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Summary: There are "Iron man" competitions of men & women. Only the toughest win. A recent movie captures the fighting spirit of a protector of mankind. But the ultimate "Ironman" is Jesus Christ, who faced the colossal specter of the cross, sin & death & overcame

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JESUS: THE REAL IRONMAN

John 19:16-18

INTRODUCTION: MODERN IRONMEN

A. HUMOR: THE TUNNEL

1. Boudreaux and Thibodeaux were traveling on a train. They had packed sack lunches and at last they got hungry. 2. Boudreaux opened his sack and got out a banana. He peeled it back and prepared to take a bite. Thibodeaux also opened his lunch sack and got out a banana.

3. Just as Boudreaux took his first bite, the train went into a tunnel. Boudreaux said, "Thibodeaux, have you taken a bite of your banana yet?"

4. "No." "Well, then don't! I just took a bite of my banana and went blind!"

5. Obviously, Boudreaux’s not the brightest star in the constellation! But there are a lot of men who are champions.

B. IRONMAN COMPETITIONS

1. The Ironman world championship competition has been held annually in Hawaii since 1978. It is known for its grueling length and harsh conditions as men and women push themselves to their absolute limits in the triathlon.

2. The race begins with a 2 ½ mile swim, then a 115 mile bike ride, finishing up with a 26.2 mile running marathon.

3. To complete this course is an incredible achievement. Whoever can do it is an Ironman!

C. IRONMAN MARVEL MOVIE

1. Another modern Ironman is the Marvel Comics Tech Hero: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3MTUPdjpZ0

2. It’s the story of Tony Stark the genius billionaire who lives only for himself until he is tortured and almost dies at the hands of terrorists in Afghanistan.

3. His near-death experience makes Stark rethinks his life and he becomes the protector of human freedom from tyranny, as he fights off power-hungry megalomaniacs (whether Ivan Vanko or Aldrich Killian).

D. JESUS CHRIST: THE REAL IRONMAN, TEXT

16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 Here they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

I. NOTICE THE REAL AGONY OF THE CROSS

A. THE SUFFERING OF THE CROSS WAS REAL

1. John 19:16; “Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.”

2. We see so much make-believe in our world today that we have lost our sense of reality. But I want you to know that the Cross of Jesus was real. There was no stunt man, no fake blood, no rubber nails, no paper cross -- it was real.

3. When they beat him in the face, it was real. When they spit upon Him, it was real. When they whipped Him, it was real. When they pounded the nails into His hands and feet, it was real.

4. HORRIBLE DEATH OF THE CROSS

a. The March 21, 1986, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association gave a clinical analysis of Jesus’ death on the cross.

b. Replete with diagrams and technical language, it painted a chilling picture of human cruelty. The report mentions seven-inch spikes; the work of insects and birds on the victims’s eyes, ears and nose; continued blood loss and infection at the scourge wounds; and painful mutilation of the "sensorimotor median nerve."

c. The doctors wrote that the cause of death by crucifixion had many factors and varied with each case. The two most prominent causes likely were hypovolemic shock and exhaustion asphyxia.

d. The article’s language is clear. Crucifixion had a catastrophic effect on breathing, the heart, and the body in general. It was a horrible death.

5. John spares the gore, only mentioning the fact of

Jesus’ crucifixion. Probably because the true ordeal of the cross was more spiritual than physical. Jesus was made . . . sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21) and the wrath of God we deserved was poured out upon Him: incomprehensible suffering!

B. THE SHAME OF THE CROSS WAS REAL

1. Matt. 27:35, “And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots.”

2. He had His outer clothes stripped off. The crucifixion took place along a road-side, before a hostile crowd.

3. Rubber-neckers mocked and gawked at this ghastly freak show. He was made a public spectacle before the world and He bore the shame we should have borne.

C. HIS SEPARATION FROM THE FATHER WAS REAL

1. Matthew 27:46, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

2. He had been forsaken by religious leaders, by His family, by His disciples, by His friends, and now by His Father.

3. He wasn’t forsaken because of His sins, for he was sinless. But he was forsaken because He was taking the guilt of our sins upon Himself.

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