Easter Speial 2007. Close, but no cigar.
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Close, But No Cigar
One thousandth of an inch was the difference between success and failure. "Close but no cigar” says you almost captured the prize; you almost were a winner; you almost had succeeded.
Marred - mishchath = to be completely disfigured.
Although our Lord suffered immensely not one bone in His body could be broken according to prophecy -
JOH 19:36 “a bone of Him shall not be broken”
His face received disfigurement from His physical suffering but also His spiritual suffering which caused mental pain and showed on His face as well.
Tetelestai - JOH 19:30 “It is finished!”
JOH 17:4 “I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do.”
The phrase “Close, But No Cigar” also meant you were a loser, a failure.
Resurrection Sunday means Christ’s victory over death, the devil, and the dark deeds of mankind is complete.
By the saving work of TLJC on the cross and now the living Lord, salvation and deliverance from the OSN is yours.
The political and spiritual parties, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Herodians, who had never been able to agree on anything, agreed on this: Jesus had to be stopped.
Not content to study and teach God’s laws, these Scribes came up with more than a few laws of their own (Mat 23), over 666.
In saying that God’s law is best served when His people love the one true God with every fiber of their being, and love their neighbors as themselves, TLJC summarized the true spirit of all of God’s laws.
The total, absolute love of God is to be behind our every thought, every action, every word.
“You are not far from the kingdom of God” = the man was still on the outside looking in.
Love the Lord with every fiber of your being; love your neighbor as yourself. The great difficulty and the great problem is, you cannot do it.
If I can get you off track so easily, think of what the world with all its temptations, and what the devil, with all of his experience, can do.
ROM 3:28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
Do you see moments of anger of which you are ashamed?
Do you see desires which, if revealed would cause endless embarrassment?
Do you see selfishness and pride; days filled with bitterness and envy?
We need a Savior whose suffering, death, and resurrection are an acceptable substitute for our sins and shortcomings, our flaws and failures.
As you read you will see a Savior who was hated; but He endured that hatred so you might know the Father’s love. In those chapters, you will find a Savior who was tempted, but He resisted every temptation, so you could live an eternity at peace in heaven. In those verses of inspired Scripture, you will see a Savior who walked a path of pain so that your path might lead directly to paradise.
When, by God’s grace, you are led to faith in Him, you will find that you are no longer close to having forgiveness; God gives it as one of His many gifts.
You will not just be close to the peace of God; it will permeate every one of your days.