THE WAY OF THE CROSS
. Jno. chapters 13-21.
1. In the past, I have spoken on the cross; looking at the subject from many different angles.
2. Again, I want to study a lesson with you concerning the cross.
A. this lesson will be taken from the last eight chapters of the Book of John.
B. This refers to the last week of Christ's life upon the earth.
3. In the 13th chapter of John, Jesus begin to see the cross coming out of the shadows to loom strongly before Him.
A. In fact, in Jno. 13:1, we read, "Jesus knowing that His hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father..."
4. The intensity of this section of the Book of John, reminds us that "they way of the cross" was filled with vibrant points of interest that we ought to consider very seriously.
I. THE WAY OF HUMILITY. Jno. 13.
A. In this chapter, we find the great example of humility as it is taught by the Lord as He girds Himself with a towel and washes the apostles' feet.
B. He had previously said: "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." Mk. 10:45.
1. Even though He was a king, He desired no pomp and pageantry on His behalf.
C. So, if we follow the way of the cross, we must be humble. Lk. 14:11; 18:14.
II. THE WAY OF COMFORT. Jno. 14.
A. Jesus did not desire that His disciples be troubled in heart. vss. 1-3.
1. He promised to send them a Comforter, even the Holy Spirit. 14:16-18.
2. He promised to leave His peace with them. v. 27.
B. So it is with us today, if we do His will He will comfort us. 2 Thes. 2:17.
III. THE WAY OF PERSECUTION. Jno. 15.
A. Fruit was to be borne and love to be perfected.
B. Just as surely as Jesus Himself was mistreated and persecuted so would His followers have tribulation. 1. Note Jno. 15:18,19 also 16:1-3.
C. Faithful servants of the Lord will suffer persecution. 2 Tim. 3:12.
1. Trials are a natural result of Christianity.
2. But we must always remember, "Where there is no cross to be borne, there is no crown to be worn." "Look away from the cross to the glittering crown."
IV. THE WAY OF REVELATION. Jno. 16.
A. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would guide the apostles into all truth.
1. Look at what He said: "When he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all the truth." Jno. 16:13.
B. Previously, in the 14th chapter, He had pointed to this guidance and revelation. Jno. 14:26.
C. Yes, holy men of God would be led by the Holy Spirit to reveal God's truth. 2 Pet. 1:;21.
V. THE WAY OF PRAYER. Jno. 17.
A. This entire chapter shows the spiritual nature of Christ.
B. In this prayer, He fervently approaches the Father's throne on behalf of three things.
2. The unity of believers in Him.
3. And His own subsequent return to the glory that He had with the Father before the world was.
C. This is one of the outstanding points on the way to the cross.
D. We must be righteous, seek unity among believers, in order to enjoy glory with God.
VI. THE WAY OF HUMAN FAILURE. Jno. 18.
A. The earthly rulers would abuse Jesus and be extremely unfair unto Him because of their earthly weaknesses.
B. But Jesus Himself, in the Garden of Gethsemane, would suffer an hour of loneliness.
1. Because three of His very best friends upon this earth would think more of sleep than of sharing with Him these last moments of His freedom. Matt. 26:40.
a. Truly, the heart of man is fickle and his faith many times is very frail.
b. Even the flesh of Jesus cried out, "Father if it be thy will let this cup pass from me." Matt. 26:39.
c. Peter, through the weakness of his flesh, denied the Lord three times during the night of His trial. Matt. 26:69-75; Jno. 18:15-18, 25-27.
C. Yes, the necessity of bearing our cross sometimes will pinpoint our weaknesses of the flesh.
VII. THE WAY OF PAIN AND TEARS. Jno. 19.
A. Blending Heb. 2:9,18 and 5;7, we see the agony of Christ's death. Take time to read these scriptures.
1. Yes, there was severe physical suffering involved in the agonizing death of Jesus upon the cross.
2. But the depth of His excruciating hurt and pain was becoming "sin for us" or a sin offering.
a. He never sinned, nor was there ever guile found in His mouth, yet He bore the sins of us all in His body upon the tree (cross). 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Cor. 5:21; Isa. 53: 6.
B. So, the way of the cross might also bring about much pain and many tears in our own lives.
1. How much pain have you suffered? How many tears have you shed by being a Christian and following the way of the cross?
VIII. THE WAY OF VICTORY. Jno. 20.
A. The Lord burst asunder the bands of death!
1. Up from the grave, by the power of God, He arose. Rom. 1:4.
B. Being triumphant over the grave, Christ becomes our Hope. 1 Cor. 15:57; 1 Thes. 4:13-18.
1. No wonder then did the angel cry out, "Why seek the living among the dead?" Lk. 24:5.
C. Yes, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead made it possible for us , upon believing, to have life in His name. Jno. 20:30,31.
IX. THE WAY OF RESPONSIBILITY. Jno. 21.
A. Now, in view of all that heaven has done for us, "the way of the cross" tells us to go and tell others of the love of God. "Feed my sheep" vs. 17.
B. If we really and truly love the Savior, who died upon the cross for us, we will show that the way of Calvary leads us home to glory.
C. Yes, my friends, we all have great responsibilities to tell others of the cross of Christ.
Are you following the way of the cross? Remember, we must needs go home by the way of the cross, there is no other way but this.
By Jim Sasser
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