Why a Christian Can Glory in the Cross
23 Apr, 2000 AM
PLACE: BBC Blarney
Introduction (John 12:20-26; 1Cor 15:36,37)
A. What was the purpose of the cross? In simple terms:
1. To purchase me - there was a price on my head, and Jesus paid it all!
2. To unplug the power of the world over me - it controlled my life
3. To produce fruit through my life! Make something out of me!
B. The way God accomplished this purpose shows us just how glorious the cross is, and just how great the crucified life of believer is!
C. It all began with a life that was like a single seed - that had to die to accomplish its purpose. Oh that we understood the power of the death of three things today: the power of the death of Christ, of this world, and of the believer!
Message - The
Three Things That Died on the Cross (Galatians
A. Jesus Christ Died on the Cross (Gal 3:1) - He didn't swoon, or faint, or fake His death. He died. And to prove it, a Roman soldier pierced His side, and showed that Christ's blood had already separated into plasma and
A Predicted Death
- this was not unexpected
a. 33 Old Testament predictions specifically targeting the crucifixion all came true on the money
b. Not only that - 250 other verses of Scripture target the need for one final Lamb to pay for all sins, the need for hearts to be converted, and not just minds, the necessity of shedding blood for sins, etc.
c. As a matter of fact, from Genesis 3 on, the whole thrust of the Bible has been to prepare people for the coming Messiah who would defeat death by death itself!
A Cruel Death
- 18 hours from the garden through the crucifixion
a. Shows the price of sin
b. Next time you read of what Jesus went through, remember that it is our sin that is ugly, and our sinful natures that cause such cruelty
3. A Required Death (Heb 2:9) "We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."
a. There was no other way to defeat death, than by facing it head-on
b. And conquer it he did!
1) Without the cross, we never would have known the power of the resurrection
2) Without the cross, death and hell would have been final
3) The cross was God, in the flesh, tasting death for everyone
c. I sure can glory in such a death - the world looks on and sees only a loser - sees defeat - sees only a religious ritual. But I see the Saviour doing what was necessary to save a sinner such as I!!!
A Published Death -
2,000 yrs later, it's the focus on every believer's lips
a. Within an hour after Diana's car crash, most of the world knew that she was dead. It was published in almost every newspaper and was reported on almost every news program.
b. But her death has passed. Some still remember it, and memorialize her, but she can't compete with Jesus:
1) 1Cor 2:2 "For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified."
2) 1Cor 1:22-24 "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God."
c. The greatest and best news ANYONE could hear is that JESUS DIED! Why? Why is THAT so great? Because… (1Cor 1:18) "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."
d. That's why I publish it, and urge every Christian to publish it!
B. The World Died on the Cross (Gal 6:14) - the world system of buying and selling; cultures and traditions; religions and spiritual endeavours of humanity - all died that day 2,000 years ago! (take a look at 2Cor 5:14,15)
"For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:" (2Cor 5:14) - That's powerful!
1. The cross shows the condition of this sinful old world
a. You can paint it up, decorate it, and colour it beautiful, but it is a sinful, wicked world that has no time for God, and no time for His word
b. When Jesus died on that cross, something more than a Saviour hung there - the whole world was hanging there as well, dying
1) This world held sway over whether people followed God or not - if it was not popular, people wouldn't do it
2) This world dominated people's minds and thoughts - how to succeed, how to get-by, how to win, how to find happiness, etc.
3) This world dictated what was right and wrong - only might made right - the survival of the fittest was a dictator's motto!
c. Yet Christ died for it! He died to kill it - to slay it!
d. He did not allow the Roman soldier to beat Him in order to "join with" the world and to integrate with it, but to slay it - to conquer its false beauty and false hopes, and replace it with real life - eternal life
e. Don't you see that ALL of this world is lost? Even Christians are being brainwashed today into thinking things aren't so bad, and sins aren't as sinful as they used to be, and that God isn't so strict anymore? Oh yeah? I have got news for you! You haven't known just how strict God is, unless you have read all through the Bible yet!
2. The cross clearly shows the love of God for this old sinful world
a. He died to redeem the world - in great love, He dove in, to retrieve what was at the bottom of the sea, and in rescuing it, died
b. Figure that one out
1) Christ died for the ungodly says Romans 5:8
2) Christ died for people that were DEAD - because he is in the resurrection business! AMEN!
3) Only Jesus Christ cared - everyone else is only interested in their own skins!
"And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again." (2 Cor 5:15)
3. The cross clearly shows the need of Biblical Christianity
a. The only way for this dark, empty world to hear such good news as the Gospel is for Christians to repent of their hesitation, fears, hang-ups, covetousness, and cares for the world, and start living for Jesus
b. Stop living for self - shows our love only of self which is so dead!
c. Instead, live for the only Person to perfectly sacrifice His life for yours, and who now lives, and offers life to a world facing only death
d. Requires living what is called the crucified life (which is next point)
C. Finally, I Died on the Cross (Gal 6:14; 2:20; Philp 3:1-10)
1. You say, "You weren't there!" And you are right. And yet, you are also wrong. When Jesus died on the cross, I was there. It was MY place Jesus was taking. Remember Barabbas?
2. This is where Christianity becomes real.
a. Yes Jesus died on the cross
b. And yes, the world in all its glory died on that cross as well
c. But it was when I died, on June 15, 1980 as well, there, on the cross, next to Jesus - as a condemned sinner - deserving my punishment - no longer fighting retribution - but instead, only clinging to God's offer of salvation - that I found life
3. Look at Philp 3:1-10
a. No more confidence (certainty, assurance, rest) in myself and my accomplishments - not many I know can say that they…
1) Forget heritage - wonderful to be Irish, better to be a Christian. Paul could have been very proud to have been a Jew
2) Forget their religion and religious works
a) Everybody worships something
b) Many worship God with their flesh - their efforts. Paul was very zealous - even to the point of persecuting heresy!
c) But a born-again child of God worships Him in spirit, with absolutely NO confidence, or self-assurance in themselves
3) And definitely forget their own righteousness - own goodness. Paul was as far as anyone could tell, blameless according to the requirements of the Law - but inside, dead as a cooked turkey!
4) All because they now have a greater confidence!!!
b. To DIE means that you lose your confidence in things
1) Profitable things - good, beneficial things like: bank accounts, health, family, car, intelligence, plans, education, jobs, etc.
2) Profane things - wicked things like: your ability to lie your way out of trouble, your charm, and your ability to manipulate people
3) How many here compare those things to cow dung? If we all did, it would not matter people's skin colour, or their culture, or their knowledge, or their background, or their status. What would only matter is their salvation, and their walk with God!
c. Only Christ, and His victory on the cross has my attention today (Philp 3:8-10)
1) The only way for all this world, and all my love for this world to die, is for it to be over-powered by such love and life as what Jesus offers!!!
2) Oh the greatness of just knowing Jesus Christ, and being known by Him - He knows me, and He loves me!
3) Oh the challenge of winning His attention, and His praise - you can't win both the world's praise, AND God's
Conclusion - Let Me Apply This (Gal 6:14)
A. What was the purpose of the cross?
1. To purchase me
2. To unplug the power of the world over me
3. To produce fruit through my life! Make something out of me!
B. How Does God do all that in anyone's Life?
1. By first of all, Christ dying in place of everyone ever born - He is the full payment for all sin - no matter how good a person is
2. Secondly, by the world system collapsing and dying on the cross
a. It won't die until you see Christ there, loving you, in your place
b. Once this world has died, you will never be the same
3. Thirdly, by you surrendering all your confidences into the hands of Jesus - even on a daily basis ("by whom the world IS crucified unto me…)