The Roman soldiers seek to humiliate Jesus. They anoint Him with a purple robe and their spit in a mock coronation. Yet at the end of the crucifixion, when Jesus dies on the cross, a Roman centurion says, “Truly this man was God’s son.” So what happened to that Roman soldier watching the crucifixion that changed his mind? We will explore the change in a message titled, “Journey to Easter: Distracted by Clothing.”
In the New Testament, we read how Christians were routinely persecuted. They were harassed, beaten, flogged, thrown in prison, or killed. Yet the Apostles suffering caused the leaders of the early church to rejoice. This is the paradox of sacrifice. We will focus on this paradox in a message titled, “Giving from the Heart: Paradox of Sacrifice.”
Who do people say that Jesus is? The Barna Research organization reports that nine in ten American adults say Jesus was a real person, but only 56% believe Jesus is God. The question was so important that Jesus takes a poll and asks his disciples what they heard others say. Their answers vary. Then he asks his disciples what they think. Of course, it is Peter who hits the nail on the head.
Jesus calls Himself the Good Shepherd. Which means we are the sheep. Now we may not be flattered by being called sheep but the relationship between shepherd and sheep is a great description of our relationship with Jesus.
We left the church building over four months ago. That action can help our faith and Christian witness. We are reminded that the Church never was the building. The Church is the people who used to worship in the building. If we are still the Church then how do we stay close to God and close to each other? It is a plant that will give us some direction.
Sermon preached at Gold Canyon United Methodist Church in Gold Canyon, Arizona on March 11, 2018 by Rev. Fred A. Steinberg
Sermon preached at Gold Canyon United Methodist Church in Gold Canyon, Arizona on February 14, 2018 by Dr. David Worley
Sermon preached at Gold Canyon United Methodist Church in Gold Canyon, Arizona on August 14, 2016 by Rev. Fred Steinberg
Sermon preached at Gold Canyon United Methodist Church in Gold Canyon, Arizona on Good Friday, April 3, 2015 by Rev. Bob Deits