Living Under The Cross


Author: Hannelie Parsloe Date: Monday, November 3, 2014 Campus:

The questions and transcript from Sundays talk are now below. If you want to listen to the podcast you can click here. Otherwise, let us know any comments, questions or resources that you think might be helpful on this subject.

1. What do you feel God was saying to you through this talk?

2. What surprised you about this subject?

3. What practical action do you feel you need to make as a result of what God has been saying to you?

LIVING UNDER THE CROSS

If you have a bible please turn to Luke 23 verse 26 – 43

Let us pray.

We are busy with the series of the Cross and today we will look at what it means to live under the cross. The first thing that struck me when I wrote this question was the word living. Not dead under the cross, half living, feeling guilty, but living under the cross.

I then took the word living and asked google what it means. It said living means not to be dead. I like that, not to be dead!

Jesus is alive, he is living. He is not dead. He died on the cross for our sins, but he rose from the dead and he is alive. He is alive and so should we be, when we are living under the cross. Alive! not dead!

Then I thought, if I am not dead. How do I actively live under the cross? I began to read the crucifixion and I read the prayer Jesus said on the cross. Read Luke 23 verse 32 – 34 (read). Jesus shows us what it means to be living under the cross. How does he show us? Through prayer. Verse 34Jesus prays ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”

1. Jesus’ nature is demonstrated in his prayer life
The nature of Jesus was to pray. There are so many exampled in the bible of when Jesus prayed. He lived in prayer. He stayed close to God through prayer. Even in the toughest time, while dying on a cross for our sins, he still prayed. Death on a cross was the most brutal act of dying. It was extremely painful and humiliating. Still Jesus prays.

It is not always easy, our lives are not always easy, but Jesus shows us the example. He prayed. Even in the toughest of times, he still prayed to his Father.

2. His relationship with his Father
Jesus prayed, ‘Father, forgive them…’ He called God, father. He remain faithful that he is God’s son. He continued to be in a relationship with God. He is his son and God is his Father. He is still connected to the Father. Jesus didn’t waver. He remained steadfast that He is the son of God. Jesus taught us in the bible how to pray and it is called the Lord’s Prayer. It starts with Our Father, who are in heaven. Jesus does not only demonstrate this relationship he has with the Father on the cross, but he teaches us to have this relationship with God. We are God’s adopted sons and daughter. God is our father. We can have this relationship with God the Father and we should not waiver that we are sons and daughters of the living God.

 

We can be secure that we are connected to God the Father. We are his sons and daughters. (REFERENCE TO OTHER PLACE IN BIBLE). We should never doubt the love of our Father for us and the inheritance we have as his adopted sons and daughters.

3. Jesus’ prayer was not for himself, but for us
Jesus prays, ‘Father, forgive them….’ He is not thinking about himself here.

I think we would not really thought badly of somebody that was in Jesus’ shoes if they were thinking of themselves. Look at the situation Jesus was in. He was dying. He was on a cross. The most brutal death that there were and he did it for us. If he thought about himself, I think we would have understood that. But he didn’t. He is unselfish, he is thinking about others. He loses sight of his own situation (even if it was a very difficult situation he was in).

What does this tell us about Jesus’ character? It is an unselfish self sacrificial love. That even in the darkest, most difficult situation that Jesus has to face, he thinks of us. ‘Forgive them for their do not know what they are doing’ He was praying for the people who were murdering him. His prayer was not alone for others, it was for his cruelest enemies. He was praying for the soldiers that were so cruel to him. He was praying for Pilate and Herod and Barabas that was set free. This prayer was a far reaching prayer. And yes, Jesus even prayed for us. It was a self-sacrificial love.

Let us pray that this unselfish character be in us. That when we are in our darkest moments, we will still be praying for people that are our enemies. Not just the dearest and nearest to us, not just family or friends, but the people that we usually will not pray for. The lost, the broken, the murders in prison, the homeless, the prostitutes.

Not in history have I ever come across another person that have done this, prayed for his enemies, in their darkest most difficult days. Only Jesus. The example of Jesus’ character.

Jesus not only prayed and intercedes for his enemies while he was on the cross. He is still interceding for them and us today. That is what he is doing right now, his occupation is still the same. On Calvary he prayed and currently at the throne he is still praying. The people did not deserve it and they did not even ask for his prayer, but Jesus’ character is gracious and loving.

