On the Road to the Cross – The Two Bandits

9781501822643In the fifth message of the series On the Road to the Cross, consideration is given to the two bandits crucified on either side of the cross of Jesus.

The taunts of these men, which were similar to the taunts of the religious leaders, present us with the opportunity to consider the manner in which we might taunt Jesus.

Do we mock Jesus when we claim him as Christ, but attempt to control  the presence of Jesus in our life?

Take a moment to listen to this week’s message!

Note – This sermon series is influenced by Rob Burkhart’s recent publication, On the Road to the Cross: Experience Easter with Those who were There. The book is a great read during the Season of Lent. I fully recommend you add this book to your library!!

On the Road to the Cross – Simon of Cyrene

9781501822643The fourth message in the series On the Road to the Cross introduces us to Simon of Cyrene.

Simon of Cyrene was entering the city of Jerusalem just as Jesus and the other criminals to be crucified were led out of the city.

Simon had his own reason for entering the city on that day.

But, as he approached the city gate, a man carrying a cross fell before him. The soldier dragooned him to place the man’s cross on his back and follow the man to Golgatha.

Simon consented. He dropped whatever burden or possibility he was carrying into the city that day so that he could pick up the cross of Jesus. He turned and left in the opposite direction  as he followed Jesus to Golgotha.

Simon encountered Jesus…in need. Unlike any other person, Simon would be able to offer strength to Jesus when Jesus was at his weakest. He let go of his plans, gave away his possibilities, and forgot about his problems. By following Jesus with the cross on his back, Simon received a new direction that would carry him into a newness of life.

If you have a moment, have a listen to the full message!

Note – This sermon series is influenced by Rob Burkhart’s recent publication, On the Road to the Cross: Experience Easter with Those who were There. The book is a great read during the Season of Lent. I fully recommend you add this book to your library!!

On the Road to the Cross – The Servant Girl

9781501822643How might your “convenient abandonment” of Jesus withhold the gospel from those individuals most in need of discovering God’s love?

The third message in our series, On the Road to the Cross, continues our theme of reading the narrative of the passion of Jesus from the perspective of the minor characters encountered along the way.

Our message for this week reinforces our realization that while while their may be minor characters, no one plays an insignificant role within God’s story of salvation.

The third message of the series has us considering Matthew 26:69-75, which is often referred to as the denial of Peter. Our reading of this event, however, has us consider the greater consequence of peter’s denial. While Peter’s denial is certainly a refusal to honor Jesus, his failure to share the good news of Jesus Christ with his confronters, the first of which was a young servant-girl.

The role of this unidentified young girl is so easily missed upon our reading of Peter’s denial of Jesus. Consider the risk the young girl assumed by approaching Peter with a loaded question?! Somewhere along the way the young girl must have witnessed the teaching, preaching, or healing ministry of Jesus. She would have seen Peter with the mysterious and miraculous Messiah!

The scene was pretty tense. Peter was standing outside of Caiaphas’ house (in the courtyard) when the young servant-girl approached him. On just the other side of the wall, a judgement was being placed upon Jesus. Amid the chaos of the night,  as elders and scribes gathered to try the man from nazareth, as soldiers huddled around fires, a young servant girl (who’s task was to open a door), approached a man with a bold claim: “You were with him!”

Peter does not let her finish…though. Peter was with Jesus when? When did she see him? What was she so desperate to hear from Peter that would have caused her to assume the risk of apply a claim to a unknown man in the midst of a very tense and chaotic environment.

The point? Peter does not only deny Jesus! Peter denies the young servant-girl access to the most amazing and liberating message of God’s love! Peter withholds the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ from the one individual present in the courtyard most desperately in need of hearing of God’s love for her!

How do you deny Jesus? But also, to whom do you deny access to the amazement of the love of God when you withhold the good news of Jesus Christ?

If you want to hear more, have a listen to this week’s message!

Note – This sermon series is influenced by Rob Burkhart’s recent publication, On the Road to the Cross: Experience Easter with Those who were There. The book is a great read during the Season of Lent. I fully recommend you add this book to your library!!

On the Road to the Cross – The High Priest’s Servant

9781501822643The disciple of Jesus is called to bear the cross of Christ. Rather than bear his cross, the disciple of Jesus carries a hidden sword.

What about you?

Are you carrying a hidden sword when you should be bearing the cross?

Are you prepared for a fight?

Are you ready to retaliate?

Does your posture of defense lead you to react rather than respond with grace, truth, mercy, and love?

The second message in the seriesOn the Road to the Cross, considers the arrest of Jesus from the perspective of the high priest’s servant, who has his ear cut off by the sword of the disciples. (What’s the disciple doing with a sword, anyways?…). 

The reactive retaliation of the disciple encourages all us of to consider how we might be carrying a hidden sword when we are called to bear the cross of Christ.

If you have a moment, check out the message…and, also, hear the bizarre story of what happened the last time I went to Pizza Hut!!!

Note – This sermon series is influenced by Rob Burkhart’s recent publication, On the Road to the Cross: Experience Easter with Those who were ThereThe book is a great read during the Season of Lent. I fully recommend you add this book to your library!!

On the Road to the Cross – Anointing

9781501822643“That could have been two sermons,” my wife told me as I walked out of the sanctuary.

So…here is part one (or, maybe, parts one and two) of our Lenten series, On the Road to the Cross.

The series considers Jesus’ approach to the cross from the perspective of the minor characters along the way. The first message remembers the woman’s anointing of Jesus with an expensive ointment.

Did she realize the significance of her spontaneous act of devotion? Have you ever wondered about the relevance of her gift?

Check out part one of the series to learn more about the anointing of Jesus and his acceptance of the responsibility of the “anointed one.”

Note – This sermon series is influenced by Rob Burkhart’s recent publication, On the Road to the Cross: Experience Easter with Those who were ThereThe book is a great read during the Season of Lent. I fully recommend you add this book to your library!!

Transfigure: Living in the Light of Christ

 

transfigureSunday is Feast of the Transfiguration, or Transfiguration of the Lord Sunday. The Christian year reserves this Sunday for the observance of the transfiguration of Jesus before Peter, James, and John. The full account of the transfiguration can be found here. Continue reading