Summary: GOD TRANSFORMED AN INSTRUMENT OF SHAME INTO ONE OF GLORY
THE GLORY OF THE CROSS
1 COR 1:18-25 (24) & GAL 6:14
I. THE CROSS - SHAME TURNED TO GLORY
A. Of all the forms of death that are conceivable, crucifixion has been most feared throughout history
B. Death on a cross was saved for the worst of criminals and those committing treason
C. Death on a cross constituted the greatest of shame, humiliation and disgrace especially among the Jews
-Deut 21:23 ...(for he that is hanged is accursed of God;)
-Gal 3:13 ...Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:....
D. Jesus took the shame and humiliation of the cross and turned it into an instrument to glorify God
-Heb 12:2 ...for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising (thinking nothing of) the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
-the early Christians had to do the very same thing, they gloried in the Cross of Christ
E. Today people glory in their wealth, social status, fame, knowledge and often times Christians glory in their gifts, talents and positions in the church but like Paul we must glory only in the cross of Christ
-1 Cor 1:29 ....no flesh should glory in his presence.
-Jer 9:23-24 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD...
II. THE CROSS DEMONSTRATES GOD’S OMNIPOTENCE
A. If you wanted to save the world, a cross would be the last thing you would want to use
-Song - “What a strange way to save the world”
B. The cross demonstrates God’s ability to use anything, regardless of how simple or weak it may seem
-a God who created everything out of nothing can use anything He wants for whatever He wants (1C 1:27-28)
C. God transformed the cross from an instrument of death to one that would bring eternal life; an instrument of torture to one that would bring peace to the human heart; an instrument of extreme pain into one that would bring extreme joy; an instrument of shame and disgrace into one that people would cling to with pride;
-there was nothing good about a cross before Christ but since Christ, it has been embraced by millions
D. Have you ever wondered why rock and heavy metal singers wear crosses around their necks?
-satan is an imitator, he takes the things of God and changes the meaning of it to honor himself
-examples - music and dancing - these things originated in the presence of God as angels rejoiced in His presence. satan has changed these things so that now they honor his fallen, immoral nature
-the cross is a symbol of God’s omnipotence and greatness. satan recognizes what the cross represents and so he takes the message of Christ and salvation out of it and people wear it for who knows what reason but now instead of representing God, it is attached by some to the degrading immorality of sin which satan glories in
III. THE CROSS DEMONSTRATES THAT GOD HAS NO WEAKNESSES
A. Throughout history satan has been wanting to get the upper hand on God
B. When God took on a flesh and blood body, satan thought that was his chance
C. satan first tried to tempt Jesus to sin and that didn’t work, so his next move was to kill Him
-satan motivated people’s hearts to kill Jesus on several occasions (note: He was finally killed out of envy)
D. If you could picture God having a weak moment, a moment when He seemed to be cornered with no way out and satan at his greatest moment, a moment when it seemed he couldn’t lose. It would have been when they nailed Jesus to the cross. You can hear satan’s hideous laughter in the voices of those who passed by mocking
E. God Demonstrated that He has no weaknesses, even when nailed to a cross and succumbing to deaths powerful force, He was still greater than satan and He arose victorious on the third day
IV. THE CROSS DEMONSTRATES GOD’S WISDOM
A. satan knew God had promised a man would bruise his head (destroy him)
B. satan, like everyone else, wasn’t expecting God to come to earth the way He did
C. When Jesus was nailed to the cross, satan thought he had finally out smarted God
D. satan did not know the cross would be his downfall -
-1 Cor 2:7-8....we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.