Sunday Morning Sermon: The Story of Sacrifice

2 Apr

On this Palm Sunday, I wanted to take a few minutes to think about the sacrifice of Christ. The crowds that cried “Hosanna!” on Palm Sunday would be drowned out by the cries of “Crucify!” a few days later. This all happened by the providence of God working through the evil designs of men. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross, along with the resurrection, is the very heart of Christianity. Truths at the heart of our faith are often the truths which are most forcefully attacked. Thus it is with the Trinity, the reliability of the Bible, creation, and of course, the cross. Wrong belief about the cross can have eternal consequences. So we really want to understand it from a right biblical framework.

I am indebted to Michael Lawrence for showing me more fully that framework in his excellent book, Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church. This story of sacrifice is one of the central themes in the Bible. The outline below explains this theme and its implications for our lives.

I.  The STORY of Sacrifice

A. Adam and Eve

B.  Cain and Abel

C.  Noah

D. Abraham

E. Passover

F. LEVITICUS (Major emphasis on the sacrificial system)

G. The failure of the sacrifices to purify the nation of Israel.

H. The coming of the Perfect Sacrifice, the Lord Jesus.


II. What We Learn About Jesus from the Story of Sacrifice

A. We learn that Jesus came not simply to be a good example or to defeat death but to die as our substitute (Isaiah 53).

B. We learn that Jesus’ sacrifice alone is sufficient to save (Hebrews 7:27; 9:12; 9:26).

C. We learn that Jesus was the fulfillment of all the Old Testament sacrifices (Hebrews 10).


III. How Should We Respond to the Story of Sacrifice?

A. Repent and believe.

B. Remember that Christ alone can save.

C. Offer ourselves as “living sacrifices” out of gratitude to God (Romans 12:1-3).

D. Treasure the truths of the story of sacrifice that we see in Scripture.

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