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What Happened between God and Jesus at the Crucifixion?

by Ryan Ebert

"Eli Eli lama sabacthani?"  Translated to English from Hebrew it says, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"  One of the last sayings Jesus said before dying on the cross during his crucifixion.  The question I want to bring up is why did God forsake his one and only son?  

First, God is a righteous and holy God.  He does not accept sin of any kind and can not.  Psalms 71:19 states, "Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!"  The verse is telling of God's infinite righteousness that no man is like Him.  In Psalms 96:9 it says, "O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth."  In here David, the author of Psalms, tells that God's holiness is so great that we should tremble in his presence knowing that man as sinners can not compare to His perfect holiness.  Being righteous and holy does not allow God to sin or accept sin.

Secondly, God is a just God.  Just meaning "Honorable and fair in one's dealings and actions: a just ruler; consistent with what is morally right", according to the American Heritage dictionary.  It says in Nehemiah 9:33, "Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for tho hast done right, but we have done wickedly:".  God could not allow sin in his presence and thus had to turn away from it since sin is not just.  

 Thirdly, God is perfect.  Habakkuk 1:13 reads this, "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: . . ."  God had to turn his eyes away from sin being perfect as He is.  Even if man tries to clean himself up he is still unclean before God as told in Jeremiah 2:22 "For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God."  Man can not expect to be as pure as the Lord for man is a sinner.  God's perfectness transcends over sin.

Why did God turn his back on his son Jesus?  He had to because Jesus took upon himself the sins of all mankind thus forcing God the Father to look away.  God's righteousness, holiness, just, and perfectness turned away from evil, sin, wrong, and wickedness.  Imagine if a man of high prestige and honor had to turn his back on his son because his son robbed a bank or murdered someone.  He would still love him as God the Father loved Jesus, but did not want to look at him for the crime he committed.  The son would be put into prison for life and the father would not be able to see his son like he used to.  The son may ask himself "Father, why have you deserted me?"  It would be because he put on himself a sin that would put shame on his father.  Just like Jesus cried out "Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani?" to his father.  God is not deserving of our sin and our shame.

But it does not end there!  Jesus put on himself all of mankind's sin so that man may enter into Heaven!  Luke 23:34 Jesus said on the cross, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."  Man sins.  Everyday man sins whether it is a lie, cheat, or something one may not be aware of.  Man's sins have been forgiven.  Then in John 19:30 it is written, ". . .  and he said, 'It is finished': and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."  Jesus Christ died on the cross for every man, woman, and child  It is up to each person to accept the gift of salvation given by God.  

There are five simple steps that man needs to know first.  First is that the Bible is the word of God.  II Timothy 3:16 states All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."  Second it is that Jesus is the God of the Bible.  Isaiah 9:6 reads "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."  Third, all are sinners.  It says in Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God:".  Fourth, because of sin every man deserves to go to Hell.  Romans 6:23 says' "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  Then fifth is to know that Jesus suffered and died on the cross to pay for man's sin, was buried and rose from the dead.  He was then seen by over five hundred eye witnesses.  Romans 5:8 states, "But God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  Five steps that are needed to be believed in, simple yet important.

The last and most important thing for one to enter Heaven is to accept Jesus into his hart as his personal Saviour.  Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."  A simple prayer like the one below is only needed.

Dear Jesus, I know that you re God and that the Bible is your Word.  I believe that you died in my place to pay for my sin and that you rose from the dead proving that you are God.  Right now, in the best way I know how, I call upon you and ask you to be my Lord, my Saviour, and my God.  Thank you, Jesus, for dying for me.  Help me now to live for you.  Amen.

When one makes the decision of accepting Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour he make the best decision of their lives.  Knowing that he will live with God in Heaven after death and not suffer in Hell.  God's gift of salvation is free!  

Here is a video for another look at salvation from college football assistant coach Ron Brown of the Nebraska Cornhuskers:

Credit to Pastor Teis for the Five things you must know and one thing you must do.

Overlook of the Dolphins

By Ryan Ebert,

     Miami is a talented team that just needs to take their play up a few steps for them to be a feared team in the league.  This franchise has skilled players at each position that just need to buy into the system of head coach Joe Philbin set in place to get them where they want to go.  If that happens, and everyone is on the same page, then we may see a glimpse of what happened during the glorious Don Shula days.

     The Dolphins lost quite a few good players in MLB Karlos Dansby, RB Reggie Bush, LB Kevin Burnett, TE Anthony Fasano, LT Jake Long, and CB Sean Smith.  Six players were lost, but they replaced them with some nice pickups in free agency: WR Mike Wallace, LB Dannelle Ellerbe, LB Philip Wheeler, T Tyson Clabo, WR Brandon Gibson, CB Brent Grimes, and TE Dustin Keller.  Seven fine players to pick up where the others left off.  May not be good for consistency, but the system is in place for this team for success for the long haul.

