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The Cross Sets us Free

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Sermon shared by David Scudder

January 2010
Summary: Why are we taking four weeks to study the Cross of Christ? Have you ever used Google Maps? You can see the map using a street view, satellite view or the regular map with lines and street names. All three are of the same area, but it gets confusing to loo
Denomination: Independent/Bible
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
Purpose: To explain the impact the Cross has on our lives.
Aim: I want the listener to see himself as a possession of Jesus Christ.

INTRODUCTION: Why are we taking four weeks to study the Cross of Christ?

Have you ever used Google Maps? You can see the map using a street view, satellite view or the regular map with lines and street names. All three are of the same area, but it gets confusing to look at all three at once.

“It is the same with the words used to describe the death of Jesus Christ. Each word, like [propitiation, redemption], reconciliation, or justification, is accurate and correct, but each word does not give the complete picture. To see the whole we need to place one ‘layer’ one top of the other, but that is sometimes confusing—we cannot see the trees for the whole! So we separate out each splendid concept and discover that the whole is more than the sum of its parts.” [1]

I. What is Redemption?

REDEMPTION ἀπολύτρωσις apolutrōsis; from ἀπολυτρόω apolutroō ( to release on payment of ransom); a release effected by payment of ransom:—redemption (9), release (1). [2]

So, there are two actions that make up redemption.

A. A payment—a ransom

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:3).

B. A release—freedom

“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36).

Peter combines these two ideas: “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; ” (1 Peter 3:18).

When a person is kidnapped it is often so that money can be extorted. The criminals are looking for a payment in order to grant freedom.

A story told by Paul Lee Tan illustrates the meaning of redemption:

“When A. J. Gordon was pastor of a church in Boston, he met a young boy in front of the sanctuary carrying a rusty cage in which several birds fluttered nervously.

Gordon inquired,‘Son, where did you get those birds?’

The boy replied, ‘I trapped them out in the field.’

‘What are you going to do with them?’

‘I’m going to play with them, and then I guess I’ll just feed them to an old cat we have at home.’

Gordon offered to buy them, and the lad exclaimed, ‘Mister, you don’t want them, they’re just little old wild birds and can’t sing very well.’

Gordon replied, ‘I’ll give you $2 for the cage and the birds.’

‘Okay, it’s a deal, but you’re making a bad bargain.’

The exchange was made and the boy went away whistling, happy with his shiny coins. Gordon walked around to the back of the church property, opened the door of the small wire coop, and let the struggling creatures soar into the blue.

The next Sunday he took the empty cage into the pulpit and used it to illustrate his sermon about Christ’s coming to seek and to save the lost—paying for them with His own precious blood.

‘That boy told me
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