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Cross-Culture - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
March 3, 2024 5:00 am

Cross-Culture - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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March 3, 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.


The cross draws people to Jesus. You say, oh no, the cross is so repulsive. It draws people away from Jesus.

No, it doesn't. People love to know they're forgiven. People love to know that they can have a do-over, a fresh start, a fresh slate.

Welcome to Connect with Skip Weekend Edition. Have you ever browsed the self-help section of a bookstore or looked up self-help on Amazon? There's so much there with topics like stress management, success, creativity, handwriting analysis, and more. It's amazing to see how much we desire to reach our full potential, and there are plenty of books and products to help us in that attempt.

But while those promise to deliver, it can quickly become clear that what worked for the author may not work for us. There is hope, however, and today in Connect with Skip Weekend Edition, Pastor Skip reminds us that there is one solution that will allow us to reach a greater potential than we ever thought. John chapter 12 is the focus of today's study, so if you have a Bible or a Bible app handy, you'll want to open up there as we join Pastor Skip for part two of the message, Cross Culture. At his baptism, he made it unmistakable if the disciples were wondering, hmm, could this be the one? This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased, a voice from heaven, to make it unmistakable that that was the one God was sending. And here at his death, an audible voice. Now notice what Jesus said, this voice didn't come because of me, but for your sake.

You know what that means? In a few days, their spirits are going to be so crushed, they're going to be so doubting, that this whole cross thing was even part of God's plan. God wants the disciples to know now, it's all part of the plan, boys.

I'm in total control. This Jesus going to the cross bit was all part of my agenda from the beginning. That's what Jesus meant, it's for your sake. So you'd hear it with your own ears, that the cross is what the focus of heaven and the focus of the Savior was as well. So that's the cross culture and Christ. Now let's think about the cross culture and the world. What does the cross mean to the world? It means three things according to Jesus.

Cross has three effects. Number one, the world is judged by it. Verse 31, Jesus continues, now is the judgment of this world.

Stop. That's the first effect of the cross upon the world. The cross judges the world. Now you know what the world means in the Bible sense, the word cosmos, world, typically means the system of thought and ideology controlled by the devil involving millions of people who are in rebellion against God.

That system is called the cosmos or the world. It doesn't mean the earth or the creation, it means that ordered philosophical system poised against God. Jesus says now is the judgment of this world. When the world put Jesus Christ on the cross, it was judging itself.

You might say it was signing its own death warrant. First Corinthians chapter two verse eight, the rulers of this world have not understood it for if they had they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. So they were saying get rid of him, we don't want a spiritual kingdom, we want a physical kingdom and if he's not gonna bring us that, the same crowd will say crucify him. When the world put Jesus on the cross, it was being judged.

Because you see, the issue, the question for the world is always the same. What are you gonna do with Jesus? What are you gonna do about Jesus?

What do you say about Jesus? That's what Pilate was confronted with. In that final tribunal, that courtroom scene when Pilate was face to face with Jesus and he knew that these were false charges, he said what will I do with Jesus who is called the Christ?

What did he do? He effectively sentenced him to be crucified and then he walks off the pages of history. But one day, Pilate and Jesus will meet again at another courtroom scene but the roles will be reversed. Jesus the judge and Pilate on trial. What will I do with Jesus who is called Christ? Well, whatever you do will be your judgment.

It will determine your destiny. I heard about a young man who moved to a big city. It was the first time he had been in this city. He wasn't used to the traffic patterns, etc. He was about to cross the street, not looking both ways. A truck was coming and he was about to walk into oncoming traffic when a hand reached out and grabbed him. It was a sweet old gentleman who pulled him back onto the sidewalk. Two weeks later, that same young man was in a courtroom.

He was being indicted for theft charges he had been stealing. As the young man looked up, he noticed the judge seemed very familiar. He thought that's the man who saved me two weeks ago, pulled me out of oncoming traffic. He even said to the judge, you're the man who saved me.

