Summary: How do we describe the glory of the indescribable One? What do we do to cause our friends and family to catch a glimpse of his glory? When His glory is revealed there is only one response – total acceptance or ridiculous rejection. This is why the enem
This sermon was preached by Scotty L Killingsworth to the Evergreen Church on April 4, 2004. It is from a series of sermons entitled: “Why did Jesus have to die?”.
Sermon title: Jesus died to reveal the glory of God
The Biblical text is from John 1:1-9
In 1938 Baltimore racism had the city in a strangle hold. The city was deeply divided and blacks didn’t dare venture into the white part of town. A black man was not allowed to try on a coat until he paid for it because a white man might later try on the jacket. There was deep division and fragmentation of the society. There was one event that welded the black community into a solid group. It was a fight – a boxing match. There was a black man named Joe Louis who was the heavy weight boxing champion world. White folks questioned how God could allow a black man to be the champion of the whole world. Joe gave the black community something they needed to unite them.
In 1936, (two years before), Max Schmeling knocked Joe out in the 12th round of their first encounter. Max was German and the white hope from Nazi Germany. When Joe went down the white man’s world view was validated and they all slept comfortably that night. A white man was champion of the world. All was well and God is in his heaven.
But now it is 1938 and in Baltimore’s black community hope soared as Joe and Max were scheduled for a rematch. The second fight didn’t last long. In two minutes and nine seconds Max Schmeling was laying senseless on the canvass. Joe Louis had just revealed the glory of the black man.
The world was listening to the fight on the radio, but no part of it more intently than the black district of Baltimore. A parade of black people came out of their ghettos and on to the street. For a few minutes they rode on the courage of Joe Louis and took Baltimore’s streets back for the common man. It was the first civil rights march and it was completely spontaneous. Like the fight the march didn’t last long. In just five minutes or so the crowd dissolved into the shadows and returned to their homes.
These marginalized people had shared persecution too long and as a community they pushed back and for five minutes danced in liberty and joy. For five minutes everyone in Baltimore was equal in their eyes. For one night discrimination against a race didn’t matter. They were a community united and proud as one of their very own was the heavy weight boxing champion of the world. For one night they were proud of being black. They were just as good as any man! And tonight the entire world would know and nothing could ever change the fact that Joe Lois has knocked the begebbers out of Max the Nazi.
Jesus was part of a marginalized people. He was part of a persecuted race. The Roman’s had drawn lines and said you live here and we live here and don’t you ever cross the line. The Romans were so powerful. They built on the heals of Alexander the Great-Greek a nation that ruled with a fist of iron. They KO’d everyone in their way.
One day a man walked the back roads of Palestine whose name was Jesus. Some began to hope! Large crowds gathered to hear him and to witness the miracles that followed him. But the Roman sword was too powerful and Jesus was crucified. His glory must have been temporary at best they thought. So his body was laid in a tomb and forgotten except by the Roman squad ordered to keep it safe and the close inner circle of Christ followers.