One thing that has helped me in my Christian life is that I take notes in church on the pastor’s sermon each Sunday and save them. I have done this for years. Yesterday my Pastor preached on Matthew 27:45-54 and as I transferred the notes to my computer I found notes on the same text from fifty-seven years earlier! My pastor’s sermon was a blessing and the notes on a sermon by another preacher were also a blessing and I thought you might be blessed by the old notes. Lord bless.
Because of Calvary,
Matthew 27:45-54 (ESV)
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
“Christ’s death transformed the cross from something brutal into something beautiful. To see what I mean, imagine a woman wearing a hangman’s noose or an electric chair on a chain around her neck. Or imagine them in a man’s buttonhole. Christ’s death is inexplicable! The cross was for the worst criminals, yet the best man who ever lived died here. Human nature put the only perfect specimen of itself on a cross! This was not an accident. Christ was not a martyr or helpless — He planned this! The cross is the heart and power of Christianity. If it is not the center of your faith, you are embracing a caricature.” [Richard C. Halverson, Fourth Presbyterian Church, March 26, 1961]