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Lowell Brueckner

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Chapter for new book (draft)

Him Crucified

“For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” 1 Cor. 2:2

I remember driving into Romania one time during the heat of a political campaign. Along the roads in the countryside, political parties displayed newly-hung advertisements on the billboards. Posters were stuck to many light posts in the towns and banners streamed across the streets. On them all were the faces of candidates for various local, provincial and federal offices. They looked their very best, wearing the most pleasant expressions, and bedecked with fine suits and ties. Every effort was taken to give the impression that these men and women were intelligent, friendly and compassionate human beings, worthy of the votes of the populace. “This is our candidate,” the parties declared, “Vote for this person!”

My mind went back to the Gospels and the central event of all human history. It took place outside the capital city of the little country of Israel. Between heaven and earth a body was hung for public display on a Roman cross. His face was swollen beyond recognition, disfigured from the multiple blows of fists and palms, and from a rod, with which He was beaten over the head. Blood flowed from the wounds of thorns pressed into his forehead and from gaping holes in his hands and feet, where soldiers had driven nails. On the beam just above His head, the Roman governor had commanded that a sign in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, should present the charge, for which He was executed. It read: “This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews”. God Almighty looked down upon the scene from His throne room in Heaven and declared, “This is My Candidate! Vote for Him!”

Since that day, the writing has been translated into hundreds of other languages throughout the world. The cross gives us a startling revelation of God’s way of publicity. Make no mistake about it, God’s way is always the right and wise way. Ever since the fall, man’s ways are perverted and twisted 180% away from the divine perception that he was given in creation. His general means of publicity is nothing less than a deception. But Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself” (Jn. 12:32). He was speaking of His crucifixion as an attraction, through which, and only through which, people would be drawn to Him. All humanistic religion aside, no one comes to Christ except through the cross.

Introduction to new book

As I have been ministering on the cross from place to place, some have asked that I write on the subject. Here is a tentative introduction to the subject. I will try to include in this site soon, a chapter or two. These are not the finished project, but just something to give you an idea.

“We have an altar, from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people through his own blood, suffered without the gate. So, let us go out to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.”
Hebrews 13:10-14

In the Old Testament God marked a site for sacrifice and it was forbidden that Israel should offer at any other place. Before Israel knew where it should be, God had already predetermined the place. His plans were formed before the world was created. At that spot, David interceded and a great plague that destroyed thousands came to an end. There He sent Abraham on a three-day journey to offer Isaac. There was no alternate choice, no “plan B”, regardless of the inconvenience involved in arriving. When King Jeroboam built an altar in another place, a man of God was sent to proclaim judgment against it.

The writer of Hebrews referred to “an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat”. He said that it was ours – “we have an altar” – showing it as something, which we Christians possess in common and we possess it exclusively. The Old Testament priests had no right to it, and, in fact, the whole world of religious and non-religious people must keep their distance. It has been erected by God Himself under a new covenant for true believers around the world. What can this altar be?

There is little possibility of making a mistake here; the only altar of sacrifice under the New Covenant is “the place of the skull” outside Jerusalem – Mt. Calvary, the Roman execution site, where the Author of our faith ultimately found His place. Here we must meet Him, confront His altar and extract from it all that it implies in relation to the Christian life. It is the only place, in which we can meet Him.

Mark records in his Gospel that Jesus forewarned His disciples four times of His suffering and death. The references are 8:31-32, 9:9, 9:31-32, and 10:33-34. Mark stated pointedly that Jesus made it very clear to them, without speaking in allegorical form. However, they somehow managed to escape from it, looking for some kind of hidden meaning in the message. They were simply unwilling to listen.