My name is Corey Sanders. I’m one of the pastors here, and it’s an honor to stand before you this morning. Around here, we often say that honor is our calling. And basically, what that means is that we speak life over each other. And I would like to take these opportunities to honor Pastor Dave and Pastor Becker. Would you help me celebrate them?
Well, Pastor Dave just kicked off a brand new sermon series titled Worst Case Scenario, and he has finished two weeks of this series so far. And I am continuing in week three. And the synopsis of this series is based on one question, and that question is, how do we live through a very bad day? Now, we’re going to take some time, and we’re going to focus on the seven statements that Jesus made from the cross. And we’re going to use those as life lessons on how to live through a very bad day.
Now, bad days, bad days. We all experience bad days. But Jesus Christ, by far, had one of the worst days in human history as he suffered a brutal death on the cross. Like Jesus was in the middle of a worst-case scenario. Think about it. Jesus died on the cross. He experienced the challenges and struggles of the flesh. But in spite of his agony, in spite of his pain, Jesus was still teaching us good life lessons. And our theme for this series is Hebrew twelve two. It says, Keep your eyes on Jesus, who begins and finishes the race we are in.
I want to tell you something. We can keep our eyes on Jesus because he endured the cross because Jesus endured the cross. Because Jesus finished the race. The Jewish people could now finish their race in spite of what was coming against them. The manifestation of faith was complete because of the cross. What was broken in the Garden of Eden was now restored because of the cross.
My faith, your faith was perfected through the suffering of Jesus Christ. And this was monumental, monumental for the Christian faith. When we open up the Book of Hebrew, if we dive into it, I think some of us still don’t quite understand what the Jewish people were going through, trying to adopt a new faith. Judaism had a stronghold on the Jewish people. Its Holy rituals and tradition had been around for over ten years.
And Jesus and the disciples pull up on the scene. They’re establishing God’s Kingdom. They’re offering a new way to live. They’re transforming the heart of every man and woman. And the Jewish people sit back, and they see that everybody who believed in this man named Jesus was being persecuted.
And they immediately said, I don’t want nothing to do with that faith. So they start to leave the Christian faith, turn it back on the Christian faith, and go to their local synagogues and practice Judaism. But then Jesus went to the cross. I’m going to say that again. But then Jesus went to the cross. And the cross not only restored the faith of the Jewish people, but it restored the heart of the Jewish people. The cross made everything official. Jesus proved that, yeah, you ran from the Christian faith because you’ve seen my people being persecuted. But he proved that those who believed in his death had no hold on them, not the Jewish people. They were happy they could now finish the race because Jesus went to the cross.
They knew they had an eternal reward waiting on them. And what was once bad news is now the good news. I said, what was once bad news is now the good news. Because of the cross, the Jewish people had hoped to believe. They had hope to endure.
They had hoped to finish the race. And that’s why the cross is the hope of the world. Tell your neighbors that that is good news.
That’s good news. The cross is the hope of the world. Now we’re going to make a pivot, and we’re going to focus on Jesus making his third statement on the cross. It can only be found in the book of John. John is a part of the full Gospel.
You got Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. But many argue that John wrote his own Gospel. So that statement alone tells you all you need to know about John. John was definitely a wildcard, but I am impressed. I can’t imagine what Mary went through.
I couldn’t imagine what she was experiencing. The mother of Jesus, as she stood at the cross of Jesus watching her son dying as parents, watching our children suffer is the most painful thing. And Mary is the inspiration to us. She’s the inspiration as a mother.
And Jesus had like the bond between a mother and a son is so touchy. And sometimes, all you can do is be present and be there. And guess what, Mary was there. Mary was present, but she wasn’t alone. The Bible said that her sister was with her, which is Jesus’ aunt.
It said Mary, the wife of Copus, was there. It says Mary Magdalene was there. There’s a lot of marriage. And it said John the disciple was there. But it also said that John was the only male disciple there.
And it said, there in that place is when Jesus made his third statement on the cross. And let’s read that John 19, 25, 27 said, near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister married the wife of Colpus and married Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her “Woman, here is your son, and to the disciple, here is your mother. From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.” And I just want to give you a little history. In the Jewish culture, it was very highly thought of or looked at when the oldest son of the family, if something happened to him and he didn’t have a father before he died, he made sure the family was in good hands.
So Jesus is suffering on the cross. Jesus is suffocating under his own body weight. He’s beamed, he’s mocked. Jesus is having a very, very, very bad day. He’s in the middle of a worst-case scenario.
