Share This Episode
Connect with Skip Heitzig Skip Heitzig Logo

Cross-Culture - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
February 25, 2024 5:00 am

Cross-Culture - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1238 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

February 25, 2024 5:00 am

The term cross-culture emerges from the social sciences and typically refers to interaction of one culture or language with another. But that's not how I'm using it today. I'm thinking of it in the biblical sense, the salvation sense. Jesus' whole life was immersed in the culture of the cross and He referred to His impending death on the cross as "His hour." Let's consider today the culture of the cross of Christ: what it meant to Jesus personally and the world ultimately.

Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig

The culture of the cross is something that not only motivated Jesus, but it permeates the entire New Testament. Galatians 2.20, Paul writes, I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, I live, but it's not I who lives, it's Christ who lives in me.

Welcome to Connect with Skip Weekend Edition. You can get crosses in just about any shape or size these days. You can wear them as jewelry, you can get a cross as a bumper sticker for your car, and you can even get crosses as a wallpaper design for your mobile phone. So why a cross?

Is it just a popular decoration, or is there more to it? Pastor Skip is talking about the cross with today's message, Cross Culture, and not just what it can mean to us, but what it meant to Jesus. Today's message is part of our current series on The Connection, Believe 879, and we'll have more in just a moment. But first, let's see what's going on at the Connect with Skip Resource Center this month. Ron Rhodes takes head on in his new book.

Listen to this. What do you see coming in the next five or six years that might do injury to the church? And without hesitation, I said, I really feel like we're going to see an explosion of subjectivism, experientialism, and mysticism, along with occultism and some paganism. Books and wars in the Middle East have set the stage for the end times. This new book by Ron Rhodes addresses issues such as understanding Islam, rebuilding the temple, and the annihilation campaign from the Antichrist.

Here's Ron Rhodes commenting on Middle East events. Did you know that in Revelation 2 and 3, we read about the church 19 times? And then in the discussion on the tribulation in chapters 4 through 18, you don't see the church a single time.

It is gone. In 1 Thessalonians 1, verse 10, we are told that the church is to be delivered from the wrath to come. That word, delivered, literally means snatched, snatched away from.

We are to be snatched away from the wrath to come, which is a reference to the tribulation period. With your gift of $50 or more to connect with Skip Heitzig, you'll receive a copy of this new book from Ron Rhodes. Your gift will support the production and expansion of the Connect with Skip broadcast. Call 1-800-922-1888 or go online to with your donation, and we'll thank you with a copy of Ron Rhodes' new book, How Conflicts and Wars in the Middle East Have Set the Stage for the End Times.

That's 1-800-922-1888 or John chapter 12 is our starting point today, so be sure to open your Bibles there as we join Pastor Skip for this message. I believe that the cross of Christ is greatly misunderstood. For some people, it was a tragic event. It was something that was on an earthly sense a tragedy, a murder took place, an unfortunate occurrence. Other people are repulsed by the whole idea of a man being celebrated who shed his blood in that public arena around Jerusalem, and that we would still be celebrating that. That repulses many people.

Most people see the cross as merely a religious symbol that may or may not have some power for their lives even today. I heard about an American soldier who during wartime he was being shot at. He jumped into a foxhole, and his immediate inclination was to use his hands and dig down into the dirt and get as deep as possible. While he was digging down for further protection, he felt something metallic. He dug it out, and it was a cross. It was a crucifix, a silver crucifix. A few moments later, in dropped another soldier into the foxhole, and the first soldier looked up and noticed it was a chaplain, and the first soldier said, boy, am I glad to see you, and he held up the crucifix.

He goes, how do you work one of these things anyway? That's how a lot of people feel about the cross. It's simply a symbol that should be able to work some kind of magic for those who wear it or hang it up in the house or sport it in some way. If we go back 2,000 years to Jerusalem, we discover that the people who were in Jerusalem around Jesus Christ had by and large a conquest mentality. That is, they wanted their Messiah to come to rule and to reign, to conquer their enemies. It was a conquest mentality, so that when Jesus stopped in the temple, and he said, as we discovered last week around verse 23, he said, the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

Their hopes shot skyward. They thought, this is it. He's going to establish the kingdom. The disciples must have thought, we're going to have positions of authority in the kingdom. He's going to be glorified, but what Jesus was speaking about was something different than what they were thinking.

