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Summary: THE POWER OF THE CROSS IS THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS AND THE PROMISE OF PARADISE!

THE JOURNEY TO THE CROSS PART III: THE POWER OF THE CROSS

LUKE 23: 26 – 43

PALM/PASSION SUNDAY APRIL 13, 2003

INTRODUCTION: Think you are having a bad day? Karen Miller Sent this!

There was a case in one hospital’s Intensive Care ward where patients always died in the same bed, on Sunday morning, at about 11 a.m., regardless of their medical condition. This puzzled the doctors and some even thought that it had something to do with the supernatural. No one could solve the mystery...as to why the deaths occurred around 11 am on Sundays. So a World-Wide team of experts was assembled to investigate the cause of the incidents. The next Sunday morning, a few minutes before 11 a.m., all doctors and nurses nervously wait outside the ward to see for themselves what the terrible phenomenon was all about. Some were holding wooden crosses, prayer books and other holy objects to ward off the evil spirits. Just when the clock struck 11, Pookie Johnson, the part-time Sunday sweeper, entered the ward and unplugged the life support system so that he could use the vacuum cleaner.

STILL HAVING A BAD DAY? The average cost of rehabilitating a seal after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska was $80,000. At a special ceremony, two of the most expensively saved animals were being released back into the wild amid cheers and applause from onlookers. A minute later, in full view, a killer whale ate them both.

STILL THINK YOU ARE HAVING A BAD DAY? A woman came home to find her husband in the kitchen shaking frantically, almost in a dancing frenzy, with some kind of wire running from his waist towards the electric kettle. Intending to jolt him away from the deadly current, she whacked him with a handy plank of wood, breaking his arm in two places. Up to that moment, he had been happily listening to his Walkman.

YOURS IS STILL A BAD DAY, HUH? Two animal rights protesters were protesting at the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn, Germany. Suddenly, all two thousand pigs broke loose and escaped through a broken fence, stampeding madly. The two hopeless protesters were trampled to death.

WHAT? STILL THINK YOUR DAY IS BAD?

Iraqi terrorist Khay Rahnajet didn’t pay enough postage on a letter bomb.

It came back with "return to sender" stamped on it. Forgetting it was the

bomb; he opened it and was blown to bits. THERE NOW ARE YOU FEELING BETTER?

TRANSITION THOUGHT: The Text Tony read from us was about a very bad day for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This Sunday is called Palm Sunday, but it can also be called Passion Sunday. There are two options, you could preach on Jesus riding into town on a Donkey and the crowd cheering, “Hosanna, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”, or you could preach on Jesus Journey to the Cross.

The only problem we Wesleyans have is that we don’t follow through this week and observe Maundy Thursday in which Jesus ate the last supper, was betrayed by Judas, and was arrested. We also don’t gather for Good Friday as a congregation, on which Jesus was tried before Pilate and sentenced to be crucified, was crucified and buried. SO, I have lead us to this point so that on Easter Sunday we might truly celebrate the empty tomb which was first filled with a crucified Christ. If you only observe Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, then Jesus went from riding into town being praised to being raised from the Dead and you might just wonder, “How did He get dead??” Bad English, I know, but a truthful statement. So, here we are, Jesus is having a bad day, but just what does this bad day mean to us and as we journey to the Cross, what can we learn this day concerning the Cross of Christ?

THESIS SENTENCE: THE POWER OF THE CROSS IS THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS AND THE PROMISE OF PARADISE!

IF THE POWER OF THE CROSS IS FORGIVENESS AND PARADISE, HOW DO WE GET THERE?

I. THE POWER OF THE CROSS IS A WILLING SACRIFICE VV. 26-31

A. A sacrifice required

1. Two weeks ago we began on this journey with the promise of the Cross. Peter did not want Jesus to go, but Jesus told Peter he had in mind the things of man and not the things of God.

2. Last week I mentioned that Jesus did not respond to the vile testimonies made about him by the people. I also mentioned that in the book of John, chapter 19, Jesus told Pilot that he, Pilot, had no power over Him, only that which God had allowed him to have.

3. The point is that God required this cross and it was happening the way God had planned it to happen and thus a sacrifice was required! 4. This fulfilled Jesus prayer in the Garden, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done (Matthew 26: 42).”

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