Summary: When challenged to do so......Jesus didn’t come down !
He Didn’t Come Down
Vs 40-43 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
The public ministry of Christ begins with his temptation in the wilderness. Matt 4 records the events of those days. The temptation comes when Christ is weak from a physical perspective. He had fasted forty days, and forty nights, and he was hungry.
Jesus, the devil said.......If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Then the devil took him up into the holy city, and they sat upon the pinnacle of the temple..........If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Then the devil took him up onto a high mountain, and showed him all the kingdows of the world, and the glory of them; The devil said.....All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
As Christ’s public ministry begins with temptation, so it ends with temptation. He has done all that the Father has asked of him, and yet one thing remains.
The one thing left to do to complete the plan of God, and the purpose for him coming is...........death on the cross.
Christ has suffered greatly. Emotionally, and mentally he is exhausted. Physically he is in the most horrific pain that one could ever experience. Crucifixion was a slow agonizing death. But it was for this purpose that he came ! And yet.........here among all the suffering, the pain, the loss of blood.........there comes a temptation ! Come down from the cross ! Come down from the cross !
I. The Challenge
a. challenged his deity......if thou be the Son of God V40
The people passing beneath the cross shook their heads, and mocked him concerning his claim of deity. You claim to be the Son of God, so let’s see you come down from the cross.
b. challenged his dynasty......if he be the King of Israel. V41-42
Jesus had already been mocked because of his claim of Kingship. They had put a purple robe on him........had woven a crown out of thorns, and now as he hangs on the cross........the sign above his heads reads........."King of the Jews". And so the religious leaders of that day soon join in the mockery of Christ.........Look at the King hanging there........If he be the King of Israel let him come down from the cross and we will believe him.
What more proof did they need ?
c. challenged his destiny.........he saved others; himself he cannot save.
The miracles he did.........the blind received sight.........the lame walked..........the diseased were healed...........the dead were raised.
He saved others........himself he cannot save !
Wrong.......wrong !!!!! He saved others; himself he "would" not save !
If he had saved himself, he would have lost us ! There would have been no salvation for the world had Jesus came down !
II. The Commitment.
a. committed to saving others.
In the very beginning, God was committed to redeeming lost mankind. We see that commitment, and faithfulness throughout scripture. And now on Calvary, we see his total committment to saving lost humanity ! He wouldn’t come down ! He didn’t come down because he loved us, and was willing to give himself for our salvation !
b. committed to serving obediently.
Christ is faithful in all things, and to all things. It was for this cause that he came into the world. He humbled himself, and became obedient, even to the death on the cross !
c. committed to satisfying objective.
Jesus finished what he had started ! He didn’t leave it half-way done ! But he went all the way to the cross, and though he was challenged. He didn’t come down !
III. The Conclusion. John 19:30
a. Prophecies concerning his death finished !
If Christ had stopped short, the scriptures of the O.T. prophets would have gone unfulfilled.......and the scripture, and plan of God would have been for naught ! The prophecies had to be fulfilled !
b. Payment for our deeds finished !
The word translated "finished" is a word that is used in the marketplace after a debt has been paid !
c. Provision for our deliverance finished !
Because he would not save himself, he is now able to save us !