They were thinking of the glory of conquest, a political deliverer, somebody who would give them material prosperity now. What Jesus was speaking about was the glory of the cross, about his own death. I want to talk to you today about that kind of culture, the cross culture, the culture of the cross. The culture of the cross is something that not only motivated Jesus, but it permeates the entire New Testament. Galatians 2.20, Paul writes, I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, I live, but it's not I who lives, it's Christ who lives in me. Again, Galatians 6.14, but God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2, I am determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. You see, just by a sampling of verses, the entire church is to be a cross culture because even the rituals we perform as a church speak to that. Baptism speaks of that.

We take a person and we put them under the water. That is because Paul said when you're baptized, you're baptized into the death and burial of Christ and then the resurrection so that when a person is taken and placed underneath the water, that's like dying and being buried. When they come back up, it's a symbol of resurrection. Communion speaks of his death. Paul said, when you take communion, you are proclaiming the Lord's what?

You proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. It's that constant proclamation of the sacrifice of his death on the cross. It is a cross culture. Unfortunately, the last several years have seen a very interesting trend in many churches, I would say mostly in America but around the world.

That is the tendency to want to deviate from the cross culture and to celebrate a different kind of a culture. Some churches will even tell their worship leaders to pull out some of the songs and hymns that speak about the blood of Christ, the cross of Christ. It's so bloody.

It's so violent. Let's not focus on that. Other churches want to be more hip and more relevant and celebrate themes like personal satisfaction, your best life now or some kind of focus other than the New Testament focus. George MacLeod wrote these words.

I'll share them with you this morning. I simply argue that the cross be raised again at the center of the marketplace as well as the steeple of a church. I'm recovering the claim that Jesus wasn't crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves on a town garbage heap at the crossroads of politics. So cosmopolitan that they had to write his name in Latin, in Hebrew and in Greek at the kind of place where cynics talk smut and thieves curse and soldiers gamble. That is where he died.

And that is what he died about. And that is where Christ's men ought to be and what church people ought to be about. In other words, Christians are to live in the cross culture. We glory in the cross of Christ because what it means to us.

Let's just retrace our steps and get the setting here. Jesus has entered Jerusalem. It's days before the crucifixion itself. He's come in from the east, from the Mount of Olives.

As he was walking up to the peak of the Mount of Olives, the disciples got him a young donkey, a colt. As he was leaving Bethany, going toward Jerusalem, cresting the top of the Mount of Olives, a crowd of people gathered around him and behind him, and another crowd came out of the Golden Gate in Jerusalem because they heard about Lazarus and they wanted to see Lazarus and the one who raised him from the dead. As all these people gathered together, shouts of, Hosanna went out from the crowd.

Hosanna, save now! Jesus comes into the temple. As he's in the temple, a crowd of Greeks are there to have an interview with him. And Jesus speaks to perhaps the disciples and the Greeks behind him and the crowd who was gathered some words that indicate that he is going to die on a cross. They had high hopes when he said, The hour has come. The Son of Man is going to be glorified.

They thought, awesome, this is it. And then Jesus said, Unless a grain of wheat fall into the ground and dies, it abides alone. If it dies, it brings forth fruit. He was speaking about his death. Now, beginning in verse 27, Jesus gets more personal and talks about the cross culture in relationship to himself.

That's what we want to look at. The cross culture and Christ, number one. The cross culture and the world, number two.

And the cross culture and this crowd, number three. Verse 27, he speaks of himself. Now, my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour, but for this purpose I came to this hour.

And stop right there. Think of that first little phrase. Now, my soul is troubled. He just blurts that out.

