The Walk of Victory
Sermon Summary
This message is somewhat of a summary of all the ways Jesus’ walk of life culminated with events surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection. Jesus had indeed led a life of victory and even thought the cross may have seemed like a defeat, it was in fact a great victory. In His death, Jesus won salvation for all who would believe! In His resurrection, he sealed the deal by overcoming death and the grave! Three specific examples of how Jesus accomplished His God-given goals can be seen in the effect the crucifixion had on one of the criminals, the centurion and one of the religious rulers. The message reminds us along the way that the same power which allowed Jesus to walk a walk of victory is the same power available to us today.

Small Group Discussion Guide

1. Share some of your memories of Easter when you were growing up.

2. Jesus had a chance to practice many of the principles He had taught and lived by as He faced the events of His crucifixion. Obedience, temptation, purpose, forgiveness, compassion, wisdom, rejection and pressure. Choose one or more of these and discuss how it played out in Jesus’ life and how it applies to your life today.
Phil 2:1  If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,
Phil 2:2  then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
Phil 2:3  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Phil 2:4  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Phil 2:5  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

3. Jesus was able to reach one of the criminals, the centurion, and one of the religious rulers. What are some of the actions of Jesus during His arrest, His trial and His crucifixion that may have helped change their lives? How do our actions affect our ability to reach the lost?

32Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.
Luke 23:32 (NIV)

33When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.
Luke 23:33 (NIV)

34Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Luke 23:34 (NIV)

4. The same power that resurrected Jesus from the tomb is available to us today. Bro. Larry likened Jesus being set free from the tomb to our need to be set free from bondage to various things. How can the resurrection power of Jesus give us the ability to overcome life’s difficulties?
Col 2:11  In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ,
Col 2:12  having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
Col 2:13  When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,
Col 2:14  having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.
Col 2:15  And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.



Sermon Notes

 Happy Resurrection Day!!!
This is a wonderful day of celebration for so many reasons, but one of the most important reasons is the fact this day represents Jesus' walk of Victory. And because He was victorious, we too are victorious!!!

Today I hope you will see the resurrection for more than just the victory of life over death. If it were nothing else, that would be powerful enough! But the resurrection is also about the victory of life over life!

 What in the world do I mean by "victory of life over life?"

The fact that Jesus defeated death and the grave through His death on the Cross and His subsequent resurrection is what gives us hope of eternal life some day!!

But we also need hope we can live a life of victory here and now, not just someday when we die! Through Jesus' death and resurrection, He completed a walk of victory that included the accomplishment of His life's purposes!!

It is my prayer for each of us today is to discover how we can walk the walk of victory in every single area of our lives and know that someday we will even conquer death, because of what Jesus accomplished in His walk of victory.

 In fact, let's go to The Lord right now in prayer!

Pray!!

What we have been doing over the last few months is looking at the life of Christ and how He walked His life in the various circumstances he faced while upon this earth.

 As I was preparing for this message, it hit me like a ton of bricks that everyone of these aspects of Jesus' walk culminate in the events of the crucifixion.

The Walk through Temptation!

42“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me...
Luke 22:42a (NIV)

The Walk of Obedience

...yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42b

The Walk of Purpose

36Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
John 18:36 (NIV)

37“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
John 18:37 (NIV)

The Walk of Rejection

20Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again.
Luke 23:20 (NIV)

21But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
Luke 23:21 (NIV)

The Walk of Pressure

44And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
Luke 22:44 (NIV)

The Walk of Compassion

47While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him,
Luke 22:47 (NIV)

48but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
Luke 22:48 (NIV)

49When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?”
Luke 22:49 (NIV)

50And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
Luke 22:50 (NIV)

51But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
Luke 22:51 (NIV)

 And then there's…

The Walk of Wisdom

26As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.
Luke 23:26 (NIV)

Wait a minute, a stranger has to help Jesus carry His Cross? Where were those who had wanted to sit at His right hand in His kingdom? Where were those who said they would follow Him even if it meant death? Not a single friend was there to help Him carry His Cross!! That had to hurt!

27A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.
Luke 23:27 (NIV)

28Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.
Luke 23:28 (NIV)

29For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’
Luke 23:29 (NIV)

30Then “ ‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ’
Luke 23:30 (NIV)

31For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Luke 23:31 (NIV)

Jesus had such wisdom in every situation. Here He was on His way to the Cross and He has the presence of mind to reach out to some of the professional mourners who had gotten involved in the spectacle of events surrounding His death.

