(JB Shoots: MonoMono Good Friday 2008)
Here in the Philippines it is ordinary for most Catholics (and other similar denominations) who observe Holy Week to do certain traditions, such as the Good Friday service with the Stations of the Cross, and the subsequent lineup of speakers talking about the so-called 7 last words of Jesus Christ while He was crucified.
My mom was blessed to have been chosen by the Cathedral of the Resurrection to speak on the 7th last word (more like a phrase, really). We both believed this would be an opening for her to share the love of God through Jesus Christ to an Anglican congregation.
Here is her speech, taken directly from the sheets of paper she used to write it on.
And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.
The 7th Last Word: “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit.”
Jesus was totally trusting in God with His Spirit. Stephen, who was stoned to death, also mentioned the Spirit when he was about to die. In Acts 7:59 he said “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
The revealed truth here is – that each one of us is a spirit being in a physical body. In 2 Corinthians 5:1 Paul describes the body as a tent. Our present body is like a tent where our spirit dwells. It is a temporary structure for the short time we are here on earth. When we die, our spirit lives on. Jesus Christ rose from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.
The question now is – how about us? Where will we go after we die? Have you ever wondered, while attending a wake, where the dead person is? Because the reality is we will all die – some sooner, some later. We don’t really talk about it seriously but there are only 2 destinations after death: Heaven or hell. Heaven is everlasting life with the Father where we’ll be praising and worshipping Him forever and ever. Hell is everlasting life separated from God, suffering and tormented in the lake of fire forever and ever.
(At this point, she discussed the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16)
But God is good. He has made a way for us to avoid going to hell. God loves each and every one of us. All of us are equal before Him is no respected of persons. We are all made in God’s image. That’s the reason why satan is so jealous and hates man – so much that he wants to take as many to hell with him by deceiving people. He doesn’t want you to go to Heaven because he can never go back there – He and his angels made their choice to rebel against God so they are banned from heaven forever.
But God wants everyone to be saved. He doesn’t want anyone to go to hell which he created for the devil and his angels. Because of His love for us, God made a way.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
God so loved the world.
He gave His only begotten Son.
Whoever believes in Him,
should not perish
but have everlasting life.
“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
– Revelation 21:8
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.”
– Revelation 2:11
Jesus came, died, and rose again. Jesus Christ willingly died for us so that whoever believes will not perish (2nd death) but will live in Heaven for all eternity. Remember, our life here on earth is but a drop in the ocean of eternity. Jesus is “the (only) Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6)” – NOT allah, buddha, hare krishna, mary, good works, and others.
God’s gift is His only begotten son. His gift of life is free but is not a gift if you don’t accept it. You have a choice to accept or not. It is the most important decision all of us have to make because it points to where our final destination is – where we will live forever and ever.
You have to make sure what to believe, what to choose – because YOUR eternity hangs in the balance.
Remember that hell is a place created by God for those who reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is something to think about – If you just live daily not knowing where you are going, you end up where you don’t want to be.
So accept God’s gift – Jesus Christ. Invite Him to your heart as your Lord and Savior. Ensure where you will be in eternity.
The Bible says now is the day of salvation. Don’t harden your hearts like Pharoah did (he ended up in the bottom of the Red Sea). Don’t put it off. Tomorrow may never come because accidents do happen anytime. Now is the day. Accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
“…If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believe that He was raised from the dead, then you will be saved.”
– Romans 10:9
– ‘Confess’ means to say aloud. Affirm it. Remember what John 3:18 says – He who does not believe is condemned already. If you are not sure of your destination, you may be on the road to destruction. I invite you to say this prayer aloud, sincerely with me:
Lord Jesus Christ, I place my faith and trust in You, and declare that You are my Lord and Savior. I believe that You died for my sins. You were raised from the dead and are now seated at the right hand of the Father. Forgive me my sins and grant me everlasting life. Help me to obey you and follow you all the days of my life. Amen.
Romans 8:16-18 says that when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become children of God and call Him ‘Abba, Father’.
NOW you are a child of God.
NOW you can pray, Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.
As a child of God, seek the Lord to have a deeper relationship with Him by: Reading the Word, Praying, Following Jesus Christ, and attending church.
God bless you all.
Lord, we thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to die for us so we may be saved, from all our sins, and not perish but have life everlasting.
To God be all the glory.
Posted in http://jibee.blogspot.com/. God bless you!