28 Jun Good Friday 2021
– As you exited the freeway, you may have seen on the top of the building there’s a large cross. It’s the symbol of our Christian faith and has been for a few thousand years. As you entered through the front doors of the church, you pass by another cross. It is believed that Christians have been using this as the symbol of our faith. Since the days of the church father Tertullian in the second century. That’s when Christian started making the sign of the cross. Churches were built in the shape of the cross. People began decorating their homes with the cross and is one of our most beloved hymns rightly declares, it is quote, an emblem of suffering and shame. In the history of the world, the cross of Jesus Christ has in particular elicited incredibly strong response all the way back to the earliest days. The archeologist discovered a painting from the second century of a man being crucified and on his body was the head of a donkey in this painting depicting Jesus Christ as just another dead jackass. And that’s how people have continually seen the sacrifice of our savior. In addition to mockery, there has been a history of indifference. Gandhi, the great religious leader who was having a very bad day said, quote, his death on the cross was a great example to the world but that there was anything like a mysterious or miraculous virtue in it, my heart could not accept. In addition to mockery and indifference, there’s also hatred for the cross of Jesus Christ. The Mahadine Sharia council led by Al Qaeda threatened quote, the worshipers of the cross saying, quote, we shall break the cross, Islam or death. When it comes to the Word of God, we hear a lot about the cross of Jesus Christ and just as you and I invest in our life into those people and things that we find most precious, so much of God’s word is devoted to the cross of Jesus Christ. There are four gospels in the new Testament that tell the story of the life, death burial of the Lord, Jesus. Of those one third of their content is dedicated to the final week of his life, leading up to his death, his murder, his execution crucifixion. That fourth gospel, John devotes fully half of its content to the final week of Jesus. The first 33 years cover the first half of that gospel. The last week leading up to the cross covers the remainder. One of the earliest things written in the Bible is about the cross of Jesus Christ. It’s in first Corinthians chapter 15. It’s very simple, it says Christ died for our sins. That will be my entire sermon just explaining to you in painstaking detail what each of those words means in so far as your relationship with God is concerned. In that section of first Corinthians 15, it is believed to be an early church creed or hymn that came from the earliest days of Christian faith following immediately the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. In addition, it says that it is a first importance that Christ died for our sins. Our world has information doubling every single year. Not an increase in wisdom, but an increase in information. Not an increase in truth, but an increase in information and what the apostle Paul says or I should say that God says through the apostle Paul is the Christ dying for our sins is of first importance. What that means is there is nothing more important for you and I to know and to learn in the history of the world than the simple fact that Christ died for our sins. So we’ll start with Christ. And here we find the who. Who we’re talking about is Jesus Christ. His first name, Jesus is a derivative of the old Testament name, Joshua. And it means God is salvation, or God is my savior. Christ is his title. It means anointed one or chosen one or Messiah. And so we are speaking of course about Jesus Christ. For those of you who do not yet know him, He lived roughly 2,000 years ago. For the first 30 some years of his life, he lived in relative obscurity. We know little about his life. He had three short years of ministry and the world has never been the same since. He accomplished more in a brief window than anyone in the history of our planet. He was born into a rural family. His parents were likely poor peasant teenagers. In addition, he had brothers and sisters who were half brothers and sisters that were added to the family later. His dad was a carpenter or construction worker and he had shockingly few resources in comparison to the impact that he has left. He was poor, not rich. He grew up in a small rural town, not a major city. He never married or had children. He never had the intimacy that men enjoy with women. He didn’t have many of the comforts that you and I find so common. He never traveled more than a few hundred miles from his home. He never wrote a book. He never held a political office. He never commanded an army. He didn’t have a PR representative or any sort of legal representation or security detail. His life was one that was very scant in resources. The bit of money he did make was oftentimes stolen from a demonic pretend friend, his bookkeeper, Judas Iscariot. He also faced incredible obstacles. Religious leaders were constantly falsely accusing him. There were death threats and bounties on his head. The political leaders despised him. People were jealous of him. He was often running for his life and he was in constant danger and harm. And his reputation