Connected to the cross
AT THE CROSS: YOU ARE THERE 3-15-09
It may sound odd and impossible to claim that you were at the cross when Jesus died, but it is the truth. Your attitude toward Jesus is represented by those who were at the cross: The Jewish leaders wanted Jesus dead and out of their lives. The crowds wanted Jesus crucified and His guilt on their heads. Pontius Pilate wanted nothing to do with the death of Jesus, the Roman soldiers wanted some entertainment and to reap monetarily from His death. A group of women and the Apostle John wanted to be with Jesus as He died. All those attitudes are still on display today about Jesus.
But we all are at the cross for another very real reason. This is how it is explained to us in Isaiah 53:5-6, “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” We are all connected to the cross of Jesus because our sins are there at the cross. As Jesus was nailed to the cross, so also were your sins and mine. We are connected with the cross of Jesus because of our sin, what do we do now?
YOU ARE CONNECTED TO THE CRUCIFIXION
How is it possible to be connected to an event that happened thousands of miles and thousands of years ago? It would seem to be an air tight alibi that you and I have no connection with the crucifixion of Jesus, except for this: “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know- this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” Acts 2:22-23.
YOU ARE AT THE CROSS 3-22-09
Everyone knows that it was Pilate that sentenced Jesus to be crucified, and it was Roman soldiers that literally nailed Jesus to the cross that day. Yet it is Peter’s true assertion and accusation that the people he was talking to on the day of Pentecost (by the way, a crowd who could certainly say they were nowhere near Jerusalem on the day of Christ’s crucifixion), had nailed Him to the cross. Peter was correct in saying that they had nailed Jesus to the cross, not Pilate nor Roman soldiers, because it was their sins that put Jesus on the cross. If it is true of them, it is also true of us. That “you” utter in “you nailed to a cross” includes you and me. We are just as guilty as Pilate and the soldiers that did the sentencing and the nailing.
YOU ARE AT THE CROSS 3-29=09
You may feel separated from the crucifixion by time and distance, but nothing is further from the truth. It is the defining moment of your life, it is the pivot point for your eternal future. There are three ways you are at the cross: One is figuratively, one is literally, one is optional.
Figuratively, our attitudes and expectations of Jesus are represented by someone in the passion play: Some wanted Jesus dead, some wanted nothing to do with Jesus, some wanted entertainment, some wanted material gain, and some wanted to be with Jesus. Each got what they wanted. They are examples for us to use for our education.
Literally we are at the cross because our sins are there. Our sins put Jesus on the cross, Jesus bore our sins on the cross. Those sins make us guilty of the death of Christ.
There is another way we need to be connected to the cross and by the grace of God it is our choice. We need to be connected to the blood of Christ, the scriptures say that without blood there is no forgiveness.
How are we connected to the sacrificial power of the cross? How do we come in contact with the blood of Christ? Romans 6:3 reveals the promise and the power of God: “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” When you are immersed, God’s promise is that He connects you to the death of Jesus! That is why Peter tells the crowds in Acts 2:38 to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. That is why Paul can say he has been crucified with Christ. How are you connected to the cross?
Connected to the Death, Burial and Resurrection 4-5-09
What is so important about the burial in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ? In 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Paul says of first importance is that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and on the third day He was raised. Romans 6:3-11 says that in baptism we are united with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection.
The death of Jesus is important because God says without blood it is impossible to be forgiven. Therefore, being baptized into His death connects us to the sacrifice of Jesus, the blood of Jesus. That passage in Romans 6, lets us know that when we die with Jesus in baptism; our sins die, they are done away with, we are freed from sin.
But what is so important about the burial of Jesus for us that we need to be united with Him in it? The secular view of burial is that the burial gives closure. Burial is the final statement, the sealing of our mind that death has occurred. Spiritually, the burial of Jesus was important because it fulfilled prophesy about where and for how long He would be buried. But why is it important that we are united with Jesus in His burial when we are baptized into Christ. Come and hear this Sunday.
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