Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Four Ironies of the Cross

For those who couldn't make it for the KVBC last night, the audio sermon can be downloaded here.

Four Ironies of the Cross (sermon transcript courtesy of PreachingTodaySermons)
Text: Matthew 27:27-50
Topic: How the Crucifixion was riddled with irony
Big Idea: In his weakness on the cross, Jesus Christ revealed his greatness.

Irony has the capacity to clarify an incident and express what is important about it.

There are four ironies of the crucifixion of Christ.

The first irony of the Crucifixion is the one who is mocked as king is King.

Jesus is given a mock crown of thorns and mocked as king, but Matthew and his readers know that Jesus really is the King. Jesus stood in the royal line of the Davidic king (Matt 1) and told parables about kings in reference to himself.

The second irony of the Crucifixion is the one who is utterly powerless is transcendently powerful.
Crucifixion was the worst means of execution, reserved for slaves and rebels.
Bystanders insulted Jesus as he hung there: “Come down from the cross if you are the son of God!”

- Matthew 27:39
While Jesus was unimaginably weak, he was powerfully bringing about the destruction and resurrection of the temple.
In an attempt to explain what he means and does, Jesus told his disciples they must take up their crosses and follow him.
- Matthew 16:24

The third irony of the Crucifixion is the one who can’t save himself saves others.
Illustration: Carson’s son had a t-shirt that depicted Jesus making a save as a soccer goalie above the message “Jesus saves.” Carson felt this was in bad taste, but it raised an interesting question: What does to save mean in our culture?
Everything Jesus does is for the purpose of saving people from sin.
The reason Jesus could not save himself is that he came to do his Father’s will.

The fourth irony of the Crucifixion is the one who cries out in despair trusts God.

Jesus’s cry reflected his deepest awareness of his abandonment and his judicial bearing of our sin.

Jesus suffered like he did so we wouldn’t have to.
- Illustration: At the end of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem “Cowper’s Grave” about the depressive William Cowper, she quotes Christ as saying, “My God, I am forsaken!” Hereby she illustrates that Jesus despaired so Cowper wouldn’t have to.

"Deserted! God could separate from His own essence rather;
And Adam's sins have swept between the righteous Son and Father:
Yea, once, Immanuel's orphaned cry His universe hath shaken—
It went up single, echoless, “My God, I am forsaken!”

It went up from the Holy's lips amid His lost creation,
That, of the lost, no son should use those words of desolation!
That earth's worst phrenzies, marring hope, should mar not hope's fruition,
And I, on Cowper's grave, should see his rapture in a vision."


Sunny said...

Thanks for this. Indeed very helpful.

Hedonese said...

welcome Sunny... If its of interest, I also wrote an evaluation of this sermon as part of my homiletic assignment.