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March 27, 2005 

Resurrection Sunday

“THE SIMPLE TRUTH”

Pastor Matt

 

 

I. THE SIMPLE TRUTH ABOUT US.

 

Matthew 27:4-46

From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.  About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi,  lama sabachthani?"--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

 

Jesus was abandoned by God His father on that cross.  There was a severed relationship.

 

Why?

 

Sin came between Jesus and His Father.  OUR SIN. 

Sin is all that you have ever done wrong and all that you ever will do wrong.

 

2 Corinthians 5:21.  God made him who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

 

Leviticus 19:1-2 The Lord also said to Moses, “Say this to the entire community of Israel: You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.

 

Examples of the holiness of God can be seen in the following:

-          The priests in the presence of God

-          The Ark of the Covenant

-          When Adam and Eve were kicked out of The Garden of Eden

 

God cannot be were sin is.  Darkness and light cannot exist at the same time.

 

Whenever we have sin in our lives, it is impossible to connect with God.  He feels distant. 

 

It is not His fault.  He has not changed who He is. 

Instead, we have removed ourselves from Him because of our sin.

 

Think about it. 

Our human relationships are the perfect example of how a broken relationship works.  What do we need to do to make things right?

 

Romans 3:23.  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  We all have done the crime

Romans 6:23.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in  Christ Jesus our Lord.  We all have a huge debt to pay

James 2:10.  For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

 

The simple truth about us is that we have sin and we need a savior.

 

 

II. THE SIMPLE TRUTH ABOUT SALVATION

Luke 23:32-43

(43)  Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

 

What did this one thief do different from the other thief to gain entrance into Heaven?

 

He simply believed in who Jesus was and what He did.

 

John 11:25.  Jesus said… "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies

 

He did not…

-          memorize any Scripture

-          work any soup kitchens

-          give money to the church

-          do any good works

-          go through any religious ceremony

-          get baptized

-          overcome his bad habits, clean his life up

 

Talk about coming as you are “Just As I Am…”  He was in the lowest position of life

 

Making people jump through hoops to accept Jesus may make you feel better but that is not God’s way

 

Mark 10:14-15.  When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

 

The simple truth about salvation: Jesus makes it easy to accept Him. 

 

Stop making it hard for people.  Stop putting regulations on salvation.

 

Stop being a Southern Baptist, a Methodist, a Church of God, an Assemblies of God, a Nazarene…

 

Start being a people who are united in their effort to bring people to Jesus

 

Don’t forget that our church has been called to be a light to the Gentiles

 

Acts 13: 47-49.  For this is what the Lord has commanded us: "`I have made you  a light for the Gentiles, that you  may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.' "  When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.  The word of the Lord spread through the whole region.

 

Those who truly understand what Jesus did for them on that cross cannot help but want to live for Him

 

(Matthew 27:44.  In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.)

 

 

III. THE SIMPLE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT JESUS DID

 

John 19:28-30

 

A. He took your penalty

Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty."  

 

(The humanity of Jesus.  He was not spared any of the pain as He died for us.)

 

B. He paid it in full

A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips.  When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

When a Roman citizen was convicted of a crime, the law of that day slammed him in prison. They prepared a "Certificate of Debt" that listed all the crimes he was convicted of on it, and nailed it to his cell door for all to see. It remained nailed there so all would be assured that he served his full sentence, and "paid in full" the penalty for his crimes. 

Once the prisoner completed his prison term, a certain word would be stamped across the Certificate of Debt.  Then the criminal was given the certificate.

He would be able to produce it to show that his crimes were "paid in full." He could never become a victim of "double jeopardy." Or paying for the same crime twice.

It would literally mean "Paid in Full" for all your crimes. 

When Jesus shouted it is finished from the cross, it was a very familiar phrase.

He was saying…I paid your sins IN FULL

C. He rose again

Mark 16:1-7

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body.  Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"  But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.  As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.  "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.  But go, tell his disciples and Peter, `He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'"

The simple truth about what Jesus did:  He did what He said He would do. 

He died on the cross for you and He rose again, defeating death, defeating the penalty of your sins so you can live forever with Him in a place called Heaven.

 

 

Closing

A young man came forward in a church service to speak with the pastor.  Earnestly he asked, “What can I do to be saved?” Much to the surprise of the anxious young man, the pastor responded by saying, “You’re too late!”

“Oh, don’t say that,” he exclaimed in distress, “I really want salvation; I’ll do anything or go anywhere to obtain it.”

“I’m sorry,” replied the Pastor, “you’re too late for that. Your salvation was completed over 2000 years ago.  There’s nothing more to ‘do’ – the work was finished that day on that cross! All you have to do is simply believe Jesus is who He says He was and did what he said He did.”

 

John 3:13-18.   

 

No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man.  Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.  "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,  that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

 

 

 

Some of you need to put your faith in Him for the first time.  Come as you are.  Let us help you do that.

 

Romans 10:9.  That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

 

Some of you need to get the devil off your back.  When He tries to remind you of the sin in your past, you remind Him that your debt has been paid in full.  Take some time this morning to thank God for paying the price.

 

Romans 8:1-3.  Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,  God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.

 

Some of you need to confess sin in your life that is keeping you from walking with the Lord.  He already died for that sin

 

1 John 1:9-10.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

 

You are not here this morning by accident.  People have been praying for you.  The have been praying that you would believe this simple message.

 

Don’t worry about family being with you or what they are thinking.  If anything, they want you to believe in Him!