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Logo of AMEN 2015: CrossTraining

The Message of the Cross

Kelly Kinsley


To the Greeks it was foolishness and to the Jews it was a stumbling block. Was the cross a scandalous end of Jesus’ three and a half years of public ministry or was it Heaven's most amazing and sublime training session for the universe? Jesus tried to prepare His disciples to be able to answer this question but their human hearts found the lessons of the cross the hardest to grasp. Now, over two thousand years later, has anything really changed? 


Kelly Kinsley

Dermatologist, McKinleyville, California



  • October 30, 2015
    7:30 PM


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Father in heaven. We just thank you so much for your word. We thank you so much for her for what that has accomplished. All through history and what it has accomplished in each of our. Our lives here tonight collectively Father we come to you on this even in this. Well established. We ask you Father that as we open your word that your spirit will do what no man can do. While there I pray I pray that you would use me as you can. And I pray that you would reach each heart with each need. In the way that each one needs and we pray this in Jesus' name amen. Term you turn with me in your Bibles to Mark. Chapter eight. We're talking about cross training. This whole this whole week this week week and weekend. And that means we want to be trained by the cross is that correct. It also means this so to train on something is to fix your eyes on it. And so to be trained by the record cross requires us to do. Do something then that is to train our eyes on the cross of Calvary. To look and live. And as we do that we will be trained in the Gospel of Mark I want to follow a series of encounters that Jesus had with his disciples as he unfolded to them the message of the cross. In his day when Jesus was working with His disciples He had a problem and that is he knew the cross was coming and starting in Mark eight probably picks up somewhere. Six months maybe a year before the cross and their expectations what was their expectations for Messiah. That he was going to deliver them from the Romans right that he was going to come and he was going to answer their problems their physical problems of their the Roman oppression that was there and they were they had an idea of what Messiah was going to do and it did not involve the cross and somehow he had to prepare them. So he prepares them. And he starts in Mark chapter eight with that in a matter of fact three times Jesus will tell his disciples. About the cross three times he'll tell them. The cross is coming this is what's going to happen to the Son of man. And each time he does. He's faced with with opposition. Either direct opposition to the event itself or opposition to the message that the cross had. And the message that then after the opposition he would. He would set them aside and gather them together. And he would teach them. This is what the cross is this is the message of the cross. And if I asked you tonight. And you would also say what is the message of the cross you would all have an amazing answer. Because I know the cross has impacted your lives. What's interesting is what Jesus actually spends the last six months to a year trying to tell his disciples. What is it about the cross did they need to know. Mark sceptre a. Let's pick it up there. Three times again he would tell them that he was going to the cross he would tell them about his experience right. Then he would have to be faced with some type of opposition that it would almost be. Well we can say. He faced the anti cross. He would face that which was opposed to it and then he would teach him about his cross of teeth that in mind he would tell them what was coming. He was facing anti cross. And then he would tell them the message of the cross. So starting in March after a and. I'm going to start with verse twenty seven so if you have your Bibles please turn there before Jesus tells them about the cross he tells them. Who is going to the cross they need to know. And he asks them starting in verse twenty seven now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of sets to reassemble a pie. On the road he asked is a site both saying to them who demand say that I am. His ministry was around the Sea of Galilee much was there lot of his followers he takes his disciples. Outset Serie A Philip I is twenty twenty five miles north of the Sea of Galilee take them away on a a C.M.E. mission as it was it was to do some special instruction in to bring something home to them. And he asked them the question who demand say that I am and. And they said. John the Baptist. Elijah. Jeremiah other prophets. They saw Jesus primarily they saw him as a prophet with a right. I mean a prophet receives his message from God and gives it to men. Did Jesus receive his message from God and give it to men. So in that sense they were right but he was much much much much more than a prophet and he needed to make sure they knew that because who was going to the cross was extremely important. So then he said to them. But who do you say that I am. And that's the question for us tonight as well. Who do you say that I am. And Peter answered. You are the Christ the Son of the Living God. Have you ever been asked a question in Sabbath school. In the teacher asked a question. And you confidently gave the answer. And it was wrong. How do you feel you feel like slipping under the pew and. I mean. Maybe it's the. It's wasn't what the teacher was looking for this wasn't the case for Peter. When you were in Sabbath school and you get the right answer. How do you feel. And Peter got the right answer. And probably was feeling a bit proud of having the right answer P.D. able to articulate those words in jesus jesus says to him in the Matthew's account to bless it are used Simon for flesh and blood did not reveal this to you but my father who is in heaven. God gave him. And revealed it to him it was not possible within humans. Human thinking. To see Jesus. In that way. Was only by the revelation of the Spirit of God. By the father in his heart. And then they knew who was going to the cross so then it says in verse thirty one and he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things. And be rejected by the elders. And the chief priests and scribes and be killed and three days again. Rise