Think of a name that goes with magic and you'll probably think of Houdini. Harry Houdini was the master of illusion, incredible escapes which made it almost ironic how he died. He defied all kinds of dangers in his life, like the time they tied him in a straight jacket, hung him upside down from the eaves of a tall building and he got away. And then there was the time he escaped from an air-tight tank filled with water. One of the tricks he did was he would often invite people to come up and hit him as hard as they could right in the stomach and he never winced. One day a young athlete volunteered to come up on stage and try it, and he landed his hardest punch in Houdini's stomach, except Houdini wasn't ready for the trick yet, and that blow to the stomach killed him. Now, it wasn't the most dangerous thing he ever faced. He just wasn't ready.
Listen to the audio broadcast! http://www.gospelcom.net/cgi-bin/ramhurl?p=pnm&f=/rhm/sounds/awwy/awwy5090.rm
I was speaking for an Easter Sunrise Service in the Ozarks, and I saw something that seemed strangely out of place. In front of this church, there's a 10-foot section of a brick wall with a sign in front of it that says, "Berlin Wall." I was thousands of miles from Berlin, but there was a chunk of what used to be the most famous - or most infamous - wall in the world. Many of us remember how the Berlin Wall represented for decades the Cold War division of our world into Communist and free. The Communists built it on the border between East Berlin and free West Berlin. In spite of that wall, many people still risked everything to scale that wall and escape to freedom. A few made it. Many died trying. Then came that amazing day - a day few of us could have ever imagined - when the revolution taking place against Communist rule allowed Berliners to start tearing down that wall. All night long, they went after that wall with everything from sledge hammers to bare hands. And ! then there were 100,000 Berliners, celebrating in the square, chanting four incredible words over and over again, "The wall is gone! The wall is gone!"
For many of us, there's a wall that's still standing that is costing us the most important things in life. It's a wall between us and the God who made us. In fact, you probably didn't need me to tell you there's a wall. We know there's something between us and God. What we may not know is what that wall is keeping us from; like the meaning of your life. The only person who can show you why you're here is on the other side of the wall. So is the only love that can ultimately satisfy the loneliness in your heart. If we die with the wall still there, it will be there forever. The Bible calls that hell.
The Bible describes the wall this way: "Your sins have separated you from your God" (Isaiah 59:2). The bricks in the wall between me and God are all the countless times that I've chosen to do things my way instead of His way - my sins. Every wrong thing I've ever done, every lie I've ever told, every person I've ever hurt, every mean thing I've ever said, every selfish thing I've ever done, every dirty thing I've ever thought or done, and everything and everyone I've ever let be more important than God in my life. I'm cut off from God because of that sin-wall. And there's no way you or I can tear it down no matter how decent, or how religious, or how sincere we are.
The only One who can do that is the very God we've rebelled against, and that's what He did the day His Son Jesus paid for our sin on the cross. For centuries, God's people, the Jews, had worshipped in a temple or tabernacle which had at its core, the Holy of Holies - God's place. Between them and that place, was a curtain through which no man could ever go, except once a year when the High Priest entered to offer a sin sacrifice on behalf of the people. Matthew 27:51, our word for today from the Word of God, describes the astonishing thing that happened the moment Jesus died: "At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom."
The curtain separating man from God could never have been removed by man from the bottom to the top. Only God could let us into His presence. So He split the curtain from the top to the bottom. There's the picture of what can happen to the wall between you and God this very day. God will tear it down forever if you'll bring the sins of your lifetime to Jesus to be forgiven; if you'll tell Jesus that you're putting your total trust in Him and what He did on the cross for you.
If that's what you want, we want to help you if we can. I encourage you to go to our website as soon as you can. You'll find a brief explanation there of how you can have the wall between you and God come down today. Just go to yoursforlife.net. Or I'll be glad to send you my little booklet about getting started with Jesus called "Yours For Life." You just have to let us know you want it by calling 877-741-1200.
This can be the day you celebrate the greatest, most liberating miracle of your life; the day you can finally say, "The wall is gone!"
If you're not sure you belong to Jesus, and you would like to make sure today, Ron would like to send to you a free copy of the booklet, "Yours for Life: How to Have Life's Most Important Relationship." To read it online, click here: http://www.yoursforlife.net/
OR, to request your free copy of "Yours for Life," click here: http://rhm.gospelcom.net/yours/yflorder.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------- Discuss today's "A Word With You," post your comments, or encourage others in our discussion forum! http://forums.gospelcom.net/view/rhm/awwy
To find out how you can begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, please visit YOURS FOR LIFE: HOW TO HAVE LIFE'S MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP at: http://www.yoursforlife.net Or, call 1-888-NEED HIM.
"A Word With You" by Ron Hutchcraft is a daily radio challenge, with slice-of-life illustrations and insights - providing practical help on the issues that matter most. If your local Christian radio station does not air "A Word With You," please let them know how much you value this program. Over six years of transcripts are available online, at http://rhm.gospelcom.net/awwy.php