The Cross of Reception
Picture in your minds three crosses silhouetted on a hill just outside the city wall of Jerusalem. Up above the ominous clouds projected the kind of day it would be. On the center cross was Jesus Christ, the Son of God. On either side of him were two thieves who were deserving of the punishment they were receiving. I call these crosses the cross of redemption, rejection, and reception.
In Isaiah 53:3, the prophet said, "He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief….." "Sorrows could be translated "Pains." He was a man of pain.
-Isaiah also said "He was numbered with the transgressors."
Man of sorrows what a name
For the Son of God who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim
Hallelujah! what a Savior
The world was at the cross. His inscription was written in Greek, the language of reason; Latin, the language of rule; and Hebrew, the language of religion. People were there from all over the Diaspora. It was Passover and the city was flooded with people.
On the banks of the River Wye near Wales stand the impressive ruins of an abbey. Its history goes back to the 1100's. It was founded and built by agrarian monks and it grew to be rich and powerful. In time, the abbeys rivaled the king's very throne.
Henry the eight decided to put an end to that. He gave the abbeys to his political friends. The lead from the roofs was melted down and sold to enrich the king.
All that remains today of Tintern Abbey is a walled skeleton of an impressive ruin. No tourist today would imagine that it was designed to be the ruin it now is. It was designed to be a magnificent building. It was never intended to be treated the way it was.
We live in a ruined world, a world of suffering, sorrow and earth. But it was not designed that way. Like the ruined Abbey it is a mixture of order and chaos, of good and evil.
It was to deal with this ruin that Jesus came into ...
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