He's obviously dealing with something deep and emotional, and he's not afraid to tell everybody. Now, my soul is troubled. Here's something interesting about the Gospel of John. Matthew, Mark, and Luke will give details about the suffering of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. John keeps out most of those details, but what John does is lets us in on the mental anguish that is going through the mind, the heart, the very core of Christ, days before the Garden of Gethsemane, days before the trial, the arrest, and the crucifixion.

It begins here. Now, my soul is troubled. The word terrazzo means to shake or to stir up. If you recall in John chapter 5, remember when that man at the pool of Bethesda was waiting by the waters, and he said he was waiting for the stirring of the water? Same word, terrazzo, to be agitated or shaken up. When our Lord uses it of himself, he is speaking of a spiritual and emotional agitation. He's saying, I'm distressed, I'm disturbed, I'm unsettled, I'm shaken up, I'm stirred up.

Why? Why is he so agitated? Short answer, the cross, the cross. In a few days, he knows, and by the way, he knew this his entire life. He knows that in a few days, the Roman whip is going to lay open his back, and his subcutaneous tissues will be exposed, and the kind of pain that accompanies that. He knows that great spikes will be driven through his wrist. He knows that a crown of thorns will be on his head.

He has predicted this. And by the way, have you ever thought that probably Jesus was mentally crucified thousands of times in his life? Every time he'd look at his hands and feet, he knew what was going to happen to them. But now those days approaching as he comes into Jerusalem for the final time, he says, now, my soul is troubled. But if we just think it's the physical anguish, we do him injustice. What really was troubling his soul is that he knew that on that cross, God the Father would dump all of the sin and all of the guilt of every single person, past, present, and future, in that moment upon Christ. And he would bear not only their sin, but the guilt of their sin.

I know people who go crazy with their own guilt. Imagine having all of the guilt of all of the sin on the sinless Son of God. Paul said it this way in Corinthians. God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us.

Imagine that. Paul even said in Galatians, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. Just think of Jesus being a curse. That just simply meant that all of the sin of mankind, that curse of sin, would fall upon him. So here is Christ emoting, telling us that he is walking right into the midst of this cross culture.

Now my soul is troubled, and this troubling, this agitation that he's expressing will continue and continue throughout his trial. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Mark says, Jesus said, my soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. In Luke's gospel, chapter 22, it says Jesus prayed more fervently and he was in such agony of spirit that sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. Scientists call this, doctors call this hematidrosis. It's a condition where the blood vessels, the capillaries, it's sort of like a net around the sweat glands constrict under deep emotion like a soldier going to a battlefield if he knows he's gonna die, or a person who knows he's gonna be sentenced to death.

There is this phenomena where that blood shoots into the sweat glands and a person actually sweats drops of blood. A deep anguish and emotion. Now my soul is troubled. Let me tell you something, the real pain, the real trouble, the real anguish would be in that moment on the cross when because of the sin laid upon him, he would be separated from his father. He had never known that experience ever before, ever.

And the anxiety of that is falling upon him. Jesus and the father were one. They did everything together. Every thought was processed with each other.

There was always fellowship. Even in the garden, Jesus will cry out, Abba, or dear his father, or even daddy. But on the cross, he will say, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

So that is the cross culture and that's the pain of it. But notice what he says as he goes on. Now my soul is troubled and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? Is that what I'm gonna say now? Is that what I'm gonna pray as I'm facing the cross? Am I gonna say I can't do it, get me out of this?

You know, he could've. In Matthew, Jesus said, don't you know, Peter, that I could call on 12 legions of angels right now to deliver me? Now the question Jesus asks here is meant to be rhetorical. What shall I say, Father, save me from this hour?

The implied answer is no. And then he says, but for this purpose, I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name. And then a voice came from heaven saying, I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.

Therefore, the people who stood by and heard it said that it fundered. Others said an angel has spoken to him. Jesus answered and said, this voice did not come because of me, but for your sake. So here's Christ expressing the anguish of soul. He goes, look, I'm not turning away from this thing.

