AROUND THE CROSS" SERIES, PT. I
(Matthew 27:38-40)

The words of those who were around the Cross speak to us today in
the Twentieth Century. In a sense, we were there.
Maxwell Anderson, in his play, "Valley Forge," has a little
scenario where George Washington is speaking to the hungry,
frozen, tattered troops during the Revolutionary War. He looks
at them and says, "Once the liberty is won, it will be easy for
people to forget the price that was paid for it." Hard to
remember, easy to forget.
Sometimes when I go to the meetings of the Foreign Mission Board
in Richmond, Virginia, I try to keep my exercise up-to-date by
jogging down Monument Avenue. I've always been inspired as I see
those beautiful old houses and the statues all down that
street. The memories of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars,
statesmen and leaders of the past flood my mind.
I have heard that Dr. John R. Sampey, the great Hebrew scholar
who taught in our seminary, was riding down that road with a
preacher-friend when he asked, "Is that the statue of General
Robert E. Lee in front of us?" His friend said it was. Dr.
Sampey, the fine old gentleman that he was, sat up erect in his
seat, and saluted for another block as they drove by. As he
dropped his arm to his side, he said two words: "My hero."
Thousands of people pass by that statue every day and forget what
it represents. It's hard to remember, and easy to forget.
As we look at the Cross, the figure of which we sometimes
carelessly wear around our necks, etch in our stained glass
windows, erect in our churches, it's hard to remember exactly
what happened there for us.
When Jesus went to the Cross, He went to a place called Golgotha.
In Hebrew that means "place of the skull." If you go there
today, you'll see that that hillside does look like a ...


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