Thursday, March 24, 2016

Dial Daily Bread: The Most Highly Honored Religious Symbol in the World

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

The cross today is the most highly honored religious symbol in the world. But in the first century A.D. it was the most terrible and dreaded. Runaway slaves especially were sentenced to crucifixion, and violent robbers. The sign of the cross and public crucifixions were considered necessary for the preservation of law and order in society. Robbers were crucified on the main roads, the awful sight intended to instill fear in the hearts of the public. The cruelty and shame were unspeakable.

And yet, ... think of it! When the divine Son of God became one of us incarnate, the people of God of His day (the Jewish believers in the Old Testament in Jerusalem) could think of nothing else to do with Him, except to shout in Pilate's Judgment Hall in Jerusalem ... "Crucify Him, crucify Him!" (Luke 23:21).

We can pat ourselves on the back in smug self-satisfaction, saying, "It wasn't me! I'm not to blame! I wasn't there!"

But "our beloved brother Paul" tells us that "the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7). And in 1 John 3:15, the apostle reminds us that "whoever hates his brother is [already] a murderer." In other words, if our carnal mind is "enmity against God," that means that if we had been there that Friday morning as a faithful Jew in Pilate's Hall, we would have joined in the cry, "Crucify Him!"

The murder of the Son of God is the corporate sin of the human race; unknown to "us," indeed; but nonetheless there in those unknown, unrealized, labyrinthine depths of our souls. We have not been "tested" yet; the "test" is stlll future. A wise and inspired author says that the books of heaven record the sins that we would commit if we had the opportunity; that is not bad news, it's simple fact. They also record the good that we would do if we had the opportunity.

The Lord Jesus has been appointed to be our Judge in the final judgment; chosen for the job because He has been one of us and can sympathize with us. Let's be profoundly thankful that we have this, another day, for repentance. The Lord Jesus wants all of us to be saved, says 1 Timothy 2:3, 4. He is on our side; thank Him today that He is your Friend.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: March 16, 2009.
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