Summary: Grace & Mercy
There is a song that was written based upon this scripture, the song writer penned, When Jesus hung on Calvary. People came from miles to see. They said if you be the Christ, then come down and save your life. But on this Good Friday I stand before you to say, well we know he could have, but Thank God He didn’t, Ain’t you Glad?!
Let’s break this down, and evaluate just how traumatic this thing the cross and crucifixion was. The cross, the chief symbol of Christian religion. Utilized at one time as an instrument of death, the cross was abhorred by both Jews and Romans; although the Romans administered execution by crucifixion, if you were a Roman you could not be crucified. The victim was first scourged - beaten - whipped - prior to preceding - scholars believe this was done to hasten the death. The victim was then nailed to the beams of the cross with either nails or stakes. Piercing a stake through the palm, sometimes also at the wrist. Another two stakes into your sides. Then crossing your legs, a peg is driven into both feet.
In some instances the person was given a potion to help deaden the pain. The combination of the inflamed and infected wounds, fever, shock, heat, exposure, hunger, thirst, pain, delirium, internal bleeding made crucifixion a horrid means of death. The time required for death to occur varied, but rarely came before a minimum of thirty-six hours elapsed. Which explains the astonishment of Pilate we he was informed of the death of Jesus after only a few hours. But the fact that this man who had done no wrong, who had the authority to raise the dead, heal the sick, could have saved himself. He did not have to suffer the sins of the world, He could have come down, but he didn’t. Ain’t You Glad!
This was Jesus’ destiny. The fact that he had the audacity to speak out against the traditions of Jewish authorities, and combined with his evident divine powers; caused those with power to become outraged. These enraged men out of jealousy and contempt condemned this man of mercy to death. Even though the law would not permit the death of Christ in Rome - the people of power were so zealous in obtaining the eradication of Jesus they took him to the governor to obtain the desired result. By the cover of the shadows of darkness, they whisked Jesus - shifting and rearranging the charges in order to obtain their unjustified result - but the amazing thing is not that these persons went to such great lengths to procure their means - the amazing wonder of this whole incident is that Jesus could have saved himself, but he didn’t - ain’t you glad!
Ain’t that Good News!?! Because Jesus was convicted of a crime never committed, hung between two thieves, and bled and died for us, the cross and his actions enables each of us the opportunity to find forgiveness - to be reconciled to our Father. Oh our Father so loved us, he chose to initiate a rescue mission to save his children who were drifting aimlessly in a sea of sin in a leaking lifeboat. He sent out the rescue party that came in the form of our Savior - Jesus Christ. He threw out the lifeline - the blood of Jesus that was shed. He secured our safety when we could have come down, but he didn’t, Ain’t you Glad!