His Grace, My Place by James Merritt

HIS GRACE, MY PLACE
JAMES MERRITT
MATTHEW 27:26


INTRODUCTION

1. MANY OF YOU HAVE HEARD MY TESTIMONY MANY TIMES. I AM NOT GOING TO GIVE IT ALL OVER AGAIN, BUT FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE NEVER HEARD MY TESTIMONY, I WAS SAVED AS A 9 YEAR OLD BOY IN, OF ALL PLACES, A MOVIE THEATER. THE WAY THAT I BECAME A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST WAS BY ASKING MYSELF ONE QUESTION AND THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION ULTIMATELY LEAD TO MY DECISION TO BECOME A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST. THIS IS THE QUESTION, "WHY WAS JESUS CRUCIFIED?" I HAD WATCHED THIS MOVIE AND I HAD SEEN THE LIFE OF CHRIST PORTRAYED AND ALL THE GREAT THINGS WHICH ARE ALSO GOOD THINGS THAT HE HAD DONE AND THEN, AT THE END, HE IS NAILED TO A CROSS IN A FORM OF DEATH KNOWN AS "CRUCIFIXION." I REMEMBER CLEARLY ASKING IN MY OWN HEART, "WHY ARE THEY CRUCIFYING HIM?" IT IS PUT SO SIMPLY IN THE SCRIPTURE: “...BUT AFTER HAVING JESUS SCOURGED, HE HANDED HIM OVER TO BE CRUCIFIED.” (MT. 27: 26)

2. I AM NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU ALL THE GORY DETAILS OF WHAT CRUCIFIXION IS ALL ABOUT, BUT THERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU NEED TO KEEP IN MIND. CRUCIFIXION WAS A VERY COMMON SIGHT TWO-THOUSAND YEARS AGO IF YOU LIVED ANYWHERE UNDER THE DOMINION OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. THAT PROBABLY EXPLAINS WHY THE GOSPEL WRITERS DON'T GO INTO VERY MUCH DETAIL ABOUT WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED WHEN A PERSON WAS CRUCIFIED. 3. LIVING IN AMERICA, WE ARE VERY FAMILIAR HERE WITH CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. HERE WE USE EVERYTHING FROM THE ELECTRIC CHAIR, TO THE GAS CHAMBER, TO LETHAL INJECTION AND A FEW STATES STILL USE THE FIRING SQUAD AND THE HANGMAN'S NOOSE. WITHOUT QUESTION, CRUCIFIXION IS PROBABLY THE MOST PAINFUL AND TORTUROUS DEATH EVER DEVISED IN HISTORY, BUT IT DOES DIFFER FROM THE WAY PEOPLE ARE PUT TO DEATH TODAY IN TWO WAYS.

3. FIRST OF ALL, AT LEAST HERE IN AMERICA, FOR THE MOST PART, EXECUTIONS ARE PRIVATE EVENTS. CAMERAS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE ANY EXECUTION AND USUALLY ONLY FRIENDS, FAMILY MEMBERS AND SOMEONE RELATED TO THE VICTIM ARE ALLOWE ...


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