Sermon Summary: John 19:38-42 – The Impact Of The Cross
Joseph and Nicodemus are both radically changed by Jesus’ death on the cross: Joseph from a secret disciple to a bold follower; Nicodemus from an interested enquirer to an extravagant worshipper. John is showing us the decisive power of the cross to transform people.
1. The Decisive Power of The Cross In Evangelism
If we want people to become Christians, we should always lead them to the cross. At the cross we see God’s fullest revelation of himself and each person is confronted personally with the Gospel: Jesus died for your sin. He took your punishment in your place because he loves you. You will only receive this forgiveness for sin and eternal life if you believe these things and respond with faith.
- Application 1: Have you personally responded to this message?
- Application 2: However we share the Gospel with people, at some point we must take people to the cross in order that they can respond personally.
2. The Decisive Power of The Cross In Sanctification
If you want to grow as a Christian the one thing that makes all the difference is the cross of Christ. At the cross we find all the things that make us want to grow: The horror of sin renews our desire to be holy; God’s judgement and the suffering of Jesus make us flee wilful disobedience; God’s love and mercy freely given fill us with gratitude and love for him; The promise that one day I will love as Jesus loved me fills me with hope and perseverance.
- Application 3: If you lose sight of the cross, or you never really got it, you will have a nominal faith characterised a lack of growth: No gratitude, no repentance, no obedience and no worship, just a vague interest in churchy things or an undefined and temporary enthusiasm.
- Application 4: Think about the cross often, imagine that your faith is solar powered and the cross is the sun. You need to recharge daily by thinking about it, relating Scripture to Christ’s death, praying about it, worshipping because of it and relating your everyday experiences and relationship with God to it.