In this full sermon, Bill Johnson talks about the beauty of the Cross and what it means for us in our Christian life. The Cross reminds us of the victory we have in Christ, but also the call to lay our lives down, taking up our own cross and surrendering our desires. God wants to bless us more than we can ask or imagine, but our desire for Him and His Kingdom must come first.

why would Jesus make Judas the treasurer

some would say well it’s to expose him

I’m not so sure

Jesus tends to promote us into positions

and places where we have the opportunity

to deal with our stuff


I was I was chuckling at Christie’s

questions about

they had every every answer was Jesus

which reminds me

of a Sunday school class with a bunch of

little kids

and a Sunday school teacher asked the


what’s Gray

stands about this tall as a long bushy

tail kids are completely quiet

she said come on you guys know

gray but this tall long bushy tail it’s


kids are quiet

guys this tall long bushytale eats nuts

climbs trees and one kid goes

I know the answer is supposed to be

Jesus but it sure sounds like a squirrel

to me


for those of you that raised in church

that joke makes a lot of sense if if you

weren’t you missed them you missed the


I love

I saw this one recently it says

see if I can find it



I had it right here it got raptured oh

there it is

I’m so sorry it did get no there it is

thank you Lord

brain cells die

skin cells die

even hair cells die

but fat cells

apparently they have accepted Jesus

because they live forever


for those of you who watch what you eat

Here’s the final word on nutrition and


which is a relief to know after all

these conflicting nutritional studies

number one

the Japanese eat very little fat and

suffer fewer heart attacks than the


number two the Mexicans eat a lot of fat

and suffer fewer heart attacks than the


number three the Chinese drink very

little red wine and suffer fewer heart

attacks than the English

number four the Italians drink a lot of

red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks

than the English number five the Germans

drink a lot of beer eat a lot of

sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart

attacks than the English

conclusion you didn’t drink what you

like speaking English is apparently what

kills you

all right sorry no never though never


grab your Bibles and open to

um Matthew 26.

I have

a quite a different word than I normally

bring I’ve got several verses here that

I that I feel I have the time to look

them up I’ve got them ready


Jesus never invited anyone to follow him

so they would be blessed

he never used Prosperity he never used


you know he didn’t come to the political

Zealot that he had to follow him as a

disciple he never he didn’t come to him

and said listen I’ll make you successful

as a great politician if you follow me

it didn’t come to Peter and say I’ll

make you the Most Blessed fisherman ever

if you follow me he didn’t do anything

he didn’t entice anyone with blessing to

follow him

which is fascinating because his kingdom

carries such a boatload of blessing

it it reminds me of Jesus says

there’s a straight and narrow way

into the kingdom it’s a narrow road

Jesus himself is the door

and uh it’s a narrow road that leads

into the kingdom once you’re in the

Kingdom the kingdom is very vast and

very broad but entrance is only one way

and it’s the entrance of discipleship

it’s the entrance of the cross

it’s embracing what is foolishness

to all who are without Christ

Paul says in Corinthians that that he

preaches the cross the cross that which

is foolishness to those who are

perishing but yet it’s the wisdom of God

to those who are being saved and I love

that phrase being saved

because I was saved but I’m also being

saved and someday I’m going to be saved

and it’s this three dimensions of

Salvation that are absolutely the heart

of the Gospel I I was saved x amount of

years ago I gave my life to Christ

but there is a work that’s going on

right now where I’m I’m being saved and

someday I will see him face to face and

he will complete what was started

but here in this talk that I want to do


I’m going to bring up uh unusual story

that we’re familiar with and it’s the

Betrayal of Judas

the context for the Betrayal I got to be

honest with you I’ve been reading this

studying this for a lifetime you know

since I was 18.

that I’ve never seen before the context

for his betrayal so let’s take a look at


Matthew 26 did I tell you where

no Matthew 26. how many of you were

already there I want to see how many

prophetic people there are there are

quite a few of you that’s good

yeah you know


Matthew 26.