But he does something in that moment that changes the course of human history. He challenges the status quo. He disrupts culture. In that moment, he recognizes his mother. He recognizes his family in a world where there’s so much dysfunction in families, in a world where there’s so much division in families where there’s so much burning the candle at each end, in families that you don’t even have time to include each other.
Some of you are strangers in your own home and strangers in your own family. And Jesus had every right to be selfish. He had every right to make it about himself. He had every right to make it about his suffering. But he did not.
He chose to be selfless, and he chose his mother, and he chose his family. And I don’t know if you really know the type of pain that Jesus was going through to have the mental capacity to think about somebody else when he was suffering. But the Bible says that in the 9th hour, Jesus shouted, Ela Ela Lama Sebastiani, meaning translated, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Jesus was going through supreme devastation, but he still had the ability and the audacity to care for his mother and his family.
Jesus was offering hope in the midst of pain. In a world where everybody is following trends, Jesus decided to follow the truth. And it’s a lesson you need to learn today that when you’re going through a very bad day, be sure you have taken care of those close to you. Why? Because bad days happen. We all experience bad days.
The suffering of pain and hurt is a way of life. But so often, when we are in pain, we hurt those that are closest to us. So often, when we are in pain, we hurt those that are closed down. We transfer the pain. We transfer the trauma. And some of you may know my daughter Leah, she runs around here in the summer months, and when we talk, we catch up. She tells me how they’re going.
In one particular moment, she was on the phone, and she was talking to me. She said, dad, got to tell you something happened at school. I said, Tell me. So she was telling me about something that occurred at school. And then we had a career school actually made a friend at. And then a friend told Leah, and it made Leah mad. And so her friend kind of passed the pain to Leah. Now Leah is upset, and she asks me, “Daddy, what should I do?” So being the Stellar dad that I am, you know, I said, “all right, here’s the advice. I said, Well, Leah, I said, this is quite easy.”
I said, “You can’t not just sit there and let her pass the pain to you. What you do is pass the pain back to her. Then you take off running. Girl, you got to protect your happiness. Now I’m just going to just forewarn you.”
I don’t know how effective that advice was, but, you know, at the moment, I gave her what I had. But on a serious note, when we’re going through pain, when we’re going through a very bad day, it’s so easy for us to transfer that pain. Why? Because we express the way we feel. We are emotional beings.
We express our frustration. We express the pain. We express the chaos. You have a bad day at work, and you come home. Everybody in the house knows it. It is what it is. And we express that pain, and we express that anger. And the people who are closest to us end up taking on the weight that we often carry.
Now, a painful day for you may look like a bad day at the office. Maybe your team lost a big game or you had car trouble, or you read a toxic email, you have a financial situation, you had a bad breakup with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Sometimes you don’t even know why you’re in a bad mood. You just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. That’s possible.
But the bottom line is, for most of us, when we are in a painful situation, or having a bad day, we often pass the pain to someone else.
I’m going to give you four decisions to make. When you are inexperienced on a very bad day, the first decision is to identify the problem. Ephesians 6:12 said, “This is a spiritual battle. Look at your neighbor said, this is a spiritual battle.” Now, I’m not saying that there’s a devil under every rock, but I am saying that the enemy uses difficult situations to divide and destroy our families and us. You got to bring everything into perspective. You got to identify the problem. The problem is not flesh and blood. It’s not a physical battle because, in a physical battle, you can only do so much harm. If I got a problem with Mr. Joe, me and Mr. Joe, we could talk about it, we could fight about it, and we can even argue about it, but it’s still only so much harm we can do physically.
Because I can see Mr. Joe, and if I can see Mr. Joe, I can identify the problem. If I can identify the problem, then I can solve the problem.
But a spiritual battle, a spiritual encounter. You can’t see it. You can’t feel it. You can’t touch it. You can’t identify it. But it’s attacking your family. It’s attacking your children. It’s attacking your finances, and it’s attacking your marriage.
The only effective weapon that is useful in a spiritual battle is Jesus Christ himself.
And that’s why you got to stay connected to the local Church. That’s why your faith is a necessity. Because you have to be prepared for battle, let me tell you something. If you don’t keep Jesus close, you do not have victory over the enemy.
Money won’t do it. Your status won’t do it. Your family won’t do it. Where you come from, who you know won’t do it, when a spirit is about to show up, if Jesus ain’t on your side.
If Jesus ain’t on your side, when the spirit is about to show up, the devil will have his way with you and your family. And you don’t know why. You just sent your son to all kinds of counselors and therapists and paid all types of money.
