Summary: That moment spent on the cross of calvary between Jesus and the two theives, speaks of the saving grace of Christ in during this time of anguishes and angony.
Moments with the Master Series
A THRILLING MOMENT
In 2004, a movie called “The Passion of the Christ”, produced and directed by Mel Gibson, was released into all the local theatres. Some of you may have been to see this film.
I bring it up this morning for this reason: those who have seen it tell us that it is the most graphic, and realistic depiction of the death of Jesus ever caught on film. They say the images are horrific and bloody. It is supposed to show all the pain that Jesus endured when He went to the cross to die for our sins. However, I am told that while the film deals with the pain Jesus endured before and during the crucifixion, it does not deal with the purpose of His death.
Friends, the death of Jesus on that cross was a painful event! I am sure it was more brutal and horrible than Mel Gibson’s film could ever hope to capture. The Bible makes it clear that Jesus suffered greatly when He died, Isa. 52:14; Isa. 53:1-6. But, the Bible also makes it clear that the death of Jesus wasn’t about the pain! The death of Jesus at Calvary was for a purpose. Notice carefully what Isa. 53:1-6 says. It tells us in great detail that Jesus was to suffer, but it makes it plain over and over that it was all “for you”! The cross was not about the pain, it was about the payment, John 10:15; Mark 10:45!
Even as Jesus hung on the cross that day, He gave us a living illustration of what His death was all about. For that day, in the midst of His Own pain and agony, He reached out in love and compassion to save a lost sinner. That, my friends, is the reason He was born, lived, died and rose again. He did it all so that lost sinners like us might have the opportunity to be saved by His grace. I want to look at this precious Moment with the Master for a little while today. This passage gives us three different viewpoints on the events that occurred there that day. Let’s take the time to examine each of them for a few minutes and consider this thrilling moment.
I. FROM THE SINNER’S VIEWPOINT (v. 39)
A. It Was a Tragic Moment
• We are told that this man is a “malefactor”.
o This word means “evil doer”.
o He is a criminal and he has been caught, convicted and condemned for his crime.
o This verse tells us that he was “hanged”.
o After his trial, he would have been beaten and then taken outside the city to the place of execution to be nailed to the cross.
o He is in agony and he is dying!
o It was a tragic moment.
o What makes it more tragic is that man is about to die like he has lived: without God!
o He has lived a wicked life, but he is headed to a lost eternity!
• Any life lived without God is a tragic life.
o But, to let that life end and to die without God is a tragedy beyond words!
o Nothing but hell awaits those who die without God.
B. It Was A Telling Moment
• We are told that even through his own pain, this dying man cried out in mockery of the Lord Jesus Christ.
i. The word “railed” means “to speak evil of, or to blaspheme”.
ii. He even questions the identity of Jesus when he uses the word “if”.
iii. He doesn’t believe the testimony of Jesus.
iv. He is dying and in that moment of anger, pain and torment, he lashes out at the very One Who could have made a difference in his eternity.
v. By his words and actions, this man tells us where is heart is.
vi. It is still lost and blinded in the darkness of sin.
• This man is a perfect picture of many in our world today.
i. There are many who would never mock the name of Jesus out loud.
ii. But, they do it every day by denying Him.
iii. They say they believe in God, but they are “practical atheists”.
iv. They live as though God was dead.
v. Of course, there are those who treat the name Jesus as a byword.
vi. They use His name as other men would use a curse word.
vii. He is ridiculed, hated, ignored and vilified.
viii. Those who deny Him with their lips and with their lives are telling us all we need to know about them.
ix. Their reaction to Jesus and His Gospel prove that they are lost in sin, Rom. 3:23; Eph. 2:1.