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No Wonder They Call Him the Savior -: Discover Hope in the Unlikeliest Place?Upon the Cross

No Wonder They Call Him the Savior -: Discover Hope in the Unlikeliest Place?Upon the Cross

4.3 18
by Max Lucado

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The cross.

It rests on the time line of history. Like a compelling diamond ...

Its tragedy summons all the sufferers ...

Its absurdity attracts all cynics ...

Its hope lures all searchers.

Far more than a gold-plated symbol of religious belief, the cross is the centerpiece of the Christian faith -- the meeting place of time and


The cross.

It rests on the time line of history. Like a compelling diamond ...

Its tragedy summons all the sufferers ...

Its absurdity attracts all cynics ...

Its hope lures all searchers.

Far more than a gold-plated symbol of religious belief, the cross is the centerpiece of the Christian faith -- the meeting place of time and eternity. Where God and man encounter each other.

Max Lucado takes you through the drama of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ -- bringing to life Peter's denial, Pilate's hesitancy, and John's loyalty. Relive the events leading up to Jesus' crucifixion, from the foggy garden of Gethsemane to the incandescent room of the resurrection.

No Wonder They Call Him the Savior leads you up the hill of mankind's highest hope and reminds you why he deserves to be called our Savior.

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Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
Bestseller Collection , #4
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1 MB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Final Words,
Final Acts

In a recent trip to my hometown I took some time to go see a tree. "A live oak tree," my dad had called it (with the accent on "live"). It was nothing more than a sapling, so thin I could wrap my hand around it and touch my middle finger to my thumb. The West Texas wind scattered the fall leaves and caused me to zip up my coat. There is nothing colder than a prairie wind, especially in a cemetery.

    "A special tree," I said to myself, "with a special job." I looked around. The cemetery was lined with elms but no oaks. The ground was dotted with tombstones but no trees. Just this one. A special tree for a special man.

    About three years ago Daddy began noticing a steady weakening of his muscles. It began in his hands. He then felt it in his calves. Next his arms thinned a bit.

    He mentioned his condition to my brother-in-law, who is a physician. My brother-in-law, alarmed, sent him to a specialist. The specialist conducted a lengthy battery of tests—blood, neurological, and muscular—and he reached his conclusion. Lou Gehrig's disease. A devastating crippler. No one knows the cause or the cure. The only sure thing about it is its cruelty and accuracy.

    I looked down at the plot of ground that would someday entomb my father. Daddy always wanted to be buried under an oak tree so he bought this one. "Special order from the valley," he had boasted. "Had to get special permission from the city council to put it here." (That wasn't hard in this dusty oil field townwhere everybody knows everybody.)

    The lump got tighter in my throat. A lesser man might have been angry. Another man might have given up. But Daddy didn't. He knew that his days were numbered so he began to get his house in order.

    The tree was only one of the preparations he made. He improved the house for Mom by installing a sprinkler system and a garage door opener and by painting the trim. He got the will updated. He verified the insurance and retirement policies. He bought some stock to go toward his grandchildren's education. He planned his funeral. He bought cemetery plots for himself and Mom. He prepared his kids through words of assurance and letters of love. And last of all, he bought the tree. A live oak tree. (Pronounced with an accent on "live.")

    Final acts. Final hours. Final words.

    They reflect a life well lived. So do the last words of our Master. When on the edge of death, Jesus, too, got his house in order:

    A final prayer of forgiveness.

    A plea honored.

    A request of love.

    A question of suffering.

    A confession of humanity.

    A call of deliverance.

    A cry of completion.

    Words of chance muttered by a desperate martyr? No. Words of intent, painted by the Divine Deliverer on the canvas of sacrifice.

    Final words. Final acts. Each one is a window through which the cross can be better understood. Each one opens a treasury of promises. "So that is where you learned it," I said aloud as though speaking to my father. I smiled to myself and thought, "It's much easier to die like Jesus if you have lived like him for a lifetime."

    The final hours are passing now. The gentle flame on his candle grows weaker and weaker. He lies in peace. His body dying, his spirit living. No longer can he get out of bed. He has chosen to live his last days at home. It won't be long. Death's windy draft will soon exhaust the flickering candle and it will be over.

