Sunday, March 28, 2004

I Thirst - So Did Jesus

Intro: Have you ever looked at a coin? 1. It doesn't take too much to notice that each coin has two sides: heads and tails 2. If you have ever watched a football game, you know that every game begins with coin toss to determine which team will play at which end of the field and which team will kick the ball. 3. I expect most of us at sometime have made some decisions based on a coin toss – maybe something as silly as to which restaurant you will eat at, but there are those who have made life changing decision based on a coin toss. 4. In the Spring of 2000 two large petroleum companies had agreed to a merger. The CEOs of Chevron Petroleum and Phillips Petroleum could not decide to name the new company Phillips-Chevron Petroleum or Chevron-Phillips Petroleum. As the result of a coin toss you can now find out information about Chevron-Phillips Petroleum or, as it is now called, Chevron-Petroleum Chemical. 5. But there are other companies whose names depend on the result of a coin toss – Barnes and Noble, Ralston-Purina, Wynn-Dixie, or Time-Warner. 6. Two sides to every coin. 7. As Christians we worship Jesus – who brings together two seemingly contradictory identities. Read John 19:28-37 Pray Tran. In Jesus we see both God and Man. We cannot make him less God because he is man, we cannot make him less man because he is God. T.S. On the cross, we see both Jesus the God and Jesus the Man. I. On the cross we see Jesus as the most holy, his most Godly A. As we read about Christ on the cross, we are seeing the culmination of all that God had planned from the very beginning of creation. B. Christ's death was not a mistake, Christ's death was not an after thought C. Rather, it was the fulfillment of God's plans which were in place since the beginning of creation. (Ill.) Do you remember back in the 1950's and 60's – one of the great gifts of that era was a piece of art called “paint-by-number”. You would buy a kit that include a large board – on it was printed a very detailed coloring book image. Each section had a number which corresponded to one of the vials of colored paint. Someone had painstakingly taken the time to layout the drawing and then decide on the correct set of colors to package n the kit. I don't know if anyone was perfect in following those instructions, but I know I wasn't. There was no way, at least for me, for one person to design the picture and another to carry it out. This was quite the opposite from what we see in scripture. In scripture, the same person who out the great plan salvation was also the person who carried it out. (Appl.) This week, take time to reread the last few chapters of the four gospels. Note how many times it alludes intentionally to the OT picture of the coming Christ. The gospel writers understood it, so should we. D. The picture of Christ on the cross is not a pretty one – yet there is God, doing exactly what he planned to do. 1.His clothing not being cut 2.His bones not being broken 3.The piercing of his side by a spear E. No where do we see Christ more holy than we when we see him hanging on the cross in obedience to his mission F. No where do we see Christ more holy than when he gave himself for you and for me G. On that cross we see hanging the one who was present at creation II. On the cross we see Christ at his most human. A. The man who turned water into wine, the man who multiplied the bread and fishes, the very one who offers the Samaritan woman living water – says from that cross “I thirst”. B. Who ever would have thought of Christ as being needy – yet on the cross, Christ is seen, like us, as a needy human (Ill.) Those of you who are attending the Wednesday night Bible Study will remember that Max Lucado refers repeatedly to Jesus as the God-Man. I do not think that is any more true than on the cross (Ill.) There is something incomprehensible when we think of God becoming man. I mean God is God, why should he become human. Why should he lower himself to our level. When I really stop to think about it, I don't understand. Yet that is exactly what scripture tells us that Christ did. C. As a child, He undoubtedly cried As a carpenter, He experienced the pain of hitting his thumb with a hammer Scripture tell us He experienced the ridicule of his neighbors He was overwhelmed with too much to do He was misunderstood He needed time for himself He needed time with his friends (Appl.) I know that each of us carries our load of pain and difficulties. It is part of the human condition – and as a human, Jesus did too. And yet, he, even with his pain, was able to remind us that, “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.” D. When God became man, he was demonstrating his love for his creation. (Ill.) Would our understanding of Mother Theresa be the same if she had not decided to live among the poorest of the poor in Calcutta. It was because she became one of them – she lived, worked, and ministered. She wrote: QUOTE "At the end of our lives, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made or how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry and you gave me to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in.’ Hungry not only for bread-but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing-but naked of human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of a room of bricks-but homeless because of rejection. This is Christ in distressing disguise." END QUOTE This is God become man. This is Jesus Conclusion: 1.As I said earlier, we each carry our pain 2.But in the middle of that pain, know this, that Christ loves you 3.Know that 2000 years ago, God became man, not for a group of unknowns, but for you 4.This Easter we worship Jesus who on the cross was fully God and who was fully man. This Easter we worship Jesus.