Summary: The cross of Christ is the most important structure ever erected in all of history.
Disclaimer: Source material for this sermon has been gleaned from many different sources. I have attempted to acknowledge these sources whenever possible.
Christ’s Final Week: Crucified
At Christ’s observance of His last Passover meal, He told the disciples that His body and His blood were going to be shed. (Matthew 26: 26-29) He went outside of the city to the Garden of Gethsemane. He was then arrested and brought back to the palace of the High Priest, where He was questioned by Annas, a former High Priest, and Caiaphas, Annas’ son-in-law. He was then tried by the Sanhedrin, and found guilty of blasphemy by proclaiming Himself the Son of God. He was sentenced to the death penalty. Since it was only the Romans who were able to carry out execution, Christ was sent to Pontius Pilate. Pilate, not finding anything wrong, sent Him to King Herod, who returned Him back to Pilate. Pilate, submitting to the pressure of the crowd, then ordered that Jesus be flogged and crucified. Christ was then led out of the city walls to be crucified on Golgotha, called the place of the skull because caves on the face of the hill give it the appearance of a skull. Jesus’ died at the highest point of Jerusalem. Christ told Nicodemus that just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so He would be lifted up. (John 3:14-15) High above Jerusalem stood the greatest and most important structure ever erected in all of history – the cross of Jesus Christ.
I. The Cross of Christ is a Cross of Division
A. It divides between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant
1. Matthew 26:27 – 28 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the NEW COVENANT, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
2. Colossians 2:14 “having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”
3. Paul identifies the cross of Christ as the great time-divide where the two covenants meet
4. Hebrews 10:11 – 14 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
B. It divides between the saved and the lost
1. 1 Corinthians 1:18, 22- 24 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (22)For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
2. The Cross declares both the path of the gentile and the Jew to be dead ends.
3. The World Despises the Cross of Christ.
4. The cross divides the saved from the unsaved. A person cannot be saved from their sin unless they trust in the cross of Christ.
C. ’Twill divide, then, the world,
O my friend, it is true-
The great cross of Jesus;
On which side are you? - copied
II. The Cross of Christ is a Cross of Decision
A. Because the Cross of Christ divides you cannot be neutral in relation to the cross. You must be on one of two sides either on the cross of rejection or the cross of repentance and reception.
B. Luke 23:32 – 33 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary; there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.
C. Two sinners hung on crosses with the Savior affixed between them.
D. Center stage was the cross of redemption.
E. Hebrews 2:9 "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."
F. On the one side was the cross of rejection and rebellion.
G. Luke 23:39 One of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "‘If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.
H. This man did not seek for salvation truly; he did not ask to be delivered from his sins; if he had, Jesus would have heard him. Men often, in sickness and affliction, call upon God. They are earnest in prayer. They ask of God to save them, but it is only to save them from “temporal” death.