Easter, Part 3
- This morning we continue our 5 week mini-series on the Easter season
- Over the past two weeks we’ve discussed the triumphant entry
-- Understanding the response of a crowd who needed a Savior
- And we’ve also covered the Lord’s Supper, final team disciples eat
-- Examining the importance of spending time with Jesus when He’s here
- Today, is a very important topic that we must approach sensitively
- It is not routine to discuss these things; nor do we see it much from pulpits
- As a church, we are to think about the death of the cross with reverence
-- It is not a punch-line; it is not a story; it is not a made-for-TV movie
- The death of Jesus on the cross signals one thing: Salvation for all mankind
-- Because of what God did for us, we have HOPE that lives with us today
-- IMP: The hope we have is worthless UNLESS we accept for ourselves!
- Set up the story: Jesus has been betrayed, arrested, denied, and facing a certain punishment
- CONSIDER: You’ve seen the entrance of the Messiah into the city; but you’ve also heard the cries and hatred of those around you screaming out for blood. In your own heart, you are uncertain of your place in this crowd. Do you support the man they call “The Son of God”? Or, do you stand with the crowd that is swelling and crying out for blood because you fear for your own life? What is it that YOU are calling “god” this morning?
- Stand and read Matthew 27:22-31 / Pray
Point 1 – The Price of the Blood (25-26)
- Ask yourself, what are you and I worth? How much does a human being cost?
-- When it comes to mercy, often times we think very highly of ourselves
-- But, when God’s hand of discipline is on us; we turn cold and shy away
- Let’s see how much the blood of one person cost; focusing on Jesus’ sacrifice
- v22: Notice the communal response … CRUCIFY HIM! CRUCIFY HIM!
- In this horrific suggestion we see the ordination of God’s desires; to crush Him
But what the people didn’t realize is their incredible response:
V25 – “His blood is on us …”
-- The blood of all humanity was on Jesus; in more ways than they understood
-- He was sent to be the one who would provide freedom for all; if only accepted
- In the OT, blood was used to cleanse everything; to make it new & honorable
-- Hebrews 9:13-14, “The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”
- But even in this cleansing; there was a price to pay … SOMETHING had to die!
- APP: In our case, that something was Jesus Christ – He had to die for us to live
- V26: I want to ensure that we don’t pass over this verse; implications are huge
-- The flogging was for our sins; it was not just a beating; it was brutal and viscous
-- Isaiah’s prediction of what He’d look like is in Isa 53:2-12 (turn to and read)
-- Isaiah 52:14 tells of the end result, “Just as there were many who were appalled at him—his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness …”
- It wasn’t just a beating he received; but a brutal and savage assault of life
- QUESTION: Is it right that one man should suffer so we can be made free?
- - The answer to this, is a resounding YES; since one man (Adam) brought sin
- TRANS: But why, would the Savior of mankind have taken such abuse?
Point 2 – He was beaten and scarred for us (27-31)
- Then … after all that, THEN they took him to be crucified; to be executed
- Why? The sin of mankind cannot be purified without the shedding of blood
-- It must have been done so that we can be made free; there’s no other reason
-- Jesus did not suffer on a rugged cross because God didn’t like Him
-- He suffered so that you and I could be set free to return to God in need
- Here is where we MUST take a turn in our thinking; and get real about today
- God’s love is shown to us so that we would understand his JUST nature
- For example, consider all the hype today surrounding the author, Rob Bell
-- His claims that God has to be all love and so hell doesn’t exist is ludicrous
-- But, if you consider the justice of what Jesus went through for us, Hell MUST be a real place that Jesus suffered here to ensure we’d avoid it later
-- However, a man like Rob Bell comes off hip and savvy BUT he’s no different than the rich young ruler in Mark 10 who’s afraid to let go of “his” views/stuff
-- But, Jesus replies in Mark 10:18, “… no one is good except God alone …”
-- Even this modern day example, Jesus had to suffer and be punished for Grace
- So, if Jesus is willing to do this for us; what are we going to do for Him?
- How honest can we be with our Lord today if we absolutely had to?
- If we were given a test of our faithfulness to Him, what would we score?
- Honesty with Him is so extremely important, as is honesty with one another …
-- Rev Larry West, “Why do so many say they believe we are fearfully and wonderfully made and then spend most of our life hiding who we are...find someone you trust to be real with.”
- In today’s times, we need to know that we are not alone; to be bound together
- It is not about us vs. them; nor is it you vs. the world or any other formula
-- Jesus came into this world to suffer and die so that we could be freed of that
-- He came into this world so that we would experience a real/sustaining life
- If only you would get real & put off the things of Earth; and look to the Kingdom
- TRANS: So, where does this leave you and me this morning and beyond?
- Where is your commitment today to Jesus Christ and to His sacrifice?
- We see here where he was assaulted and abused; beaten and scarred; killed
- He went through these things so that we could be made totally complete
- But have you put down the things of this Earth and surrendered to Him?
- If you want to know what your God is: It’s the thing you won’t give up for Jesus
- Every eye closed/ every head bowed; are we prepared to bow down before Him
- Do we live each day renewed because of what Jesus has done …
- Or, do we spend our time focused on who we are because it just feels good …
- I tell you this because I love you, you must repent and accept Jesus Christ today
- Pray / Salvation, Repentance, Mercy and Hope