The Crux Of It All

Series: Turbulence

Link to sermon video: The Crux Of It All - T Siverd


Sermon By Terry Siverd / November 15, 2020 / Cortland  Church of Christ

Early this year, on one Sunday during our summer lock-down (due to COVID-19), our family gathered 'round our dining room table to observe The Table Of The Lord.  In eating the bread and drinking the wine we attempted to rehearse the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.  With six of us assembled, we worked our way through the alphabet (going from A to Z) as we refreshed our minds concerning the crucifixion of Christ.  cf. “The Crucifixion From A To Z” by Byron Nichols, The Voice Of Truth International.

During this renewed lock-down, I want to invite our Cortland Church Family to engage in this exercise.  The Table represents the centerpiece of our salvation.  We have titled this morning's message, The Crux Of It All.  Crux is the latin word for cross.  The Table is all about the CROSS.  It would do us well to contemplate how we might better honor its CENTRALITY.  

Without digressing too much before we proceed with this morning's sermonic exercise, let's think Biblically.  Ekklesia is a Greek word that means “the called out”.  It is often rendered by our English word, Church.  As all of us ought to know, the church is not the building per se, it is the people of God.  The word ekklesia does not refer to a brick or wooden structure, it points to the flesh and blood congregation.  Down south, it is not uncommon to hear the brethren refer to the “church house”.  I have heard that the Scots refer to the building as the kirk, although I'm still doing some digging on this subject.  In both the Old Norse and the Middle English the words kirk and church connote the idea of a circle.    The etymology seems to allude to ancient circles of stones that often signified a place of worship.  There is a practical basis for the concept of the church being a circle of believers - - a band of brothers.  Even our modest architecture points to this:  the table is the center of our sanctuary.  In our particular case, a wooden cross (literally and symbolically) overshadows the whole.  The cross of Christ serves as the apex or vertex of our being.  It is the culmination or summit of God's plan of redemption.  The cross tells the story of both from whence we have come and of where we are going.  

The Scriptures declare that we are a cross-shaped people in ever way.

As Paul proclaimed (Gal.6:14) - - May it never be that I should boast, except in the cross  of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  It is the word of the cross (1Cor.1:18 ) that saves us and empowers us.  As Paul also declared (1Cor.2:2) - - I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

There are so many elements in the passion of the Christ.  As we re-read the gospel accounts of the death of our Lord, we witness many images.  Some, while real and present, play a part in the whole although perhaps not quite so central.  Others are more important and even crucial to telling the full story.  I say this to allow us flexibility as we progress with our A to Z assignment.  Some of these letters will remind us of incidentals, while others will hopefully call attention to things more central.  This is an undertaking that will test our ability to retain and remember - - a timely exercise during another round of stay-at-home shut downs.  It is also a procedure that will help us sort through the mass (of images) as we garner the golden nuggets.  It is an endeavor that can appeal to all ages - - little ones can participate right alongside of well-seasoned disciples.  This morning's sermon is interactive.  Before listening to the balance of this message, stop and do some homework.  On a blank sheet of paper, make a skinny column on the far left listing the alphabet from A to Z.  In a wider column on the right, fill in the “scenery” with crucifixion-related words.  If you need to review the subject in advance, re-read the last few chapters is each of the four gospels.  However, your fill-in-the-blank “answers” can come from anywhere in the Bible that addresses the passion of Christ.  While we don't have a set of “right” answers, our goal is to think a bit more deeply about the cross.  After you have done your homework, return and finish listening to this message.

Agony - - while being in agony He was praying very fervently, and His sweat became like blood / Lk.22:24  

Access ... Atonement … Accursed … Arrest … Aroma … Angels

Blood - -  having been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath to come / Rom.5:9

Betrayal … Beating … Barabbas … Bread … Blasphemy

Curse - - Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us / Gal.3:13

Cross … Calvary … Centurion … Crown … Caiaphas … Crying

Darkness - - From the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour / Mt.27:45

Desertion … Donkey … Disciples

Emptied - - (He) emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant / Philp.2:7

Expiation … Enmity … Example

Forsakenness - - My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? / Mt.27:46

Foreordination … Father … Forgiveness … Foot-washing …

Grace - - for by grace you have been saved through faith / Eph.2:8

Guilt … Gentleness … Gethsemane … Golgotha … Grace

Humiliation - - He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death / Philp.2:8

Herod … Hypocrisy … Haughtiness … Hymn

Intercession - - He always lives to make intercession for them / Heb.7:25

Incarnation … Immanuel … Innocence

Joy - - who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross / Heb.12:2

Justification … Jesus … Just … Joseph of Arimathea

King - - this is Jesus the King of the Jews / Mt.27:37

Kiss …

Love - - We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us / 1Jn.3:16

Lies …. Lost … Lots … Lord

Mission - - I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me / Jn.5:30

Messiah … Mocking … Mob … Mary

Name - - God highly exalted Him and bestowed upon Him the name which is above every name / Philp.2:9

Nails … Ninth Hour …

Obedience - - Although He was a Son, He learned obedience by the things which He suffered / Heb.4:8

Offering … Opposition

Propitiation - - He Himself is the propitiation for our sins / 1Jn.2:2

Pain … Promise … Prayers … Pardon … Purple Robe … Pilate … Plotting

Quaking - - the earth shook and the rocks were split / Mt.27:51

Redemption - - In Him we have redemption, through His blood / Eph.1:7

Ransom … Reconciliation … Righteousness … Resurrection … Roosters

Sin - - He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf / 2Cor.5:21

Sacrifice … Suffering … Spitting … Scourging … Spear … Sanhedrin … Separation … Sinlessness … Seal

Throne - - Thy Throne, O God, is forever / Heb.1:8

Thorns … Thirst … Tomb … Thirty (pieces of silver) … Thieves

Unblameable - - (He) committed no sin, nor was any deceit in His mouth / 1Pet.2:22

Unjust … Unblemished

Veil - - behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom / Mt.27:51

Victory … Vicarious … Vengeance … Vial … Vinegar

Water - - one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water / Jn.19:34

Wine … Weeping

X - - a symbol for Christ


Yielding - - yet not My will, but Thine be done / Lk.22:42

Yahweh … Yes … Yelling

Zeal - - Zeal for Thy house will consume Me / Jn.2:17


I hope you have enjoyed this virtual interactive Bible study this morning.  Let's use the remainder of this week to dwell on the glory of the cross - - the rich ramifications and the boundless blessings of the cross of our Lord Jesus.  

Dear Heavenly Father,  We praise Your holy name.  We stand in awe of mercy and grace.  We are so thankful for Your abundant love.  Knowing that it was our sin that demanded the cross, help us to put away sinful thoughts & deeds in our daily lives.  May this message remind us that the cross was necessary because of our sinful condition.  May it also empower us to rise to walk in newness of life.  Grant us humility and a spirit of obedience as we strive to walk in the way of the cross.  Through Christ, Who was put to death in the flesh but made alive in the Spirit, we pray.  Amen

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