Sermon on Sunday, January 26, 2014 by Pastor Thomas Tate
THE POWER OF THE CROSS
So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified. They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
Therefore many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’ ” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece.
So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; this was to fulfill the Scripture: “They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” Therefore the soldiers did these things. But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.
After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. John 19:16-30
JESUS CARRIED HIS OWN CROSS
So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified. They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha.
SIMON CARRIED JESUS’ CROSS
After they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him. They pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His cross.
Greet Rufus, a choice man in the Lord, also his mother and mine.
WE MUST CARRY THE CROSS OF JESUS
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
JESUS DIED FOR AND WITH SINNERS
There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between.
JESUS PRAYS FOR HIS ENEMIES
When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
JESUS LOVED HIS ENEMIES TO DEATH
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
STEPHEN PRAYS FOR HIS ENEMIES
They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.
WE MUST PRAY FOR OUR ENEMIES
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Sermon-based Bible Study Questions
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THE POWER OF THE CROSS
1. Read John 19:23-24. What did the soldiers do with Jesus’ clothes? Read Psalm 22:18 (Written over 700 years before Jesus’ birth). What can we learn from this? (Example: How God is in control, how God keeps long forgotten promises in His time, and how specific He is about His prophecies.)
2. Read John 19:25-27. What did Jesus do for Mary? What does He call her? Why do you think He never called her “mother”? What does this act tell us about Jesus’ care for us?
3. Read John 19:18. Who was Jesus being crucified along with? Read Luke 23:39-43. How did the two criminals respond differently to Jesus? What do you think changed the one criminal? Why didn’t it affect the other one? What was it that the one criminal said that touched Jesus’ heart and promise him eternal life?
4. How do you feel about people who live like the devil and then accept Jesus on or near their deathbed? Why do you think Jesus allowed it with the one criminal? How should we be more like Jesus in regards to this topic?
5. Read John 19:28-30. When Jesus said “it is finished”, which means, paid in full, what do you think He was talking about? If Jesus pays for ALL our sins, why do we feel like we need to earn God’s grace? How is Ephesians 2:8-9 and Galatians 2:20-3:5 relevant to this statement?
6. Read 1 Corinthians 1:18. What does this say about the cross (Jesus’ death and resurrection)? Is there anymore-powerful message than that of the cross?
7. Why is it better to share the cross story than try to get people (non-believers) to act according to the churches moral codes?