Topical - Good Friday(a)
Order of Service
Good Friday April 10, 1998
#178 O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
Scripture: Mt. 27:27-31
#181 Were You There?
Scripture: Mt. 27:38-42
Solo: At the Foot of the Cross
#196 There Is a Fountain
Scripture: John 19:32-34
#185 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
Message: The Perspective of the Cross
Reading of excerpt from “The Book of God,” by Walter Wangerin Jr.
There were two other men close to Jesus in proximity that reveal to us the perspective of the cross. One drew close in spirit on the road to paradise, and the other drew closer to hell. Each would meet their destiny.
Lu 23:32 ¶ Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.
Lu 23:39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
Lu 23:40 But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence?
Lu 23:41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."
Lu 23:42 Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
Lu 23:43 Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
There were three crosses on that hill and each one had a view of sin and death. There was one cross we could never fill. The other two crosses divide mankind on the right from those on the left. The cross no man could fill was the dividing line.
One man died in sin. He was a dying sinner. He died with sin in him.
A. The Cross of Rejection
This is the cross of many today. Like the criminal, they sneer at the cross and hurl insults at the Christ. To his many sins the criminal added the greatest sin of all: unbelief. Of such Jesus said:
Joh 8:24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."
One man died for sin. He was a dying Savior. He died with sin upon him.
B. The Cross of Redemption
This cross is the wonder of all time. The sins upon Jesus were the sins of the world.
Joh 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
By this cross, Jesus won heaven for all who believe.
One man died to sin. He was a dying saint. He died with sin taken from him.
C. The Cross of Reception
This criminal believed, and as a result, his sins were cancelled by Jesus. He had no time for good works or going to church - only faith in Jesus Christ. What a day! Morning in sin; noon in grace; night in glory. His home in heaven will be shared by all who have faith in Jesus Christ.
Death for all for sin.
Ro 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Death for sin for all.
Php 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!
Ga 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."
1Co 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1Jo 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
Conclusion: An Act of Love
According to the Associated Press on July 15, 1994, Victoria Hoffman accidentally drove into a rain-swollen lake. She tried to keep her head above water while clutching her 7 year old son. Hoffman screamed for help.
Minutes later, she shoved her son toward a rescuer just before she was pulled under the water to her death. The rescuer had asked, “Can you swim?” and she said she could - but not while holding on to the boy.
Jesus Christ could have saved himself from the cross - but not while holding on to the human race to save them. And so Jesus gave himself to save us all.
Mr 15:29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, "So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days,
Mr 15:30 come down from the cross and save yourself!"
Mr 15:31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself!
Mr 15:32 Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe." Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
What is your perspective? Have you seen and believed? Have you crossed over from death to life? God requires changed hearts.
1Pe 3:18 ¶ For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,
#340 I Lay My Sins on Jesus
#303 People Need the Lord