Youth Devotional: 3 nails 1 cross = salvation 4 by sappken


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									     3 Nails + 1 Cross =
       Salvation 4 All
Why did Jesus have to die on the
     by Robbie Heverling
     Used by Permission
John 3:16-18 "For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son, that
whoever believes in him shall not perish but
have eternal life. For God did not send his
Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him. Whoever
believes in him is not condemned, but
whoever does not believe stands
condemned already because he has not
believed in the name of God's one and only

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One of the things I remember most about going to my grandma's
house as a kid was a picture she had on the wall. It was an old
picture of Jesus on the cross. There was no one else in the picture
just Jesus hanging there on the cross. The sky was black like
smoke and his body a pale white as he hung there in his loin cloth.
You could see no blood because let's face it nobody is going to
hang a picture of a bloody Jesus in their house. He looked all
alone as he hung on that cross. He looked as though everyone
had deserted him. His body just hung there lifeless. The price had
been paid and not one person knew enough or understood
enough to know what had just happened. They still didn't get it,
they wouldn't get it...that is not until Sunday.

I myself didn't get it for years, I mean I knew that it was Jesus on
the cross, I knew that he died on the cross, I knew that's what we
celebrated every Easter but for some reason I just didn't get it. I
didn't understand any of it. Why did he die?

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It's funny because through the years I find that I'm not the only one
who doesn't get it, there or others. I have talked to many of people,
people at work, people on the street, people who go to church and
people who do not, and I ask them "Why do you think Jesus died
on the cross?" and like me when I was younger a lot of them don't
know. One women told me she went to church faithfully with her
parents when she lived at home and when I asked her that
question she looked at me and said "honestly I don't know, why
did he die?"

I have to admit I was thrown by her answer. I mean sure I didn't
know but then again I never went to church as a kid. How could
this happen? How can a person spend most of their life going to
Church and miss the whole reason why we even go to Church? I
mean Jesus dieing on the cross and Jesus rising from the dead is
the whole reason we go to church. There wouldn't even be a
church anywhere, if these two events recorded in history would
have never happened.

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It was several years ago when I learned why he died on that cross. You
see he came to die for us. We were lost in our transgressions and sin and
the bible says that the penalty for sin is death. We were supposed to pay
for our own sins and the payment was supposed to be our very lives. We
were to be separated from God for all eternity in Hell because we chose
sin over the creator. But it was at this moment while we were still in sin that
God really showed his love for us. He did the unthinkable, He sent his son
Jesus to die in our place. He allowed Him who knew no sin to become sin
for us so that we could be restored to God. Jesus became sin for us, he
carried all the sins of the world to that cross, he allowed himself to be
beaten, slapped, punched, and whipped so badly that his flesh hung off
him like tassels. He was beaten so badly that if you looked at him you
wouldn't recognize him.

The picture of Jesus hanging on the cross at grandmas house was a nice
picture of the death of Jesus yet it fails to even come close to showing the
true price that was paid. Imagine yourself suffering for something you didn't
do, imagine being punished brutally, then imagine yourself being led to
your own execution. Jesus didn't imagine it, He lived it for you. Then as if
the beatings and the floggings weren't enough they made him carry his
cross through the streets in front of everyone to the place where he would
be executed
The fact that he was even able to carry the cross after
everything he already went through blows my mind, but he did. I
wonder what kind of thoughts went through his mind as he saw
the place of the Skull (or the place where he would be executed)
approaching in the distance. Did he still dread it or because of
the pain and suffering that he was going through did he look
forward to it? Did he see the end in sight or did he fear the nails.
Just a little more suffering, a little more pain and it would be
over, surly he wanted it to be over. When he got to the skull they
threw the cross on the ground and laid Jesus bloodied body on
it. I'm sure that because of the beating he took and the shock he
was in there was no fighting what was next. They placed the nail
at his wrist and with a loud ring you could hear the hammer
strike a piercing blow. His body cringing from the pain. Again
they did the other wrist and then the feet. How could they not
know what they were doing?

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They had the son of God right in front of them and they missed
him. He walked with them, talked with them, healed them,and
forgave them. He did everything he could to prove to them who he
was while he lived and what did they do in return, they spit on him
as he hung on the cross, they insulted him and gambled for his
clothes. As Jesus hung on the cross the pain had to be
unbearable. The nails pushing against the nerves in the wrists had
to feel like hot metal. Slowly he would pull himself up just long
enough to get some air causing searing pain in the wrists because
of the nails. Then he would allow his body to fall back down to rest
his shoulders from holding all the weight of his body all the
pressure now being placed on the feet. For hours he repeated
these motions slowly up for air, slowly down for rest until he
became so tired he could no longer pull himself up again. He hung
there suffering and suffocating for you and me, paying the ultimate
price for our salvation. One life for the lives of many but none of
this means anything if your not willing to come to the cross and
see the price that has been paid. He paid it all, he did all the work,
all you have to do is believe.
Romans 4:7-8 "Blessed are they whose transgressions are
forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose
sin the Lord will never count against him."

Romans 10:8-13 'But what does it say? “The word is near
you; it is in your mouth and in your heart ,” that is, the word
of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your
mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God
raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with
your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with
your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture
says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the
same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on
him, 13for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will
be saved."'

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If you would like to receive the free gift of salvation
that God has to offer pray this prayer

Dear Lord,
I know that I'm a sinner, and my sin separates me
from you. Because you love me, you sent your
Son Jesus to pay the penalty for my sin by dieing
on the cross. Please forgive me of my sin. I except
your free gift of salvation, please come into my life
and help me to live for you. Amen

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