Jesus Is Greater….

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Fear is crippling:

It robs us of our:

  • Peace
  • Joy
  • Faith
  • Humanity

Famed World War II tank commander General George Patton said, “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” If you give in to your fears, you are on the path to defeat. If instead you stand strong in spite of your fears, you are on the path to victory. And we must never forget that we are not in the battle alone. With the power of God on our side, we cannot be defeated.

The Cross was designed to take away all dignity and to completely destroy a person mentally and emotionally as it did so physically. 

But Jesus was Greater than!!

I. Greater than the Cross.

A. Forgiving

Father, Forgive Them
(Luke 23:34) 

Even in His agony, Jesus’ concern was for the forgiveness of those who counted themselves among His enemies. 

1: He asked the Father to forgive the Roman soldiers who had mocked Him, spit on Him, beat Him, yanked out His beard, whipped Him, put a crown of thorns on His head, and nailed Him cruelly to the cross. 

  • Still they personally held no ill will towards Him. 
  • They were simply following orders. 
  • This was how they normally treated condemned men and they believed that He truly deserved it. 
  • They didn’t know that they were killing the Son of God 
(1 Corinthians 2:8).
None of the rulers of this age understood this,
for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 

2: Jesus asked forgiveness for the angry mob that had mocked Him, jeered Him, and called for His crucifixion 

(Mark 15:29-30).
And with him they crucified two robbers,
one on his right and one on his left. 
29 Andlthose who passed by derided him,
wagging their heads and saying,
“Aha! You who would destroy the temple and
rebuild it in three days, 30 save yourself,
and come down from the cross!” 31 So also
the chief priests with the scribes mocked him
to one another, saying, “He saved others;
he cannot save himself. 32 Let rthe Christ,
the King of Israel, come down now from
the cross that we may tsee and believe.
” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him. 
  • Again, they didn’t really know who they were trying to destroy. 
  • The Sadducees and the Pharisees had deceived them into believing that Jesus was a fake and a troublemaker (Acts 3:17).

3: Jesus was forgiving the Sadducees and the Pharisees who had demanded His death. 

  • They had rejected Him as their Messiah even though they knew just who and what He was. 
  • Jesus, in His infinite mercy, still loved them and would have forgiven them had they only humbled themselves and repented 

4: Jesus was Forgiving You and Me…..

Most importantly, on the cross, Jesus was providing forgiveness for all those who would ever believe in Him. 

  • The cross didn’t kill Jesus. 
  • The Romans didn’t kill Jesus. 
  • The Sadducees and Pharisees didn’t kill Jesus. 
  • Jesus willingly gave up His earthly life for my sins. 

He paid the penalty for the sins that we commit in our ignorance (and even the ones we’ve committed deliberately). In forgiving us, Jesus fulfilled yet another Old Testament prophecy 

Isaiah 53:12

Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death  and was numbered with the transgressors;  yet he bore the sin of many,  and makes intercession for the transgressors. 

He also made a reality of His own preaching. He had said, “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44); now He was proving it.

B. Selfless

This Day You Will Be with Me in Paradise
(Luke 23:43) – His assurance to the repentant.

There are two kinds of responses to our own personal suffering: 

1) We can rail against God and say, “If you are such a great and powerful and loving God, why am I in this hellish mess?”

2) Or we can acknowledge that we are sinners and don’t deserve any good thing, and cry out for mercy and help in our time of desperation.

The world is full of those who rail against God in their self-righteousness and presume that the creator of the universe is obliged to make their life smooth. But there are only a few who own up to the fact that God owes us nothing, and that any good to come our way will be due to his mercy, not our merit. 

Thief 1

But then the ways divide between these two thieves and between two categories of people. The first thief says, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 

  • What a picture of a spiritually destitute, worldly man. It is a matter of total indifference to him that he is suffering “the due reward of his deeds.” 
  • To him right and wrong, praise and blame, good and bad are of no interest: his one objective is to save his earthly skin. 
  • out of this sickness, 
  • out of this financial mess, 
  • out of this lousy job, 
  • out of this crummy marriage.” 

Thief 2

But notice the other thief: this one is the one Luke wants us to be like.

  • First, he is not sucked in by the other fellow’s railing. 
  • “But he rebuked him saying, ‘Do you not fear God?”‘ This is the second thing about this penitent thief: he feared God. God was real to him.
  • Third, the penitent thief admitted that he had done wrong: “We are receiving the due reward of our deeds” (v. 41). He had no desire to save face any more; he had no more will to assert himself.
  • Fourth, not only did he admit to wrong and guilt, he accepted his punishment as deserved. “We are under the sentence of condemnation justly.” This is the real test of humility before God. Many will mouth the confession of sin: “God be merciful to us miserable sinners,” but when some trouble comes, they get angry at him. And this anger reveals that they do not really feel undeserving before God. They still feel, deep down, that they have some rights before God. There are not many people like Job, who, when he lost everything, said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked shall I return; the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
  • Fifth, the thief acknowledged Jesus’ righteousness: “This man had done nothing wrong.” It didn’t make any difference to the first thief if Jesus was right or wrong.And then, 
  • sixth, the thief goes a step further and acknowledges that indeed, Jesus is a king. “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 
  • And finally, the penitent thief does one more thing. He fears God, admits wrong, accepts justice, acknowledges the goodness and power of Jesus. Now he pleads for help. “Jesus, remember when you come into your kingdom.”

