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Three Crosses

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
October 11, 2021 9:00 am

Three Crosses

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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October 11, 2021 9:00 am

In the unfolding story of God’s redemptive plan for mankind, we’ve come to the climax of the story, the moment on which everything else hangs. It’s a hope-filled message about the crucifixion.

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Today on some in line with Jenny Greer during the defining moment of God's work in human history.

He chooses to walk on the stage with two random unnamed criminals because that's what his greatest moment was about these three crosses are a microcosm of human history that tell the entire story of the human race. The Bible teaching ministry of pastor, author and theologian Katie, as always, I'm your host Molly events you're doing today as were nearing the end of the teaching series called the whole story going from Genesis to Revelation. To see the unfolding story of God's redemptive plan for mankind. If you've missed any part of the study. You can find all of the previous messages@jdgreer.com but right now, keep listening because today we've come to the pinnacle the moment on which everything else hangs since we've been saying all along that the whole Bible ultimately points to Jesus. It's time to dig into the pivotal moment where Jesus painted up. We are talking about the crucifixion with a health filled message titled dig out your Bible. If you have it open it to Luke chapter 2323 if you have your Bible, and I hope that you do as you're turning there. If you have ever driven along the Blue Ridge Pkwy. You might have seen little side that you goes, you will cross one point which says Eastern Continental divide. That is the line that marks the eastward and westward slopes of our continent. It it's raindrops. They say that fall even an inch to the west of that dividing line will flow westward down toward the Mississippi River knows that fall just an inch or so to the east will go all the way out to be Atlantic Ocean.

There is even one spot in glacier National Park in Montana called the triple divide peak of actually been there once. It's spot that right from that one spot water flows to either the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean or the Arctic Ocean want you to think about. Yet the rules for the raindrop friends that are falling casually to the sky just chatted up they can literally land 1 cm apart from each other and end up in oceans on opposite sides of the globe. I share that because the passage were going to work through today shows you the dividing line of eternity. People that are very close, very similar in life situations who fall on opposite sides of this line are going to end up eternities apart from that's what you see when you when you look in the loop.

23. Working to find the stories of two men whose lives are almost identical in every way but who fall by their own choice on the opposite side of the line and the end up in entirely different places in your life is to be represented in one of the two of them. Let's take a look at their stories.

Chapter 23 verse 30 Julie jump at verse 26 roadway as they led Jesus away to be crucified to others. Verse 32 who were criminals were led away to be put to death with him. By the way, based on the other places of the New Testament uses this word criminals is most likely talking about insurrectionist who wanted to throw off the power of Rome not talking about casual loving you know George Clooney Ocean's Eleven type of these were talking about violent desperate men. Verse 33 when they came to a place that is called the skull or in the Hebrew language Golgotha, which literally means the skull.

Evidently they say the rockface actually looked like a skull. The way the rocks formed and it was a really terrifying just how it looked. The call of the skull Metro they did executions. It was there that he crucified him in the criminals, one on his right and the one on his left and Jesus said, father forgive them. Verse 34 for they know not what they do. This is the dividing line of history and at its pinnacle stands a skull with three crosses on one of which hangs the son of God himself, and on the other two. Two criminals you know when the President of the United States makes an important speech. He often will include with him in the press conference on the state that he speaks from Hill include those who are most important to whatever it is that he's announcing Tobit something that relates to the military to put other generals up there with him. He's talking about what's happening in the community of local leaders from that community. If it's new policy that he starting to put people in the group that will benefit from the policy that is introducing I want you to think about this during the defining moment of God's work in human history. He chooses to walk on the stage with two random unnamed criminals because that's what his greatest moment was about these three crosses are a microcosm of human history that tell the entire story of the human race to see a cross of redemption to see a cross of rejection and you see a cross of repentance. First, let's talk for a minute about Jesus is cross the one in the middle the cross of redemption. Maybe you wonder how Jesus got on the cross in the first place. After all, the last time we saw Jesus he was doing miracles and healing people and everybody seem to love them was he Jesus had gotten sideways with both the religious and the secular leaders of his day.

The religious leaders were jealous of him because he threatened their authority.

The secular leaders thought of him as a nuisance he didn't tremble enough before the Almighty power from the Jewish people were disappointed in him because he had thrown off Roman power the way they know and his disciples were confused by him. So one betrayed him and the others abandoned him. So in a sense his crucifixion represents the culmination of the collective failure of the human race is crucifixion was caused by our jealousy, our arrogance, our apathy or unbelief in our cowardice, but God.

