After the flood God gave Noah a new command.
“Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image.” (Genesis 9:6)
Despite the fact that capital punishment was commanded by God many Christians believe it should be abolished. One argument they use is that killing a person closes the door to any hope that he will repent of his sins and be saved. Yet the Bible tells of a case where capital punishment opened the door to salvation for one man.
When Jesus was crucified two others were crucified with him.
“Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.” (Matthew 27:38-44)
But one of the robbers changed his mind about Jesus.
“One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”” (Luke 23:39-44)
Even though he was dying he put his faith in Jesus and received the assurance that would be in Paradise that same day.
Have you ever thought about what his fate would have been if he had not been captured and executed by the Romans? He clearly didn’t believe in Jesus before he was sentenced. Perhaps he would have lived out his life and died without having his sins forgiven and been condemned to eternity in the lake of fire. The Romans took his physical life but opened the door for him to receive eternal life.
God has never promised that his children will be wealthy in this life but he has promised that we will have everything we need.
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
Because he has promised never to forsake us we don’t need to be concerned about how much money we have. He will give us what we need when we need it. If we don’t have something we would like to have it means we don’t need it so we can be content with what we have, no matter how little that is. Read the rest of this entry
The apostle Paul attached great importance to the crucifixion of Jesus. Here are two things he said about it:
I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2)
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. (1 Peter 1:10,11)
The Old Testament prophets tell us of the suffering Christ experienced when he was crucified; they tell us of the glory associeated with his rule over the earth during the Millennium. But what do they say about the time between these two events, the time in which we are living now? The answer is: not much. In fact they say nothing about the most important aspect of this era, the formation of the church. The apostle Paul was given the task of revealing this truth to us.
When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (Ephesians 3:4-6)
The Old Testament teaches that Gentiles will be saved; it never tells of the formation of a new body composed of both Jews and Gentiles. Paul not only teaches us about this body but he also tells how it will be removed from the earth through the event known as the rapture. Read the rest of this entry
Before his arrest Jesus prayed that if it were possible he might avoid being crucified.
And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed,saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (Luke 22:39-46)
He wanted to avoid the crucifixion but he submitted to God’s will and as you know it was God’s will for him to be crucified. Read the rest of this entry
Crucifixion is one of the most painful methods of execution ever devised. Here is an article that describes Christ’s crucifixion and also the suffering he experienced before it.
He knew before his arrest what he would endure. Is it any wonder that he prayed that God would enable him to avoid it if that were possible?
And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
He wanted to avoid the pain of being crucified but he wanted even more to do God’s will. His death was the only way human sin could be atoned for, so in the end he submitted to being put to death. Read the rest of this entry
When Jesus was being crucified his enemies added insults to the injuries he was suffering by challenging him to prove the claims he had made about himself by coming down from the cross. Even the two criminals who were being crucified with him joined in.
And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,save yourself, and come down from the cross!”
So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.”
Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.
A short time later one of the criminals experienced a change of heart.
One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”
And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Here is what Wikipedia says about the shroud of Turin.
The Shroud of Turin is a length of linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered physical trauma in a manner consistent with crucifixion. There is no consensus yet on exactly how the image was created, and it is believed by many to be the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth.
Scientists have studied the shroud and haven’t been able to determine whether or not the image is that of Jesus but there is another way to answer the question. That is to study what the Bible says about what Jesus was buried in and see if it matches the description of the shroud. John’s gospel give us the information we need.
Two days before Easter we observe Good Friday as the day on which Jesus was crucified. For anyone who is familiar with Jesus’ predictions about his death and resurrection this raises a problem. He said that just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights he would be in the earth three days and three nights. But how could this be if he was crucified on Friday and resurrected on Sunday? Friday, Saturday, and Sunday make up three days but there are only two nights.