Again. He taught them of the cross the cross was coming the cross was coming in Peter's reaction. You know it. He took him aside he rebuked him. Far be it from you Lord. That this should be. This wasn't the first time Jesus was where it was tried to turn Jesus from is processed cheese us recognize these words although different but similar. When he was tempted in the wilderness. If you would but bow down to me then I will give you this world that you've come to say. Some way around the cross. And it wouldn't be the last time he would hear it for when he was on the cross himself. He heard the words if you are the Son of God. Bring yourself down. Save yourself. And what they they didn't realize those that said that is because he was the Son of God He could not in would not say that he would give himself. That's why Peter's rebuke to Jesus was so. His response was so stinging back to Peter. Not that Peter was Satan but he was speaking the words of Satan that were the lies from the very beginning. And that is God Himself is not unselfish. Unselfishness does not exist in the heart of God. He's doing something for himself. Ultimately. And that's why those words were so. So potent to Jesus when he heard those because it was an offense to the very heart of God. Because God is selfless. God is self-sacrifice and he was that way. Every way he dealt with Lucifer. Really was only what and only what the infinite heart of love could think of from our perspective what is the greatest demonstration. From the infinite heart of love is the cross of Calvary. That's from our perspective. But the infinite heart of love didn't. First display that same level. There it displays it in every act that God has done from the big very beginning. And till the very end. The cross of Calvary is is the revelation to our dull senses of God self-sacrifice in love and that was. That was the lie that Satan had from the beginning and so when they came from Peter's words turn away there's a different way than the cross you can do something different. Jesus. You don't have to do it this way. Let's come up with a better plan. Get thee behind me Satan. For the you are not mindful of the things of God. But the things of man. And then he sat them down. He told them of his cross to come. He faced an anti Cross response. And then he sat them down and top them the message of the crocs. Verse thirty four and when he called the people to Himself and His disciples also. He said he said to them. Whoever desires to come after me. Let him deny himself. Take up the cross and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life. Will lose it. But whoever loses his life for my sake in the Gospel. Will save it. What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world. And loses his soul. Right there Jesus tells them. The message of the cross the one that was important that they understand. He had months to process coming. It happened again. A few months closer. The cross was coming in March after nine. Between the first time that he would do this and the second time. The Transfiguration took place. The Manifestation Peter James and John called up to the mountain in the. The manifestation of them seen. Elijah and Moses' there on the mountain with Jesus and hearing. Hearing those words. This is my beloved son. Hear his voice. Hear his words hear what he's saying listen to him. Again reaffirming who it was. That was going to the crops. And then starting in March after nine verse thirty picking up there then they departed from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know it was the same idea of going out to assess the react Philip I now. Crowd follow him but he wants some time with his disciples he wants to teach them. He did not anyone and did not want anyone to know it for he taught his disciples and said to them again. The son of man is being betrayed into the hands of men and they will kill him. And after he's killed he will rise the third day. He told them. And verse thirty two. They did not understand this saying. And were afraid to ask him. Let me ask you why are you afraid to ask a question. Because you are our freighter the answer that we said yes because we're afraid of the answer we don't want to hear the answers not the answer we want to hear. It wasn't the answer they wanted to hear. And so we just won't talk about that. And then in verse thirty three. He tells them of the cross was going to come next. Anti cross. And then he's going to tell them the message of the cross. Then he came to Capernaum and when he was on was in the house he asked them what was it you disputed among yourselves on the road. And they were quiet and sheepish and didn't want to say but they kept silent for on the road they were disputing among themselves. To would be the greatest. So now it wasn't direct opposition to the cross the physical aspect of the cross they knew they knew better now not to do that but the message of the cross their human heart supposed. And it was still to the question their mind with who was going to be the greatest. After what he just taught them. A few months back. Anti cross. Manifest in the disciples hard. And he sat down and he called the twelve. First thirty five and was going to now tell them the message of the cross again. If anyone desires to be first he shall be last last of all. Servant of all. And then it's interesting he takes a child and set him in their midst and when he had taken him in his arms was a big child or a small child. It's a little child that he could. He could hold. He said In Matthew's account unless you are converted and become as a little child. You by no means will enter the kingdom of heaven. So what's a little child like trusting. Well. Helpless dependent. Innocent. Now this word. How about this for in significant. Now you and I don't think of our children's as insignificant and I don't think they thought of their children is insignificant. So let me rephrase it. Less significant. You remember when Jesus was teaching. And they killed her and they were bringing the children the disciples were keeping him away because he had what. More important things to do. And he said no no no Suffer the little children to come under me and to me for forbid them not for such is the kingdom of heaven. I wonder when Jesus held that child in his arms what he was telling the disciples and less you consider yourself less significant. Like you think of little children. And