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The River of Redemption (2 of 2)
Series: Both Sides of the Cross
Introduction: There are two sides to the story of the cross, the crucifixion of Jesus--his and ours. His was ugly and brutal. Crucifixion was death by torture. No amount of sentimentalism or romanticizing can change the reality of the cross. It is what it is! Despite that the followers of Jesus insisted that the cross was the heart of their faith. Paul called the message of the cross "the power of God." (1 Cor 1:18) He insisted, "I resolved to know nothing . . . except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Cor 2:5) "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Gal 6:14)
What was it about the story of the cross that led to such devotion and faith? We can only answer that when we begin to focus on the other side of the cross--our side. The other side tells us what happened, our side explains why.
This single Message of the Scripture runs the down the pages of the Bible like snow melt slowly forming a mountain stream and eventually a giant rolling river. The Message begins as a tiny trickle, small and hardly noticeable in the opening pages of the Book. By the end of Genesis several streams have come together to form a mountain brook. It keeps rolling on, growing larger and larger with each passing chapter. By the end of the Old Testament, the torrent turns into raging floodwaters, pushing on and on, finally pouring out in the ocean depths of the New Testament. All of the Old Testament heads in this one direction. It flows toward the cross.
I want to explain our side of the cross today by briefly stepping into the middle of the River of Redemption at Isaiah 53. It stands at the great headwaters of Old Testament prophecy. I then want to explain the heart of this chapter by wading back upstream and exploring three of the currents that flow into it.
First, the Message of the Cross from Isaiah 53. The Jewish prophet Isa ...
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