INVESTIGATING THE CLAIMS OF JESUS--PART VI
SERMON TITLE: FOLLOWING MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE
SERMON THEME: ADMIRER OR FOLLOWER
INTRODUCTION: IF THE ACTUAL EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF JESUS ARE RELIABLE THAT MEANS THAT WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT HIMSELF IS TRUE.
Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a] among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
· IF IT IS TRUE WHAT JESUS SAYS ABOUT HIMSELF, THEN JESUS IS WORTH FOLLOWING AND DEVOTING OUR ENTIRE LIVES TO HIM.
When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.
· WHAT HAPPEN AT THE END IS WHY THE STORY OF JESUS IS WORTH TELLING.
I) YOUR LIFE IS NOT ABOUT SELF BUT ABOUT THE SAVIOR.
LUKE 23:34; LUKE 22:51
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[a] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
· WHEN JESUS DID NOT RESIST THE ROMANS AND HE ALLOWED HIMSELF TO BE ARRESTED HIS FOLLOWERS UNFOLLOWED AND FLED.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
· THAT IS WHY WOULD RATHER BELIEVE THAN FOLLOW, BECAUSE FOLLOWING JESUS IS COSTLY.
II) YOUR LIFE IS NOT ABOUT SURVIVAL BUT ABOUT SACRIFICE.
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
· THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INTERNALIZING YOUR FAITH, BECAUSE YOU HOPE IT WILL SERVE YOU WELL VERSES FOLLOWING JESUS, BECAUSE YOU WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD.
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
· IF YOU LIVE FOR YOURSELF, YOU ARE ONLY GOING TO HAVE YOURSELF TO SHOW FOR YOURSELF. Andy Stanley
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?
· JESUS DID NOT PLAY TO WIN THE WAY YOU DEFINE WINNING. JESUS WAS PLAYING TO LOSE, AND HE WON.
III) YOUR LIFE IS NOT ABOUT GETTING IT IS ABOUT GIVING.
33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[a] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
· WHAT THEY DID NOT KNOW IS IF JESUS HAD SAVED HIMSELF, JESUS WOULD HAVE FORFEITED HIS ABILITY TO SAVE THEM AND US
38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
· WHO ARE YOU GOING TO FOLLOW? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO FOLLOW? WHO IS GOING TO RULE YOU?
· AT THE CENTER OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH IS A DAILY DECISION TO SUBMIT TO YOUR KING.
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
WHEN THE CURTAIN WAS TORN IN TWO, IT SYMBOLIZED GOD LEAVING THE TEMPLE TO SEEK AND RECLAIM HIS RUBBLED RACE.
46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
· JESUS DIED THE WAY HE LIVED WITH HIS ARMS AND HANDS WIDE OPEN.
CONCLUSION: THE CROSS TOOK HIS BREATH AWAY, BUT HIS DEATH TOOK OUR SINS AWAY, AND THE RESURRECTION TOOK ALL OF OUR EXCUSES AWAY.