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Summary: A Palm Sunday Sermon

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SERMON BRIEF

Date Written: March 31, 2012

Date Preached: April 1, 2012

Church: OPBC (AM)

FOUNDATIONAL ELEMENTS

Title: The Anatomy of a Confession

Text: Matthew 27:45-56 [read now]

Introduction:

Typically on this Sunday we celebrate the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, but this morning we are going to fast forward to a time almost a week after that glorious entrance into the city...

But now the situation looks bleak, and Jesus' adversaries are thinking they have put Him away for good...Jesus is hanging on the cross... Jesus is suffering... Jesus is feeling the effects of the sin of the world being placed on His shoulders!

At the Cross there was a Roman soldier who was in charge of crucifixion of Jesus… and through it all this man witnessed the love that Christ revealed while he was being beaten, mocked and finally crucified.

Seeing this changed him and made a permanent mark on his life. And it is at the foot of the Cross where we find this man making a confession that changed his life… he confessed Jesus as God’s Son...

That was over 2000 yrs ago and today there is NO difference. Today we MUST to come to the point where we face Jesus, and at that point -- it is at the foot of the Cross where we must make our confession of who Christ is… IS He the Son of God or will we reject who He claims to be…

But this morning I want us to take a look at the act of confession itself. THIS MORNING I want us to look and see just what is taking place at the point of confession.

This morning I want us to take notice of three (3) separate observations about confession...

1st I want us to observe how in the confession of Christ that there has to be a certain observance of events…

2nd I want us to observe how in the confession of Christ that there is a reversal of opinion…and finally

3rd I want us to observe how in the confession of Christ there is a realization of our redemption…

1. A Realization of Events at the point of confession:

There has to be a certain realization of the events when we come to the point of confession…

Let's take a look at this Roman soldier we find in our passage this morning! He was the commander of a group of 100 men and he would have been a man who would be aware of details… He would have to be a man that was aware of things going on around him…

He would have NEVER reached this level of authority without being able to see the details! So, as the one in charge of crucifying Jesus, I am sure he would have been aware of the things that had happened to Jesus on His way to the cross and after he was placed on the cross…

We can only come to the conclusion that these events had a profound affect on him. He saw how others treated Jesus and he witnessed how Jesus reacted to them...

First it could have been at his “trial”... There we find Jesus standing TALL, not speaking but communicating His heavenly royalty! It may have even looked like Pilate was on trial that day instead of Jesus.

This soldier saw Jesus accept His sentence without begging or crying. He saw Jesus submit to his fate willingly, unlike the many others this he had seen come and go…

He had seen so many who would scream, beg, and cry for their lives. They would curse and strike out at the people… but Jesus did not do this and this soldier then began to notice how Jesus was trying to comfort others who were weeping for Him...while He was on His way to be put to death!

We often speak of what Jesus said while on the Cross and we call it the seven words of Christ on the Cross… I can only imagine what affect these words had on this centurion as he heard Jesus speak them… out of love and compassion… even tho’ all around Him were showing hate and anger towards Him... He showed love and compassion, even on the Cross!

Finally, I believe that this soldier would have noticed the things that began to happen that were NOT natural... at the time Jesus was being crucified.

Things like the earthquake and the sun going dark…I truly believe that these things made a great impression on the heart of this soldier!

We can read scripture and we can make some presumed observations about this solider and how he observed Jesus, but when we see how this man observed Jesus, we have to ask ourselves the question, “When I observe Christ, how do I react?” or we can ask the question, “Do others see Christ in my life… and how do they react?”

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