0334 The Math of the Cross
THE MATH OF THE CROSS
Cross is the source of all spiritual blessings Napoleon “battles are won not by men but by a man” “victories are won not by Christians but by Christ” Satan tried to stop the cross (Abel, Ishmael, Moses, Ester, Baby Jesus, Temptation, Crowd, Disciples)
1 Corinthians 1:18, 24 Cross is the power of God. Cross is the source of power Cross is the wisdom of God. Cross makes Christianity make sense. Cross is holiness and love intersect
The Cross subtracts SIN Cross took Jesus’ good robe and took my bad robe Cross subtracted my name from hell Problem with sin is that it hurts God, not that it ruins your life Illustration: accident hurts your car and other persons (cross is like insurance pays for both)
The Cross adds SALVATION Cross added my sin to Jesus and my name to the book of life C.S. Lewis “Jesus became the Son of Men so that I might become the son of God” Cross added salvation to you. Jesus could save Himself but how would you be saved Illustration: new ears
The Cross divides FROM THE FATHER Cross separated Jesus from Father of lights; cross separates me from father of lies Cross says nothing can separate me from the love of God Blood (symbol of cross) separated Israel from Egypt Illustration: the Man on the Hill
The Cross multiplies MY TREASURES Cross multiplied Jesus’ pain (rejection, shame, thorns, stripes, guilt) Cross multiplied my blessing (acceptance, glory, peace, healing, and forgiveness) Illustration: cross comes from crossing. Cross is the bridge. Don’t swim, there are sharks Illustration: cross first time in the Bible is in crossing the hands of blessing
The Cross Gives equal CHANCE Cross presented a choice: His salvation or your salvation (He choose you over Himself) Illustration: the bridge operator Cross presented a choice to two criminals: same distance, same crime, different response One denied another admitted, one felt guilty for being a thief, other felt guilty for being caught. Die with Christ near One was dying in sin, other was dying out of sin, but One was dying for sin One Jesus loved enough to forgive who prayed to Him, other He loved enough to let him mock
Wages of sin is death but gift of God is eternal life. Who will believe our report? Cross paid for all, and its benefits can only be received as gift Illustration: the African slave
What is crucifixion? A medical doctor provides a physical description: The cross is placed on the ground and the exhausted man is quickly thrown backwards with his shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flex and movement. The cross is then lifted into place.
The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees flexed. The victim is now crucified. As he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain--the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As he pushes himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, he places the full weight on the nail through his feet. Again he feels the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the bones of his feet. As the arms fatigue, cramps sweep through the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push himself upward to breathe. Air can be drawn into the lungs but not exhaled. He fights to raise himself in order to get even one small breath. Finally carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream, and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically he is able to push himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen.
Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from his lacerated back as he moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins: a deep, crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart. It is now almost over--the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level--the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues--the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. He can feel the chill of death creeping through is tissues. . .Finally he can allow his body to die.