Summary: There is an old hymn that goes by various titles such as "At The Cross" and "Alas, And Did My Savior Bleed". This sermon explores the series of questions asked in that song and what it means to us.
Lent 2019 - At the Cross - Verse 1
Please stand as we read our newest memory Scripture together …
“This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”
And our memory refresher verse(s) for today is(are) …
“Godliness with contentment is great gain.”
Please open your Bibles to John 19:16-37
As we spend these weeks looking forward to the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead on Resurrection Sunday, I think it is appropriate to spend more time than usual in looking at the cross.
I cannot think of a Sunday that goes by without the cross being referenced either in song or in the message.
The cross is cruel. The cross is gruesome. But, we need to remember the cross because the cross is where pure Holiness took on pure evil and destroyed its power.
With that in mind let’s look at: John 19:16-37
May God bless the reading of His Word … (Prayer for help …)
We all have had a father.
Some people have never met their father for one reason or another.
Some people have or had a step-father or an adopted father.
Others have a great father
Some have absentee fathers
Some have abusive fathers
Some have fathers in prison
Let me tell you a little about my father. (Short overview of your father. May even include some negative aspects if he has any and is not in the congregation …)
My Dad was far from perfect and so I often wondered and still wonder what it would have been like to have a good Dad.
(Illustration – this is an attempt at a parable that will lead into the first verse of the Isaac Watts hymn “At the Cross” or “Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed” … This is quite graphic and you may wish to “tame” it a little depending on your congregation.)
Imagine this … you have a great Dad; a Dad that is always right! Sometimes you don’t think he’s right but when you do what he says to do things just seem to work out.
So you get older and head off to school, maybe to college or maybe not but eventually you end up in the workforce.
During this time of school and work you end up spending time with some people who have ideas that are very different than your Dad’s ideas. These people seem to be happy, they seem to be successful. They don’t really answer to anyone it all sounds great!
One day you find out that they are involved in some type of illegal activity but they still seem to be OK. Eventually they come to you and ask you to do something that you know is not right but they will make it worth your while and it’s not that big of a deal but one thing leads to another and you get deeper and deeper into the illegal activities until you just KNOW that you have to get out!
But, there is no getting out. You are in and you are in for the rest of your life.
One day you decide to make a break for it and you try to escape but they catch you. At that point you know that you are a dead man walking. You may be alive but your doom is sealed; you WILL be dead soon.
They are about to kill you when the door comes bursting open and it’s your Dad. Even though he was always right at this moment he somehow seems to be weak compared to the rest of the gang members.
He offers to take your place if they will set you free. They don’t want to set you free, they want to keep their grip on you for all of the rest of your life but they decide to take your Dad and torture him. There’s blood everywhere. They are walking around him. They are punching and kicking him and saying, “OK. Tough guy. You’re here to save your kid? Well, let’s see you do it!?
Finally, they get an old carpenter’s saw and literally saw his head off from his body!
And, all the time you are yelling, “NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! ……”
And, then, in some way that you cannot comprehend, you were set free.
(End of Illustration)
This pitiful excuse for a parable is intended to show how the actions of a rebellious son caused the death of a selfless father.