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The Power of  the cross – Part4

 

 

 PART 4–  THE POWER OF THE CROSS

Who is He?

(Mark 8:27-29)  Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”  They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”  “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”  Peter answered, “You are the Christ.”

I hope by now – your view of Jesus is changing

Today – He is incredibly powerful – marked by miracles

(Acts 10:38)  “…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”

So many people long for His power – also afraid of it

Still does miracles

(Hebrews 13:8)  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Wanted His church to have His power – even today

Never intended for us to explain this to people

To engage in an argument

Always wanted to differentiate Christianity with power to confirm

(John 14:12)  “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

Each week in this series – has put us in a position to make a decision

Have presented to you the real Jesus

Authentic – Relevant – Enjoyable – Accepting

So what is your verdict now?

What’s Your Verdict?

I encourage you to do three things:

  • Settle His claims.

(Romans 1:4 LB)  “… by being raised from the dead he was proved to be the mighty Son of God, with the holy nature of God himself.”

Everyone who has been presented Jesus – has already decided who He is

Either liar, lunatic, or Lord

It can’t just be: “I believe he was a good teacher.”

He couldn’t be just a good teacher, because a good teacher would not say, “I’m God, and I’m the only way to heaven.”

If Lord – then everything He said is true

It’s your decision now

Here’s a second response I recommend…

  • Make Him Lord of your life.

Our response needs to be more than belief – commit your life

An event that is marked by promises of devotion – wedding

(Romans 10:9)  “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

And we all need to take it to higher heights – the next level…

  • Experience His power.

Too many people leave His benefits on the table

(Ephesians 1:20 LB)  “I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him… the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead.”

That’s what Good Friday was all about

Here’s how it all played out – on Thursday night…

Jesus actually went through six trials. In that one night, he was brought before Annas, Caiphas (the high priest), the Sanhedrin (the religious Supreme Court), Pilate (the governor of Jerusalem), Herod (the governor of Galilee), and then back to Pilate.

The Power of the Cross

Today – begin Passion week – talk about the victory He won on the cross

(Isaiah 53:5)  “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Isaiah lists all four “wounds of the cross”

Here they are in chronological order – as they happened to Jesus

Each of them was intentional – to give you power over problems

  1. Scourging – Power to heal my body – Healing

After the trial they took Him to be scourged – cat of nine tails

Why?  “By His wounds/stripes we are healed”

Whipped on His back – back is the place of strength

Every lash was against disease

Every lash has power to heal my body

(1 Peter 2:24)  “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”

(Mark 6:56)  “And wherever he went–into villages, towns or countryside–they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.”

  1. Crown of thorns – Power to restore my mind – Peace

Then to the Praetorium – Crown of thorns – 2 inches long

Why?  He took “The punishment that brought us peace”

That punishment gave power to restore my mind

Peace

Worry, confusion, depression, fear, needing direction

Chastised for our peace

Peace is not circumstantial – it’s in your mind

(John 14:27)  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

(Romans 12:2)  “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

  1. Nails – Power to cleanse my conscience – freedom

Then to Golgotha – and nailed to the cross

Why?  “Pierced for our transgressions”

More than just forgiveness – but freedom

Those nails gave power to cleanse my conscience

Freedom

Hands represent what you do – guilt

Wringing of the hands when guilty

Freedom from habitual sin

Cleanse the conscience of the worshipper

(Hebrews 8:12)  “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

He remembers our sin no more – Erase the guilt and memory

  1. Spear – Power to renew my spirit – joy

Finally at the 6th hour – 3:00 in the afternoon – He breathed His last

Would have normally broken their legs

But took a spear to puncture the heart – flowed blood and water

His heart was crushed

Why?  “Crushed for our iniquities”

His broken heart gave power to renew my spirit

Joy

(2 Corinthians 5:17)  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

Heart crushed – spirit is sick – the pain of life

Divorce, heart broken over a wayward child

The Four Wounds of the Cross

Scourging – power to heal you

Crown – power to give you peace

Nails – power to give you freedom

Spear/heart – power to give you joy

It’s your decision – He’s done all He can do

Is there any way you could say “No” to this man?