The Crucifixion of Christ
by Cooper Abrams
Introduction: A. Over 1900 years ago an event in a dusty town in Palestine changed the world.
1. No greater event is recorded in history.
2. All Jerusalem was in an uproar. It was the talk of the city, shops, homes, stables, palaces and in the fields.
3. The religious leaders of the day were hysterical and were worked up into a frenzy.
B. A carpenter's Son had the whole country in a rage, from the palace to the beggar in the street.
1. A carpenter's son who owned no property and all he had was the clothes on His back.
2. For three years He had preached first in Jerusalem, but then because of opposition, He had gone north into Galilee. Now He was back in Jerusalem.
3. His enemies were a bitter lot. The Scribes and Pharisees, the religious leaders of the Jews had unsuccessfully tried to kill Him several occasions.
4. It was His words that infuriated them. He said He was the Messiah! Not only that, but He said that God the Father and He were one.
5. He had performed miracles as never seen on earth before. The first time in history that a man blind from birth received his sight. He healed every disease. The lame, walked, the deaf, heard, lepers were even made clean. He even raised men from the dead!
....Yet, he could not be the Messiah. He was only a lowly carpenters son.
....The religious leaders, Scribes and Pharisees denounced Him. Jesus seeking to open their eyes to the reality of their sin, called them serpents, whited sepulchers full of dead men's bones. You see they were teaching the people a false religion and doing so in God names. They hated Him for exposing them. Jesus quoted the Old Testament and showed them that men should live righteous lives unto God and forsake sin. He said only the righteousness and grace of God could save a man, yet only a handful of people believed Him and accepted Him as the Messiah.
C. Even today, still His words set some men to scorn. He causes divisions, separating men one from the other.
That is why He said, “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.” Luke 12:51-53.
1. Those who choose to be identified with Him today many times are reviled, in some countries even today people are killed because they believe in Him, and follow Him. Families, people, and nations are divided because of Him. Some chose to believe God’s word and others reject Him.
2. Still it goes on. Yet, men because of Him have done strange things! Some have believed and given up wealth, fame, comfort, family, friends and all personal ambition...to follow Him.
Thousands throughout history have even died rather than denounce Him for some pagan God or religion. History records world burned His follows at the stake, boiled them in oil, drowned them, tore them apart with horses, even fed them to lions and wild beasts.
3. Why? All because the loved Him. They knew Him to be their Creator, God and their Savior.
D. Yet, in spite of the division caused by unbelief, some have believed on Him and have found peace, satisfaction and purpose for their lives.
1. Many have had there lives mended, broken lives put back together, lives restored.
2. Families reunited, alcoholics and addicts of all kinds cured!
E. The One who died that day...was who he said He was! He was the Son of God, come to the earth to saved all men who would believe and follow Him.
1. It was the greatest day in the history of the world!
2. For Christ died and after three days arose from the grave. HE paid the sin debt of the world, He conquered sin and death!
I. THE ONLY HOPE FOR THE WORLD IS THE LORD JESUS.
A. Man is born a sinner.
1. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" Romans 5:12
2. Rom. 6:23, says "The wages of sin is death!
3. "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." James 1:14-15
4. "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? Romans 6:16
5. But God does not stop there...He continues with the Good News, the saving Gospel of Christ.... "But the gift of God is eternal life."
B. Christ was the sinless One. He alone could pay the price for the redemption of man.
1. In Luke 23:13-14, Pilate a sinful ruler, found not fault in Christ.
2. V15, records that even Herod the wicked Jewish turncoat, a Roman puppet who sat on the Throne of Israel found no fault in Him.
3. Pilate, bewildered by the outrageous cry of the frenzied Jewish mob...proposed to scourge Christ and let Him go. The mob would not hear of it, crying, Crucify HIM!! over and over again.
4. He tried to release to them Christ instead of the hardened and hated criminal Barabbas.
5. The crowd, hungry for blood, cried even louder, "Crucify Him!"
6. Still trying not to harm an innocent man, Pilate proposed again to let Christ go with a whipping and the crown more vehemently cried "Crucify Him!!!"
