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The Culmination

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
April 10, 2022 1:27 am

The Culmination

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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April 10, 2022 1:27 am

The culmination of God’s plan arrived at the cross. In this episode, Major Ruth answers the question, “Why did Jesus have to die?” In truth, there were three main objectives Christ accomplished on the cross.

 

Series: God’s Long-Term Plan

https://salvationarmysoundcast.org/wordsoflife

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Hi, this is Bernie Dake. Welcome to the Salvation Army's Words of Life. Love doesn't discriminate.

It doesn't pick and choose. When there's so much to fight against, love fights for. When others flee, love runs to ward, and when darkness prevails, love remembers its strength. For 156 years, the Salvation Army has loved all who feel lost. With your help, we'll never stop. Welcome back to the Salvation Army's Words of Life. I'm Bernie Dake. And I'm Cheryl Gillum. And we are glad you're here.

Yes. We're now in our third week of an Easter series with Major Ruth Neu. Also, in case you missed us mentioning this a couple weeks ago, Ruth is doing the exact same series in Spanish on our Spanish counterpart, Palabras de Vida.

So if you know anyone who may be interested, let them know that they can visit salvationarmysoundcast.org to learn more and listen. So Ruth grew up in Cuba, and many of her earlier experiences certainly shaped a lot of her world views. Throughout this series, she shares some personal stories here and there too. But it's just such a blessing to hear her perspective on so many issues in the world today.

And to start this episode, she shares something we certainly have in common, a love of movies. I think that's pretty cool because I know a lot of people who have learned another language by watching television or movies. Absolutely. My daughter does it.

Korean. Wow. Yeah. That's very cool. Well, I think that this will be an incredible opportunity for us to hear Ruth's perspective having grown up in two cultures. Absolutely.

We look forward to it. My dad developed a love of movies in me by taking me to see those made during the golden age of Hollywood, but also those Japanese and Mexico films from that same time. Sure, we also went to the cinema to see all the modern movies.

I still remember as if it was today when The Goonies premiered in Havana. From watching so many movies, I realized certain similarities in their format. For example, during the introduction, also called the exposition, many of the elements of the plot, including the protagonists, are introduced. Then comes the conflict, which is the problem presented in the story that those protagonists must solve. Then begins the action or development of the conflict, which ends in the climax or culmination of the story.

This is the highest point dramatically, where everything is decided and where sometimes the protagonist dies achieving his purpose. To this point in God's plan, we arrived at today's story, the culmination. Let's read the passage. This is found in Matthew chapter 27 verses 32 to 38 and verses 45 to 51. As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene named Simon, and they forced them to carry the cross.

They came to a place called Golgotha, which means the place of the skull. There, they offered Jesus wine to drink mixed with vinegar, but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots, and sitting down, they kept watch over him there.

Above his head, they placed the written charge against him. This is Jesus, the King of the Jews. Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right, and one on his left.

From noon until three in the afternoon, darkness came all over the land. About three in the afternoon, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, Elie, Elie, lama sabachthani, which means, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? When some of those standing there heard this, they said, he's calling Elijah. He's calling Elijah. Immediately, one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, now, leave him alone.

Let's see if Elijah comes to save him. And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment, the curtain of the temple was storming too from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. God's plan that began after the fall of humankind in Genesis culminated here in the cross.

But why so? Why did Jesus have to die? The apostle Paul explains it perfectly. Jesus had to die to bear witness to the truth. The first thing verse of this series is John chapter 18, verse 37.

And it goes like this. The reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me. So what is this truth that Jesus speaks here? Pilate asks the same question in this very same passage. What is truth?

He asks. Jesus himself answers this question in John 14, verse six. Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life.

No one comes to the Father except through me. So Jesus is the truth. And the truth is that he is the Son of God.

Therefore, the only way to inherit heaven and to know God is to recognize that Jesus is God incarnate or God made man. During his ministry on earth, Jesus constantly bore witness to who he was. And the scriptures record this moment in various passages. For example, a couple of verses in John chapter three, verses 11 and 32. Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. In John chapter seven, verse seven, Jesus says, the world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil.