some of you are already there that’s

kind of frightening to me I

I did say it

I said the chapter but not the verse

you guys are starting to scare me now


it you know in the early days of the

renewal we would discuss things in

private as a staff we’d make plans and

somebody in the church would have some

dream we couldn’t do anything because

the Lord would tell everybody the

secrets that we had as a staff we need

to do this we need to plan this and

somebody would prophesy you know and we

go come on

can we keep a few secrets you know all

right Matthew 26 verse 1. it came to

pass when Jesus had finished all these

sayings that he said to his disciples

you know after two days is the Passover

and the son of man will be delivered up

to be crucified

take a look at verse two again

you know that after two days

it’s the Passover and the son of man

will be delivered up to be crucified

then the chief priest describes the

Elders of the people assembled at the

palace the high priest was called

Caiaphas and plotted to take Jesus by

trickery and kill him jump down to verse

14 then one of the twelve called Judas

Iscariot went to the chief priests and

said what are you willing to give me if

I deliver him to you and they counted

out to him 30 pieces of silver so from

that time he sought opportunity to

betray him

let’s take a look at the context here

what are the disciples anticipating with


we see it in their dialogues we see it

in James and John’s mother talking to

Jesus can my can my boy sit at your

right hand and your left they are all

vying for a a political posture of power

they are looking for Israel to be

Vindicated and restored to a place of

prominence and can I say a place of

political prominence and political power

they are each looking

because they are Disciples of Jesus they

will be brought into this Empire of rule

and will each have their place of

influence and significance when did

Judas betray Jesus

well they finally realized

it’s not going to happen that way and

I’ll leave my place of political



selfish ambition undermines discipleship

and actually sets us up for betrayal

the sobering part of the story which we

don’t have time to look at all of it but

the sobering part of the story is All of

the disciples abandoned Jesus at his


Peter was the most vocal

the one that had no return was Judas

but they all had some measure of


and I’d like to suggest when they lost

their place their position their


they suddenly had to apply the concept

of the cross in a way different than

they had expected

I’m reminded of what I think is a funny

story anyway of the guys climbing this


and he gets up so far that he knows he

can’t go back down but he’s afraid he’s

going to die if he tries to climb any

higher and he just kind of gets stuck

and he cries out for help

and a voice comes back

and says yes this is the Lord I’m here

to help you

and he says

what do I do and the Lord says let go


and he yells out is there anyone else up


do I have any other options

most of us our concept of the Cross is


instead of embracing the circumstances

of life that requires something from us

that we are not expecting

Jesus did not hang himself on the cross

did not crucify himself nor did he raise

himself from the dead

it’s important to remember that because

while the life of Resurrection is the

Christian Life

you only get there through the cross

and it’s a daily expression of surrender

that invites the spirit of Resurrection

the spirit of Resurrection is not at our

disposal in the sense that I can direct

it or control it at will say I will now

have the spirit of resurrection of my

finances the blessing of the Lord on my

family or whatever it’s it’s not in my

control what’s in my control is


in my control is to create a platform

for the spirit of Resurrection to come

and do something in me and through me

that testifies of Grace

but Jesus gave himself to crucifixion to

a cross to death


he would be raised

he did not lay there for three days

going yeah it should be about time to

get up

he did not raise himself

it was resurrected by the spirit of

Resurrection through the father that is

perhaps the best the ultimate

illustration of the crosswalk of a


here’s the fascinating part of this

journey for me

is found in the verses actually there’s

two things that I want to point to the

first is found in the verses between

what I read where Jesus announced the

crucifixion and judas’s betrayal so I

want you to look at that part of the

story it’s in verse 6

when Jesus was in Bethany

at the house of Simon the leper a woman

came to him having an alabaster flask a

very costly fragrant oil

and she poured it at his on his head as

he sat at the table

and when his disciples saw it they were

indignant saying why this waste for this

fragrant oil might have been sold for

much and given to the poor

jump down to verse the last half of

verse 13 what this woman has done Jesus

says will be told as a memorial to her

I personally think you’ll be able to

review that story in heaven and I think

the Lord will throw out eternity unveil

a layer after layer after layer of the

beauty of Heaven the beauty of sacrifice

that this woman offered to honor Jesus

