TITLE: Destined to Die
DATE: March 31, 2019
TEXT: Matthew 26:1-2 - (ESV) - When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
It was in the early years of World War II that a Japanese diplomat was trying to explain the almost complete success of his nation's soldiers. He said, "In most countries, there is nothing which can compare with the way we feel about our Emperor. We not only worship our emperor; we love him completely.”
He continued with his explanation by using this example. He said,” I have just been informed of a commander at Port Arthur who called for volunteers to cut the barbed wire which was stretched out before his troops. He said to his men, 'You will never come back. You will not be allowed to carry a gun. You will take only a pair of wire-cutters, run to the barricade, and, if you are lucky, cut one or two wires before you are shot dead.
Another will take your place and cut one or two wires more.
But you will know that upon your dead bodies the armies of your emperor will march to victory.'" The diplomat continued, "Total regiments volunteered for these 'sure death' groups. These men were marked by love for their emperor. Nothing, not even death stood in their way of accomplishing their commander's mission.”
I've thought about it. There aren't many causes or people for which I would be willing to lay down my life. You probably feel the same.
That's why our greatest joy should be that we know a Savior Who left the glories of heaven, came to earth and throughout His entire life was dedicated to the cause which could end up in only one spot… with Him crucified between two criminals on a Roman cross outside the city walls of Jerusalem.
Even before His Bethlehem birth, it was decreed. “You will never escape death, You will carry no tools into the battle. You will be alone as you confront sin, death and devil. You will be alone in life and in death.
But upon Your dead body,Your resurrected body an army of sinners’ souls will be forgiven and saved.” That is why…
Understand, if He failed, there would be no one who could take His place and cut the wires of damnation that separated humanity from heaven. There was no one who could take His place because He is the only One Who could lay own Hs life and take it up again.
THE PRAYER - Lord Jesus, there aren't that many things in this world for which I would be willing to die. Usually I am willing to sacrifice for the people who are nice and kind and supportive of me. You came into this world to offer Your life for those who would hate you, despise, reject and betray You. Grant I may appreciate the sacrifice You made to save me. In Your Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html