    I looked one last time at the slender oak. I touched it as if it had been hearing my thoughts. "Grow," I whispered. "Grow strong. Stand tall. Yours is a valued treasure."

    As I drove home through the raged oil field patchwork, I kept thinking about that tree. Though feeble, the decades will find it strong. Though slender, the years will add thickness and strength. Its last years will be its best. Just like my father's. Just like my Master's. "It is much easier to die like Jesus if you have lived like him for a lifetime."

    "Grow, young tree." My eyes were misting. "Stand strong. Yours is a valued treasure."

    He was awake when I got home. I leaned over his bed. "I checked on the tree," I told him. "It's growing."

    He smiled.

Chapter Two

Words That Wound

"Father, forgive them."
Luke 23:34

The dialogue that Friday morning was bitter.

    From the onlookers, "Come down from the cross if you are the Son of God!"

    From the religious leaders, "He saved others but he can't save himself."

    From the soldiers, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself."

    Bitter words. Acidic with sarcasm. Hateful. Irreverent. Wasn't it enough that he was being crucified? Wasn't it enough that he was being shamed as a criminal? Were the nails insufficient? Was the crown of thorns too soft? Had the flogging been too short?

    For some, apparently so.

    Peter, a writer not normally given to using many descriptive verbs, says that the passers-by "hurled" insults at the crucified Christ. They didn't just yell or speak or scream. They "hurled" verbal stones. They had every intention of hurting and bruising. "We've broken the body, now let's break the spirit!" So they strung their bows with self-righteousness and launched stinging arrows of pure poison.

    Of all the scenes around the cross, this one angers me the most. What kind of people, I ask myself, would mock a dying man? Who would be so base as to pour the salt of scorn upon open wounds? How low and perverted to sneer at one who is laced with pain. Who would make fun of a person who is seated in an electric chair? Or who would point and laugh at a criminal who has a hangman's noose around his neck?

    You can be sure that Satan and his demons were the cause of such filth.

    And then the criminal on cross number two throws his punch.

    "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"

    The words thrown that day were meant to wound. And there is nothing more painful than words meant to hurt. That's why James called the tongue a fire. Its burns are every bit as destructive and disastrous as those of a blowtorch.

    But I'm not telling you anything new. No doubt you've had your share of words that wound. You've felt the sting of a well-aimed gibe. Maybe you're still feeling it. Someone you love or respect slams you to the floor with a slur or slip of the tongue. And there you lie, wounded and bleeding. Perhaps the words were intended to hurt you, perhaps not; but that doesn't matter. The wound is deep. The injuries are internal. Broken heart, wounded pride, bruised feelings.

    Or maybe your wound is old. Though the arrow was extracted long ago, the arrowhead is still lodged ... hidden under your skin. The old pain flares unpredictably and decisively, reminding you of harsh words yet unforgiven.

    If you have suffered or are suffering because of someone else's words, you'll be glad to know that there is a balm for this laceration. Meditate on these words from 1 Peter 2:23.

When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

    Did you see what Jesus did not do? He did not retaliate. He did not bite back. He did not say, "I'll get you!" "Come on up here and say that to my face!" "Just wait until after the resurrection, buddy!" No, these statements were not found on Christ's lips.

    Did you see what Jesus did do? He "entrusted himself to him who judges justly." Or said more simply, he left the judging to God. He did not take on the task of seeking revenge. He demanded no apology. He hired no bounty hunters and sent out no posse. He, to the astounding contrary, spoke on their defense. "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

    Yes, the dialogue that Friday morning was bitter. The verbal stones were meant to sting. How Jesus, with a body wracked with pain, eyes blinded by his own blood, and lungs yearning for air, could speak on behalf of some heartless thugs is beyond my comprehension. Never, never have I seen such love. If ever a person deserved a shot at revenge, Jesus did. But he didn't take it. Instead he died for them. How could he do it? I don't know. But I do know that all of a sudden my wounds seem very painless. My grudges and hard feelings are suddenly childish.

