The Revelation of God Through Christ On The Cross by olliegoblue29

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									Rev. Terry Breum St. Mark Lutheran Church, Lindenhurst, Illinois The 5th Sunday in Lent March 29, 2009 This weeks scripture readings: Jeremiah 31:31-34 Psalm 119:9-16 Hebrews 5:5-10 John 12:20-33 ___________________________________________________________________________ " The Revelation of God Through Christ On The Cross" “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”(Deut 29:29) What won my heart over to Jesus was watching a movie on television that depicted the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is one thing to hear about the crucifixion. When you visibly see it on the screen the reality of what Jesus did for us is piercing. In the Gospel reading the time

had arrived for Jesus to be glorified. The time was close when he would be lifted up on the cross. This act of obedience would draw people from every nation into a personal relationship with Jesus. The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that re revealed belong to us and to our children forever. God clearly reveals Himself to us through Jesus the Christ. And it is Jesus, dying on the cross where God’s revelation is most clearly seen. I know it is not pleasant to think about a

person in terrible pain, bleeding, and hanging in agony. Every time Jesus took a breath, he would have to some how lift himself and by putting pressure on his legs and chest to breath, the pain would go shooting through his entire body. But this is the revelation of God and one that deserves our undivided attention and life long devotion.

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Friends, it is so easy to question the love of God. It is sinfully easy to question the fact that God does love you. It is an easy excuse to rebel and fall into disobedience when you question God’s love. And yet you can be a very mature Christian and still wonder at times if God’s love for you is real. Thirteen years ago I was at a gathering of my closest friends and family. There she was, Mary, the woman who prayed with me to receive the Lord when I was 10 years old. She served in Africa as a missionary for a few years. She served as the Dean of Women at

Multnomah School of the Bible. She is a saint of saints. And when I saw her she looked like she had been hit by a semi. She looked terrible. She was struggling big time and I knew deep inside she was questioning God’s great love. And looking back on this, it took a year or two or three for her to get out of that particular pit. I know what that pit feels like. Outwardly, you try to hide it. But inwardly the pain is so enormous. “Where is God’s love when you need it the most,” you cry out?” This is a revelation from the cross. When Jesus was in his deepest agony on the cross, His love for you was even deeper still. God’s love for you was proven on the cross. “Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Let me be blunt. Jesus did not die for you because he hated you. Jesus died for you because of love. His perfect sacrifice was pure love. And His love for you is perfect, lacking in nothing. The cross proves it. And when we find ourselves in a pit where God’s love is nowhere to be found, please go to where God’s love is most clearly revealed. Jesus death on the cross is the objective proof of God’s love. You know you are growing in the faith when you let the truth of the cross override your own emotions. This is living by faith and not by how you feel. We must keep going to the cross. All of God’s love comes to you through the cross of Jesus Christ. It is a message we need to hear our entire lives and it never grows old.

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The secret things belong to God but that which is revealed belongs to us and out our children so that we might obey. During this season of Lent, as I have been in the Word of God and as I have spent time in prayer, this message of the cross has come through to me distinctly. Jesus was obedient to the Father by dying on the cross. The Father planned for Jesus to die on the cross. It was the Father’s will for Jesus to die the way he did. Jesus was obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross. For the first time in my own life, I look at the cross and I get an inner prompting to obey God and to obey God no matter what the cost. I have never looked at the cross before and seen this. But there is no greater symbol of obedience than that of the cross. And my friend the call is for me to die. On our farm, we grow wheat. I do know a little bit about wheat. When you plant the

seed wheat into the ground, that kernels of wheat die. For each piece of seed to serve its purpose, it has to die. If each kernel of seed refuses to die, it would not produce anything. But when it dies, it serves its purpose and a whole new crop grows. One seed can produce 50 or even more kernels of wheat. When I go to Jesus and the cross today I know that God calls me to die. I must let God put to death in me what he wants to put to death, so he can raise up new kernels to bear good and holy fruit unto the Lord. When I die to sin His life is most clearly seen in what he raises up. When I die to sin, God does a supernatural work of changing my lousy, dirty rotten sinful habits, into an obedient life. Friends, we are God’s crop. And he bids us to die. It is then that something really good happens. He causes us to obey. Sin looses its hold on you when you die with Jesus. And you are raised up into obedience. More than at any time, I look at the cross and I hear God’s call to obey. Let me take it one step further. I know we are living in a dark time. And when the days are evil, and that they 3

