Saturday, September 13, 2014

Holy Cross

Holy Cross
14 September 2014
John 12:20-33
We Share in the Glory of Christ’s Cross

Almighty God, graciously behold this Your family for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed and delivered into the hands of sinful men to suffer death upon the cross; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit, one god, now and forever. Amen

Today is Holy Cross Day.   Since Holy Cross Day falls on a Sunday this year, “it is meet, right and salutary” to think about the cross. It is good to consider the reason for which Christ died on the cross. And it is helpful for us to consider what the cross means for us as redeemed children of God. It’s also an opportunity for us to sing some cool and awesome hymns!

As redeemed children of God, we share in the glory of Christ’s cross.

1.       God’s glory was the dominating purpose of Christ’s life.

A.      The time for glory was there for Jesus. And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. (v.23)
1.       Before this, the time had not been ripe. “My hour has not t come.” (John 2:4)
2.       The life of Jesus was arranged so that He could reveal the glory of the Father by word and deed and then seal that glory by His sacrifice on the cross.
3.       Jesus prayed for this and received an immediate answer. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” (v.28)

B.      The glory that was to come to Christ and the Father is many-sided.
1.       God receives glory every time He reveals Himself to us. It started in Old Testament times through the promise of the Savior. The glory of God is evident from the good things said about God, especially that He is merciful.
2.       When Christ was born, the heavens were filled with angelic voices praising God.
3.       In His ministry, Jesus directed the credit to His Father in heaven. What He said and did was always to give God glory.
4.       The revelation of the glory of God was inclusive. (cf. the Greeks vv.20-22)  Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.  So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”  Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
5.       When the Bible talks of the glory of God and Christ it is talking of God’s righteousness, mercy, and love, along with the total of all His attributes.

2.       Christ’s cross producing His glory.

A.      He despised the cross.
1.       He was a man. According to His human nature, Christ did not look forward to the dreadful sacrifice. We hear His personal struggle in v.27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.”
2.       Jesus knew that His death would not be peaceful. The Father would forsake Him because he would be suffering for the sins of all. His death was a frightfully depressing prospect.

B.      But Jesus knew that this cross had to be experienced to bear the fruit of His glory.
1.       He likened Himself to a seed that must be planted. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (v.24)
2.       He admits that this is why He came into this world. “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.” (v.27)
3.       He let Himself be “lifted up” from the earth.

C.      This sacrifice accomplished much for God’s glory.
1.       It brought salvation to all people. “I…will draw all men to Myself” (v.32; again the Greeks) “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.”  He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.”
2.       This sacrifice says the most about God’s righteousness and mercy; everything that needs to be said about God was said when Christ died. That’s glory!

3.       By faith we share the cross and the glory

A.      We share the same attitude toward this life that Christ had, illustrated in the paradox. “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”  (v.25)
1.       He who loves life will lose it.
2.       He who hates life will keep it to eternal life.
3.       This life is lost in Christ- lost as far as the world is concerned.

B.      Such a life will bring honor.
1.       The glory we share as slaves of the Master is a gift.
2.       The heaven prepared for us is the same one Jesus occupies. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:11-3)

The glory the Father has and shares with us could not have happened without the cross. The cross is gory, but it the stuff of which lasting glory is made.

Words – 950
Passive Sentences –5%
Readability – 83%
Reading Level – 4.7

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