Scripture tells us had his own purpose in the crucifixion, something that he had been pursuing since the very beginning of human history. You see, from the beginning God had told his people that he would send a Savior to take their place under the curse of death. He told Adam and Eve.

God told Adam and Eve that he was sent to deliver it would crush the serpent of death. Genesis 315 December that serpent of death is gonna bite the heel of the deliver session like this for a minute. If a man is in a war with a snake and demand steps on the head of the snake in it. Crybaby crushes the head of the snake, but the very poisonous snake bites his heel. Who wins that fight since they both lose because the snake is that he got his head crushed with them. The guys there because he got bit by the poisonous snake on the same but yes there will be a guy who will come will crush death but he's actually going to be bitten by death and die from it.

From that point on the Bible. He's gonna get picture after picture of this throughout almost every page of the Old Testament, for example, after destroying the world to a global flood in Noah's day. He sets a gigantic bow in the sky, a rainbow, that's a promise that God will never again destroy the earth. And that way, but the way the author writes that as he uses the word Wargo like a bow and arrow and it's, you know, put in the sky.

This way, which means that it's no longer pointed down toward Earth it's pointed back up into heaven.

It's a promise that God would absorb the Aero of his judgment. The death sentence into himself, rather than firing that arrow down and to us. When Abraham was about to sacrifice his son Isaac had God's command right before he took Isaac's life. God said stop and pointing to a land that is been caught in the bushes, just the just off to the right so that that that Lamb could be sacrificed in Isaac's place in Isaac the sun to go free.

The entire sacrificial system was built on the concept of an instance innocent substitute taking the place of the guilty to.

Every year in Israel, each believing family would bring one llama perfect unblemished lamb to the temple where they would offered in sacrifice and father of that family would curate up to the altar.

Need lay it down on the altar and how he would lay his hand on the head of that that llama begin to confess the sins of that family. And while he confess their sins.

The priest would take a knife and slit the throat of the Lamb showing that this land.

This innocent lamb was dying in the place of that family.

Isaiah the prophet said that one day God would send his servant to be the Lamb who suffer for the sins of the world and that that servant would be wounded for our transgressions, Bruce, for our iniquities the punishment that purchased art pieces will be put on him and by his stripes would be healed. When John the Baptist saw Isaiah.

He cried out, behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world ahead of Jesus is going to be laid the sins of the entire human race needed more than, as a religious leader to teach us how we ought to live. He took the place of those of us would live opposite of how God wanted us to live on the cross he became our sin, so that from the cross, he could forgive our sin, so that from the cross, he could look out at those who had rejected and failed him and pray what he did there in verse 34. Father forgive them, he could extend forgiveness to them because he was being punished for them what God did at the cross.

As he took the place so that he would fulfill the law that was against us, that the soul that sins shall die and that he did it in a way that he could save us, and he could bring us to heaven with him. That is why we say the gospel is Jesus in my place.

I realize this can be a little hard to grasp.

Or think of it this way. When you forgive somebody you agree to absorb the consequences for their action into yourself.

That's what forgiveness is, for example in Cincinnati lies about you and destroys your business there lies cause financial harm to you. What are your options about point while you prosecutor and the prosecutor to take away their business or take money back away from them, but you could go out and you get back at them by exposing them and tell everybody what a liar.

They are running their reputation. But if you choose to forgive them what you are saying is under let the sting of that person sin and didn't meet and I'm not going to retaliate and I'm not going to even the score. I'm not gonna put this thing back in the van. I'm going to absorbed this thing of suffering for their sin. What God did on the cross was exactly that. He refused to give the sting of death into us and he took it into himself. He suffered so that we didn't have to.

Jesus died instead of you. He took your place. Now we turn to the other two crosses on either side of him. The two criminals because they are to demonstrate for us the division. The dividing line of the entire human race. Verse 39, one of the criminals who were hanged railed at him and said are you not the Christ, save yourself and us.

Verse 40 but the other rebuked him. Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation, and we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds. But this man is minister nothing wrong verse 42, and then he turns to Jesus and he says Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

Verse 43 and Jesus said to him, truly I say to you today today you will be with me in paradise. Now first talk about what these two guys have in common. First are both equally bad didn't say that one of them was worse than the other.

