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Summary: Jesus’ journey to the cross began long before even his birth.

Journey to the Cross

It’s become fashionable these days to wear crosses, not necessarily as a sign of faith, but as a

trendy accessory. Crosses are hip now. An encounter at a department store jewelry counter.

Customer is interested in buying a cross, to which the sales clerk replies : "Do you want a plain

one, or one with the little man on it?"

Conversation about whether or not a Christian should wear a cross. Reasoning that since the

cross was the way Jesus was executed, totally inappropriate for someone who claimed to be a

Christian to wear one. If your brother was killed in a drive-by shooting, you wouldn’t wear a

silver assault rifle. If one of your friends had been lynched you wouldn’t wear a gold noose.Difference is, those were unwilling victims. Jesus had his eyes fixed on the end of His journey. He was no victim.

ILLUS:

Parents of a ten year old public school boy, failing fifth grade math decided to enroll him in

private Catholic school after trying other options. Son came home the first day of school, walked

right past them, went straight to room, locked the door. 2 hrs. later, emerged for quick meal,

went straight back to studies until bedtime. Pattern continued until end of the first quarter.

Came home with report card, gave it to parents, and went straight to his room. Cautiously

opened it, saw bright red "A" under the subject, MATH, and rushed excitedly into their son’s

room!

" Nuns?" dad asked. "No." “One-on-one tutoring? mentoring?" asked mom. Again, "No."

"textbooks? teacher? curriculum?" asked dad. "No, no, no." Son finally spoke. "From the very

first day of school, I knew that these folks were serious about math. When I walked into the

lobby, and I saw a guy nailed to the PLUS sign, I knew they meant business!"

Jesus carried the cross from the city to its outskirts, a safe estimate of the march would be about

a mile. It was the longest mile, a terrible experience for Jesus to endure. His disciples had

abandoned him, his mother was watching with pain in her heart, and his enemies, skeptics, and

the religious leaders ridiculed and mocked him.

Jesus’ death was not an accident, not a victim but a sacrifice to save and to reconcile us to God.

He said, "I come that they might have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The

good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." Jesus was betrayed, but controlled his own

death. While Simon was forced by the soldiers to carry the cross in the first three gospels, Jesus

needed no prodding. And in the end, Jesus bowed his head and gave up his spirit. He said, “I lay

down my life-only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own

accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again."

Gen. 3 - And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your

offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

Rom. 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

(Isaiah written @ 700 B.C.)

Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar

with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and

we esteemed him not.

Luke 23:35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They

said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the

Chosen One." The soldiers also came up and mocked him.

Is. 53:4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we

considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.

Matt. 8:17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

"He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases."

Isaiah 53:5 - But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our

iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his

wounds we are healed.

John 19:34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear,

bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.

Is. 53:7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was

led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is

silent, so he did not open his mouth.

Matt. 27:12-14 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave

no answer. Then Pilate asked him, "Don’t you hear the testimony they are

bringing against you?" But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single

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