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The Miracles of the Cross

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The Miracles of the Cross

Matt. 27:45-53

I.                     Intro

a.        Many may be hesitant to come to Good Friday Service

                                                               i.      It is like going to see a sad or tragic movie

1.       What was the point?  Those who like to cry, like to go through the trauma- a little masachistic

                                                              ii.      When we hear sermons of Jesus’ crucifixion- it’s like we heard that

1.       Yeas Jesus died for our sins- He who knew so sin become sin for us

2.       He did not revile in return

3.       He was an innocent man

a.        Then reflect upon the personal meaning of all that

                                                                                                                                       i.      I think that experience can be fully experienced in the viewing of the Passion of the Christ

1.       It is a movie, it tells of the innocence of Christ, it reveals the brutality of the crucifixion , but also the scourging of Christ by the Roman soldiers, it was personal

2.       So why not just watch the movie each Good Friday?

b.       Something is missing-

                                                               i.      It is a powerful story in itself- but incomplete

                                                              ii.      the divine working of the crucifixion, the miracles of God

1.       the entire life of Jesus was filled with miracles, his birth, his ministry, why not His death?

                                                            iii.      Roman persecution

1.       During the time of Jesus, 30,000 crucifixions

a.        Last Sunday evening, we were in discussion of capital punishment, one brother said he is thinking against capital punishment for the innocence of those who might be killed

                                                                                                                                       i.      That is an issue of the imperfect judicial process, not the philosophy of capital punishment

2.       I am sure Jesus was not the only innocent person hung on a cross

a.        Even Apostle Peter was hung upside down, innocent

b.       Why Jesus?

                                                            iv.      Opening pages of Scripture- the original sin of Adam and Eve- the corruption of all of creation

1.        Planet Earth- “we are not conservationists”

2.       Al Gore “Inconvenient Truth”

a.        Paul writes in Romans 1, all of creation speaks of the evidence of the God, but it also speaks of the corruption of sin in creation

b.       This is all of what Paul says,

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.  Rom. 8:19-22

                                                              v.      As the pains of childbirth intensifies and the time between contractions decrease, so we can also hopefully witness the coming of Christ to restore all things

                                                            vi.      After the fall, God gave the first veiled promise of deliverance

1.       And I will put enmity
         Between you and the woman,
         And between your seed and her seed;
         He shall bruise you on the head,
         And you shall bruise him on the heel."  Gen. 3:15

2.       Because men carry the seed of procreation, the seed of Eve is the prediction of the virgin birth of Christ

a.        Christ will deliver a fatal blow upon Satan but Satan will bruise His heel- His death on the cross

                                                           vii.      When God provided the ram substitute for Isaac

1.       He provide the beautiful picture of the sacrificial offering of His own Son

2.       And it was through animal sacrifices- God taught His people blood was necessary for the forgiveness of sins

a.        But all those animals slaughtered could not do away with one singular sin

b.       Nor could the death of any other man that was crucified on the cross.

                                                                                                                                       i.      What makes his death extraordinary?  What is god’s commentary on the death of His own Son?

Reading the Passage

Opening Prayer

II.                    Supernatural Darkness, v. 45

a.        The Light of God

                                                               i.      “glory of the Lord shone” @ birth

                                                              ii.      Jesus as “the  Light of men”  Apostle John, John 1

                                                            iii.      He spoke of Himself as “the Light of the world”   John 8, 12

b.       The first miraculous sign of the crucifixion was darkness

                                                               i.      “from the sixth hour”

1.       This was noon, sun was to be at it’s highest peak

2.       And supernatural darkness covered the land until His death on the ninth hour, 3pm

c.        The extent

                                                               i.      Greek word ge, meaning earth, not just the local area or land

                                                              ii.      Some early church fathers said this darkness fell upon the entire world, not just Israel

1.       Pilate reports to Emperor Tiberius, they were aware of a darkness that was experienced from noon til 3pm

a.        Regardless of extent, it was a divine intervention by God

                                                            iii.      As for the reasoning

1.        Some theologians said that it was God casting a veil over the sufferings of His Son

2.       Fatherly sympathy given to cover the nakedness and dishonoring of His Son

a.        To remind us of the darkness of the world w/o Christ

                                                                                                                                       i.      The light shone in the darkness but the darkness did not comprehend it

                                                            iv.      We may at times imagine what life would be like if we were not born

1.       Movie, It’s a Wonderful Life

2.       How life would be like if I was not born, who my wife would be married to, if she would be happier

3.       I could not even begin to imagine a world w/o Christ

III.                  Sovereign Departure, vv. 46-49

a.        An explicable event, God was separated from Himself

                                                               i.      “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?”

