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Cross of Christ
The Cross of Jesus Christ
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.”
I Corinthians 15:3
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
- There is so much that could be said about the crucifixion – but we must limit our area of focus.
- We may understand the sinfulness of sin by considering the required sacrifice to appease God.
- We may understand the unspeakable gift of eternal life by considering the full cost Jesus paid for it.
- Paul had this subject as His constant theme . . . yet our flesh despises it as boring and irrelevant.
- Men glory in human achievement like an Ironman triathlon, but consider Jesus today (Heb 3:1; 12:3).
We are quite familiar with the physical and obvious aspects of our Lord’s crucifixion.
- He was SCOURGED by the Romans who were known for efficient punishments.
- He had a CROWN OF THORNS planted on his head and driven into his scalp with a reed.
- He had His BEARD PLUCKED off His face (Isaiah 50:6).
- His FACE WAS BEATEN by the hands and fists of Roman soldiers.
- He was STRIPPED of His garments in public and exposed to all in total NAKEDNESS.
- He was kept up all night WITHOUT SLEEP for torture and fraudulent trials to condemn Him.
- He was forced to CARRY HIS OWN CROSS after being physically abused all night.
- He had NAILS driven through His HANDS AND FEET into the wooden cross.
- He was SUSPENDED ON THAT CROSS with those four nails supporting His body weight.
- He was EXTREMELY THIRSTY from the hours of trial and torture and fluid loss.
- He was fully conscious of pain by REJECTING THE SEDATIVE offered before the cross.
- Though these physical sufferings are horrific, other men have suffered similarly.
We sometimes overlook the nonphysical and less obvious aspects of His crucifixion.
- He was tortured in His soul with knowledge of the future (Matt 26:1-2; Lu 9:51-53; Joh 12:27).
- He was neglected by the general ignorance of Judas and lack of comfort regarding his treachery.
- His disciples slept instead of responding to His requests for alertness and prayer.
- This after the Last Supper where he intimately told them of coming trouble and death.
- This after Peter had grandly promised Him to remain faithful even unto death.
- One of His closest friends betrayed Him with a kiss for a mere thirty pieces of silver.
- His disciples forsook Him and left Him alone and defenseless with the angry mob.
- We read of no defense on His behalf as a listing of His good deeds and words.
- We read of no efforts to sacrifice themselves to save His life i.e. Secret Service.
- He was forsaken by all His followers in His great hour of need. There was no rebellion for Him.
- He was ridiculed and mocked and tortured about His true identity with clear evidence available.
- He was unappreciated for the incredible amount of good He had done and taught for 3 ½ years.
- He was disowned by a dear friend who denied Him three times with oaths and cursing.
- He was humiliated with nakedness, mock titles, a purple robe, crown of thorns, and railing.
- He was sarcastically mocked as a king even though He was the King of kings and Son of God.
- He was dared by wicked and presumptuous men who knew nothing to prophesy of them.
- He was tempted to revenge with twelve legions of angels for His rescue, but He did not.
- He was rejected by His Own nation who screamed for a Roman oppressor to torture Him.
- He was sacrificed in order to free Barabbas, a proven and convicted murderer and seditioner.
- He was ridiculed as an imposter that could not possibly be known or helped by God.
- He was slandered by many false witnesses called against Him to lie rather than hear His truth.
- He was despised with spit in His face though He sent His sun, rain, and fruitful seasons to them.
- He was humiliated by two previous enemies – Pilate and Herod – becoming friends by His trial.
- He was deserted by the governor who knew Jesus was innocent and the Jews merely envious.
- He was tempted to accept a sedative offered before the cross. He drank rather of God’s cup.
- He was railed on by the two thieves whom were crucified for their evil deeds at His sides.
- He was ignored and not rescued, though there was darkness over all the land for three hours.
- He was shamed and tortured to suffer and die naked before His women friends and mother.
- He was humiliated by being crucified between two common thieves though being Lord of all.
- He was suffering not for those who loved Him but rather for enemies that hated Him (Rom 5:8).
- No man has suffered such nonphysical pain and suffering in such a short period of time.
Satan and the demons of hell attacked Him without mercy in an incredible, yet invisible, conflict.
- We are ignorant of the great conflict between spirits in high places (Ep 6:12; Da 10:20; Jude 9).
- We do not respect Satan, when God looses him (Job 1-2; I Chr 1:1; Zech 3:1; Luke 22:3,31-32).
- Satan’s demonic host is the most unified and efficient hostile force in the universe (Matt 12:26).
- Animosity and conflict between Satan and Jesus was prophesied very early (Genesis 3:15).
- Recall the subtle, arrogant, and malicious efforts to tempt Jesus to sin (Matthew 4:1-11).
- Satan only left Jesus “for a season” after the temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4:13).
- The hour of the power of darkness is a foreboding description from Jesus (Luke 22:53).
- Jesus knew the conflict with Satan was coming and told His disciples of it (John 14:30).
- It was the time for Satan to be cast out (John 12:31; 16:11). Was he happy with this change?
- Satan is filled with such malicious hatred for Jesus Christ regardless of the future (Rev 12:12).
- As the elect angels cannot believe salvation for men, Satan cannot stand salvation by a Man.
- And he knew that Jesus Christ was manifested to destroy him and his works (I John 3:8).
- If we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, what did Jesus have to wrestle with? With principalities, powers, the rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness in high places (Ep 6:12).
- “[Deliver] my darling from the power of the dog” refers to the singular dog Satan (Ps 22:20).
- “Save Me from the lion’s mouth” refers to the roaring lion Satan (Psalm 22:21 cp I Peter 5:8).
- He was strengthened in the Garden by an angel (Ma 4:11 cp Luke 22:43-44 cp 22:53 cp Jude 9).
- They have no pity; they did not consider Him; they did not comfort Him; they tortured Him.
- If they could just get Him . . . to curse God . . . to beg for mercy . . . to quit . . . to be afraid . . . to ask for help . . . to use His Strength to deliver Himself . . . to violate a Scriptural promise . . . to retaliate against His persecutors . . . to ask them for help . . . to speak against the elect.
- No man has ever even imagined, let alone endured, such a spiritual conflict for His soul.
But most of all He became sin for us and God His Father forsook Him.
- We must here admit Paul’s description of the incarnation as a great mystery (I Timothy 3:16).
- Jesus had a human spirit subject to all our temptations yet without sin (Heb 2:18; 4:15).
- Jesus had a Divine Spirit, Which was the Word of God and the Everlasting Father.
- Remember clearly that no man has ever had a relationship with God as did Jesus of Nazareth.
- He was One with His Father (John 10:30; 17:20-26).
- He always pleased His Father (John 8:29 cp Matthew 3:17).
- Many, many martyrs have died more painful deaths with joy and singing from God’s presence.
- It pleased His Heavenly Father to bruise Him, put Him to grief (Isaiah 53:10), and forsake Him.
- He became sin for us (II Corinthians 5:21) as our iniquity was laid on Him (Isaiah 53:6).
- He became infinitely guilty, fearful, lonely, condemned for the first and only time in His life.
- He suffered these things in infinite quantity and quality though for a very finite period of time.
- He suffered the equivalent of an eternity in hell for all the elect in a few hours (Cp Matt 7:23).
- Yet, we must acknowledge that He was in the presence of God that very day (Luke 23:43,46).
- No man can weakly imagine the spiritual pain and suffering of this part of the cross.
- “This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.” Song of Solomon 5:16
- What will you do for Him? Love Him? Believe Him? Be baptized? Testify? Crucify your flesh?
- May Jesus Christ be praised! But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.