Summary: A Good Friday message. Read the whole message, very evanglestic with a word picture that holds their attention ( a photo album at the cross)

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(Matthew 27:32-56)

(Crucifixion, Good Friday, Salvation )


The Cross.

It rests on the time line of history like a compelling diamond.

It’s tragedy summons all suffers.

It’s Absurdity attracts all critics.

It’s hope lures all searchers.

My what a piece of wood! History has idolized it. And despised it, gold plated it and burned it, worn it and trashed it.

History has done everything to it but ignore it.

That’s the one option that the cross does not offer.

No one can ignore it! You can’t ignore a piece of lumber that suspends the greatest claim in history.

A crucified carpenter claiming that he is God on earth!

The cross.

It’ bottom line is sobering: if the account is true, it I histories hinge. Period.

If not it’s histories hoax.

( Max Lucado Six Hour One Friday)

On that 1st Easter morning the Kingdom of death was repossessed and hope took up the payments.

But even Easter has to start with the cross.

The Cross.

I am curious how many of you enjoy having your picture taken?

Must of us run from a camera’s flash like a cat fleeing a bath.

Pictures. They remind us what we have not accomplished. The few pounds we resoluted to lose in January are still there in the picture

They remind us how our bellies going down and hairlines going up. Most of us don’t like pics.

But tonight Matthew is taking some pictures of people at the cross. And all of you are in one of these three pictures.

No one escapes His snapshots. As we look through this photo album of the cross

WE will look for your face in one of the crowds at the cross.

The first Polaroid or picture we see Is located in the pages of Matthew 27:32

The First picture is those who…

1.) Forced to the Cross. ( 32-37 )

I WANT to hone in on verse 32 “ and they forced to carry the cross.

Simon was a common Jewish name. He was a local believer.. he was not a pagan tricked into church by a potluck dinner

He was a common believer a religious guy. He was a church goer that knew that God would send a messiah a savior.. a cross.

This picture only has one man in it. Simon a man forced to the cross.

Only one sentence announces his presence. Only 20 English words describe is encounter with the cross. In face only 14 Greek words denote his presence.

But I he the only in that picture .. I doubt it.

Some in this room tonight feel just like Simon. Forced to the Cross.

Before you turn the page in this photo album. Look for your face.

Are you here in this picture.

I always said that even the few times I went to church I became a drug addict. Because my mom and grandmother drugged me all the way there.

Some of you are forced to the cross. because of family. A Husband that feels obligated.

A mother who only comes for her children.

A preacher who has to come to get paid. Even some of us to always want o be near the cross. Some of you come out of tradition.

Others feel it makes their role in the community a little more polished!.

But everyone has one common thread that is laced thru this photo and that there are forced.

Here is one lesson we need to learn:

Out of everyone in these three photos. Simon ( the religious guy) is the closet to the cross. But is never changed by it.

That horizontal beam of God’s love was on his very back, but never in the rest of the New Testament to we hear of his conversion.

Never do we see him run home and tell his wife that he carried a cross for God.

I guess this is what we learn from this picture.

· You can be Close to the Cross, but Far from Christ.

Simon is not the only religious huckster in the photo album.

The Second picture. Is also a picture of the church goers --the religious hypocrites.

The surface believers, that touch the cross but never let the cross touch them.

The second picture is of those who were…

2.) Foolish At the Cross

This picture is found in verses 38-44

There are at least 3 different people in this picture.




And possibly you could be painted in this scene.. This are the people that make a mockery of the cross.

Some people are silent and some people are loud at their opposition to the cross

The soldiers make me think of us.

The religious. Those who claim heritage to the cross. I’m thinking of all of us. Every believer in this room.

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Talk about it...

Kl Burrus

commented on Feb 16, 2007

I'm slightly disturbed by a portion of this message. "Out of everyone in these three photos. Simon ( the religious guy) is the closet to the cross. But is never changed by it. That horizontal beam of God’s love was on his very back, but never in the rest of the New Testament to we hear of his conversion. Never do we see him run home and tell his wife that he carried a cross for God." Now this disturbs me for it's in Mark's account we read that Simon is the father of Alexander and Rufus. In Romans the Apostle Paul holds Rufus (Simon's son) and Rufus mother (Simon's wife) in high esteem to the church at Rome. So how is it then that Simon did not take his religion home with him? He must have been changed by the encounter of Christ and the cross? So much so that his wife and children became prominent and well-known believers to the church at Rome. Men where the spiritual leaders of their household at that time. The family had to follow his spiritual beliefs.

Michael Lum

commented on Mar 20, 2010

Brother Burrus makes a very good point that I was thinking of as well. Overall this has some goodpoints, but "feels" more like are-statemen to one of Max Lucado''s books than are a sermon. I do like the focus of being changed by the cross vs. just being present or "around" religion.

Lisa Clark

commented on Apr 18, 2011

I loved this except some words are left out and many mispelled which entirely changes the meaning of the message or sentence. I would have loved to use this but really had a problem filling in the blanks. Some of the quotes are missing a word. Makes all the difference in the world.

Harold Goff

commented on Apr 9, 2012

Seems to me the world place''s a lot of people in Heaven without proof when the Bible say''s we all belonged to the devil. And the blank''s were easy to fill in if we read with our heart. Max Lucado aint a bad person to quote. I thought the picture you painted was close to home . That''s the croud I look at on Sunday morning

Cate Hall

commented on Apr 4, 2013

Thank you so much for this sermon. I used your idea for our Good Friday walk of witness service in the middle of our town. I also used a life size photo frame and had someone model each of the pictures as I spoke. It had a powerful impact on the street. I am very grateful to you for posting it.

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