Holiness

The Holiness of God and The Crucifixion- Matthew 27:33-51, Luke 23:26-47, Isaiah 6:1-4

Theme: Be holy.

Key Verse: I Peter 1:16-“For it is written, ‘Be holy, because I am holy.'”

Introduction:

          Have you ever wondered what God’s throne room looks like? Would you like to see it? Today we’re going to.

          God gave Isaiah a private tour of His heavenly throne room.

          We can read about what He saw in Isaiah 6:1-4. (Read it.)

          I wonder why the angels said, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts.”

          Why don’t they say:

                    “Merciful, merciful, merciful God”

                                       or

                    “Loving, loving, loving God”?

          Why “Holy, Holy, Holy?”

          Because that is the most important thing about God.

          What is holiness? Holiness means separateness, set-apart. God is set-apart from everything evil and unclean. God has no sin.

          If the most important thing about God was that He was loving (and He is), then He would lovingly welcome everyone in the whole world into heaven.

          Because of His holiness, He can’t do that. We are sinful, and no sin is allowed in heaven. But He paid the price Himself for your sin to be taken away. How did He do that? He died on the cross for your sin.

          Let’s imagine we were there the day Jesus died. What would we have seen?

Bible Story:

          It is a gruesome sight. A huge crowd watches.

          The hilltop is called the Skull because it is shaped like a skull. On the highest point stand three tall crosses. Nailed to the crosses are men, criminals on each end. In the middle is Jesus.

           Let’s step closer for a better look.

          As we walk through the crowd, we notice the people. Some are just watching for curiosity’s sake, but some are very sad. You can see it in their eyes. Women are weeping.

          As we near the crosses, we see soldiers sitting around, throwing dice, gambling for Jesus’ clothing.

          Now we are real close. The man on the first cross looks mean and rough and cruel, like a real criminal. You can tell he’s in great pain. He shouts out bad words. The man on the third cross looks about the same.

          But the man in the center is different. A sign nailed over His cross says, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” But we know He is more than that. He is the Son of God.

          Jesus says, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing,”

          He must be in great pain, but you’d never know it. His face is peaceful, and He doesn’t cry out. Oh, but He’s lost so much blood already. It’s lying in a big puddle beneath his cross. And it’s no wonder. Look at His hands and feet. They have spikes nailed through them. A crown of thorns presses into His head, and the blood runs down His face.

          Men laugh and say, “He saved others but He cannot save Himself. Come down from the cross, and then we will believe in You.”

          But Jesus doesn’t do a thing. He could save Himself, of course, but He knows He has to die for you.

          One of the criminals says, “Are you the Messiah? Prove it. Save yourself and us too.”

          Before Jesus can answer, the other criminal scolds him. “Can’t you even fear God when you’re dying? We deserve to die because of the wicked things we have done, but this man has done nothing wrong at all.” Then he turns to Jesus and says, “Jesus, please remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

          Jesus answers, “I promise that you will be with Me in paradise today.”

          Suddenly everything goes dark, and it is only noon. People scream. It is terrifying.

          At about 3:00, Jesus calls out with a loud voice, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

          Someone runs for a sponge filled with vinegar, puts it on a long pole, and offers Jesus a drink.

But Jesus cries out and droops. He is dead.

          There is a tremendous earthquake. More screaming.

          A Roman centurion who has been guarding Jesus, says, “This man really was the Son of God.”

          The good news is that Jesus did not stay dead. Three days later He came back to life, proving that He really was God.

Conclusion:

          So why did Jesus die? Why didn’t He take Himself off that cross?

          Because He loved you, He wanted you in heaven with him. But because of God’s holiness, you could not go to heaven with your sin. Someone had to pay the price for your sin.

          So, when Jesus died on the cross, He shed His blood for your sin. He sacrificed Himself as payment for your sin.

When you tell Jesus that you believe He died and rose again, when you tell Him you’re sorry for your sin and invite Him to come into your heart and take your sin away, then you can go to heaven someday. In the eyes of God, you are holy too.

          Do you know what God commands us in I Peter 1:16? “For it is written, ‘Be holy, because I am holy.'”

          You’ve got to be kidding! How can I ever be holy? God, sitting on His high and lofty throne, is so far above me, so perfect, so sinless. I could never be holy like Him.

          But He tells us to be holy.

          The only reason I can be holy is because God made a way for me to be holy through His blood. When I ask Jesus to come into my heart and forgive my sins, God sees Christ in me. So because Christ is holy, I am holy, even though I don’t feel it. It’s not because of any good I’ve done, but because Jesus took away my sins.

          So are you holy? If you have asked Jesus to forgive your sins and live inside you, then yes, you are holy. Isn’t that amazing?

          What did we learn about God today? He is holy.

          What did you learn about yourself today? I am holy too because of what Jesus did for me.

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Beth Livingston

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