Summary: This sermon is the second in a series about what the cross is. This sermon decribes what the cross teaches us through example.
What the Cross Is pt. 2
Intro: Farley wrote this in his book Outrageous Mercy “The Cross is our teacher. The cross is a window through which we learn everything we need to know about God, humanity, wisdom, worship, the purpose of suffering, the purpose of life, and a host of other issues. If you knew nothing else but the cross, but you knew it thoroughly, you would know everything essential for this life and the next.
The cross of Christ truly is the ultimate teaching tool for the Christian. Again, this is why we are going to be looking at the cross this spring, to keep our eyes, hearts and minds focused on Jesus.
But keep in mind, in order to be taught, you must be willing to learn. A few weeks back we talked about our need to be a learning church. I pray that you will be willing to learn, over the next few months, as we learn the lessons that have been taught to us from the cross of Christ.
One of the things that I find so amazing about the cross is that it teaches us by example. This morning I want to point out 3 things that the cross teaches us by example. Jesus did not come to preach to us, he did not come to condemn us, He did not come to make us feel guilty, He came and set an example. The cross teaches us by showing us these things.
I) It displays our condition
A) We don’t like to think about this, but we must if we are going to ever understand the cross.
1) We don’t really like to think that we had much to do with the cross.
2) We don’t want to take responsibility, for the cross
(a) After all it was God who put His Son on the Cross
(b) After all I did not ask Him to do that for me
(c) After all I did not make Him do it for me
(d) So it really has very little to do with me right? WRONG!!!
(i) The CONDITION of the world was so bad
(ii) The CONDITION of the human race was so bad
(iii) The CONDITION of the relationship between God and us was so bad.
¨ That the only thing that could restore it was Jesus, and not just Jesus, but Jesus crucified on a cross.
Þ That was the condition. Those are the facts! The CONDITION was out of hand!! For us, at least.
· God had a plan. But, before you can understand the plan you must understand the CONDITION!
B) Have you ever heard of Romans 3:23?
1) Of course you have, it shows us the condition right?
2) Preachers use it all the time to show us the condition we were in. For all have sinned… Right?
(a) But the Preachers, most times, stop before you get the full scope of the CONDITION we were in.
(b) The Preacher stops before the heavy stuff sets in.
(i) I want you to understand the cross. I want you to understand the CONDITION I am talking about.
(ii) So I am not going to stop this morning, I am going to give you the whole story.
¨ Romans 3:22-26 (NIV) 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-- 26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Þ Did you catch it? Do you see it? Can you see how bad our CONDITION was?
· We weren’t just sinners
· The world was not just a bad place
· We weren’t just separated from God
· We were not just falling short and letting God down.
(iii) It was so bad that JUSTICE had to be SERVED
¨ It was so bad, the condition was so OUTRAGEOUSLY MESSED up that somebody:
· Had to take a beating
· Somebody had to be wounded
· Somebody had to do the time for the crime
· Somebody had to pay the price
· Somebody had to be punished for the sins of the world
· Somebody had to DIE!!!
Þ And His name was Jesus!
· Somebody had to step up and do something
· Somebody had to fix the problem