1.       He was quoting from Psalm 22

a.        Those around Him knew immediately what He was saying

b.       As they had ridiculed Him throughout His ministry, now they knew Jesus was calling for a divine deliverance so they continued with their mockery

                                                                                                                                       i.      “this man is calling for Elijah”

b.       This is an incredible miracle

                                                               i.      Jesus was crying in anguish, not for His pain, not because of the ridicule, not because the pain of afixiation was too much to bear

1.       He was crying out in separation

a.        It is the only recorded instance where Jesus does not call God “father”

2.       Because sin was placed upon the Son and the Father had turned His back upon Him

a.          Your eyes are too pure to approve evil,  And You cannot look on wickedness with favor  - Hab. 1:13

3.         One cannot understand the implications of this separation unless you begin to know Jesus- some of you may be taken back by this, some of you it does nothing til you grow in your relationship with God, being illuminated by the Spiirt

a.         Martin Luther was said he went into seclusion for a long period of time just over this issue, came out more confused than before

                                                                                                                                        i.      God turned His back upon His Son and caused Jesus to cry out

1.         I remember when I was caught shoplifting

2.         The worse pain was not having my father even look at me

                                                               ii.      Jesus did not die as a martyr’s for a righteous cause

1.         He did not die simply as a innocent man, wrongly accused and convicted and showing us an example how to endure such injustice

2.         He did not as Christian liberals would say , the supreme act of love

a.         The father forsook the Son because He became sin on our behalf

                                                              iii.      The Purpose of Jesus

1.         Did Jesus teach us many things, yes,

2.         was He the perfect model, example, yes

3.         did he not come as god’s perfect prophet preaching the Gospel

4.         Was He not the supreme expression of God’s holiness and righteousness?

a.           just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."  Matthew 20:28

                                                                iv.      Jesus did not die

1.          Jesus did not die because of the affixation, nor the emotional trauma of betrayal, nor the  assemblage of all the pain and suffering He endured, he did not die  because of loss of blood

a.           What killed Jesus? What kills every single man who ever was born- sin

b.          The sin of the world killed Him- that burden that broke his body killed Him

                                                                                                                                         i.      An along with the humiliation of dying on a cross, being the curse that hangs from the tree, along with that he experienced the fullness of that humiliation when He was separated in shame from His father

IV.                      Self Giving Death, v.50

a.           Christ’s self willing death, the Son’s willful death according to the complete obedience to the father’s will

                                                                 i.      The fact that he cried out with a  loud voice demonstrates that He still had considerable strength

1.          Inspite of the pain he was suffering, hanging in agony for several hours

                                                                 ii.      This says that Jesus did unto merely slip away, drifting into unconsciousness, having his life ebbing away little by little until his life was completely gone

1.          With this cry it revealed He still had the resources to live on if He willed

b.          The very last words of Jesus was recorded in John 19:30, “It is finished.”

                                                                 i.      The plan of God’s perfect redemption of mankind was finished, it is complete through the death of Jesus on the cross.

1.          May no one tell you, you need something extra, extra deed, extra work, extra sacrament to receive salvation apart from the finished work of Jesus Christ

c.           The Manner is Divine

                                                                 i.      Greek, aphiemi, letting go, surrendering, sending away

                                                                 ii.      The intent of the word lies in volition, a voluntary act

1.          His life was not taken from him by men nor their actions on Calvary that day

a.           They were mere instruments in fulflling the purpose and plan of God

                                                                iii.      Where is the miracle?

1.          Is obedience to god a miracle?  Is dying on the cross a miracle?

a.           The miracle lies in executing the death

                                                                                                                                         i.      If I was to command each of you to die at this moment, how could you do it w/o an instrument to execute that command?

1.          You would need a knife, a gun or poison

2.          Christ had nothing other than His will to commit it into God’s hands

                                                                iv.      He surrendered His life willingingly

1.           "No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.”  -John 10:18

d.       Just as Jesus had cried out in a loud voice it affirms he still had strength to live on

                                                               i.      Therefore His death was physically premature

1.       To contest to that when Joseph of Arimetha asked Pilate for the body of Christ, he was perplexed that he was already dead and desired verification  Mark 15:44

2.       Both these facts attest that Jesus was killed by men

a.        Nor did He kill himself, but willing surrendered His life for those who were so eager to take it

                                                              ii.      It was upon the cross that God judged the sins of the world, the same sins Jesus took upon Himself

1.       He who created all things, sustains all things will now willing surrender His own life so that we can have life.

V.                   The question is what are you doing with that life?

a.        Yes we can attest that the death of Jesus, the celebration of Good Friday is a miracle

                                                               i.      But what do we do with a miracle?

1.        An event or action out of the ordinary

b.       If you confess that Jesus died for your sins and that god raised Him from the dead, you are saved

                                                               i.      A miracle in itself to say the least

1.       Is your life a testimony of that miracle?

c.        If we are to look upon the cross today…

                                                               i.      Was it worth it, was it worth Jesus to die for you?

1.       If you continue to live in sin

                                                              ii.      It is fortunate for those who live after Christ

1.       Those who came before slaughtered thousands upon thousands of animals

a.        But it was a reminder to them that they were sinful

b.       Does it take one time a year for us to be reminded the cost of our sins? For us to taste the sting and burden of sin?

                                                            iii.      But when we do look upon the cross, it ought to stir within us that see of the miracle

1.       It did so for Paul

a.        By the mercies of God, I beseech you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice to God, holy and pleasing, which is your spiritual act of worship.

2.       Are you appreciative?  Do you love God for what He has done?

a.        Let us read 1 John 2:1-6 together

                                                                                                                                       i.      Live obediently, live as a product of God’s miracle in your life.

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