Summary: An invitation to come to the cross should be ore than just an invitation to take something away. This is an invitation o bring something, when you come.
Come to the Cross 2 Corinthians 5:21
PLAY Video following the offertory prayer
I want to invite you to come to the cross this morning and consider what the death of Jesus means for you, and for your world.
If you accept my invitation to come to the cross this morning, I don’t want you to come empty handed.
When you come, I want you to bring five things with you.
1. When you come to the Cross, bring your sin.
I wonder why is it that we carry our sin around with us and even feel bad about it, instead of running to the cross where we find forgiveness, in Jesus.
We need to remember, it was our sin that caused Jesus to die for us.
This should cause us to search our hearts and souls for the places where we have turned away.
We should consider the times we have been disobedient. For the wrong habits we cling to.
Hanging on to our sin is like getting all dressed up for an important party, walking out the door to a huge mud puddle, and jumping right in the middle of it.
But then instead of running back inside and getting cleaned up, we sit there, in the puddle, feeling bad. Feeling sorry for ourselves. Feeling too ashamed.
But while we sit there, we are missing the party.
What we need is to hurry back and get cleaned up, by coming quickly to the cross, confess our sin to Jesus and asking for forgiveness.
Jesus promised us in, [1Jo 1:9 NKJV] “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
The truth is, Jesus has already carried our sin on His shoulders, the day He walked to that cross. The penalty has been already paid. He is just waiting for us to see it, admit our sin and let it go.
He’s waiting for you to trust Him with the cleansing, and when you do, you are able to walk away free and whole.
So come to the cross, where you will find forgiveness for you sin this morning.
2. When you some to the Cross, bring your gratitude.
Imagine being in Ronald Smarts’ shoes actually hearing a judge sentence you to death.
You’ve committed a crime for which death is the only punishment.
You hear the verdict…“guilty.”
You hear the sentence…“death.”
BUT then you hear something else. A man in the back of the room steps forward, walks up to the guards who have you by the arm, and gently pulls the guards hands away.
He offers His wrists, and they place the cuffs on Him, and march Him off to take your place; to take your punishment.
You are free to go! Someone else has taken your place.
How would you feel towards that man? Wouldn’t you feel tremendous gratitude? Maybe you would feel a little guilty that someone else took the punishment you deserved.
But years later, as you watched your children grow and your friendships deepen and your face aging in the mirror, you would know – you would remember – that someone else gave their life so that you could live.
Hold onto that feeling. And bring that to the cross because that’s exactly what Jesus did for you/me…
3. When you come to the Cross, bring your burdens.
In the book, Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan describes how the pilgrim realizes his guilt and lostness. Strapped to his back is the heavy burden of sin and shame.
"I fear that this burden upon my back will sink me lower than the grave," he says, as he staggers under its weight.
But then he approaches a hill called Calvary:
“Up this way, therefore, did burdened Christian run, but not without great difficulty, because of the load on his back. He ran thus till he came to a place somewhat ascending; and upon that place stood a cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a sepulcher. So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do till it came to the mouth of the sepulcher, where it fell in, and I saw it no more.”
Here’s the picture I want to be burned into your mind, this morning.
When we come to the cross, ALL of the burdens we carry, ALL of the sorrows, ALL of the things which weigh us down and threaten to sink us, can slide off of our back, tumble down the hill into the grave of Christ.
But there is one thing we have to do. We have to let go. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”