The people that Jesus prayed for at Calvary probably did not even worry about him praying for them. They scoffed at his prayer. Jesus pray for guilty men at the moment. They do not deserve it, but he still pleads for them. While they laugh at the gospel, he still prayers for them.

Jesus pray for the unjust, the unloved, the undeserving. This is a characteristic of Jesus. Are we praying for our enemies? Are we interceding for others? Do they matter to us, the unloved, the underserving, the unjust?

Jesus also intercedes for you. We can give our stuff to Jesus. He will take this to the Father and pray for us. He knows us, he knows us better than we know ourself. He will put the wording right if you do not know how to pray.

Nothing, blasphemy, infidelity, murder, prostitution, divorce, anger issues, domestic violence, swearing, gossip, lies, affairs, anything will stop Jesus pleading for you in heaven. We have all grieved the spirit, but Jesus does not stop interceding for you. What a comfort to us this must be. Jesus says ‘…forgive them…’ and he is current doing this for you. He is asking the Father for forgiveness. Jesus does not say ‘Father enlighten them..’ no, because this will just make us feel guilty. Jesus says’ forgive them..’ and then God forgave. There were 2 men on either side of Jesus. In Verse 42 it says ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ What does Jesus says, o wait you are too late, you can’t come in, you should have lived a better life, you should have told people about the gospel. No! He says ‘Truly, I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise’ He forgives him and Jesus will forgive you.

Go to Jesus, pour out your heart. He loves you, he will forgive you. The forgiveness is there, you must just take it.

Jesus never pleads in vain. His prayers are answered. Jesus dying on the cross is an answer to his own prayer, ‘…forgive them’. Through Jesus dying on the cross, we are forgiven. Come ask him to intercede for you, forgive you, come to him, let him forgive you, let him pray for you in front of God in heaven. God will accept your prayers, he will answer your prayers.

But remember that you need to pray for your enemies as well.

Jesus’ prayer, ‘forgive them’ (include everybody). Jesus cares and loves everybody. For he so loved the world that he gave his only son (John).

4. Jesus’ prayer is an instruction to the church
The prayer that Jesus prayed was an unselfish prayer. This is an example to us as a church. The church’s life of prayer and our actions should be unselfish. The church is not to gather to ourselves. It should not live for the pastors, our friends within the church, the sundays, the ministries, no!

It should be for the lost, the whole world, the injustice, the poor, the unsaved, the disabled. The place of worship is not where you should sit comfortable and past you Sunday. No, churches should fight against evil, fight injustice, feed the poor, take action. The glory of the church is to lay down your own selfish needs and to put other people first. Teach sinners to pray, how to pray and know prayer can convert people. It can show them to Jesus and teach them that Jesus loves them and their sins can be forgiven.

Let this be the passion of our hearts, to make sure people are not lost. This must be the passion for us, to reach unsaved people. This must be the passion of the church!

5. Jesus prayed for the unsaved
Jesus prayed for the unconverted, the lost ‘ for they know not what they do’. He prayed for the people that persecuted him. Our mission is not to the elite, the trained, the people that treat us kindly or affectionately. Our reach should be the most deprived, the lost, the poor, the drunken, the ones that are usually last in our thoughts. The gospel is also for those who persecute religion. We should be hopeful, look at the hope we have. Some of them did not even hear about God. Some people have never heard the gospel in Milton Keynes. But there is hope! Tell them to hope, seek lost our and tell them about Jesus.

Jesus’ focus on the cross was still on lost souls. ‘Forgive them for they do not know what they do’. He even saved the man hanging on his left, making time to forgive him and told him he will be in heaven with him. Even at the end, he still has time for the lost. This should be our focus. This should be our aim. The hope that Jesus gave us on the cross.

6. Conclusion
Martin Luther says, “A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing.”

Some of you here are not saved. You know you are sinners but you do not know the effect of your sin. You have not read your bible, your ignorance do not excuse you. But you have a choice today. The gospel is just this, trust Jesus who died for the guilty. You will be new creatures.

Some of you know what you do and you know you are sinners. You cannot serve the world and God. You cannot have both. Your spirit must choose. Decide today for God.

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