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Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this Easter podcast I want to answer the top theological question of the day, namely how many crosses did Jesus die on?
Now here is the strange thing, most Christians, and I even include myself in this, at times believe Jesus actually died on two crosses.
The Gospel of John tells us that Jesus was crucified along with two other men, and that Jesus was on the middle cross with the two criminals on either side of him.
But most Christians believe that sometime in the middle of one of those nights that Jesus hung on the cross for our sins, God switched the Lord to one of the other crosses.
And what is even more incredible, the disciples, who had been absolutely traumatized by the Lord’s crucifixion, didn’t even notice and never recorded this switch in the Bible.
I know this sounds strange, but this is what most Christians believe.
Of course, most of you are saying, I don’t believe this. Well all I can say is, are you really sure you don’t?
When I was a teenager I had epilepsy. I still vividly remember one of the first seizures that I had as I was traveling up the side of a mountain on a sky-tram. There were a couple of other people on the tram with me. I am not sure how high up we were, but it was quite a view as we looked at the distant valley below.
All of the sudden, the Tram car broke free from the heavy cables that guided it up the mountain. The car was spinning uncontrollably as it hurtled to the ground. Everything was blur as I desperately clung to the rails inside the Tram bracing for impact.
I was literally ready to shout out in terror, but stopped when I realized that the other two people in the Tram were calmly talking to each other as if nothing was happening. Confused, I had no idea what was going on and after several seconds, the swirling started slowing down and my vision returned to normal, and I found myself in the Tram car still traveling up the mountain. It had not broke free, I had just experienced an epileptic seizure.
After having a couple more more seizures, I finally told my parents and was taken to a doctor, who referred me to specialists where I underwent multiple tests and scans. At the end of it all, the specialist told me that I had epilepsy caused by a depression on my brain and I would have it the rest of my life.
It is tough to explain, but when I had an epileptic seizure the images I was looking at would start whirling in front me, like if you were on a merry-go-round. If I was looking at a car when I had an attack, it would start spinning around in my mind going faster and faster until it was just a blur.
Often before the seizure started, I would hear a click, like someone turned on a switch.
I was prescribed Dilantin, an anti-convulsive medication, that slows down the brain impulses that cause seizures. I was told to take it three times a day and for the most part it worked.
After I started taking Dilantin, I still had two to three seizures a month, but the drug significantly slowed down the whirling. These images were no longer a blur, I could still identify people, cars, and buildings as they slowly spun around in my mind. It was a definite improvement.
Then a strange thing happened. I was in my third year at university, still living at home, and I became a Christian at a hippy church.
Now unlike many believers, I can’t remember the day I became a Christian. There was not a moment that I prayed and asked Jesus to come into my life. The best way I can describe it is at some point, probably around Christmas, I believed Jesus had died for my sins, and I was born again.
But what I do distinctly remember is the day I woke up one morning in my bedroom about four months later and it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn’t taken my medication for months.
At that same moment, I realized I hadn’t had an epileptic seizure for four months either. Equally astonishing, is that my mother, who reminded me daily to take my drugs, had also completely forgotten to do so.
That all happened over 45 years ago, and I have not had an epileptic seizure since.
No one had prayed for me to be healed. I hadn’t been filled with the Holy Spirit. I hadn’t even been water baptized, but sometime during that process of me becoming a Christian, I had also been healed of epilepsy.
Now I am always a bit concerned when I share this story, because it might cause people believing for their healing to suddenly go off their medication.
In fact, going off your medication is the last thing you should do. If you believe you are healed, go to your doctor and have him confirm your healing before going off your medication.
To do otherwise is TESTING GOD.
When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness in Luke 4, the devil told Christ to prove He was the Son of God by throwing himself off the pinnacle of the temple and seeing if the angels would protect Him. Jesus quoted from the Book of Deuteronomy saying we are to never TEST GOD. Testing God involves purposefully putting yourself in harm’s way and seeing if God will protect you.
God is not your servant.
Which is what you could be doing by purposefully going off your medication without confirmation of your healing.
In my case, I wasn’t purposefully text God, I just completely forgot. I have no idea if the Holy Spirit was behind this or not. But Jesus is clear don’t test God.
Then in Luke 17:11-14, Jesus told the 10 Lepers to confirm their healing after encountering them when entering a village. When they pleaded for Jesus to heal them, the Lord told them to go to their equivalent of a doctor, the priests, to confirm they had been healed.
But here is where it gets interesting, these lepers weren’t healed immediately as they talked to Jesus, Luke says the lepers were healed as they journeyed to confirm their healing. Jesus not only wanted them to confirm their healing, but confirmed this by healing them as they did it.
The message is simple, Jesus wants you to confirm your healing before going off medication. He wants doctors to witness the miracle.
So what has my story of being healed of epilepsy have to do with Jesus being crucified on two crosses?
Well it because of verses in Isaiah 53 that describe in detail what Christ did for us on the cross:
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
… because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many … (Isaiah 53: 5 and 12)
These verses clearly tell us because of Christ’s death on the cross we not only receive salvation for our sins, but divine healing as well.
There is not a cross for divine healing and separate cross for salvation. It all happened with Christ’s death on one cross.
Because of this, I am convinced if you have enough faith to believe in Jesus for your salvation, you have enough faith to heal the sick.
I suspect, the day I believed on Jesus for my salvation is the same day I was healed epilepsy.
But most people are convinced we need more faith to heal the sick than we do to be saved. In other words, there must be two crosses — a cross where we get saved requiring “x” amount of faith and a second cross through which we get divine healing requiring substantially more faith.
I believe this is nothing more than a form of unbelief. The same amount of faith that activates our salvation is sufficient to activate divine healing because there is only one cross.
However, most believers fall into the trap of believing they need more faith to heal the sick.
The reason we are not seeing more miracles in the church is because like me, most believer struggle with unbelief.
But I am convinced, if you are a born again Christian, you already have enough faith to heal the sick, you just need to believe it.