     Let us take a look at the defense first, and a closer look at the secondary.  General Manager Jeff Ireland brought in Brent Grimes from Atlanta to strengthen a group that lost Sean Smith.  Richard Marshall starts opposite Grimes and Nolan Carol, Dimitri Patterson, and rookie Jamar Taylor and Will Davis will be the backups at cornerback.  While it is a decent group, only Grimes worries QBs of throwing his direction and he's coming off a season which he tore his Achilles.  Who knows if he will be the same player he was before. Then Chris Clemons and Reshad Jones play at safety with Jimmy Wilson and Kelcie McCray backing them up.  Jones was just signed to an extension showing that the staff trust his play on the field and hopes he continues to make plays and get better.  Overall, this secondary looks decent; a couple names that stand out that will need to help the rest of this secondary have good chemistry with each other to play better as a defense as a whole.

     The leader of the LB group Karlos Dansby left to Arizona, but Ireland brought in Dannelle Ellerbe from the Super Bowl winning Baltimore Ravens and Philip Wheeler from the Oakland Raiders.  Two quality players that will be looking forward to making contributions to this franchise.  The starting players will likely be Dannelle Ellerbe, Wheeler, and Koa Misi.  Backing the starters will be Jason Trusnik, Austin Spitler, Jonathan Freeney, and rookie Jelani Jenkins.  With two players new to this team and likely to start while learning the scheme it makes me worry a little since they haven't learned the system as well as players who have been here for a year or more.  There is good skill from these athletes, but the depth doesn't make me satisfied.  I do expect good play from this group as this has been a strength for this Miami Dolphins team for the last few years.

     Defensive line is stout with the likes of Pro Bowlers Cameron Wake, Randy Starks, Paul Soliai and the only starter not a Pro Bowler. Oliver Vernon.  Though the Dolphins drafted Dion Jordan with their first pick and he may overtake Vernon with the starting job.  The depth here is decent with Vaughn Martin, Jared Odrick, Derrick Shelby, and Kheeston Randall.  With the LB group and this defensive line, this looks to be a good front seven.  Altogether, the defensive line looks good to continue the dominance they have been doing the past few years.

     The offense starting with the wide receiver corps is one that has plenty of talent to score points to help this team win.  The biggest addition to this team over the offseason is Pro Bowl WR Mike Wallace, a speedster and playmaker that can make huge strides for this offense to reach the next level.  The second leading receiver Davonne Bess left for Cleveland but Brian Hartline is still there and will start opposite of Wallace.  The team also signed Brandon Gibson from St. Louis who may take over Hartline's spot or be the slot receiver.  The backups include: Rishard Matthews, Brian Tyms, and Andrell Smith.  Tight End added Dustin Keller from the Jets when Fasano left for Kansas City with Charles Clay and Michael Egnew backing him up.Barring injury, the wide receiver corps along with the tight ends looks very good and should make many exciting plays over this season.

     Runningback is a position with an optimistic outlook on it with the young and upcoming Lamar Miller.  Daniel Thomas is behind Miller with Marcus Thigpen behind both of them.  Miami is hoping Miller will fill the void left by Bush and be a 1,000 yard back and threat out of the backfield that Bush was.  I certainly look forward to seeing how Miller performs in his first year as a starter with the Dolphins.

     Pro Bowl LT Jake Long is now gone from the offensive line and second-year pro Jonathan Martin will replace him with Richie Incognito at LG, Mike Pouncey at C, John  Jerry at RG, and at RT newcomer Tyson Clabo.  Behind them are Jeff Adams, rookie Dallas Thomas, Josh Samuda, Lance Louis, and Nate Garner; not everyone of the backups I mentioned will be on the team's final roster as only eight total lineman will make the final cut.  So I would think that at least Lance Louis and Nate Garner will make the final eight offensive lineman.  Not too bad with the backups This is definitely a strong cast up front that can help Miller do his best and keep the QB's jersey clean.

     Ryan Tannehill, in his second season, is the leader of this team and a fine young quarterback.  Veteran Matt Moore will play in case Tannehill goes down and the same for Pat Devlin if Moore goes down.  Tannehill is a solid quarterback and I certainly hope he takes the next step as a quarterback to help lead this team back to the playoffs.

     Though this team still needs to be better than 26th on passing offense and 20th in rush defense to reach the next level.  They can do it if they all play together on the same page which requires many many times practicing with each other and getting better at their weaknesses.  I'm confident the Dolphins will make more noise than they did last year and be considered a perennial playoff contender.


Status of the Vikings

By Ryan Ebert,

     Three first-round draft picks was one of the biggest news on draft day.  Sharrif Floyd, defensive tackle from Florida; Xavier Rhodes, cornerback from Florida State; and Cordarrellle Patterson, wide receiver from Tennessee all look to make a big influence in the Vikings organization.  General Manager Rick Spielman did a fine job of finding talent to help not only for the next few seasons, but also the distant future.

