Presentation on theme: "Why did Jesus have to die?. The cross is central. But why celebrate Jesus at his most vulnerable. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those."— Presentation transcript:
Why did Jesus have to die?
The cross is central. But why celebrate Jesus at his most vulnerable. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Cor 1: 18; 23
The bus story…
Why did Jesus have to die? For us: We are chosen For our sin: We are a new creation For our relationship with God For our relationship with one another (Mothering Sunday) For our death and life For us to live spiritually aware Looking at Paul’s letter to the Ephesians
What has Jesus’ death got to do with sin? What does it mean to be a new creation?
Ephesians 2 v As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts.
Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the
coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves ‘the circumcision’ (which is done in the body by human hands) - 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise,
without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations.
His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to
become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Continuation of Paul’s prayer. Brings us down to earth. As for you… v1 Universal human condition without God. Description of us when we are apart from God.
We are presented with 3 stark truths Without God we are Dead (v1) Enslaved (v2) Condemned (v3)
Dead… What does it mean to be dead in our sin? Factual statement of our spiritual condition. This death is traced to our sin. We are alienated from God.
William Barclay We commonly have the wrong idea of sin. We would readily agree that those who commit murder are sinners; but since most of us are respectable citizens we think sin doesn’t have much to do with us. But to come face to face with sin is to see that it is the failure to be what we ought to be and could be. What is sin? Failure to miss the target of life.
How do we miss the target? Taking wrong roads. Rejecting dependence on God. Preferring self-centred independence. Sin is not a lapse of standards, cultural taboo or social blunder. It’s hostility to God. Wilful breaking away from him in rebellion.
Initially with Adam & Eve. (Gen 3) Original sin is a pattern set for us. Not just victims of Adam or poor genes! We have responsibility too. But in our weakness we turn away from the ideal established by God.
Enslaved… If behind death lies sin… what lies behind sin that is so powerful that it holds us in captivity? What are the influences that seek to control and direct us? The world, the flesh and the devil (v2)
The world: (v2) Secularism with no reference to God. The flesh: (v 3) Passions of body and mind misused. The devil: (v 2) The devil is active against God and has many schemes to enslave us. (Eph 6)
Condemned… We were by nature deserving of wrath… (v3) Concept of an angry God raises questions in us. A divine reaction to EVIL. God’s righteousness is in constant hostility to evil.
Foundational truth: God is holy Sin is incompatible with holiness. God won’t and can’t compromise over evil. God’s eyes are too pure to look on evil Hab 1:13 Isaiah 59: But the trouble is that your sins have cut you off from God.
Always true to himself; he never lies, so he has to do something. v4 But because of his great love for us… He holds wrath in tension with love. Justice and mercy: simultaneous & identical.
The deserved penalty of alienation from God has been borne by God through Jesus. So… He substituted himself for us. He sacrificed himself for us.
Jesus is God’s answer. The cross not just about human confession. It’s about God’s just reaction to sin.
Set against the horror of our condition God had mercy on us. …by grace you have been saved (v5; v8)
A new day has dawned… We were dead but now we’re alive (v5) We were enslaved but now we’re saved (v5) We were captives but now we’re enthroned (v6)
Propitiation: language of the temple court To appease; to pacify. The righteous anger of God is appeased by Jesus’ death.
Redemption: language of the market To buy back; to redeem We were in captivity and Jesus has set us free. Mk 10:45 Jesus came to …give his life as a ransom for many. Redeemed from all the spiritual consequences of the fall.
Justification: language of law court Judge’s verdict; not guilty Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Rom 8:1 We have a righteous standing before God. Legal proclamation and internal change.
Reconciliation: language of family Jesus has restored friendship & renewed relationship. Previously separate; now joined. v12 Adoption & access v18
His purpose was to create in himself one new man… v15 Our status has changed. Jesus says: You should not be surprised at my saying “You must be born again.” Jn 3:7 We belong. We come home.
Why did God save us? (v8-9) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God... William Temple All is of God; the only thing of my own which I contribute to my redemption is the sin from which I need to be redeemed.
He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. v17-18