Summary: The 7 sayings of Christ on the cross examined and explored for meaning.
The Salvation Army is mobilizing worldwide. The purpose of this mobilization is to encourage salvationists to step outside the walls of our churches and buildings, and to go into our communities to share the gospel.
One of the things I like to see is when I look over, and I notice someone has brought a friend to church with them. It’s an incredible blessing. I see it with older folks in the church, and even with the teens and younger kids, who invite a friend to come with them.
It’s an attitude we try to have as protestant “evangelical” Christians. So when you hear someone refer to evangelicals what they are referring to is Christians who actively share their faith with others.
Today we’re looking at the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, and meaning of that event. Connected with that historical event, we’re then considering the implications of this living gospel, and how we can carry it with us where we go.
Does it penetrate to the deepest recesses of your being, your soul, and your understanding of the world? Do we really understand the significance of the cross?
Let us consider the state of reality. Did you know that the way things are right now are not as they were intended to be? It’s true. These lives we live today are a struggle, often broken, filled with chaos and strife.
We as a species were destined for paradise. But paradise was lost, through a string of events we call the fall of man. Today we live in the fall. But as Christians our ultimate destiny is paradise. It’s paradise regained, thanks to Jesus.
We live here 80 to 90 years. We’ll spend forever in paradise. Millions and millions of years are just the beginning of eternity with Christ. But today, right now, really matters. Because the door stands cracked open. And soon it will be shut forever. That is the door to salvation. That is the door to eternal life. Who is the door? Jesus. But once Jesus returns and sets all things right on Earth, that door will close. Many people will be very surprised, and the fate that awaits them is terrible indeed.
Every person we see, every single one is made in the image of God. Every person we see, our coworkers, our friends, family, strangers and gas station attendants. Their souls hang in the balance, today. They die for lack of knowledge. Everything is at stake right now. Right now is when we can make a difference.
Paradise was lost, but it has been regained and we are destined for that eternal city, the New City of God. This place is where I want to be! John wrote of the city when he said:
It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.
22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” -Revelation Chapter 20
We have access to this glorious future, to eternal life, to eternal joy, to paradise itself! We know why:
Two thousand years ago Jesus willingly went to the cross, voluntarily. He was there for hours, suffering. Today as we consider reaching those in our community, I’d like to draw your attention to the 7 sayings of Jesus while he was nailed to the cross.
Our savior is nailed to the wooden cross beams, and lifted up and the cross base is dropped into a hole in the ground. And as Jesus is there, slowly dying, having been whipped and beaten, he makes several statements. Let’s take a look at these statements and see what they teach us about the mysteries of the cross.
The roman soldiers were debating over who would get Jesus’ robe. This was right after Jesus had been hoisted upon the cross. And this is when Jesus made his first statement: