The Cross

The Power of The Cross

  • Have you ever been offended by what someone said or did?? Upset at what was said?
  • Maybe they made fun of you- or spoke against something you believed in- double crossed you
  • An offense is something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Often- its offensive because its true- One time I walked into my grandmas house and she said I was portly. I was offended, but it was true.
  • What do we celebrate on Easter 1 cor 15:3-8 READ
  • Christ rising from the Dead is not just why we celebrate Easter- its why we celebrate every Sunday and every other day of the year
  • IF this isn’t true. Its all a waste. We are still in our sin. We’re stupid and we’re wasting our lives
  • 1 Cor 15:12-19
  • I’m not going to argue with you whether or not the resurrection of Jesus is true or not today. I know its true. Volumes of books have been written proving this fact. Its futile to argue. Its true. It demands a response.  
  • You’ve responded. You’re here today. You are living for Jesus, or you are not. Make a decision to  Either to Live for Jesus or reject his claims that he was God, but you need to respond
  • The dividing line between living for Christ isn’t the truthfulness of the claim, but the Cross of Christ
  • Why? Because the Cross is an offense. Most people have an opinion about the Cross.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,
  • If you don’t believe in the cross of Christ you think that those who do are fools and it’s an offense to you that they do-
  • What is the cross? The cross is the short description of Jesus Christ of Nazereth being crucified on a wooden structure in the shape of T- a cross- usually a 100lb beam on their back
  • In ancient Rome- Crucifixion was the most publicly excruciating (ex-cruciating- crucified) humiliating way that a person could die
  • The goal was simple- make a public display of the person so bloody and humiliating that it would punish the wrongdoer and at the same time discourage anyone from committing the same crime
  • They would strip them naked in the public square, beat them to the edge of death, nail them to the cross by their hands and feet. Often times they would put a small shelf at the feet or legs to help support the body weight to extend the pain. Legs would be broken and they would try to stay alive by holding themselves up and usually eventually bleed out or asphyxiate.  If that didn’t happen Crucifiers would accelerate the process by stabbing them in the side or genitals and leave them on the cross to die eventually from dehydration or animal attacks
  • Here’s the kick tho- Jesus hadnt done anything deserving of the death he died. He was sinless
  • John 19:4 Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.”
  • Why is this Cross is an offense? Why is it that people get so upset about our Jesus?
power of the cross
  1. It says that we are filled with sin
  2. The bloody horrible public death that Jesus died was because of the sin of you and I
  3. We hadn’t yet even been born, but the penalty of our sin was what sent Jesus to the Cross
  4. This is an offense! If I took someone out in the parking lot and crucified them for your wrong doing, you would  have some sort of an emotional response- or at least I hope you would
  5. And none of that would have happened if we had lived perfect lives- but we haven’t
  6. Lying, stealing, cheating, lusting, greed, envy, worship of false idols, disobedience, all of it
  7. The Story of Easter is that we were born sinners and needed our sin forgiven before God
  8. Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  9. God loves you when you are sinner. He loved you when you were a sinner. He loves you now.
  10. Isaiah 53:5 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.
  11. And the culmination of his love for you, the last ditch effort that he exacted was to send Jesus to die a bloody death to pay for your sin- to give you a way to spend eternity with him!
  12. admitting problem is embarrassing- Going to dentist- infection- I floss! (I couldn’t fix myself)
  13. Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
power of the cross
  • It is an offense because  It says that there is only one way to heaven
  • World bends every rule to make everything acceptable- definitive answers hurt
  • John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
  • This isn’t a claim that I make- It’s a claim that Jesus makes- if you want to go to heaven- you can only get there through me- no other way
  • Not by going to church, not by religion, parents, bible reading, any other religion- only me
  • Aren’t you condemning other people by that belief? I’m not condemning anyone- Bible does
  • Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
  • That’s an offense. That’s a challenge. That’s not easily accepted. One way only
  • In this world in which we live where no one wants to make definitive statements about anything, the statement that Jesus is the only way to heaven is offensive
  • Basic- weapon on safe- pushups for one hour- didn’t kill PT Test- sore- But that’s rules!
  • Even the Romans made concessions for Christians- put a statue of Jesus among their Gods, but the Christians refused- No one was to share a place with Christ and they refused
  • 1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
God's Love
  • Its an offense because It says that you need to repent
  • It says that you need to live different- hearing the story and doing nothing does nothing.
  • Its offensive to tell someone that they need to live differently- that how they are living is wrong
  • Your life is going in one selfish direction, and the Cross says “that’s the wrong way- turn around” The Bible word for that is repentance- If you are not livng for JC you’re WRONG
  • Matthew 9:13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
  • The arrival and life of Jesus was to highlight to people that how they were living was wrong.
  • Worshipping the wrong thing, loving the wrong way, hearts filled with envy, greed, anger
  • Self justified self centered exploitive living at the expense of other people. Jesus says- TURN
  • Luke 13:5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
  • The view of the bible is that you are either living under the direction of God, or yourself, but you can’t have it both ways.
  • Wedding night- officer threatening to call my CO- message– “more is expected of you”
  • Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,
power of the cross
  • It says that everyone can be saved
  • We live in a world of judgment and punishment. We arrest and convict. We imprison and fine.
  • People get labeled as a criminal or a felon and they have that descriptor on them forever
  • You may pay your debt to society, but society doesn’t see it that way. Even after doing your time, they still bring up your past. They still see you as your mistakes. They still treat you bad.
  • If you’ve ever said “I’ll never forgive them” or “that person deserves to die and rot in Hell” you know what I’m talking about. The ethos of America is to get a pound of flesh. Its not forgiveness
  • The most offensive part of the cross is that anyone can be accepted by Jesus Christ and forgiven of their sin. Any sin. Any time. Any circumstance.
  • Yes, you might suffer the earthly penalties, but God will fully forgive anyone who comes to him in true faith asking for forgiveness
  • scandalous to believe that the most rotten disgusting horrendous people can be forgiven of their sin, restored to a place of peace, and be a shining example of Christ’s faithfulness
  • Romans 10:13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
  • Remembe Jeffery Dahmer murdered 17 sentenced to 900 years 16 consecutive life sentences
  • Quote from article- Booth contacted Roy Ratcliff, minister of the Madison Church of Christ in Wisconsin. Ratcliff set up weekly Bible lessons with Dahmer and baptized him on May 10, 1994. Ratcliff later shared that Dahmer told him he had been fearful of the minister’s visit. “He dreaded that I might say, ‘No, you’re too evil. You’re too sinful. I can’t baptize someone like you,’” Ratcliff said.
  • Matthew 19:25-26 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
  • We serve a God who loves everyone, can forgive anyone, and will receive anyone
  • It doesn’t matter what you have done, where you have been, what you have taken part in
  • If you come to the Cross in Faith, turning away from your sin, and placing your faith in Jesus, you will be forgiven, and then God can use you as a shining example of his Faithfulness
  • Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
  • Paul in the NT- Used to crucify Christians, got converted and wrote most of the NT.
  • You may be asking yourself this Easter- Can God forgive a person like me? The answer is YES
  • What do I need to do? Admit that you’ve wronged God and lived wrong
  • IN your heart, believe that Jesus can and will forgive you of your sins
  • Confess him as your Lord and turn away from your past way of living and live HIS way not YOUR way
  • Celebrate Easter today and give your life to the Risen Savior-
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