Summary: Have we taken the the cross of Christ for granted? Take another look as we watch the Lamb!

Watch the Lamb

Acts 13:26-29

Good Friday service 2001

Pilgrim Baptist Church, Vancouver, BC

A. The Message Sent to Us

Carla Muir told this story:

There was a certain old recluse who lived deep in the mountains of Colorado. When he died, distant relatives came from the city to collect his valuables. Upon arriving, all they saw was an old shack with an outhouse beside it. Inside the shack, next to the rock fireplace, was an old cooking pot and his mining equipment. A cracked table with a three-legged chair stood guard by a tiny window, and a kerosene lamp served as the centerpiece for the table. In a dark corner of the little room was a dilapidated cot with a threadbare bedroll on it.

They picked up some of the old relics and started to leave. As they were driving away, an old friend of the recluse, on his mule, flagged them down. “Do you mind if I help myself to what’s left in my friend’s cabin?” he asked. “Go right ahead,” they replied. After all, they thought, what inside that shack could be worth anything?

The old friend entered the shack and walked directly over the table. He reached under it and lifted one of the floor boards. He then proceeded to take out all the gold his friend had discovered over the past 53 years – enough to have built a palace. The recluse died with only his friend knowing his true worth. As the friend looked out of the little window and watched the cloud of dust behind the relative’s car disappear, he said, “They should have got to know him better.

I wonder, as we reflect on this Good Friday, as we watch the Lamb, Jesus Christ, who suffered and died a criminal’s death 2000 years ago that we too have missed out on the gold. Do we know our Friend’s (Jesus) true worth? Do we treat Him as if he’s some old relic of history that lived somewhere in strife-torn Middle East long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far way? What’s that gotta do with me? Yeah, sure He died, and maybe he’s some tragic hero and we drive away, walk away empty from this assembly this day or do we wanna walk out here with the gold? Have we missed the gold? Will someone one day say of us that we should have got to know Jesus better?

The Bible tells us in Acts 13, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. This means the invitation to not miss out on the gold is given. It is sent, not by e-mail, or air-mail or the mail-man delivering junk-mail by through the personal mail, the mail of God’s own son, the very person of Jesus. This is how another trans. Of Bible called the Message puts it: “This message of salvation has been precisely targeted to you.” The true worth of Jesus is revealed in this Good Friday event. An that is why true Christians everywhere called this awful bloody cross event “good” even though it meant the suffering and death of God’s Son. They know on that hill, on Calvary where Jesus died, is the gold sent from heaven. The prophets have foretold of it long before Jesus was born. Right from the pages of ancient prophecies this event of Good Friday was announced long ago. But the people of Jerusalem and their rulers missed the gold (see v.27). These are the folks, who should have seen it coming, missed it. And boy did they miss it as they cried “Crucify Him” even though it was a total sham, of trumped-up charges (v.28).

B. Message Received or Buried?

Read v.29

Do u have any idea what the burial of Jesus was like in those days. According to Byron R. McCane, professor of religion, Converse College Spartanburg, South Carolina

Christian History, Summer 1998

Jewish funerals almost always took place the same day as the death. The eyes of the deceased were closed, the

corpse was washed with perfumes and ointments, its bodily orifices were stopped, and strips of cloth were wrapped tightly around the body—binding the jaw closed, fixing arms to the sides, and tying the feet together. Once prepared, the corpse was placed on a bier or in a coffin and carried out of town in a procession to the family tomb, usually a small rock-cut cave entered through a narrow opening that could be covered with a stone.

After eulogies, the corpse was placed either in a niche or on a shelf, along with items of jewelry or other personal effects. Once in a while, a Jewish funeral might even be a little too hasty: the rabbis told stories of people who were mistakenly buried before they were actually dead!

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