was continually assaulted and it extended all the way to his beloved and dear mother. He also had demonic opposition. He was stolen from. He was abandoned, He was betrayed. Isaiah rightly says that he was quote, a man of sorrows who is acquainted and familiar with grief. Nonetheless, in his wake is the greatest impact in the history of the world. The Bible which tells the story of everything leading up to the life of Jesus and then the death of Jesus. It’s the bestselling book in the history of the world. It’s the most translated book in the history of the world. It’s the most impactful book in the history of the world. The Christian, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in large part so that the Bible could be widely dispersed and distributed. As we read of Jesus Christ in the Word of God, that is the foundation for what we would call the Christian religion and what makes our faith different than all other faiths is that other religions have as their headquarters, a place. We have a head who is a person. The center of our faith is not in a place, but it is in a person, Jesus Christ. And he can meet with us in any place. The center of our faith is Jesus Christ. And what’s even more amazing, for other religions, they will have a Holy place that you need to go to to be near God. The story of the Bible is that God came near to us and that he makes our body a Holy place and that he can fill us with his spirit and we can meet with him anywhere and everywhere, anytime and every time. Well, Jesus impact on history is without precedent or peer. We measure literally our calendar by this man. BC means Before Christ, AD means Anno Domini or the year of our Lord. The biggest holidays tend to be Easter where we celebrate his resurrection and also Christmas where we celebrate his birth. In the wake of Jesus Christ is the largest singular movement of any sort or kind in the history of the world. For a few thousand years, nations have come and gone but the church of Jesus Christ has remained. And might I prophesy will remain until Jesus Christ returns. That the Christian Church is made up of billions of people who confess him as Lord and savior. That the Christian Church is the most diverse movement of any sort or kind in the history of the world. More languages, more nations, more people groups following this one God man, Jesus Christ than any other political, military or philosophical, ideological leader in the history of our world. It is very safe to say that the life of Jesus Christ is without precedent or peer. On the dawning of the new millennium, the Newsweek magazine had a cover story and it was declaring Jesus Christ as man of the millennium. Let me say that he is more than that. He is the man of all eternity. He is not just a good man, he is the God man, and this is what Newsweek summarized. By any secular standard, Jesus is the dominant figure of Western culture. Like the millennium itself, much of what we now think of as Western ideas, and what’s interesting, Jesus Christ is Eastern not Western, but he is global so his impact is on the East and the West. Inventions and values finds its source or inspiration in the religion that worships God in his name. Art and science, the self and society, politics and economics, marriage and the family, right and wrong, body and soul all have been touched and often radically transformed by the Christian influence. Christ died, Christ died. This brings us to the what and this is where we are going to examine the cross of Jesus Christ. And we are doing so on what is for Christians a Holy day, a holiday called Good Friday. The Bible gives us a few details about crucifixion, I believe because in the ancient world, it was a common practice that was witnessed publicly. As a result, you knew exactly what it was. And once you saw it, you would never forget it. Crucifixion was state sponsored terror, much like a jihadist beheading that is simulcast on the internet. The entire goal is that the state is trying to instill fear and terror and they are essentially declaring openly and publicly, do not believe what this person believed or behave as this person behaved or you will suffer as this person has suffered. Now, crucifixion was invented by the Persians according to historians, about 800 years before Christ. It originally began as a torturous method of slow, painful death. They would take the equivalent of a very large spear that was a huned at the end into a point and they would run it through a man’s midsection. And they would dig a hole and then they would drop that large spear into the hole and they would leave the man impaled to painfully die over the course of many days. Eventually what was invented by the Persians was perfected by the Romans. They became the experts in state sponsored terror and incredible pain. They are the ones who added the cross bar so that you were nailed through the most sensitive nerve centers on the human body, the hands and the feet. And the Roman soldiers would gamble and they would make light in sports seeking who could extract the greatest amount of pain while extending someone’s suffering as long as possible. Crucifixion was painfully slow death by asphyxiation. Medical experts who have examined this would tell you that as you hang on the cross, nailed through your hands and feet, that you cannot garner sufficient oxygen