Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.
The first Tuesday of each month, we'll be posting TOM'S TUESDAY TAGALONG. Tom will be sharing a blog type message with you.

Here is the May 2022 edition of TOM'S TUESDAY TAGALONG.
 

 

 

Take Time to Reflect                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

   Easter has come and gone for another year. I would imagine your decorations have been put away and most of the candy is gone as well. It seems we are always in a hurry to finish with one holiday and move on to the next. I bet most of us can tell you what we had for Easter dinner but can’t remember much of the Easter church service message. Stop and ask yourself if that is true in your case, if so, then why is it? I would venture to say that at some point, either before or after the meal, very few took the time to read the Easter story to their kids or grandchildren. I dare say there probably was more time spent in hiding and gathering the colored eggs and candy, than telling the true story of Easter. I don’t mean to say that there is anything wrong with the side events of the holiday, we just must be aware of the emphasis that is put on them. We were all kids once and probably enjoyed the egg hunt more than the morning church service.                

   When I look back at all those years of my life, I realize how blessed I was to have parents and a grandma to teach me these bible stories and truths. Through those earlier and mid-range years of my life, the things, and truths that I had been taught were not as important and personal as they are today. They are the same truths that I lean on every day, which give me the hope and assurance of future days and events to come. If we don’t instill these truths into the minds of our friends and families, who will? As believers in Christ, we know what our future holds, but do our kids and grandkids? Are we willing to take a chance to possibly change the eternal destiny of people in our lives or are we going to just say nothing and hope they will get salvation’s message from someone else? That is a question each person must answer for themselves.                                                                                                      

   So, let’s take a couple minutes and ask ourselves, “Why is this so important?” Well, it all started at the beginning of time as we know it. The bible says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” At the beginning of creation God knew his human creation, man, was going to need some sort of a savior at some time in the future. His creation was perfect because He loved us so much, but He gave us free choice. By doing this, God knew we would mess things up and cause a separation between us and Him. Man’s sins made it necessary for God to kill an innocent animal and use its blood as a sin payment. Thus began the blood sacrifice. However, God knew that it would take a perfect sacrifice later in time to cover man’s sins. This sacrifice would be His one and only son. Imagine asking your son to be brutally killed for the sins of all mankind. Then take it one step further and imagine being Jesus, who volunteered willingly to be that sacrifice. We can never fathom that degree of love because we are not capable of doing so but one day, when we see our Savior for the first time, we will personally experience the depth of that love.                                            

   How deep is the depth of our God and Savior’s love?  Let’s just take a few minutes and do some deep searching in our hearts. First, it began when our Savior was willing to leave the glory of Heaven and come to earth as a helpless baby. He knew from the beginning what His life and death was going to be like here on earth. He knew that in order to know how man thought and lived, He would have to become one. He could have come as a king, but then people would have accepted Him for what He was. Instead, He came as a nobody with only a few people on earth knowing who He was through prophecy. It was His life and His teachings that set Him apart from all others. Just as today, He was and still is rejected by many. How would you like to live 33 years of your life and be rejected and scorned by the very people you loved so much and came to give your life for to save? Only a perfect Savior could have lived that life of love and forgiveness when so many hated him and did everything in their power to humiliate Him. I’m sure the parents, that the Lord had selected to raise His son, had a major impact on His life as well. Can you imagine how Mary must have felt when she stood at that cross and saw her son being crucified? Think about her remembering all the times she held Him as a baby and kissed the face of the Son of God. Only a mother can feel those deep emotions in her soul.                                                                

   Now I ask you, “How much did Jesus really love you and me?” I know the normal answer is that He loved us enough to die for us. That’s very true but doesn’t really express the depth of His love. Let’s just take a few minutes and look into the crucifixion a little deeper. Roman crucifixion was the most brutal type of death you could experience at that time. I have no doubt that God and Jesus, being all knowing, both knew what would be in store for both of them. Jesus knew He would be separated from His Father for the first time in eternity. God knew He would have to turn is back on His Son for the first time as well, because He became our sin and could not be looked upon. Neither had ever been separated from each other from the beginning of eternity.                                                

   I hope you have had the opportunity to watch the movie, “The Passion of Christ.” I must warn you it is the most realistic portrayal of the death of Christ I have ever seen. It is not the antiseptic version that we normally see but I’m sure it is close to the real thing. You cannot help but have tears running down your cheeks when He is whipped. When the pieces of bone or metal attached to the whip rip pieces of flesh out of Jesus’s back. I won’t go into more detail because you truly have to see it. Crucifixion was not a pretty site, but our Savior endured it for you and me. It was our sins that put him on the cross and nothing more. Don’t ever let someone tell you the Jewish leaders killed Jesus. They unknowingly were fulfilling prophecy from centuries before. He willingly gave up His life for our sins so we could someday live with Him. He could have, at any time, called legions of angels and came down from the cross anytime. But He didn’t. Why, because He loved us!                                                                                             

   That gets us partway through Good Friday, but the best is yet to come. I think I will stop here for now and get to the exciting part next month. We have learned a little about the depth of God’s love, but there is more to share about how deep it really goes. I encourage you to get your Bible out and read this account in the first four books of the New Testament. Don’t just read it, but really think about what took place. Like I said at the beginning, share this story, “The greatest ever told!” When we think of the shame and scorn Jesus was willing to endure for us, I think we can take a chance and tell others about what He did. I guarantee you that if you are willing to open your mouth for Him, He will give you the words to say. Their eternal future could be hanging in the balance. Try it, you will find you will like it.

Catch you next month!

-Tom Wingert