Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Final Week- The Crucifixion


 This week at Wednesday Night Worship we finished the series "The Final Week" as we looked at the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus.  We began the night playing a game of "Draw Something" watching videos of this current popular game and the students had to guess the drawing.  The winning team got a bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs while the losing team got a pack of Peeps because I think they're awful and assumed that would be a terrible prize.  However the losing team ate them up pretty quickly.  It was just disgusting to me.  We then watched a video called "Follow" and went straight into a worship set that included "Son of God" (Lincoln Brewster), "By His Wounds" (Powell, Chapman, Littrell, Hall), and ended the night by singing "On My Cross" (FFH).

After a recap of the past weeks I began the message by talking about symbols.  I asked if anyone had ever walked into the wrong bathroom.  Usually this is unavoidable because there are universal symbols for male and female bathrooms.  They are noticeable by most everyone.  Most religions also have their own universal symbols and as Christians we recognize our symbol as the cross.  Early on there were many symbols that were discussed being used and while any could have been used, only one could truly work which is the cross.  We looked at a few facts concerning crucifixion without going into great detail.  Crucifixion was invented by Barbarians and the Romans discovered it as they conquered different areas of the world.  They perfected the cruel form of execution as they would beat the victim just short of death in order to extend their suffering as much as possible.  The Romans used it as a scare tactic to try to keep people from committing crimes.  In most cases a person hung on the cross 3-4 days and historical records show that one man hung on the cross for 9 days before dying.  Jesus was on the cross for about 6 hours.  Jesus had already experienced a great amount of stress and some blood loss even before his arrest.  He had spent a sleepless night as He traveled from place to place as He was on trial- probably about 2.5 miles of walking.  Jesus was also probably beaten worse than most since He was so hated by the people.

Over this series we have been looking at the question "Who is Jesus" and the previous week we discussed how Jesus is fully man in order to go through what we do and also to die on the cross.  This week we looked at the fact that Jesus is also fully God.  We read Mark 15:33-39 as Jesus breathed His last and died.  We focused primarily on verse 39 when the centurion stated "Truly this man was the Son of God!".  Luke 23:47 notes that the centurion praised God.  This centurion realized that Jesus more than just another man that was crucified.  His use of the term "Son of God" is very significant.  Jesus referred to Himself as the Son of God often, which is one reason He was hated so much and why they tried to say that He had blasphemed.  The term "Son of God' does not mean that He is the actual birth son of God the Father.  In this culture when they used the term "son of ___" it meant that the person possessed those qualities.  For example when the disciples James and John were referred to as the "sons of thunder" it meant that they had thunderous qualities and personality.  So when Jesus is referred to as the "Son of God" it is because He is God.  Jesus is equal with God the Father.  Just as Jesus had to be fully man in order to die on the cross and experience the trials that we do, He had to be fully God in order to be holy and qualify morally as the perfect substitutionary sacrifice for our sin

When we begin to believe that Jesus is fully God as well as fully man, we begin to live our lives differently.  We not only worship Him on Sunday like the crowd did, but we also worship Him on Friday because of who He is.  We do not boo Jesus with our lives because things are not the way we want them to be in our finite human minds.  

We closed the night by reflecting on the cross.  I asked everyone to spend some time in prayer asking themselves the question that we looked at the entire series "Who is Jesus?".  Only you can answer this question of who Jesus is to you.

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