THERE IS A GREEN HILL FAR AWAY (~
an Easter Hymn)
There is a green hill far away,
Beyond the city wall,
Where the dear Lord was crucified,
Who died to save us all.
We may not know,we can not tell,
What pains he had to bear;
We believe it was for us
He hung and suffered there.
He died that we might be forgiven;
He died to make us good,
That we might go to heaven,
Saved by His precious blood.
There was no other good enough
To pay the price of sin,
He only could unlock the gate,
Of heaven and let us in.
O dearly, dearly, He has loved,
We must love Him too,
Trust in His redeeming blood,
And try His works to do.
~Cecil Frances Alexander 1818-1895
THE ULTIMATE TESTIMONY
The church's pastor slowly stood up,
walked over to the pulpit and before
he gave his sermon for the evening, briefly introduced a guest minister
who was in the congregation that evening.
In the introduction, the pastor told the
congregation that the guest
minister was one of his dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him
to have a few moments to greet the church and share whatever he felt would
be appropriate for the service.
With that, an elderly man stepped up to
the pulpit and began to speak ...
"A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the
coast," he began, "when a fast approaching storm blocked any
attempt to get back to the shore. The waves were so high, that even though
the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright!
The three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized."
The old man hesitated for a moment, making
eye contact with two teenagers, who were, for the first time since the
service began, looking somewhat interested in his story.
The aged minister continued with his
story. "Grabbing a rescue line, the
father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life: To which
boy would he throw the other end of the life line? He only had seconds to
make the decision. The father knew that his son was a Christian, and he
also knew that his son's friend was not. The agony of his decision could
not be matched by the torrent of waves. As the father yelled out, 'I LOVE
YOU, SON!' he threw out the lifeline to his son's friend. By the time the
father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had
disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black of the night. His
body was never recovered."
By this time, the two teenagers were
sitting up straight in the pew,
anxiously awaiting the next words to come out of the old man's mouth.
The old man continued. "The father
knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus, and he could not bear
the thought of his son's friend stepping
into an eternity without Jesus.
Therefore, he sacrificed his son to save
the son's friend. ~ How great is
the love of God that he should do the same for us! Our heavenly Father
sacrificed his only begotten Son that we could be saved. ~ I urge you to
accept his offer to rescue you and take a hold of the life line he is
throwing out to you in this service."
With that, the old man turned and
sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room. The pastor again
walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with an
invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal.
Within minutes after the service had
ended, the two teenagers were at the old man's side. "That was a nice
story," politely stated one of the boys, but I don't think it was
very realistic for a father to give up his only son's life in hopes that
the other boy would become a Christian."
"Well, you've got a point
there," the old man replied, glancing down at
his worn bible. A big smile then broadened his narrow face as he once
again looked up at the boys and said, "It sure isn't very realistic,
But I'm standing here today to tell you ~
that story gives me a glimpse of
what it must have been like for God to give up his Son for me.
You see, I was that father and your pastor
was my son's friend."
GOD LOVED …. GOD GAVE
For God so loved the world that He gave
his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but
have eternal life (John 3:16)
Note what God did: "He gave His only
Son" This is how He dealt with your sin. Imagine it this way: Suppose
you are found guilty of a crime. You are in a courtroom in front of the
judge and he sentences you to death for your crime. His sentence is just.
You are guilty and the punishment for your crime is death. But suppose
that the judge is your father. He knows the law; he knows that he love you
too much to let you die. So in a wonderful act of love he steps down from
the bench and removes his robe and stands by your side and says "I'm
going to die in your place"
That is what God did for you. The wages of sin is death. Heaven's justice
demands a death for your sin. Heaven's love, however, can't bear to see
you die. So here is what God did. He stood and removed his heavenly robes.
He came to earth to tell us that He would die for us. He would be our
Saviour. And that is what He did.
God put the world square with Himself
through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering the
forgiveness of sins … God put the wrong on Him who never did anything
wrong, so we could be put right with God (2 Cor 5:19,21 MSG)
WE BELIEVE …. WE RECEIVE
What does God want you to do? Three simple
steps: admit, agree, accept.
1. Admit that God has not been first
place in your life and ask Him to forgive your sins.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and
just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrong
(1 John 1:9)
2. Agree that Jesus died to pay for
your sins and that He rose from the dead and is alive today
If you confess that Jesus is your Lord,
and you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will
3. Accept God's free gift of salvation.
Don't try to earn it.
For it is by grace that you have been
saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of
God - not by works, so that no one can boast
With all of my heart, I urge you to accept
God's destiny for your life. I urge you to get on board with Christ.
According to the Bible, "Jesus is the only one who can save people.
His Name is the only power in the world that has been given to save
people. We must be saved through Him" (Acts 4:12)
Would you let Him save you? This is the
most important decision you will ever make. Why don't you give your heart
to Him right now? Admit your need. Agree with his work. Accept His gift.
Go to God in prayer and tell Him, "I am a sinner in need of grace. I
believe that Jesus died for me on the cross. I accept your offer of
It's a simple prayer with eternal results.
(~ from: "Reflections on the Saviour", Max Lucado)