Easter Series 2018 Sermon Notes

Easter Sunday – 4/1/18 – “The Road to the Cross” – Part 5 “The Journey Complete”

Intro: “Lasting Effects”

(Personal Story of a cruise, a completed journey, and the lasting effects)

I. Three Lasting Effects of the Cross Then

A. There was joy (Matt. 28:1-8)

  • The stone was thrown to the side
  • Despair was changed to “great joy” (v.8) – Which brought…
  • Confidence in place of doubt (John 20:24-25)
  • Boldness in place of fear (Peter preaching in Acts 2)

B. There was clarity (Luke 24:13-32)

  • Truth in place of tradition (v.27)
  • Fire in place of ashes (v.32)

C. There was Purpose (Matt. 28:18-20)

  • A new vision (no longer an entitled Jewish mindset)
  • A new empowerment (by Holy Spirit)

For the believers then, there were many lasting effects of the cross and Jesus’ resurrection. For us today, there are also lasting effects of coming to Christ and embracing His death and resurrection:

II. Three Lasting Effects of the Cross Now

A. There is joy (John 17:13)

  • Joy brings confidence
  • Joy also brings boldness

B. There is clarity (John 16:13)

  • Truth that connects-the-dots in our mind (like Jesus describing the scripture)
  • Fire that burns in our hearts from knowing the truth (Him and His word)

C. There is purpose (2 Corinthians 5:17)

  • Freedom from condemnation
  • A vision for life
  • Empowerment to thrive

III. Conclusion

What are the lasting effects of the cross for you?


3/25/18 – “The Road to the Cross” – Part 4 – “Four Truths about the Cross”

Intro: “The context of the cross”

In Matthew 10:38 Jesus said, “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of me.”

  • It was for non-Roman citizens
  • It meant criminal
  • It meant you were powerless
  • It represented Rome’s supremacy
  • It meant martyrdom
  • It was Jesus’ plan to turn the world upside down

I. Four Truths about Going to the Cross

A. It was necessary

  • To understand the cross, we must go back to the Garden (God could have chosen to create us without the option to choose)
  • The potential price of giving us free will by planting the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was the cross
  • Insufficiency of the Law and sacrifice (Hebrews 10:4 & 10)

B. It was Voluntary

  • No one took His life (John 10:17-18)
  • It was for joy that He bore it (Heb. 12:2)
  • Love was the motive (John 3:16

C. It was Solitary

  • They all forsook Him (Mark 14:50) – just a few moments before they were ready to fight with Him to the death
  • Trial and scourging were alone

D. It was Revolutionary

  • Matthew 20:20-28 (counter-cultural)
  • The cross changed the world
  • The cross changed lives

Which is why there are four truths about coming to the cross in faith:

II. Four Truths about Coming to the Cross

A. It is necessary (I Corinthians 1:18)

  • The cross is a bridge
  • The cross is the power and victory over sin

B. It is Voluntary (Matthew 10:12-14)

  • The cross is not forced on us
  • Salvation is a gift

C. It is Solitary (2 Corinthians 5:10)

  • Following Christ is personal
  • Following Christ is individual

D. It was Revolutionary (2 Corinthians 5:17)

  • In Christ, we are a new creation
  • Our values and lifestyle are not of this world (Matthew 20:26-28)

III. Conclusion

What does the cross mean to you?


3/18/18 – “The Road to the Cross” – Part 3 “Encounters on the Journey”

Intro: “Divine Appointments”

Jesus’ ministry was a series of “divine appointments”

  • People
  • Places
  • Events
  • The Cross

Today, we’re looking at 4 encounters:

I. Nicodemus

Read John 3:1-3

A. He needed clarification

  • He understood the Law
  • He recognized Jesus was for real
  • He came with questions

Read John 3:14-21

B. He received a challenge

  • He was challenged to come out of the dark
  • And ultimately he did (John 19:39) – night visit versus daytime

II. The Samaritan Woman

Read John 4:5-10

A. She needed water

  • The middle of the day (alone)
  • Jesus timed it to be there

B. She received a new well (John 4:39-42) – there was a new abundance of life welling up in her soul

III. The Leper

Read Mark 1:40-45

A. He needed healed

  • Broken body
  • Broken life (wasn’t always a leper)

B. He received compassion

  • Compassion is part of God’s character (Lamentations 3:22)
  • Jesus showed compassion (John 11:35)
  • God’s ways regarding healing may sometimes be a mystery to us, but His compassion is not

IV. The Centurion

Read Matt. 8:5-13

A. He needed an order

  • Commander of 100
  • Speak the word
  • I’m not worthy
  • For someone else

B. He received a commendation

  • No greater faith
  • Intercession is part of the work

V. Conclusion

Perhaps being in the service today is a “divine appointment” for you. What’s your need?

