Summary: A Sermon looking at how Jesus survived opposition to be able to give his life for us

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Jesus - The Ultimate Survivor

Gladstone Baptist Church - 27/3/05 am

Idea for sermon came from “The True Survivor” Tract published by the Bible Society in Australia 2002.

We live in a society where surviving is held in highest regard. Being an ultimate survivor is a characteristic that is admired and desired. Much of our life is spent trying to improve our skills to equip us for life and for the challenges we will face. School, Uni, Work experience - all are aimed at not just helping us survive, but also to thrive in life.

You only have to look at the types of TV shows that flood our airwaves. Survivor, Big Brother, The Biggest Loser, The Apprentice, Dancing with the Stars, The X Factor, My Restaurant Rules. The list Goes on and on. These reality shows all have one thing in common - the aim of surviving. All the contestants are out to survive the game through to the end. People are voted off by their fellow competitors or the public or both until only one survives and they walk home with the prize.

There is no difference in the sport we play. Australians are sports mad. But it is not just sport we love, we love the competition and we love a winning team. A Team that has survived. It is a rare person who continues to follow a sport when their team is continually losing. That is why Aussie Rules Football has grown so successful in the last 5-10 years. We love winners. The Lions are winners, The broncos and the Reds haven’t been doing so good so we are caught up watching the lions.

But when you think about it, most of our sport is also centred around surviving also. Come the finals season, the gloves come off and the struggle for survival begins with each team left in the competition trying to be the last man standing.

We all want to survive. We all want to triumph.

But I’ve got some bad news for you - many, many, many people in this world will ultimately be losers not winners. They will be on the losing team not the winning team. Yes we will all die, and that will be the end of life as we know it. But that is not the end. Death just ushers in a tribal council to beat all tribal councils where people will be ultimately judged. God will decide who will be voted off this earth and who will remain. God will decide who are the survivors who will remain with him for eternity.

You know when we talk about ultimate survivors, there is only one person who can rightly wear that crown - and that is Jesus.

2000 years ago, there was a man named Jesus who lived and faced unbeatable odds. His story was one of a resounding victory in the face of corruption, injustice, betrayal, opposition and even death.

He faced Opposition from Those in AUTHORITY

When he walked this earth, Jesus was opposed by almost everyone in authority.

„X When he was born, Herod tried to kill Him. His parents had to flee to Egypt to protect Him.

„X When he grew up, and began to minister to the helpless and the needy, the religious leaders became jealous of his popularity. They became incensed when showed up their hypocrisy. They became convicted by his moral teachings. They became threatened by his claims of being God. And so they plotted against Him. They tried to trap Him. They endeavoured to trick him and when all else failed, they determined to kill him.

Matt 26:1-5 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2 “As you know, the Passover is two days away-and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”

3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4 and they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him. 5 “But not during the Feast,” they said, “or there may be a riot among the people.”

Jesus had done nothing to deserve this. But the desire for power was strong and the plans became reality.

He faced Opposition from a TRUSTED FRIEND

It wasn’t just the Jewish leaders that turned against Jesus though, One of his own trusted disciples turned against Him. Judas was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples. They had walked together and talked together and shared meals and beds together. Yet when the crunch came, Judas was more interested in money than in his friend. Jesus was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.

Luke 22:1-5 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, 2 and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.

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