Friday, April 6, 2012

HOLY WEEK ACTION POINTS - GOOD FRIDAY


ARTHUR BLESSITT IN EYGPT

BEYOND THE CROSS.....
My good friend from work, Joe C., was stationed in Germany, while serving in the United States Air Force during the 1970's, when he was led to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ by the famed Navigators. One summer, on the way to the coast of France for some vacation with some other Air Force buddies, he came across this man carrying a Cross just outside of Madrid, Spain!


ARTHUR BLESSITT IN RUSSIA
Stopping to talk to him, Joe found it this man was Arthur Blessitt, a wonderful American who has walked and talked the Cross in every nation of the world, over 44 years! Blessitt was already well known in Christian circles during the Jesus Movement of the 1970s, during which even pop singer Bob Dylan claimed to be "born again". Of course, Dylan was never really saved, but caught up in the emotion of the moment. Arthur  is listed in the Guinness World Records for the world's longest walk over 39,671 miles, through 319 countries & major island groups in those 44 years*. He began to carry the Cross in 1968, after hearing the Call of God, from his Hollywood, California church!


Joe followed Blessitt into Madrid where he was welcomed by small evangelical churches. Joe was at one of these services. Blessitt mentioned this visit in his book and movie "The Cross" because it was here a religious mob attacked and roughed up! Some 30 years later, Joe would make me a Cross like the one he saw Arthur carrying. It weighed 65 pounds and the first time I carried it was in October 2007, when I joined my good friend Randy H. who had just finished walking with a wheelbarrow of tracts from Peoria to Springfield, Illinois over 5 days, stopping in small towns to share the Gospel. He and I prayed and walked the wheel barrow and my Cross three miles, from the outskirts of town, to the Illinois State Capitol, where we prayed again.


WALKING MY CROSS IN
 SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS IN 2007
While the two of us were praying at the Capitol steps, we were chased off the public sidewalk by gung-ho State police who said the two of us needed a permit to have a meeting there! We did not argue with them, but moved away, shaking our heads. This is a minor incident, but typical of what sold-out believers and disciples of Christ have faced since the Resurrection and will continue to be confronted with until He returns in Glory!


So as we look back and trace how we got to this point, let's take a brief look at what happened on that first "Good Friday":


At the appointed hour on Passover, the Shofar blasted from the Temple each year that the annual Passover lamb was sacrificed, according to the Law. This time was designated by Almighty God Himself, King of the Universe in Exodus 12:6 as between "two evenings" or 3PM on our Good Friday! This signified to the Jewish people that the Passover Lamb was indeed slain and sacrificed at the Altar for the sins of the people.


This time it was different! At 3pm, which we remember today as Good Friday, the Passover Lamb was indeed slain, but there was an earthquake in Jerusalem! The ground shook and the things began falling off the walls in the Temple. Then, the mortal Jewish high priest lost his job forever, as the 45 foot high, 3 feet thick Temple Veil, was ripped completely in half from top to bottom! 

Jesus Christ is now OUR High Priest. We may have Pastors and Apostles and Deacons and Bible teachers, but we only have ONE High Priest and He lives/sits on the Right Hand of God for Eternity!



No mortal man could have done this. God Himself made it known that the Holy of Holies was open 24/7/365 to anyone...to everyone, when He ripped that Temple veil! Why? Because the ultimate Passover Lamb - King Jesus - died on that day, that we may live and have complete access to the Throne, if we are part of His family. So we look BEYOND the Cross of Christ, and we see this - ANOTHER CROSS - the Cross we are meant to carry!


This time, it's ours! If we want to follow Him and be His, we must pick up our own Cross, die to ourselves....and only then, can we be His Disciple! It may not be the same actual physical stuff which I carried in 2007 or Arthur Blessitt has for 44 years, but it is the Lifestyle of Daily Dying to self, so that we may live in the Image and Spirit of the Living God, Who saved us on Friday 14 Nisen (April 3) 33AD, when He said His Last Words "It is Finished".


ACTION POINTS:


- It has just begun for us, therefore, are you willing to decrease that He might increase (John 3:30)
- Do you know what it really means to "die daily"?
- A pastor in Iran is under a death sentence right now for being a Christian. He was told if he renounced Christ, they will let him live as a moslem! He will not. In 2006, Fox News reports Steve Centanni and his cameraman Olaf Wiig were captured by Hamas, and they renounced Christianity in order to hang on to their mortal lives. Which one of these examples do you identify with?
- If you made a decision to stand up for Jesus, no matter what, are you ready for the consequences, even in your own family?


(some images via google)
* -  Arthur Blessitt's website
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