Summary: Jesus acts on the cross are examined. He did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves.
It was time for Jesus to be crucified. He had been beaten with fists, had his hair pulled out, He had been flogged to the point of death. He was a mass of bleeding, raw and opened flesh. It is a miracle that He is still able to carry His cross.
It was the custom that those condemned carry their own method of death. The cross beam, called the "patabulum", was about 100 pounds and carried across the shoulders. Jesus had carried his to the city gate. The soldiers escorting Him picked someone from the crowd of spectators. Verse 21 says,
A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.
1. He Was Silent (So We could Be Heard)
Jesus was silent for most of His trial. When He did speak He simply turned the answer back to His accusers’ "That is who you say...". When He was beaten he did not give them any cause to do so. When He was ridiculed He did not return the insults or ridicule them.
The Son of God spoke nothing at His trial because there was nothing more to say. He had spoken God’s truth and they had rejected it. He had revealed the kingdom of God and they rejected it. He had revealed the messiah and they rejected Him.
When they nailed Him to the cross He continued to speak words of intercession, forgiveness and compassion, to those and for those who were crucifying Him.
He remained silent so that we could be heard when we cried out "Lord save me!"
2. He Wouldn’t Be Saved (So We Could Be Saved)
The mocking of the crowd and the religious leaders was cruel to the extreme.
Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, "So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!" In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. "He saved others" they said, "but he can’t save himself! Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe". Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him. v. 29-32
He could have come down from the cross at any time. He could have called 10,000 angels to minister to Him and His wounds. He could have refused it all and chosen instead to live His life.
But the agony He had experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane came to only one conclusion each time He prayed. "Father, not my will but yours be done".
Jesus chose to give His life on the cross. He chose to lay it down. It was not taken from Him. What held Him to the cross was not the nails but His love for each of us.
He wouldn’t save Himself so that we might be saved.
3. He Was Forsaken (So We Wouldn’t Be)
At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which means, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Darkness came upon the earth. Light was gone. Sin was bore by the perfect lamb, the Lamb of God. The pain of the cross, the nails, the tortured flesh of His back and sides was no as agonizing as the moment the Father turned His back on all the sin of the world.
Jesus took our sin on himself and paid the price for each of us, separation from God. For the first time in His life Jesus was separated from this Father. The heavenly Father turned his back on his one and only Son.
The Father rejected and refused Him.
What agony it was for Jesus. He cried out to the Father asking why, "why have you forsaken me".
Jesus was forsaken on the cross so that we wouldn’t be.
4. He Died (So We Can Live)
With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, "Surely this man was the Son of God!"
One gospel states that Jesus cried with a loud voice, "It Is Finished". At that moment the temple curtain was torn from top to bottom. The curtain in the temple separated the people from the holy of holies. It was approximately 8 feet high, 30 feat long, and 9-12 inches thick.