Part of the Sunday series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
The Cross is for Everyone!
Introduction: Approach this moment with a freshness.
Bottle of water - could know everything about that bottle of water, can believe in water, but if I never partake in the water, I will never receive the benefits of water. If you know everything about Jesus but never apply it, you'll never receive the benefits of knowing him.
Quote: "God doesn't need us, but wants us anyway. We need us in our life, but we rarely want God". Encourage us to hunger after God. Invite us to experience and impact of Easter.
Rom 3:21-26. It doesn't matter about our background, or what has happened to me, the cross is for everyone! You are not outside of God's favour, you are in the centre of God's plan. Gospel = good news. Good news is for everyone. We come from different backgrounds and scenarios.
Look at this story from a few different vantage points.
Known for boldness and zealousness, brashness. Peter denied Jesus, ran out weeping bitterly. Imagine shame and guilt. Not hard to identify with those feelings of shame and guilt. We can't talk about Easter without talking about the issue of sin.
What is sin? Rebellion against what God asked us to do. It can be an action, an attitude of our thoughts. We are sinners by nature - Romans 4. Because of the original sin, we inherited that sinful nature. There is a problem - Rom 6:23 wages of sin is death - sin brings death in our life.
What can we do about this? For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. God took our place, sent Jesus to take our place. In the cross, God was demonstrates his love and justice - love in his son, justice in Jesus taking our sins, dealing with the penalty of death. Free for us to receive, but not free for God to give. It doesn't cost us anything, but it cost God everything. Jesus freely laid down his life. Jesus takes our place. Justified freely by his grace - declared not guilty. We can't work for it, we receive it by faith. We may think we are unworthy, but it's got nothing to do with us - it's about what God has done for us.
He redeems us - brought us out of slavery and into freedom. Romans 6:1. God doesn't just free us from sin, but sets us up with purpose. No longer captive, but able to live for him. We died to sin, we identify with the death of Jesus, power of sin dealt with completely, once for all, never to be done again. vs7 he has given us new life, new purpose, new hope. God sets you up with purpose. He rescues us from darkness, and gives us the power to live a godly life. That power living in us enables us to live that godly life.
2. Mary. Grief stricken, alone, hurt, smashed. Maybe things haven't worked out how we liked. You may have lived through tough things, it has hurt. How has the cross helped us in this?
John 16:20-22, 33. Have good connections and support. The thing to help us in trouble and trial and grief? Jesus is with us through this. He is close to those who mourn. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. Take heart - God is with you, and he has overcome the world. Because of the power of the cross, that he is alive, powerful and able to walk with you in every situation. No matter what the story of your life is ... "but The Lord was with (you)".
3. Thomas. Doubting Thomas - how much more would we doubt, don't believe? It's really easy today to not believe and not have faith, because we seem to have everything. God doesn't tell Thomas off, he says "come, have an encounter with me, come and see me and touch me!". God is drawing us into encounter with him. When you have an encounter with God - that's all you need. One encounter with God will change your life!
4. Jesus. Heb 12:2 - for the joy set before him, he endured the cross. On the cross, you don't die from your wounds, you suffocate. That's why they break the legs - to make then die faster. Weight on the nails in the arms and legs - the pain, not being able to breathe. At the point God was putting the sin of the world on Jesus shoulders.
John 17:20-24. He did all of that because he wanted you and me to be where he is. He didn't want you to perish.
God wants us! What we get in return is life, and life to the full.
|« Vicky Simpson 3rd April 2015||None||Paul Mulroney 12th April 2015 »|
21But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (KJV)
1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (KJV)
20Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 21A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. 22And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. (KJV)