Summary: The cross is the centerpiece of history. We should be able to understand and articulate the implications of what happened on Golgotha Hill 2000 years ago.



OPEN: A. A university student was seen wearing a T-shirt with a large “K” printed on it. Someone asked

him what the “K” stood for and he replied, “Confused.”

The person who asked the question said, “You don’t spell ‘confused’ with a ‘K’.” The college

student said, “You just don’t understand how confused I really am!”

1. Some of us should be walking around with a big “K” on our chests

--We sometimes get confused about some of the teachings of the Bible

2. The apostle Peter wrote that Paul’s writings were sometimes confusing to him

--2 Pet. 3:16 – “His letters contain some things that are hard to understand...”

3. If the apostle Peter had trouble understanding some things in the Bible, where does that leave all

of us?

--Understand that you’re not alone if there’s something in the Bible you don’t understand

B. However, there is on teaching of the Bible that I think all of us should be clear about

--that teaching is “the meaning of the cross”

1. Oswald Chambers - “All heaven is interested in the cross of Christ, all hell is terribly afraid of it,

while men are the only beings who more or less ignore its meaning. “

2. If we’re going to place our trust in Jesus Christ, we cannot be confused about the meaning of the


3. As we grow in grace and maturity in our faith, we should be able to understand and articulate the

spiritual implications of what took place on Golgotha’s hill 2,000 years ago

4. 1 Cor. 1:18 – “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us

who are being saved it is the power of God.”

a. Notice that there are two types of people in the world:

1). Those who are spiritually lost

2). Those who are being saved

b. The difference between the two types of people?

--all boils down to their understanding the meaning of the cross

a. Those who are perishing see it as foolishness

b. Those who are being saved see it as the power of God

5. On the cross, Jesus was accomplishing the work of salvation

--He was earning salvation for us

a. The cross is the centerpiece of our faith

b. It explains why our sins are forgiven and why we have hope in this life and the life to come

c. The more we grow in our faith, the more we should see the cross as an anchor for our faith

C. The format of this message is very simple

1. We’re going to look at four simple words straight from the pages of the Bible that describe

what Jesus’ death on the cross means

2. These four words paint picture that are crucial to our understanding on how Jesus’ death made

salvation possible to those who would submit to Him as Savior and Lord

I. The first word that explains the meaning of the cross: SUBSTITUTION

A. A substitute is someone who takes the place of another

1. When a football player is injured, the coach must replace him with a suitable substitute

2. Often, the substitute is much better than the injured player because he has fresh legs and can do things

the injured player cannot do in his weakened condition

B. In a similar manner, God saw us injured by sin

1. We couldn’t perform in our weakened, sinful state so God sent Jesus into the world to take our place

and free us from our sinful condition

2. Rom. 8:3 – “For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God

did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.”

C. God sent His Son as a substitute for us

1. We weren’t making the grade spiritually and we were sentenced to die for our sins, but Jesus came to

die in our place

2. Charles Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities tells the story of Charles Darnay, a young Frenchman

condemned to die in the guillotine. But when Sidney Carton, his friend, heard about Darnay’s

sentence, he was determined to find a way to save him.

Carton gained admission to the dungeon the night before Darnay was to be executed. He swapped

clothes with Darnay and the next day Carton was led out to be executed as Charles Darnay. Darnay

escaped the dungeon dressed as Sidney Carton. One man escaped; the other was executed.

--one man exchanged his life for the other

3. Jesus came into the dungeon of this world and put on our fleshly garments

a. He went out to be executed for us

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