Written by Contributing Writer, William Ballard
Subject: The Price of the Cross (Old Landmarks)
Speaker: Senior Pastor Brent Calhoun (Easter Sunday: 3PM)
From Pastor's Notes:
- Give thanks to Jesus for the Cross!
- Rejoice because of the resurrection Power, (the empty tomb)!
- We are not celebrating the cross today we are celebrating the empty tomb!
- The Cross is a Landmark that we often need to go back to for clarity, The Cross changed everything, The Cross still changes everything!
"As many were astonied (grew numb with amazement) at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:"
- Our penalty for sin was and is death!
- It took the Blood of the Lamb to redeem man from this sinful state.
- In Baptism we die to sinful nature and the resurrection Power fills us. His Spirit dwells in us! It changes us day by day as we learn to walk in newness of life!
The Body of Pastor's Message
The Price of the Cross
We read in the 8th chapter of Mark how Jesus showed compassion on the hungry and the blind.
- When Jesus was facing the cross He still had time to show compassion!
Then around vs 27 Jesus starts to show the disciples who He is:
- Jesus asks Whom do men say that I am?
- They began to tell Jesus people think you are John the Baptist, Elias, one of the prophets.
- Mark 8:29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.
- You are the Messiah, you are the anointed one!
- Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again!
- Mark 8:32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.
- Peter didn’t get it yet!
- Perhaps Peter was thinking about an earthly kingdom and not servanthood!
- Mark 8:33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.
- Mark 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
The Suffering of Jesus
Luke 22:44 "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
- Arrested in Gethsemane
- Struck by soldiers when questioned by the high priest
- Jesus was blindfolded and struck in the face, the blows to the face and the beating was so bad he could hardly be recognized. Mark 14:65
- They spit on Him and asked Him to prophesy (mocking Him).
This was prophesied by Isaiah
Isaiah 52:14 As many were astonied (grew numb with amazement) at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
Isaiah 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
- The soldier used a whip with leather straps embedded with metal and glass fragments, with a small metal ball sewn into the end of each strap.
- Then they placed a crown of thorns on His head.
- They used a reed and beat him on the head.
- Mocked Him and beat him again.
- Finally Jesus hands were nailed to the cross beam, this would have caused an agonizing burning pain causing his hands to be paralyzed.
- Then the cross beam would be lifted into place on the upright, they would bend His knees in order to place the nails in His feet.
- Once Jesus was suspended the gravity would cause the shoulders and the elbows to dislocate by popping out of joint.
- In order to breath He would need to push up on the nails in His feet causing excruciating pain.
Jesus instructed us:
- Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
We have evidence from The Bible...
- In addition to letters dated AD 73 by a philosopher named Mara bar Sarapion.
- Justin Martyr quoted Pontius Pilate’s report on the Crucifixion in a paper he wrote in AD 150.
- A limestone block discovered in 1961 by Antonio Frova also had evidence that Pilate indeed existed. The block is dated AD 26-27.
- More evidence found in AD 33, AD 221.
- Geosciences conducted an examination of earthquake activities for 4000 years, in this area and determined the exact date of the crucifixion on April 3, 33 AD.
- 1 year ago a 2000 year old stone chest was found with inscription on the front. This belonged to Caiaphas family.
- The Cross is a Landmark, sometimes this old landmark messes up things.
- Sometimes we build on our measurements and we find things don’t fit.
- We need the Cross even if we don’t like the pain.
Mark 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
- This dying and taking up your cross will cost you.
- The price is too high for some.
- The consequences are die to sin or die for sin, the price is death.
- We cannot ignore the cross!
The Cross is a landmark for the church!
- If you have a problem with your building lot, perhaps they will build a subdivision and someone goofs up. Perhaps 50 houses are all surveyed, houses built and someone comes forward with a grievance, someone has the audacity too question your line.
- If there is a problem they go back to the old land mark and resurvey everything.
- The old berm or fence that our forefathers placed in the ground will hold fast in any court in the country.
We sometimes view land marks as barriers that hold us back.
- It is time you realized a fence, or a land mark, serves a protection and sometimes we need to go back!
Landmarks are places where God instructed His people to build alters, and to never forget what He had done
- There are people in here today that need to go back to the old landmark because you took shortcuts!
- You surveyed a few lines that are not right!
- You need to go back to the alter and pick up your cross!
- We need an attitude of what must I do to be saved!
- We need an attitude of "I want to know for sure before it’s too late!"
- I wouldn’t want to realize after I purchased a 1 million dollar property that someone put lines where they didn’t belong.
- You don’t want to find out the day after the rapture you were tricked!
- My job would be easy if everyone had the attitude "show me where the old landmark is pastor!"
Connection between the Cross and the Presence of God
Mat 27:50 "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost."
Mat 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
- Jesus paid the price of death for sin!
- When the sinful nature of fallen man, met the Judgement of God the earth began to shake, when sin was dealt with instantly access was granted into His presence!
- Repentance is dying to sin, separating yourself from sin.
- You cannot be born again until you die the first time!
- I’m preaching the cross is a landmark and we need to stop listening to lies, sin is sin, and we need to die to sin!
"We build things in front of the cross because we don’t like the pain it may cause when we pick up our cross and follow Him." --Senior Pastor Brent Calhoun
The landmark has become cluttered, things are hiding the landmark.
- What happened to prayer? It costs you friend!
- What happened to separation from sin?
- Have you built a curtain around the presence of God?
- When sin is dealt with something happens!!!!!!
Let’s all come around the alter today!
- Thank God for the cross and ask him to help you remove obstacles.
- I am going back to the old land MARK!
And that is what everyone did this Easter Sunday. We all came back to that old landmark and made new commitments to God. And by His grace and power we will be able to fulfill those commitments.