by J. Gerald Harris

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The Spirits in Prison (14 of 18)
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
I Peter 3:18-22

The scripture, which we have before us tonight, is a very difficult passage to interpret. It has been an object of controversy even among evangelical scholars for many years. But, at the same time, it is a passage of scripture that presents the gospel in a beautiful, glorious way.


Look at verse 18 (read). What a great verse of scripture! A capsule of the gospel! It sets forth the humiliation, the suffering, the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What could be more significant than that?

Do you remember when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon - the first man ever to do so? The date was July 21, 1969. When that happened, the President of the United States said (and perhaps he said it in the excitement or the intoxication of the moment), "This is the greatest moment in history since the creation of man." Now, I certainly do not want to diminish the significance of what Neil Armstrong and the crew of Apollo XI accomplished. But the greatest event in the history of mankind was not when man set foot on the moon, but when God set foot on the earth - in the person of Jesus Christ. The life, death, and the resurrection of Jesus is the pivotal point of human history.

And may I say that this verse 18 speaks specifically of the cross. The bull's-eye in the center of human history is the cross. It is the "X" mark etched out by the hand of God himself on the map of the world to show where a sinless Savior bore the penalty of a sinful race.

Modern man glories in his unprecedented scientific breakthrough; he glories in his material possessions; he glories in his traditions of the past; he glories in his conquest of outer space. But the riddle of man's spirit, the problem of man himself, cannot be resolved apart from the cross of Christ.

Jesus, our Savior and Lord, died a cruel, shameful death on a cross. But in His crucifixion He transformed that which was t ...

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