Summary: The inscription on Jesus’ cross marked God’s final sacrifice for sin.
The Sign of the Cross
May 24, 2009 FBC, Chester Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker
I The Lamb
A The Passover (one of 3 major annual feats, along with Pentecost & Tabernacle)
1 Practical (remember God’s obedience from Egypt when death passed over their homes); prophetic (Christ was crucified the evening before Passover). Jews in Jesus’ time believed the lamb’s blood had the power to protect their families.
2 After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, God instructed each Israelite family to take a special, perfect lamb each year, go to Jerusalem, & offer the lamb in the Temple.
a In the Greek New Testament, there are different words for “lamb”, one means a common lamb found in the flock, & the second was a “personal” or pet lamb.
b The “pet lamb” was from the father’s flock, chosen to be offered to God at the Temple in Jerusalem.
aa This lamb was inspected by the father for four days for physical defects, flaws, illness, blind, crippled, make sure it was a perfect specimen.
bb In other words, without blemish
c Daddy would hang a bronze name tag over the pet lamb’s neck.
aa Each father wanted God to know that his family was observing the Passover.
bb He wanted God to recognize that the lamb that bore his family name was being sacrificed for them.
B The priests would slaughter the lamb, & the lamb would then be given back to the family.
1 A group of Samaritans today still celebrate the Passover in the Holy Land on Mount Gerezina.
b Roasting of the lamb on a cross
aa It’s the way the Passover lamb has been prepared since the exodus from Egypt.
bb See the cross?
cc Ancient “tav” X on doorposts (see the cross)?
dd Temple furniture (see the cross)? (picture of temple)
2 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said , "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29 (NASB)
Let’s look at the cross & the amazing inscription that marks God’s final sacrifice for sin (transitional sentence).
II The cross
A Isaiah foresaw the Lamb of God being examined in Isaiah 53:7. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.Isaiah 53:7 (NASB)
1 Jesus fulfilled the prophecy before Caiaphas in Matt. 26:63. But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God." Matt 26:63 (NASB)
2 The religions of the world admit that Jesus lived...but all STOP at the cross.
a The cross is a bridge between God & man, but for millions it is a knife that separates Christians from other religions.
aa Diamond-studded, gold-plated, hung on the walls of cathedrals/ peasants homes.
bb How could a 8-ft. piece of rugged cedar cause such religious divisions on Earth?
b The answer is substitution: an innocent man died in place of the guilty.
aa How could God die on a cross?
bb Why would God allow His only Son to die this way?
c We are under a curse of sin, venom is in our veins.
aa ...his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance. Deut 21:23 (NASB)
bb Paul reminds the Galatians (3:13) of this law. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree "—Gal 3:13 (NASB)
cc The curse was our sin, not Christ’s.
3 The tree was the sign of the curse.
a Jesus was both made a curse & carried the curse with Him to the cross.
b ...having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Col 2:14 (NASB)
aa Cleared us from past sins
bb Freed us from the curse
B Jesus wasn’t the only person ever crucified (history runs red).
1 In A.D. 70, Titus had Jewish captives crucified to walls of the city at a rate of 500 a day.
a On one occasion, 800 Pharisees were crucified while their wives & children watched on.
b No death carries more historical weight than the death of a sun-tanned Nazarene who hung between heaven & earth.