What My Savior Did for Me
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students to reach their world.
Helping youth leaders empower
students to reach their world.

What My Savior Did for Me

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They crucified Him (Mark 15:44).

Just three simple words, right? But please – don’t let the brevity and simplicity of this sentence lessen the fact that these may be the most powerful words in the universe.

They…

Who?  The Roman soldiers?  The Jews?

Yes, but you were there, and so was I.  It was our sin and rebellion that places us in the crowd of mocking and jeering bystanders calling out for His death.  Never forget that the hands that swung the hammer down to nail Jesus’ hands and feet to the cross are no more stained with His blood than yours.

Crucified…

The people in Jesus’ day who heard this would instantly connect with one of the most gruesome forms of capital punishment ever devised, but since we are 2000 years removed from this grisly procedure, read the description that is captured in the word “crucified” and carefully imagine our Savior as He endured the hours of deep suffering:

The cross is placed on the ground and the exhausted man is quickly thrown backwards with his shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flex and movement. The cross is then lifted into place.

The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees flexed. The victim is now crucified. As he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain–the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As he pushes himself upward to avoid the stretching torment, he places the full weight on the nail through his feet. Again he feels the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the bones of his feet.

As the arms fatigue, cramps sweep through the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push himself upward to breathe. Air can be drawn into the lungs but not exhaled. He fights to raise himself in order to get even one small breath. Finally carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream. Spasmodically he is able to push himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen.

Hours of this…pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from his lacerated back as he moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins: a deep, crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.

It is now almost over – the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level – the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues – the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. He can feel the chill of death creeping through his tissues…finally he can allow his body to die.
(Source: The Essence of the Cross, by Jack Peters, http://www.expositoryechoes.org/.)

And yes, He did allow His body to die so that we could be allowed into heaven and a personal and permanent relationship with-

Him…

Jesus Christ.  God in the flesh. The Savior who healed the sick and restored sight to the blind.  The innocent one who took the guilt and shame of the world and died of a broken heart.  He chose to give up his life rather than live without us.

“They crucified Him”- don’t take these words for granted this Easter, and remember that shortly after these words comes the phrase that takes the darkness of Good Friday and completely dispels it with the light of resurrection Sunday: He is risen from the dead! (Mark 16:6).

On that glorious and death-shattering day, Jesus proved for all time and eternity that humankinds’ greatest need had been met.  When Jesus walked out of His own grave, it meant that our sin and guilt was buried in the tomb forever.  There is freedom in this life and the promise of heaven for all time to come for those who accept the gift of salvation that was purchased on that first Easter Sunday.

Yes, we crucified Him, but He is risen from the dead!  Don’t keep this wonderful news to yourself this Easter season.  Look for opportunities to share the gospel and further THE Cause as if you were a kid trying to gather in as many Easter eggs as your little fingers could grasp!

(Source: The Essence of the Cross, by Jack Peters, http://www.expositoryechoes.org/.)

Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action

Easter gives us arguably the best opportunity all year to share the good news of Jesus Christ with our friends and family.  Many people think that Christianity is just another religion, but the crucifixion/resurrection account demonstrates that we are in a relationship that is based on love and commitment.  May God give you great opportunity and success in living THE Cause this Easter!

Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause

Pray: Jesus, how can we ever thank you enough for the pain and suffering you endured for us?  Give us a broken heart and a thankful spirit for your crucifixion and resurrection from the dead, and may we be as bold as the disciples when they saw you face to face that first Easter.

Read: 1 Corinthians 15:16-19. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

 

Youth Leader’s Discussion Questions:

Big Idea:

It is easy for us to take for granted what Jesus did for us on the cross, so we must remember with a broken heart what He accomplished on our behalf, and go forward with thankfulness and boldness in living for THE Cause of Cause – especially during the Easter season.

Key Scripture:

Matthew 25:31-46

ALT-ernative Questions:

Why do we oftentimes take Jesus’ sacrifice for granted?

How does reading about His sacrifice impact your view of Easter?

How can you show your appreciation for what Jesus did for you?

What other ways could you apply this Soul Fuel to living out THE Cause in your world?

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