Cross Sermon Illustrations

Cross Sermon Illustrations

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God's Love in the Cross

It has been said that the heart of Christianity is the Bible, the heart of the Bible is the cross, and the heart of the cross is the very heart of God Himself, for Inscribed upon the cross we see, In shining letters, 'God is Love'. The Lamb Who died upon the tree Has brought us mercy from above.

(John 3. 16; Gal. 2. 20; 1 John 3. 16)

Pardon through the Cross

In evil long I took delight,
Unaw'd by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight
And stopped my wild career.

I saw One hanging on a tree
In agonies and blood,
Who fixed His languid eyes on me,
As near His cross I stood.

Sure never till my latest breath
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke.

A second look He gave which said,
I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid,
I died that thou may'st live.'

Thus while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue;
Such is the mystery of grace
It seals my pardon too.

With pleasing grief and mournful joy
My spirit now is fill'd,
That I should such a life destroy,
Yet live by Him I killed.—John Newton

(Acts 10. 39, 40, 43; 13. 38, 39)

For the Penitent

If the wanderer his mistake discern,
Judge his own ways and sigh for a return,
Bewildered once, must he bewail his loss
For ever and forever? No!—the Cross—
There, and there only (though the Deist rave,
And atheist, if earth bear so base a slave)
There, and there only, is the power to save.
There no delusive hope invites despair,
No mocking meets you, no deception there.
The spells and charms that blinded you before
All vanish there and fascinate no more.—W. Cowper

(Acts 2. 23, 37; 1 Cor. 1. 23, 24; Gal. 3. 13)

Symbol of Sacrifice

The cross forces sacrifice into the heart of life. It condemns selfishness, the oldest idol in the world. It reveals God's method of dying in sacrifice, and being raised again in power—as the process through which the individual lives.—Dr. J. Kelman

(Gal. 2. 20; 6. 14)

Unreliability of Everything Except the Cross

In the Alpine Museum at Zermatt is a broken rope. It is stout: it looks strong: yet it failed at a critical moment. Here is the story.

Edward Whymper, a famous wood engraver and Alpine climber, had for many years been ambitious to scale the dizzy heights of the Matterhorn, but although many times reaching the great shoulder on the Italian side, he had never got to the top. On the day named he started again, the more eagerly because a party of Italians were to attempt it also on the same morning.

His party consisted of four climbers and three guides. The guides were two brothers, named Tangwalder, and a famous guide, Michel Croz. All went well until the top was reached and for the first time they stood on the dizzy peak enjoying a wonderful view, and, as Whymper described it, 'one crowded hour of glorious life'.

Then they re-roped themselves to descend in the following order: Michel Croz, the guide, first; then three climbers; then the senior Tangwalder in front of Whymper and the younger Tangwalder in the rear. Carefully they were letting themselves down the fearful precipice, Michel Croz out of sight of the rear members helping the next man to find a footing over the yawning abyss.

A startling cry rang out as a man fell on to Croz, hurling him off his slender foothold. The next two men were dragged after them, but the experienced climbers above tightened the rope between them and stood firm to bear the shock as one man. The rope ran its length and the blow came, but the cord snapped like a thread. The horrified climbers above saw their friends spreading their arms and legs in a hopeless attempt to stop their slide over the precipice. They fell on the great glacier 4,000 feet below.

For nearly an hour the remaining three stood in terrified silence-petrified. At length the guides began to weep, saying they could never attempt the fearful descent. Mr. Whymper, however, nerved them to the effort, and hours later they arrived in Zermatt to tell their story.

The broken rope was examined. Why had it not held? Alas! it was not a genuine Alpine Club rope. Alpine ropes are distinguished by a red strand running through them, and this rope did not have one. How it was that a substitute rope was carried on such an occasion has ever since remained an inexplicable mystery.

It has often been said that the saving power of the Cross of Christ runs like a red cord through the heart of the Bible. Are you joined to the Savior by this unbreakable cord? Or have you some substitute to which you are trusting? No other power will stand the strain; every substitute will break when it is needed most.—Prairie Overcomer

(1 Cor. 1. 17, 18; Col. 2. 14, 15)

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