Dr. C. S. Lovett’s
MARANATHA FAMILY NEWSLETTER
DID THE CROSS KILL JESUS?
JESUS' DEATH WAS ASTONISHING! The centurion charged with killing Him was so flabbergasted he exclaimed, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matt. 27:54).
When Pilate heard Jesus was already dead, he couldn't believe it. He sent for the centurion to hear it from his own lips (Mark 15:44). Even that wasn't enough. Soldiers were dispatched to Calvary to make sure the job was done. But when they came to Jesus, they too were astonished to find Him already dead (John 19:33).
Now what made His death so astonishing?
IT TAKES A LONG TIME TO DIE BY CRUCIFIXION
Death comes slowly on a cross. Sometimes it takes weeks. Those merely tied to the cross bar were left to starve. Those nailed were given a stupefying drink to deaden the agony. The suffering was intense. Traumatic fever occurred from inflammation of the wounds. Arteries surcharged with blood produced throbbing headaches. Despite exposure, thirst, and tetanus, death never came before three days. Usually, it took a week. It is not easy to kill a man by the cross method.
BUT JESUS DIED IN SIX HOURS!
Shortly after Jesus was nailed, He was offered the stupefying drink. He refused it, wanting nothing in His system to deaden His senses (Matt. 27:34). He needed all of His faculties for the awesome work just ahead of Him. The first three hours were fairly quiet. Then around noon, He gave forth that terrible shout. . . "Father, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" For the next three hours, something went on that you and I cannot fathom. During that time our salvation was secured.
At three P.M. the darkness lifted. Then Jesus said, "I'm thirsty." Why would He accept the drink now? The atonement was accomplished. He had finished the work He had come to do in the flesh. Yes, but see that He was still alive. His atoning work was finished before He died. How do we know? He said so. As soon as it was done, He accepted the sour wine (stupefying drink) and cried "IT IS FINISHED!"
Then He did the astonishing thing, "He bowed His head and dismissed His spirit" (John 19:30). Note that He was still in good shape. His head didn't fall limp against His chest as if His last bit of energy were gone — He bowed it! Why, He even shouted with a loud voice, "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit!" He was plenty strong, nowhere near death when the miracle happened. He merely did something you and I can't do — He dismissed Himself from His own body. The cross didn't kill Jesus. His death was miraculous!
JESUS HAD THAT POWER
"No man can take My life from Me. I have power to lay it down, I have power to take it up again!" (John 10:18).
Jesus could leave His body at will. Death had no power over Him. He had the power over death. All the Gospel writers agree "He gave up His spirit." Not a one says He died. Once released from the body needed for the revelation of God and the atonement, Jesus could move on to the greater work before Him.
Greater work? Yes. Until He made the transition from flesh to spirit, there was no way for Him to apply that "finished" work to you and me (salvation). There is no way to connect men's souls with the cross physically. People must receive Christ personally into their lives if His death and life are to be theirs. There is no other way. Until Jesus made the transition from flesh to spirit, He was not available. By His physical death, He simply shifted from Phase I to Phase II of His ministry. And He did it supernaturally.
DID YOU KNOW THAT?
Few Christians have noticed how Jesus' death was miraculous. Most think the cross killed Him. Yet, a closer look reveals His death was wholly apart from the cross. That was merely the place God chose for His exodus. Yes, it's true. Something did happen to His body as well. A soldier thrust his lance into Jesus' side after His body had died. That lance performed an autopsy. Gushing blood and water tell us a story by themselves. The facts are there on the surface of God's word for anyone to see.
Have you noticed how God hides amazing truths in the most obvious place — on the surface of His Word? It's true. Perhaps that's why they remain undiscovered by the average Christian. Be honest now. Did you know Jesus' death was supernatural? Yet, as you look at the facts in the text, isn't it obvious? Sure. Literally, hundreds of remarkable truths are hidden just that way. The average Christian never learns of them until someone points them out. That's a shame. By using a Bible commentary you may discover more of these truths yourself.
