Glory In The Cross
When you wake up in the morning and realize that the day is in God's hands, you will realize that you are not so needy.
Glory In The Cross
Last week we preached about a lady who was gathering two sticks to build a fire, and prepare two cakes, with a handful of meal, and a couple of drops of oil in a cruise. We said the two sticks represent the cross, the meal represents the word of God, and the oil represents the Holy Spirit. When mixed together these elements bring about victory, deliverance, and supply She was going through something!
God is in the middle of our something! He's present in our somewhere! He's a very present help IN the time of trouble. If He can split the water so I can walk right through it, and drown my enemies behind me. If He has my back, and knows my dilemma and the pain of my struggling, then I can move forward toward the perfect will of God for my life, which is only myD asonable service for Him.
That being said, we should celebrate our progress as we go on to perfection. And that is most clearly revealed in the area of RELATIONSHIPS The greatest pain, and the greatest pleasure in your life will be experienced in the context of relationships. One of the cross utterances that you have heard me preach and teach about is called the Relationship Saying. And that is what we are going to talk about today
They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road, and opened the scriptures to us?"
Luke 24 is about two travelers on a Road to Emaeus back to the house in the village where they lived. It doesn't exist today. The question is asked by expositors, "Why would Jesus follow disciples who were going the wrong way? Why did He leave the 99 righteous and go find the one; or why did He send the disciples out on the lake and into a storm? These and the other examples are given in scripture to teach us that as we walk with Him in discipleship, He comes to our aid, and delivers us from harm.
The two travelers on the road were walking away from the cross where they had just seen their dreams shattered, and their hopes banished. They were suddenly joined by the One they were burying in their mind and hearts. Their grief was so great that they didn't recognize the One who was walking by their side. They didn't know Him until He broke the bread, and they probably saw the nail prints in His hands! Proof is RESURRECTION! His scars are the greatest indication of His strength.
They've just realized that Jesus was in their midst! Have you ever come to a realization in the midst of your preoccupation with sorrow, grief, fear, or pain "That Was God"! What you don't see on the road, may be revealed to you later, and then you have that moment of "O, God that was You who did that!"
They got up at once and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven, and those that were with them, assembled together.
So it is safe to say that the revelation of Jesus Christ was confirmed, not in the context of their conversation with Him, but in the context of their conversations with each other!
You see, in church culture, we commonly rehearse slogans and verses indicating our in ability to do the will of God. "I can do all things…” “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills…” “I know in whom I have believed…” and so forth. Even Jesus needed disciples. His plan is to establish and build a church! Its God's idea! Its His plan for reaching the world, and I would hasten to tell you that we all need each other. Its called church! He died for it, purchased it with His own blood, and He's coming back for it!
The greatest symbol of who we are and what we do is a CROSS!
The vertical beam is about relationship with God!
And the horizontal beam is about relationships!
When I need to reaffirm my belief in the love of God, I look to the cross! I don't look to all the things going on around me, I lift my gaze to survey the greatest gift of God. And that is Redemption through the blood of His cross! That is where my sins met His grace! That is where my grief and sorrow met His forgiveness and mercy! There my burdened soul found berty, AT CALVARY! Wounded for our transgression, and bruised for our iniquity, Jesus died one to redeem us from all iniquity, nailing our sins to His cross, and secure for us and everlasting atonement by His own blood. That is where the account was settled.
That is where the trouble that is making life miserable for you should be hanging! All of that fear and anxiety, pain and regret was nailed to the cross so that you don't have tuber it any more, and declare "It is Well With My Soul!" If you'll take your burden to the cross, there is an answer for you. There is healing and pardon waiting for you to make a move.
The gospels all record the cross as it is in their mind. Matthew doesn't talk much about it because He was not there. He talks about the miracles, and the Sermon, and the Peter story when he almost drowned trying to do what Jesus was doing.
Isn't it strange how the cross will thin out a crowd. The Palm Sunday event was a loud d exhilarating event, but the cross was a place where sinners talked smut, and gamblers played their game, and the cry of the crowd had changed, and the sobs of a mother watching her Son die were heard among the moans and cross sayings of a Savior. And Matthew said that none of the disciples were there.
You know, a cross bearing event will thin the crowd in your life too! There are people who say they love you and stand by you. There are other who stay with you for what you do for them and what you give them; and when you can't give it to them anymore they leave you. Because they weren't there because they loved you, but what they could get from you. The cross will identify who loves you and who takes from you, but never gives.
Then there is the cross story as told by John. Now Peter had said, I will never leave you and I will never deny you. I'll go with you all the way. John was the disciple Jesus loved. He never had to say much with his lips, he was just the one who was always there! Peter couldn't get past the courtyard. JOHN WAS JUST THERE! Mary was THERE! There are people in your fe that when a cross is to be born, if you look around, they will STAND WITH YOU!
Jesus did in His dying, what He did in His living. He said to John, "Behold your Mother."He said to Mary, "Behold your son." He brought people together, he told them "Take care of one another. Sure He would loved for Peter and the others to have been there, but He their absence to prevent Him from His appointed task. Human nature would h been to scorn them, but He didn't. Holy Spirit Baptism would take care of their boldness He didn't even issue words of hate for Judas, but saw him as a role player. He needed John the one He loved to get Him through the cross, but in a strange way, He needed Judas to get Him to the cross. Sometimes the people you should hate are the very ones who bring you to an event in your life that turns into the greatest blessing you ever experience. It took a betrayal to make the Redemptive Provision possible. It takes all the ingredients to make the will of God happen
It was not about who wasn't there, it was more about who was there! When you wake up in the morning, and realize that the day is in God's hands, you will realize that you are not so needy. To glory in the cross is to live the life of love, forgiveness and grace. You need to give some people some grace to other people who have hurt you. They may not have done what you wanted them to do. John couldn't get Jesus down from the cross but he was there! Some of you are mad at people because they didn't get you out of trouble, but they were there.