in your lungs to sustain life. And so you would pass in and out of consciousness. And then you would pull yourself up through your crucified hands and push yourself up through your crucified feet to seek to garner more air into your lungs. The result is people could hang on a cross passing in and out of consciousness for upwards of nine days. In a climate that is much like our era desert terrain here in Phoenix, dehydration, incredible heat, strong winds, and painful death. Some would have a seat of fixed underneath the buttocks of the man to hold him up so that he couldn’t slouch on the cross because some quickly learned that the easiest way to end the suffering was to die. And so they would slouch on the cross and they would die by his asphyxiation. And for those men, oftentimes the seat was affixed under them to ensure that they lived as long as possible and suffered as much as was possible. Now all of this was done openly and publicly and shamefully. This was done where there would be large gatherings of people. Imagine that you were coming out of the grocery store and a man was crucified. Imagine that you took your children to the park and a man was crucified. Imagine that you were leaving the little league game of your grandson and in the parking lot, a man was crucified. They were crucified in public places so that it was more shocking and horrifying. And oftentimes the Christian artwork will depict the crosses as very tall. The truth is that most of them were likely at eye level And rarely was a woman crucified, but on the occasion that she was, they would turn her around because they did not want to see the face of a woman in that much horror. The pain of crucifixion is so intense that in the English language, we actually devised a word to explain it because there was not a word that was sufficient to encapsulate the depth of the suffering. So the word excruciating literally means from the cross. Now in regards to crucifixion, it is widely historically regarded, particularly in the ancient world of Jesus, as the most despicable of deaths. It was the Jewish historian Josephus who called it quote, the most wretched of deaths. That’s the Greek leader Cicero was one who said that Roman citizen shouldn’t even speak of crucifixion because it was too barbarous, even for a Roman to mention. And when it comes to the Word of God, the Word of God is plain and clear. In Deuteronomy chapter 21 verses 22 and 23, God speaks through Moses and Paul quotes this same scripture to the Galatians. It says, and I quote, if a man has put to death and you hang him on a tree, a hanged man is cursed by God To be crucified is to be cursed by God. This brought such shame on the family of the crucified that they often would not claim the body or provide it a burial. In our culture where we have no shame which is to our shame and we have parades for things we should have funerals for, we can overlook the importance of shame In the Eastern world of Jesus’ day as well as Eastern cultures in our present day, shame and shame upon the family and shaming the name of the family was considered something that was horrifying, condemning and damning for generations. When a Jewish man was crucified, oftentimes the family would disown him. They would not come to reclaim the body. They would deny that he was part of the family and they would not bury him with the members of the family because if he is cursed by God, he is also cursed by his family. Christ died, speaking of Jesus’ crucifixion, the Bible tells us that the night before he was crucified, he was praying. He was anxious, he was alone. He was isolated, he was abandoned and he was suffering. And he was under such anxiety that he was up praying the same thing over and over in what is called the Garden of Gethsemane, I’ve been there. It’s a place where they would press the olives so that the oil would flow forth. And what happens there is Jesus is in the spiritual equivalent of that press and his soul is being pressed. And what comes out of him, he’s sweating like drops of blood. The medical doctors have a condition for this called hematidrosis. It is a medical condition that is only found in those who are under the most extreme distress and duress. The body literally is beginning to now sweat like drops of blood. Jesus is then betrayed by Judas Iscariot, a covert pretend friend. Judas has been stealing from Jesus for three years. He has been plotting against Jesus for three years. And he comes with religious and political leaders who have never agreed on much of anything, but they agree on one thing and that is that Jesus Christ needs to be put to death. Let me tell you this, religion is against Jesus and politics is against Jesus, and they come together to crucify him. And the treatment of Jesus shows us how bad we are. He comes and he is different than us which is essentially what holiness means, that he is different or other. And we think that there is something wrong with him because he is not like us. And so our answer is to destroy him. And they come and they arrest him. They blindfold him and then under the darkness of night, the Lord Jesus Christ is brutally beaten by a mob of angry men. He is now bleeding. He is dehydrated, he is sleepless. He is exhausted, he is under emotional distress. And then they take him and the Bible simply says that they had him scourged. Now