Why Die? The Scope of the Cross
The scope of the cross of Christ is so much greater than many Christians realize. The impact of Christ's crucifixion is so much more revolutionary than we might believe or expect. We often speak of Christ's death simply as the atonement for our sins, an event by which we can get our ticket to heaven punched and then just wait for the Gloryland Train to come for us when we die, or when Christ returns.
But what if there is so much more to it than simply binding our time? What does it mean for us that Satan was defeated on the cross? And what about the inauguration of a revolutionary new Kingdom that eclipses anything we could ever think or imagine?
Christ's death on the cross changed everything that was, that is, and that will be, and it is so important for us to realize the depth of this truth. Join us this Lenten and Easter season as we mine the depths of Christ's death to reveal why Jesus really did have to die.
Pastor Gerry Koning ~ This message begins a Lenten and Easter series entitled "Why Die?" which will explore the great significance of the death of Jesus. What is the scope of Jesus' death? What all does it signify for us and for this world? In this first message we look at the Passover Lamb that is introduced in Exodus 12 and learn what this has to do with Jesus' death. We learn about the Most Powerful Force in the Universe, the importance of the Firstborn, the debt of sin that all of us have and the need for payment to be made, and finally, the protection that is given then by the Passover Lamb, our own Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us then behold the Lamb!
Pastor Gerry Koning ~ Why did Jesus die? The reason that under-girds any other possible reason is simply that He loves us so much! That is what is plainly and clearly taught in verses such as the well-known John 3:16. The only way an eternal God can taste death is if He becomes human and dies on humankind's behalf. This is what Jesus did for us. But Jesus also died to show us how to love. Verses like 1 John 3:16 teach us that because Jesus so loved us, we also are to love others, and we are to love them like Jesus loved us: by considering others better than ourselves, by caring for the material needs of others, and by looking out for the interests of others above our own interests. To love like this we need an unobstructed heart, a heart that is open and "sticky" in its ability to develop loving relationships with others.
Pastor Gerry Koining ~ Jesus died to usher in a new Kingdom, the Kingdom that God had intended for us from the creation of the world, but that needed to be redeemed. On Palm Sunday, we are reminded just how different this kingdom is from what people were expecting. Jesus didn't come brandishing a sword and riding on an great steed. He came meekly on the colt of donkey. But his meekness was not a sign of weakness. Jesus was also a wild King, a king who is at the same time both lion and lamb, and who was bold enough to condemn fruitless religion and clear out empty religiosity in order to make room for all nations in His Kingdom. If we have room in our hearts for Jesus, we must also have room in our hearts for the nations.
May 14, 2017 - Pastor gerry koning
The two dimensions of the cross, both the vertical and the horizontal, are related to the idea of fellowship, which essentially means to share something with someone. God was the greatest sharer of all when He shared His Son Jesus with us. Christ in turn shares many gifts with us too; namely salvation, a share in His God-given inheritance, illuminating light, and true joy. As He fellowships with us in these ways, so we too can have true fellowship with each other as we share grace together, share our God-given inheritance, share the truth that is found in the light, and as we share joy together. This is fellowship that goes far above and beyond friendship into something that reflects Christ in us.
May 7, 2017 - Pastor Gerry Koning
The Cross of Christ has two dimensions to it: vertical and horizontal. The vertical relationship reminds us that God is the initiator of reconciliation with Him. But having been reconciled with God we have relationships with others that must reflect that reconciliation. This is what the story of Abraham and Abimelech teaches us. God blessed Abraham, and Abimelech initiates a good relationship with him because of that blessing; but it cost both of them. Today we must be reconciled with others even if we have to sacrifice on account of it.