Surely you can do something now, pull a few strings. The elderly judge said two weeks ago, young man, I was your savior. Today I must be your judge. So that's the first effect that the cross has on the world. Number one, the world will be judged by it. Number two, the ruler of the world is cast out.

Look at what it says. Now is the judgment of this world, verse 31, and now the ruler of this world will be cast out. Who's he speaking about, the ruler of this world? Satan, the devil. The Bible calls the devil the prince of this world or the god of this world, this world system. Well, this makes sense that if the world is being judged, that the one who controls the world is going to have some kind of ramification as well, and that's Satan. He's going to be cast out. In other words, this is the beginning of the end for the devil. The grip that Satan has had upon humanity will be broken by the cross.

So now there's going to be other options for people. If they want to live forever, all they have to do is trust this one who died for them, and they will live forever. So Satan's power effectively is being dismantled. Now if I'm counting correctly, I discovered there are five casting outs of the devil in the Bible.

Let me see if I can recall them. Number one is when he was cast out of heaven as a permanent resident. He was the anointed cherub who covers.

He got really prideful. God said, you're out of here, and he became the devil at that point. That's Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28.

That's number one. Number two, the second casting out is here. At the cross, the power of Satan was taken from him to destroy lives. So the devil is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. At the cross, he was defanged. Now he might try to gum you to death, but Christian, you're immune from him. The third casting out will be during the great tribulation period when Satan is cast from heaven to the earth.

You're going, wait a minute. I thought he was cast out from heaven from the beginning. Yeah, he was as a permanent resident, but do you know that the devil has access to heaven today?

The Bible says he's the accuser of the brethren who accuses the brethren before God day and night in Sessom. He still has access. He still can get an audience with God.

He still has access. He still can get an audience with God. The fourth casting out will be at the end of the tribulation period. He is cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years during the millennial reign of Christ upon the earth, and the fifth and final one is when he is cast after that into the lake of fire. So he's on his way down, and this is the beginning of the end.

That's the second effect. The third effect of the cross upon the world is mentioned in verse 32 and verse 33, and that is the world's people can be saved by it. The world is judged by it. The ruler of the world is cast out by it, but the world's people can be saved by it, verse 32. He says, and I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to myself. Now, I don't know how many times that verse has been taken out of context, because people think, let's lift Jesus up. Let's just lift him up and worship, because he said, if I be lifted up, I'll draw all people to myself. There was a song put out some years ago called Lift Jesus Higher. It's lift Jesus higher, lift Jesus higher, lift him up for the world to see, for he said, if I be lifted up, I'll draw all men to me. I shudder every time I hear that song, because obviously whoever wrote that song didn't read the next verse. It says in verse 33, this he said, signifying by what death he would die.

Did you get that? Speaking about the cross, the horrible, violent, ignominious method of crucifixion. He didn't mean lift Jesus higher in some ethereal, ephemeral kind of worship way. He says, if I be lifted up on a cross to suffer and die, by that act of being a substitute, I will draw all men to myself.

Let me jog your memory. Go back a few verses in your mind to the little conversation Jesus had with Nicodemus. Remember what he said to Nicodemus? He said, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so, the son of man must be lifted up.

What was he talking about? He's talking about Numbers 21, the fourth book in the Bible. The book of Numbers, the children of Israel were out in the wilderness and snakes came into the camp and started biting them and they started dying. And the reason for that is they retreated to their number one favorite pastime, complaining, whining, griping against God. God had enough of it and said, I'm sending snakes in to bite them.

Get rid of them. Well, in the midst of that, our Lord said to Moses, Moses, in order to save these people, you take a brass serpent and you put it on a pole. You wrap it around the pole and you hold it up. And as men and women look toward that, you hold it up and say, hey, look over here. If they look over there, they'll stop dying. They'll be cured. You say, what kind of a cure is that? What kind of medicine and science is behind that?