  • Question 1 – Clarification?
  • Question 2 – Physical?
  • Question 3 – Soul level?
  • Question 4 – A request for someone else?


3/11/18  – “The Road to the Cross” – Part 2 “Starting the Journey”


(Personal story of a bad bus trip) – The overall result of a trip can be impacted by the way it starts. It’s the same with Jesus’ journey to the cross. He was intentional about the “checklist” of items because they were according the Father’s plan and will.

To begin with:

I. He Established His Credibility

A. He was validated at baptism (Mark 1:9-11) – Father and Holy Spirit both present affirming His ministry

B. He was validated in the wilderness (Mark 1:12-13)

  • Physically – (real, literal 40-day hunger)
  • Emotionally – (alone and not with people as usual)
  • Spiritually – (pressure to give in, compromise just a little in the privacy of the desert

C. He was validated by miracles (Mark 1:21-34)

  • Healing spiritually
  • Healing emotionally
  • Healing physically

II. He Established His Purpose for the Journey

A. To be the sacrifice – (John 1:29)

B. To preach repentance – (Matt. 4:17) – the same message as John the Baptizer

C. To teach about life

  • The truth in proper context (Matt. 5:3)
  • The truth about abundant life (John 10:10)

III. He Established His Team for the Journey

Read Luke 6:12-16

A. Prayer first (Luke 6:12) – He modeled the necessity to preface decisions with prayer

We don’t know the details of the prayer, perhaps it could have involved

  • Prayer for the twelve being chosen
  • Prayer for others close but not chosen as one of the twelve
  • Prayer against the enemy’s undermining
  • Prayer for strength

B. His choice of people (Luke 6:13-16)

  • Disciple versus Apostle
  • Disciples are important and valued, even if they aren’t “known” by many. Some of the twelve we know very little about
  • It was His mixture of people; some tradesmen, some zealous for the Hebrew cause, some working for Rome, some quiet, some loud, etc.

C. His itinerary became theirs – (back to the bus story)

  • When you’re on the bus, you go where it takes you
  • When it stops, you stop
  • When it passes a stop, you pass the stop
  • The other passengers aren’t by your choice
  • The time of arrival is according to someone else’s schedule

IV. Conclusion

  • Question 1 – Are you on “the bus”?
  • Question 2 – If so, how’s the ride going?
  • Question 3 – If not, would you like to be?
  • Let’s enjoy the journey!


3/4/18 “The Road to the Cross” – Part 1 – “Before the Journey”


When taking trips, some like a tight schedule with a well-developed itinerary, while others prefer less planning and more surprises. You can probably think of examples of both. Today, as we start looking toward Easter Sunday and “The Road to the Cross”, I want to consider “Before the Journey”.

I. Before the Journey, the Agenda was Set

Read Luke 2:46-50

A. It was all part of a larger agenda – Jesus’ coming to earth was central of course, but a perfectly timed, perfectly executed part of the master plan.

B. We often don’t understand God’s agenda (v.48-50)

  • We can draw encouragement from Joseph and Mary’s confusion-they lived as close as possible to Jesus, but still didn’t understand.
  • He didn’t give them a “heads-up” that he would be hanging around for a few days after they left (often the case with us too).

C. He is gracious to us in the process – Luke 2:51

  • He willfully submitted to them (imperfect as they were, He showed them patience in the meantime)
  • For the next 18 years, He willfully chose to live under their authority

II. Before the Journey, the Law was the Standard

A. His life was “according to the Law” at birth – Luke 2:21-24

B. His life was “according to the Law” in day-to-day life – Luke 2:41

  • The pattern He followed His whole life (even though He didn’t need forgiveness for sin, etc.)
  • He specifically stated that the Law wasn’t to be abolished, but fulfilled (by the only One who could keep it)
  • It meant He was the first sinless, perfect one

C. His life was “according to the Law” in Death – Hebrews 7:25-27

  • Key to the gospel
  • Key to the “Why did He have to die?” question

III. Before the Journey, the Requirements Were Rugged

Read Luke 4:16-21

A. He knew what He would have to endure – Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Which means,

B. He viewed the journey as a “means to an end”

  • Hebrews 12:2 “Jesus…for the joy set before Him endured the cross”
  • Jesus worked with wood every day-did He ever look a timber and think about the day coming? I think so.
  • The human side of Him could have even had a bit of dread, however,

C. He did it out of love…period

  • We did nothing to earn His affection
  • No person had kept the Law so perfect that He had to come as a contractual requirement
  • John 3:16
  • Love was the motive
  • Love was the reason

IV. Conclusion

A. May we accept that He freely offers salvation-it isn’t earned initially when we trust Him, or in danger of being retracted when we make mistakes

B. May we give thanks and live with joy!



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