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Sermon #5479

The Mystery of the Cross

A Sermon on Acts 2:22-23


Acts 2:22-23 ESV KJV
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and …

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Sermon Description

At the center of Christianity stands the mystery of the cross. When Jesus foretold that He must die for the sins of His people, even His own disciples did not understand what He meant. It was not until the Holy Spirit enlightened their eyes that they truly believed! This is because no one expected Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, to die upon the cross. In this sermon on Acts 2:22-23, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones teaches on the great mystery of the cross, but also on the great blessing of the cross. For there is no salvation apart from the shedding of blood and Jesus dying in the place of sinners. Jesus' whole life led up to the moment that He was put to death by lawless men; the Bible says it was preordained by God! The cross was always God’s plan to save sinners. All men are sinners and in dire need of forgiveness from God. It is only through believing in Jesus, in His person and work, that any can be saved. This sermon calls each and every one of us to forsake our sins and look to Jesus. For there is salvation in no other name!

Sermon Breakdown

  1. There is an element of mystery in the cross that cannot be understood through a casual glance. It requires enlightenment by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God.
  2. The cross cannot be properly understood apart from knowing the identity of the person who died—Jesus Christ, the Son of God, approved by God through miracles, wonders and signs.
  3. Though Jesus is the Son of God, He was crucified in weakness by wicked men according to the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God. This adds to the mystery.
  4. The Jews delivered Jesus to the Romans (lawless men) to be crucified. Peter convicts them of their sin in rejecting and crucifying their Messiah.
  5. The cross was not merely the result of the spiritual blindness of the Jews or Roman politics. God delivered Jesus up to die according to His eternal plan. If God wanted to save Jesus, He could have. But He handed Him over.
  6. God delivered Jesus up to die because it had to happen for the forgiveness of sins. God’s holiness and justice demand the punishment of sin. Jesus took our place and bore our punishment.
  7. Though men crucified Jesus, God delivered Him up and it was the separation from God that caused His death. His heart was literally broken.
  8. We see in the cross the meeting of God’s sovereignty and human responsibility; His justice and love; the Creator dying; the Author of Life dying. This is a great mystery.
  9. The greatest mysteries are that God planned this before creation and did it for us. We should see in the cross the dying form of the One who suffered for us, and confess the wonders of His love and our unworthiness.

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Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.