THE GREATEST MOUNTAIN IN THE WORLD


 

THE GREATEST MOUNTAIN IN THE WORLD
By Uriah J. Fields

{This is a sermon. Although I preached many sermons when I was in my twenties and thirties, the decades since I have not preached as much. However, I acknowedge the significant place there is for preaching, despite the retort that can be heard from time-to-time "Don't preach to me!" A sermon is
a religious discourse delivered in public, usually by a clergyman as a part of a worship service. It is a speech on conduct or duty intended to edify. While on earth Jesus preached and admonished his disciples to do likewise. The message that follows is not the "Sermon on the Mount" but it is about Him who preached the "Sermon on the Mount."}

Any mention of the word mountain brings to mind a picture of something that is a natural high and unmovable. Apart from that the thoughts and feelings that well-up in a person upon hearing the word mountain vary from person to person. Some people see a mountain as an obstacle, challenge or forbidden territory. Others may see a mountain as an oasis, spiritual haven or place to see not just with one's eyes but with one's soul something delightful, that can only be experienced when there is an encounter with a mountain. Succinctly, a mountain maybe seen as a blessing or curse.

Some Mountains Worthy of Our Consideration

We begin this excursion with some mountains recorded in the Old Testament of the Bible. Included: Mount Sinai where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, the laws which people are to live by. Mount Horeb, is where Moses experienced the burning bush and was ordered by God to take off his shoes and informed that the ground on which he stood was holy ground. Mount Hor is the place where Aaron realized that his time on earth was about to end. There he pulled off his priestly robe and gave it to his son Eleazar. Mount Pisgah, the Mountain where Moses came after leaving Mount Nebo for the purpose of seeing the Promised Land that he would not be able to enter. Mount Carmel, the mountain where Elijah and the prophets of Baal had a contest to determine whose God was the true God and able to respond to a request from those claiming him to be their God. Only Elijah's God responded. Mount Tabor is where the stars fought as brothers with Barak and 10,000 men to overthrow Sisera and his hosts. Mount Mariah where 160,000 men labored 7 1/2 years to build Solomon's Temple, the greatest temple the world has ever known.

New Testament Mountains

Mount Harmon is where Jesus, accompanied by Peter, James and John, was transfigured and his brightness was greater than any ever known. Mount Olives is where Christ gave his farewell address before his crucifixion.

Mountains in Our Time

The San Francisco Peaks, located just north of Flagsaff, Arizona, near the Navajo Reservation, include three mountain peaks: Mt. Fremont 11,940 ft., Mt. Agassiz 12,340 Ft., and Mt. Humpherys 12,633 ft., the highest point in Arizona. During the four years I was a resident of Flagstaff I visited the San Francisco Peaks on numerous occasions as did some Hopi and Navajo Indians I met there. I recall that one Christmas while I and my "Most Significant Other" was at that mountain I sang, for the first time in the presence of another person a song I had composed titled "The Romantic Lover's Song." The Lookout Mountain is located near Chattanooga, Tennessee. From atop this mountain a person can see seven state. Mt. McKinley, the highest mountain in the United States and North America is located in Alaska. It is 20,320 ft. high. Mt. Everest is the highest mountain in the world. It is 29,035 ft.

Above all other Mountains is Calvary

Calvary is not the tallest mountain. Calvary is the greatest mountain because of what happened there nearly two thousand years ago.  "And when they were come to a place called Calvary, there they crucified him." (Luke 23:33). The Gospel of John records, "And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing the cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him.." (John 19:16-18).

The Bible tells the saddest story of man and the saddest story of God. Eden and Calvary. Together they make the saddest story of all time. A far cry it is from Eden to Calvary. But they are closely connected. There would not have been a Calvary had there not been Eden and the Fall of man there. And what a fall it was. That was no nursery-rhyme "humpty-dumpty' fall.

The fall of man in the Garden of Eden was so great that across many centuries and millenniums man was unable to rise and be reconciled with God. From the earth's first child, Cain's killing of his brother Abel to the destruction of Jerusalem and beyond the result of the fall is evident.

Jesus came to earth after many centuries and millenniums in which people had lived and died as victims of destructiveness without having a way out of bondage or to be reconciled with God. He came to make it possible for man to be reconciled with God. His death on Calvary was the ransom he paid to redeem man.

For it was there on Calvary, that Christ died. There God Himself, in His love, gave up the Spirit in the most extraordinary death that history has ever recorded. He bore on his shoulders the weight of the sin of the world. His death was not only earth-shaken but Heaven itself could not stand it. The elements became disturbed. The moon took a hemorrhage and drifted away in blood, the stars fell from their obits to earth just as figs fall from a tree which has been shaken by a mighty wind, the sun refused to shine, as two suns could not shine at the same time: The Son of God was shining. 

"Behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; And many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." (Matthew 27:51-53)

For that cause Calvary is the greatest mountain in the world. Above and beyond all mountains stands Calvary. As a skyscraper is above a valley in height, as a tree is beyond a twig in fruit bearing, as an elephant is beyond a sparrow in size, as a machine gun or cannon is beyond a popgun in far-reaching power, so is Calvary above and beyond all other mountains. It was there, on Calvary, that  Christ died!  Calvary! Calvary! Calvary! Surely He died on calvary!

The good news is because He died on Calvary and rose again we too can live and have everlasting life, knowing even now that He says to us: "I have come that everyone may have life, and have it in all it fullness." (John 10:10)

Copyright 2010 by Uriah J. Fields




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