the way the scourging worked in the ancient world, this would be called a flagrum or a cat of nine tails, depending upon which historian you prefer. And the way it would work is that a Roman soldier would make sure that they held it in a hand. And then the victim would be stripped nearly naked. They would be chained or tied to a pole, oftentimes over a large rock so that their entire neck, their back, their buttocks and legs were exposed. On each side would stand a Roman executioner or a soldier with a cat of nine tails. They had long straps of leather at the end of which was affixed a ball that was out of metal or stone. The entire purpose was to tenderize the flesh of the man’s body, just as you would meat preparing it for the grill. And then at the end, there were long hooks, either out of metal or sometimes out of bone. And they would sink deeply into the tissue and sometimes down to the level of the bone and the vital organs in the victim. History outside of the Bible records that after they would rip the man’s flesh from his body, occasionally they would go so deep that a rib would simply come flying off of the man’s body. This was done to the Lord Jesus, the Prophet Isaiah prophesied some 700 years prior that he would be quote, marred beyond human likeness. That there was very little left of his physical body. Now he has damage to the deep tissue and the vital organs. He is now losing considerable amounts of blood that he is in the process of dying. Crown of thorns is placed on his head to mock him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And then Jesus has given likely what is his crossbar to carry to his place of execution? And he is required to carry it through the Old City of Jerusalem. Our family has been there and to secure a perimeter around the city of Jerusalem, there are walls and within the walls is the Old City of Jerusalem. The streets are very narrow and the homes and the shops are very small, cobblestone streets. If you go there today, they will take you on what is called the Via Dolorosa, the way of the cross. They will show you the path that the Lord Jesus walked carrying his own cross bar. And he’s going through shoppers and mothers who are out getting groceries with their children and people who are about their normal daily affairs. And they are horrified to see this man in this condition. That crossbar likely weighed upwards of 100 pounds. It was recycled timber. It was used previously for the execution of other men. So it had nail holes from murdered men. It had their blood, it had their sweat, it had their tears and his would join it. It was hewn timber laid on his barren, beaten, bloodied back. And as Jesus is carrying it and trying to navigate around women, children and shoppers on cobblestone, uneven streets, though he is young and healthy, he trips and falls. The medical experts who have examined this will tell you that that degree of force and trauma is the equivalent of a head-on car crash where the high speed you have a collision. You were thrown chest first into the steering wheel. No airbag, deploys, and no seatbelt is utilized. You know have a deep chest contusion. You are in the process of dying without very, very significant medical attention. Jesus then arrives at his place of crucifixion. To mock him, they pull his beard out. It’s a way of saying, we no longer consider you much of a man. Before they take his life, they seek to take his dignity. Then they spit upon him, they curse him, they jeer him and ultimately they nail him. Jesus, who himself is a carpenter has driven many nails. And now they’re going to drive nails, the equivalent of railroad spikes through the most sensitive nerve centers in the human body, the wrist at the base of the hand and into the feet. Jesus’ body would have shook violently and uncontrollably as his nerves were destroyed. And then they lifted up his cross and they dropped it into a hole so that his body is shaking violently and a crowd is making fun of him and they’re placing bets on how long he will last and they’re cursing him. And as he looks forward, perhaps at eye level, there’s his mother. Ladies, imagine you have a little boy. You count 10 fingers and 10 toes. You kiss 10 fingers and 10 toes. And then one day you see what they have done to these 10 fingers and 10 toes. And there is Jesus in the presence of his own grieving and devastated mother. Jesus ultimately suffers and dies on the cross. To ensure that he was dead, a Roman executioner took a spear and ran it under his rib cage into his side so that it punctured his heart sack and we are told that water and blood flowed from his side which shows that his heart was punctured. Jesus emotionally, spiritually and physically died of a broken heart. Some cults will teach that he only swooned on the cross. Muslim scholars will say the same, he died. The entire point of crucifixion was death and the entire job of the men who oversaw this act was to ensure that he was dead. Christ, that is who, died, that is what, for our sins, that is why. Christ died for our sins. Now, when it comes to sin, you need to know that our God is a God of law. Our God is a God of unchanging law. You are not the highest authority in the world and in the sight of God, you have no authority. What do you think does not matter? None of you will die, stand before a mirror and give an account for