32 Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. 33 When they came to a place called The Skull,[a] they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left.
39 One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”
40 But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? 41 We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
43 And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
“I have these people in such a fix that I cannot get them out of it. Anyone who thinks he can is welcome to try.” -Mark Twain
Sometimes I read the story of Jesus death, and I wonder how it shouldn’t to be called The Terrible Catastrophe.
And yet…Christians say that it is this Terrible Catastrophe that is the hinge of all history.
The whole of Jesus’ life was summarized as _______________, DEAD, and BURIED. That’s it. That’s it, as if to say that that’s enough.
The Apostle Paul put it: in 1 Corinthians 2 – For I decided to know nothing among you expect Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
In Galatians 6 – May I never boast of anything except the cross of Jesus Christ my Lord.
Why the hope? There is something about the deliberate destruction of pure innocence that makes the whole experience compelling, magnetic.
Like the playground, when pure love bears the brunt of our terror, the contrast is stark and startling.
The cross is a mirror. The cross makes us face ourselves.
Sometimes a mirror can also be a ____________________________. Sometime what reflects us also reveals something else.
I think of Jesus’ death as both a mirror and a window. The cross is the ultimate reflection and the ultimate revelation – it takes Jesus dying to reflect who we really are and reveal who God really is.
The cross is where we come _______________________ and come ______________________________. We come clean with ourselves and we come home to God.
Here is where we finally utter our most eloquent – most essential – prayer: Jesus, remember me. And here is where Jesus whispers his most eloquent and essential promise, Today…with me…in paradise.
Look at the Crucified Christ. Look and know…why Jesus died. ANSWERS: Crucified, Window, Clean, Home
What is this passage / message reveal about what God is like or has done?
What does this passage / message teach me about the way I should live?
What is something new I learned today?
Through this passage or message, what is God calling me to do?
You are invited this Sunday to our sermon series, Christianity 101 at Cypress United Methodist Church. Our services are at 8:15, 9:30 and 11 AM.