Jesus’s Cross: His pain, Your gain! – By Ian September
It was not the nails that kept Him on the cross, but His love for you & me!
I thank God for this opportunity again, being able to share His word with you on this very special Sunday!
This is not just another Sunday…Amen? This is a very special day – Resurrection Sunday!
Will you agree with me, if I say that this is the greatest day in history?
It was on this day, more than 2000 years ago that Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of James, heard these famous words, “He is risen”!
You see, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is the most fundamental and most essential doctrine of Christianity. It is safe to say that our faith rests squarely on the historical and biblical fact of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
This truth is the central fact and primary reason for our hope in Christ and the very foundation of our faith!
Without the resurrection, Christianity would be false and non-existent! That is why this single event should be the most important event to every born-again believer and the cornerstone of your faith!
Church, I would like us to realize this morning that it was through the resurrection that:
Firstly – Christ declared His deity! (Or divine status)
A: By His victory of death, He confirmed His rank and status as being part of the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Spirit – Trinity).
B: He confirmed His status as the supreme divine being and of having the immortal character of God!
Romans 1:1-4 (NIV) – Paul a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God- 2the gospel he promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3regarding His Son, who as to His earthly life was a descendant of David. 4and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
Secondly – Through His resurrection we can have hope!
1 Peter 1:3 (NIV) – 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Thirdly – through His resurrection, Jesus proclaims light and life to Jews and Gentiles, saved and unsaved!
There is everlasting life in Christ. Amen.
Acts 26: 23 (NIV) – 23 that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.”
Fourthly – through His resurrection, we are guaranteed salvation.
For when we accept Christ into our lives, we no longer live, but Christ the risen Lord lives in us forever!
Today I would like to teach on a few facts surrounding the resurrection.
Fact #1 Jesus lived on earth!
There was and is still evidence, biblical and historical, that Christ was born in Bethlehem and walked on this earth in human form.
Fact #2 He claimed to be the Messiah.
John 4:25-26 (NIV) – 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
John 8:28 (NIV) – So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up[a] the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.
John 11:25 (NIV) – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;
This claim by Jesus was one of the primary reasons why the Jewish leaders wanted Him dead. His statement or claim was contrary to what they believed and preached. They wanted Him dead at all costs.
Fact #3 He suffered torture and death by crucifixion.
To many Jews, the degrading death by crucifixion was enough proof that Jesus was not the Messiah! “…if you are the Son of God, like you claimed, then save yourself”, is what they said!
But regardless of how they interpreted His death, it was not denied.
In Isaiah 53:5 Isaiah wrote about Jesus’ death 700 years before Christ was even born!
Isaiah 53:5 (NIV) – But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.
“He was bruised……”
Fact is, that after six trials, a crown of thorns, Roman flogging and scourging, after having His hands and feet pierced, He was nailed to the cross on Calvary, also called place of the Skull or Golgotha.
A spear was thrust into His side and after saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani, “ (meaning, “My God, my God, why have thee forsaken me?”) and after saying, “It is finished”, He gave up His soul.
Realise today that it was not the nails that kept Him on the cross but His love for you and me!
Fact #4 His body was placed in a tomb, sealed and guarded.
Matthew 27:57-60 (NIV) – 57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away
Fact #5 On the 3rd day the tomb was found empty, the stone rolled away.
The grave has been denied – Praise God!
In the Gospel of John (John 20:1) the word “airo” is used, meaning “to pick up and move away!”
This one and a half ton rock was not moved away slightly from the opening, but relocated away!
When we turn our lives over to Jesus, I can assure you that your problems, challenges and issues will be relocated away! Guaranteed!
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, transformed an indescribable tragedy into a wonderful triumph!
Fact #6 There were many sightings of Jesus after His resurrection.
The New Testament records about 19 appearances of Jesus in the flesh. He ate with, sat with and talked to His disciples and others.
John 20:20 (NIV) – After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Church, the ultimate sacrifice on the cross of God’s only begotten Son, became His greatest triumph and ours! His pain became our gain.
His body, broken for us, His blood poured out for us, His resurrection from the dead for us, is our key to an eternal spiritual life. Praise God!
We, as born-again believers, have been given permission and approval to share in Jesus’ victory!
As we celebrate His resurrection, this morning, we will also partake in communion or the Lord’s table.
Paul to the Corinthians church:
Read 1 Corinthians 11:23-29 (NIV) – 23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.
I would like to say, firstly, that communion is not a ritual or man-made rule, or tradition instituted by the church, but:
An act of worship in obedience to the Word of God!
We make a proclamation to our own hearts and to others of our faith and belief in Christ and His death and resurrection from the dead.
From scripture we read that Jesus Himself:
Gave thanks to God the Father before communion. We should follow His example by giving thanks to God for all our many blessings!
We are called to remembrance, the true meaning of having and sharing communion and its meaning to us as Christians, not only today, but every time. “Every time you eat of my body and drink of my blood, call me affectionately to remembrance.”
We are to examine ourselves [self ondersoek]. We are NOT to examine ourselves to determine whether we are worthy or not, to have communion, but the MANNER and MOTIVE in which we partake!
Church, come let us be overwhelmed this morning, with the gracious wonder of God’s love for us! As completely, willingly and obediently as Jesus gave Himself for us, let us in return give our lives to Him – completely, willingly and obediently!