You’ve exhausted all options, and you still can’t figure it out. That’s why your spiritual health is important. You’re not just a physical being. You’re a spiritual being. You want to know what this is about when you come in here on Sunday morning. It ain’t about you. Just listen to a word and listen to worship.
It’s about you getting fed. Because if I could feed myself, then I could become strong. If I could become strong, then I could defend myself. Do you understand what I’m saying? It ain’t always physical. You can go to the spa. You can go to the gym. You can do all that type of stuff. And the physical, it’s important. I ain’t telling you not. Don’t neglect the physical. Now. You need to take care of yourself. Physical. Now I’m just being. Okay. Take care of yourself, but don’t look like the spirit.
Know why you come to Church? Know why it’s important to read the Bible. Know why it’s important to pray. I shouldn’t have to prep and prime you and tell you to get back in Church. You should know you have got to have knowledge for yourself sometimes.
Do you understand what I’m saying? Tell your neighbors a spiritual battle. All right. Decision number two. Avoid the pity party. Don’t accept the invitation. Let me see how this is going to go. It’s not supposed to go. All right, I’m going to see. Can you all catch me on this one? Here we go. Ain’t no party like a pity party. Just don’t stop, okay? Ain’t no party like a pity party. Party doesn’t stop. You gotta shut it down. Don’t give it your energy. It is not God’s will for you to wallow in your own self-pity.
1 Peter 5:7 says, Cast your anxiety on Jesus because he cares for you. To cast means to drop, it means to unload, it means to unload it on Jesus. You wouldn’t need to carry your own weight to carry your own cares. You got to give it to Jesus. Let me tell you something. When you give it to Jesus, you are nauseating that I trust in Jesus, and he is Lord over my life.
And it takes humbleness to give your anxiety and worry to Jesus because anxiety and worry could be a sense of pride. Because when we worry, it’s a lack of faith. Do you know why? Because when we worry, we are convinced that we can solve our own problems and our own strength.
And then we become our own God. We start to worship ourselves, and trust in ourselves. And then there’s no transformation, and there’s no accountability, there’s no fruit ban in your life because you’re not letting Jesus in your heart.
Number three, live a connected life. Don’t isolate yourself so important. Stay close to Jesus. I want to say that again. Stay close to Jesus. Even when Jesus was on the cross, even when he was on the cross, he was taking care of his family like Jesus on the cross. And he was forging a new family for Mary, just to make sure she was taken care of.
Acts 10:2 said Mr. Cornelius and his family were devout in God-fearing. He gave generously to those in thee and prayed to God regularly. Cornelius made sure he and his family stayed connected to Jesus. He made sure that they served Jesus together.
The Bible said that they gave together, that they prayed together, that they went to Church together. Any man or woman who wants the best for that family is going to make sure that family is connected to Jesus. That’s what my mom used to tell me. Boy, I don’t care how long you stay out on Saturday night. If I don’t go to Church, you’ll tell better be in Church.
Why was my Mama telling me that? Because my momma knew I didn’t even have the mental capacity to understand who Jesus was at that point. So she was trying to plant some seeds in my life. So later in life, it could battle fruits. See, some of you are letting your kids run your household.
How are you going to expect them to love Jesus one day when they never go to Church? When are you in your home? Oh, they’re just going to go up one day like, oh, I should think I should go to Church. They don’t work like that. You got to show them.
The Bible says raise your children up in the way. In the way of the Lord. So if you went to my house, if I’m paying for the bills, when I lead a dough, you come up behind me.
I’m just telling it like it is. I’m just telling it like it is. But guess what? When they get 35 and 40, and they have problems that you can’t even pay for, you can’t even take care of what you’re going to say. Go to Church. Oh, it’s too late to tell them now. You should have told them when it was 14, when it was 15. I’m just being real. I talk to kids every day, students every day.
You will be surprised with what these students are going through. It’s a spiritual battle. It’s not physical. That’s why you gotta be in Church. Do you understand what I’m saying? Tell them it’s. Stay close to you. Stay close to Jesus.
Lord, everything revolves around Jesus. Jesus is at the center, and everything revolves around him. There’s nothing like the family of Jesus. There’s nothing like the body of Christ. Jesus is the relief to every pain.
He’s the solution to every problem. He unites what is divided. He restores what is broken. And he carries the weight of the brokenhearted and the burden. Some of you have come here, and you’re carrying weight.
Your whole family is weighed down. You can feel it all. Y’all are dealing with something that you can’t defeat on your own. And I’m speaking over you right now. Give it to Jesus. Be free today. Experience the freedom of Jesus. I just don’t want you to continue to read these words from the Bible. You got to live it. It is a living word.
