#103 The Cross
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. - Hebrews 12:2
Text: Matthew 27:26-45; 1 Corinthians 1:18
Prop: a poster of the cross or crown of thorns
Summary: The Lord Jesus suffered on the cross. He died in our place to take away our sins.
The cross is the symbol of the Christian faith. Anyone that sees a cross knows that it stands for the suffering that Jesus of Nazareth went through. Let's read part of the story about what happened. [Read Matthew 27:26-45.]
The Roman soldiers severely whipped, beat and made fun of Jesus before they put him to death. They nailed him to the cross and left him to die. They offered him drugs (vinegar mixed with gall) to kill the pain but he refused. Even from the cross Jesus said "no" to drugs. They took away his clothes and bet to see who would keep them (Psalm 22:18). He was crucified between two thieves. Passersby and the religious leaders said a lot of bad things about Jesus as he hung on the cross. They tried to make others doubt that the things Jesus had said were true.
Did you know that God loves us so much he allowed Jesus to die for us? It was a terrible thing that happened at Golgotha, but God meant it for our good. Some people think it doesn't matter and is silly. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. - 1 Corinthians 1:18
Our Lord took away our sins that day. He took on the sins of the whole world, of everyone that ever has or ever will believe on him by faith. A supernatural darkness covered the whole land for three hours at midday just before Jesus gave up his spirit. The powers of darkness must have thought they had won. But as dawn came on the first day of the week, the tomb was empty and Jesus had risen from the grave. And the world has never been the same.
Let us pray: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for taking away my sins on the cross. Help me to follow you each day. Amen.
©2002 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.
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