Summary: A look at how Jesus suffered on the Cross of Christ, how the blood of Christ's cross decimates sin, and the power of the Cross to reconcile us to God and each other.
THE CROSS OF CHRIST
1. A Texas oilman died and went to Heaven. After a few days, his bragging was getting on Peter’s nerves. No matter what part of Paradise he was shown, the oilman claimed it failed to measure up to Texas.
2. Finally St. Peter took him to the edge of Heaven so he could look straight into Hell.
3. “Have you got anything like that in Texas?” demanded Peter. “No, we don’t have any fires that big in Texas” the oilman replied. “But I know some ‘ol boys down in Houston, like Red Adair, who can put it out!”
B. THE IMPACT OF THE CROSS
1. Christ’s death on the cross was not a negative thing, but a supremely positive one. God didn’t send Jesus into world to condemn people to hell. We already are condemned because of sin. God sent Jesus to save us!
2. John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son (on the cross), that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
3. Max Lucado wrote "[The cross] rests on the time line of history like a compelling diamond. History has idolized and despised it, gold-plated and burned it, worn it and trashed it. History has done everything but ignore it. Never has timber been regarded so sacred.”
4. To believers, Jesus’ death, though sad, is the most wonderful thing that’s ever happened. The cross of Jesus demonstrates how serious God is about sin and how serious He is about saving us from sin!
5. Lois A. Cheney wrote a thought-provoking poem:
I stand before the cross and wonder.
I stand before the cross and fear.
I kneel before the cross and weep.
I pray before the cross and rejoice.
To know the cross is to know Christ.
To feel the cross is to feel Christ.
To gaze at the cross is to gaze at Christ.
To carry the cross is to be a Christian,
And not until then.
6. The cross of Christ provokes wonder, fear, tears, and yet joy. To know the cross is to know Christ, to feel some of what He felt, to behold Him, to live for Him, to live as He lived.
1. So this morning we’re looking at the Death of the Cross, the Blood of the Cross, and the Power of the Cross.
2. The title of this message is “The Cross of Christ.”
I. THE DEATH OF THE CROSS
A. OBEDIENT TO DEATH
1. Phil. 2:5-8 “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!”
2. Jesus became obedient to death. What a strange phrase? Does this mean that He didn’t have to die on the cross? I would say “yes.” Death on the cross was a matter of choice for Christ.
3. Remember, in the garden He prayed, “Let this cup pass me. Nevertheless, not MY will but YOUR’S be done.”
4. CHRIST BECAME OBEDIENT TO THE FATHER EVEN TO THE EXTREME – TO DEATH!
B. THE KIND OF DEATH HE EXPERIENCED
1. The death of Christ is a critical matter, because it’s through Christ’s death that we’re saved.
2. A medical examiner in New York once spent 30 years studying the crucifixion. He characterized it as “Cardiac and respiratory arrest due to severe pulmonary edema due to cardiogenic shock, traumatic and hypovolemic shock due to crucifixion.”
3. Listen to what he meant by those words. First, Christ suffered intense mental trauma (hematidrosis) in the Garden of Gethsemane, which caused blood to be forced out of His skin (Lk. 22:44).
4. Jesus was kept up all night in very chilly weather (Peter warmed by a fire) weakening His system’s resistance to stress. At times He was slapped and roughly handled.
5. Next, Jesus was severely beaten with a whip of leather thongs that had small bits of metal, glass, or bone. This beating cut through the flesh into the subcutaneous muscles and produced a mass of shivering ribbons of flesh. The result put Christ in traumatic shock, causing Him to no longer be able to stand, and to crave water.
6. He later was beaten with reeds and was forced to wear a crown of thorns. While carrying his cross to Golgotha, He suffered severe loss of blood, weakening Him to the point He couldn’t carry His cross.