The mourners spoken of here are evidently not the ladies who had followed Jesus as believers, but were a part of the crowd following so they could watch was going to happen...

Back in Bible times, there were women who would participate in funeral processions even if they didn't know the person. Sometimes, they might be hired and other times, they just got involved because it was what they did.

Jesus knows that Jerusalem's rejection of the Messiah was going to carry consequences. He knew the city was going to endure future destruction and the women needed to mourn what was going to befall them not Jesus.

Their tears needed to be for the people of Jerusalem and their spiritual darkness.
Jesus then said something mysterious.

31For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Luke 23:31 (NIV)

Jesus was using nature imagery to make a spiritual statement! It was spring, the time of sowing! The harvest would come much later.

The people of Jerusalem were sowing some spiritual seeds that were going  to bear an awful harvest.

The Jewish people had pushed the Romans to crucify an innocent man, Jesus, in order to satisfy their lust for power. Later, Jerusalem would completely fall and the Romans would crucify an "untold number" of Jews.

Jesus wanted them open their eyes and turn around before it was to late.
Jesus had the depth of wisdom to see what was happening and what was coming.

Last week we talked about….

The Walk of Forgiveness

If you were here last week you already know how the walk of   forgiveness culminated at the Cross.


32Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.
Luke 23:32 (NIV)

33When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.
Luke 23:33 (NIV)

34Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Luke 23:34 (NIV)

Like we talked about last week, I can't even imagine how difficult it must have been to pray this prayer for the people who had falsely accused Him, spit on Him, beat Him, and then had Him crucified.

 Here's the deal!! No matter what Jesus faced He knew He would ultimately be victorious!!

 He knew some would outright reject Him, but He also knew His ultimate sacrifice would give the opportunity for salvation to all who would call upon the Name of The Lord!

 He knew His victorious sacrifice would bring the possibility of victory to the lives of all who would accept His sacrifice as payment for their sins. He knew His walk of victory would translate into a walk of victory for those who choose to follow Him!

The Walk of Victory!

Jesus was confident of victory! Why this confidence?

The Father had a plan!
Jesus made that plan His goal!

The Father's Plan...

17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
2 Corinthians 5:18 (NIV)

19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:19 (NIV)

The Son's Goal...

10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
Luke 19:10 (NIV)

Jesus came to seek and to save those who were lost back then and today. He seeks to save lives that have become hopelessly lost. He seeks not only to save their souls, but their lives, by revealing God's plan for their lives.

Don't think for a minute God doesn't have a plan for your life!! He does, and if you make God's plan your goal, no matter what you face, even if it's a cross, you will be victorious!!!

The Father had a vision!
Jesus made it His purpose to fulfill that vision!

The Father's Vision...

7He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
Isaiah 53:7 (NIV)

8By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
Isaiah 53:8 (NIV)

9He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Isaiah 53:9 (NIV)

10Yet it was the LORD’S will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
Isaiah 53:10 (NIV)

11After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light └of life┘ and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
Isaiah 53:11 (NIV)

12Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Isaiah 53:12 (NIV)

 What a vision The Father had!!!!

 Did you know this passage in Isaiah was written some 700 years before Jesus even lived? That's right. That Scripture is found in the Jewish Scroll of Isaiah and God's vision of the future is spot on! He knew Jesus would be oppressed, afflicted, and wrongfully judged.

It says The Messiah would be assigned a grave with the wicked and with the rich in His death. It says He would make intercession for the transgressors.  

 How did the religious leaders of Jesus' day miss this? Or did some of them not miss it? Did some of them simply reject the Messiah because they were so wrapped up in themselves and their little world? I pray none of us find ourselves in that position.

The Son's Fulfillment of the Father's vision...

35The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”
Luke 23:35 (NIV)

36The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar
Luke 23:36 (NIV)

37and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
Luke 23:37 (NIV)

38There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Luke 23:38 (NIV)

39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
Luke 23:39 (NIV)

40But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?
Luke 23:40 (NIV)

41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Luke 23:41 (NIV)

42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. ’”
Luke 23:42 (NIV)

43Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Luke 23:43 (NIV)

Talk about a walk of victory!!!
Jesus, by His actions, was able to lead one of the criminals to faith! How beautiful is that?

 You may be here today thinking you've committed the unforgivable sin or that you've committed too much sin and that you're beyond helping.
But I'm here today and you're here today because God wants you to see His vision of what you can become! Remember...

