Summary: A Palm Sunday Sermon. From the Story, adapted from Max Lucado and Randy Frazee.
The Story 26
April 17, 2011
It’s getting to be golf season and I’m ready to get out there and smack that golf ball . . . I hope. But when you get up at that first hole, my thinking isn’t very positive. I want to hit a great drive, but I’m wondering, why are so many people watching me, and I’m thinking about my stance and grip and still why are there so many people here. Then I think about the fact that I’m using a lousy ball, just encase I hit a lousy shot into the woods. I remind myself to bend my knees and keep my head down, and why didn’t I go to the bathroom. Ugh! I’m not sure why I like the game.
Well, I’ve finally found a foursome to play with, because nobody wants to play with me. You know what it’s like when you get to the 4th hole and someone asks, ‘so what do you do?’ Usually my answer puts them on good behavior, their language changes and the conversation ends.
So, I found these 3 guys to golf with . . . (The 3 Stooges)
Okay, so what? I heard this a couple of weeks ago about what a great golf coach, Bruce Harmon, taught other would be golf coaches. He said, you’re going to see 10 things people are doing wrong with their swing; your job is to pick out the one which causes the other 9. What’s the one thing they’re doing wrong, which causes the other 9. That’s great advice.
So, what does that mean for us? Let me ask you ... are there any issues in your life? I would suspect we all have some issues going on. Do you have issues with your ~
Attitude, temper, sinuses, nerves, pride, bitterness, kids, in-laws, marriage, God, friends, health, income, job. And this doesn’t include international and national issues . . . things like war, poverty, abuse, health care, handguns, road rage, tsunamis and earthquakes. Do you think there are at least 10 things which are wrong in the world and in your life?
So, here’s the question, and I know you’re already a step ahead of me, so you know what I’m going to ask. Do you think there is one root or core issue which is causing the other 9? What do you think? The Bible’s answer is a resounding Yes! There’s a root or core issue from which the others stem. And according to the Bible that problem was dealt with fully and completely at the cross of Jesus Christ. And that problem was addressed by Jesus, on the cross, when He said, “It is finished!” Jesus didn’t start a work on the cross — He didn’t continue a work on the cross — He finished a work on the cross. What was finished? What mission was accomplished? How is the world different after the final breath of Jesus, than it was before? What happened on the cross, that makes the cross such a big deal?
His enemies can help us find the answer, because they inadvertently explain the cross for us. If you would get out your copies of the Story, as we are now on Chapter 26. If you have a Bible, you can turn to Matthew 27:39-42, and Jesus is on the cross and this is what happened ~
39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”
41 In the same way, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.
42 They said, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.
Mark that phrase – He can’t save Himself. They were mocking and making fun of Jesus while He was on the cross. And they inadvertently said something which is very true. At that moment in time, Jesus couldn’t save Himself . . . and us. He could save us by giving Himself, or He could save Himself by abandoning us. But He could not save both Himself and us. Our salvation depends on Him giving Himself.
Why would that be? Why should salvation depend on Jesus’ death? Why didn’t God just forgive us and pardon us? Why didn’t He say, well, it’s okay, I declare everyone innocent. Isn’t it God’s job to forgive? When you forgive someone, it doesn’t need someone else to die, does it? So why should God’s forgiveness require someone’s death?
Well, the answer to that question, leads us to 2 Biblical truths.