Saturday, December 1, 2012

Crucifixion: Triplets of Sacrifice



When putting up the outdoor Nativity last year, my husband Richard was inspired to make a wooden cross and place it behind the Baby Jesus. This made perfect sense to me, as He was born to die. The Son of God wrapped Himself in human flesh (John 1:2) to become the perfect sacrifice to pay our sin debt, to reconcile sinful man to Holy God through His death on the cross.

As we continue our study of triplets in Scripture, echoing God’s Triune nature, we find the same pattern repeated in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, just as it was in His birth. All of Christian doctrine, and our blessed hope of eternal life and of His glorious reappearing (Titus 2:13; 1 Peter 1:3), hinges on the sacred triplet of His death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

After the trial presided over by Herod, Jesus was led away to be crucified, and Simon of Cyrene was recruited to carry His cross. This was not because the Jews and Romans had any shred of mercy for Jesus, but because they did not want Him to die before He was crucified, so that He would be a public example of what would happen to traitors and blasphemers.

The crowd following Jesus cried out in anguish over their fallen Leader, but Jesus told them, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children, and warned them that they would undergo a tribulation so severe that they would say blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. (Luke 23: 27-29)

Jesus was nailed to the cross at three points: one on each hand, and one at His feet. His resurrection body had three wounds from this ordeal that He invited the disciples and Thomas to examine: one on each hand, and one in His side (John 20:20). The inscription on His cross, calling Him the King of the Jews, was in three languages: Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew (Luke 23:38).

On Calvary’s hill that fateful day, there were three crosses, for the cross of Jesus was between that of two thieves (Matthew.27:38; Luke 23:33). These three represented the entire relationship of God with man: The Savior; those who accept Him; and those who reject Him (Luke 23:39-43).

Among those who rejected Him were passersby who mockingly reminded Jesus of His own words: Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself (Matthew 27:40). Sadly, they were unaware that His prophecy would be fulfilled as He willingly laid down the temple of His body to be destroyed, knowing that He would arise on the third day.

The crucifixion of Jesus began at the third hour (Mark 15 25) and was followed by three hours of darkness, from the sixth hour until the ninth hour. At that moment, Jesus cried out in a three-part lament: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Mark 15:33-34).

At the cross, the dying Savior, His closest apostle John, and His mother Mary became a triplet of compassion as Jesus asked John to care for His mother as if she were his own, and John accepted this awesome responsibility (John 19:26).

As we approach Christmas and our celebration of Jesus’ birth, may we do three things to honor Him.  First, may we be among those who accept Him as their Lord and Savior. Second, may we always remember His purpose in coming to earth – that through His death, burial and resurrection, all who trust Him may have eternal life! (John 3:16) And finally, may we be faithful to preach Christ, and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 1:23).


© 2012 Laurie Collett

Featured at Show Off Friday


 

43 comments:

  1. Hi Laurie,
    it is an honour to do those three things. Praise our lovely Lord.

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    1. Amen, Brenda, and Amen! God bless you!
      Laurie

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    1. Amen, Denise! Praise His Holy Name!
      Blessings,
      Laurie

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  3. I enjoyed your post! Thanks for sharing on Sweet Saturday (I was the co-host this week).

    Tammy
    ourneckofthewoods.net

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    1. Thanks, Tammy, for your visit, sweet comment, & for hosting!
      Have a blessed week!
      Laurie

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  4. This bad man on the cross, who accepted Jesus as Saviour in the last minute, is good example of God's justice. Some people think that it is immoral, that this bad man became saved, and 'good people' will not in Heaven. But there is only way to Kingdom - Jesus Christ. Greetings and blessing to You from snowy Cracow :)

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    1. Amen, Zim! He is the only Way, Truth and Life! None of us can earn our way to Heaven -- it is only by placing our faith in His death, burial and resurrection that we can have eternal life.
      God bless you,
      Laurie

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  5. I like the idea of the cross w/the nativity.

    Merry Christmas, Laurie!

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    1. Thanks, mail4rosey! May you have a blessed Christmas season!

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  6. The cross with the Nativity is a great idea. By isolating the birth from the cross, the world seeks to minimize who Christ is, making his birth just a that of a baby, not of the savior of the world.

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    1. Thanks, Donald! Will Farrell starred in a movie about a race car driver, and they showed him saying grace and thanking "little Baby Jesus." Mary Kay Place, who played his wife, said, "Well, he did grow up, you know." Those who focus exclusively on the Baby in the manger run the risk of forgetting that He was born to die as our Savior, and that He will come again as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  7. Another wonderful post Laurie! We must always remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. Have a good week.