are, it becomes easier and easier to fall into sin. Read the book of Judges and you see clearly how dangerous it is for God’s people to walk in constant willful sin. I know of no other book of the Bible that is so similar to our day. The Lord will only put up with your sin, with your rebellion but for a time. God will be patient, giving you time to repent and obey. But when you refuse to repent, when you refuse to die to your sinful ways, God will correct you and his correction can be quite painful. I have been corrected so many times. God disciplines us out of love but why

does he have to love us so much at times. The message of the cross that I hear so loud and clear is to obey the Lord God. God will no longer tolerate what I have tolerated in my life. I have to die. It is that simple. That which is revealed belongs to us and to our children that we might obey the Word of the Lord. The cross is the greatest symbol of obedience. Jesus went to the cross in total and complete trust. He hung on the cross in total and complete trust in the Father. He willingly obeyed the Father out of complete trust in the Father. He was able to endure the agony of the cross because He trusted the Father even more so. He trusted that after he died, the Father would raise him from the dead. complete trust in God. God is completely trustworthy. I know in my own life when I have failed so miserably, I did not trust in the sufficiency of Jesus Christ. In my own pain and misery I failed to trust in the Lord. Friends, in deep moments of trials and hardships, the cross is the greatest symbol of all of trusting in God. Jesus hung there in absolute trust and of course God proved faithful. Jesus was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven. God is completely trustworthy because God is always faithful to His Word and God’s promises fail not. I hear the message from the cross to keep trusting in the Lord, no matter how dark it gets. There is no greater symbol of trusting in God than the cross. It is what Jesus did and it is what he bids us to do. The cross signifies

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The cross means God will not put up with sin. The cross means God will not tolerate sin. The cross means God is holy and cannot excuse sin. On the cross all our sins were paid for by the blood that Jesus shed on the cross. Friends, the message of Jesus on the cross is also one of forgiveness. Sin does not have the final word. Jesus does. Jesus served as a high priest. The priest’s job was to offer sacrifices because of the people’s sins. The priest would have to offer an animal sacrifice for his own sin first. Then he would offer sacrifices for the sins of the people. None of those bloody sacrifices was effective or brought about the forgiveness of any sins. Jesus, the high priest did not have to offer a sacrifice for his own sin for Jesus never sinned. When it came time to offer a sacrifice for the sin of the people, the high priest, Jesus, was the sacrifice. He offered Himself on the cross to atone for our sins. The work of Jesus was perfect. Our sins were atoned for. You sins are forgiven. The cross is the greatest symbol that you are God’s forgiven people. Let me put it this way. When you know that you are forgiven by God, you know deep within your soul that God no longer holds those sins against you. God no longer remembers your sin. They are blotted out by the blood of the lamb, nailed to the cross of Christ. Great joy floods your soul when you receive God’s forgiveness of sins. You are set free and made brand new on the inside. You are forgiven and you no longer have to carry that guilt and shame any longer for Jesus bore your guilt and shame on the cross. Oh the blessings of forgiveness. One of the reasons Christians can share their faith with boldness and confidence is they have the inner assurance that God has forgiven them all of their sins. They can no longer keep this good news to themselves. They have to give it away. It is so wonderful to be forgiven. Why would anyone in their right mind want to walk around with their guilt and shame when they can be forgiven in Jesus name? Joy springs forth in the life of a forgiven sinner

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I look at the cross and hear the words of Jesus, Father forgive them. The greatest symbol of the New Covenant is the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus finished work makes

forgiveness a Christian reality. Jesus finished work makes eternal life in heaven a certainty for all who trust in Christ. The Old Covenant did not save one soul. The New Covenant is the reason we know the Lord God. The New Covenant, shed in the blood of Jesus, is God’s way of saving you by grace through faith. Jesus blood shed on the cross is the reason the Old

Testament followers of God are forgiven. The effects of Christ’s sacrifice goes back to Adam and Eve and forward to the day of Jesus Christ, when Jesus comes again. Oh how wonderful the work of Jesus on the cross. It is the revelation of God. Amen and Amen.

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