your life. You are not creator, you are not redeemer and you are not savior and you are not judge, but ultimately God is perfect and God doesn’t edit his laws because God gets it right the first time. It matters not what your nation says. It matters not what your culture says. It matters not what your degree says. It matters not what the politicians say. It matters not what the judges say. What matters is what the Word of God says. And everyone and everything will be judged by the Word of God that is filled with God’s laws. And sin is the breaking of God’s laws. The Bible uses a constellation of images and we don’t talk about sin. We talk about systemic sin, not personal sin. We talk about their sin, not my sin because we all want to be victims and we conveniently overlook the fact that we’re all villains. You’re not a good person, you’re a bad person. You’re not born a friend of God, you’re born an enemy of God. You’re not the hope of the nations, you’re just another problem among the nations. And when the Bible speaks of sin, it does so in a constellation of images. It uses words like rebellion, folly, self-abuse, madness, treason, death, hatred, spiritual adultery, missing the mark, wandering from the path, idolatry, insanity, irrationality, pride, selfishness, blindness, deafness, a hard heart, a stiff neck, delusion, unreasonableness and self worship. And if you disagree, you only prove the point. And I am no better than you. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. When it comes to sin, you won’t learn about sin in school. They don’t teach you that you are a sinner. When you go to college, they will tell you all the problems in the world. And not that you are one of the problems in the world. For a moment, worry not about what everyone else has done, consider for a moment what you have done. For a moment, don’t just consider those who have made you a victim of their wrongdoing. Imagine the degree of wrongdoing that God has endured from assault. Sin is both a condition and an action. As a condition, it is an inherited nature that is imputed to you. That every one of us is part of a fallen, rebellious, sinful race by nature, by condition. Sin is not just what we do, sin is who we are. This includes the totality of our being. This includes not only our nature, but our desires. Also our motives. The reason that we do things is always self and not God. Even when we do seemingly good things, we do them with bad motives and also our will. We continually choose that which is wrong because something in us is fundamentally wrong. Sin is not only a condition, it is also an action. It is both who we are and what we do. This includes our thoughts. Do you know that God knows your thoughts? God knows your thoughts. God hears every word you have ever spoken. God sees every word you have ever typed. God knows every motive you have ever had. There is nothing hidden from the sight of God. The old preacher, DL Moody once said that your character is who you are in the dark, and God sees that too. As the Bible declares, the no one and nothing is hidden from the sight of God. Sin also includes your emotions. There is no part of you that you can trust. You can’t just follow your heart. Your heart is deceitful and wicked. You can’t just follow your mind because it is hostile toward the truth of God. That every part of who we are apart from Jesus Christ is impacted and affected by sin. There is no part of us that is pure, trustworthy and good. Sin includes not only the things that you do, but the things that you don’t do. Sin includes not only commission. You steal something you should not steal. You sleep with someone you should not sleep with. You put hands on someone you’re not married to. You say something that is not true. You get upset about something that you have no right to. It also includes sins of omission. The day you didn’t hug your child. The day you didn’t pay your tithe. The day, you didn’t apologize for your transgression. The day you didn’t come home after work, but you went to the bar. But ultimately sin is both commission where we do that which is wrong and omission, where we failed to do that which is right. Some of you will say that you are a good person, you are not. That there are three things that God has put in place to save us from ourselves and one another. The Bible says that God put a conscience in us. There are certain things that we know are right and wrong even if we don’t know God. In addition, there are laws externally. There are police officers and governments and lawyers and soldiers, and they’re there to protect and to serve. In addition, there is death and there are certain things that if we do them, we run the risk of dying. That becomes for us a deterrent. Now, if you think that you’re good and you think that we’re all good, imagine this world. The laws are gone, the law enforcement has gone and death is gone and everyone has unlimited resources and no consequences. There are a few cities in our country who are trying a basic experiment in this direction and those who live there will tell you that it is an internship for hell. Because we are not good, we are bad and we need to be saved from ourselves and one another. Now this leads us to Christ died for our sins. That word for is very significant. It moves from the historical facts of Jesus’ death to the personal