That one was a varsity level center was a JV level. The both equally bad above under the sentence of death. In fact, the gospel of Matthew tells us that both of these criminals started out both of them mocking Jesus, not just the one we know that both of them are minutes away from dying. We know that both criminals would've been happy for Jesus to have delivered them from death verse 39. Even the one that ultimately rejects Jesus says hey, if you're really the Messiah, save yourself and us. That's partially applied and partially sincere love for Jesus to come down off the cross smitten the Romans delivered them, and let an insurrection against Rome right so both of them want Jesus to deliver them. But one thief begin to understand some things, things that are necessary for true conversion and understanding these three things only give you is the dividing line of the human race. It is right and be very careful of these is number one. He knew the difference. This repentant thief and seeking help from God and seeking God for himself. He knew the difference in seeking help from God and seeking God for himself you see on verse 40 repentant the third mastery taken down from the cross. I'm sure y'all he would have been happy if Jesus had offered at hey you know what I want to take you down from the cross and you're not going to die today.

I'm sure he would've been overjoyed when he called out on Jesus for help.

He doesn't mention being taken out of the cross.

All he says is, remember me when you come into your kingdom because the thief realizes listen that what he needs is not a change in circumstance what he needs is a change in what his life has been centered upon. So instead of asking God for the life he wants. He wants to make God his life. Do you understand the difference you understand the difference in seeking God to give you the life you want and wanting God to become your life is the difference between loving God for himself and finding God as a useful means to some other hand, John Piper says that many people. For example relate to God like a tire iron tire irons are really useful instrument. Very helpful in a pinch, but nobody really loves a tire iron. Nobody brags about the Taira nobody displays her car and will probably base is a got them or look at my daughter but you hide it in the trunk, you would want to be caught without it, but you don't love it, your tire iron is useful for taking care of what you really care about what you really care about your car your car. That's how many of us Piper say is says see God.

God is useful for some in we need him for he gives us peace in life he gives us a stable family Health Center marriage. He's going to take us to heaven when we die, but he's not beautiful in and of himself to us so we seek him as a means to an end.

God is useful for getting the life that we want but we don't want God to be our life. Which of those two better describes how you see God do you find them useful. Refining beautiful is God merely the best means of the life you want to do. You want God to be your life in the same way. There's a big difference in trying to appease God and really loving him and we all know it is an illustration of like a man who is missed treat his wife and neglect sermon. After many years of putting up with this. She just says I'm leaving and so he suddenly panics and he starts to make all the changes in the agreed to go to counseling with Ernie start to go to church with them within the store. After several times, or the sum of church and in the unit source make all these changes, but after a while after reside a danger the ends of going back to his old ways because when the danger is gone and he doesn't think she's gonna leave he's never really corrected the core problem in his heart and that is it an give his wife the place in his heart that she deserves in the same way, our repentance has to be a genuine change of heart toward God, not merely an attempt to appease God. Many people wonder about deathbed conversions. Her that I will can somebody live an evil life and never do anything good or think about God at all, and then in the moment right before they die.

Repent of God go to heaven when the answer from the stories. Yes, thank God, yes. This story shows you that but it also shows you listen, it has to be true repentance. It can't be God, give me my get out a hell free card without a change of heart. This is God.

Up until now I center my whole life on everything but you have met changes from this moment forward, whether I got five minutes left for 50 years. I'm not just gonna make a deal with you so that I can use you to get to heaven. I want you to become the center of my life and the thought that this guy didn't ask to be delivered from the cross but did ask Jesus to remember his soul shows you that that change. It happened in him. Here's my question for you.

Have you truly repented. Why do you want Jesus in your life what you want is because you think it would give you a better marriage is to get you out of a jam, as it is it because you think you can heal you or prosper you is a because you think he'll take you to heaven or do you want him for help, even if it means that you for the time being, have to stay on the cross of bad health, or a bad marriage or not happy home or tough circumstances in your job. Listen, you have got to get more serious about your soul when you are your skin is ultimately what salvation is about is not changing the circumstance of your life.

It's about reconnecting you and restore your God, regardless of the circumstance of your life have you truly repented before God, ready just tried to arrange a deal with God that if I wanted him to let me give you a handful of signs you've never really repented right. Here's one letter raising taken notes you got areas a compromise before God. Some of you believe this lie that you can accept Jesus as Savior not surrender to him as Lord heart that when I was kid playing. Such is the same endowment and then you know I mean one that you might really University surrender.

That's the Bible never makes that division. Imagine that you know you got married cerebral you get married and you know as soon as receptions done, you grab your keys your head in the door and your new husband.