None. It was a miracle. For people to look at that serpent, they had to believe. They had to believe two things. They had to believe, number one, that they were sinners because it was their sin that caused this. So they're taking a look away from what caused this to a cure. Number two, they had to simply believe that by looking by faith, as God said, it's going to work. And you know what happened?

It worked. People started looking at that brass serpent and boom, they started being healed left and right. Well, that's what Jesus means. If I be lifted up off the earth on a cross like that brass serpent on a pole as the sin bearer for the sins of men and women throughout all the ages, whoever looks by faith to me will be saved. I'll draw people, all kinds of people, to myself. You know what draws people to Jesus?

This. The cross draws people to Jesus. You say, oh no, the cross is so repulsive. It draws people away from Jesus.

No, it doesn't. People love to know they're forgiven. People love to know that they can have a do-over, a fresh start, a fresh slate. And that's what draws people to Jesus. Now granted, it's not easy. Well, it is easy. I mean, all we have to do is believe.

But you know, for men and women, it's not easy in this sense. It's much easier for people to believe that if they look to themselves, to their own good works, to their own religious affections, I work hard, I go to church, I do good things, I'm earning a place in heaven. It's much easier for people to think that way. It's much harder for people to admit I am a sinner, I have to look away from myself, and I have to look to one who paid the price for me. The pride of man causes them to walk away from the solution that God offers. I heard about an agnostic professor who went to Fiji Islands, and he noticed that these Fijians lived in sort of a modern culture. They had been affected by Western missionaries. There were churches, and the agnostic professor said to the chief of the tribe, you know, I'm so sorry for you that you've been duped by those Western missionaries who came years before.

You've been taken by them. Nobody believes that stuff anymore. They don't believe the Bible anymore. We know better. The professor said, that old threadbare story of a man dying on a cross for the sins of the world, shedding his blood, is so outmoded and so outdated. I'm so sorry that you've been taken in by it.

It's fiction. The chief of the tribe smiled and said, come and follow me. I want to show you something. He took him over to a rock. He said, you see that rock? This is where we used to bash in the heads of our victims before, as cannibals, we ate them.

Well, he had the professor's attention. He said, you see that oven next to it? After we smashed their heads in, we'd put them in the oven, and we'd roast them, and then we'd eat them.

He said, let me tell you something, sir. Were it not for the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the death of Jesus on the cross that changed us from cannibals into Christians, you'd be our supper by now. I'll tell you, right then and there, that agnostic professor was very thankful that he was talking to a group of believers and not cannibals. The gospel, the cross, changes people, not just cannibals, but businessmen, housewives, from all walks of life, I will draw all men to myself.

Let's finish up with the third, the cross culture and the crowd. Verse 34, the people, that is the people in that crowd, the disciples, the Greeks, the people in the temple area who were around listening. The people answered him, we have heard from the law that the Christ, the Messiah, remains forever.

Now watch this. Why did they think this? We've heard that the Christ from the law, the Bible, remains forever. How can you say the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?

Now obviously this crowd is confused. They're confused because they've read the Bible, they've heard the rabbis give interpretations. They know what Daniel chapter 7, we quoted that last week, says about the Son of Man. The Son of Man is the Messiah. Daniel saw a vision of him in chapter 7 being ushered before the Ancient of Days, and to the Son of Man was given a kingdom that will be an everlasting kingdom. They no doubt thought of scriptures in the Bible like Isaiah chapter 9, unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Listen to this, and of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. That's what they were thinking. That's what this means. That's what this means when they said, we have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say the Son of Man must be lifted up?

They missed something. They were thinking of all of those scriptures that speak of the glorious reign of the Messiah. That's what they were waiting for, a political ruler, which he will be when he comes the second time, by the way. But they neglected to think about all of those other texts of scriptures from their law that speaks of the suffering Messiah, the dying Messiah, like Isaiah 53. He was wounded for our transgressions.

He was crushed for our iniquities. The chastisement of His peace was upon Him. Neglected to read Psalm 22, which describes crucifixion hundreds of years before crucifixion was even invented.

