Feeling The Weight Of The Cross (1 of 5) by Jeff Strite

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Feeling The Weight Of The Cross (1 of 5)
Series: The Upside Down Teachings of Jesus
Jeff Strite
Luke 9:18-27

OPEN: The year was 1889 on the continent of Africa.
Menelik II became emperor of Ethiopia and reigned for 20 years. He was a powerful ruler who transformed his country from a collection of semi-independent states into a united nation.
As part of his efforts to modernize his country he ordered 3 electric chairs shipped in from New York, but when they arrived there was a problem. Back then Ethiopia didn’t have electricity. Now he had a problem - he had 3 electric chairs that he couldn’t use.
How would he solve his problem?
Apparently he had a stage built and had one of the electric secured to it… then he used it as his throne.
(C. Barry McCarty The Lookout 4/16/2000 p. 7)

APPLY: That’s odd isn’t it?
The symbol of the power of his kingdom was an instrument of death.

When Jesus established His kingdom, He did the same thing.
He deliberately used an instrument of death as the symbol of His kingdom and His power.

One of the most peculiar lessons Jesus ever taught His followers is found right here in Luke 9. “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

In Jesus’ day people didn’t wear crosses on their bracelets and necklaces.
They didn’t use them to decorate their homes and their car bumpers.
The cross was a tool of death.

ILLUS: Caesar Augustus bragged about capturing 20,000 runaway slaves, and those who were not claimed - were crucified.
The movie Spartacus tells the true story of an army of rebellious slaves who revolted against Rome. Six thousand (6000) of them were crucified on the Apian Way – the major road leading into Rome.
At another time 2000 people in Palestine were crucified for their rebellion against the authority of Rome.
Though crucifixion was a horrid way to die, for a Jew the cross represented an even worse kind of pain. To be crucified, in t ...


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