Summary: This sermon explores the Suffering Christ endured to pay the price for sin.
“THE TERROR OF THE CROSS”
TEXT: Mark 14:32-36, "And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt."
The biggest problem in the world today is sin. It is not the environment, the government, terrorists, or the economy; it is sin.
· Most of the world’s religions do not address sin. Sin is not a popular subject. Many religions see mankind as the highest being, able to ascend to higher and higher levels of existence until becoming gods. Sin is viewed as a failure to achieve one’s full potential, necessitating another attempt at perfection through reincarnation. Even “Christian” religions sometimes fail to grasp the idea of man’s sinfulness, some even teaching that all are ultimately saved through Jesus Christ regardless of the life they live here on earth.
· The Secular Humanist cannot accept that mankind is sinful. They see man as basically good. They feel through proper education and training the world can reach utopia. Hence we see the proliferation of “self-help” materials and programs that do not admit to the inherent evil, or “sinfulness” in man, but only to the idea that one has made wrong choices that may be corrected through social programs.
· Since the world does not believe in sin, it has no remedy for sin. It may try to remedy the consequences of sin, but it cannot eradicate that which it does not believe in.
· In stark contrast to these viewpoints, the Bible makes it clear that we are sinners: (Romans 3:23), "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
· Adam’s sin was passed to us, because we inherited his sinful nature. (Romans 5:12), "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."
· In the OT, sin was pushed ahead annually by the atonement of the sin offering, but the sins were not remitted! There was still a debt to be paid to God. (Romans 6:23), "For the wages of sin is death." (Hebrews 9:22), "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." (Hebrews 10:1), "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect."
· That debt of sin could only be satisfied by the offering of a perfect, sinless sacrifice. (Hebrews 10:4), "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins."
· Even man could not fulfill the requirements because of his inherently sinful nature.
· But God had a plan from the very beginning! That plan was Jesus Christ.
· Jesus was the (Revelation 13:8b), "…Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." He came to pay the debt of sin. Let’s look for a moment at the ugliness of sin:
(Galatians 5:19-21 MONTNT) “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” From this list proceeds all manner of evil, all of which is present in our world today. Murder under many different names; from abortion, to euthanasia, to gang violence, to racial violence, to terrorism, to mothers killing their children and murders by jealous spouses. All manner of sexual perversions which do not deserve mention here, but include everything that violates God’s pattern of one man and one woman in a monogamous relationship of marriage. Broken homes where sin has torn what God had joined together. We see all manner of witchcraft, although today we don’t usually call it that. It pervades the culture of our world through its music, its horoscopes, and through psychics with 900 numbers. Popular children’s books have made the idea of witchcraft palatable fare even for the “Christian” world. New age ideas, which are really pantheistic expressions of demonism made acceptable to our naïve mentality. Hatred rears its head in social orders, in families, in racial conflicts, in terrorist movements. The recent events in New York and Washington D.C. show us the effects of hatred on a global scale. We see the influence of wrath in instances of road rage, and in shooting sprees in the workplace, or even in our schools. “Drunkenness and revellings” mark the excesses of the drug culture, a multi-billion dollar problem throughout the world. We could continue, but I think the point is made. The problem with the world is SIN. It is for this very sin that Jesus gave his life to pay the debt.