Summary: The death of Jesus Christ will affect you– I just pray you’ll allow it to bring Victory!
A. We want to Welcome all of you to the Lewes Church of Christ. What a special day and a special time!
B. Series: For the last month, I’ve been preaching a sermon series that has been inspired by Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. Now, I’m not much of a movie goer, but I got the privilege of seeing this movie on opening day, the first showing. Promptly at 1:20 p.m., the first screen read, “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities...By his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5-6; 714BC.” And then for two hours and six minutes, I was there! I not only saw the movie, I experienced the Life of Christ– from the garden, through the betrayal, the arrest, the scourging, the cross, the surrender, the empty tomb– it’s not a movie. It’s an encounter. It was powerful. And I was so glad I didn’t get any popcorn, because it would have still been in the bag.
C. I walked out of the theater totally speechless. I mumbled “good-bye” to my companions and went and set in my car. For the next three hours, my mind was totally captivated by the Gospel of Jesus like never before. If you would have told me a year ago that the star of Lethal Weapon would have every one talking about Jesus– there is no way I would have believed it.
D. In this series, I wanted to discuss some of the themes that were stirred in my heart as I watched this movie. Three weeks ago we looked at Christ’s Passion against the Evil One. Two weeks ago we looked at Christ’s Passion for the Father. Last week we saw Christ’s Passion for People. Today, I want us to look at a theme that the Apostle Paul so eloquently describes in his letter to the Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 55b-58... “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...... “Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
E. Today, I want us to focus on Christ’s Passion for Victory!
F. This past week, both the men and women from UCONN won the NCAA National Championship. And that is such a great victory, but even that pales in comparison the Ultimate Victory found in Jesus Christ.
G. Mel Gibson addressed 5,000 church leaders in Chicago after a preliminary screening of The Passion of the Christ, “It will probably be savaged by critics. But I’ve had my career, and I’m bored with it. I created a secular utopia for myself in Hollywood, but it was empty. There are more important things. Civilization was changed forever by Christ. Whether you believe it or not, his death will affect you!” Well, Gibson is right. The death of Jesus Christ will affect you– I just pray you’ll allow it to bring Victory!