We preach Christ crucified - Pastor Johnny Nidhiry
1 Corinthians 1/23:
“But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews
a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness.”
As a traditional Christian I never knew from childhood why Jesus had to die on a cross. As a young boy I used to feel sad seeing Jesus crucified on the cross and tried to take out his nails from the cross so that Jesus could escape. In my early life though I went to church, I never knew the reason for the crucifixion of Christ.
The Spirit of God alone can reveal the truth about the purpose of Jesus’ death and resurrection to any human being. Many churches worship the crucified Christ; but the truth is that today the cross is empty and Jesus has been raised from the dead to live forever.
Jesus death and resurrection is a comforting message to people for whom there is no hope of eternal life after the physical death on this planet earth. I am submitting this humble message with a prayer that your hearts be open to the plan that God has for the world through the death of Jesus on the cross.
Controversy of the crucifixion
The crucifixion of Jesus has always been a controversy. First there was the controversy whether Jesus should be crucified or a murderer called Barabbas should be hanged on the cross. The Jews voice proved stronger.
Later the criminals hanging to the left and right side of Jesus on the cross got into a controversy whether Jesus deserved to be on the cross. One secured a place in Paradise because he believed in Jesus innocent death on the cross.
After Jesus death there was a controversy among the people - some said he was a righteous man, others said he was a prophet, while a few said he was the Son of God.
After Jesus burial and resurrection from the tomb, the Jews bribed the Roman soldiers and they spread the news that his body was stolen by his disciples. This created another controversy in Israel.
Today there are is a teaching which says Judas was crucified instead of Jesus and God took Jesus away before his crucifixion
Mystery of Cross
After the resurrection of Jesus, the reason of his death on cross was still a mystery for many people including his disciples. The reason for his crucified death was expounded by Jesus himself to the disciples who were on their way to Emmaus. Once they received this revelation one of them confessed saying “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road and while He opened the Scriptures to us” (Ref: Luke 24/32). This was a truth hidden to mankind for centuries till the time it was revealed by Jesus himself.
Today there are few things which are still hard to be accepted by the people who have not received Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.
The Virgin birth of Jesus
The fact that Jesus is the son of God
The crucifixion & resurrection of Jesus
The crucifixion is still a mystery to many people whose spiritual eyes are blind. 1 Corinthians 1/23 says there are two types of people to whom the crucifixion was not revealed during the time of the apostles
The Jews represent the religious minded people who have preconceived notions of age old faith. To these, this message is a stumbling block.
The Greeks represent the intellectuals of this world to whom this message seems foolishness.
From the time of Adam till the crucifixion of Jesus the truth of salvation remained a mystery to mankind with the exception of a few chosen prophets to whom God spoke in visions and revelations.
The Jews expected the coming Messiah to be a great king like David who would restore the lost glory of Israel. The Jews could not believe that a savior King could die on a cross like a criminal. There are other religious sects who cannot accept the fact that a savior could take the form of a servant and die like a common man. Jesus death will still remain a mystery to them unless God opens their heart in the due time.
In 1 Corinthians 2/6 states “We speak wisdom in a mystery, hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory”
The truth cannot be revealed by human beings but as 1 Corinthians 2/10 says “God revealed this through his Spirit” and again 1 Corinth 2/14 states” Natural man cannot understand this and this can only be spiritually discerned”.
Killing the Author of Life
When God created man, his plan was to give eternal life to human mankind. Death was never Gods plan for human race. When Satan tricked Adam and Eve to sin against God, death crept into the world.
When Adam and Eve were evicted out of the heavenly abode, God did not allow Adam and Eve to come near the Tree of Life. Genesis 3/24 says He kept two flaming swords which turned every way and guarded the Tree of Life. Jesus was the Author of eternal life which Adam lost through sin. Jesus in John 10/10 says “I have come to give you life and life in all its abundance”.
When Jesus came into the earth, God allowed one revelation to be known to the satanic world, the revelation that Jesus was the Son of God. But Satan has tried to hide this revelation from mankind in every possible way from that age till today. We see this many times when Jesus delivered demon possessed people and the demonic spirits came out confessing that Jesus was the Son of the living God.
God purposely did not reveal to Satan the reason for allowing Jesus to die on the cross. Otherwise Satan would have tried all means to hinder the crucifixion of Jesus in the hands of the Roman soldiers.
Satan knew that the Savior would come one day to save mankind from sin and death. But he had no idea about how he would ultimately accomplish this purpose. But he was lying in wait to destroy the coming Messiah who was one with God the Father. Satan successfully killed and wounded many prophets who came and preached about the coming Messiah.
Jesus spoke a parable about a master who gave his vineyard to some people for lease. Though he sent his servants to the vineyard, the workers of the vineyard chased them away. Finally the owner of the vineyard sends his only son. But they did not spare him either because they thought they could take full ownership of the vineyard. Jesus was depicting the plan that the devil has against God and his anointed through this parable.
