“The Man on the Middle Cross” Powerful Sermon From Alistair Begg

“The Man on the Middle Cross” Powerful Sermon From Alistair Begg

In only a few short minutes, a few Biblical truths are shared in this video of “The Man on the Middle Cross,” a powerful sermon from Alistair Begg. These few minutes show how much can be communicated in a short time—if the communicator has skill, a meaningful message, and the blessing of God.

Mr. Begg begins by referring to the “preaching of the cross,” which he describes as the best way to protect ourselves from reliance on faith plus works as one’s key to salvation. He goes on to explain, referencing a “Fort Lauderdale question,” that if any were to die, gain entry into heaven, and be asked how they got there, the answer ought never start with the word “I.” 

Instead, if asked at the pearly gates about one’s way there, they (we) must answer, with all certainty, that it is due only to Jesus. Our faith must be based solely on the knowledge that salvation is owed entirely to Him! 

At one minute, Brother Begg tells the story of the thief on the cross. He says that he is eager to meet this clueless criminal that “made it” to Heaven when he arrives there one day. He wonders out loud what the conversation between the crook and the angel might have been when the man arrived. 

It’s a funny one-man role play in which the entryway angel asks the thief why he is there. This is a question that most folks believe they can answer. In fact, many have a list already in mind to share upon arrival. But not the thief!

Instead, Mr. Begg asserts that the thief probably came up blank, entirely surprised to have landed north instead of way, way down south! The thief, without ever spending time in a Bible study, being baptized, joining the church, or reading scripture, came out on top, both figuratively and directionally speaking! 

Mr. Begg acts out the confusion that might have ensued when the unlikely arrival was asked for an explanation regarding his presence at the door. It is a hilarious take on how things might have gone down! 

Ultimately, the only answer the thief could have proffered is simply that “the man on the middle cross said I can come.” Mr. Begg has nailed it (metaphorically, of course)! 

The sinner to the side of Jesus owed it all to Him, and he could point to nothing in his life that would have allowed him access to Heaven outside of those few final moments alongside Jesus! But that is the reality for us all. None among us can do anything to earn entrance!

During the last 80 seconds of the video, Mr. Begg shares the dangers of taking eyes off of the cross. He urges believers never to do that because, in doing so, we will begin to trust ourselves and fail to rely fully on the “efficacy” of the cross—its unlimited power in our lives. When believers lose sight of the cross, arrogance and pride will show itself. Despair will appear. 

Alistair Begg, has a fun accent, courtesy of his birthplace of Glasgow, Scotland. He is a pastor at Cleveland’s Parkside Church, where he has preached since 1983. Jesus gives us all an opportunity to get through the gates, and Pastor Begg did a fantastic job of sharing that truth!       

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—” Ephesians 2:8

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