application for those who believe. And the Bible uses this word for frequently in relation to the cross of Christ. And what it’s speaking of there is something that is called penal substitution atonement. This is a theological term. Theos means God, logos means study. The problem in our world, we spend too much time studying ourselves. What do you think? What do you feel? What do you need? How do you esteem yourself? And too little studying who God is. You can’t even know who you are until you know who God is. And the two most important things that you could ever learn is who God is and then who God says you are. And penal substitutionary atonement is this. There is a penalty, the wage for sin is death. It is spiritual death where we are born separated from loving relationship with God and ultimately it culminates in physical death that all sin and all die. This year, the whole planet was gripped with the spirit of fear. Everyone was afraid that they were going to die. We shut down the planet. We closed the church for Easter. We told grandparents not the hug their grandchildren or see them for Christmas. We told everyone to use hand sanitizer, put on a mask and get a vaccine. And I’ll tell you what? You’re still gonna die. You’re gonna die with hand sanitizer on your hand, a mask on your face and a needle in arm. And the goal is not just to live a while longer, but to live forever. And the biggest problem that we have is the death problem and stimulus checks and vaccinations and CDC guidelines will not save you from death. Only Jesus Christ saves from death. The Bible says to live is Christ, to die is gain. To be absent from the body and to be with the Lord is far better. Let me tell you, friend, you will die. And if you know, Jesus that’ll be your best day. Penal, there is a penalty substitution for, that Jesus died for our sins. That means that Jesus took your place and he puts you in his place. He substituted himself. The great Protestant reformer, Martin Luther called this quote, the great exchange. Second Corinthians, five 21 summarizes it this way, God made him who knew no sin to become sin so that in him, we might become the righteousness of God. The human race with our father, Adam and our mother, Eve substituted themselves for God. And on the cross, God substituted himself for us. What that means is that the cross of Jesus is what you should endure, but Jesus out of love was willing to endure so that you would not have to endure. Substitution, he took your place and put you in his place. He died that you might live. He endured the wrath of God so you could taste the grace of God. He faced death so you could receive life. He experienced separation from the father so you could have reconciliation with the father. Christ died for our sins. Penal, there is a penalty, substitution, atonement and that word literally means at one ment. Sin has separated us from God, through the substitution of Jesus in our place for our sins, we can be made one again, reconciled to God. Now this was the holiest day of the year in the Jewish calendar and Jews celebrated it, including Jesus who is the fulfillment of it. We have our big holidays, it’s usually Christmas. For the Jews it was the day of atonement. It was also called Yom Kippur and some would simply refer to it as The Day. That’s the day that the nation would deal with its sin in the sight of a Holy and righteous God. And what they would do, they would confess their sins to God and they would prepare their hearts and families. And they would come together as God’s people. God’s people need to assemble. I’ll just go on record on saying that the closing of the church for two Easters in some cities and states is demonic and it is an effort to keep people from health and to keep people from Jesus and to keep people from eternity, healthy with Jesus and God’s people would come together on the day of atonement and there would be two goats. There would be a sacrificial goat and a scapegoat. And the high priest who was a foreshadowing of Jesus, our great high priest, he would go between the people and God and he would intercede and mediate. This was showing us the Jesus would come as the mediator between God and man, the God man, Christ Jesus. And what the priest would do, he would confess the sins of the people over the sacrificial substitute And then he would take a knife and he would slit the throat of the substitutionary animal. Showing that the wage for sin was death and that the sin of the people was imputed or reckoned to that substitute. And then he would name the sins of the people over the second, the scapegoat. If you’ve ever heard that language, it’s borrowed from the Bible. And the sins of the people were then imputed or reckoned in addition to the scapegoat and one would die and the other would flee and take the sins with them. Because if you belong to the Lord, Jesus Christ and he substituted himself for you on the cross, you are forgiven and your sins are taken away. The only way to have your sins forgiven and taken away is if Jesus is your substitute and Jesus is your scapegoat. Jesus prayed this on the cross. Father, forgive them. He was then the substitute. And then he said, it is finished. And in that moment, as he went to death, he served as our scapegoat and he took your sin, my sin, our sin with him. To silence Jesus on the cross, they took a