Satan never knew that he was digging his own grave for his eternal death when he crucified Jesus through the Jews and the Romans. 1 Corinth 2/8 says “If the rulers of this age knew this, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory”.
When Peter healed a lame man he said in Acts 3/15 - “You killed the prince of life whom God raised from the dead”.
Crucifixion - Is it a saving message or a perishing message to you?
The message of the cross was a block to the traditional faith of the Jews and foolishness to many of the intellectuals. For others who are genuinely seeking to be restored back to Heaven this message of crucifixion is a saving message.
1 Corinth 1/18 says “The cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. But for those who are being saved it is the power of God”
Again 1 Corinth 1/ 23 says “For Jews it is a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness and to Jews and Greeks who are called by God it is the power and Wisdom of God.”
Once God reveals this truth to a person he comes to realize the great love of God for mankind and the infinite wisdom of God. He also realizes the only way to save mankind lies in this untold mystery.
Psalms 118/22 & later in Acts 4/11 say The Stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone. This was the Lords doing and it is marvelous in our eyes. The builders mentioned here is none other than the Jews who were the people called to be Gods own people. The chief corner stone mentioned here was none other than Jesus and his crucifixion was a marvelous plan of God to save the human mankind
How can the crucifixion message save souls?
The death of Jesus was depicted in the Bible right from the time of Adam. God made tunics of skin which many believe is the foreshadowing of the death of an animal to cover the guilt of Adam and Eve when they sinned against their own creator.
A person who sins before God will die eternally which means his soul will be lost from reaching the presence of God which is his eternal destiny. If a person sins, an act is required to restore him back to God. God instituted life for life after sin came into the world. If a person commits a sin, a life has to be offered up as an act of repentance and restoration. Hence an animal’s blood was commanded to be shed by the sinner to prove this point as living beings life is in the blood.
The shedding of blood has continued on from the time of Adams fall till when Jesus the Lamb of God offered an eternal sacrifice by shedding his own blood. The animal’s blood could not give freedom to a human being and set his conscience free form sin. The reason was that the sin which made him to do an act of rebellion against God was in his mind as a behavior and in his blood as an inheritance from his forefathers.
God’s plan as the author of life was to demonstrate this once for all by the shedding of pure and innocent blood void of sin eternally for mankind. The Bible in John 1/14 says “The Word became flesh and dwelt among men”. Jesus became the second Adam and as first Adam lost his birth right once he became a slave to Satan’s plans. Jesus became the second Adam to make amends for the mistakes done. Adam also was called the son of God as God had created him and for the same reason Jesus is called the son of God as he came from God. The difference in the two Adams is as shown
Many prophets foretold Jesus’ death on the cross centuries back and all the prophecies without even one exception have been fulfilled. The most prominent of these prophesies can be found in Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22. Isaiah and David saw the Lord crucified as in a vision. Isaiah states centuries back in the verse 53/6 “The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all”
The shedding of blood which God purposed to do was shown in various instances in the Old Testament. Many bible scholars call this as “The scarlet thread of redemption”. Different sacrifices were depicted in the Bible through different kinds of blood sacrifices instituted for different kinds of sin. Jesus was called “The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” by John the Baptist who was the forerunner of Jesus Christ called to prepare the people for his first coming.
Few of the instances of sacrifice and the blood to be shed were
The call of Abraham to sacrifice his only promised son Isaac
The lamb slaughtered in the Passover to set Israelites free from Egyptian bondage
The sacrificial animals in the laws and testimonies of Moses
The scarlet thread Rahab tied down on the wall during the fall of Jericho
And many others……
John 3/16 considered to be one of the central themes of the Gods saving plan says “God loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”. Jesus overcame death and was resurrected with a new body and was the called first born from among the dead. Death had no power on his new body which represents the new eternal physical self which God promises a believer.
Paul who persecuted the early Christians came into an intimate relationship with the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ stated in 1 Corinth 2/2” I determined to know nothing other than Jesus and him who was crucified”
Jesus Christ exalted for his Finished Work on the cross
Jesus offered himself as a sacrificial offering for you, me and any repenting sinner seeking Gods face. Though Jesus came in complete humility and submission to God the Father rejected by men; he was exalted by God as stated in the following verses.
Philippians 2 / 5:11 - Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father
The few pages of these scriptural insights need volumes to be written to be elaborated in detail. God loves you and desires your soul to be saved to live with him in heaven for eternity.
Jesus in his final commandments says “Go and preach this to nations and whoever believes will have the opportunity to partake in the everlasting life God prepared for you and me”.
Today as many are afraid or shy to confess Jesus crucified to unbelievers, it’s our privilege to proclaim this saving message to nations. If this message touches your hearts please contact us through telephone or email or in person and we will be glad to share the heart of God with you.
We preach Christ crucified
Pastor Johny Nidhiri currently is based in Dubai, UAE serving the Lord while working in the area of IT Software Consulting. He was brought up in a strong Catholic religious background during his early years and later came into the saving revelation knowledge of Christ through the Christian revival movements starting with the Charismatic movement which happened in South India state of Kerala during the mid 1990’s
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