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Hallelujah for the Cross

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Psalm 24:1–2 ESV
1 The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, 2 for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
We live in a God-bathed, God-created world.
Beyond creation… Thai soccer team and LSU student...
Sometimes it feels like is true… other times it doesn’t.

Other times, it feels like God is asleep at the wheel.

Politicians… reporters… entertainers… producers… CEO’s...

Be great if the Church was immune… certainly we possess the antidote… but even there we live in rocky times...

SBC (Page), WCA (Hybels), SWBTS (Patterson)

Wouldn’t it be great if you/I could somehow be the exception to the rule… but more often than not, we take such national and ecumenical scandals and turn them into personal disappointments and freedoms to resign and indulge.

We find ourselves grateful for the next words that flow from David’s pen:
Psalm 24:3–4 ESV
3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.
“That ain’t me… so, I guess we are…”

We are what?

Blind
Deaf
Dumb
Dopes
Lost? Yea… lost… in a God created, God-bathed world. We are lost. And we need the Lord to come fine us and lead us home.

Enter Jesus Christ, the “Luminous Nazarene.”

Jesus comes to “plunder” the house of Satan, the strong man.
Matthew 12:26–30 ESV
26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. 30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
His greatest act of plundering comes from the least expected place: the cross.

Jesus predicted His death to his dearest friends… and also his resurrection. He told them the kind of plundering he was about to do.

John 16:16–24 ESV
16 “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” 17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

And so the story unfolds… where he is betrayed… beaten… and handed over to death...

Paul writes of the significance:
Romans 5:6–11 ESV
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
In fact, there is one who can, who did, and who always will be able to ascend the hills of the Lord… and that is Jesus Christ.
Now… the hopeless are offered hope!
The desperate have been extended love!
Those who are enslaved, are set free — to face their lives and to live their lives.. with all the realities that includes.
And by Your stripes, I'm healed And by Your death, I live The power of sin is overcome It is finished, it is done

The Earth is the Lords… and everything and everyone therein...

God knows who you are and what you have done… and God loves you.

God cares about your character — not your reputation. You keep trying to bypass your character and build your reputation… that is exactly the opposite of how God works. Don’t believe me — just look in the news!

Romans 8:31–39 ESV
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Playlist — Hallelujah for the Cross!
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