     First, the defense, Minnesota was seventeenth in the league in total yards allowed on this side of the ball.  Not great, but not horrible.  They were twenty-fourth in pass defense something that definitely needs improvement, and eleventh on run defense.  This team has always been stout defending the run in the last decade, but the main focus this year for defensive coordinator Alan Williams is to get improvement from being the twenty-fourth passing defense to somewhere in the teens at least.  This defense has plenty of potential that can help give the ball to the offense and Adrian Peterson for them to score more points.

     The secondary starring second-year pro Harrison Smith is one that has young talent.  Josh Robinson and Chris Cook start at cornerback with backups A.J. Jefferson, rookie Xavier Rhodes who may become a starter, newcomer Jacob Lacey, and Marcus Sherels.  There is nice depth here, but no name here makes quarterbacks worried of throwing their direction.  Veteran Antoine Winfield was the only guy that did that and he left the team to go to Seattle.  Harrison Smith teams up with Jamarca Sanford at safety.  Behind them are Mistral Raymond, and Robert Blanton.  Not great depth according to talent at all concerning this position.  If these players can stay healthy and work as a unit, they will be capable of good things this season.

     One of the biggest acquisitions for this team was linebacker Desmond Bishop, who came over from the Packers.  He will join a group that includes Pro Bowler Chad Greenway, Erin Henderson, Marvin Mitchell , Audie Cole, rookie Gerald Hodges, and Tyrone McKenzie.  The starters are solid, but like the secondary, is weak in depth as talent goes.  The starting group of linebackers is one that I can trust to make plays and make plays when it is needed.

     Defensive line is where the Vikings have dominated for the last decade.  Kevin Williams, the longtime Pro Bowl defensive tackle with Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen lead this group.  The other two starters are Letroy Guion and Brian Robison, and Fred Evans, Everson Griffin, Christian Ballard, newcomer Lawrence Jackson, and rookie Sharrif Floyd make up the backups.  Defensive tackle has fair depth that has played well in the NFL at times, but the backups at defensive end is feeble.  The entire group though is great and able to be one of the best in the league.

     On offense, the biggest news was the signing of Greg Jennings from rival team Green Bay.  Jennings will be an immediate starter on this team that also has Jerome Simpson, rookie Cordarrelle Patterson, Jarius Wright, and converted quarterback Joe Webb.  The talent here is solid.  A veteran in Jennings, a speedster in Simpson, a playmaker in Patterson, and more that can benefit this team.  The wide receiver corps led by Jennings will need to work many many times with the quarterback as this team was second to last in passing offense.  Therefore working with the quarterback will improve the likeliness of more consistent and bigger plays for the upcoming season.

     Tight end is set with Pro Bowler Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson.  These two will likely be the main targets of the quarterback as these two can make plays all over the field.  Rhett Ellison is behind them.  I look forward to seeing many throws to these guys during the year.

     The offensive line consists of Pro Bowl left tackle Matt Kalil, left guard Charlie Johnson, John Sullivan at center, Brandon Fusco at right guard, and Phil Loadholt at right tackle.  This is a substantial group that helped Adrian Peterson reach 2,097 yards last season.  Joe Berger, newcomer from Indianapolis Seth Olsen, DeMarcus Love, Kevin Murphy, Jeff Baca, and Brandon Keith back will be backing the starters.  Though I listed five, only three will be kept during the season as eight lineman will be on the roster.  The tough part is who will they be?  None of the names stand out really.  The starting group is a good one, but still needs to get better at pass protection to keep their quarterback clean.

     At quarterback, there is some news that last year's starter Christian Ponder is facing competition with Matt Cassell who came over from the Chiefs.  In the first preseason game Ponder looked decent at best, and Cassell looked in charge of his offense.  Ponder will likely be the starting quarterback when the season begins, but he needs to step up in order to keep his job and earn the respect of the fans.  There were even a few times when Peterson ran for more yards than Ponder threw last season!  That is unacceptable as a quarterback.  Ponder needs to take more of the reigns and make better decisions as a quarterback throwing the ball.  When that happens, this Minnesota Vikings team will be dangerous and a top notch offense.

     The face of this team, Adrian Peterson has done great things for this franchise and hopes to see this team make the Super Bowl and earn the Lombardi Trophy.  Sharrif Floyd, Xavier Rhodes, and Cordarrlle Patterson will do their best to help Peterson see his hopes come true.  Maybe not this year, but there's no telling this team can do it.  They were in the playoffs last year on the sweat and blood of Peterson alone as he carried this team on his back and named MVP of the league.  If this team can work together as a unit and have the offense help the defense and the defense help the offense, then we will see a dangerous team this upcoming season.