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Summary: The cross has the power to transform lives and it has been doing it for 2000 years.

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TRANSFORMED BY THE CROSS

THE IMPACT OF THE CROSS – PART 5

INTRODUCTION: “THE SAINT OF AUSCHWITZ” FROM “SIX HOURS ONE FRIDAY.” PAGES 64-66

QUESTION - WHAT WAS IT THAT CAUSED MAXIMILIAN KOLBE TO SACRIFICIALLY GIVE HIS LIFE SO THAT ANOTHER HUMAN BEING MIGHT LIVE? THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE, HE WAS TRANSFORMED BY THE CROSS OF CHRIST.

PRAYER

THE APOSTLE PAUL WROTE IN 1 CORINTHIANS 1:18,

“FOR THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS IS FOOLISHNESS TO THOSE WHO ARE PERISHING, BUT TO THOSE OF US WHO ARE BEING SAVED IT IS THE POWER OF GOD.”

LISTEN - THE CROSS HAS AN AWESOME POWER NOT ONLY TO FORGIVE US OF OUR SINS, BUT TO TRANSFORM OUR LIVES! THAT’S GOOD NEWS, AND NOT JUST FOR A PRISONER IN A CONCENTRATION CAMP, OR FOR THE THIEF DYING ON THE CROSS AS WE DISCUSSED LAST SUNDAY, BUT THAT IS GOOD NEWS FOR ALL OF US.

UNDERSTAND – THAT NOT ONLY CAN YOUR SINS BE FORGIVEN THROUGH THE CROSS, BUT THROUGH THE POWER OF THAT CROSS: SINFUL HABITS CAN BE OVER COME. NEGATIVE ATTITUDES CAN BE REVERSED. STRAINED RELATIONSHIPS CAN BE MENDED. TALENTS CAN BE SHARPENED. POOR PERSONALITIES TRAITS CAN BE REFINED. AND DANGEROUS TEMPTATIONS CAN BE RESISTED.

THE BIBLE SAYS, “THEREFORE, IF ANY MAN IS IN CHRIST, HE IS A NEW CREATION; THE OLD HAS GONE, THE NEW HAS COME!” 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17

IF YOU ARE JIONING US FOR THE FIRST TIME TODAY, WE’RE IN A MESSAGE SERIES ENTITLED: “THE IMPACT OF THE CROSS.” AND WE’RE LOOKING AT THE CROSS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THOSE WHO GATHERED THERE THAT DAY, 2,000 YEARS AGO WHEN JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED.

ROMAN SOLDIERS – UNMOVED BY THE CROSS

DISCIPLES – DISTRESSED BY THE CROSS

THE ENEMIES OF JESUS – DELIGHTED BY THE CROSS

ONE OF THE THIEVES – SAVED BY THE CROSS

TODAY I WANT FOR US TO LOOK AT THE CROSS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF SOME BYSTANDERS WHO’S LIVES WERE COMPLETELY TRANSFORMED BY THE CROSS.

NOW UNDERSTAND - THAT THESE PEOPLE DID NOT HAVE ANY IDEA WHEN THEY GOT UP THAT FRIDAY MORNING, THAT ANYTHING DIFFERENT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN TO THEM. THEY HAD NO IDEA, THAT THEY WERE ABOUT TO BE COMPLETELY TRANSFORMED BY THE CROSS OF CHRIST. THEY HAD NO IDEA THAT THEIR LIVES WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME.

AND LISTEN - THAT SAME TRANSFORMING POWER IS AVAILABLE TO YOU TODAY. AND IT IS MY PRAYER AND IT WAS THE PRAYER OF 30+ PEOPLE THIS PAST THRUSDAY NIGHT AND ____ + THIS MORNING THAT MANY HERE TODAY – IN THE FUTURE WILL LOOK BACK AT APRIL 15TH AS THE DAY THAT CHRIST BEGAN A TRANSFORMING WORK IN YOU.

THE FIRST BYSTANDER I WANT US TO LOOK AT TODAY IS A MAN NAMED SIMON. WE MEET HIM IN MARK 15:21. AND AS WE TAKE A LOOK AT HIM THIS MORNING WE WILL SEE THAT THE CROSS TRANSFORMED FROM;

A CASUAL OBSERVER TO AN ACTIVE PARTICIPANT.

“A CERTAIN MAN FROM CYRENE, SIMON, THE FATHER OF ALEXANDER AND RUFUS, WAS PASSING BY ON HIS WAY IN FROM THE COUNTRY, AND THEY FORCED HIM TO CARRY THE CROSS.” MARK 15:21

NOW CYRENE WAS A CITY IN LIBYA, NORTH AFRICA AND IT HAD A LARGE JEWISH POPULATION. SIMON A JEW, HAD COME ALL THE WAY TO JERUSALEM FOR ONE REASON, TO CELEBRATE THE PASSOVER FEAST.

PERHAPS SIMON HAD SAVED UP FOR YEARS AND MAYBE HE HAD A DREAM OF ONE DAY BEING ABLE TO EAT THE PASSOVER MEAL IN THE HOLY CITY. BUT ON FRIDAY MORNING AS HE MADE HIS WAY INTO THE CITY HE GOT CAUGHT UP IN THE PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC.


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