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April 16, 2014
By Pastor ROGER LEMKE , Pine Island Eagle

Good Friday is the Day of the Cross. Some Christians carry a cross in their purses or in their pockets. Others wear them on charm bracelets or necklaces. Others have them on their dashboards or walls. Churches have crosses on their steeple and on or above their altars.

Christians love to sing hymns about the cross like: "In the Cross of Christ I Glory," "The Old Rugged Cross" or "Beneath the Cross of Jesus" and many, many others.

The cross is a symbol of the Christian faith. Isn't that remarkable that a tool of torture and execution becomes the pride of our faith? But I can think of something even more remarkable, the Gospel of John begins: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was GodAnd the Word became flesh and lived among us" (Jn. 1:1, 14). Isn't that remarkable? God swapped eternity for calendars. When Jesus came to earth, He heard for the first time a phrase never used in heaven: "Your time is up." As a child, He had to leave the temple because his time was up (Lk. 2:41-50). As a man, He had to leave Nazareth because His time was up (Lk. 4:15ff). And as a Savior, Jesus had to die because His time was up (Matt. 27:49). For 33 years, the stallion of heaven lived in the corral of time. That's certainly remarkable, but there is something even more so.

The most remarkable thing about the One who gave up the crown of heaven for a crown of thorns is that He did it for you. Just for you. Why? Because you are God's personal, priceless possession (1 Peter 2:9). When you look at the cross remember that Jesus suffered and died for you so that you could be redeemed, called by name, and will be always and forevermore lovingly, passionately, eternally God's.

Roger Lemke is pastor of Fisher's of Men Lutheran Church, 10360 Stringfellow Road. Call 239-283-1170.



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