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Summary: The death of Jesus. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info )

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SERMON BODY:

(1). The Place (vs 22-24).

(2). The Question (vs 33-39)

(3). The Tomb (vs 42-47).

SERMON OUTLINE:

ill:

About an hour away from where I used to live in Coventry (England):

• There is a little village called Bredwardine

• It is in the county of Herefordshire.

• A lady who attended the Anglican Church in that village died;

• And in her will she left some money for the Church.

• As well as the money she left some instructions on how to spend it;

• She asked that the old battered and dishevelled cross;

• That sat on the altar be sent to a jewellers to be cleaned and restored.

• So the cross was sent off to a jewellers and when it was returned;

• They discovered this old tarnished cross was actually made of solid silver,

• They also discovered that upright and the cross-piece were studded with emeralds,

• The cross no longer stands on the altar:

• It is kept in a safe, and is only brought out when a service is about to take place.

• Transition:

• What many thought to be a worthless object;

• Was actually a very valuable and precious item!

This morning we are looking at the death of Jesus on the cross:

• To many it was a shameful and tragic act;

• The waste of a good man’s life.

• But to Christians it is the most important event in history!

• Because the death of Jesus was not a tragedy but a triumph;

• As Jesus himself said (John chapter 10 verse 18):

“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.”

• And again Jesus could say (Mark chapter 10 verse 45):

• “He gave his life as a ransom for many”.

The cross is a curious paradox because it is:

• A picture of violence;

• Yet it is the key to peace.

• It was a picture of suffering;

• Yet the key to healing.

• It was a picture of utter weakness;

• Yet the key to power.

• It was a picture of capital punishment;

• Yet the key to mercy & forgiveness.

• It was a picture of death;

• Yet the key to life.

• It was a picture of hatred;

• Yet the key to love.

• It was a picture of supreme shame;

• Yet it is the Christian’s supreme boast!

Ill:

• North of Cardiff (Wales) is the district of Llandaff;

• Llandaff has a Cathedral that contains a figure of Jesus by artist Joseph Epstein.

• It is an aluminium figure of Christ in Majesty

• What makes this figure unique is that all the marks of crucifixion have been removed.

• The figure may be majestic and beautiful and compassionate,

• But sadly Joseph Epstein has totally missed the point!

• The scars of Jesus are the reason for his coming into the world;

• They are the reason for his earthly existence!

• Because without those scars,

• Without his suffering and death, there is no salvation!

• Note: There are five things Jesus took back to heaven that were not there before!

• They are the wounds in his hands, feet and side!

Ill:

• In contrast to Joseph Epstien the deaf have a sign for Jesus.

• The middle finger of each hand is placed into the palm of the other.

• Jesus, the one with wounded hands.

• Someone has said;

• “When the deaf touch the place, they hear the name in their own flesh”.

• This morning each one of us should ‘hear the name in their own flesh’.

• Because whether you realise it or not the cross of Jesus Christ involves you!

• Because on the cross “He bore the sin of the world” including yours & mine!

We have reached the place in our studies in Mark’s gospel:

• When Jesus has been sentenced to be crucified.

• The soldiers have mocked him by placing a crown of thorns on his head;

• They have viciously punched him with their fists,

• He had been cruelly flogged him to the point of death.

• He was a mass of bleeding, raw and opened flesh.

• Now it is time to leave Praetorium (the palace);

• And make their way to the place of execution.

• Now it was the custom for a condemned man;

• To carry their own crossbeam to the place of execution.

• The cross beam, was called in Latin "patabulum".

• And it weighed about 100 pounds and it was carried across the shoulders.

• Jesus had carried his to the city gate;

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