Summary: This sermon deals with the need for Christians to take the things that create problems in their relationshhip with God the Cross and leave them there.
Moments at the Cross
April 8, 2003
I. In the last few weeks I have taken us to the Cross several times to look at the different articles that are have something to do with Jesus’ death.
A. We have looked at the spit of soldiers that was on Jesus’ face, and the crown of thorns that was on his head. We have seen the blood and water that wet the ground at the foot of the cross.
B. We have looked at the sign that was hung above Jesus’ head, and the list of our sin that was nailed to the Cross with Jesus, and the choice that we have to make about where we will spend eternity.
C. We have talked about the road that Jesus walked to the Cross, and His robe of purity that the soldiers gambled for, but that he gave us.
D. We have talked about a the sponge that was raised to wet his throat, and the work that he did for us because we get on his team, and the His grave clothes that turn tragedy into victory.
E. And, now I want us to go to the Cross one more time. This time the hill is quiet, it is not still but it is quiet. For the first time this day there is no noise.
F. The noise faded when the strange midday darkness fell. Suddenly there were no more taunts, and no more jokes, and no more mockers.
G. When the darkness came the onlookers turned nervously and began the trip down the hill.
H. But lets say that we didn’t go with them, because we came to learn. We are still there on the hill and in the quiet that came we can now hear the cursing of the soldiers, and the crying of the women.
I. But most of all we hear the sounds of three dying men as they groan, and roll their heads and struggle to breath. And as the groans fade away the three men seem dead.
J. If it were not for the sound of the labored attempts to breath you would think they were dead.
K. And, then the scream pierced the silence. It was as if someone had yanked his hair, and his head slams back, against the sign that hung above him, and His scream cuts the dark.
L. Standing as straight as he can on the nails that hold Him on the Cross Jesus screams like a lost child looking for his parents. Eloi! My God! Why have you forsaken me!
M. The soldiers stare. The women stop their crying. One of the Pharisees joked He’s calling Elijah, but nobody laughed.
N. He shouted a question to heaven and with the scene before us you would almost expect heaven to answer, and maybe it did because his face softened and he said IT IS FINSIHED! Father into your hands I commit my spirit.
O. As Jesus took His last breath the Earth shook, and as suddenly as the silence was broken it returned.
P. The soldiers are busy finishing their job and two well dressed men come to get the body of Jesus, and now we are left there at the Cross with the relics of the death of Jesus.
1. Three nails, three cross shaped shadows, a crown of thorns with the tips stained with blood, and a bizarre thought, this is not the blood of a man. This is the blood of God!
2. It’s almost unbelievable that nails held your sin to a Cross, and the prayer of a thief was answered as the last bit of life was drained from his body.
3. But that is not as unbelievable that as the fact that another thief who had the chance to offer his own prayer didn’t!
II. The hill called Calvary is full of Irony and Absurdity.
A. If we had been the ones that had written out the story, and decided how it all would happen we would have done it differently.
B. If we had been told to decide how God would redeem the world we would have probably written about white horses and swords, and satan flat on his back while God sat on his throne.
C. And we surely wouldn’t have written about God on a Cross.
1. We wouldn’t have written about God with split lips, and a bloody face.
2. We wouldn’t have written about a sponge thrust in his face and a spear thrust in his side, and dice rolled at his feet.
D. But we weren’t asked to write the story, and the story was written long before we were even born. These players and these props were picked by God before the beginning of time.