The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Café…
(a repeat from 2015)
"My Sins, His Agony"
Many years ago, a well known preacher visited our city, arriving by plane, and immediately headed to the airport rental agency to book a car for his stay in Mobile. "I'm sorry, sir," said the girl at the counter. "All our cars are reserved today."
The preacher smiled condescendingly as he looked into the girl's eyes. "Young lady," he said, clearing his throat for dramatic effect. "Young lady, do you know who I am?"
The young lady did not. One almost wishes, however, she might have had the wherewithal to respond, "Why, yes sir, I know exactly who you are." Pausing for her own moment of drama, and returning the preacher's gaze with her own, she could have rightly continued, "Sir, you are the man whose sins made necessary the suffering, forsakenness, and death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary." Another pause, and then a pithy reiteration of "All our cars are reserved today" might have appropriately concluded the unfortunate interchange.
So long as it remains true that "Christ died for all," no justification will exist for arrogance and self-importance among preachers or any other human being (II Corinthians 15:4). We all belong to a guilty race, the greatest crime of which includes the tortured murder of our very Creator. Our sins - my sins - made necessary the Lord's agonized sacrifice. No trace of arrogant pride can rightly occupy the smallest nook or cranny of our hearts. Preachers should be especially aware of such culpability. When and if we are not, we forfeit our God-given role of proclaiming the Gospel of He who "made Himself of no reputation" (Philippians 2:7). The Apostle Paul confessed himself as the "chief" of sinners (I Timothy 1:15). We all do well to maintain such an attitude, remembering the grace we have personally received - and continue to receive - as the heart-humbling truth whereby we remember the truth that applies to all, namely, my sins led to His agony.
"Do you know who I am?!" The preacher apparently didn't know the answer to his own inquiry. Or perhaps he simply forgot, as do we all, that he was no less the wielder of thorns, hammer and nails than those who long ago subjected the Lamb of God to slaughter. The old hymn well raises the inquiry - "Were you there when they crucified our Lord?" May we well answer: "Yes, we were. Yes, I was."
"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to His own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
Weekly Memory Verse
He that believeth on Him shall not be confounded.
(I Peter 2:6).