Summary: In our study today we will see that the cross was necessary from two points of view. THE CROSS WAS NECESSARY FROM GOD’S POINT OF VIEW. THE CROSS WAS NECESSARY FROM A HUMAN POINT OF VIEW.
March 2, 2014
Series: Thinking About the Cross-Lesson #1
Title: The Cross was Necessary
Scripture Reading: Luke 24:13-35
Our text is the twenty-sixth verse of Luke 24: “Wasn't it clearly predicted by the prophets that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his time of glory?"
All of us, I believe, might share, to some degree, the attitude of Christ’s disciples who were brokenhearted, because of His death.
They loved Him.
They knew He had died; there was no doubt about it.
But they did not see why His death was necessary.
Why did He have to die?
As Christ walked beside two of them, on the road to Emmaus, He said, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!”
Jesus then asked them, “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?”
In our study today we will see that the cross was necessary from two points of view, God’s and men.
First, THE CROSS WAS NECESSARY FROM GOD’S POINT OF VIEW.
It was necessary to reveal God’s opinion of human life, to reveal the very essence of God’s character and to reveal God’s opinion of sin.
In Jesus’ day, human life was cheap.
Unwanted children were easily disposed of.
In hard times, girl babies were set beside the road and left to die.
A slave might be killed by his master and no questions were asked.
Tyrants like Nero lighted their gardens with human torches.
Human life is cheap in our day also—suicide bombers and 9/11.
This attitude is what makes war possible.
It makes poverty, slums, and economic injustice possible.
It makes abortion and terrorism possible.
Sin is rampant and life is cheap.
This is the attitude of a sinful world.
But life is not cheap.
In God’s sight life is extremely valuable.
The death of His Son on the cross demonstrates His point of view better than anything else recorded in history.
Human life is not cheap when God is willing to give His only Son to die to save it.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
When you look at the cross you can see the very essence of God’s character.
1 John 4: says, “God is love.”
But what does that mean?
For one thing, love is not a definition of God—God is infinitely more—but God is the definition of love.
Without Him, love does not exist.
Biblical love, which is sometimes called agape love, is always active, and yet it is selfless.
God’s love for us is also God’s pattern for our love for Him and for our love for one another.
Agape love is unlike human love, since it does not depend on what we do or how good we are.
Its basis is Gods deliberate, active, sacrificial giving of His Son for our redemption.
To be loved by God means that He has set His sights on us and is actively wooing us toward Himself at all times.
God’s love is self-starting, indestructible, undeserved, compassionate, constant, immeasurable, voluntary, and a gift.
He did not begin loving at the Cross, nor will He love us more tomorrow than He does today.
There is nothing we can do, think, or say that will change His love because there are no surprises for God—He knows us totally and loves us anyway.
The goal of God’s love is two-fold.
First, to have us with Him throughout eternity; and second, to make us like His Son.
He made the accomplishment of this goal possible through Jesus and His sacrifice on the Cross.
John wrote in his first epistle, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us…” (1 John 4:10).
We didn’t love Him first.
God did not give His Son for us because we were attractive, because we were good, or because we promised to do something.
God loved us, “while we were yet sinners.”
We need to recognize that you and I today are sinners and that “…God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
He died for us and He loved us when we didn’t love Him.
He made a way for us, if we will accept it.
Jesus said, “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
You either come His way, or you don’t come at all.
It is nonsense to think that since God is love, everything will work out all right and everyone will ultimately go to heaven.
It is going to work out all right because the lost are going to a lost eternity, and the saved are going to a saved eternity—that’s the reason things are going to work out all right.