In today’s culture we have become so politically correct we dare not offend anyone.
Jesus spoke the truth in love and the self-righteous and proud were offended right and left.
#1 most quoted, “Thou shalt not judge thy brother.”
Words, “Satan, sin and hell” removed vocabulary.
We emphasize His love, grace and mercy but we don’t talk about His holiness, righteousness, judgment.
We have become desensitized by the world. The world has made the idea of Christianity and the idea of holiness as utter nonsense.
The things on TV are an abomination.
Isa 5:20, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness.
1. Topic: The Cross. Luke 14:27, “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”
We cannot appreciate what happened at the cross without understanding the holiness of God.
Because God is holy He hates sin.
God is light and He dwells in unapproachable light.
He cannot bear to look upon sin.
No-where is God’s holiness more evident than at the cross of His Son.
If you want to know how God feels about sin, look at the cross.
That was the day that the perfect, blameless, sinless Lamb of God was brutally slain on the cross. That was the darkest day in the history of the universe.
At high noon darkness came upon the land for three hours.
Creation itself was mourning, reflecting what was happening in the spiritual realm.
For 6 hours heaven and hell converged. There was darkness, there was weeping and gnashing of teeth, the earth itself quaked. Mary, and John and others helplessly watched as Jesus was beaten beyond recognition, stripped naked and nailed to the cross.
When Jesus was nailed to the cross He had already endured the whipping post of 39 lashes with a Roman cat-of-nine tails.
Called that because the whip was made of nine thongs each weighted with a lead pellet for impact. His back, arms legs had been torn open by this whipping.
When nailed cross, His torn open back against the wood would have caused even more bleeding and pain.
The crown of thorns that was pushed down into His scalp by the soldiers caused more sharp pain.
Pain in His head, back, hands, and feet. Nailed to the cross, unable to move.
He would have to push up from His nailed feet to take a deep breath. That effort would further rip His back on the cross. His lungs would fill with fluid and every breath would mean more pain.
A nail to His right hand, a nail to His left hand, and a nail through the feet.
But the greatest source of pain was not physical, but spiritual and emotional.
In the Garden of Gethsemane He sweat great drops of blood.
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He knew He would be separated from His Father and He had been with Him in all of eternity.
Finally, after He died, they drove a spear into His side, just to make sure.
I’m not so amazed that Jesus raised Himself from the dead. I’m more amazed that He could have died in the first place.
All men die because all men sin. Jesus was sinless. How could He have died?
2 Cor. 5:21, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Some ask: Where was God when…? 9/11?
Same place He was when the only perfectly innocent man / the Son suffered on the cross. On His throne!
God must let sin run its course so when it’s over no one will ever question His right to rule universe again.
What happened at the cross of Jesus Christ?
1. Prophecies were fulfilled.
The cross was no accident.
Rev 13:8, Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Then as early as the Garden of Eden
The pierced hands and feet of Psalm 22.
Psalm 34, “No broken bones.”
Psalm 69, “Given gall and vinegar.”
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. 9 And they made His grave with the wicked — But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.
2. The law sin & death satisfied;
If you sin you shall surely die. Wages of sin is death.
Matt 5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”
Whole point O.T. God’s plan of redemption blood sacrifice.
1,500 yrs. Literal, historical, theological context–John Baptist, “Lamb sins world / make sense.
His last words were –“It is finished. “Paid in full.”
Acts 20:28, “God purchased church own blood.
3. Justice / mercy converged / reconciled.
Ps 85:10, “Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.”
Because of the cross God can legally forgive without compromising His justice.
4. We now have direct access to God / Matt. 27:50,
“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His Spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”
a. We are no longer separated from God by sin.
b. O.T. priesthood / sacrificial system obsolete.
5. Col. 1:20 “…through His death, we are presented holy, blameless, and above reproach in His sight.”
a. Ps. 103:12, “As far apart as east is from west is far has He removed our transgressions.”
6. Cross / Ultimate demonstrations of God’s love.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).
Jesus, “Love your enemies.”
Didn’t just say, mocking, spitting, laughing, naked, pain, forgive them…”
Thief on right revelation. Lord remember me…
Not find any other religion, philosophy or system of thought.
7. Ultimate demonstrations of God’s / selfless humility.
a. Phil 2:8, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. “
b. The whole idea of Jesus’ crucifixion was that it was for others. It wasn’t for his benefit. He was sacrificing himself for the sake of other people.
c. It wasn’t the nails that held Christ to the cross, it was His love for you and for me.
1. Matt. 10:38, “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
What are we to die to?
1. Dead to world / code word for Godlessness.
a. Not putting any hope in this world.
b. 1 John 2 says, Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
c. Matt 16:26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
d. Rom 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
2. Dead to Sin, Alive to God
a. Rom. 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
3. Dead to self /
Self-will is the essence of sin.
Before cross Jesus, “Not my will but thy will be done.”
a. First sin/ Lucifer / “I will exalt myself above the throne of God.”
Isa 14:12-14 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.”
b. First sin earth same principle / covetousness / wanted to be like God/ good evil.
2. Dead to pride. God resists / grace humble.
Selfishness is driven by pride:
Pride of power, fame, fortune.
-It’s why you’re not satisfied with homes.
-It’s why you feel entitled to more.
-It’s why you won’t say you’re sorry when you know you should.
-Why men mistreat wives.
-It’s why wives disrespect husbands.
-It’s why people pretend to be closer to God than really are.
-It’s why you spend money you don’t have to buy things don’t need.
-It’s why you won’t forgive.
-It’s why you refuse to admit you’re wrong.
-Pride is why we won’t ask for help.
-Why many are addicted to the need for approval.
-Pride says life is lived best by looking out for number one.
-Pride is like cancer. Often times, you don’t know you have it until you have a problem or it’s too late.
Atheism is a crutch for those who cannot bear the thought of identifying themselves with Jesus Christ and admitting they are sinners. PRIDE!
The cross is the defining moment in history.
2,000 years ago a real historical person had such a profound impact on the world by what He said and by what he did the world marks time by the cross.
The cross is where the absolutes of life, death converged. John 12,
Jesus, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
“He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.”
The cross is where perfect justice, and where God’s mercy were reconciled,
The cross allowed God to redeem sinful man without compromising His justice.
When He died He bowed His head as if to humble Himself one last time.
His arms were extended as if to say to His Father, “I have finished the work you gave Me to do.”
As if to welcome and embrace all who would come in faith and repentance.
His whole body is open and laid bare for our redemption.
No one, however weak, is denied a share in the victory of the cross. No one is beyond the help of the prayer of Christ. His prayer brought benefit to the multitude that raged against him. How much more does it bring to those who turn to Him in child-like faith?
John 3:16-17 For God so loved…
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Jesus, “The kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe the Gospel.” Stop living as if God does not exist.
But men love darkness rather than the light because the light exposes the darkness.”
John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Good Friday was the darkest day in history, but on Sunday morning the glory of God appeared bringing salvation to all who would believe.
Mother saves baby daughter from house burning down. Has scars hands, arms face. For years daughter embarrassed / ashamed of mom.