the converted. Of such is the kingdom of heaven. You won't see it. We won't see the kingdom of heaven. Unless we see ourselves less significant than everybody else. And our natural heart doesn't want to see that or feel that because we know our natural heart is to reach for something different than be a third time. Now we're just published a few weeks. Three four five weeks before the crucifixion he's on his way to Jerusalem. They have are are about to pass through. Jericho. And they'd be that he is and blind Bartimaeus. And so that's just about to happen and then the next thing would be the triumphal entry and. And that was it and. And he needed to teach them. The message of the cross. And so he's going to again tell them about his the physical cross experience is coming and get ready you're not going to expect this. He's going to be met by anti Cross is going to teach in the message of the Cross and the preclear quilt for this very interesting Lee is the rich young ruler. He came. The rich young ruler. What must I do to inherit eternal life. The and disciples could have answered that question right away right to become as a little child. What must I do to inherit eternal life in Jesus said. Keep the commandments. The names he named some commandments and. And of course the rich are Ruler said. All these I've done. And Jesus said there's one thing that you lack. It's not like he lacks one more thing and then it would all be set. He lacked the one thing. And he said sell all that you have and give to the for. You see his wealth his significance was wrapped up in his well. And he thought himself more significant than others. Maybe he agreed that there was other people that were more significant but then him but he saw himself. More significant and therefore to lose his wealth would be to lose his significance. And Jesus looked at him in verse twenty one. And he loved him. He said. Told him one thing the lack So what you have and give to the poor and you'll find treasures in Heaven and come take up your cross and follow me. He's telling him what he's missing is the principle the message of the cross. And that he is not willing to relinquish all that he has all that he holds onto all that he grasps for that he finds his significance and he needs to hold on to that. And the disciples were greatly amazed and they then asked the question well then who could be saved and with men. The answer is nobody. But with God all things are possible. Everybody could be saying. And then he tells them the third time now they were on the road going up to Jerusalem. Up to Jerusalem. And he Jesus was going before them and they were amazed. And notice this time they followed. And they were afraid. Then he took the twelve aside and he began to tell them things that would happen to him. Behold were going up to Jerusalem the Son of Man will be betrayed. With the chief priest to the scribes and they will condemn him to death and deliver him to the Gentiles. They'll mock him and scorch him and spit on him and and kill him in the third day whole rise again. It's interesting the first time when Jesus told them about the cross he experience direct opposition and many times the first time we hear the Gospel we experience direct opposition or we respond with direct opposition I should say. And the second time when he when he shared with them. The Bible says. They didn't understand. And they were afraid so now they are direct opposition changed to. They just didn't have understanding. And they were afraid to ask for that understanding. The second time we were faced with the Gospel sometimes that's what we do. We don't understand and were afraid to ask. It might not be the answer we want to hear. And the third time. When Jesus was going to tell them about his cross. They didn't oppose him directly. And they did understand. But they were afraid. It's because they understood that the they were afraid it's because they understood that Jesus was leading the way. Because they knew that when they went there that he was that he was subject to being to being killed. You remember when. Lazarus when they went to raise last year at the Bethany they were. Should we go and now be killed because they knew the opposition that was there. But Jesus tells them about the cross and here. Just weeks before. Calvary. There's the anti-Christ still. James and John verse thirty five the son of that body came to him saying Teacher We want you to do for us whatever we ask. We want to be on your right hand and your left when you come into your kingdom. And Jesus said to them you don't even know what you ask. They were still trying to see who was better and James and John were trying to get the inside track where his mother depending on was trying to get it for him depending on which account you read. And when the ten heard it verse forty one they began to be greatly displeased. I mean they're trying to get ahead of us. And and. This is this is weeks he's been trying to teach them. Weeks before Jesus is going to be. Prison five he's trying to teach them about the cross of Calvary. And they still don't get it. And Jesus calls them to himself. After they responded. Against the cross with their actions and their words. And he says in verse in verse forty two Jesus called them to himself and said to them you know to that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them and that their great ones exercise authority over them yet it shall not be so among you. But whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slain. Of all for even the Son of Man did not come to be served. But to serve and to give his life. A ransom for many. Do you know why it feels so good when we do those health clinics and you're serving people. Because you're coming close to what he designed for us to be. And the more you do that. The more that becomes the normal way for us. I know it's not natural in my heart. The disciples were hard pressed to get this message. Their hearts would not embrace that easily. For their hearts naturally resisted the idea for the Messiah. And for themselves. But there was at least one. There was one who would get it. That would understand his cross. They would hear the message that he was going to suffer and die. And that would embrace the message of the cross. She was one that was considered a great sinner seven times over. She had to be delivered by Jesus. And when they had come to the special banquet the special meal