INTRO: By most measures of opinion I am sure Jesus was seen as a pathetic failure by many of His contemporaries. He had spoken of His coming Kingdom during His years of public ministry. He had been very definite and positive. Even in His appearance before the Roman governor He acknowledged that He was a King (Jno 18:37). Suddenly, though, He is nailed to a Roman cross and executed with two thieves. And He claimed to be a King? Are these things so?
I. WE MUST UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF HIS KINGDOM
A. Here is where things perhaps are confused
1. true, He never ruled from a throne over a territory as the earth knew such things
2. He even said it: Jno 18:36
3. but the people of the world didnt comprehend! all they could see is what did not happen (no throne in Jerusalem) and what did (crucified)
B. Point: His kingdom is not like other kingdoms
1. and His kingdom is here - Col 1:13
2. the territory is the world - Mt 28:19-20
3. He is reigning right now - 1 Cor 15:24,25
4. all authority is His in this kingdom - Mt 28:18
5. its not especially surprising that His worldly contemporaries might consider Him a failure ... but understanding the nature of His kingdom and Gods eternal plan, He is exactly what He acknowledged ... King
II. HIS CRUCIFIXION SHOULD NOT BE SURPRISING
A. Isa 53:7,8 Messiahs untimely death prophesied
1. certainly, Jewish scholars were not unaware of prophecies like this which were clearly Messianic and referred to His being cut off out of the land of the living
2. and at Acts 8:32ffPhilip notes that this is Jesus!
B. Jesus was very open about His death
1. He knew that He would be executed in order to be sacrificial lamb (Rev 13:8 with Heb 10:7-9)
2. Lk 9:21,22 ... and be slain, and be raised ...
3. Jno 10:17,18 ... because I lay down my life ...
C. His own disciples had not comprehended!
1. He spoke of His death and resurrection
2. but they seemed to be shocked, unnerved, undone by His death
3. Jno 19:38-42 .... Lk 23:55,56 - 24:1 all their preparations were for burial ... what Hed said about resurrection had not registered
III. HIS DEATH WAS CONSISTENT WITH HIS MISSION
A. 1 Cor 15:1 ... that Christ died for our sins ...
1. certainly, Isa 53:4,5 and 10,11 speaks of the substitutionary death of the Messiah
2. true, there were numerous aspects of His ministry
3. His teaching, His miracles, His example, His showing, in Himself, the Father
B. But His sacrificial death climaxed His mission
1. so, His death was a great gospelfact
2. Acts 2:22,23 His death preached as Gods plan
3. Heb 9:24-28 clearly, His death is atoning sacrifice
C. So, yes, Jesus, a King, the King, was crucified
1. but it was not the end of His reign or Kingdom
2. it really gave life to His reign, His Kingdom and His purpose
3. so, Rom 6:3 have you made the sacrifice yours?
CLOSE: Many, many childrens stories begin, Once upon a time ... The story of redemption could begin, Once upon a hill ... Make it reality for your life by being baptized into His death today.
Cecil A. Hutson
03 December 2000
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)