Sermons

Summary: Jesus' crucifixion in Matthew 27:32-56 teaches us what his death accomplished for sinners.

Scripture

After Jesus’ last Passover, which became the institution of the Lord’s Supper, Jesus and his disciples went to the Mount of Olives. Jesus then took Peter, James, and John to Gethsemane, a garden area where oil from the olives was pressed, to pray. Eventually, Judas arrived and betrayed Jesus to the authorities. Throughout the night and early morning, Jesus endured a religious kangaroo court hearing, a civil court hearing, a scourging, and received a death sentence. Weak and bloody, Jesus then carried his cross to die.

Let’s read about Jesus’ crucifixion in Matthew 27:32-56:

32 As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36 Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37 And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38 Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.

45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

55 There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, 56 among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. (Matthew 27:32-56)

Introduction

The San Pedro Cutud Lenten Rites are an annual re-enactment of Jesus’ passion and crucifixion held in Barangay San Pedro Cutud in the Philippines. It includes a passion play, culminating in the actual nailing of at least three penitents to wooden crosses on top of a makeshift Calvary. Penitents do this horrific re-enactment to seek forgiveness for their sins, to fulfill a vow, or to express gratitude for favors granted. The person most famous for being crucified is Ruben Enaje, who has been crucified 33 times as of 2019. He has four-inch nails driven into his hands and feet, and is then lifted on the wooden cross for about five minutes. Ruben began this yearly rite after surviving a fall from a three-story billboard in 1986.

This bizarre re-enactment demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of Jesus’ crucifixion.

Lesson

Jesus’ crucifixion in Matthew 27:32-56 teaches us what his death accomplished for sinners.

Let’s use the following outline:

1. What Happened at Jesus’ Crucifixion? (27:32-56)

2. What Does Jesus’ Crucifixion Mean for Us?

I. What Happened at Jesus’ Crucifixion? (27:32-56)

First, what happened at Jesus’ crucifixion?

Jesus’ crucifixion and death is described in each of the four Gospels (cf. Matthew 27:32-56; Mark 15:21-41; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:16-37). Jesus first carried his cross but then Simon the Cyrene was compelled to carry his cross (Matthew 27:32). When they arrived at Golgotha, Jesus was crucified, along with two robbers, one on the right and one on the left.

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