A Difficult Text

This Sunday, I’ll be using Matthew 27:11-54 as the text for the message.

This is a difficult text.

It’s Palm Sunday, for crying out loud. Shouldn’t we just be celebrating? Shouldn’t we just be shouting loud “hosannas”? Why do we have to talk about the cross? Can’t that wait until Friday?

The temptation that I am wrestling with is apparent. You see, in reality, I want to skip over the cross and get right to resurrection. I want my Sunday to be a loud celebration…not a somber dose of reality. I want my Jesus in a tuxedo t-shirt…you know…kind of formal, but He’s also here to party!

However, as much as I want to focus on the praises and celebrations of Palm Sunday…as much as I want to get straight to the Easter party…I know that we would be doing a huge disservice to the Scripture and the story of the Gospel if we failed to encounter the cross…the beauty…the horror.

When we remember the pain, the torture, the agony, the mocking, the rejection that Christ endured through the cross, it makes resurrection more powerful, at least to me.

Oswald Chambers wrote, “The cross was the place where God and sinful man merged with a tremendous collision and where the way to life was opened. But, all the cost and pain of the collision was absorbed by the heart of God.”

That’s a beautiful statement. And, I believe God is still absorbing the cost and the pain.

When we encounter the cross, are we filled with awe? Are we filled with hope? Are we encouraged to believe? Or are we tempted to skip over the cross and simply treat it as our “ticket in”?

Wherever you find yourself this Sunday or Good Friday, I hope and pray that you will take the time to encounter the horrific beauty of the cross.


2 thoughts on “A Difficult Text

  1. Jason,

    I love Chambers. Always right on.

    Preaching through the final 24 Hours That Changed the World, by Adam Hamilton. Great perspective on the cross.
    The Cross as Sacrificial Offering, we view the Crucifixion through the lens of the Old Testament’s sacrificial system. In his death, Jesus acted as our high priest representing all humanity. . . .
    He was God in the flesh, revealing God to us’ but he was also fully human, representing a new humanity that reflected what we were meant to be as human beings. In this capacity, he became our priest and intercessor with God. . . .
    I (Hamilton) would simply say that Jesus Christ is ever with the Father. In the Father’s presence, Christ’s self-giving sacrifice is never forgotten. His wounds are a perpetual reminder of the price he was willing to pay to restore humanity to right relationship with God. . . . the Father, by virtue of the Son’s love and self-giving, bestows grace and mercy upon all who claim the Son as their high priest and Savior. God the Father offers forgiveness and grace to us not because of our own merit, but because his dearly loved Son suffered and died on behalf of the human race.

    I (Ron) think it is a cool image that the Son sits beside the Father, as Hamilton puts it, with his wounds ever present to the Father!

  2. Jason,

    I’m certainly glad I was able to hear you give your live message on this text. You are such an energetic and wonderful minister. I truly enjoy your messages.


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