Do you understand what I’m saying? Everything that is in this Bible is available to you. It’s yours. A book was created before time to show you how to live because Jesus, what happened? He got baptized by John the patches. After he got baptized, what happened? The enemy met him in the wilderness. Right. So you think the enemy is going to meet you? Jesus, come fresh out of the water. That’s how some of us, man, we saved. Oh, Lord, we turned our friend and said, I went in that water today. You just don’t know the devil right at that.
Dope. Knock it on. That dope. Soon as Jesus came out of the water, the enemy met him, Joe. And that’s why you gotta be ready.
It’s not a matter of if you’re going to get a spirit of battle. It’s when because it’s coming. The fourth decision. Let me get you out of here. Look to the Son. Look to Jesus. It’s the fourth decision. Hebrews twelve two said, fixing our eyes on Jesus. I just wanted you to read this and let it absorb you right now. I feel the Holy Spirit fixing eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and Perfecter of faith, for the joy set before him.
He endured the cross scorning as shame as set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Keep your eyes on Jesus. When you go in through a storm and take care of those who are close to you, I’m going to say that again. Thank you. Keep your eyes on Jesus when you’re going through a storm and take care of those closest to you, you know why? That you can take care of those that are closer to you.
Because when you keep your eyes on Jesus, Jesus is giving you strength. Jesus is giving you joy. Jesus is giving you peace. That’s why you gotta keep your eyes on it. You can’t take care of anybody who’s in your circle if you’re not connected to the right source.
How do we endure like Jesus? We keep our eyes on Jesus. We continue to look at the heels. We look to Jesus. Our hope and healing come from continuing to look to Jesus. Our faith. Your faith. My faith was perfected because of the suffering Jesus suffered for you. He didn’t suffer for himself. He did it for you. Our faith was perfected through his suffering.
Jesus didn’t give up on his purpose despite the suffering he had on the cross. He didn’t give up. He didn’t throw in the towel. He didn’t quit on his family. He didn’t quit. He didn’t give up on life. He didn’t contemplate suicide just because he had to die on a cross. He held on to his faith. I was speaking to somebody right now, and I’m going to tell you about the time I had to hold on to my faith. I’m going to tell you something.
If you don’t have faith, it will cost you to throw in the towel. It’ll cost you to contemplate suicide. It’ll cost you to lose your family. It will cost you to give up. It’ll cost you to just throw in and say, Forget it, I’m done.
But if you keep your eyes on Jesus, the Bible says he’s the pioneer and perfecter of my way. That means that faith doesn’t exist without Him. That means he grows my faith. He matures my faith. He completes my faith. It’s because of him. I had faith because why? Because he completed faith on the cross. And I want to tell you about a time I had to hold on to my faith. It seemed like, at that moment, that was the only thing that mattered. I just needed Jesus to show up.
And it seems like Hebrews Twelve says that we should fix ours on Jesus. We should gaze upon Jesus. It’s like we never really gaze upon Jesus until we hit rock bottom. And man, when we hit rock bottom, we’re so low that all we can do is lookup. Isn’t that funny that we never really gaze upon the beauty of Jesus, the Majesty of Jesus.
We don’t really adore Him until we have just messed it all up. Tow up from the flow up. That’s what my people say. And I looked to Jesus, and I gazed upon Him.
It was the spring of 2012, man. I just felt all hope belongs. I didn’t feel like I had a purpose. And I was there. And my mom and my dad start to worry about me, my family. They just start to wonder what’s going on this in court.
And that’s why it’s so important that you take care of those who are closest to you. When they’re going through a storm, you got to love them well. You’ve got to surround yourself with the right weaves so they can hold you up. Let me tell you what that means.
That we’re all going to experience a storm, we’re all going to go through struggles in life. But if you have the right people around you, they will help you get back on track.
Proverbs 13 says that if you walk with the wise, you’ll become wise. A companion of fools suffers harm. I want to speak life over. We can overcome because Jesus overcame. We can finish because Jesus finished. He gives us the faith to believe in Him. He gives us the faith to endure.
And I’m standing before you today because Jesus didn’t give up on me. Jesus didn’t give up on me. Because Jesus didn’t give up on the cross, he endured the cross. And that’s why he’s perfected in love. That’s why he’s perfected in joy. That’s why he’s perfected in peace. That’s why his name is above every other name. And I should have to get up here to say a persuasive word.