17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

The Father had an almighty power!
Jesus made it His passion to let that power work through Him!

The Father's Power...

21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
1 Corinthians 1:21 (NIV)

22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
1 Corinthians 1:22 (NIV)

23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
1 Corinthians 1:23 (NIV)

24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 1:24 (NIV)

25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
1 Corinthians 1:25 (NIV)

The Son's Passion to let The Father's Power work through Him to reach the lost...

44It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour,
Luke 23:44 (NIV)

45for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
Luke 23:45 (NIV)

46Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
Luke 23:46 (NIV)

47The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.”
Luke 23:47 (NIV)

Talk about a walk of Victory!!!
Because of the way Jesus handled everything surrounding His crucifixion the Roman Centurion who was in charge of Jesus' torture and death, falls to his knees and gets saved.

Why do I say he got saved?
It says he praised God and confessed that he had presided over the killing of an innocent man.
God's Word promises...

10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Romans 10:10 (NIV)

11As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
Romans 10:11 (NIV)

12For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile —the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,
Romans 10:12 (NIV)

13for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Romans 10:13 (NIV)

 By the way, not only the centurion was convinced a righteous man had been crucified that day! Listen...

48When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away.
Luke 23:48 (NIV)

Why did they beat their breast? They knew an innocent man had been murdered. They were saddened they had allowed themselves to be a part of the frenzy that led to His death.

They had seen crucifixions before but this one was different!! I'm quite sure some of these folks were a part of the thousands who would become followers of Christ after hearing Peter preach on the Day of Pentecost not to many days later!

Years ago, when I realized the part my sin played in Jesus' death, I too was distraught. I realized my guilt and I was broken and devastated. I cried out to God for forgiveness and what happened?
Listen…

21But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
Romans 3:21 (NIV)

22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,
Romans 3:22 (NIV)

23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 3:23 (NIV)

24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Romans 3:24 (NIV)

The Father so loved the world and that included the misguided religious leaders!

Jesus was motivated by that love and it even reached one of the ruling council.

The Father's Love...

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (NIV)

Jesus was motivated by that love and it worked...

50Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man,
Luke 23:50 (NIV)

51who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God.
Luke 23:51 (NIV)

52Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body.
Luke 23:52 (NIV)

53Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.
Luke 23:53 (NIV)

Another example of Jesus' walk of victory. He had in fact reached one of the unreachables! What a risk this man took by asking for Jesus' body and placing it in a very expensive tomb.

But I don't think he cared. He knew an injustice had been done and this was a small way he could do something. The Bible says he was looking for the Kingdom of God. I believe he had put two and two together and saw the possibility that Jesus just might be the Messiah.

The final reason Jesus had such confidence and walked the walk of victory was because He knew...

The Father would not abandon Him to the grave!

Jesus overcame death and the grave!

The Father would not abandon Him to the grave...

22“Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.
Acts 2:22 (NIV)

23This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.
Acts 2:23 (NIV)

24But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
Acts 2:24 (NIV)

25David said about him: “ ‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Acts 2:25 (NIV)

26Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope,
Acts 2:26 (NIV)

27because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
Acts 2:27 (NIV)

28You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’
Acts 2:28 (NIV)

Jesus overcame death and the grave...

1On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.
Luke 24:1 (NIV)

2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
Luke 24:2 (NIV)

3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
Luke 24:3 (NIV)

4While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.
Luke 24:4 (NIV)

5In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?
Luke 24:5 (NIV)

6He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:
Luke 24:6 (NIV)

7‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’  
Luke 24:7 (NIV)

8Then they remembered his words.
Luke 24:8 (NIV)

 Oh that's right, it's the third day! Risen! He is risen!!

What does this have to do with you and me?

Everything!!!

The same power that resurrected Jesus from the tomb, is the same power that can release you from your tomb! But you say, I'm alive. I'm not in a tomb.


Some are in a tomb of addiction!
Some are in a tomb of bitterness!
Some are in a tomb of depression!
Some are in a tomb of unbelief!

 Some are in a tomb of bad circumstances!
Some are in a tomb of fear!



 I don't know what you need the resurrection power of Jesus to overcome today, but God knows and if you'll just remember His Words and accept His Words you can leave here today as excited as the women who left the empty tomb.

 You'll not only say…
"He is risen!", but you'll say, "I'm risen with Him! I've been set free! I'm no longer entombed by the things that once enslaved me. By God's grace and power I too will walk the walk of victory! To God be the Glory!"

 Let's pray!!