Celebrating the Resurrection of Christ
Sermons, Outlines, Illustrations, Meditations and Program Ideas
J. Michael Shannon & Robert C. Shannon
(c)opyright 1984, J. Michael Shannon

Cross Roads
    In most every American congregation there is probably someone who has visited Israel and walked the road that Jesus walked to the cross.  However, the great majority in any congregation have not done that and will likely never do that.  Far more important than walking that road physically, we each need to walk that road spiritually.
    "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth."
(Philippians 2:7-10)
    Jesus walked the road of humility.  For most of us, that is a little-used path.  We are too concerned with ego and vanity.  Think of what it meant for the Christ who created the world to live upon it and die upon it!  Think what it meant for the Christ who created man to die for man.  Can we walk that road of humility with him?  Each Easter, on Good Friday, the bishop of the Syrian Orthodox Church washes the feet of the choir boys!

    Jesus walked the road of obedience.  No longer is obedience prized as it once was.  There is a new permissiveness in the home.  We have discarded the old advice of one who said, "If your child annoys you, soothe him by brushing his hair.  If that doesn't work, use the other end of the brush on the other end of the child."

    A candidate had gone up into the mountains to garner votes.  After talking to a farmer, he turned to the gangling boy who stood nearby.  "How about you?  Will you vote for me, too?"

    ''I can't vote."

    "Why, you look like you're twenty-one to me."

    "I used to be, but I didn't bow my head when Pa asked the blessin', and he set me back two years."

    There is a new permissiveness in the home and in the school.  Even in the military, that one institution that seemed to depend upon discipline, there is a new permissiveness.  In such an age we may forget that God prizes obedience.  He expects to be taken seriously.  He intends for us to do His will.  "Obedience is better than sacrifice," said God.  Jesus walked the road of obedience.  "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me."

    Jesus walked the road of sacrifice.  We run two extremes when it comes to sacrifice.  Some deny themselves for the sake of self-denial.  What they sacrifice has no relationship to anything moral or spiritual.  That is the worship of will power, not the worship of God.  Some run to the other extreme.  They say that one ought not deny himself anything that pleases.  How hard it is to walk with Jesus the road of meaningful sacrifice.

    We have been thinking of roads to the cross.  They are not dead end streets.  There is also a road that leads from the cross. We go by the cross on the way to somewhere else.  For Jesus, the road from the cross led to His exaltation.  So says our text. After the cross came the resurrection.  Then when Jesus had appeared to His followers for forty days, He ascended to the right hand of the Father.  The road led from the cross to the crown.

    That crown He would share with you.  Jesus wants you to join Him in His exaltation.  To do that you must first join Him on His cross.  You do this by turning away from sin.  "Our old man is crucified with Him," says Romans 6:6.  When we turn from the old life, we climb upon that cross with Jesus and join Him there.

Cross Words
Table of Contents
Cross Purposes

Scanned and proofread by Michael Riggs