What are you going to like mother swim and I would model boyfriend right. That's not a marriage at all. People who accept Jesus as Savior but not Lord are attempting to do the same thing that I okay Jesus, someone to be reunited with you, but you know I am not really you if he is not your Lord is not your Savior. B. You will have a growing relationship with you'll spend daily time with him reading his word and praying. After all, he's the center of your life, you'll talk with him constantly and study his word if he really is the center of your life, make your relationship with Jesus consists of come in here and here. The pep talk for me every week and then you going throughout the week trying to be a fairly moral person but never really talk to Jesus. Beyond that, you have no relationship with any more than I would have a marriage to my wife Veronica have all I did was get together with a friend and talk about once a week. I was it we come together, my friend.

We talk about how awesome Rocky's wings and sons on the bar. Veronica and we come out next week. Do the same thing. That's not a relationship. What makes me married. What makes my marriage relationship is not that I talk about somebody else but that I commune with her throughout the week. But here's another you are involved in things like small groups or Bible studies are growing relationship with him. It shows the memorable event in the center of your life meters C you're not actively involved in his mission. Your attendance in churches sporadically stay on the sidelines.

How can you say is the center of your life. If you're not living out his will for your life doing the things and ministries told you to do those things might indicate that you're trying to use God rather than really love him back to this repentant thief and I'll see what else is true about them first thing is that he knew the difference in seeking help from God and seeking God for himself. Number two.

He understood his guilt before God.

He understood his guilt before God. Tim Keller says that this second thief says something that is impossible to admit without Godself. Verse 41 he looks at this other criminal and he says we are punished justly, getting what our deeds deserve the word that the other Gospels use for these two guys is lace day lace day which means something more like insurrectionist. These were guerrilla fighters that were freedom fighters. There is no way I guy who is been a freedom fighter is going to say that he is being fairly and justly put to death by Rome. He believed he was fighting for justice. He believed his cause was just so when he says we are getting what we deserve. What is he talking about is not talking primarily about Rome's punishment of him on the cross.

What he's saying is we deserve to be abandoned by God to be punished for our sense. We deserve before God to die. You see, repentance recognizes that sin is first and foremost against God.

King David committed what had to be one of the most egregious public sands in history. He sleeps with a woman who is not his wife, who happens to be married one of his best friends who is also his Matt right hand man at arms so after his inability to cover up this pregnancy that she has because of them sleeping together.

He arranges for his best friend to be killed, and then he lies about it and covers it up for an entire year in front of Israel. When God asked for a year finally brings in repentance. David writes a Psalm recording his repented. Psalm 51 and right at the beginning of that Psalm. David says against you, Lord, and you only have I sin how could he say that Matt imagine when he said that that somewhere in heaven. Uriah was like I thought you said against me to Bessie was that you sin against me and the baby that died because of the babies that you sin against me like the entire nation Israel said you also said against us.

How many sin against you and you only have I said is not because he didn't recognize the wrong done to others, or that he needed to repay them is because God was so big and is largely this was the most important ones were soon to repentance first vertical with God or is it horizontal with remorse for the sin you've made in your life. Repentance is measured by how our hearts change towards this message as part of our study called the whole story showing us how every page of the Bible tells the story of the gospel. If you've missed any of the teaching along the way. During this teaching series. You can find@jdgreer.com were coming to the end of this series in a couple of weeks back to help you dig deeper into your knowledge of the Bible really excited to introduce a custom summit life Bible did tell our listeners what's so special about this newest resource Be clearly saying custom Bible, we don't mean that we have reedited the Bible, you know. Anyway, it's the English standard version of the Bible, but it's small it's compact, it fits easily in a purse, a backpack and a computer bag. It's got a custom get this summit life Bible reading plan printed right on the inside.

The main goal of this is that we wanted you to grow in your daily interaction with God. Read the Bible to what you understand it and be able to connect the individual stories and teachings of the Bible to the bigger picture of what's going on nine euros like not just a checkbox and read some of the Bible, but I love Jesus one year 52-week Bible reading plan. This is a Bible you can use as an adult. This is a great resource that you can use in shared.

We'd like to get you a copy to you can think of where we are in a series or started the beginning, or even give it away to someone who you think may need some encouragement in reading their Bible.

It's a convenient portable size ideal for taking with you everywhere, using every day. The translation in English standard version, which is a great choice for personal study you want them to request a custom Bible thing. Donate today to string friendly and make summit life will usually not missing today. Suggested donation is $25 or more when you get in touch.

Remember to bring your copy at the customs copy, 33 528-633-5220 pleading of online hi Molly, I needed to summit life changing

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