Summary: A Christian’s life is lived in battle until the day of glory.
Sermon: "Shelter on the Stormy North Side of
Jesus" Rev. David P. Anderson
We read again from God’s perfect Word,
recorded in the Gospel of Luke, and we read
in Jesus name: 17 Jesus looked directly at
them and asked, "Then what is the meaning of
that which is written: "’The stone the
builders rejected has become the capstone’?
18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be
broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls
will be crushed." (Luke 20 NIV)..
One of our favorite Lenten Hymns–one we all
love to sing–is "Rock of ages cleft for me."
This morning I would like to ask you how you
would picture Jesus as a rock?
Does your picture of Jesus as a rock look
like a stone, smooth on all sides... with no
sharp edges... never cutting or hurtful?
Or is your picture one of a beautifully cut
gem, polished and sparkling.. a Jesus framed
and adorning our walls, but like an ornament,
makes little practical difference in our
Or is your picture of Jesus as the rock, one
of a white stone, finely chiseled; with
square, sharp edges and easily made to fit
the places where we want Him to support our
lives... to bear us up.... to make us strong?
Is your picture of Jesus that of a jagged
rock, cutting and cruel, bringing difficulty
and hardships into your life?
When I picture Jesus the Rock, I see a great
mountain o stone, like Mount Rushmore.
To the south of this great mountain of rock,
and facing heaven’s glory, I see trim, tight,
shining, well cut and polished edges,
sparkling like the facets of a great jewel.
But to the north, where humanity lives in a
cleft, I see a rugged, threatening, terrain
with cliffs, jagged rocks, and dangerous
Where did we ever get the idea of the "Gentle
Jesus, meek and mild" except that we want to
see Jesus from the south side... in heaven’s
light... sparkling in the beauty and glory of
eternity? This isn’t where we presently
live, so we’d better see our Lord as He saw
himself--a suffering servant to all humanity.
Jesus did not speak of Himself as a smooth
rock, or a beautiful rock, or a stone
builders’ want to place in their walls! No!
He is the rock of granite who causes our
conceits and ambitions to be broken to pieces
and crushed under a servant’s weight. He is
the stumbling block of God’s concealed,
murky, sacrificial presence within a world of
transparent selfishness and greed.
All through the Scriptures we hear the sound
of people stumbling.... Nicodemus,
bewildered! A young man sorrowful, for he
was very rich; James and John, tripping over
ambition; Peter, afraid in the firelight...
The disciples, sullen and angry, gathered
after the crucifixion around the table with
the dust of the road still on their feet....
Thomas, shaking his head at the news of the
Resurrection; Paul, on the Road to Damascus,
"breathing out threats of slaughter." And
poor John Mark, who, "departing from them
returned to Jerusalem."
We ourselves, disappointed with how God has
acted at critical times in our lives...
bitter, neglectful of worship, and doubting.
We stumble over the north side of Christ the
Jesus–like a mountainous block of granite-~->
at the north side rough-hewn, discarded, and
put out of mind. Workman stumble over it.
Glory seeking Christians, with infinite
pains, try to rid themselves of it; but the
ropes break, the girders give way, and it
crashes down as we are reminded that we live
on the Stormy North Side of Jesus.
On the stormy north side the prophets lived
and brought God’s holy word to the people.
God loved these men of flesh and blood, and
considered them friends. But on the stormy
north side they were beaten, abused, and
ridiculed-- even killed.
The stormy north side of Jesus looks like
Calvary’s mountain and we don’t much like to
see it. We don’t want to live there and we
become angry when the cold winds of suffering
and pain beat upon us.
Yet the Great Rock Himself–one side toward
heaven beautiful and bright, & one side
toward Calvary rough and mean–is rolling down
the ages.... rolling down the corridors of
history, and He can’t be stopped!
He rolled down from Calvary’s mountain
covered in blood and gore and paused briefly.
He rolled out of the dark tomb–Satan thought
that he had buried Christ in death, but the
Lord of Life broke the bonds and rolled on
He rolled through the institutionalism and
superstition of the Dark Ages... and He kept
He rolled as the Jesus of history through the
intellectual and spiritual sterility of Deism
and the Enlightenment... and He kept on