sponge, a soldier did and shoved it in his mouth. It was part of the field kit for a Roman soldier when they would go off into battle and they needed to relieve themselves out into the wilderness, they would take out their sponge, put it on the end of a stick, sop it in wine vinegar as a disinfectant and use it to scrub themselves as toilet paper. Jesus is praying for our forgiveness and we shoved that sponge in his mouth. That means when Jesus says it is finished, he does so with the taste of Roman soldiers bowel movement on his lips. That moment shows how bad we are and how good Jesus is. Now let me summarize this, either Jesus is punished for you or you will be punished by Jesus. This is the case for every human being. Now in our culture of foolishness and nonsense, heading into Good Friday this week in the news, what dominated a lot of social media was Lil Nas and his Satan shoes, which were the Nike Air Max Ones made with a drop of human blood. 666 pairs were made and they included a pentagram and an inverted cross. He’s a gay man, he has a music video that accompanies this ridiculous product where he is gyrating on Satan’s lap. He sold these shoes for $1,018 quoting Luke 10:18 where Jesus says, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Social media was in an uproar because we don’t do deep and profound thought. We do shoes and nonsense. And one of the statements that was circulating widely in media and social media was quote, it is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven. That is not a quote from the Bible. It is a quote from Paradise Lost by the puritan, John Milton. Lots of his works are good. But let me say this, Satan rules nowhere, Satan rules nothing, Satan rules no one when all is said and done with the Lord, Jesus. That Jesus Christ is creator of all and he is Lord overall. I’m telling you the same Jesus who died is returning and he will put to death all who have failed to trust in him. And I’m telling you this, that when all is said and done, the person ruling in heaven and on earth and under the earth is the same Jesus Christ. That’s why the Apostle Paul says that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord both on the earth and under the earth to the glory of God, the father. I am telling you this, when all is said and done, either Jesus suffers or you or Jesus punishes you. And the same Jesus who rules in heaven will return and he will rule the earth. And the same Jesus will rule in hell. That he is Lord overall or he is not Lord at all. That he will yield nothing to the enemy. It says this, Revelation 14, 10 through 11, he will also drink the wine of God’s wrath. You’re not just saved from low self-esteem. You’re not just saved from missing your potential. You’re not just saved from negative feelings. You are saved from God, by God, for God. That ultimately the wrath of God is poured out on the Son of God or the Son of God will pour the wrath of God on those who reject the Son of God. He also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger. And he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the presence of the lamb. He just told us that Jesus rules hell. The Bible says that the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work, not to relocate them. The Bible says that hell was made for the devil and his angels, not to rule, but to experience wrath. When he’s talking about this cup, this reminds us that the person who speaks of the wrath of God and the judgment of hell more than anyone in the Bible is Jesus Christ. 13% of his parables. God’s wrath is twofold, my friend. My job is to tell the truth, your job is to make a decision. God’s wrath is passive and then it is active. God’s passive wrath is where he allows you to continue to be you. He continues to allow you to do you. That’s his passive wrath. And what it says here is that the passive wrath means that no one is getting away with anything, but everyone is storing up everything for the day of wrath. And he uses this analogy in Revelation 14 of a cup. Every day, every sin you commit is just added to that cup. It’s added to that cup. There’s a cup in the presence of God with your name on it. It includes all of your sin. And one of two things happen, either Jesus drank that cup on the cross, or you will drink it in hell forever. This is what Jesus meant when on the night that he was betrayed, as he was in The Garden of Gethsemane prior to his betrayal and his arrest, he was praying in anguish over and over and over, Father, take this cup from me. Friend, that was your cup with your name it. And that is the cup of God’s wrath. And when Jesus went to the cross, he drank every drop of your cup if you belong to him and believe in him. If you continue to sin against God, the Bible says this and I warn you with great love and affection. My volume is not anger, it is passion. Do not be deceived, God will not be mocked. You will reap what you sow. Let God be true and every man a liar. And if you reject the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ, then that cup with your name on it remains filled with your sin and the wrath of God and Revelation 14 says that you will drink that cup forever. Jesus is going to rule over you forever. He will do so as friend, if you receive him. He will do so as foe if you reject him and that’s the most important decision you will ever make.