#Cross

Journey to the Cross Part Two

By Elizabeth Thomas

As a leader in Kid’s Klub, I am often surprised at how the lessons I teach the kids affect my life too. I find that although the material is written for them, it also speaks to directly to me. This week, I was faced with a difficult lesson – following God’s plan instead of my own.

Last Sunday, we taught the kids about Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. What a fun story to teach! Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, while people laid their coats and palm branches down. They shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Matthew 21:9) and everyone seemed excited that He had arrived! It’s the hopeful, joyful part of Jesus’ journey to the cross. But as we all know, the excitement didn’t last long.

The people were hopeful because Jesus had said He came to save them (Luke 19:10). But they wanted Him to save them from Roman rule.  Even those closest to Him thought He was going to establish His Kingdom here on Earth. But that wasn’t His plan. Instead of challenging the Roman government, He challenged the Pharisees and religious leaders. Instead of setting up His political throne, He cleansed the temple. He didn’t free them from Rome like they wanted. So, the people began to doubt Jesus. Was He really going to do what He said? The Pharisees took advantage of this dissention and started acting out their plan to kill Him. The opposition among the people grew when they realized Jesus wasn’t following through with “their plans”. Eventually, they turned on Him and pleaded for His crucifixion. When He didn’t fit their plan, they lost their faith.

Isn’t this just like us? When our plans unravel, so does our faith?

I have often wondered how the people who saw Jesus perform miracles could have turned on Him so quickly. How could they have crucified the Man who came to save them? To be in the presence of God, to see His power firsthand, only to abandon Him and turn away. But then, I remember how many times I have turned away from God. How many times have I seen His power in my life and then lost my faith in Him when things don’t go my way? How many times have I forgotten to trust Him when things are difficult? How many times have I questioned His plan, without remembering His sacrifice for me?

The great news is, Jesus knew exactly what He was doing. His plan was to redeem us eternally, and He did so on the cross. Aren’t you glad that He is up in Heaven now, preparing his Heavenly kingdom for all those who chose to follow Him? During this week of remembrance, don’t forget that God still has a plan. It didn’t end with Christ’s sacrifice. He has a bigger plan for your life. He is calling you to something greater. The question is, will you follow His plan or your own?

Hearing the Words from the Cross

By Karen Polich

Dr. Earl Craig delivered a Palm Sunday message on the words from the cross. Listen to the podcast here.

The cross is known around the globe but not everyone seeks to hear to what the cross is about. The cross is God fixing the human dilemma of sin. It goes beyond what we feel to what we hear and choose to tune in.

The family word. (John 19:26-27) Jesus is magnifying family relationships as he hangs dying on the cross. Families today need encouragement and the cross reminds us that God wants us to care for each other.

The forgiveness word. (Luke 23:32-34) The forgiveness of Christ was at its very best when man was at his very worst. Jesus taught us to love our enemies and showed no limit to forgiveness. In broken relationships, God is not concerned with who’s right or wrong but with who will make the first move.

The futility word. (Matthew 27:45-46) Jesus’s words come from the depth of human experience. The greatest enemy of a Christian is not disease but despair. Jesus knows what it feels like to be forsaken. When you are at a loss for words, the Holy Spirit will groan on your behalf. (Romans 8:26)

The final word. (John 19:30) Jesus’s first recorded words were about doing His Father’s business and his final words spoke of the completion. Finishing strong is important.

Regardless of where you are today, the words of the cross can speak light into your life. Everything can be overcome by the words of the cross.

Dr. Earl H. Craig was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. He attended Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, on a golf scholarship. Dr. Craig has a Master of Theology and Doctorate of Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He served as Senior Pastor for over twenty years in three churches. Dr. Craig moved into stewardship ministry with RSI and became a Senior VP. This allowed him to be in over 130 churches a year for over 25 years. Dr. Craig has served on the Board of Directors for Dallas Baptist University, Mississippi College, Southwestern Seminary and Dallas Athletic Club. He and his wife Ann have been married for 50 years. They have a son and daughter and four grandchildren.