Summary: Four nails forever changed how God ministers to a lost and dying world. As Jesus’ earthly ministry closed, each nail driven into the cross beckons us to take up where He left off.
“The Impact of Four Nails”
Matthew 27 tells of the culmination of God’s love and mercy. On that day, no one ever loved so much, sacrificed more, or accomplished such a great task. What happened on a hill outside the city of Jerusalem forever changed history.
Before the cross, Jesus cured the sick, fed the hungry, raised the dead, taught God’s love, loved the unlovely, and sought out the lost.
After the cross, He commissioned the church to preach the Gospel, seek the lost, minister to the wounded, sick, & dying, be in constant prayer, and love the unlovely.
Proposition: On that day, four nails forever changed how God ministers to a lost and dying world. As Jesus’ earthly ministry closed, each nail driven into the cross beckons us to take up where He left off.
1. We are called to be Jesus’ hands
(pick up the first two spikes)
Two nails restrained His hands of ministry.
Nails pierced the hands (wrists) of the one who healed lepers, the blind, and the lame.
Hands that fed 1000’s from a few loaves & fish were now stapled to a criminal’s cross.
In his book Grace for the Moment, Max Lucado wrote: “When human hands fastened divine hands to the cross with spikes, it wasn’t the soldiers who held the hands of Jesus steady. It was God who held them steady. Those same hands that formed the oceans and built the mountains. Those same hands that designed the dawn and crafted each cloud. Those same hands that blueprinted one incredible plan for you and for me.”
Hebrews 12:2 tells us that the resurrected Jesus now sits in glory.
Since He is not physically here, how in the world is His work going to be done? Through us!
We need to touch the sick, the hurting, the dying. We need to beckon the little children to Him. We need to restore hope to the hopeless.
Our hands are now called to the work of the ministry.
For far too long, many thought following Jesus meant dressing up on Sunday & sitting though a worship service. But Christ calls us to so much more!
He calls us to:
Roll up our sleeves & get dirty in the work of ministry;
Leave the stained glass in order to reach stained lives;
Get out of our comfort zones & lovingly share this message of hope!
Very few unsaved people care about this church’s history, how well our choir sings, who bakes the best pies, or if the minister preaches with passion.
They are waiting to see if our walk matches our talk; if our hymns of God’s love & mercy leave the pews & reach the street; if Jesus’ love will be put into action.
Then and only then will they sit up and take notice of the Risen Savior!
We need to ask a serious question. When was the last time our hands did the work of Jesus?
Helping our own family doesn’t count. We have to help our family.
When was the last time we ministered to the unsaved? The needy? The hurting?
This week, before we gather again for our Easter services, let’s make every effort to be the hands of Jesus!
2. We are called to be Jesus’ feet
(pick up the third spike)
One nail, driven through Jesus’ feet, stopped His trek of service. Jesus said he came to seek & save the lost (Luke 19:10).
Now He calls us to be His feet! Jesus clearly taught us of the responsibility and privilege to follow in His footsteps: Matthew 16:24-25.
May I remind you where Christ expects His followers to travel?
To all nations, making disciples and baptizing them (Matthew 28:19-20)
From wherever we are to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8)
In His steps, ready and willing to endure suffering for His sake (1 Peter 2:20-21)
Paul declared that Christians carrying the Gospel have beautiful feet (Romans 10:15)!
Where have our feet taken us for the kingdom of God?
I am so pleased with the way WLCC supports the outreach ministries of the church. But we need to know that our responsibility to be the feet of Jesus does not stop when the ink dries on the check!
Have our feet taken us to our neighbors? To the sick? To those seeking answers who visit WLCC?
George Barna conducted a nationwide poll & discovered that 67% (2/3) of unchurched people said they never attended because no one ever invited them.
Billy Graham told the following story: “Once while flying between cities on the African continent, I began to share my faith in Christ with some reporters who accompanied me. None seemed interested in hearing the Gospel. Suddenly the plane entered a very turbulent storm. The plane shook and began to bounce up and down. After we successfully came through the storm, one of the reporters approached me and said, ‘What were you saying about life after death?’”