Scriptures like Zechariah chapter 13 and 14, they will look upon me whom they have pierced and they will mourn for Him as one who mourns for His only Son. Clearly the Bible spoke about both a suffering Messiah and a glorious reigning peaceful Messiah. So clearly there must be two comings. They didn't see the gap between the first and the second coming. They were confused. Most people are confused about Jesus. Most people are confused about the cross.

True story. A woman in Denver went into a jewelry store to buy a cross. She said to the jeweler, I want to buy a gold cross on a chain.

Kid you not. The jeweler showcased all of the crosses and asked the woman, now do you want the plain one or do you want the one with the little man on it? Isn't that tragic? The glorious sin bearer of the world, Jesus Christ, has now been regulated to a little ornamental cross as the one with the little man on it. People are so confused about the cross. God doesn't want anybody here to be confused about it. God sent His Son into this world to bear your sin and my sin. He lived in that cross culture because that's the only place where there's hope.

I close with this this morning. A man fell into a pit and he couldn't get out. A subjective person came along and said, I feel for you down there in that pit. An objective person came along and said, it's logical that someone would fall into a pit. An adherent of Christian science said, you only think that you're in a pit. A Pharisee said, only bad people fall into pits. A mathematician calculated how he fell into the pit.

A news reporter wanted the exclusive story on his pit. A legalistic Christian said, you deserve your pit. Confucius said, if you would have listened to me you would have not been in that pit. Buddha came along, saw the man and he said, your pit is only a state of mind. A realist comes along and says, yep that's a pit. A scientist calculated the pressure necessary pounds per square inch to get him out of the pit. A geologist told him that he should appreciate the rock strata that is in the pit.

An evolutionist came along and said, you are a rejected mutant destined to be removed from the evolutionary cycle. In other words, you're going to die in that pit so that you can't produce any pit falling offspring. The county inspector asked if he had a permit to dig a pit. A professor gave him a lecture on the elementary principles of the pit. A self-pitying, no pun intended, a self-pitying person said, you haven't seen anything until you've seen my pit. A charismatic from the faith movement came along and said, brother just confess that you're not in that pit. An optimist said, things could be worse.

A pessimist said, things will get worse. Finally Jesus came along and seeing the man took him by the hand and lifted him out of the pit. Jesus stands alone in his ability to deliver people from the guilt of sin and draw people to himself. In the midst of our culture stands the cross culture, the gospel.

Well the cross means different things to different people but to Jesus it meant salvation to the world and glory to his father. Cross culture, that's the name of this teaching you just heard with Skip Heitzig and if this teaching encouraged you today why not take time to share it with a friend. If you'd like a copy of today's message you can find it at or you can call us and order one at 1-800-922-1888.

Each copy is just four dollars plus shipping and before we go let's see what's going on in the connect with Skip resource center this month. Israel and war that's the title of a new book called the Israel at War. That's the title of a new book by Skip Heitzig. Modern Israel has been at war from its very first day of existence as Skip points out. On the day after Israel became a nation that was May 14th 1948. On May 15th virtually every Arab neighbor attacked Israel to destroy it.

Israel had been a nation one day they didn't have an organized army. Israel at war is up to date on current events in the mid east and includes Skip's comments during his December tour of the Gaza border and a video link to Skip's interview in Jerusalem. The new book Israel at War is our gift to you this month to anyone who encourages the growth of connect with Skip with a gift of fifty dollars or more.

Make your financial vote of support at or by calling 800-922-1888. Israel at War will give you Skip's insight from over 40 trips to Israel and decades of bible study. I know the middle east seems like a very complex situation.

It's actually pretty basic. One side wants the other side dead. On one side you have a Jewish nation a Jewish state called modern day Israel. Israel wishes to exist as a sovereign state living in peace.

Most Palestinians and other Arab nations not all but many of them deny the right of Israel to exist. 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. Connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-03 04:16:15 / 2024-03-03 04:25:21 / 9

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