The next minute may change your life.
MARCH 29, 2021
The next minute may change your life. Let’s talk on Key Life.
Being adopted into the family of God is not about doing more or trying harder. It’s about being welcomed by God, because of his radical grace, free from the penalties of sin and never alone in your suffering, that grace is what Key Life is all about.
Thank you Matthew. Hope you guys had a great weekend. And as we move into this Holy Week, I hope this will be a significant week in your life. What we’re going to do this week is we’re going to back away from Galatians. We’re getting close to landing the plane with that, but we’ll go back to it next week, but I want to stop for this week and spend some time talking about two things. One is that man who died. And the second is that dead man got out of a cross, out of a tomb, out of a grave and walked around. Listen, I’m an old guy, I’m doing the best I can. And, and they go together, crucifixion and resurrection. As I’ve told you, I’m working on a new book called Laughter and Lament: The Touchstones of Radical Christian Freedom. And they really are, and we don’t go there very often. I mean, we try to avoid crosses. We don’t like pain. We don’t like the hard places. We don’t like the dark. So we don’t lament. And because we don’t lament, we don’t experience the resurrection, which is the source of our laughter. So this is the plan. And we haven’t done it yet, so it may not go well, we’ll see. We’re going to spend some time talking about the crucifixion of Christ. And I want to introduce you, or bring to mind some of the people who were there, when he was crucified. And then toward the end of the week, we’re going to turn to the resurrection. And we’re going to look at the difference a dead man getting out of a grave can make in our lives. So without further chit-chat, let’s get to it. Let’s pray. And then we’ll look at a strange Galilean carpenter hanging on a cross Father, it’s all the time, but this week it focuses. And we think about all that happened and all that you ordained and the love that you poured out on a world that didn’t deserve it. But Father, it’s more personal than that. I didn’t deserve it. And the people who are listening didn’t deserve it. But you came and you walked our dirty roads and you hung on our dirty cross. And then you got out of the grave and you said we could too. And so we praise you and we worship you. And as we focus on that, we’re blown away again, with the fact that it’s not a story, that you really did it. Father, you know the people who are listening to this broadcast right now, you know the hard places and the soft places. Father, you’re the God of both of our laughter and our two tears, sufficient for every need. So Father, give us the grace to lean on you hard and to trust you and everything. And then Father on this broadcast, we pray for the one who teaches. Forgive him his sins, cause they are many, we would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. I’m going to be referring to Scriptures as we go along and look at the people that were there that day, when Jesus was crucified. But let me give you a major text. It’s from the gospel, according to Luke, and it’s from the 23rd chapter. And I’ll start reading at the 26th verse. Luke writes,
And as they led him away,
That would be Jesus.
they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of people and of women who bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say; ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never gave suck!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and do the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry? Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place, which is called The Skull, they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide the garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming and offering him vinegar and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals who was hanged railed against him saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingly power.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Oh man. I read that and I’ve read it thousands of times and every time I read it, I wince, I get sad. And then I see what it has cost God to bring you and me to himself. But let’s take a little bit of time and start looking at some of the people that are made reference to in that particular texts that I read to you. First, don’t miss simon of Cyrene. He was compelled to bear Christ’s cross and his life changed. Who was he? Well, we know that he was the father of Alexander and Rufus, Mark 15:21, members of the Christian community, whatever happened to Simon that day, when he carried Christ cross, affected his children. They became covenant children and walked with Christ. And then in Acts 13:1,
Simon who was called Niger,
is included in a list of prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch. The name Simeon is a form of Simon. And Niger like a Cyrene is in Northern Africa. So we see a man who was, you know, whistling a tune, heard the crowd, dropped by to see what was happening and all of a sudden everything in his life changed. He was told to bear the cross of Christ, because Jesus was stumbling and to follow behind. Oh my, My brother Ron, late brother, and I, he was my best friend and I still miss him. He’d be the governor of North Carolina, if he had lived, he was an incredible prosecutor, an elder in his church, knew Christ and then Jesus, and I’ve disagreed with Jesus about this ever since it happened, Jesus decided to call him home, when he was in his forties. And I hated that. But, one summer, and I may have told you this, our mother sent Ron to live with us. We were then serving on Cape Cod, because she wanted us to straighten him out. Maybe that was not a task that was possible. But he was a waiter. And then he got fired from being a waiter. They told him we really like you, Ron, but this is not your calling. You’ve spilled food on five customers already and you’ve messed up the bill. So, so you’re going to have to find another job. Then he became, he worked at a local golf course and did fine with that. But in between those two jobs, I said to him, Ron, you don’t seem very depressed. Maybe you ought to be a little bit depressed. I mean, you just lost your job. You’re hundreds of miles away from home and the girl that you love, I’m trying to straighten you out with very little success. You ought to be a little bit down, you know what he said, I’m not at all. And you know why? Because the next minute could change my life. You ought to remember that with Simon. The next minute changed is life forever. You’re doing what you do, the way you do it. And then Jesus shows and everything changes. I’m glad he did that for me. And I’ll bet that you are too. You think about that.
Thank you Steve. As Steve mentioned, all this week, Holy Week, we’re taking a step away way from our journey through Galatians in order to spend some time preparing for Easter. More good stuff tomorrow, please make sure you join us then and for the rest of the week. Well, there are probably some questions swirling around Easter for you this year. Will my church open? Should we have anyone over? But Easter can bring up some questions far more challenging than these, questions like, why did Jesus have to die? Couldn’t there have been another way? If Jesus had lived to a ripe old age, wouldn’t he have had time to teach us more? Well, Steve has addressed these very questions in a sermon called Why Jesus Had to Die. We’d love to send you that sermon on a CD for free. Get it right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also drop an email to Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. By mail send your request to
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