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The Cross

EMPTY NESTERS SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2017

What does it mean to you? What’s its significance?

Other forms of execution: Stoning; Guillotine; Firing Squad; Hanging;

Modern times: Electrocution; Gassing; Lethal Injection – Death is instantaneous

Crucifixion on the cross was used from the 4th. Century as a form of execution. It was the most painful and prolonged suffering.

Stripped naked and nailed in full public view. Jesus was flogged, spit upon and ridiculed in the worst way.

Abolished in 337 A.D.

The Cross for some is just a piece of jewelry

A form of protection or a charm

CHRISTIANS – Main symbol – Churches; Priests; Pastors; Ministers etc.

It’s a symbol of distinction – When we see the cross we know that this is a place of God.

Before Jesus was crucified on the Cross – The Cross was something to be feared.

After He was crucified on the Cross, it became a symbol to be revered.

  • Saved from sin
  • Love
  • Sacrifice
  • Victory
  • Hope
  • Propitiation
  • Reconciliation

 

Colossians 1:20 (NIV)

20 and through Him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.

Ephesians 2:16 (NIV)

16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

No longer separated but united – one body.

We live after the crucifixion on the Cross. How do we respond?

We join our Lord in taking up our own cross and following Him.

Matthew 16:24 (NIV)

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Matthew 10:38 (NIV)

38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

Galatians 5:24  (NIV)

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

No more condemnation:

Colossians 2:14 (NIV)

14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

The Cross – our only hope

Galatians 6:14 (NIV)

14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which[a] the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

 

A new creation:

2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Share the saving Grace of the Cross:

Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Forgiveness : Wait for the power

Luke 24:46-49 (NIV)

46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Sent with power to forgive:

John 20:21-23  (NIV)

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Feed My Sheep:

John 21:17 (NIV)

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

Blessed:

John 20:29 (NIV)

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

We have a new covenant: Old covenant – obedience out of fear; animal sacrifices for sins. Only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies

The old covenant has been fulfilled by what Jesus did on the Cross:

Matthew 5:17 9NIV)

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

New covenant: Forgiven to obey because of love. No more sacrifices. Our high priest is Jesus Himself and we can go directly in his presence. See Hebrews Ch. 10

2 Corinthians 3:6 (NIV)

6 He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.

 

The Cross provides eternal life:

John 3:16 (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

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