Summary: Christ’s death was payment for all men’s sin. All are responsible for his crucifixion
Modern medicine has given hope for a longer life to many people through organ transplants. Most transplants are done with organs from a dead person being removed, matched in a database with qualified candidates whose own organ(s) is failing. Despite all of the transplant technology one difficulty remains. The person who receives a transplant must take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of his life. The body recognizes that the new organ is foreign and fights to destroy it or reject it. This is true even if the organ comes from a very close relative. God is holy, just, and entirely without sin. He rejects anything that is sinful and can have nothing to do with it. Unless something is done about our problem of sin, God cannot relate to us and we cannot relate to him.
I. Jesus was crucified though he was sinless and righteous.
A. His sentence was determined before his trial (ref last sermon)
B. Pilate pronounced him innocent
1. Two times he said there wasn’t any basis for the charge (vv 4, 14)
2. Once he said there were no grounds for punishment (v22)
C. King Herod did not find fault
1. He would have had more reason to want to eliminate Jesus than would Pilate
a. He was the local ethnic leader (herodians considered themselves Jews)
b. He was from Jesus’ region and wouldn’t want his region to be considered a base for rebels
2. Herod mocked both Jesus and the priests
a. Putting a robe on Jesus was a humiliating act
b. Putting the robe on Jesus was like thumbing his nose to the priests
D. One of the criminals declared Jesus a righteous man (vv 40, 41)
E. The Centurian at Jesus’ crucifixion also recognized Jesus as the Son of God and righteous. (v47)
What does this mean? Why is it important that Jesus died a righteous man? We must look back at God and his relationship with the Hebrews and his need for a payment for sin.
II. God is Holy and requires sacrifice for sins.
A. A sin offering always requires spilling blood.
1. Animal sacrifice in OT
a. Usually a young bull
b. A dove is permitted if too poor
c. Only if too poor even for dove may grain be used but this usually meant great sacrifice to the one giving it
B. Sacrifice means feeling the pain
1. The suffering reminds of the cost of sin
2. It is like paying a fine
3. It is supposed to expose sin and correct the relationship of the heart
4. Psalm 51:16, 17 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
I had a birddog that I took to a trainer. This dog had lots of drive and energy which are necessary for competitive trials dogs. Sarge also had a very strong will to hunt. The only problem with him is that he like to “run big” or hunt out of gunshot range. When given to command to come back in he ignored it. Finally, the trainer resorted to a shock collar. At first a gentle bump of electricity from the collar stopped Sarge from going too far. After some time, however, Sarge got used to the bump, which was increased to a jolt, and finally to a shock that lasted as long as the trainer held his button down. Even then Sarge would wince and fight the collar until he was out of range. The sacrificial system was a lot like this. The Hebrews became more and more comfortable with enduring the sacrifices just so they could continue in their sins. The sacrifices were supposed to draw people into God’s will but they, just like so many of us, chose to run big and simply pay the price for sin.
III. Sin requires death.
A. Sin came through Adam who was no longer permitted to eat from the tree of life.
B. Lev 17:11 Life is in blood… blood makes atonement
C. Cain and Abel both made sacrifices to God. Abel’s was pleasing because it was the choicest from his herd while Cain’s was not.
D. Only the purest of blood can make payment
1. Mal 1:8 When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the LORD Almighty.
2. Deut 15:21 If an animal has a defect, is lame or blind, or has any serious flaw, you must not sacrifice it to the LORD your God.
E. God’s law requires a death punishment for sin.
F. Man cannot pay his own debt because he is blemished and is not an acceptable sacrifice.