Summary: A sermon remembering the greatest sacrifice of all time.
Consider The Cross
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14 Years ago this Friday our country changed forever. For those of us who lived through the terrorist attacks on September 11th 2001 our lives changed as well. We sat in awe as those plans crashed into the world trade center. As the buildings burned we witnessed people jumping from windows to their death to avoid being consumed by the raging fire. We watched in terror as those buildings fell with thousands still inside. We also witnessed the tragic attack on the U.S Pentagon.
But here were some encouraging things that happened on that day. For a little while our country came together. Blacks, whites, Hispanics, democrats, republicans, liberals, conservatives, independents, Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims and even atheists... all groups were united! Countless first responders willingly gave their lives to save others. Each year we pause to remember the sacrifice of those brave men and women. This week you will see tributes this week that say "NEVER FORGET". And we will NEVER FORGET!
Each spring we set aside a few services and we remember the greatest sacrifice of all... The sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When it comes the great price that Jesus paid on Calvary's Hill... May we NEVER FORGET! The sacrifice of Jesus is not something we should just think about on Resurrection Sunday. It is not just some ordinance that we observe a few times of the year. We should live each day with the amazing sacrifice of Our Savior at the forefront of our minds. We must never forget what occurred on the Cross at Calvary.
Oswald Chambers said - "All heaven is interested in the cross of Christ, all hell is terribly afraid of it, while men are the only beings who more or less ignore its meaning". In our day, some preachers rarely if ever preach about the cross. - R. G. Lee once stated - “Taking the cross out of our preaching": is like taking heat out of fire, melody out of music, numbers out of mathematics, fact out of history, mind out of metaphysics, words out of vocabularies. (Encyclopedia of Illustrations #6190).
We must always remember the glorious Cross! In our selected text Peter gives us a great reminder of the cost of our freedom. I would like to look at I Peter 2:21-25 for a little while and "Consider The Cross". These verses are in between two sections that cover how to react when we are treated unfairly. Last week we saw: How Servants Are To React When Treated Unjustly - 2:18-20. Next week we will see: How Wives Are To React When Treated Unjustly - 3:1-2. In these verses we see how to endure the suffering of injustice through the life and sacrifice of our Savior.
Peter learned the concept of Christian suffering from Jesus Himself. Notice what Jesus taught His Apostles - John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
Peter had personally suffered for the cause of Christ. He was seized, imprisoned, and Herod had every intention of beheading him. As Christians we are “suffering servants,” who are to imitate Jesus Christ, the “Suffering Servant". His suffering gives us both the motivation and the means to follow in His steps. Furthermore, His suffering provides us with the example of how we should suffer innocently to the glory of God.
I would like to look in detail at the sufferings of Christ and preach on the thought "Consider The Cross" . As we "Consider the Cross" let us:
I. Consider The Reason - v21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Why was there a cruel cross on Golgotha?? Peter says it was here that "Christ suffered FOR US"!!! We were lost sinners destined for Hell and He came for us! He suffered at the hands of His own Heavenly Father on our behalf! He who knew no sin became sin FOR US!! Jesus became the sin of the world and He was judged by the Father. God poured out His wrath onto the body of His Son and Jesus suffered the undiluted, unfiltered wrath of Almighty God. Jesus literally suffered the worst agony in the history of the world when He was on the cross!
The words that Peter writes in these verses are a reference to Isaiah's prophecy concerning the Messiah in Isaiah 53. Long before Jesus came as a babe in Bethlehem God gave a promise to the world that a Savior would come! Isaiah tells us that this Savior would suffer because of you and me!! Isaiah 53:6 says that "the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."