Approximately half way through this message we were interrupted by a fire alarm. After the “all clear” was given, we returned to the building and Dennis completed his message.
“I owed a debt I could not pay, He paid a debt He did not owe I needed someone to take my sins away. And now I sing a brand new song amazing grace the whole day long. Christ Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay.” Song lyrics
Crucifixion was a common way to execute criminals in the first century. The Roman Government had been using it. CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST
(from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
The method of torture and execution used by the Romans to put Christ to death. At a crucifixion the victim usually was nailed or tied to a wooden stake and left to die.
Crucifixion was used by many nations of the ancient world, including Assyria, Media, and Persia. Alexander the Great of Greece crucified 2,000 inhabitants of Tyre when he captured the city. The Romans later adopted this method and used it often throughout their empire. Crucifixion was the Romans’ most severe form of execution; so it was reserved only for slaves and criminals. No Roman citizen could be crucified.
But gradually exhaustion set in, and death followed, although usually not for several days. If the victim had been severely beaten, he would not live this long. To hasten death, the executioners sometimes broke the victim’s legs with a club. Then he could no longer support his body to keep blood circulating, and death quickly followed. Usually bodies were left to rot or to be eaten by scavengers.
To the Jewish people, crucifixion represented the most disgusting form of death: “He who is hanged is accursed of God” <Deut. 21:23>. Yet the Jewish Sanhedrin sought and obtained Roman authorization to have Jesus crucified <Mark 15:13-15>. As was the custom, the charge against Jesus was attached to the cross; He was offered a brew to deaden His senses, but He refused <Mark 15:23>. There was no need for the soldiers to break His legs to hasten death. By the ninth hour <Mark 15:34, 37>, probably 3:00 P. M.– in only six hours– Jesus was already dead <John 19:31-33>. Jesus’ body was not left to rot; the disciples were able to secure Pilate’s permission to give Him a proper burial.
The cross has been a major stumbling block in the way of the Jews, preventing the majority of them from accepting Jesus as the MESSIAH. The apostle Paul summed up the importance of the crucifixion best: “We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” <1 Cor. 1:23-24>.
ILL>Al Qaeda posted a video this week from a large meeting in Yemen. One of the comments was made.
“We must eliminate the cross. … The bearer of the cross is America!” WHEN? A question we use all the time. Time for something to happen. It also refers to circumstances, results and affects surrounding an event. When the lights went out. When the game was over. When she walked down the aisle. When they got lost. It is time. When Jesus died. A time in history with results, consequences and affects. Jesus death and resurrection not just a nice story. Although it was an actual event in history, it is far more important than any other event in history. God was in Christ making peace with sinners. We cannot ignore this most important event.
What happened when Jesus died and arose from the dead.
Choices are difficult and often either made too impulsively or by procrastinating can be difficult. Pilate was a man with a very difficult decision. He no doubt had heard about this man named Jesus. He knew of his miracles, his popularity, and the jealousy of the religious leaders of the day. At one point during the trial of Jesus the wife of Pilate tells him to have nothing to do with Jesus because she had a dream about Him. He becomes even more disturbed when he realizes He may be the Son of God. John 19:7-8 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate therefore heard this statement, he was the more afraid; (NAS)
1 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and arrayed Him in a purple robe; 3 and they began to come up to Him, and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him blows in the face. 4 And Pilate came out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.” 5 Jesus therefore came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold, the Man!” 6 When therefore the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify, crucify!” Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves, and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate therefore heard this statement, he was the more afraid; 9 and he entered into the Praetorium again, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 Pilate therefore said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me up to you has the greater sin.” 12 As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.” 13 When Pilate therefore heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” 15 They therefore cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 So he then delivered Him to them to be crucified. (NAS)
1. Creates a difficult predicament. 2. Gives alternatives 3. Neutrality impossible Impossible to stay neutral about Jesus. Who or what is in your way. What other choices do you have? Run your own life. Let family, friends stand in your way. Is your sin in your way? Unwilling to give up? I am not talking about religion. I am talking about a person who is God in human form. When Jesus died more than just a man who was born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth died. He was God.