C. It chilled the blood of this hardened Roman ruler.
1. Afraid of what the mob might do, Pilate yielded, but publicly washed his hands, and said let His blood be on your heads.
2. With no regard for what they were saying they, when the cried, "Let His blood be on us and our children!!"
II. ISAIAH SAYS IN 53:1-8, THAT JESUS STOOD AS A LAMB LED TO THE SLAUGHTER.!
A. Note Isaiah 53:5 tells us that Christ was there because of our sins, our transgressions!
1. But you say, "I was not there...the Jews they murdered Him...not me."
2. V6 Says, "ALL", everyone, you included put Him there.
3. Who hath gone astray?? Everyone!
4. He shall bear THEIR sin. V12, He bore the sins of many.
5. ON Him was laid the iniquity of us all!
B. Note V10,....It please to Lord to bruise Him. Why? Because we being sinners, guilty of sin and under the penalty of it could not pay our own debt. It takes a righteous and sinless One to be offered for our sins because we have no righteousness of our own. Man is lost in sin and unable to save himself. That is why our perfect and righteous God came to this Earth, incarnate in man, to live and die in our place so that we could receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Christ was the Messiah, and He came to earth:
1. As an offering for our sins.
2. As a sacrifice for us.
C. He who had created all the Universe, made Himself subject to man whom He had created, that He might save man.
1. Without complaint, He opened not His mouth.
2. Fully knowing the torment that lay ahead for Him, He loved you and I so much, He did not turn from the horror of the sins of men.
III. HE WAS CRUCIFIED FOR YOU AND I. Matt. 27:33-44
A. Placing a rough beam of wood on His back, tormenting Him further they made Him drag his own Cross up that steep hill called Calvary.
B. They placed a crown of thorns on His head in scorn.
C. They then laid him on the beams and as he extended His hands, first one and then the other, the drove long nails through His tender flesh.
Next, placing his feet together, they positioned the third spike, and then with a hammer drove it home thought His feet.
Almost you shudder to think of the agony He felt as they lifted the wooden beams into place. The Cross goes upright and drops into place. His flesh tears and His whole body jerks as the Cross falls into the hole.
D. Quickly the torment increases as He begins to suffocate, His lungs can expand in His diaphragm because with His arms extended and His body is sagging under His own weight. His chest is heaves as He tries to get air.
He tries to push up with his legs to relieve the pressure on His chest. Cruel pain shoots through His entire body.
E. As cruel as all this is...His suffering was much more.
1. Other men had been crucified, but this crucifixion was different. The one on the cross was Jesus the Christ, God incarnate in man, totally sinless. He was not only bearing the torment of the cross, but taking on Himself the sins of all the world.
2. He who had never sinned, now bore the full penalty and the horror of all the sin.
3. His spiritual torment was beyond human comprehension! Jesus in agony cried out, "Father, why have you forsaken me?"
IV. TRUE TO HIS SINFUL NATURE...MAN STOOD BY IN A DEATH WATCH.
A. In horror, without any compassion...the vile impassionate soldiers gambled at the foot of the cross for His garments.
B. As vultures, feasting on death, the crowd sat down, without emotion, with only curiosity watched, as He quivered in pain.
C. Next came the more despicable act.
1. V39 The religious leaders one by one came by and reviled Him, wagging their heads in scorn.2. Mocking Him the cried, "If thou be the Son of God, come down from that Cross!!"
3. The pious religious leaders, vile hypocrites, expressing Satan's their father's scorn, laughed, "He saved others, but He can not save Himself!" But you see He was not there to save Himself but to save men from their sins, to pay their sin debt, even those cruel religious leaders who reviled Him.
4. Even the two criminals crucified with Him forgot for a moment their own pain and "cast their teeth at Him." We thank God that one of them a short time later came to understand who He was and he believed and was saved.
