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The Open Door

 

Last week I traveled to Dallas, Texas for a meeting at the Annuity Board. At the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport, I boarded a bus to be taken to the car rental area. There was a pretty good crowd on the bus already, and we made several stops at various airline areas to pick up and drop off passengers.

I was sitting right next to the section on the bus where folks place their suitcases and hanging bags. At one of the stops a large muscular African American gentleman was getting off of the bus and came next to me to pick up his suitcase and hanging bag. Clearly, the man could have been a lineman for the Dallas Cowboys. I wondered if indeed he was a professional football player. He was huge!

He grabbed his suitcase then went for his hanging bag of clothes, which was hanging on the rod right next to my seat. He attempted several times to lift the clothes hangers that were bunched together in the hanging bag, but he just couldn’t lift it. I wasn’t sure if he just couldn’t get his hand underneath the hangers to lift them from the rod, or if holding his large suitcase in his other hand, he simply couldn’t get the leverage to pick up the clothes.

At any rate he needed help. I just reached out and put my hands on either side of the clothes bag and lifted it from the rod so he could grab hold of it. He very kindly said, “Thank you” and exited the bus.

For the next several minutes I pondered what had happened. A professional football player type guy couldn’t lift his hanging bag, and I lifted it for him. It was certainly not a matter of strength. This fellow could probably bench press 350 pounds. It was likely a matter of position and leverage. Whatever the case, I was glad I could help him.

Before I got to the car rental lot my mind had gone to a deeper level of thought.

I was so thankful for Jesus Christ, Who through His death on the cross of Calvary lifted a burden that I could not lift, no matter how many times or how hard I tried. As men and women we share a common burden, the burden of sin. The longer we live, I think, the more we become aware that the burden of sin lifted by Jesus at the cross is without a doubt the greatest gift we have ever received.

You may be a professional football type person with great physical strength. You may be a Phi Beta Kappa kind of individual with remarkable mental ability. You may have unsurpassed emotional strength. You may be unusually blessed financially and able to buy anything you want. Your strength in these areas is insufficient to give you the ability to lift the hanging bag of sin that is hanging on your life. There is only One Who has the leverage to lift that burden. He did it through shedding His precious blood on the cross for you. His name is Jesus!

As we enter Holy Week, we are uniquely mindful this year of the horrific events that took place at Golgotha. The film The Passion of the Christ has been remarkably influential in awakening a nation to the beautiful name of Jesus.

Some, for the first time, have come to realize what Jesus did for them. Certainly, at no time in my life have I seen the theme of Jesus and the cross so broadly reported and discussed. God is obviously at work through the cinematic event and the many public discussions surrounding it.

Then, as quickly as the dawn, came the resurrection of the Christ. May I suggest, Mr. Gibson, that The Resurrection of the Christ be your next major film. Tell of the glory of His resurrection. Tell of the many witnesses who saw our Lord after His resurrection. Tell of His appearance to the disciples in the upper room and His commission to them and to us to be witnesses unto Him in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost. Tell of His promise to return.

Greater than any film is the experience of actually having the sin burden lifted at Calvary, receiving the gift of eternal life, carrying the message of Christ to the ends of the earth, and living with confidence in the second coming of Christ and His promise that we will live with Him in heaven for ever.

Praise the Lord for the cross! Praise the Lord for Easter!