The following is the outline I’m taking to the pulpit with me this morning. It is based on the song “In the Cross” by Fanny Crosby. The idea is to be a question: How near are we to the cross?
“In the Cross” – A Sermon
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:17-18
1 Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain;
Free to all, a healing stream,
Flows from Calv’ry’s mountain.
What do you see when you are near the cross? To begin with, you’ll see BLOOD.
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: – 1 Peter 1:19
Christianity is a “bloody religion” because it takes sin seriously and sin requires a penalty – the death penalty.
Hebrews 9:22 – And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Hebrews 10:18 – Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. (It is finished! Hallelujah!)
2 Near the cross, a trembling soul, [fear, repentance, humility]
Love and mercy found me; [this is a testimony]
There the Bright and Morning Star
Shed His beams around me. (…I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. – Revelation 22:16)
“Unless you see yourself standing there with the shrieking crowd, full of hostility and hatred for the holy and innocent Lamb of God, you don’t really understand the nature and depth of your sin or the necessity of the cross.”
― C.J. Mahaney
“Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us, we have to see it as something done by us.”
― John R.W. Stott
3 Near the cross! O lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day
With its shadow o’er me.
The Scenes: Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19
The sheen of the golden pendent disguises horror of the mechanism.
More than a Shadow – It Must Be Carried
Matthew 16:24 – Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Luke 9:23 – And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luke 14:27 – And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
4 Near the cross! I’ll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever;
Till I reach the golden strand,
Just beyond the river.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:2
In the cross, in the cross
Be my glory ever,
Till my ransomed (raptured) soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…- Galatians 6:14a
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. – Colossians 2:13-15
Can you see His outstretched arms? Can you see the blood flowing down? Can you see His eyes looking down? Does it affect you?
How near ARE you to the cross?