I'm not leaving the cross culture. I came for this very thing. I wanna bring glory to my Father in heaven. This was his life's work. You recall Revelation 13 describes Jesus as the Lamb slain from the foundations of the world.

That was all part of the plan. I've come for this. This is my hour that you might be glorified through my death.

Father, glorify yourself. That was his life's work. So everything in Jesus' life is focused on this cross culture. It's permeating his very thought process. He's dominated by it. And that's very important.

I don't want you to miss this. I don't want you to think that the cross, oh yes, Jesus died on the cross. This is the very center of it all, the very center of the universe, the very center of God's plan. Because if Jesus did not die, there would be no substitute for sin. If there were no substitute for sin, there would be no salvation from our sin. If there were no salvation from our sin, there would be no hope. If there was no hope, there would be no future but hell. That's why our Lord said, this is it, man, this is why I've come.

This is the center of it all. So he's expressing his anguish, but he is also anticipating the glory, verse 28, that will come from this. What do you think drove Jesus forward? What was the deepest motivation? It's told right here, to glorify his Father.

Do you know that? Jesus was always motivated. The impetus of his life was to bring glory to the Father in life and in death. Father, glorify your name.

Knowing that when Jesus would die, the Father would be able to invite people from all manner of life to come into heaven through believing in his Son. The writer of Hebrews put it this way. It's a beautiful verse.

Hebrews 12, too. Who for the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame. It was no cakewalk. He didn't enjoy it. He endured it.

It was horrible. On a human level, on a spiritual level of separation, he endured it. But there was a joy mingled with it, and the joy was giving glory to the Father, and the joy was seeing you and you and you and you the day you received Christ being able to go to heaven. Pain and glory, just two aspects of the cross of Jesus, of what he thought of the cross, and that's where we'll pause in today's message, Cross Culture. The teaching you just heard is one small part of an incredible in-depth study in the Gospel of John that Pastor Skip has called Believe 879. And today, we have Skip and Lenia in the studio to share with us.

Lenia? God moves powerfully in us when we fill ourselves with the truths in his Word. He can move us from indifference to an active and enduring faith in him. Skip, can you share some resources with our listeners that will help them go deeper in Bible study and encourage them in their faith? Can I give you resources? Yeah, this is like one of my favorite days ever to talk about it, because we got you covered when it comes to resources. There's a thing called Did you know you can download and listen to over 3,500 full-length sermons that unpack virtually every book, every verse in the Bible, verse by verse? So go to if you want those messages as well as online resource store with books that I've done, books that you have done, Lenia, as well. We have YouVersion devotionals. If you don't know what YouVersion is, that's a great Bible app. It's the number one Bible app in the world, and we have streaming devotionals, and everything from How to Break a Bad Habit to Spiritual Warfare. Then we have the podcast Connect with Skip Podcast.

You can subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play. We have audiobooks of our teachings that are available. We have a YouTube channel.

See, it just keeps going on and on. You have all the things. We have all the things. So the YouTube channel, it's Connect with Skip Heitzig TV Broadcast, and we have so many people around the world that tune into that. It's such an honor to be on that platform. Some of you who are technically challenged, you can just sign up on email, and we'll send you a devo. There you go. So if you can't find Hoopla, Hulu, Roku, or whatever these other portals are, just send an email to And we'll send you a devo.

We'll do. We'll send you a devo. But let me just tell you, if you are not technically challenged and you're into tech stuff, if you have a phone, and I'm guessing probably every one of you that is listening to this has some kind of a device, you can get an app on your phone. It's called the Connect with Skip Heitzig app.

It's available at the App Store for Apple and on Google Play. You can take teachings with you on the go. You can read the devo mail. It's all there. So we invite you to take advantage of these resources. Here's the best part of it. It's free.

Absolutely free. Well, thanks, Skip and Laniya. We'll continue through our series Believe 879 with more from the Gospel of John next time, so I hope you can join us right here in Connect with Skip weekend edition, a presentation of Connection Communications. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection, a connection, a connection. Connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-25 04:12:40 / 2024-02-25 04:21:51 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime