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Bless the Lord, oh my soul ... - Jim Bell

We should all bless the Lord Jesus for all He has done for us. We should thank Him every day for His birth, His life, His teachings, His miracles and, certainly, for His sacrificial death on the cross.

"Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name." Words of a great poet expressing his thankfulness for his Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

As I write this message this morning, I too, am thanking my Savior and Lord Jesus for all He has done for me. One week ago today, I had an operation to replace my left knee. I and all my Christian friends and supporters –– God bless them all! –– prayed for me and my coming operation, that God would keep me and heal me, and my surgery would make my knee as good as new.

One would think that an operation as serious and extensive as replacing a knee would be terribly painful, but with the vast family of pain killers available today, our doctors can be sure it's a painless procedure. The pain comes later, as one must exercise the joint extensively twice each day.

As I think of Jesus' death on the cross and all the pain He endured, our pain pales in comparison. None of the four Gospels tell us much about the crucifixion, but Mark 15:23 says: "Then they offered Him wine mixed with myrrh, but He did not take it." The Talmud gives evidence that incense was mixed with wine to deaden pain. Myrrh is a spice derived from plants native to that area.

Even before He was nailed to the cross, Jesus was suffering great pain from all the beatings He had endured. He had to be very weak from all the blood He had lost and then came the worst of all –– they nailed Him to the cross!

Can you imagine the excruciating pain of large nails –– heavy, wrought-iron nails were driven through the wrists and heel bones! While this was horrible, I suspect the shame and disgrace of death on the cross, along with the rejection of His chosen people, hurt Him even worse.

Why did Jesus die on the cross? It was His mission in life to die there to fulfill the will of His Father God, who said that only the sacrifice, the death of His beloved son could be an acceptable sacrifice for our sin!

Jesus gave his life to save us. God loved all mankind so much –– John 3:16 –– He died on the Cross to save us! This single act empowered His plan of salvation. When Jesus knew He had accomplished His Father's will, He said triumphantly –– John 19:30 –– "It is finished."

Three days later, He arose from the dead, completing His glorious life, death and resurrection. This is the reason we should say, "Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me, praise His Holy Name!"

Have you accepted Christ as your Savior? I pray you will!