Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
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Why The Cross
Col. 1:20-22

20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.    21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach -- NASU
 Introduction

The Cross, Worst Thing - Best Thing: Quote

God took the worst thing that man could do to his Son, and transformed
it into the best thing he could do for man. - Unknown
 

Well why did God do That? Why the Cross? Follow in the text as we discover a few of the reasons.
 
 

1. Why the Cross? To Provide A Way of . . Peace! v 20


20 (ASV) and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross; through him, I say, whether things upon the earth, or things in the heavens.

A. The Way of Peace Is Provided . . Through His Being. v 20 a & c
        " . . and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, .v 20 a

        ". . . through him, I say , whether things upon the earth, or things in the heavens. v 20 c

        1. Who could have presented Himself as the offering for sin? Only Christ!
        2. Only Christ On Earth.
        3. Only Christ In Heaven.

Rev 5:4-5 & 8-9 4 Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; 5 and one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals." 8 When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. NASU

Illustration
My first Bible teacher in college was Dr. W. L. Muncy. He had been the Evangelism and
 Missions Professor at Central Seminary in Kansas City before coming to Missouri Baptist
College. He told the story of preaching to a group of College students. One student was
in China a brilliant young lad who paid very close attention.

After the message this lad came up to Dr Muncy and said "you have told us I have a sin debt
that needs to be paid and that Jesus paid it. I have been taught I should paid my own
debts." Dr Muncy asked him "what do you have to offer that is perfect." The young man
hung his head in contemplation and said "nothing."

This is the provision of Jesus a perfect being for the sacrifice for sin.

B. The Way of Peace Is Provided . . Through His Blood. v 20 b
    ". . . having made peace through the blood of his cross;. . . "

        1. Notice the . . Past tense of this statement.
                ". . . having made peace. . . "

        2. Notice the . . Personalization of this statement.
            ". . . through the blood of his cross;. . . "

ILLUSTRATION
On a hill overlooking the harbor of Macao, the Portuguese once built a massive cathedral. Several centuries ago a typhoon proved stronger than the work of man's hands, and the huge stone building fell in ruins. However, the front wall of the old cathedral still stands, with its wide steps leading to the ancient cobblestone street bordering the harbor. High on top of that jutting wall, challenging the elements down through the years, is a great bronze cross.

In 1825 Sir John Bowering sailed his ship into Hong Kong harbor and caught a glimpse of that great cross, towering about the ruins of the old Cathedral of St. Paul in Macao. Sir John was deeply moved. Retiring to the cabin of his ship, picking up a quill, he dipped it in ink and wrote these words in his journal:

In the cross of Christ I glory, Towering o'er the wrecks of time.
All the light of sacred story, Gathers 'round its head sublime.

The central message of the Bible is the cross of Jesus Christ. Every book of the Bible either points forward to the coming of Jesus, or points backward toward His work on Calvary

Application

A large bell in Russia. To large to raise and support. It sits in as a monument. That's not what bells are made for. The cross is not about jewelry or decoration but salvation.

Why the Cross? To Provide the Possibility of Peace.
 
 
 
 

2.    Why the Cross? To Provide A Way of . . Reconciliation!    v 21-22 a
        21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death,
A.    Notice The Reconciled Christian's . . Past. v 21
        21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,

            1. We Were . . "Alienated".
            2. We Were. ."hostile in mind,". engaged in evil deeds,
            3. We Were In . . "engaged in evil deeds,".

B.    Notice The Reconciled Christian's. .Present. v 22 a
            22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death,

            1.     Reconciled. Through His Body.
            2.     Reconciled through His Death.

Illustration
In the 1993 hit film In the Line of Fire, Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan had protected the life of the President for more than three decades, but he was haunted by the memory of what had happened thirty years before. Horrigan was a young agent assigned to President Kennedy on that fateful day in Dallas in 1963. When the assassin fired, Horrigan froze in shock.

For thirty years afterward, he wrestled with the ultimate question for a Secret Service agent: Can I take a bullet for the President? In the climax of the movie, Horrigan does what he had been unable to do earlier: he throws himself into the path of an assassin's bullet to save the chief executive. Secret Service agents are willing to do such a thing because they believe the President is so valuable to our country and the world that he is worth dying for. Obviously they would not take a bullet for just anyone.

At Calvary the situation was reversed. The President of the Universe actually took a bullet for each of us. At the Cross we see how valuable we are to God. -- DOUGLAS G. Pratt Allison Park, Pennsylvania

Application

Made one through the death of His Son

Why the Cross? To Make Possible Reconciliation
 
 

3.    Why the Cross? To Provide A Way Of . . Holiness! v 22 b



            ". . . in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach -

A.     Holy for the . . Presentation.
        ". . . to present you before Him holy. . . "

        1.    Notice this is not the activity of Man.
        2.   Not our personal Choices.

HOLINESS:
"God thought it.,
Jesus bought it.
The Spirit wrought it

The Word taught it.
The soul sought it.
Faith brought it.

The devil fought it. . . . BUT Because of Christ Christians Got it."

B.    Holy for the . . Purity.
        ". . . and blameless. . . "

        1.    What choices of mankind can make on without blemish?

Illustration
We are to be of the world but not in the world. This can be illustrated by noticing the submarine. It is in the water but not of the water. If it is on the ground (out of the water) it is of no purpose... it is not accomplishing its mission. But when it is in the water it must be insulated (not isolated) from the water. If the water ever gets into the submarine then there is cause for alarm and emergency. We must be insulated from the world but not isolated from the world. -- Wayne Sams

C.    Holy for the . . Provability.
        ". . . and beyond reproach."

        1.    HIS holiness can not become REPROACHABLE

Illustration Cross Of Christ: -The Nurse Was Wrong
The British military hospital was full of badly wounded soldiers. A nurse was overheard to say to one of them, "You have no need to worry over your sins; anyone who gives his life for his country, as you have been willing to do, is all right."

The soldier smiled faintly, but shook his head and replied: "That is a mistake! When I lay out there in the open, I knew I had done my bit. I hadn't failed my king and country; but that didn't help me to face God. I wasn't fit to die, and I knew it, and it has been an awful trouble to me every day since. But when I heard a Christian lady who visited us here pray, I saw that the Lord Jesus had been punished for all my sins, that I might go free, and peace has come into my heart. How wonderful of Him to die for one like me!" No works of righteousness we have done can save us, for our righteousnesses are but as filthy rags in the sight of the all-holy God. Let the name of Christ be all our trust. --Soldier's Evangel
 

    Why the Cross? To Make Possible:

    Peace,

        Reconciliation and

            Holiness.