Here are my notes on, No Wonder They Call Him Savior, By: Max Lucado.
It’s much easier to die like Jesus if you have lived like him for a lifetime.
Peter, a writer not normally given to using many descriptive verbs, says that the passerby “hurled” insults at the crucified Christ…Of all the scenes around the cross, this one angers me the most. What kind of people, I ask myself, would mock a dying man?
Sometimes I wonder if we don’t see Christ’s love as much in the people he tolerated as in the pain he endured.
What good has hatred ever brought? What hope has anger ever created?
Paul spoke for humanity when he confessed, “I do not know what I am doing.”
That’s the point. Listen closely. Jesus’ love does not depend upon what we do for him. Not at all. In the eyes of the King, you have value simply because you are. You don’t have to look nice or perform well. Your value is inborn.
But no statement is as confusing or frightening as the one in Matthew 19:29. “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”
Question: What kind of God would put people through such agony? What kind of God would give you families and then ask you to leave them? What kind of God would give you friends and then ask you to say good-bye? Answer: A God who knows that the deepest love is built not on passion and romance but on a common mission and sacrifice.
Ironic as it may appear, one of the hardest things to do is to be saved by grace. There’s something in us that reacts to God’s free gift. We have some weird compulsion to create laws, systems, and regulations that will make us “worthy” of our gift. Why do we do that? The only reason I can figure is pride. To accept grace means to accept its necessity, and most folks don’t like to do that. To accept grace also means that one realizes his despair, and most people aren’t too keen on doing that either.
It says the rubber of faith meets the road of reality under hardship. It says the trueness of one’s belief is revealed in pain. Genuineness and character are unveiled in misfortune. Faith is at its best, not in three-piece suits on Sunday mornings or at V.B.S. on summer days, but at hospital bedsides, cancer wards, and cemeteries.
John teaches us that the strongest relationship with Christ may not necessarily be a complicated one. He teaches us that the greatest webs of loyalty are spun, not with airtight theologies or foolproof philosophies, but with friendships; stubborn, selfless, joyful friendships.
Sure you can have a second chance. Just ask Peter. One minute he felt lower than a snake’s belly and the next minute he was the high hog at the trough. Even the angels wanted this distraught netcaster to know that it wasn’t over. The message came loud and clear from the celestial Throne Room through the divine courier. “Be sure and tell Peter that he gets to bat again.”
If you ever wonder how God can use to make a difference in your world, just look at those he has already used and take heart.
She’ll never remember this moment and I’ll never forget it.