JOURNEY TO THE CROSS--PART VI

SERMON TITLE: DO YOU HAVE A CROSS TO BEAR?

SERMON THEME: WHICH CROSS TO CHOOSE

 

THREE MEN DIED THAT DAY ON A CROSS. ONE MADE THE WRONG CHOICE, ONE MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE, AND ONE WAS THE ONLY CHOICE TO MAKE.

 

II CORINTHIANS 5:21

21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

 

·         IF YOU ARE A FOLLOWER OF JESUS YOU WILL HAVE A CROSS TO BEAR.

 

·         THE QUESTION IS WHICH CROSS WILL YOU BEAR: THE RIGHT, THE LEFT, OR THE CENTER?

 

LUKE 15:26-27

26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

 

·         MARTIN LUTHER SAID: "MAN MUST ALWAYS HAVE A CROSS."

 

THREE MEN DIED THAT DAY: ONE WAS A SINNER, ONE WAS A SAINT, AND

ONE WAS A SAVIOR. EACH HAD SOMETHING TO SAY....

 

LUKE 23:32-33

32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 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.

 

I) THE FIRST CROSS REPRESENTS THE CROSS OF REBELLION.

 

MATTHEW 27:41-44

41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

 

·         THIS MAN MADE THE WRONG CHOICE. HE DID NOT TURN TO JESUS FOR MERCY, BUT INSTEAD WENT TO HIS DEATH ANGRY AND BITTER.

 

ROMANS 8:6-7

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.

 

·         THE REBELLION OF SIN, LEADS YOU TO REBEL AGAINST SALVATION, BECAUSE YOU FEEL YOU DO NOT NEED A SAVIOR.

 

II) THE SECOND CROSS REPRESENTS THE CROSS OF REPENTANCE.

 

LUKE 23:34-35

34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” 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.”

 

·         REPENTANCE IS THE FIRST STEP IN TURNING AWAY FROM THAT WHICH LEADS TO DEATH TO THAT WHICH LEADS TO LIFE.

 

LUKE 23:39-43

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

 

·         THIS MAN MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE, BECAUSE HE HAD EYES OF FAITH TO ASK FOR GRACE.

 

I JOHN 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 

III) THE THIRD CROSS REPRESENTS THE CROSS OF REDEMPTION.

 

JOHN 10:7-10

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

 

THE FIRST THIEF MADE THE WRONG CHOICE, THE SECOND THIEF MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE. IF YOU WANT TO LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST, THEN YOUR ONLY CHOICE IS JESUS HIMSELF.

 

EPHESIANS 2:8-9

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

 

·         BY HIS DEATH JESUS REDEEMED US FROM THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN.

 

JOHN 14:6-7

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know[a] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

 

CONCLUSION: LOOK AT THE CROSS OF JESUS FOR IT ALONE GIVES YOU LIFE.