at his at his death and his burial

it says the disciples raised a voice in

complaint about this waste

unbelief will always evaluate

extravagant giving as waste

this gift that was given was equal to a

Year’s income we’ve heard this countless


a Year’s worth of income and this woman

takes it and pours it out and the

disciples begin to bicker why this waste

John chapter 12 tells us it was actually


who led the charge as he complained

against this woman who wasted a Year’s

worth of income for illustration is to


as everybody watches fifty thousand

dollars evaporate before their eyes

there was only one person in the room

that celebrated at the moment

that understood the moment

two celebrated the woman and Jesus

but sometimes you do things honestly for

an audience of one

it’s only for him and only he gets it

only he gets it

John 12 says Judas was the one who

complained against this offering the

sacrifice and it says it’s because Judas

was a thief

and he wanted that to be sold put in the

treasury because he was the treasurer

because he would steal money from the

treasury for himself

it’s fascinating to me how morality

demands expression

so here we have somebody with secret sin

taking money that was given to Jesus

personal privately holding it off for


and pointing at the waist of someone


hidden sin invites the spirit of


why because there’s something in US that

it’s like morality values demand

expression so you’ll see it maybe a

silly example but you’ll see it with the

mafia as they contend for family

unrighteous lifestyle

righteous position

or those who are the strongest in

promoting abortion will defend the right

of the baby whale or something else

it’s not to mock the animal rights thing

is to say there’s something broken

and oftentimes people will try to cover

it with a righteous expression we saw it

back in the 80s as different Christian

leaders the strongest

who would criticize immorality

or they themselves the one practicing

hidden sin

it doesn’t mean we don’t address these

issues at all

it just means it needs to come out of

out of our obedience

not our effort to silence our own shame

it’s I find it humorous although I’ve

made these mistakes myself

but I find it humorous the way some

people will confess their sin

for example Jesus convicts you of being

lazy instead of saying to your friend I

need you to pray for me I’m lazy what we

say is I need you to pray for me I lack


Jesus never convicts for lack

he convicts for something that’s wrong

and True Confession owns up to the whole


doesn’t try to make a soft a soft Edge

so that I look better

if you ever apologized to somebody I

remember during this as a young man come

to somebody apologizing saying God has

really convicted me and I need to I need

to apologize to you I said something

harsh to you and not forgive me

why did I need to say God has really

convicted me because I want to appear


that even in my sin I am a strong

spiritual person

are you getting this

there is this effort to protect

ourselves and what we actually are doing

is protecting ourselves from the full

effect of the cross

because it’s the genuine cross that

leads to genuine Resurrection

I’ve got this passage for you in the


chapter 3 if you want to turn there

you guys all right everybody’s still

breathing good

it’s helpful

I hate when people stop breathing

intermeding it’s a

messes everything up completely

don’t laugh I had it happen once it was

way overrated

Philippians uh verse Chapter 3 Verse 18

for many walk of whom I have told you

often and now tell you even weeping that

they are enemies of the cross

all right so what does it look like what

are the traits the characteristics of an

enemy of the Cross let me read this

verse for you out of Corinthians you

know we’ll come come back to this

the word of the Cross is foolishness to

those who are perishing but to thus

those of us who are being saved it is

the power of God so the word of the

Cross is avoided by countless numbers of

people because of its absolute

foolishness and yet it is the power of


can I say preaching the cross attracts

the demonstration of power

because it’s the authentic gospel

do you understand with me that

Revelation talks about the Lamb of God

sitting on the throne he’s also the lion

but the lamb the sacrificial lamb that

which went to the Cross will be the one

seen as reigning over the Throne of all

for all eternity why because we never

leave the significance and beauty of the


Verse 18 again for many walk of whom I

have told you often and now tell you

even a weeping that they are enemies of

the cross

whose end is destruction

whose God is their belly whose glory is

in their shame who set their mind on

Earthly things

I want to go through these three things

God is their belly their belly is their


their mind is set on Earthly things and

the second one is the is that their

glory is their shame let’s talk about

these three for a moment

whose God is their belly what does that

mean it means they’re they’re controlled

and driven by natural appetite not for

Eternal appetite yes it’s very clear in

scripture the the the thought processes

of one who is being transformed by

