Monday, 18 November 2013

The Cross - the defining moment for Christianity

November 3, 2013 - Sunday Sermon Review

Our church is studying through the entire book of Matthew. We are in Matthew 27:32-66. Below the text I will post the sermon notes that I took as the Pastor spoke.

 The text reads as follows:

The King on a Cross (taken from biblegateway.com )

32 Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross. 33 And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull,34 they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink.
35 Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:
“They divided My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.”
36 Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. 37 And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him:
38 Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left.
39 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders,[d] said, 42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.[f] 43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
44 Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.

Jesus Dies on the Cross

45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
47 Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!”48 Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink.
49 The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.”
50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
55 And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar, 56 among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

Jesus Buried in Joseph’s Tomb

57 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. 59 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed. 61 And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.

Pilate Sets a Guard

62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said,‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”
65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.

Here are the notes I took as the Pastor presented his sermon:

The cross is the defining moment for Christianity.
1 Corinthians 2:2 says For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

It is more than a tragic death.
It is the most transforming moment of human history.
More so than the creation of the world, more so than the fall where Adam and Eve rejected God, though both of these events change everything.

The cross changes everything.
Jesus the Son of God ( being fully human and fully God ) died on the cross to save us.
1 Corinthians 1:23  but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,
Jesus died a cursed and shameful death.

This is foolishness to the Greeks, the Romans - The Romans with their mighty army worshiped Zeus the god of the storms. No one would consider or try to kill and crucify the Roman god - for fear of being struck by a lightening bolt.

Why would Jesus do this for us - why would He die for us?

We come with a sense of wonder and awe to the cross of Jesus.
It is God's expression of love for us.
Romans 5:8  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 3:16  By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Ever wonder "Does God love me?" Look to the cross, there is your answer.

God cares about us.
The cross brings us forgiveness of sin, He carries our sin, He bore them on the cross.
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,

Jesus takes all the garbage of our life. God looks on us in forgiveness.
Jesus paid an awful price for our sin.

Our sins do not need to define us.
They are there, but God forgives and uses them to shape us.

Jesus saves, He rescues and delivers us.
He does even more - He draws us into the presence of God.

The curtain of the temple was torn from the top to the bottom.
We are all welcome to come into the Presence of God.

Adam and Eve were driven from the garden. The consequence of sin is to be removed from the presence of God.

Jesus took that upon Himself - "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
We have a choice to make - we can accept or reject what Jesus has done for us. We have the freedom to make that choice ( heaven or hell )

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