Cross Sermon Illustrations

Cross Sermon Illustrations

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"Was the Cost Too Great?"

I have recently been impressed with this question as I have been coming in contact with a man who gave himself that he might save his only and much-loved daughter from the burning flames of a tenement house. The family had retired as usual in the evening, but were suddenly awakened in the early hours after midnight to find themselves enveloped, on the fifth floor, in stifling flames and blinding smoke. All rushed for safety, which was not easily found. The daughter and one son jumped out of the window where they thought there was a fire escape; but none was there and they fell to the ground below. The girl was killed instantly and the boy died from injuries a day later. The father, mother and three other sons escaped in some way by aid of firemen, the three boys being badly burned—one dying in a couple of days.

The father, though in safety, thought his daughter was still in the flames and rushed in to rescue her. In turn he, too, was badly burned and with the boys he was rushed to the hospital. It so hap­pened that the father was placed on the floor where I was on duty. As I looked into his most terribly swollen and burned face from time to time and saw his untold agony, my heart was strangely moved upon. His suffering was intense and as I waited upon him this question came o'er and o'er to my mind, "Was the cost too great?"

The daughter had not waited to be rescued — she took her own way — a short-cut to safety. Even while her father gave himself and endured all for her sake, she lay on the ground below­lifeless—not knowing the price that was being paid for her.

Were Calvary and Redemption worth the price that was paid? How many to­day are taking their own way in life—hoping that a "fire escape" may be somewhere beneath them and that they may be saved? Short-cuts will not take us to Heaven. We must go the old-fashioned road of the Cross and true repentance. "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God."—Selected.

If Virtue Walked the Earth

Once, it is said, a Scottish preacher of the modern school closed a sermon with these words, "Virtue is so attractive that, if she were to become incarnate, and walk the world in human form, men would fall down and worship her." The pulpit of that church was occupied the same evening by a different type of preacher, a humble evangelical man, who loved the Gospel of a crucified Redeemer. He preached Christ crucified, and at the close of his discourse reminded the congregation of the statement made in the morning by the senior preacher, and then added, "I am very sorry to say that Virtue did once walk the world in human form, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and men, instead of falling down and worshiping Him, crucified and nailed Him to a tree."Heart and Life Magazine.

Bought with a Price

There is a little story that illustrates the truth of this. A small boy, it is said, made a toy sailboat. He fashioned it with loving care and finally it was ready to sail. With what pride he surveyed it —brave in its fresh red and white paint. The little boat, lifting its sails proudly to the wind, escaped from his eager fingers and swept down, down the river away from its grief-stricken owner. Though he looked long and diligently he could not find his little boat.

One day, several weeks after, he chanced to be walking down the street in town when his eye was suddenly caught by a flash of red and white in a pawnshop window. It was his own boat! The one he had made himself! He rushed into the shop and demanded that the man give him his boat. He met with a brusque refusal. The shopkeeper said that he had paid for the little boat and before the boy could have it he would have to pay the stated price. With a sad heart the little fellow walked out of the store. It would take many a day for him to secure all that money, and for his own boat! But he went to work with a will and in a shorter time than he had thought possible he had earned the needed sum. With a light step he went to the store, laid down the money on the counter, and again demanded his boat. This time he received it. As he went out of the store, down the street, with his little boat tucked under his arm, he was heard to say tenderly, "You are mine, little boat, twice mine; once because I made you, and twice because I bought you.,,

So do we belong to Christ; once, because He made us, and twice because He bought us.—The Gospel Herald.

A Heroic Shepherd

One of the names of the Lord Jesus that is most comforting to His people is the Good Shepherd. When He used this name of Himself, He spoke of His tender care for his sheep, of the fact that He was to give His life for them, and that in His hands they would be eternally safe (John 10). Out of the horror of the present war has come a lovely picture of our Great Shepherd. Fred Mitchell, Head Shepherd, North Somerset, England, received "the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire" from the King for "brave conduct in Civil Defence." On a bitterly cold night in January incendiary bombs set fire to the sheepfold sheltering thirty-four ewes and lambs. High explosives frightened away the sheep dog. Again and again Mitchell fought his way into the burning pens, and carried out the lambs in his own arms, followed by the ewes. He took them away from the flames into an open field. At midnight he went to another part of the field "to speak words of comfort to 107 ewes due to lamb in a week." Though he had many narrow escapes and was ready to give up his life for his sheep, Mitchell did not have to do so. One wonders whether Mitchell was upheld by his trust in God through that awful night, and whether he knows how well he has illustrated Isaiah's beautiful words, "He shall gather the lambs with his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young" (Isa. 40:11). Our Great Shepherd gave His life for the sheep, and because He did, all those who put their trust in Him are saved forever "through the blood of the everlasting covenant."—Sunday School Times.

The Badge of Freedom

Mr, E. E. Beatty, writing from Mowkung on the Tibetan frontier, mentions an interesting local custom, which he was able to use to advantage as an illustration when preaching the Gospel. He says: "A young man who resides beside us had just been released from prison after spending a week or so there for cursing a Moslem living on the other side of the compound. The sound of fire­crackers attracted my attention, and on going to the front door I saw him, girdled with a crimson sash, returning from jail with his friends. I inquired the reason for this and learned that the crimson sash had been given him by the magistrate to indicate to all and sundry that the prisoner had atoned for his sin, and that he was now a free man. Next day when preaching I closed my talk with this illustration, explaining that when we trusted in the finished work of Christ, God saw us as though we were encircled by the crimson band, the shed blood of Christ, and by that same token had sot us free from the condemnation of sin because it was atoned for. It was most encouraging to see how the people's faces lighted up as the illustration went home.—China's Millions.

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