Summary: Why did Jesus suffer and die on the cross of Calvary? We find the answer in our Scripture text, John 3:16, (The Golden Text of the Bible) “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but hav
“Experiencing Eternal Life”
Today is Palm Sunday – the first day of what is known as the beginning of Holy Week for the Christian world. On this Sunday Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
Luke 19:37-38: Jesus rode into the city on a young donkey. “When he came to the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.”
Later that week on Friday Jesus was arrested and another crowd of non-disciples of Jesus cried out, “Away with Him, Crucify Him.” Jesus was crucified on Friday and on “Good Friday” we remember the Death of Jesus. Next Sunday, Easter Sunday is the climax of Holy week when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Why did Jesus suffer and die on the cross of Calvary? We find the answer in our Scripture text, John 3:16, (The Golden Text of the Bible) “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Jesus died on the cross so you and I can experience eternal life. Today you can have the assurance of eternal life before you leave this worship service. That’s right, not tomorrow, not next week, or next month or next year, but TODAY.
Without the fact of Jesus dying on the Cross there would be no Christian Faith. The March 27, 2000, Newsweek magazine featured an article on how different religions view Jesus. The article concluded with these words:
Clearly the Cross is what separates the Christ of
Christianity from every other religion. In Judaism
there is no precedent for a Messiah who dies, much less as a criminal. In Islam, the story of Jesus’ death is rejected as an affront to Allah himself. Hindus can only accept a Jesus who escapes the degradation of death.
Buddhists say the crucifixion does no justice to Jesus. The image of benign Jesus has universal appeal. Most of the world can’t accept Jesus of the cross.
Jesus was nailed to the cross and suffered and died in our place. The nails did not hold Jesus to the cross. He could have easily removed the nails. He could have called ten thousand angels to come to his aid. It was invisible nails that held Jesus to the cross.
I. The Invisible Nail of Love Held Jesus on the Cross.
“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son….” John 3:16
“God gave his love to us that even while we were sinners Jesus died for us.” Romans 5:8
The world leaders and dictators have no regard for human life. The selfish world does not know what to do with the selfless love demonstrated on Calvary. The world has not seen that depth of love before or sense. The world has no ability to comprehend it.
It was that nail of unconditional and uncompromising love that held Jesus to the cross.
# Billy Graham tells of hearing about a man who had a twin brother who committed a vicious crime against society and was sentenced to prison where he was to pay with his life for his crime.
The man, intent on saving his brother, who was the father of several children, went to the prison with a plan to save his condemned brother from death. The man was granted permission to visit his brother alone in his cell.
“We must work fast,” the man said. In a few minutes the men had exchanged clothes and places with each other. The condemned brother, under the guise of the guiltless brother, walked out of that prison a free man, and the innocent brother died in place of the guilty brother.
That’s exactly what Jesus did for you and for me. We were guilty and Jesus took on Himself our guilt and died in our place.
We sometime sing:
And Can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood;
Died he for me; who caused His pain;
For me, who him to death pursued;
Amazing love! How can it be
That you, my God, should die for me?
Jesus did not come to condemn but to save. John 3:17 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” Jesus came to give you abundant life and a purpose in life.
The cross demonstrated how much Jesus loves you and me. Max Lucado writes that God created you and loves you. “If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If he had a wallet, you photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, he’ll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and he chose your heart. Face it friend, He’s crazy about you!”