Summary: At Thanksgiving, we think of many things we’re thankful for – our families, jobs, health, food, friends, church, being Americans, etc. Darlene Zschech mentioned one more – "Thank You for the cross, Lord." Let's look at that.
THANKFUL FOR THE CROSS
1. WHAT’S A MOTTO. As a new paratrooper, I was struck by all the T-shirts on base emblazoned with the motto "Death from above!" Later I noticed a submariner with a T-shirt that declared "Death from below!" Then, standing in line for chow one day, I was served by an Army cook. His T-shirt had a skull with a crossed fork and spoon underneath and yet another warning: "Death from within!"
2. SMART PILLS. Feeling listless, I bought some expensive "brain-stimulating" pills at the health food store. But it wasn't until I got home that I read the label. "This is just rosemary extract," I complained to my husband. "I can't believe I spent all that money for something that I have growing like wild in the yard!"
"See?" he said. "You're smarter already."
Galatians 6:14, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
1. Darlene Zschech wrote a song that has become world-famous, in fact, we have sung it here many times. It’s called, "Worthy Is The Lamb." You will recognize the lyrics. It says,
“Thank you for the cross, Lord. Thank you for the price you paid. Bearing all my sin and shame, in love you came And gave Amazing Grace.
Thank you for this love, Lord. Thank you for the nail-pierced hands. Wash me in Your cleansing flow, now all I know...
Your forgiveness and embrace.
Worthy is the Lamb; Seated on the throne.
We crown You now with many crowns, You reign victorious!
High and lifted up, Jesus, Son of God. The darling of Heaven, crucified... Worthy is the Lamb.”
2. In thinking of Thanksgiving, we have discussed many things we’re thankful for – our families, jobs, health, food, friends, church, being Americans, etc.
3. But I want to echo what Darlene Zschech started off her song with – thankful for the cross. So that’s the title of tonight’s message, “Thankful for the Cross.”
4. Why are we “thankful” for the Cross? Because it reminds us of three great facts:
I. IT REMINDS US OF OUR SIN
A. WE HAVE FALLEN NATURES
1. The cross reminds us of sin. It’s our sin that made the cross necessary. Your sin. My sin. Not just the generic “sin of the world.”
2. Romans tells us there is no one righteous, that all have sinned. We want to hear about how good we are. We want to hear about how great we can become – the potential for our future.
3. People want to think of life like a balance scale. Your good deeds go on one side – your bad on the other. Then God weighs them and if your good deeds tip the balance, you get into heaven.
4. Most people are confident their good deeds are good enough. They compare their good deeds with the worst people of society and can’t imagine their lying, cheating, infidelity, and bad attitudes could possibly add up to enough to condemn them.
5. One poll found that less than 4% of Americans think they could end up in Hell. “Good people” are offended when they are told that they are more evil than they would ever dare imagine.
6. Romans 3:9-12 makes it clear: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God…. No one does good, not even one.’”
B. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CHRIST’S DEATH?
1. Who's responsible for the death of Jesus? There are all kinds of answers that you get from various people.
2. Some blame the Jews. Others blame Judas who sold Him. Or Pilate/Romans. Others the Jewish Rulers who condemned Him.
3. And yet, the question, "Who nailed Him to the cross," can only be answered with these words: "We all did. ‘He was wounded for OUR transgressions’."
a. A man had a dream. He said, "In a dream, I saw the Savior. His back was bare and there was a soldier lifting up his hand and bringing down on that back the awful cat-o'-nine-tails with its bits of iron tied in the little leather tips.
b. And in the dream, I arose and grabbed his arm to hold it back." "But when I did, the soldier turned around in astonishment to look at me.
c. And when I looked at him, I recognized myself."
5. And so, in reply to the question, "Who slew the Son of God," the only answer is, "We all did!"
C. WE CAN’T SAVE OURSELVES
1. In the message of the cross, it’s implicit that not only are we sinners, but there’s nothing we can do to save ourselves. No one wants to throw themselves on the mercy of the court.