OceanSide church of Christ
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Victor M. Eskew
A. Passages that speak of Jesus’s crucifixion.
1. Matthew 27:22-23
Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.
2. Mark 15:25
And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
B. Even historical sources confirm the execution of Jesus Christ. One of these sources is from a Roman historian named Tacitus in Annals 15:44.
“Nero fastened the guilt of starting the blaze and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.”
1. Called Christians.
2. Christus was his name and the founder of the group.
3. Suffered the most extreme penalty (crucifixion) at the hand of Pontius Pilate.
4. Was not favorable of Christianity for he called it a mischievous superstition and an evil.
C. Christ crucified is grounded in the Biblical narrative and is confirmed by secular historians. Christ crucified was a real event!
D. The title of our lesson is: “Christ Crucified.” Let look at five points in this lesson.
I. THE MAN
A. The man who was crucified was named Jesus (Matt. 1:21), and was from the despised town of Nazareth in Galilee (Matt. 2:23; John 1:46). His occupation was a carpenter (Mark 6:3).
B. He was as much a man as any of us (Heb. 2:14a).
Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same…
1. He hungered (Matt. 4:1-2).
2. He thirsted (Matt. 19:28).
3. He grew weary (John 4:6).
4. He cried (John 11:35).
5. He could be and was tempted (Heb. 4:15).
C. He was a unique man, however, because he was also God (I Tim. 3:16).
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh…
1. Some refer to this as the “dual nature” of Jesus.
2. He was a God-man.
3. It is a concept that is difficult for us to grasp in its entirety.
a. God is a Spirit, but Jesus was made flesh.
b. God cannot be tempted with evil, but Jesus was tempted.
c. God is eternal, but Jesus was born and died.
d. Paul described it in an interesting way in Philippians 2:6-8.
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
D. Jesus was also an innocent man.
1. He committed no sin.
2. He violated no laws.
3. The only witnesses against Him were false witnesses.
4. The charges were false.
5. Pilate knew He was innocent and called him a “just person” (Matt. 27:24).
6. Judas said he had betrayed “innocent blood” (Matt. 27:4).
7. The thief on the cross said: “This man hath done nothing amiss” (Luke 23:41).
8. Peter said that He was without blemish and without spot (I Pet. 1:19).
II. THE METHOD
A. Jesus’ death was by crucifixion.
1. It was Persian in origin, but perfected by the Romans.
2. It was shameful.
3. It was painful.
4. It was protracted.
5. It was fatal.
B. There are many articles that have been written that describe all the things that happened to our Lord’s body as He suffered the beating and crucifixion.
1. The wounds upon His body.
a. Scourged all over his backside with a Roman whip (Matt. 27:26)
b. A crown of thorns on His head (Matt. 27:29)
c. Smote on the head with a reed (Matt. 27:31)
d. Nails in His hands and feet (Matt. 27:35)
e. A sword thrust through His side (John 19:34)
2. The pain:
a. Of a bruised body
b. Of torn flesh
c. The pressing upon open wounds
d. The constant rubbing up and down on the cross
e. The spasms in His hands, feet, legs, and arms
f. The inability to breath
g. The weight on his hands as He hung
h. The weight on His feet as He pushed up to breath
i. The joints are pulled out
j. The rapid heart beat
k. The lungs filled with fluid
l. The dehydration of the body
m. The mouth longs for water
n. Shock sets in
o. Excruciating pain happens in the chest as the sac around the heart fills with fluid and presses on the heart.
p. The body reaches extremis and the chill of death comes over the body.
3. Psalm 22:14-15
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of the earth.
III. THE MOTIVE
A. From the human perspective the motive of Jesus’ death was evil.
1. It involves man’s pride.
2. The Jews were filled with envy against Jesus.
3. They hated Him deep within their hearts.
B. From God’s standpoint, the motive is expressed in one, four-letter word, LOVE.
1. John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
2. Romans 5:8
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
3. I John 3:16
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us…
4. I John 4:9-10
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he love us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
C. This love is described in several ways in the New Testament:
1. A great love (Eph. 2:4)
2. Love which passeth knowledge (Eph. 3:19)
3. A love for enemies (Rom. 5:8, 10)
4. A sacrificial love (I John 3:16)
IV. THE MEANING
A. Jesus’ crucifixion met the demands of divine law.
1. Sin has death as a consequence (Ezek. 18:20).
2. Jesus was the only appropriate sacrifice.
a. He was a man.
b. He had no sin (I Pet. 2:22).
3. Isaiah 53:11
He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied…
B. The sins of mankind could be forgiven.
1. Ephesians 1:7
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
2. Revelation 1:5b
Unto him that loved us, and washed us from his sins in his own blood.
C. We are reconciled to God.
1. The word “reconciled” means “to make friendly again.”
2. Romans 5:10
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
3. Colossians 1:21-22
And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your minds by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproachable in his sight.
D. Man does not have to face the wrath of God.
1. Romans 5:9
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
2. I Thessalonians 1:10
And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, which delivered us from wrath to to come.
V. THE MESSAGE
A. Two verses:
1. I Corinthians 1:23-24
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greek foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
2. I Corinthians 2:1-2
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom declaring unto you the testimony of God. For determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
B. The message of love displayed in the crucifixion is designed to produce love in the hearts of the lost.
1. I John 4:19
We love him, because he first loved us.
2. Our spiritual man follows the Lord in being crucified (Rom. 6:6; see Gal. 2:20; 5:24).
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
3. The old man of sin is buried in the waters of baptism and a new man rises to walk as a new creature in Christ (Rom. 6:4; II Cor. 5:17).
4. As Christians, every day we take up our cross and follow Jesus Christ (Matt. 10:38).
And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
A. In the first century, many were confounded by the crucifixion.
1. To the Jews, it was a stumbling block.
2. To the Gentiles, it was foolishness.
B. Jesus helped put it into perspective in John 15:13.
Greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
1. We understand these words. We can affirm their truthfulness.
2. The differences in Jesus’ death are simple, yet profound for our study.
a. A man laid down His life for us, but this man was the Son of God.
b. He did not lay down his life for us because we were friends. He laid down His life for us as His enemies.
c. He did not preserve physical life, but He gave us eternal life.
C. Christ crucified is a moving story.
1. It should move us to obey the gospel.
2. It should move us to be faithful in our service to Jesus Christ.