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The Cross – Truth or a Joke?

Voice of the Kingfisher speaks out  from a different perspective                                                           by Elinor Montgomery The Cross – Truth or a Joke?March 17, 2008 If the cross is not truth, but rather is a joke on mankind, then the joke is on me, and I am the fool. However, if the cross is the truth and it is not a joke, then that makes the non-believer the fool. There is only one way to establish the truth. The Bible credentials itself with prophecy, which only God can put into the Word as the Alpha and the Omega – the One Who knows the beginning from the end. No man, no false god, or any religious book has credentials like the Bible has for those who trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus on the cross.  2 Timothy: 3 tells us that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. The apostle John declares that Jesus is the Word made flesh, and Jesus, Himself, declares that He is truth. If He is not Who He says He is, then He has to be, what we would call today, “completely out to lunch”. However, fulfilled prophecy does not allow us to doubt His truthfulness, and in so doing, by simple equation, we must accept the Bible as truth. Consider this! By superimposing Psalm 22 over the writings of the gospels, it is fascinating to take a walk through the events of the cross by way of fulfilled prophecy. This psalm was written by King David about 1,000 years before Jesus was crucified.  He wrote – My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?  Mark records in his gospel the words of Jesus on the cross – “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me (Mark 15:34)?” The psalmist further wrote – A reproach of men, and despised of the people. All those who see Me laugh Me to scorn; Luke writes – And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine (Luke 23:36). In psalm 69:21 it is stated – And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.  David continues to write in psalm 22 – “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!” Luke wrote – “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God (Luke 23:35).” The psalm declares – They pierced My hands and My feet. That was a part of the crucifixion, and the doubting apostle Thomas was shown the nail holes in the body of the risen Christ.  Again, David, the psalmist says – They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots. Matthew writes – Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet (Matthew 27:35). Matthew continues by referring back to the above words of Psalm 22:18. Can we be absolutely certain that this Man called Jesus on the cross was the same Man of whom the prophets spoke as being the Messiah? Well, the prophet Micah leaves us very little room for doubt as he describes the Judge of Israel, Whom they will strike with a rod on the cheek: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (Micah 5:2).”  These words were written approximately 730 years before Christ was born in Bethlehem. This is the passage of the Old Testament, which Judaic Rabbis eliminate from their readings of Scripture, according to Dr. Randy Weiss, the host of CrossTalk International, and an expert on Judaic practices. Now, the hard-hearted are always difficult to convince, as Jesus well knew, and the Pharisees of Judaism, who led the Lamb to the slaughter, were about as hard-hearted as they come while reciting the words of the prophets whom their fathers before them killed. To this day, it is the practice of the Judaic Rabbis to read Isaiah: chapter 52 and Isaiah: chapter 54, while conveniently skipping over and omitting Isaiah: chapter 53.  However, the Dead Sea Scrolls, perfect to the letter, and found intact after having been written, at the very latest, about 200 years before Christ was born, clearly identify the crucifixion in prophecy. Isaiah’s original writings were only written about 400 years prior to the writing of the Scrolls, making the historicity of them as nearly perfect as any ascribed to any text of ancient Scriptures.  Certainly, the prophecy of the cross is rendered solid by the writing of Isaiah, as follows: Who has believed our report?And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,And as a root out of dry ground.He has no form or comeliness;And when we see Him,There is no beauty that we should desire Him.He is despised and rejected by men,A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefsAnd carried our sorrows;Yet we esteemed Him stricken,Smitten by God, and afflicted.But He was wounded for our transgressions,He was bruised for our iniquities;The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,And by His stripes we are healed.All we like sheep have gone astray;We have turned, every one, to his own way;And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted,Yet He opened not His mouth;He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,So He opened not his mouth.He was taken from prison and from judgment,And who will declare His generation?For He was cut off from the land of the living;For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.And they made His grave with the wicked –But with the rich at His death,Because He had done no violence,Nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;He has put Him to grief.When You make His soul an offering for sin,He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.He shall see the travail of His soul, and be satisfied.By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,For He shall bear their iniquities.Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,Because He poured out His soul unto death,And He was numbered with the transgressors,And He bore the sin of many,And made intercession for the transgressors.          (Isaiah: chapter 53) Could the prophet Isaiah know and write such prophecy any other way than by the Spirit of the Lord leading his pen? On this note I rest my case for the cross, for the believer and for the fool. The death of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection are no joke, but rather one of the best documented pieces of ancient history that ever existed, with the incredible discovery of the preserved book of Isaiah in this past century.  That which Christians call Easter is really the fulfillment of the Passover, so that we might come out of our captivity in death to cross over into the freedom of life, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Do not allow the enemy to rob you of this incredible gift with which you have been blessed. All you have to do is claim it. Winning the lottery is a remote possibility at best, and is nothing but paper having a limited lifetime value. One cannot put a dollar value on the  gift of the cross, for it is both priceless and eternal, and is freely given to all and anyone who wants to receive it.  Rejoice and be grateful for the breath of life God breathed into you! He is Jesus on the cross Who says you do not need to lose it, for He has taken your place in death so that you might live eternally with Him in His kingdom here on earth. I would hate to be the fool who misses out on this incredible gift of the cross because I thought it was all just a joke on mankind.