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Summary: Good Friday; the cross is foolishness to those who perish.

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Good Friday

The foolishness of the Cross

After the supper, Judas went out to hand Jesus over to the leaders

Zec 11:12

The time had come; God’s timing was perfect

Prophecies were to be fulfilled

Is 53, Ps 22, Gen 3 and many more

The garden scene:

· Jesus prays

· The disciples sleep

· The guards arrest Jesus

· Then the courtyard betrayal by Peter

(Give a brief overview of the events leading to the cross)

The religious leaders had a problem: they were afraid of the people.

Jesus was a popular teacher

They had to kill him because of his growing popularity

First they tried to trap him, but Jesus answered all their questions

Then they were publicly embarrassed because they could not answer his questions.

They continued to look for a way to get rid of Jesus.

The Pharisees were Jesus’ main opponents, but here the chief priests, took over because they had the political power

As we look at the political powers today we also see how they are taking away the truth and watering down the message

The scribes were the legal experts who doubtless were needed as they attempted to build their case against Him

Satan was involved in this deception (Luke 22:3 Satan entered the heart of Judas)

The Crucifixion involved more than the jealous ambitions of a few religious leaders and the disillusionment of one disciple; it involved a cosmic battle between God and Satan, a battle in which Satan was completely defeated

Colossians 2:15 and having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross

To the high priests and the teachers of the law, Jesus was dangerous; He had to be eliminated

They presented false charges against Him

Pilate saw through their blatant lies. He knew Jesus was innocent

They pressurized Pilate with threats of a rioting

He couldn’t see any way out

A riot would jeopardize his leadership

He sent Jesus to Herod

Have you noticed how people who don’t know what to do with Jesus pass him over to someone else?

Or they compromise

They make excuses as to why they should pass Him by or reject Him

The Jewish leaders had arrested Jesus on theological grounds—blasphemy—but because this charge would be thrown out of a Roman court, they had to come up with a political reason for executing Jesus.

Their strategy - present him as a rebel who told the people not to pay their taxes and who claimed to be a king and thus a threat to Caesar.

The charges against Jesus in the Roman court were rebellion and treason

The very charges of man against God

The first accusation: Jesus was subverting the nation

The second accusation: Jesus opposed payment of taxes

The third charge: he was claiming to be Christ, a king

Like Jesus, we shall be wrongly accused at times, those who walk the way of the cross always will be

They had wanted a king who would lead a rebellion; Jesus did not fulfill this

What expectations do people want from Christianity?

They want to see a sign; they want something, which looks in the eyes of man strong and manly

They expect God to answer their every beck and call like a puppet on a string

But Jesus was different; he showed true power and strength by His actions

He was led like a lamb to the slaughter Is 53 (reading)

Those who were executed were supposed to say, “May my death atone for all my sins”; but Jesus confesses the sins of those who falsely convicted him

The preaching of the cross is central to the gospel

So what exactly does the death of Jesus represent?

You will never understand the significance until you know ‘who’ was hanging there

Why did Jesus have to die?

Why did God die?

How does God solve the separation with his creation?

We hear the solution from John the Baptist; he only preached one sermon

‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.’

Jesus had one purpose in mind, to reconcile the world to God Rom 5:6-11 (reading)

The OT is full of animal sacrifices

By laying hands on the animal, the transferred their sin to it; they then killed it and shed the blood

Passover lamb type and symbol of Christ

The cross and his death was central to Jesus’ own teaching

The Jews stumbled over it because Jesus wasn’t the kind of Messiah they wanted.

1 Cor 1:17-23 (reading)

Their interpretation was of a messiah who would come and overthrow the world power, a military figure

Jesus didn’t fit their ideals; he was unwilling to fight

Dying on the cross didn’t look like success or power

It didn’t look like victory

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