Summary: This is the first sermon in a series of three on "The Journey To The Cross" which deals with brokenness from The Exchanged Life perspective.
This morning I want to take us on a journey to the cross. And I don’t know how long this journey will take for each of us to get there. As far as my leading us along the path through preaching only God knows. The travelogue will take a couple of weeks anyway you look at it. But your actual journey could take only days or weeks. It could take you months or years or even an entire lifetime to receive the truth of your journey to the cross with Christ. However the sad reality is that some of you will never receive the truth of your journey to the cross because you won’t believe it or you can’t receive it. Nonetheless, that’s a risk I’m willing to take – to lead you on a journey to the cross.
You see, Jesus calls us to come after Him, to come to Him and deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. Furthermore, He challenges us with the idea that if we “wish to save our life we will lose it” because in His journey outlined in Philippians 2:6, even though he existed in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God something to be “grasped,” held on to. He didn’t attempt to “save” His life. That’s Jesus challenge to you and me – that if we try to save our life we’ll lose it, but if we’ll lose our life for His we’ll find real life. According to the context of this passage Jesus both warned and instructed us with these words on our journey to the cross.
Folks, we’re on a daily journey to the cross and our journey will mirror the journey of Jesus as He went to the cross. Our cross will correlate with His cross. What I mean by this is that we need to come to an experiential awareness of the cross – our death, our burial, our resurrection, our ascension, & our seating with God in Christ. Some people have never heard the message of the cross, the whole message. I think if you’re honest, you’ll remember that in almost every message you’ve ever heard about what happened at the cross, you’ve only heard about Christ’s death. You haven’t heard about your death. At least if you have, it’s not been a very meaningful message that you’ve heard. So I think it’s fair to say that many Christians have never heard the message that they were crucified with Christ. Well, how do we get started on “Our Journey to the Cross?”
I. How We Get Started On the Journey
Jesus said we must come after him, we must deny ourselves. Well, I would say the journey of a 1,000 miles begins with one step. One step of faith. In the very beginning you must come to realize that in your sinfulness you need God’s forgiveness. That’s why Christ died. He died to forgive you of your sins. And God’s Word says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There is none that is righteous in the sight of God, no not one. However, Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and that he was buried and rose again the third day. He died that our sins might be covered forever.
And the one step of faith you must take is to come to Him and believe that he died for your sins and that admit that you need his forgiveness. You must deny yourself by totally surrendering your sin to Him. By faith, by believing, by trusting that what he says He will do. And by receiving Christ Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you are forgiven of your sins. That’s the beginning of the journey. Because at that moment He forgives you of your sins AND He gives you His life – a great exchange takes place – your life for His life. And you are on the Journey to the Cross with Jesus.
Now let’s talk about:
II. How We Continue On the Journey
We continue on the journey according to Jesus by taking up our cross daily. We continue in the same way we entered in, by faith. As Colossians 2:6 says, “As you have received. . .“ To start with you received Him as Savior and Lord, you had to totally surrender your sin to Him by faith for forgiveness &andHe gave you His life. There was a great exchange then and there if you were sincere. Then you have to go on walking or journeying or living the Christian life and there are two ways to continue: by faith allowing Christ to be your life, following Him, obeying Him and letting Him life out His life through you, by walking in the Spirit – OR – The other option is walking after the Flesh, that is, to try to live the Christian life in your own self-sufficiency. Flesh is living out of your own resources with or without God’s help to do so. That’s why we have to continue on “Our Journey to the Cross.” We must be brought again and again to total surrender or brokenness until every aspect of our self-sufficiency, is crucified and surrendered.