that. Simon had organized for Jesus in his honor. Because Simon was cured of leprosy by by Jesus. And so Simon the fares he put on this dinner for him and invited Lazarus who Jesus raised from the dead all the. The important people were there and. And in their station. And in March after for verse three. The Bible says and being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leopard he sat at the table and a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly or oil of spin. Nar. Then she broke the glass and poured it on his head. But there was some who are indignant. Among themselves and said Why was this fragrant oil wasted. For it might have been sold for more than three hundred then there I given the. And given to the poor. And they criticized her sharply. What a waste. Those that were criticizing her were very concerned. Of social justice. But they didn't get the response. That was the outflow of the message of the cross. She didn't come for attention she came with this alabaster box of of oil that's you know years wage. And when she went to went to buy the oil. This ointment I imagine the shock keeper seen her coming. She said she wanted I want men he said here. Seeing her station and. And everything. Why don't you get this oil this is very nice. You can afford this. And she's on no no no no I need something better. So he'll be OK. This will be expensive though. It's OK I want the best you have. So he shows her the next in I can imagine that she he tells her about the. The intricacies and all the wonderful things and properties of this point meant that she was going to be getting getting and wanted her to to smell the aroma of it and she said Well that is nines. But I still get. What is the pass that you have. And I can imagine the shopkeeper saying Well Mary we. We do have. We do have this. In this special locked away place that I don't usually get this out. But this is meant for it's seen this would. This would be way more than you can afford. She said I'll take a pound. Mary that's a whole year of of of one man's wage. And for a for a woman in that day to have one year of of a man's wage would take her how long to have that amount of money. Her entire life. It must have been all that she had. And she bought it. I'll take it. I'm gone and she goes to the. She goes to the. The feast and doesn't want to be seen doesn't want to make a big thing out of it and I don't know how she can imagine that it's going to be seen. But I think the Holy Spirit. Set this whole thing up to teach a lesson. That would be immortalized forever. And she took the box and she broke it and anointed his head and in the other. Other gospels he she anointed his feedin with her tears. Got down and with her hair on the ground. Washed his feet and I'm sure it just poured everywhere. She didn't just do a little the whole thing because they criticized her. You could have just using a little Mary I mean let's be practical you could have sold that. And this could have gone. This could have gone to to help so many done sort of funded so many clinics and bought so many dental units and. But to split it all go on the ground. And Jesus defended her because in that was the illustration of his own sacrifice that he was about to pour out. For all of humanity. When we do communion quarter by quarter and take part in the TOS with the. The grape juice. Emblem of his blood. I didn't realize this until I became a church elder and my wife became a deaconess but afterwards there's a protocol on what you do with what's left over. And I just I kind of. I came from a Catholic Brecht background and I was thinking Is this some type of transubstantiation connection and what I mean I I honestly was thinking. Is this do we really. But despite my lack of understanding and ignorance. I still honored whatever. People did with the emblems afterwards. Of respect. Out of tradition. And it was this last time we had communion. Two times ago. And I was helping my wife. Clean up he's ahead deaconess and. And I was getting the extra juice and I was putting it and I knew that the extra juice we take and we pour at the base of a tree right. And so I had about a full cup. And so I went out and poured the juice on the ground and it puddle there in the dirt. And then it soaked in. And my first thought was what a wit and I stopped myself as I saw it soak into the ground. I said if I think pouring the great juice. On the ground is a waste. What do I think. When he pours out his blood on my behalf. And I'm keeping my alabaster flask to myself. Mary's lesson taught that the sacrifice on Calvary for a whole world would not be considered a ways for even if none. Received it. Although Jesus knew that would not be the case. He knew many would receive it. But the heart of God would still give. In that cell. Completely extravagant. Self sacrificing way. On Calvary's cross. And my natural heart cannot take it in How is it in in our hearts tonight. What are we doing with our alabaster box. I know my response. Very easy is to protect it. To give some. Hold back some more. But over and over and over the appeal of Christ is to give all. He knows because nothing less will bring life to us. And this world. He knows it for he did it himself. The cross is not just a cross that he said here take up across people in. It's a cross that he would take up. Because it's his heart to do so and it's a cross. But he invites you and I to take up because that is salvation to one. Room. Whoever desires to save his life. Must lose it. As you give thought to what you are doing with your alabaster box tonight I want to invite you to bow your heads to close your eyes and open your hearts as you listen to the words of the simple song tonight. Father in heaven. You surrendered all. You held nothing back. You poured it all out all of Heaven's alabaster box. You broke in the person of Jesus Christ. Father. Our hearts and minds don't take that in very easily. Rafah there help us to see what our alabaster box. What we're doing with that. Help us father not to hold onto any of the. For such a sacrifice that heaven is may demand such a response that we can father help the and we prove this media was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio. And much more. If you would like to know more about audio verse for you would like to listen to more sermon. Leave visit. W W W dot. Audio verse. Dot org.


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