Both thieves wanted to be saved from death. But O how differently they sought their salvation: 

1) “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

2) “Jesus, remember when you come into your kingdom!” There is an infinite qualitative difference between “Save me!” and “Save me!”

C. Humble

I Thirst 
(John 19:28) – His expression of his humanity.
  • It is near the end of Jesus’ human life. He senses it. 
  • He has hung on the cross for six hours now.
  • It has become hard for Jesus to even get a breath. 
  • Hung from his arms, he must pull himself up each time he wants to breathe. 
  • His shoulders ache, his mouth is parched. 
  • He is exhausted.

Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.” (John 19:28-29) 

D. On Mission

It Is Finished 
(John 19:30) – His declaration of a completed mission.

Luke 9:62

Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” 

Are you finishing Strong?

I don’t mean in your own strength, or stubbornness but in Christ.

2 Corinthians 12:10

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

II. Greater than the Grave

It is Sunday, April 5, AD 33. This day will change the entire course of world history, more than any other day before or after, though only a handful of people will know this by day’s end. 

In an ancient, arid, Near Eastern city, one singular event will occur this day, unleashing a movement so compelling, so enduring, so influential, so unstoppable that two thousand years and billions of adherents later, it will still be growing, faster than ever, while the mighty empire that witnesses its birth will long lay in ancient ruins. This movement will shape nations, span oceans, birth universities, launch hospitals, transform tribal peoples in the world’s remotest places, and be spoken, read, and sung about in more languages than any other religious movement by far. 

That singular event? The body of Jesus of Nazareth will exit his tomb. 

The moment Jesus emerged from the Grave everything Changed!

Never since the first Sin had the pull of death been broken by the Power of life. 

The resurrection of Christ gives us hope. 

The late Emil Brunner once said, “What oxygen is for the lungs, such is hope for the meaning of human life.” 

As the human organism is dependent on a supply of oxygen, so humanity is dependent on its supply of hope. 

Yet today hopelessness and despair are everywhere. 

Peter, who himself was given to despair during the episode of Calvary, writes in a triumphant note, in 

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 


The Resurrection gives us hope that sins can be forgiven. 

Romans 6:3  Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.  5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
John 5:21 and 24  For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.


The Resurrection Brings Joy

Job said, “If a man die, shall he live again?”

No question can more seriously engage the attention of any man than that one. All throughout the history of men, that interrogation has forced its way up from the depths of every human soul. Every man poses to himself the question of immortality. 

From the earth’s earliest morning, the thoughts of the man, which link life purely from the cradle to the grave have been rejected, and man has longed to understand the future life that is in his soul by way of anticipation. 

  • Every arch every built in the name of religion has, as its cornerstone, immortality. 
  • The hymns, for example, of ancient Babylon and Assyria – their great religious epics – bear witness to their belief in a future life. 

It’s funny that perhaps the most comforting sermon ever preached began with the rather inauspicious greeting: , “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 

 Luke 24:26

26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

C: Meaning

The Resurrection Makes Our Lives Matter

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is our promise that the life we live is not in vain.

We have significance both temporally and eternally. 

Our lives have purpose beyond the eighty-or-so years we spend on earth because the living God has promised us that our investments in eternity will not return empty.

Before the resurrection the followers of Jesus were cowering in Fear

After the resurrection they were bold and courageous. 

What Changed?

Ephesians 2:10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
The bodily resurrection gives hope beyond this life. So, that helps us to understand that our future treasure through Christ is bigger than our bank accounts or life achievements (1 Cor 15:35–49).



No Foundation

No Faith

  • Our Worship Is Vain
  • Our Teaching Is Vain
  • Our Faith Is Vain
  • We Are False Witnesses

No Forgiveness

No Future

  • Our Loved Ones Who Have Gone Before Are Gone Forever
  • We Have Lived Our Lives In Vain –

Our hope is not in our own ability, or in our goodness, or in our physical strength. Our hope is instilled in us by the resurrection of Christ.

The Future To Come

I want to close with how Paul closes in 1 Corinthians 15 with an incredible vision of the future for of every Christian. If you believe and trust in Jesus, this will be your future.

1 Corinthians 15:54-57 

I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 (ESV)

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