I should just get up here and preach Jesus. And that should be enough for you because Jesus is the only thing. He’s the only name. He’s the only cure. He’s the only solution. If I just preach, Jesus should be enough because he’s the truth. He’s the way he’s alive. You can’t get to the Father before you get to Jesus. Do you understand what I’m saying? So you have to understand.
Jesus is the only one. He made peace with God. He made peace with man. The only way we have reconciliation with the Father is because Jesus went first. I don’t want to speak over your life. Would you stay with me? Your story is not over. I don’t care how much weight you’re carrying. I don’t care how tough this weekend is. I don’t care what the naysayers say. I don’t care what the diagnosis is. I don’t care what the bank accounts say. I don’t care what you’re going through, what you’re experiencing. I say your story is not over because Jesus finished your story for you. He took your place. There is purpose in your pain. And you are not alone. I want you to receive something today. And I’m just crazy enough to believe that Jesus is about to set some people free in this place.
Any time you come before the Father, you come with expectation, you come surrendered, you come laying it down at your feet. Why? Because you need to be poured into the posture of your heart, it needs to be aligned with him. So I want you to lift your hands to heaven right now. I’m just going to speak into your life.
Father God, I declare and decree under the sound of my voice that change will be broken, that they will be loosed, their yokes will be broken. I pray for God that families will be set free. I pray peace will be in families. I pray for God that people would know their purpose. They will know what you have for them.
Father God. They will look to the Hills. They will look to you. They will find that strength. They will find that purpose. I pray, Father God, that people will not give up on their families. They will not give up on their marriage. They will not give up on their life. They will look at that self, and they will see that they are a child of God.
They will see that they’re a child of a living King. I pray for the God that whatever you can do in this service, whatever you need to do in this service, whatever you need to download in there right now, that you would do it, God, that you would do it, God that you would do it. God, I believe that you are who you say you are. I believe that you assume what you say you would do for God. Set your people free.
Set them free. Break the change for God. I believe you just pray. I just pray right now that it will be peace and freedom in Europe. I pray for Ukraine. I pray for peace and freedom in Ukraine. Father God, I pray that you have raised up a generation.
I pray that you have raised up a generation that will hunger and thirst for you. Father God, you were raised of a generation that will love you, that will know you, that would trust you. That is just crazy enough to believe that you have created them, to impact people, to give life to people, to encourage people. I just pray that we’ll see a day before you come back that the Church will be blameless, that the Church will be spotless, that the Church will be radiant, that the Church will be strong, that the Church will be life-giving, that the Church will feed what you said it would be.
Jesus took twelve, and he changed the entire world because they followed him. They trusted him. They believed in him. Have you ever wondered what Jesus can do in you and through you? If you just walk with him, if you just trust him for a season, if you just laid it all down at his feet, I don’t know.
God brought me to the Poconos. My wife was in Nashville, man, we had a good life. We didn’t want for nothing but something about when God sent past it, and he said, man, you need to go to the Poconos. I ain’t know why by just being obedient, I’m just telling you this, man. I just want to see you guys win.
I want to see you win. I want to pray over you with every head bowed, eyes closed, heart open Lord, thank you for your people, thank you for your simple word, thank you for Jesus, thank you for the change you have set free, thank you for peace, thank you for the weight you have lifted thank you that we can come here on a Sunday morning and even when the weather is bad father God we have more passion for you than we have to stay home we have more passion for you.
Father God, then we have for our jobs, we have more passion for you than we have for our finance, we have more passion for you, Father God, than anything. Because I pray the Lord that nothing would keep us away from you, that we will stay connected we will stay closed by the guy and if you hear the day you might say, Pastor Cord, keep your head I suppose hearts open you say, Pastor, you spoke to me that I am that person that I need to keep my eyes on Jesus So I can be able to take care of my family I could take care of my kids And I could take care of the people closest to me.
I need to give them peace, I need to give them strength, I need to give them the joy. I need for them to believe that God is who he says he is and he would do what he said if that’s you just lift your hand up. I want to pray for you. Thank you, thank you. I see hands going up. Thank you, thank you, thank you if you’re in this place, you said Pascal, that word for me I need if you want to take your next step with Jesus. I want you to repeat that to my dear Jesus, thank you for the cross, thank you for hope, thank you for peace, and Lord, today I just ask that you would take control of my life. I’d give you my life. I surrender my time, my talent, my treasure. I just want to be more like you, Jesus, So I could be better for my family, So I could be better for my kids, I could be better for my wife, I could be better for my community, I could be better for my workspace Lord, I want to be better I want to be alive I don’t want to be damn I want to be like Lord, take it’s.