And finally, in John eight, verse 14, Jesus answered, even if I testify on my side, even if I testify on my behalf, my testimony is valid for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you have no idea where I come from or where I'm going. Despite his words and his miracles, many did not believe him as many do not believe today that he is the Son of God. There is ample proof that Jesus is a historical character, but many do not recognize his deity. Instead, they call him a revolutionary or social fighter, all part of Satan's plan to deny the divinity of Jesus. For centuries and centuries, doctrines against the divinity of Jesus have tried to infiltrate the church and Christians have fought to keep them at bay. But the enemy of our souls ever since Jesus was born is in the business of distracting humankind with thoughts that challenge Christ's divinity. Yet, Christ Jesus is by nature God. This is what the Apostle Paul says to the Philippians chapter two, verses five and six. And this truth is central to God's plan. Only by the sacrifice of God himself can we be rescued from sin and death.

Which brings us to our second point. Why did Jesus have to die? To rescue the lost. We can find the other thing verse for this series in Galatians chapter four, verses four and five. It reads, But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law that we might receive adoption to sonship. There was a problem and God sought a solution. The problem was death as a consequence of sin. So the Lord decided to rescue us himself. Now every ransom pays a debt. Going back to the theme of movies, we often see this theme of rescue and sacrifice. The protagonist knows that his partner will perish. So he negotiates his release by giving himself up or giving up a treasure in exchange for the other person's life.

There is no other way. And so God knew that to rescue us from condemnation to die, Christ had to die for us. Galatians chapter three verse 13 reads, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.

For it is written, cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole. That is why in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins in accordance with the riches of God's grace. This is found in Ephesians chapter one verse seven. And so God demonstrates his own love for us in this. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Amen. This is found in Romans five verse eight. And then the third reason that Jesus had to die is to open the path to heaven. The second part of Galatians four verse five says that we might receive adoption to sonship. The third purpose of Christ's sacrifice is for us to be part of God's family.

Heirs of the promise given at creation, eternal life with God as friend and Lord. That is the reason he wants to restore us to our original position as children of God. The passage continues by stating that the spirit of Christ in us cries out, God, Father, we are no longer slaves to sin and death, but as children of God, we are heirs of eternal life and happiness.

Ephesians chapter one verse 14 reads, this, the seal of the spirit, guarantees our inheritance until the final redemption of God's purchased people to the praise of his glory. So by dying on the cross, Jesus opened the way for his Father. If we read the last verse of this passage, the symbolism is striking. Matthew 27 51 reads, at that moment, the curtain of the temple was stoning to from top to bottom. According to Exodus 26, the purpose of the curtain in the synagogue and later in the temple was to separate human beings from God. As a result of sin, men could not enter the presence of God who is supremely holy. So something had to break that barrier that would reconcile us with God and reintegrate our heritage as sons and daughters. When Christ died on the cross, his body tore and his sacrifice opened the way to reach God. As the theologian good would say, the tearing of the veil meant the removal of the separation between God and his people.

That's it. No more sacrifices is over. The culmination of God's plan was the rescue and adoption of all lost children. And you, what response do you have to God's sacrifice for you?

You may have lived a life away from God because you don't know that he will rescue you, but the God of the universe who created you wants to take you back to his house as a son and daughter. May God fill you with blessings today and always. The Salvation Army's mission, Doing the Most Good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit salvationarmyusa.org to offer your support.

And we'd love to hear from you. Email us at radio at uss.salvationarmy.org. Call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at P.O.

Box 29972, Atlanta, Georgia 30359. Tell us how we can help. Share prayer requests or share your testimony. We would love to use your story on the air. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store. And be sure to give us a rating. Just search for the Salvation Army's Words of Life. Follow us on social media for the latest episodes, extended interviews, and more. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center. They'll be glad to see you. This is Bernie Dake inviting you to join us next time for the Salvation Army's Words of Life.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-09 08:45:58 / 2023-05-09 08:50:55 / 5

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