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Summary: Why did Jesus HAVE to die on the cross and why didn't God just end the human race and start off fresh?

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INTRODUCTION

• SLIDE #1

• When I coached ASA Girls softball teams, the most difficult positon on the field to coach was the pitcher. I pitched in High School and I watched a lot of pitchers, but girls softball pitching was a totally different animal.

• When my youngest daughter Rachel decided at a young age that she wanted to pitch, I sent her to reputable pitching coaches, and I watched and listened.

• When Rachel started pitching who knew where the ball was going. She got tossed out of one tournament when she was 10 because she hit too many batters and at that point she threw hard.

• When a pitcher does not throw strikes there are reasons for that. They may have five things messed up with their mechanics, but there was usually a key issue that caused the other issues.

• I so wanted to have her pitching coach at the games because I could not pinpoint that in the beginning, so I felt helpless until I learned more.

• When we look at the world around us we see SEVERAL things that are messed up. But is there possibly one root cause from which all the other problems we see in our messed up world spring forth from?

• The Bible tells us YES!

• Jesus came to deal with that problem. Jesus went to the cross to correct the root cause of all of the problems we see in our fallen world.

• But the cross leaves us with some questions. I feel the biggest question is WHY? Why the cross, why did Jesus have to die?

• Today as we look at the contrasts of the cross I hope I can shed some light on the WHY question.

• Let’s begin by looking at Matthew 27:40-42

• In this passage, Jesus has been unjustly found guilty at the Kangaroo Court and He was beaten and placed on the cross, as He hung on that cross people were mocking Him.

• SLIDE #2

Matthew 27:40–42 (NIV) and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.

• Let us look at our first contrast found in this passage.

• SLIDE #3

SERMON

I. The religious leaders hit the nail on the head!

• As I read the passage in Matthew 27 I am stuck by what the religious leaders were saying as Jesus hung on the cross.

• “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.

• According to those leaders, all Jesus would have to do in order to get these leaders to believe in Him was to come off that cross!

• If that was the case, then why didn’t Jesus just get off the cross? The religious leaders would have been won over to believing in Jesus and they could have spread the word about Jesus being the Messiah.


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