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Summary: The gospel is the Good News that Jesus died, was buried and He rose again

A. INTRODUCTION

1. Approximately four hours after trials began, Jesus was executed.

2. It is doubtful Jesus’ followers understood the meaning of His crucifixion. The gospel is the Good News that Jesus died, was buried and He rose again (1 Cor. 15:1-3).

3. The cross has become the crossroad of mankind.

B. HATEFUL ATTITUDES

1. To correct. “Write . . . that I am King of the Jews” (John 19:21). “What I have written, I have written” (John 19:22).

2. To take. “The soldier . . . took His garments and made four parts, to every soldier a part, and also His coat . . . without seam . . . cast lots for it” (John 19:23-24).

3. To mock. “Mocking Him . . . He saved others, Himself He cannot save” (Matt. 27:41-42).

C. JESUS’ SEVEN CROSS STATEMENTS

The last statement of an executed person is usually reflective of his character, motives and perhaps his guilt.

1. Statement of forgiveness spoken to the Roman soldiers. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:24).

2. Statement of acceptance spoken to the repentant thief. “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).

3. Statement of human responsibility spoken to His mother Mary and John. “Woman, behold your son . . . behold your mother!” (John 19:26-27).

4. Statement of separation spoken to the Father. “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani . . . My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46).

5. Statement of suffering. “I thirst” (John 19:28).

6. Statement of victory. “It is finished” (John 19:30). What was finished?

a. His agony.

b. His physical life.

c. The Old Testament sacrifice of lambs.

d. Redemption for people.

e. Satisfied the law’s demands.

f. Fulfillment of Messianic prophecy.

7. Statement of completion. “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit” (Luke 23:46).

D. NOTEWORTHY EVENTS

1. Heaven’s blackness. “Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two” (Luke 23:44-45).

2. The holy of holies opened. “Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split” (Matt. 27:51).

E. THE RESPONSE OF FRIENDS

1. New respect. “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39).

2. Women observers. “There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome” (Mark 15:40).

3. Two asked for the body. “Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus” (John 19:38-40).

F. WHAT PAUL SAID ABOUT THE CROSS

1. Co-crucifixion. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death” (Rom. 6:5, NKJV). “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him” (Rom. 6:6).

2. Redeemed. This word means to “buy back,” i.e., to re-gain what is yours. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13).

3. Forgiveness. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).

4. Old Testament cleansing. The blood of bulls and goats could never take away sin. “Whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed” (Rom. 3:25).

5. Reconciliation. The word reconciliation means to restore relationship. “And that he might reconcile both (Jews and Gentiles) unto God . . . by the cross” (Eph. 2:16).

6. Peace. “Having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:20).

a. Peace with God. “He is our peace” (Eph. 2:14). The word peace means “to be joined.” We are joined to God through Christ.

b. Peace of God. “He came and preached peace to you” (Eph. 2:17). “My peace I give to you” (John 14:27). This is internal tranquility, i.e., freedom from stress.

If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:

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