A message I preached on God’s eternal masterpiece, the cross of Calvary. To this day, it moves me when I read it. I pray it will touch your spirit too.
Read John 19:14-37
There is one painting which has the place of honour in Creation’s gallery. It cost all that God has to paint it and its infinite beauty graces eternity. It is God’s masterpiece, the cross of Calvary.
Every painting has 4 elements: message, mystery, majesty, and a master.
Let’s examine God’s masterpiece:
1. The Message of the cross – God loves you. It rings out over all creation, travelling forever on throughout the whole universe. Jesus did it for you. Jesus went to the cross in the freedom of His own unconquered soul – John 10:17&18 “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life— only to take it up again. No-one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” John 3:16 He was taken to the cross by His own consuming love for men.
The message causes us to bow our heart to God in love.
2. The Majesty of the cross – the greatest event in history. The cross gives love, forgiveness, healing, salvation.
It provides humankind with all that is necessary for civilization. The cross conquers; it shouts out aloud its victory; it triumphs over its enemies; it establishes His rule once and for all over all creation. Jesus had to go to the cross before He could come again. His rulership was instituted at the cross – King of men’s hearts, which are the only trophies of eternal value.The cross of Calvary was Jesus’ throne on earth. From it He rules men’s hearts and minds.
Luke 23:42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” – the dying thief saw in Jesus a king marching to His kingdom. This man who had endured and was enduring the frightful agony without a cry – even under the shadow of death His bearing had in it something strangely royal.
The majesty causes us to bow our knee to God in worship.
3. The Mystery of the cross – there is still so much more. We can never grow tired of Jesus and the cross. To assume we know and understand it all would be to display gross arrogance and ignorance.
The cross reveals what God is in His inmost being forever. It opens the door to the eternal – mortals see immortality. It reveals God – and yet, because He is infinite and perfect, much of it’s eternal truths are still only partly seen and understood and remain something of a mystery. What did Jesus go through? No man could follow the Lord into the place of His mightiest work.
The mystery causes us to bow our mind to God in humility.
4. The Master of the cross : “It is finished!”
Life for all because He died for all and conquered death for all! Hallelujah!
Master over sin, death and all powers and principalities!
1Cor 15:54-57 “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. ”Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Col 2:13-15 “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
The Master causes us to bow our lives to God in service.
The cross of Calvary is the beginning and the end of our faith. We are born into His kingdom and we live eternally because of what He accomplished on it. God painted His masterpiece – it hangs there for all to see – it is perfect and it is complete. Today, if you would give yourself as a canvas to the Master painter, imagine what work of art He could produce!