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Intro: In some ways, we have become too accustomed to the cross. We see crosses every day of our lives. Many churches have them atop their steeples. There is one behind me right now as I preach this message. There is a cross on the front of this pulpit. Now, I am not against seeing the cross; but like any other symbol, it can lose its power in our lives if we become too familiar with it. In other words, we can become desensitized to the cross.
Think about this: For many, the cross is nothing more than a piece of jewelry that is used to adorn the ear or the neck. For some, the cross is an icon designed for worship; they kneel before the cross and pray to it. Some see the cross as an amulet that contains supernatural power; they hang it over their bed or carry it around to ward off evil.
cross is offensive to some people. In
cross is foolishness to some people.
for a few, the cross is an object of power and wisdom. In
Today, I would like to declare the message of the cross. It is not a weak message; it is not a foolish message. It is a message filled with the awesome power and wisdom of Almighty God. Let the message of the cross speak to your heart today. If you are saved rejoice in what God accomplished at the cross. If you are not saved, you really need to hear this message today. Let’s take these verses we have read together and examine The Message Of The Cross.
A. The message
of the cross is a message of pain, suffering and death. Three times we are told in these verses that
Jesus was “crucified, v. 20, 24-25. This word means “to nail one to a stake. The death Jesus died was a horrible, painful
B. When Isaiah
looked into the future and saw the death of the Messiah, He described it in Isa. 53:1-5. Isaiah also tells us that His physical pain
was unimaginable, Isa. 52:14. (
C. Add to this the suffering Jesus endured before He was nailed to the cross to die.
1. He had been arrested, tried, convicted and
beaten by the
2. He had been taken to Pilate where He was
abused by Pilate’s soldiers: Scourged
3. He was sentenced to die and suffered as He
carried His cross along the Via Dolorosa, (The Way of Suffering – 650 yards
D. Why would
He endure this kind of death? There is
only one answer: His love for His lost sheep, Rom. 5:8;
II. v. 26-32 A MESSAGE OF TRAGEDY
A. As Jesus
hung on that cross, giving His life for the lost, His enemies circled Him like
a flock of hungry vultures. They hated
Him so much that they even made fun of Him and taunted Him as He died. Look at the language the Bible uses: v. 20, 31, “mocked; mocking to
play with; carries the idea of making fun of a person with a desire to harm. V. 29,
blaspheme; to say evil things about a person. They “wagged their heads at Him. They taunted Him, telling Him to come down
from the cross if He was really Who He claimed to be. They said, “He
saved others; Himself He cannot save, v. 31. They may have been
referring to Him raising Lazarus from the dead,
B. The tragedy in the cross is seen in two different ways.
it is seen in the attitude of the Jews toward Jesus. He had come into this world as their
Messiah. He was the embodiment of all
the Old Testament prophecies. He came to
redeem them and to usher in the
is also tragic because it brings the depravity of man into sharp focus. The true character of the human heart is
revealed by the actions of the lost people at
C. Your reaction to the cross reveals the condition of your heart!
III. v. 33-36 A MESSAGE OF TRANSFER
A. After man
had done his best to ridicule and belittle the Lord Jesus, God turned the
lights out on the cross. It is as if God
was saying, “You have mocked Him enough!
But, during those hours of darkness, Jesus suffered the worst of His
torments. For, it was during those dark
hours that your sins and mine were transferred to Him,
B. All the
pain of Hell and the undiluted wrath of Almighty God were unleashed on the
Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He
literally took our place on that cross.
He died our death; He suffered our Hell; He paid our price! (
C. Because He
paid the sinner’s debt, those who place their trust in Him for salvation are delivered
from the debt of sin. They are delivered
from the threat of Hell. They are set
free from the penalties stacked against them.
In fact, they get something better than that! Our sins were transferred to Him at the
cross; when we receive Him into our hearts, His righteousness is transferred to
us, Rom. 4:16-25; Phil. 3:9! When the Lord looks at one of the redeemed
children of God, He sees one who has been made as holy, as righteous and as
sinless and Jesus Himself! (
D. Don’t miss
the message of the cross! If you are
lost today, you are under the wrath of God,
IV. v. 37-38 A MESSAGE OF TRIUMPH
verses record the death of the Lord Jesus.
After six hours on the cross, He dismissed His Spirit when He knew that
the price for sin had been paid and God was eternally satisfied,
B. The words of Jesus from the cross were not the words of a “victim but the shouts of a victor! He did not say “I am finished! He said, “It is finished!” When Jesus died on the cross, His death signaled the defeat of three terrible enemies of lost humanity.
1. His death signaled the defeat of Satan
When Jesus died on the cross, His death spelled the doom of Satans dominion in
2. His death signaled the defeat of Sin
When sin entered the world it brought with it death, devastation and damnation,
Rom. 5:12. Jesus forever did away with sin when He died
on the cross,
3. His death signaled the defeat of Separation
Sin had separated the sinner from God, Isa. 59:2. The death of
Jesus broke down the wall of separation erected by sin and serves to bring
those who trust Him back into fellowship with
C. The death
of Jesus was not the tragedy it appeared to be on the surface. The death of Jesus was our moment of ultimate
triumph. In His death, He conquered all
the enemies that were destroying those trapped in their sins! (
V. v. 39 A MESSAGE OF TESTIMONY
A. The cross
of Jesus was about far more than death, suffering and blood. The cross of Jesus was a place of testimony.
It was here that God made His greatest declaration of love for lost humanity,
B. His death
was not in vain! The very day Jesus died
we know that a lost thief repented, trusted and was saved,
It was many centuries later, but His death made the difference in my life. I will never forget the day when He saved me by His grace. The salvation that He so freely extended and I so gladly received was made possible by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
C. The cross of Christ still trumpets the love of God for lost sinners. In our day, the testimony of the cross has become muted by the siren call of this world and its pleasures. But, for those who will hear the testimony of the cross and will heed its message, will find that there is power in its message.
Conc: What is the cross of Jesus to you?
It is merely a piece of jewelry?
Is it just a religious symbol? Is
it a talisman you hang over your bed to keep the devil away? Is it pure foolishness? Or, is the cross the
of God unto salvation? If you will heed the message of the cross, you
will find that salvation is still available.
You will find that God can still save souls; change eternal destinies
and transform sinners into saints of God. (