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Summary: This sermon looks at the shocking action of Jesus, as he offers his life as the payment for sin

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INTRODUCTION

* Current series (message 3 of 4): A Savior’s Most-Shocking Actions (things Jesus said and did that his enemies used against him)

* Previous actions: (1) Jesus reaches out to sinners [Zacchaeus]; (2) Jesus forgives sinners [paralytic]

* Today: the shocking moment in which Jesus dies for the sins of the world

* Shocking on many levels: the sinless Son of God dying for sin; someone dying in my place; etc.

* The danger of becoming too familiar with Jesus’ death = we fail to understand its meaning and implications

* The day Jesus dies is one of three days in history that impacted eternity for everyone (his birth, his death, his resurrection)

* What made the death of Jesus such a shocking moment? With 155,000 deaths on a daily basis, why is his death so important?

1. The death of Christ is shocking because of why he died.

* The motive behind his death is shocking: he willingly laid down his life (not forced)

* The death of Christ is not a martyr’s death, but a Savior’s death (John 10:17-18)

* Why would anyone, much less a sinless Savior, willingly lay down his life for us? (disclaimer: cannot fully understand/comprehend why) ...

A. Christ gave his life for us because of his love for us

- John 3:16

- God’s love is different from all others because he loves us based upon who HE is, not because of what we can do for him (agape)

B. Christ gave his life for us because he wanted to free us

- freedom from the power of sin

- Galatians 4:4-5

- without Christ, sin is our ruler and master; Christ died to change that

C. Christ gave his life for us because he wanted us to live forever

- the desire of Christ is for abundant life, both now and in eternity: NOW (John 10:10); ETERNITY (John 5:24)

- Jesus’ desire is on the QUALITY of our lives, not just the QUANTITY

2. The death of Christ is shocking because of how he died.

* His death was not a humane death

* Death by crucifixion...

- one of the most cruel and painful deaths; involved excruciating pain and intense suffering

- tendons and flesh were ripped and torn; a high fever came to the body

- victim of crucifixion eventually suffered suffocation

* Crucifixion was reserved for the condemned (Gal. 3:13)

* The death of Christ defies comprehension because it was God’s plan...and joy!

- Hebrews 12:2 “...who for the joy set before him endured the cross...”

- Isaiah 53:10, “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him...”

* Why did Jesus endure the cross with joy? Why was God pleased with this plan? Because of what the death of Christ would accomplish! (Isaiah 53:10, Living Bible)

3. The death of Christ is shocking because of what it means.

* Traditional meaning of death is an end; the death of Christ signifies life and a beginning

* Note verse 51 = the purpose of the veil and the symbolism of its tearing...

* The death of Jesus Christ means that we can have a personal relationship with God!

- 2 Corinthians 5:21

- Romans 5:1-2

- Romans 8:1

* For his death to mean something to you, however, you must embrace the one who embraced the cross.


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