THE PENALTY OF PASSING BY THE CROSS
Mark 15:22-38 / Luke 23:46-49
It has been a long night in Jerusalem. While multitudes slept, God the Father has allowed the plan of the ages (the redemption of man) to be put into motion.
The time is a few minutes after noon the day of Christ’s crucifixion. Below the bald rock called Golgotha, the leaves of the olive trees shimmer in the warm and gentle breeze.
Coveys of little swifts dart across the rock and down into the garden below where they peck for food and keep a weary eye on those who are upon the barren mount.
The executioner stands near by, having performed his task with precision that comes with much experience. He holds several, five inch long, square cut nails in his left hand and his merciless, blood splattered hammer in the other.
As near to the foot of the cross as can be allowed, we find the disciple John holding in his arms Mary, the mother of Jesus, as she weeps at the sight of her son hanging there, struggling with the pain that would ultimately take his divine life.
There are many spectators all around. Some sit and watch as though entertained by this gruesome scene. Some are busy with other activities; a few are attending to those who have been crucified, giving them comfort. Some are hanging signs, while others are gambling for the possessions that had once belonged to the Saviour.
Some, who have come out of curiosity, are enticed to join in the mockery of the priest and the rulers who have come to see their hearts desire finally accomplished.
My text for today is found in Mark 15:29 “They that passed by railed on him,” and Luke 23:48 “All the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.”
These people passed by the cross and mocked Him. They came to see Him hanging there and went away boasting.
They returned to their city, their homes, their occupations, and their families; to a life without concern, without hope, and worst of all without Christ.
It is a serious thing to pass by the cross as these people did. There is a penalty for doing so!
Please consider with me what is true of those who pass by or bypass the cross.
Passing By The Cross Means…
I. YOU DENY THE CLAIMS OF CHRIST.
Jesus Claimed To Be The Son Of God & The Redeemer Of Man. To The Woman At The Well - John 4:19-26 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
He Claimed He and The Father are ONE - John 17:22 The glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.
Jesus Said He Came To Save Us - Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save..
Jesus Said He Is Coming Again - John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled…
II. PASSING BY THE CROSS MEANS THAT YOU HAVE BEEN BLINDED BY SIN.
2 Cor 4:4 The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Isaiah 28:14-18 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
Most Physically Blind People Recognize They Are Blind, but it is not so with the spiritually blind.
III. PASSING BY THE CROSS MEANS YOU WILL MISS THE JOY OF SALVATION.
When We Receive Christ We Are Set Free From The Bondage of Sin; Debts are paid; Shackles are broken - John 8:32, 36 Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free...If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Christ’ Work On The Cross Met The Demands of God’s Law.
Joy Comes In Knowing That Our Sin Debt Has Been Paid - Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
IV. PASSING BY THE CROSS MEANS YOU WILL MISS HEAVEN -
Rev 21:1-8 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Also 21:22-27; 22:1-5
John 1:12 As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
V. PASSING BY THE CROSS MEANS YOU WILL BE LOST FOREVER.
God In His Infinite Wisdom Has Provided A Wonderful Plan of Redemption For Us. He made salvation the greatest gift He could bestow, available at the least possible price man could pay.
Salvation Cost God A Tremendous Price! to reject it means He must reject you!
The Believer’s Name Is Written In The Book of Life - Philippians 4:3 I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life.
Those Who Pass By The Cross Are Not In The Book of Life - Revelation 20:15 Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Prepared by Pastor Kevin Burden
Carter Creek Baptist Church
Sunday AM, March 30, 2003