Summary: A Confirmation sermon for Palm/Passion Sunday
SERMON OUTLINE AND NOTES
The Way of the Cross
(Jesus): “I am deeply grieved, even to death… My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” Vv. 38 -39
"This sorrow is crushing my life out... My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?" (Message)
INTRO: Today is an important day for those of you who are completing the confirmation process. Today, you are making a stand for yourself. We want you to think for yourself now about what you believe as a follower of Jesus. We want you to do things because you want to from inside yourself, not because someone outside of you has to tell you to do it. Today, we as a faith community recognize that you are no longer mere children
In addition to Confirmation today, this is also the Sunday of the Palms and the Passion of Jesus. This week we will be recalling the events that led to the death and crucifixion of Jesus. In many ways your confirmation is symbolic of the journey Jesus took to the cross.
Understood in its truest sense, the journey to the cross of Jesus is still in progress.
Jesus did not identify with a single hour of passion or with a short "last mile" to execution. Rather, He identified with every person’s moment of passion and death, every person’s life and death struggle for fulfillment. His moment of sorrow and compassion endures through every moment of human history.
A. Russian Orthodox Cross:
1--Top Crosspiece symbolizes:______________________________________________________________________
2—Bottom Slanted Crosspiece symbolizes:_____________________________________________________________
3—Typical cross emphasizes:______________________; Russian cross also emphasizes_______________________
The Russian Cross emphasizes, with equal validity, that Jesus suffers still, wherever anyone suffers in this world; that Jesus the Victor is Jesus the Victim still.
B. The Three Part Message of Palm/Passion Sunday and My Faith Journey
Your faith journey is endless—what you are doing today is just the beginning of the rest of your life from here to eternity.
When you regard the Way of the Cross in this light, you begin to appreciate Jesus’ cry to God the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane: “I am deeply grieved, even to death.” (Mt. 26:38). Or the words read even more dramatically in the Message version: "This sorrow is crushing my life out.”
When we regard the Way of the Cross in this light we begin to understand His plea, when he threw himself on the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.’ (Mt. 26:39).
The Road of Sorrow becomes the Road of Victory -- Good has triumphed over evil. He is risen! Though agonize and suffer we must, and die we will , we stick with it in confidence. We suffer and agonize and die that we may live again!
This is the message of Pentecost that comes 50 days after Easter: the call to commitment
God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father. Philippians 2:10 (Msg)
CONCLUSION: Today I invite you, everyone, beloved in Christ—not only the confirmands but everyone present here, I invite you to pray with Jesus: “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Mt. 26:39 NLT ). In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the one God who lives and reigns forever. Amen and so it will be.
ANSWERS TO BLANKS:
A---1. --represents the sign hung over the crucified Lord’s head, bearing the inscription,
"Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews."
2. -- depicts the wooden block placed under Jesus’ feet for support, in order to prevent Him from dying too quickly.
3. -- Jesus the Victor; Jesus the Victim
B---1. –Passion and Death; 2. –Resurrection 3. --Pentecost