Cross Sermon Illustrations

Cross Sermon Illustrations

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In the Cleft of the Rock

Years ago, while working among the Laguna Indians, we were asked to speak at a little village called Pawate. It was in the days before automobiles, and we rode in large wagons drawn by horses for some fourteen miles over rough roads until we reached this village. We had a meeting in the afternoon, and Indians from all about gathered. We started back at 4:30 or 5 o'clock be­ cause we were to have a meeting at Casa Blanca that night. We had not gone very far when we saw a terrible storm was evidently to break over us. Soon we could see that the rain was pouring down at a distance and driving rapidly toward us. I said, "We are certainly going to get soaked." Our driver replied, "I hope not. I think we can make the rock before the storm reaches us. There is a great rock ahead; and if we can make it, we will be sheltered." And so we hurried on and soon saw a vast rock rising right up from the plain, perhaps forty or fifty feet in height, covering possibly an acre or more of ground. As we drew near, we saw a great cave going right into the rock. Instead of stopping to unhitch the horses, our driver drove right into the cave, and in another minute or two the storm broke over the rock in all its fury. The storm raged outside, and one of the Indians struck up, in the Laguna tongue, "Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee," and we realized the meaning of the poet's words, then as perhaps never before.—Rev. H. A. Ironside, in Alliance Weekly.


The General and the Negro

An incident which happened in Georgia some years after the Civil War is related by the Columbia State. A Negro man, strong and healthy, but getting gray from years, was on trial for murder. He had killed another Negro and had been lying in jail for some time awaiting his trial. The testimony against him was given by other Negroes who witnessed the killing. When the case was called for trial by the presiding judge, an old man arose, and, in a voice deep and low, but full of marked gentleness, said, "Will your honor please mark me for the defense?"

It was General Robert Toombs. His face was wrinkled with age, but it was large and strong, and the lines of intellect made deeper wrinkles than those of age. His white hair rolled back in curls from a splendid brow. His form was large and tall and straight, although his movements were slow with the years. His eyes still flashed as when he stood in the Senate Chamber at Washington. The witnesses all seemed unfriendly towards the prisoner. In his own statement he claimed that the killing was in self-defense.

General Toombs analyzed the testimony of the eye-witnesses, and then concluded thus: "Your honor, and gentlemen of the jury, a few years ago my only brother fell wounded on the battlefield of Gettysburg. He lay there bleeding to death with no friendly hand to help him. Shot and shell were sweeping the earth all about him. No friend could go near him; no surgeon dared to approach him. My brother had a body servant, a Negro, who waited on him in camp. The Negro saw his master's danger, and straight into that sheet of battle and flame and death he went. A piece of shell tore the flesh from his breast, but on he went, and, gathering my brother in his arms, the blood of the man mingling with the blood of the master, he bore him to safety and life."

Then, turning to the prisoner, he said, "Jim, open your collar." The prisoner rose and opened his shirt in front. On the breast the jury saw the long jagged scars where the shell had torn its way. "Jim's skin may be black," the General continued, "he may be a Negro, but the man who would do what he did has a soul too white ever to have killed a man except in defense of his own life." The jury agreed with him, and Jim was cleared.

What pathos must have been in the voice of that old warrior as he pleaded the cause of the Negro! "Straight into that sheet of battle and flame and death he went." Was this not what the Lord Jesus did for the sinner when there was no eye to pity? He left the Glory for the Cross, not saying, "If I perish I perish,`' but coming into the world to (lie. "Now once in the end of the world Lath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Heb. 9:26).  Greater love bath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). The Negro slave risked his life for his master. The Son of God laid down His life for you and me, "while we were yet sinners" (Rom. 5:8). The United Evangelical.


Morality, of the Blood?

Morality may keep you out of jail, but it takes the blood of Jesus Christ to keep you out of hell.—The Rev. C. W. Carter, in the Syracuse Post-Standard.


The Cleansing Pool

"Everyone who goes to Yellowstone Park goes to Handkerchief Pool. It has about it one thing you will find nowhere else. Drop your handkerchief on its surface. Down to the bottom it will descend. Then a current will draw it out of sight. But do not think you have lost your handkerchief. In a little while the honest pool will hand it back to you laundered. You have to wait only a few moments. Then your handkerchief begins to reappear. Finally it comes out into the bottom of the pool before your eyes. Take the iron rod at hand and pick it out, and then you will find that the test stain you put upon it has disappeared. You and your handkerchief have had a new experience." What a type of the divine foun­tain, which not only cleanses lepers, but, what is infinitely more wonderful, the hearts of sinful men.—Challenge.


His Grandfather's Verse

Just a boy named Joe.... lay dying on one of our far-flung battlefronts. Dying... while the guns roared, amid the machine gun's incessant rat-tat-tat. Dying... in the mud, the filth, the blood of battle. Just a boy named Joe, one of many dying soldiers, dying far from home, comfort, loved ones. As he felt his strength slowly ebbing and his spirit seeking that other land he grasped for something to cling to. He wasn't ready. Life was too busy to bother with religion. Blood, blood, oozing out slowly. His life's blood! What was that he had heard his grandfather say? The blood, the blood... oh, why couldn't he remember it? Life was ebbing faster now. He prayed his first real earnest prayer.., but oh, to remember! Then his grandfather's deep, sonorous voice rang in his ears. "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin." That was it! Only that, but it brought peace to a dying soldier's heart. Just a boy named Joe... but he was sheltered by the atoning blood.Visitor.


How to Die in Peace

Some time ago, a man from south of Morocco went to one of the missionaries to inquire the way of salvation, as he knew he had not long to live. To help him the missionaries used what is called the Wordless Book, the first page of which is black, represent­ing sin, the second page scarlet, representing the Blood of Christ, the third page white, indicative of the cleansed conscience, and the fourth page gold, representing the glory of Heaven. This man became truly converted, and as he lay dying, his wife, an unconverted Mohammedan, went to his bedside, and realizing that he had not long to live, told him to call upon Mohammed. The man, however, refused, saying his trust was in the Lord Jesus Christ. "Well, take that little Book the missionaries gave you," said his wife, "and lay your head on the white page while you die, and tell God that your life has been as clean as that white page, and perhaps He will accept you for Heaven." But her husband said: "No, I will not do that, for it would not be true. Open the scarlet page, and let my head rest on that." So the man died with his head resting on the symbol of the Blood of Christ.Christian Herald.

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