Summary: This sermon goes over the painful steps that our Lord had to take on the Via Dolorosa. It is a follow-up to the Mel Gibson movie "The Passion of the Christ."
6 Steps to Redemption
Rev. Nick Scarpa
Elm Street Baptist
Raise your hand this morning if you or someone you know has ever been involved in a Step program, where you take a number of steps to complete the program.
There have been numerous books written that use this Step-by-Step approach to teach us. Many instructions come with a piece of furniture or a computer - even needlework.
Learn quilting in 6 easy steps! 10 Steps to a New You!
The most popular may be the 12 Step program that is used by AA or other Recovery groups.
This morning we will discuss the most important step approach that ever existed.
Six steps to Redemption is not however, a plan that we follow to be saved. There is no quick and easy plan of salvation.
True Salvation is the hearing of the gospel, which in turn leads to repentance of our old way of life. We must accept the bible to be the inspired Word of God and believe that the suffering that Jesus endured on the cross paid the price for our salvation - once and for all.
But there is more to the Redemption story than just the cross. Jesus had to survive six painful steps on his way to the cross. This is what we will look at this morning.
I must tell you that I went to see the Passion of the Christ last night. I had attended a Pastor’s Dinner sponsored by Gideon’s at the Woburn Radisson and the Cinema was next door, so I decided to see the movie before I finished my sermon.
I had gathered some research at the library and reviewing Christ’s last steps, but seeing the movie has helped me to visually recall those steps and the suffering He endured for you and I.
If you have been to this movie, you know what I am talking about.
If you have not been to see it, I encourage you to get out and see it.
It will help you to remember what He was willing to do.
Let’s look at the six steps that led to our redemption and to our Lord’s death.
Our review begins with the first step toward the fulfillment of God’s Redemptive Plan.
Jesus and his disciples had just celebrated the passover together. It was probably the most emotional passover that any of the 12 would experience.
Jesus had told them that he would be betrayed by one of them. He also shared the true meaning of the Lord’s Supper.
At this point they sang their usual hymn and then headed out to the Mount of Olives with him.
STEP 1) Acceptance of His Mission
Gethsemane was a Garden where Jesus spent much of his time with the disciples.
Remember his words: "The son of man has nowhere to lay his head"
This was a place where they spent quality time together. Judas knew it well and was able to lead the soldiers to it with ease.
So Jesus took his inner circle of friends, James, John and --
Of course, Peter, and went to a solitude place to pray.
His soul began to be overwhelmed with sorrow and he wanted to be alone.
Jesus did not have to go through with the crucifixion. He agonized over it in prayer saying, "Father, take this cup from me" and yet he found the strength to accept it - "yet not as I will, but as you will" and thus made a turn onto the path of God’s plan.
He found no help from his friends as they had fallen asleep.
Jesus returned to pray the same thing until his acceptance was clear - until God’s will became his will.
Apply: For us to live for him, we must accept his plan and purpose for our lives. We must be wholly devoted to it!
Step 2) Humility Under Pressure
READ Matt. 26:50b-54
I cannot help but feel for Peter. He loved his Lord so much that he was willing to go to battle for him. Yet this same man would deny Christ three times when faced with pressure.
The most important point to see here is Jesus’ humility in the face of trial. He could have called 10,000 Angels! He could have stopped these soldiers from taking him, but he didn’t. He was a man of humility under pressure.
He had accepted his purpose and knew the importance that the scriptures be fulfilled.
Apply: Brothers and sisters, there are times when we would like to call down the Angels of heaven to destroy those who persecute us.
We must be like Jesus - be humble under pressure!
We are called to rejoice in our sufferings!
Jesus knew the sdriptures and knew what needed to be fulfilled.