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"He gave His life freely for us"

Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 29 March 2013 _dsc2577.jpg (77746 bytes) _dsc2607.jpg (125776 bytes)


Let us look what our Lord went through that last evening. Jesus made the way of salvaltion possible for us. We were all headed for damnation but because of the Lord there's a way out. He made that wonderful ultimate sacrifice for your sins and my sins.

In 'Assembly Annals' Dr. H. A. Cameron relates the following incident:

'Over in Scotland it used to be the custom in the time of harvest for the women in farming districts to help in making and binding the sheaves after the mower had cut down the grain. On one occasion, a mother named Hannah Lamond, offered her services in that time of labour and to make the work easier took with her her little child, thinking that she could place it safely within easy reach where she could look at it now and then. But, busily occupied as everyone was, the reapers did not notice that an eagle which had its nest on a nearby mountain, had swooped down and snatched the sleeping child from its little bed among the sheaves, and carried it off, flying with its talons firmly fixed in the child's clothing. However, it had not risen far when the anguished cry went up: 'The eagle has taken awa' Hannah Lamond's bairn.'

'Consternation took hold of the men and women, and in their commotion they ran as rescuers to the foot of the rock where high up the eagle had its eyrie, and to which it had transported the child to become food for its eaglets. Some of the men made a valiant effort to scale the face of the rock but unable to get a footing they fell back defeated, and it seemed a hopeless task to recover the bairn before it would be destroyed by the eagle and torn to pieces. Among the men there was a sailor accustomed to climbing places where there was but little foothold, and he did his best to ascend that precipitous cliff, but after a vigorous endeavour he also gave up the attempt and acknowledged himself beaten. The people were frantic, yet helpless, and the child's case seemed absolutely hopeless.

'But who is this that now essays to do what all others had failed to accomplish? It is Hannah Lamond. Impelled by mother love she begins to ascend that vertical rock, and bit by bit, here and there finding a little projection upon which to place her foot, she gradually rises away from the plain, and at last accomplishes the seemingly impossible by reaching the eagle's nest. There the bird of prey with flapping wings and powerful beak, tries to beat her back and keep its victim, now lying in the nest among the eaglets, but, desperate though the bird's efforts are, they are not equal to the courage and determination of the mother of the child as she rescues it from death and destruction.

She now begins the more perilous descent, more difficult far than the first journey, and, marvelous to tell, she comes back as surely if not as swiftly as before. And great is the rejoicing among her friends, as they welcome her returning safe and sound from her heroic and dangerous and valorous task, another proof that "love will find a way" where everything else fails.' (John 15. 13; Rom. 5. 6-8; Gal. 2. 20) - from

The Lord Jesus went through much more for us because of His great love for us! The veil was rent in two so that we can have access to God.

Today we celebrate passover where the passover lamb of one year was slain.

Matt 26
30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

After they had celebrated the passover and eaten of the fruit of the vine, they sung a hymn. Soon Judas Iscariot would betray Him and the others would be scattered and deny Him, yet He sang this song of thanksgiving. Traditionally the Jews sang Ps 115-118 during Passover.

It's noteworthy that altough the Lord knew He was going to suffer and experience hell itself, yet He sang this song of thanksgiving. What about you? Can you sing in difficulty and even death itself, or do you complain? It was the darkest hour and yet He sang this song of thanksgiving. Why? He said to them that it was the last time He would drink of the fruit of the vine until He would drink it anew in heaven. He was already focusing on what He would experience thereafter.

Luke 23
26 And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.

27 And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.

28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.

29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.

30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.

31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?

A great multitude followed the Lord Jesus, and many were weeping. He asked them why they were weeping, and told them that they should rather weep for themselves and their own children. Mothers have you cried for yourself and your children?

I fail to understand it when I see parents totally unaffected by their children who don't follow the Lord! Do you not love them?

A certain parent said that he couldn't do anything about his child for his child had to make the decision for itself. That's nonsense for then you have to take extra care so the child who hasn't yet decided to follow the Lord, will do so.

Jesus was the green wood. If He had to suffer like this because of your sin how much more will you have to suffer for your own sin, you who have been dried out because of your sin!

Simon the Cyrenian was from Africa. He had come from working in his field, and probably stayed near Jerusalem. We don't know what made him move from Africa. He was the father of Alexander and Rufus. He didn't want to get involved but they forced him. Some say that something special had happened that day for we read that Alexander later defended Paul and we also read of Rufus in the early church. If you choose the Lord and carry the cross then even your family is blest. God doesn't forget what you have done for His name. We also read of the mother, of whom Paul said that she was like a mother to him! Men your families can be blessed or cursed because of you.

Jesus said to us we should carry our cross daily! A person who carries his cross has no rights. Do you still have rights? It's a life of self denial.

Paul even said, "I die daily", and Jesus prayed, "not my will but Your will be done". If you do not carry your cross daily you cannot be His disciple.

Jesus carried His cross and sang even though He knew it would be His death. He gave Himself willingly, not because they forced Him.

Jesus died because of the love He had for you and me. Have you felt that love?

The high priest sent the soldiers to arrest Him, but they were no match for Him. When Judas betrayed Him in the garden, He still asked them whom they were seeking and when He told them that He was the one, they all fell over backwards. He also said to Peter that He could call on legions of angels instantly for His defence. By that He showed that He laid down His life willingly and that they were no match for Him.

He willingly laid down His life for you and me, so that we could be freed from our sins.

That's why He could be so calm and sang with His disciples.

What does this mean to you? What does it do to your soul?

You need to decide if you will remain as you are after you've heard this, or will you make the decision for the Lord now even if you've never made it before - or renew it and examine if you've kept your promise if you've done it before.


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