Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | April 3, 2015

April 3, 2015 “The Crux Of The Matter”

“Let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame.” (Hebrews 12: 1-2)

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Good Morning and Good Friday Everyone!

   Most of us can remember a particular teacher from grade school, high school, college, or perhaps even Sunday school, that stands out in our mind for some particular reason. For me, it was my high school English teacher, Miss Zeller. Miss Zeller could be intimidating, demanding, humorous, and at times, downright frightening. All these qualities made her quite unforgettable. But most importantly, they made her an effective teacher. The very fact that I am able to complete these daily compositions in a way that makes them comprehensible to those of you that kindly devote a few passing minutes of your busy day to actually read them and ponder them is attributable in no small measure to her ability as a teacher. Thank you, Miss Zeller.

   Among other things I learned from her was to appreciate word derivations. Two of my favorites are the words “enthusiastic” and “amusement.” The word “enthusiastic” is a combination of the Greek words “En”, a prefix meaning “In”, and “Theos”, meaning “God”. To be enthusiastic literally means to be “in God.” Knowing that makes me all the more appreciative of the quality of “enthusiasm.”  The second word I like, also composed of two Greek words is “amusement”, composed of the Greek prefix “A”, meaning “not”, and the word “muse”, meaning “to think.” Amusement, then, literally means “not to think.”  If you’ve ever gone to an amusement park and seen some of those outrageous rides that populate them, you’ll have a new appreciation for the word, as do I.

   There is one more word I’d like you to consider today. It is the word “crux”. This word means “the decisive or most important point at issue.” It comes to us from the Latin word for “Cross”. Today, Christians around the world recognize this day as “Good Friday”, the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. Do you see the word within the word? Crucifixion, and our word “excruciating” meaning “extreme, unbearable pain”, are both derived from the same root word “crux”, or “Cross”.  There should be no surprise that it is the Cross that is the most predominate symbol of Christianity. It is the decisive, most important focal point of all human history…the “crux” of the matter! Without the cross, all humanity would be relegated to eternal separation from the altogether Holy presence of the Almighty. It is the “Word of the Cross” that was proclaimed by the apostles. It is the Word of the Cross that has never diminished in its power to transform lives. It is the Word of the Cross that will ever remain the decisive, most important focal point of human history. It was, is, and ever shall be the “crux of the matter.” Let’s pray!

O Lord, you once said “I, when I be lifted up from the earth , shall draw all men unto me.” Draw me nearer to You this Good Friday, Lord. Draw me nearer to that which brings me forgiveness, redemption, and life everlasting. This I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen!

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