by Steve Jones

Pride and Prejudice
Steve Jones
John 18 and 19

INTRO: The graffiti is both crude and clear. In the not-so-neat handwriting of a teenager, the marks are scrawled into the wall. Although the drawing is no Rembrandt, it is not difficult to recognize the intention of the artist behind it. The lines from what appears to be a man on a cross. The head of the man, however, is roughly drawn to look like the head of a donkey. Beside it the composer as written his own title for his masterpiece: 'Alexamenos worships (his) god.' This graffiti, drawn on the outside wall of a second-century house on the palatine Hill in Rome, preserves the taunts a young Alexamenos had to endure because he (and perhaps his family) had become Christians.'

The cross has always been something of an embarrassment to many. Even in the first century Paul spoke of the 'foolishness' and the 'offense' of the cross. Even some churches have quietly moved the cross from center stage to a back room where it is less bothersome.

The leaders of one nationally known evangelical church may sum up the perception of many when they explain their decision to have no image of a cross present in their assembly: 'We want the visitor to find nothing that is offensive or even questionable. There are no crosses or other religious symbols that might distract him.'

Trouble is, without the message of the cross, the church ceases to be Christian and our message is no longer the gospel. Although he was fully aware of the offensiveness of the cross, Paul felt compelled to make it central: 'When I came to you, brothers, I resolved to know nothing except Jesus Christ and him crucified.'

Today as we revisit the account of Jesus' arrest, trial and crucifixion, I want us to note nine statements that He made which should make us unashamed of the gospel, and proud of our Lord.

Vs. 4 'Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out'

If there i ...

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