If you have always thought the cross did kill Jesus, perhaps you missed something. The simplest explanation comes from Jesus Himself. When He cried from the cross “IT IS FINISHED,” He was still alive and strong. It was after that He cried, “Father into Thy hands I commend my Spirit.” The job was done BEFORE He dismissed His Spirit. His death was simply His exodus from the physical world. Recall what He said, “I have power to lay down my life and I have power to take it up again” (John 10:18).
NOW YOU KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION!
C. S. Lovett
(Edited by Marjorie Lovett)
Copyright © 2019 Personal Christianity. All rights reserved.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25 NKJV).
1. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, infallible, absolutely authoritative Word of God.
2. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three personalities, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
3. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is The Deity, that He was born of a virgin, that He lived a sinless life, performed miracles, that we are redeemed by His atoning death through His shed blood, that He bodily resurrected and ascended to the right hand of the Father, that He will personally return in power and glory.
4. We believe men are saved through a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ and regeneration by the Holy Spirit.
SINCE YOU ASKED
Question: How can I know God’s will for my life?
Answer: That’s a great question! Has it ever crossed your mind? Of course. God’s will matters to us. The Lord was teaching His disciples how to pray when He said, “Thy will be done.”
There is a prophetic element to Jesus’ words “Thy will be done on earth,” when believers will be forced to do God’s will—with that awful “rod of iron.” But modern believers don’t focus on the prophetic meaning. Rather they are thinking of God’s will for their lives now and how they fit into it.
While we have a broad outline of God’s design, He gives us very few specifics. So what’s the answer? You don’t need to know God’s will in day-to-day situations. That is, you’ll not get verbal or visual instructions. Instead, He wants you to use the right method, which has several steps:
1. Make your heart willing to do His will, whatever it is.
2. Based on your current knowledge of God’s Word, make your own decision as to what action to take.
3. Commit your decision to God in prayer and see if your heart is peaceful about it. If not, choose another course of action and check your heart again. This is one of God’s best indicators for knowing His will. The Holy Spirit will grant peace when you’re on target. You’ll feel uneasy until you are lined up with God’s will.
WRONG IS ALWAYS WRONG!
In a period of loose and sagging morals, Satan provides many rationalizations for improper behavior. Those who would be faithful in Christian living must not be ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11). Wrong is always wrong despite efforts to excuse our actions.
“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3).
“Prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil”
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22).
REMEMBER, THERE IS NEVER A RIGHT WAY TO DO WRONG!
THE PREPARED LIFE: Personally this book is a "shocker." Not because of anything we should not already know but that someone is warning us about a reality that many would never touch because they wouldn't want to come off as "negative." Highly recommend it. It is thought-provoking and sobering to the vast majority of those caught up in the easy belief American "churchianity" lifestyle that is a mile wide and an inch deep! This book is a welcome "slap in the face" that we ALL need! —online review by D.R.
DEALING WITH THE DEVIL: This should be required reading for every Christian. It will take you behind the scenes and let you see the magician’s tricks of the trade. Satan uses the same tricks again and again. Since I have read this book, I have caught Satan many, many times trying to influence my thoughts and actions. Example: When I was first reading this book, this thought came to me. “Yeah, but everyone needs to let down their hair every now and then.” Wow! I’d caught him. That is not a thought Jesus would have planted in my head. This was Satan. Also, when I first was reading the book, I would try and read it to my husband. It didn’t matter, morning, noon or night, as soon as I started reading, he would fall asleep. Then I found the warning in the front of the book. That warning is so very true. Satan will try and do everything he can to keep you from reading this book and learning how he operates. —online review by paemags
Are you prepared? THE PREPARED LIFE book is a valuable resource for you and your family that can help you be prepared to deal with today's problems and end-times events. This book is available on Amazon.com and sells for $13.99 and is also available in Kindle form for $9.99. Click HERE to order. Dr. Lovett’s best-selling book DEALING WITH THE DEVIL has been updated and revised for today’s readers. It is available on Amazon.com and sells for $14.99. You may click HERE to order.
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