    Sometimes I wonder if we don't see Christ's love as much in the people he tolerated as in the pain he endured.

    Amazing Grace.

Meet the Author

With more than 125 million products in print, Max Lucado is America's bestselling inspirational author. He serves the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and their mischievous mutt, Andy.

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No Wonder They Call Him the Savior 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Kellie4 More than 1 year ago
Max Lucado never disappoints. In his book, No Wonder They Call Him the Savior: Experiencing the Truth of the Cross, Lucado looks at three parts of the Cross. Part 1 of the Cross is about It's words, Part 2 of the Cross is about It's witnesses, and Part 3 of the Cross is about It's wisdom. Each chapter was to the point which is something I love about Max Lucado's writing. He gives you just enough to think about and when he has said what he needed to say, he moves on. Some authors that I have read on Spiritual Growth and Christian thought tend to drag on each chapter to the point that I have wanted to skip the rest of it. "I get the message" is something I want to say, but never with Lucado. Each chapter brings me in to the wisdom and insight he has gained through his ministry as a missionary, a pastor, and as an author. It is hard to pick out one part of this book that stuck out to me. This is one that I intend to read over and over as it takes such a profound look at the Cross and our Lord and Savior. I am in awe of what the Lord has done for me, someone who is undeserving of His Grace, yet, he took that long walk and died the death that was mine. All I can say is "No wonder they call Him the Savior!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I ever read byMax Lucado and still my favorite! I think I cried all the way thru it. It made me fall more in love with Jesus than I already was. This book is a "must read" if you want to know about this wonderful savior!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Max Lucado did an excellent job on this book! It consists of a series of short stories that helps the reader to better understand who God is. Lucado presents his material well and displays a knowledge of the Bible that he clearly portrays to his audience. Each chapter is a compilation of different stories that he uses in order to get his readers to think about what is being told. Lucado's purpose is to get people to think. He helps the reader to better understand God in a way that is personal and memorable. Lucado always seems to excel in these areas and he did not disappoint in this book either. I would recommend this book to anyone who is seeking to grow more spiritually. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through BookSneeze(R).com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
NikoleHahn More than 1 year ago
This book reminds me of a Snuggie. You slip your arms into the sleeves and let the love wrap around you to ward off the chill of anger and unforgivness. It's written in typical Max Lucado style-the master story teller telling the tale of the cross in a language we can all understand. While I didn't care for the gun comment on page 12 because it smelled political, the rest of the book won me with its rich descriptions and warmth. I give this book four stars. It's not very deep or complicated. It has a great study guide in the rear of the book. I would consider this book perfect for an unbeliever. It delves into the question of what part really matters, and yet also talks about what a relationship with Christ looks like. It's not wishy-washy and it doesn't glaze over truth. Like a snuggie, Christ's love covers sin and wraps us in the truth. Book given by publisher to review.
SMorrison01 More than 1 year ago
Max Lucado is one of my favorite authors and with this book that is no exception.In his own unique style of writing, the author takes you on a vivid journey of discovery as you see the Cross, and the characters who "surround" it, from a new light. No other book I have ever read connected me emotionally to Jesus the way "No Wonder They Call Him Savior" did. Max Lucado is really writing to people who have broken hearts and who can find a lonely person simply by looking in the mirror. The land of promise is for those who endure the pain and suffering and are reborn.All who are Christians, and those who simply desire to know more of the Christian religion, should give serious consideration to reading this book. You'll be glad you did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is powerful. I found it poetic, beautifully written. You can pick it up, read a section, and come back later. There's a beautiful coffee-table version of this book, but I don't see it here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the way Max Lucaso tells stories! They draw you in & keep your attention
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful read, gives good insight on what Jesus thought and feelings could've been like during his time and askes us the question. Have you ever felt like that. The what would Jesus do question I sometimes ask myself when faced with adversity. It also has a great Study guide.
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mmary More than 1 year ago