5. The Jews had looked for centuries for their promised Messiah to come and when He came in God appointed time, these religious and devout Jews had Him crucified. Have you ever wonder why?
a. These were very religious people and devoted to Judaism. They believed that by being born Jews, going to the temple, doing good works they could earn their way to heaven. You see they did not believe God's word. God told them their works would not and could not save them and that is why God had promised the Messiah would come. They ignored God and made up their own religion and said it was from God.
b. They believed they could be good enough and righteous enough to save themselves.
c. They blinded by their sin would not admit their need of a Savior the Messiah. They were Jews the chosen people. Their pride in their nationality and ethnic heritage and their observing religions acts and ritual was their salvation. They did not need a spiritual Savior, but only a material hero and political conqueror. God in the Old Testament had clearly told them of their need and that the Messiah would come but they perverted even who the Messiah would be and why he would come. Remember Isaiah 53. Do you know today that this Old Testament passage is referred to as the forbidden passage. Can you not see why? Before them was greatest demonstration of God's love for His creation man....and yet would not accept it.
d. Jesus in John 3 told Nicodemus the devout Pharisee that he must be born again. Nicodemus thought he was going to inherit the kingdom of God because he was born and Jew and did good works. Jesus was telling him that he must be spiritually reborn and that is what happens when a man believes and received Jesus Christ as His Savior, as he atonement for sin.
e. Jesus said, in John 3:15-19 that to be saved one must believe....believe in God's son to save him because man was condemned already.
f. Eph. 2:8-9 states it emphatically that man cannot save himself. "For by grace you are saved......" Yet, man today like these misguided religious Jews, teach you must join a particular church, be baptized, do good works and a host of other works and sacraments in order to save yourself. Who is right, my friend, God or the religious leaders of our day? Who will you put your trust in God....or some man?
D. He could have called 10,000 angels, and all the host of heaven to His aid, yet He willingly suffered all.
Some soul was touched by His suffering and He finally offered Him a pain killer made of vinegar and gale...but He refused.
1. The pain and suffering He was bearing could not be lessened. He had to suffer for the sins of the world. No man could take His place or could they take His life, but He willingly gave His all for man.
2. In love, desiring even the salvation of those who tormented Him in that hour.
3. He died.....for you.....He died for me.
V. Christ had to die!
A. On the Cross He bore our sins. John 10:30 records that on the Cross Jesus cried, "It is finished." What was finished? His suffering and payment for the sins of the world.
B. 1 John 2:2, says He was the propitiation (full payment) for our sins, but not our only, but for the world.
1. Millions had lived and rejected their God and Savior and when they died they awoke up in fires of Hades, to be reserved until the final judgment in the Lake of Fire as Rev. 20:11-15 says.
2. Millions have and are still reviling Him and His suffering for them. Many are still rejecting Christ, rejecting the truth of God's word, and running Hell bent into eternity and everlasting torment.
3. What a pity! Their sins were paid for and nothing is required of them but to believe and accept God pardon for sin, yet most refused the gift of God and His free pardon for sin.
Many trusting their churches, rituals and the whole spectrum of Satan's lies and false religion are still refusing to believe, refusing to repent, and refusing forgiveness and eternal life. Many are still trying to offer up the filthy rags of their works to save them. and God has clearly stated....only Christ, our Savior and God can save us.
Others are not concerned. They are too busy living their lives, looking for pleasure in money, and material things to be concerned about the eternity that lies before them. I know, because that is the way I was until I was 32 years old. Working, playing as hard as I could, but never being satisfied having no real peace in my life. Yet, one day all that changed. You see I heard a true Gospel message must like what you are hearing now. God touched my heart and opened my eyes and I saw Jesus Christ for who He really is. I realized I was a sinner bound for the Devil’s hell and I also saw a loving Savior, who died in my place offering me forgiveness of all my sins and eternal life....if I would but believe and accept Him. I did and God changed my life completely.
1. Are you today in the crowd mocking the death of Christ? Are you belittling and shunning His sacrifice for you by ignoring the truth that while on that Cross He was suffering for you?
2. The importance of the whole event is simply this! He was dying in your place, He was dying for you. Yours and my sin put Him there. And He loved you enough to go in your place.
3. The Gospel is this, Romans 10:9-10.
4. You accept by faith Christ's payment for your sin. WOULD YOU CONFESS THAT YOU ARE A SINNER AND REPENT OF YOU SIN?
5. Would you receive Christ as your Savior right now?