I have been preaching through the Gospel of John for most of this year...I can't quite remember when I started, but I believe it was just before Easter. Tomorrow I am preaching on John chapter 19--the crucifixion of Christ.
As I have been studying, I have found this particular chapter to be quite sterile, or a factual, account of the crucifixion of Jesus. Christian hold this historical event quite high, but why?
The "why" of the cross is super important. I would suggest that it is the difference between eternity with God in heaven and eternity apart from God in hell.
It seems I was raised my whole life being taught Jesus' death as factual, but the "why" was never explained to me, or I didn't care, until I was about 22, or so, during a pretty volatile time in my life. When God opened my heart to the importance of the cross, my life was radically changed. I am so thankful for the work God has done in my life. No explanation is necessary for those of you who knew me then! But the simple fact is that I would not have the marriage or family that I have today apart from Christ.
Here are some points that I hope to cover tomorrow:
1. The message of the cross is foolishness to those who don't believe, but is the power of God to those who are believers. 1 Corinthians 1:18
2. Simply understanding the facts of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) will not make you right with God, you must place your trust in Jesus for your salvation. Let my give a brief, horrible, illustration. It is one thing to believe there is a chair in your house, it is an entirely different situation to believe that there is a chair, then to trust that the chair can hold you, and then to actually sit in the chair. We are told in the Bible that the process is something like this: 1) Hear the Gospel, 2) trust in Jesus, 3) you are saved and given the Holy Spirit as a promise. Ephesians 1:13
3. Through the cross the sinner becomes a new creation and is reconciled with God. 2 Corinthians 5:17-19.
4. This love that the Christian has received then compels us to share this love in a sacrificial way with others. 2 Corinthians 5:14-16.
5. We, who believe, are ambassadors for Christ in this world to share this available reconciliation with those who are apart from Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
I would implore you to consider what God desires of you. Maybe it is time for you to surrender and give you life to Christ for salvation or service? I encourage you to go to a Bible believing church tomorrow!