Saturday, March 21, 2015

Lent 5

Lent 5
March 22, 2015
John 12:21
The Attitude of Sacrifice
What did you come to see?

"What Did You Come To See?

Today there is a great spiritual hunger, which is not being satisfactorily met by many of the mainline churches in our land. That folks is a problem!  Millions have left the churches for more than 200 cults and sects, which are experiencing phenomenal growth. Like the Greeks, they are coming to see Jesus. But, what kind of Jesus are people looking for these days?

Today there is a spiritual hunger as people are seeking spiritual truth and experience.  But where are people going as they search for this truth?  Some are finding an interest in astrology, and transcendental meditation. Still others are taking their own path. Determining spiritual truth as they see fit. They are finding spiritual fulfillment as they determine it to be.

These Gentiles came to Philip asking to see Jesus. "Sir, we wish to see Jesus" is a statement often used to encourage preachers to point people to the Savior.  The center of every message needs to be Jesus Christ. He is the core of every message. He is the center of all we do here at Zion.  But what is significant here is that it is Gentiles, pagans, who wish to meet Jesus. These people wanted to know more about Jesus.

What is also interesting to note is the fact that these Greeks did not come directly to Jesus. They came to a disciple. A follower of Jesus. His name was Philip.  So it is today. That many come and join in this fellowship through the friendly invitation of family, friends and neighbors. There is not one person here today who has not come to be a part of this parish unless someone had brought them.

Who is that Philip in your life? For some, it was your parents, who brought you to be baptized at this font. For others, it was your spouse or your children.  Still others, it was a co-worker, or a friend.  Isn't it interesting to see how each of us came to see Jesus through the means of some other person in our life?

What about you?  Why have you come here today?  You are here today seeking the same truth. You also look up to the pulpit in hope that you will be shown Jesus. But what do we want to see in Jesus? What sort of Jesus are we looking for today? Are we searching for the true Jesus, or a counterfeit Christ?  That is the issue for this morning.
Why did you come to see Jesus?

Some come to see His miracles.  Some come because they are desperate.  They come because they are at the end of their rope.  They've tried everything out there and have come up short. As a result, they come, thinking that they'll give Jesus a shot.   

Possibly, it's trouble in the family…maybe it's a wayward child or a concern in the marriage. Possibly, it’s a problem at work. Or an issue within the family. Or a situation with friends.  Sometimes it's with a person's health.  But whatever the issue is some come to see Jesus only if they can work out some sort of miracle.  They figure to themselves "I'll get right with God. He'll bail me out of this trouble. And then I'll get on with my life".  They see in Jesus, nothing more than a safety net who is conveniently ready for me when I need Him and conspicuously absent when I don't. This Jesus becomes nothing more than a mere spiritual aspirin tablet…he's a mere imitation of a cheap religious high who answers in the day of trouble but is long gone after I need Him; that is, until the next time when I need Him to get me out of my next tight squeeze.

TRANSITION:  Some come to Jesus because of a crisis and they are in need of a miracle. Still others come because of a new teaching.

Some come to see a man preach and teach.  Make no bones about it; Jesus was some kind of teacher.  The people exclaimed, "we've never heard such things…this may teaches with authority!"  There were many, who were drawn to Jesus because of His teaching and His preaching ability.

Nothing has changed in close to 2000 years.  Some come today to hear of a new philosophy.  Some come to hear the teachings of a wise man.  But that's the problem with such thinking.  Jesus is not just one man among men.  He's not just one more with a new idea.  He's not just one who would propose a new way of thinking.

To the contrary, Jesus comes with a message of salvation and life.  He comes not with an idea to change simply the minds of men.  He comes to lift us up to new heights.  He comes to set us free from those burdens and cares that truly beset us.  He has come to give us a new way of thinking but not in terms of the conventional thinking of men.  He has come to deliver to us a message of salvation and life.

He comes to offer you Himself at a cross. He comes to offer His life in exchange for your sinful life.  He comes to offer His body and blood for the strength of your faith and the deliverance of your souls. He gives more than a new teaching.  He gives us an exchange for our sinful life.

TRANSITION:  Why did you come? To see a show from a man with a bag full of tricks?  To hear of a man with a new philosophy and life? Or did you come to hear how He is able to take your old way of sin and exchange it for a new and better life? Yes, this is why you came. You came to meet the suffering Savior.

Some come to see a man suffer and die.  Jesus came to draw all men   to Himself. He gave us His word that His crucifixion would draw all people to focus on Him. People came to Christ not by force or persuasion.  They were drawn to Him. They were drawn to Him hanging on a cross.

There is a magnetism associated with the cross of Jesus Christ. It appeals to all men. The display of love, kindness, obedience, and patience causes people to respond to Him.

This is our best method of bringing the world to Christ.  Jesus Christ lifted up draws men unto Himself. The reason why people are drawn to this crucified Christ is found in the message of a cross.
And it is this Jesus who has saved you.  Not your outward works.  Not your promises that you make to better and then some times break.  It's not found in any other motive or causes other than Christ and Him crucified.

Lent is an attitude of sacrifice. The sacrifice of Christ on a cross. He exchanges your miserable life of sin for His suffering and death. It is His miserable life on the cross, which has saved you.  Thanks be to God. For Jesus’ suffering and death.  Thanks be to God. For Jesus’ passion and suffering. In Him there is salvation and life.  If you wish to see Jesus. Your best view is to see Him hanging on the cross. Offering to you His salvation and life. 

Passive sentences –8%
Readability –83.6

Reading Level -4.2

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