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    1. Thanks so much, Judy! Amen -- let's keep it about Christ. May you have a blessed week in Him.
      Laurie

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  8. The Three's is an interesting study. Jesus is certainly the one who came to die so that we might live. Your husband was so thoughful to place a cross with the nativity scene. Thank you for sharing at "Tell Me a Story." Bob and Hazel

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    1. Thanks, Bob & Hazel, for your comment and for hosting. I'll let my hubby know he did good! :-)
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  9. New follower from Naptime Review! Sooo glad I found you. Hope you will hop over and follow back!

    www.heymommychocolatemilk.blogspot.com
    Really enjoyed this post and look forward to reading more!

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    1. Thanks so much for your sweet comment & for following! I'm following you back!
      Blessings to you,
      Laurie

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  10. Wow, how about that! Your husband's choice of decoration is so like what I just wrote about in today's and yesterday's posts, my husband's idea -- and my favorite decoration of all time.
    And this post is so interesting. So profound, the repeating things that we can see if we just take the time to look deeply into the word. Thanks for being my eyes!

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    1. Thank you, Sylvia, for your sweet words of encouragement! Praise God for husbands who follow Him and inspire us by heeding the Spirit's leading!
      Love in Him,
      Laurie

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  11. Laurie, Your posts are always so interesting. You have interesting insights. I've got to know, have you done studies on 5s or 7s? Or just 3s because God himself is a triplet? I'm assuming that's why you like 3s, but if it's not please enlighten me! Thank you for sharing and linking up with Simply Better.

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    1. Thanks so much, Leslie! Each number in the Bible has significance and is worthy of separate study -- 7 representing perfection or completion, and 8 new beginnings, for example. But you're right -- I decided to start my study with the number 3 because it represents the Trinity.
      May you have a blessed week in Him!
      Laurie

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  12. Just stopping over from Leslie's Simply Better. I'd love it if you'd stop over on Wednesdays at WholeHearted Home. I enjoy reading down through the posts that ladies share.

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    1. Thanks so much, Judith, for your comment & for following! I just linked up at WholeHearted Home.
      God bless you!
      Laurie

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  13. I think he cross is the perfect place to start as we enter Advent. Good thoughts, Laurie.

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    1. Amen, Laura -- as we kneel at the cross, it is the beginning of eternal life. Thanks for your comment & for hosting, & God bless!
      Laurie

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  14. I am visiting from the Sheltering Tree. Your post is before mine. I love this presentation of Jesus. We would not be celebrating Christmas if there had been no Easter. So it is only fitting to point to the cross now. Read about cheerful giving:
    http://www.thelostapron.com/2012/12/god-loves-a-cheerful-giver.html

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  15. Amen, Ana -- the birth of Jesus is remarkable because He was born to die as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, reconciling sinful man to Holy God. Thanks for your sweet comment and for inviting me to your blog, & God bless!
    Laurie

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  16. Every time I study the crucifixion I am overtaken with emotion. Great study!

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    1. Thanks so much, Samantha! It is so true, when we contemplate what He did and gave for us, how can we not be overcome with emotion.
      God bless you,
      Laurie

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  17. The birth of our savior is what Christmas is all about. Let us not forget that amongst the hustle and the bustle. I know that he died for our sins. Let us not forget that! Thanks for sharing with Share Your Cup.
    Hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Amen, Jann! He was born to die, that all who trust Him as Lord and Savior may live! Thanks for your comment & for hosting, & God bless!
      Laurie

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  18. Thanks for sharing at Sweet Saturday! Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Jessica, you too!
      Blessings,
      Laurie

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  19. Happy weekend Laurie!! Thanks for sharing with my NO RULES Weekend Blog Party :))

    Paula
    lifeasweknowitbypaula.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Paula, for your comment & for hosting!
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  20. Hello! Found you VIA the Aloha Bog Hop...i'm excited to keep reading your blog...new follower :)

    lolalucy09.blogspot.com

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    1. Welcome, Joan! Thanks so much for your comment & for following, & God bless!
      Laurie

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  21. Laurie, I especially liked the idea of a cross being placed behind the baby Jesus. What a great idea!! Thanks for linking up your post over at WholeHearted Home this past week. You posts are always so good and filled with God's Word.

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  22. Thanks, Judith, for your sweet comment and for hosting! I am blessed by your encouraging words.
    Love in Him,
    Laurie

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  23. Our God is so amazing! It never ceases to amaze me how tightly woven and infinitely meaningful His plan! Thank you for such a thoughtful post. (And for linking up with NOBH!) Smiles -

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    1. Amen, Amy! And what we see only scratches the surface -- we won't understand it fully until we reach Glory. Thanks for your lovely comment and for hosting, and may you & yours have a blessed Christmas!
      Laurie

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