No Wonder They Call Him The Savior By Max Lucado You can never go worng with Lucado; every book is packed full of inspiration and hope and of how every day people are far more special than we realize. Hope can be found in the most unlikely of places and that is the focus of this book. Look out and up and down and inside; hope is everywhere because of Jesus. If you are in need of a little inspiration or if your hope meter is a bit low give Max a try; this is a great book and would make a groovy Christmas present!!!
JN45 More than 1 year ago
I have read other book by Max Lucado and really liked them but this was not one of those. I had a hard time getting into it so was not eager to finish it. I was disappointed. I did stop and think about What Counts? What Really Matters? I'm not sure that it was actually the cross but rather the fact that He willingly died for me and arose again on the 3rd day and I'm not sure if it mattered whether it was on a cross or not. I received this book free from Booksneeze to read and review. The opinions expressed are my own.
PJtheEMT4 More than 1 year ago
No Wonder They Call Him the Savior: Experiencing the Truth of the Cross By Max Lucado is among the most uplifting books that I have recently read. In true Lucado fashion, Max writes in an animated, easy to understand style that communicates biblical truths to the reader. His books bring bible stories and biblical truth to life in an inspirational way that speaks out to the reader. "Catch God in a bad mood? Won't happen. Fear exhausting his grace? A sardine will swallow the Atlantic first. Think he's given up on you?" ..... Lucado's use of colorful language and his conversational tone, make it so that biblical truths are memorable and meaningful to the average modern reader. You need not be a theologen, educated in an expensive seminary or college to understand Max Lucado's books. This inspirational book will be certain to leave the reader with a lasting impression. In today's self centered society, without offense Max Lucado illustrates the importance of living life based on biblical principles. Lucado illustrates with clarity the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf. In vivid detail, he makes clear, in everday words and language, the significance of Jesus' life and death for us. After reading this book, and really meditating on the biblical truths communicated via Max Lucado, one can feel a renewed sense of embpowerment to live a selfless life style. Max makes use of personal anecdotes as well as bible stories to illiustrate the importance of depending on God rather than on the material things of this world. If you are a theologen, looking for an apologetic defense on the purpose of depending on God then this book isn't for you. But, if on the other hand you are simply looking for bible based motivation and a relief in a world that takes pride in materialism, selfish ambition and competition, then this book is perfect. As a blogger for booksneeze, I receive books from Thomas Nelson publishers in exchange for writing an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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VeRtA More than 1 year ago
This book gives a whole new outlook on the inspiring story of our Savior Jesus Christ. Max Lucado does a fine job answering the question, what really matters. Out of everything that we are told about religion, out of everything we believe what is the most important thing there is. At the beginning you are puzzled as to what single object or belief could hold so much power. This book gives a unique eyewitness and testimony to the sacrifice that Jesus made and tells and affirms the reason why he is called our Savior.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The only reason I am fighting to finish it is because I paid to much for it to simply delete it
kamebear More than 1 year ago
This book is supposed to be about finding hope in Christ's sacrifice on the cross. If you are already familiar with the writings of Max Lucado, you will probably enjoy this book. If you enjoy devotionals or books that make you feel emotionally warm and are light reading, you will also probably like this book. But if you enjoy using your brain, want something deep and profound, this book is not for you. Prologue: The question is presented: "Forget the Christian religion - tell me what really matters." Lucado answers the seeker with a quote from 1 Corinthians 15: "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures. That he was buried, that he was raised o the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve." Lucado tells us that no one can ignore the cross. However, I feel like millions ignore it, every single day, so I'm not convinced and Lucado's words mean nothing to me. Each following chapter is a disjointed story that has nothing to do with the next chapter and not all that much to do with Christianity. I found this book pretty shallow. The main points can be summarized in one or two sentences, like "It's much easier to die like Jesus if you have lived like him for a lifetime." Not really all that profound, but this was the very best sentence in all of Chapter 1. Most of Lucado's writings are unemotional, untouching, not life-changing, not profound in any way, and sometimes just plain disagreeable. Example: "What kind of people mock a dying man?" Well... the majority of people mock based on their anger. Most people become angry when they hear about someone on death row - they just assume the person is a "bad person" and did "bad things", so they say "good" to his/her death. Disclaimer: I gave my honest review. I received this book from the publisher but a positive review was not required.