Christ none of us have arrived we’re all

on the way but one of the the evidences

of the processes of those who are being

discipled in Christ as we more and more

begin to think of Eternity and live for

that one thing

so whose God is their belly is the the

appetite the natural appetites of Life

control that person’s life if you’re

born again then you have a different


yes and then he says whose glory is in

their shame

this is interesting because you and I

were all designed to live in the actual

manifest glory of God presence of God

for all have sinned and fallen short of

the glory of God it was the design the

target every one of us are created

seamlessly to interact with the glory of


is the way we’re wired everything about

us personality everything

all the stuff that’s not a part of

Christ obviously that’s what gets

discipled off of us but we in our heart

of hearts are designed to live in the


and this verse seems to imply there’s

only one of two options the glory or


shame is why

Judas would point to waste

it’s because he’s been stealing for

three and a half years

why would Jesus make Judas the treasurer

some would say well to expose him

I’m not so sure

Jesus tends to promote us into positions

and places where we have the opportunity

to deal with our stuff

I’d like to suggest that he put Judas in

that position so that he could see in

the environment he was in he could

finally deal with what he brought to the

table when he said yes to follow Jesus


not all promotions come because you earn


oftentimes you get a Grace promotion

because he’s giving us an opportunity to

deal with the stuff

and then the last phrase who set their

mind on Earthly things

the cross the lifestyle of the Cross is

actually seen by how a person thinks

this is not just a random reference

enemies of the cross

whose mind is not set on the things of

God that’s not just a random phrase we

find the exact same concept in Matthew


when Jesus again

previous mentioned the cross to his


and when he was talking to them about

what he would suffer Peter took him

aside and rebuked him

not a good plan

not a good idea to rebuke God

he takes Jesus aside and rebukes him


because the cross made no sense

for their appetite

the cross interrupted what they were

hungering for

and anytime the cross interrupts what

you’re hungry for

you have the wrong appetite

and the Lord in his Mercy shifts and

changes those moments so that we take

the passion that we had for this and

we’re able to redirect it towards

something that’s eternal

so Peter rebukes Jesus and Jesus says to

him get behind me


Jesus was so affirming and

get behind me Satan

no fluff talk in that conversation get

behind me Satan and then he says this

because your mind is not set on the

things of God your mind is set on the

things of man so follow this follow this


get behind me Satan because your mind is

not set on the things of God what what’s

the issue of the Cross here

Jesus brought up the cross and Peter

rebuked because it upset their plan and

then Jesus goes right towards the mind

he goes right to the way of thinking he

says your mind is set on the things of

man not the things of God get behind me

Satan your mind is set on the things of


Humanity without Christ at the center is

demonic in nature

it’s not a gray area

it’s black it’s white

and that’s the challenge of the Cross is

the cross makes everything black and


so in Matthew 16 he says Get Behind Me

Satan your mind is set on the things of

man not the things of God and here he

describes those who are enemies of the

Cross as being people who do not have

their mind set on the things of God

let me let me put it this way

the cross is an endurance thing right I

mean you make day after day you make

decisions that are painful to make

what enables a person to endure the

tough choices

is a Mind Set On eternity on the things

of God

it keeps things in perspective it’s what

Jesus used

for the joy set before him he endured

the cross

it was he kept something in front of him

that made this impossibility doable

and this renewing of the mind is

actually the expression of the effect of

the cross on a person’s heart the effect

of the cross on a person’s mind is that

somehow I’m thinking

different than everyone else

unreasonably so compared uh

as evaluated by them

but actually it’s the mind of Christ

because it keeps eternity in perspective

interesting part of this journey that we


is that our life is filled with blessing

but here’s I don’t know I I can’t put

myself in God’s position but I try for a


just be thankful I’m not

because half no I was gonna say

some of you’d be in trouble yes I’m

teasing trying to play

so think for a minute

you want so much to bless

but you know for some the greater the

blessing the more they are trained to

have their belly as their God

did that make any sense to anybody

it’s like I want to favor and blessing

increase but I can’t do it beyond what

they have their mindset on Eternity for

I can’t go beyond that because it will

recalibrate their value system to pursue

natural things above spiritual things

that’s the challenge it’s a challenge of


it’s why Jesus that Cornerstone passage

in Matthew 6 33.

