Chirst Sermon Illustrations

Chirst Sermon Illustrations

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In Book xviii of his Antiquities Josephus wrote:

`Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works-a teacher of such men as receive truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was (the) Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named after him, are not extinct at this day.'

(John 7. 26; 1 Cor. 2. 8)

Tacitus, the Roman writer, has attested the existence of Jesus Christ, the reality of his personage, his public accusation and execution under the administration of Pontius Pilate, the temporary check this gave to the progress of His religion, its revival a short time after His death, and its progress over the land of Judaea and right to Rome itself.—Dr. T. Chalmers

The discovery of a stone in 1961, with the name of Pontius Pilate inscribed on it, gives weight and interest to the mention of his administration by both Josephus and Tacitus.

(John 4. 29; Luke 24. 46, 47)

Christ, the Incomparable

He is stronger than the strongest,
He's far better than the best;
And His love has lasted longest—
It has stood the hardest test.
And the sinfullest may trust Him
And a welcome never doubt,
For He's pledged His word of promise
That He will not cast them out.

He's the Lord of life and glory
Now exalted far on high,
But we love to tell the story
Of His corning down to die.
But He's coming, quickly coming,
All His glories to display;
And we'll see Him and be like Him
Through Heaven's everlasting day.

(Matt. 12. 5, 6, 41, 42; John 4. 10-14; 8. 53-58)

He came from the bosom of the Father to the bosom of a woman. He put on humanity that we might put on divinity. He became Son of Man that we might become sons of God.

He was born contrary to the laws of nature, lived in poverty, was reared in obscurity, and only once crossed the boundary of the land—in childhood. He had no wealth or influence, and had neither training nor education in the world's schools. His relatives were inconspicuous and uninfluential.

In infancy He startled a king; in boyhood He puzzled the learned doctors; in manhood He ruled the course of nature. He walked upon the billows and hushed the sea to sleep. He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His services. He never wrote a book, yet all the libraries of the country could not hold the books that have been written about Him. He never wrote a song, yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all song writers together. He never founded a college yet all the schools together cannot boast of as many students as He has. He never practiced medicine, and yet He healed more broken hearts than the doctors have healed broken bodies.

He is the Star of astronomy, the Rock of geology, the Lion and the Lamb of zoology, the Harmoniser of all discords and the Healer of all diseases. Great men have come and gone, yet He lives on. Herod could not kill Him: Satan could not seduce Him: death could not destroy Him: the grave could not hold Him.

He was rich yet for our sake became poor. How poor? Ask Mary. Ask the wise men. He slept in another's manger: He cruised the lake in another's boat: He rode on another man's ass: He was buried in another man's tomb. He is the ever perfect One, the Chiefest among ten thousand. He is altogether lovely.—Selected and slightly abridged

(Song of Songs 5. 16; Isa. 9. 6; Mark 7. 37; John 4. 29; Col. 1. 18)

Leonardo da Vinci was a wonderful painter, and one of his masterpieces was 'The Last Supper', which has been called the most perfect composition in the history of painting in all ages. It was painted on a convent wall, and the artist put all his talent into it. Even the cup the Lord used was perfect, an ornate golden vessel richly set with jewels. When he completed the picture he admitted a few friends to see it. 'What a wonderful cup!' they exclaimed, 'How it sparkles ! Such a cup was never painted before.' The genius immediately splashed some dark colour over the glittering chalice and made it look an ordinary cheap vessel. The glory of Christ, and not the beauty of the cup, must be the central object of his great work. In all things He must be pre-eminent.

(Col. 1. 18)

Perfections of Christ

Two fellow-travelers were seated together in a railway compartment engaged in earnest conversation of a religious nature. One of them, a skeptic, was evidently trying to excuse his unbelief by expatiating on the various evils which afflict Christendom, detailing with pleasure the hypocrisy and the craft, and the covetousness and divisions, found in the professing Church, and then he pointed to some of the leaders as the most markedly corrupt of all.

In front of them sat a Christian who was compelled to hear all this. He knew the accusations to be true—too true to be concealed from the most charitable mind, so all he could do was to bow his head and bear the deserved reproach. Soon, however, the accuser, anxious to extend the circle of his audience, addressed this fellow-passenger in front of him.

`I see you are quick to detect evil,' said the Christian, 'and you read character pretty well. You have been uncovering here the abominable things that have turned Christendom into a wreck, and are fast ripening it for the judgment of God. You have spared none, but given all a good measure. Now, I am a Christian and love the Lord Jesus and His people. Not a word shall I offer in defense, but I solemnly challenge you to speak the first word against the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.'

The skeptic was surprised. He seemed almost frightened and sheepishly replied—'Well, no! I couldn't find fault with Him. He was perfect.'

`Just so!' said the Christian, 'and therefore was my heart attracted to Him, and the more I looked, the more I found I wasn't like Him at all, but only a poor, guilty, sinful man. All the evil which professed followers of His may do cannot turn me away from Him My salvation hangs on what He has done, and not on what they are doing.'—Dr. Horatius Bonar (abridged)

(Mark 7. 36, 37; Luke 23. 14, 41; 1 Pet. 2.21-24) 157.

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