03/24/13 Visit the Cross!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 Under: Sermon
Text: Luke 23:33-43 (NKJV)

33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots. 35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, "He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God." 36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, "If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself." 38 And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us." 40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." 42 Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." 43 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."

Intro: I was born and raised in Michigan, for years I drove home through the mountains to spend time with my family and I can still remember the three crosses that were on a hill far away as we would drive by them. Often I would drive by and wonder as I do right now, even as I ask you this question, what do those crosses mean to you? Three Crosses were on Calvary. Jesus dying there between two thieves. One dying for sin; one dying in sin; one dying to sin. Two guilty; one innocent, two paying their debts to society; one paying our debt of sin. Jesus and the Thieves.

Visit the Cross and Watch Jesus Win One More Soul:

9 And they made His grave with the wicked-- But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:9-12

Application: “They know not what they do.”

1. The Compassion of Jesus vs. 39

“Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us."

Three men up on crosses, Jesus in the center, a criminal on the right and a criminal on the left, all three are dying and very soon will be dead. Yet in the little time they are all on the cross these thieves mock Jesus along with everyone else. “Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.” Matthew 27:44

They both joined in with the crowd, but one thief was especially bitter: "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us." You know any bitter sinners?

Here is an unrepentant thief—a picture of hardness even in death. They heard the crowd mock Jesus about being the Messiah, the Savior of the world. He was hanging there as a criminal, guilty before God and men. If I was one of those thieves I want to believe I would have been searching to see if there was any chance that Jesus could have been who He claimed. They needed to be saved and forgiven. One criminal showed enormous hardness of heart. He mocked the very thought that Jesus was the Christ. In the Book of John we are reminded: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" John 3:16-18

Jesus to the end was compassionate toward His crucifiers: “Father, forgive them!” What a loving and compassionate God.

Jesus stayed consistent His entire ministry with the way He treated and loved mankind. We ought to be compassionate; we are to be His witnesses, others are to see His compassion in us. If you haven’t visited the cross maybe it is time you do and experience for yourself the compassion of Christ.

2. The Comparison Between the Two Thieves: vs. 39-41

“Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us." 40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong."

There is interesting information about the two thieves: Don’t know their names, don’t know their ages, don’t know their backgrounds, do know they were both guilty and deserved to be executed. Now a difference in the thieves begins to show, one continues his mockery, the other becomes convicted of his sins: But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." Have you ever wondered what brought this conviction of sin? The thief compared himself to Jesus - we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds…BUT THIS MAN! This man lived to die: Casting Crowns has an awesome song that says just that - Living He loved me, Dying He saved me. And buried He carried my sins far away. Rising He justified freely forever. One day He’s coming oh, Glories Day, Oh Glories Day!

This scene on the cross helps us to see ourselves as we are: “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3. And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!" 4. And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. 5. So I said: "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts." 6. Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 7. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged." 8. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." Isaiah 6:1-8

Look at the comparison of the two thieves: one thief tunes out the voice of God; the other listens. One tunes out the cry of conscience; the other responds. You know I have got to ask this question - In which thief do you see yourself?

If you haven’t visited the cross maybe it is time you do and experience for yourself the convictions and forgiveness of Christ.

3. The Conversion of the Penitent Thief: vs. 42-43

“Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." 43 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."

Conviction always precedes conversion. One thieve did respond to the cry of his conscience, there was evidence of the work of God in his life. He admitted his sin, he accepted Christ as his Lord, and he had never seen a miracle but believed! He saw Christ crucified but called Him Lord. This person is no different than anyone else, we are all sinners we too will face death and we must also believe in the resurrection. The Lord’s response to the thief’s prayer: “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."

Conclusion: One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain, One day they nailed Him to die on a tree Suffering anguish despised and rejected Bearing our sins my Redeemer is He. The hands that healed nations stretched out on a tree And took the nails for me. Living He loved me, Dying He saved me. And buried He carried my sins far away. Rising He justified Freely forever. One day He’s coming oh, Glories Day. One day the trumpet will sound for His coming, One day the skies with His glories will shine. Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing My Savior, Jesus is mine.

Have you visit the cross? Jesus Died as He Lived: Reaching Souls … Bringing Salvation How Do You Live? Do You Care for Lost Ones as Jesus Did?

In : Sermon 


Tags: "cross" "palm sunday" 
blog comments powered by Disqus
 

Tags

Make a free website with Yola