clarifies the entire storyline for me he

says seek first the kingdom

all these things will be added

this supreme value as number one I’ll

take care of the other stuff

but as soon as I shift my appetite from

the kingdom to its benefits I lose both

I believe so much that the Lord wants to

demonstrate his heart his nature is a

perfect father

most of the time nine times out of ten

maybe 99 times out of 100 when I talk

about the subject I emphasize that that

God wants to do in and through us to

reveal the nature of the father to a

community I believe in that I preach it

and I’ll probably do that next time but

right now this is what gets you there

this is what gets us there it’s the it’s

the Yes to God no matter what let me put

it this way Jesus gives himself to die

on a cross knowing he can’t raise


what is obedience obedience is putting

myself in a position where I cannot fix

the problem I am so deep into it that

only God can deliver Only God Can rescue

only he can save me in this situation

it’s not an invitation for foolishness

it’s an invitation for obedience

it’s the cross

I love the hard verses of the Bible

I love the ones that just get in your

face and growl at you you know

I’m not going to skip over them I refuse

to skip over them

I don’t want no angel showing up in my

room and reading the verses that I

refuse to read during the day so I’m I’m

I’m reading I’m reading it

he has a Ways and Means Committee

I don’t want to face them

so Jesus put it this way

this was his


to eternal life

if anyone wishes to come after me he

must deny himself

take up his cross and follow me

whoever wishes to save his life will

lose it

whoever wishes to save his life

whoever wishes to save his life will

lose it

but whoever loses his life for my sake

will find it

what will it profit a man if he gains

the whole world and forfeits his own


that’s what I like the most

what will a prophet a man

if he gains the whole world and forfeits

his own soul

what will a man give in exchange for his


for the son of man is going to come in

the glory of his father with his angels

and then repay every man according to

his deeds that’s the words of Jesus

remember the one that everyone says is a

good teacher

that guy

the one who is gracious to the poor to

the sick to the dying

was also very clear about what it meant

to follow

and that’s it


so there

the crosswalk goes through the brain

goes to the Mind goes through the value

system that we have as people



the moment

where I stand before him

forgive uh

my example is just fresh on my mind my

wife of course died here

six plus months ago

one day

she was the owner of all the clothes in

her closet the next day they didn’t

belong to anyone

it’s it’s stuff like that you see Dave

today oh here’s the computer

yeah couldn’t go with her

none of the stuff

that helped to reinforce her quality of


was transferable

none of it

it all ended

and our life is made up of so much stuff

and I’m thankful

when that stuff is from the Lord because

he said the blessing of the Lord comes

to a person and there’s no sorrow

attached there’s no balloon payment

there’s no you’re going to regret this

later it’s none of that stuff

but the stuff that gets added to our

life that has attachments just drain on

the soul and it’s the cross that keeps

us healthy

the cross Keeps Us in a place where

every additional thing he adds all it

does is it stirs up my affection for him

every additional bit of favor or

challenge or difficulty all it does is

draw me close to the one who makes sure

the cross is followed by the only one

who can bring Resurrection

it’s the life of the believer please



passion translation version

love is large

and Incredibly patient

love is gentle and consistently kind to


it refuses to be jealous when blessing

comes to someone else

love does not brag about one’s

achievements nor inflate its own


love does not traffic and shame and

disrespect nor selfishly seek its own


love is not easily irritated or quick to

take offense

love joyfully celebrates honesty and

finds no Delight in what is wrong

love is a safe place

it’s a safe place of shelter for it

never stops believing the best for


love never takes failure as defeat for

it never gives up

the cross

displays the beauty of perfect love

that’s what makes it so effective

perfect love

Jesus didn’t hang himself on a cross

we don’t go out there and mutilate

ourselves instead what we do is we hold

High the standard of love

how can I love this person best

the cross

so father

help please

now we do pray we pray uh once again for

the grace

for what you’ve declared in your word

about the beauty of this crosswalk

I thank you I thank you for the


I need to ask a question no I know that

there is a high chance there could be

people in the room

that do not have a personal relationship

with Jesus Christ

it’s the most important thing that can

happen all day long

Jesus invites disciples the same way

today as he did two thousand years ago

it’s those who choose

not to fight to protect their life but

to actually give it and follow it and if

there’s anybody in this room that would

say I don’t know what it is to be

forgiven of sin I don’t know what it is

to be brought into God’s family I don’t

know what it is to be born again but I

want to

if that’s you put a hand up right where

you are and we’re just going to pray for

you and make this uh the best day of

your life

real quickly put your hand up if we have

people forgot to welcome our online

family bless you guys we have numbers of

people that receive Christ constantly

online I encourage you just put in the

chat while I’m a pastor to join you

is there anyone at all was there

somebody over here






I’m going to ask you and anyone else

that would join we’ve got some folks up

here that we know and trust that I want

to be able to talk with you and pray

with you and so if you brought this

gentleman as a friend walk him down

there I want to ask the ministry team

come to the front Jonathan wants to come

and wrap this up hold your places that

really helps us out but Ministry team

come and and get ready to pray for

people yeah I’m so glad that you watched

this video I do pray that it’s a great

great strength and encouragement to you

and I’ve got a verse that it really is

My Cry for all of us and it’s Psalms 20

it’s verse 4. may he grant you your

heart’s desire and fulfill all your


that’s my prayer that’s my prayers that

this would be the season of rich rich


thanks for joining us