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The Secret

Some people will never be convinced about Christ and His divine nature and life. Many of the same people who saw Jesus do miraculous healings cried out to have Him crucified. Perhaps if each and every person got from Christ just exactly what they wanted they might not have wanted Him dead. What does that say about them? What does it say about any person if they want someone else brutally beaten because they did not get what they wanted? The crowd knew that before Christ was crucified He would have the flesh ripped off His back by flogging. The crowd knew the Roman soldiers would do every kind of indignity to Him. The crowd knew that Christ would be hung on the Cross. The big question is "How about you?" Two thousand years ago would you have been screaming "Crucify Him"?

No matter what Christ does in their lives, no matter what amazing displays of power by Him they are given, some people refuse to be convinced that Jesus is Lord. How about you? Do you demand God deliver the prayer goods to you exactly like you order them, delivered to you immediately without any delays, and wrapped like you want the prayer goods wrapped? Perhaps you do not demand God to act as you want Him to act. Instead of demanding from God, perhaps you ask God to deliver the prayer goods to you but walk away in a hissy fit or an enraged tantrum when He does not deliver. Is this you?

If this is you, secretly or openly, then you have never been to the Cross and seen His suffering for you. You do not understand what Christ has already done. Is being beaten, flogged, and crucified not enough for you? The answer for a lot of people who call themselves Christians is a loud and resounding "NO!". Many persons think of God as the ultimate vending machine. They believe that when a prayer gets sent up then an answered prayer should roll out, on time, every time, exactly as ordered.

For many people, eternal life is not enough. For these people, if God is not willing to pile on the answered prayer goods here and now in this life, then they do not care whether He was crucified for them. For these people, life is filled with bitterness, disappointment, hurt, anger, and frustration. They do not have the joy of having totally lost themselves when they knelt at the foot of the Cross. They do not have the unexplained happiness that lifts their soul in the darkness of the night. They cannot sing or hear the great hymns of the church and be lifted up by Christ's love displayed so passionately on the Cross. If this is you, if your conscience is being pinged, then Christ wants you to know He still loves you. Christ died so that even when you hold Him to account when you do not get what you want or what you expect, He always wants you to know He still loves you.

In your everyday life, dark forces want to bring you down. The dark forces at work in your life will eventually kill you. Sooner or later these forces will take the life of everyone you know now, have known in your past, and will know in your future. These forces cause sickness, illness, disease, addiction, abuse, crime, accidents, violence, and every dark and evil thought any person could think. These dark forces want every person on earth to demand they be put at the head of the line before others. These forces want your soul to be twisted up and your heart screaming out to be served what you want when you want it. These dark forces will exploit your every weakness. These forces do not play fair, do not give you an even chance at balancing them out, and do not care one whit about you or your life. These forces want you to scream at the top of your lungs "I'm takin' care of number one and to h--- with anybody else!". These forces try to convince you that you are a victim and that if God really loved you there would be no suffering in your world. Perhaps you are a victim of the darkness in all its various forms. Christ died on the Cross so you can defeat this darkness in your life. Christ died on the Cross so you will have the power of love working in you so in every darkness you will have His Light of Love, Mercy, and Forgiveness. However, the darkness does not want you to accept Christ or accept that He actually died for you personally. The darkness wants you to be bitter and angry and to blame Christ for what the darkness does to you and what the darkness does to others.

Each of us must be convinced that Christ is Lord, not by signs and wonders, but by our open heart that we take to the Cross. We do not want to take our open heart to God. We would rather stand back and make our demands that God answer us. Instead of offering our heart to Christ we would rather shake our fist in the air at Him when He does not jump to our every demand. We would rather sulk until He gives us what we want than give our heart to Him. Yet no matter how we act or how we feel about Christ, He loves us. Even if you were the person who drove the nails into His hands He still loves you. The darkness does not want you to accept that Christ loves you this much because the darkness wants you to never take your heart out and offer it to Christ. The broken heart, the angry heart, the abused heart, or the humiliated heart can be healed by opening that heart up to Jesus hanging on the Cross. Even as He was breathing His last breath Christ was asking that you would be forgiven for Christ knew that you would not understand.

Our open heart makes the miraculous possible in our lives and, more importantly, in the lives of others. There is a secret buried beneath the Cross. It is a secret that few discover. Even when the secret is known and published few understand it. Here is the secret. When you totally accept Christ as your Savior and are overcome by your part in crucifying Him, when you ask for His forgiveness He does forgive you. However, this is not the secret part. The secret part that is so elusive is that at the moment of surrendering up your life to Christ as you seek His forgiveness…you disappear. Oh yes, you can still see yourself in the mirror. Others can still see you. However, the heart, your heart that called for Christ to be crucified, has disappeared in the Light of His love. The person who was filled with so much hurt and disappointment (the former you) has been erased and in place of this person is another person…a new person has emerged. As much as has been written about the new birth in Christ, few understand this secret. This secret of the disappearing heart or self is the key to all the Lord's blessings. For when the old heart or self disappears and the new heart or self is born then you are reborn. You are a new person in Christ. The person you were at the start of things is not who you are at the moment of placing your heart at the foot of the Cross. The secret to a joyful life is in having lost the old you. The secret to getting rid of the anger and plague of disappointment in life is getting your heart lost and having God put a new heart in you. The miracle of getting a healed heart when there is no earthly way to erase the scars on your heart is explained by this secret of losing yourself at the Cross. If you are not able to lose yourself at the Cross then you are stuck with the same old person, the same old life, the same old things that keep your daily miseries the daily miseries they are.

When you cease to exist as you were in the old form your focus in life is now upon others and not upon yourself. If this secret of life had not been bestowed on so many millions of persons down through the last two thousand years the world might have ended before now. If the motto of the world becomes "I'm takin' care of number one and to h---- with anybody else!" the world will self-destruct. If a person adopts this motto, or a family, or a town, or a city, or a country adopts this motto then that person, family, town, city, or country will self-destruct if not already in ruins.

In the Christian walk, for some people, there are stages of growth. The last stage of growth is when you lose yourself, lose your wants, lose your needs, and you lose everything you are.

When your old sin-plagued heart has disappeared, a new heart appears within you, and you no longer put yourself first. When you are truly reborn, you put others first.

Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken (NIV)

When Jesus true disciples read the above words most of them finally came to realize who Jesus was. The realized that He was The Lamb. They realized that Christ died not because of His sin for He had none. They realized that Christ died for their sin or iniquities. At that moment of realization, they entered the last stage of growth. At that moment, they had lost their sin-plagued hearts. At that moment, their suffering and anguish caused their hearts to burn within them. At that moment, when they expressed their guilt and sorrow to Christ, they gained new hearts. These followers were then willing to be martyrs and die horrible deaths for Christ. They were willing to be martyrs to carry Christ's message to the lives of others for their old wants and old needs had disappeared with their old hearts.

Go to the Cross today with an open heart for He loves you and cares for you. Go to the Cross today with every burden, every grief, and every sorrow. In godly sorrow, lay your old heart at the foot of His Cross and His love will put within you a new heart and you will become a new person.



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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Entire contents copyright © 1999 - 2009 by Patrick Kelly, All rights reserved.
All content is presented on behalf of Shepherd’s Care Ministries. Shepherd's Care Ministries reserves no right or claim upon content.

Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018