John 18:36-38 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” 37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no guilt in Him. (NAS)
1. Pilate acknowledged His kingship what I have written, I have written Pilate wrote on the board above the cross. It is written: Jesus the Nazarene the King of the Jews. The jews wanted him to change it to say, HE SAID, but pilate said what I have written I have written. It was written in Greek, Latin and Hebrew. Greek-universal language-art, culture, philosophy Latin-language of the official government Hebrew-language of the religious. 2. Jesus proclaimed His kingship You have said correctly that I am a king. 3. His kingdom is universal and not of this realm 4. You must respond to his Kingship Religion rejected Jesus-still does Culture ignored Jesus-still is Government put him to death-is trying too
John 19:19-22 19 And Pilate wrote an inscription also, and put it on the cross. And it was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 20 Therefore this inscription many of the Jews read, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and in Greek. 21 And so the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” (NAS)
It is a two-fold victory. a. It is finished: His death on the cross provided a sacrifice and substitute for our sin. b. His resurrection provided His life for us. We are alive because He is alive. The songwriter said it this way: “He is alive I am forgiven heaven’s gate is open wide. He’s alive.” Romans 4:25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God. (NLT)
John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit. (NAS)
1. It is finished 2. Appearance of defeat was not defeat 3. God’s plan was fulfilled fulfillment of prophesy-fulfillment of debt IT IS FINISHED- It is finished. It appeared to be defeat by the world’s standard. Jesus followers are scattered, He is crucified, he has written no books, and he is only 33years old. It is the end. Or is it? It is finished is the translation of one Greek word Tetelstai. Third person singular, IT, not I or you. Perfect tense, fully and finally done. Not I am dead, Not I am finished. IT is finished. The completion of the sacrifice for sin. Once and for all for all ages for all people. IT is finished. It is accomplished. Heb 9:11-14 11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (NAS)
Heb 10:10-18 10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart, and upon their mind I will write them,” He then says, 17 “And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. (NAS)
2 Cor 5:19 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (NAS)
2 Cor 5:21 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (NAS)
Sin is still man’s problem. Every person on the planet is a sinner in need of a savior. We have tendency to want to believe sin is only that which is committed by a few, those really bad people. But the truth is we all sin. We talk of grace. But let me assure you until you understand sin you will never understand grace.
We lie, cheat, steal, commit sins of the heart, are unloving, rebellious and ungrateful. We have jealousy, hate, envy, covet what others have and try to think only murderers and rapist will answer to God. It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment. That is for everyone.
We all fail, we all sin, we all need a savior. I am convinced the reason many people to not become followers of Christ is they don’t believe they have a need.
We measure ourselves by ourselves and others and come up feeling pretty good about how we measure up. The other side is that we somehow have been convinced by religionist that if we just try hard and work at it we can make up for what we know is sin in our lives. The wages of sin is death and without the work of Christ on the cross applied to your life there is no salvation. Being a religious person will never get anyone salvation or a way to heaven when we die. Only through the sacrifice of Jesus’ life and the victory of his resurrection will be ever be saved. He died to save us from sin; He arose from the dead to give us His life.
Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
What will you do with Jesus? Crucify-accept-reject-ignore-make Him your king.
Rom 6:23 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NAS)
Rom 3:23 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (NAS)
Sin was paid for, Satan was defeated, death and hell were defeated, your forgiveness was secured, the new covenant was instituted, eternal life was made a reality, abundant life was given, It all happened WHEN JESUS DIED AND AROSE FROM THE DEAD.
Conclusion: One Solitary Life
He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant
woman. He grew up in still another village, where He
worked in a carpenter shop until He was 30. Then for
three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote
a book. He never held an office. He never had a family
or owned a house. He didn’t go to college. He never
traveled more than 200 miles from the place He was
born. He did none of the things one usually associates
with greatness. He had no credentials but Himself.
He was only 33 when public opinion turned against Him.
His friends deserted Him. He was turned over to His
enemies and went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
When He was dying, His executioners gambled for His
clothing, the only property He had.. . . on earth. When
He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through
the pity of a friend. Twenty centuries have come and
gone, and today He is the central figure of the human
race, the leader of mankind’s progress. All the armies
that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all
the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that
ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of
man on earth as much as that One Solitary Life.
Dr James Allan Francis in “The Real Jesus and Other Sermons”