THE CROSS Sermon for 5th Sunday in Lent (Passion Sunday)


17 March 2024 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide

Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21And having an high priest over the house of God; 22Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:19-22; all scripture quoted is from the Authorized King James Bible))

This Sunday bears out the Doctrine of Atonement – a term I heard another minister describe as ‘at-one-ment’ with God. The cross reconciled us to God from the curse of Adam’s Fall and the subsequent Law which was our teacher to point out our infirmity and inability to be obedient to God in our own strength and merit.

Christ is the realization of that true Tabernacle of which that the Church in the Wilderness *(see Acts 7:38) was a type and picture. Christ is our Tabernacle “not made with hands.” “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Corinthians 5:1) The later Temple was an improved picture of that Wilderness Tabernacle.

The Wilderness Tabernacle was lavishly furnished with silk and wool curtains, gold covered furniture, and other ornaments of gold. It was a thing of beauty INSIDE, but was rough and shabby appearance without being covered with goat’s hair. In that respect, it foreshadowed the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ: “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:2-3) But the Heart of our Lord was pure beauty of finest gems.

Both the Tabernacle and the Temple of Solomon were oriented toward the east. This symbolizes the welcoming gate of the Son of God at His second coming. “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:27) He is our Sun of Righteousness and His brightness is beyond comparison. (Malachi 4:2)

The doctrines of salvation, atonement, redemption & justification are all fully consummated in the Doctrine of the Cross.  These are physically represented in both the Wilderness Tabernacle and the Temple. Inside the outer gate of the both stands the Altar of burnt offerings. No one enters without confronting this demand for a sacrifice as the covering of sin. On the Hebrew Day of Atonement, each family brought their lamb, or other acceptable animal. Without blemish to be sacrificed as an atonement of sin. The sacrifice of Christ is the Christians offering for sin – a continual offering which was sacrificed once-and-for-all. It is thereby an eternal sacrifice.

Christ is a High Priest after the Order of Melchizedek (King of Righteousness). He is the eternal High Priest and therefore the only High Priest for all time and eternity.

At the moment of His death on the cross, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” (Luke 23:46) At that very moment, the Passover Lambs were being sacrificed. Moreover, During the Day of Atonement, the High Priest of Israel entered into the Holy of Holies beyond the veil to sprinkle the blood sacrifice of the people. On entry to the Holy of Holies, the High Priest must pass between the seven candles on the north side of the Holy Place and the Shewbread Table on the south. The Candles represented Christ as the Light of the World as well; and the Shewbread represented Christ as the Bread of Heaven. The High Priest stopped at the Altar of Incense to offer up the prayers of the people – the rising smoke of the incense representing the prayers of the people being wafted up to Heaven.

The High Priest could only go into the Holy of Holies once per year, but as our High Priest, Christ intercedes for our sins continually and forever. Behind the Veil was the Ark of the Covenant containing the Ten Commandments, the rod of Aaron, and Manna. Above the Ark of the Covenant was the Mercy Seat symbolizing grace as trumping the Law. The Mercy Seat, to me, is a clear representation of Christ and His grace.


Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. 53Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself? 54Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: 55Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. 59Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” (John 8:52-59)

Christ most often referred to His divine role as the Great I AM. He was the I Am of the Burning Bush before Moses, and He is our great I am having neither beginning nor end. “For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 18For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 19For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. 20And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: 21(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) 22By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. 23And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 24But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 26For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” (Hebrews 7:17-27)

By the means of the Law, we have realized our weakness and inability to be accounted righteous. But by the atoning sacrifice of Christ, we are made clean by His blood and are accounted righteous by the imputed righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have an Advocate with the Father who is our continual Intercessor. We need not other – neither saint, nor pope, nor priest.

In the Absolution pronounced by the minister in Anglican worship, the priest exercise not authority to forgive sins but, instead, pronounces the will of God to forgive every sin of which the penitent has confessed and repented of.

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy hath promised forgiveness of sins to all those who with hearty repentance and true faith turn unto him; Have mercy upon you; pardon and deliver you from all your sins; confirm and strengthen you in all goodness; and bring you to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” Prayer of Absolution, 1928 Book of Common Prayer. The minister simply pronounces that which it is the Lord’s will to grant based on the General Confession of sins that precede the Absolution.

Christ is our Redeemer, Atonement, Savior, King and Lord of all. As the old minister described the Atonement, so I concur – Christ came to put us At-One-Ment with God. We are all One in Christ as He is One with the Father. He has reconciled His elect from Abraham to you and me by His cross.  If we have put on the Mind that was in Christ, we are One with Him and with the Father. And if we are One with Him, we will not suffer quarrels and dissension in the Church. Such divisions is evidence of a lack of grace in the church and her members.


Let us all embrace that Oneness with the Lord Jesus Christ and His Father, and our Father.

By |2024-03-21T16:30:59+00:00March 21st, 2024|Sermons|Comments Off on THE CROSS Sermon for 5th Sunday in Lent (Passion Sunday)

About the Author: