Summary: Why did Jesus have to die such a gruesome horrible death? Why choose the crucifixion and not the firing squad?
Passion of the Christ
The movie “The Passion of the Christ” has generated all sorts of discussion in the media, in mainstream society and in churches
• If nothing else it has forced people to once again confront Pilate’s question, “What do you want me to do with this man Jesus?
• So today we are going to talk about one of the issues raised by the release of the movie
Who has seen the movie?
• What did you think? Impressions?
• It seems one of the impressions people have come away with is the level of violence portrayed in the movie
• Well here’s a newsflash. The reality was worse then the movie
• Isaiah 52:14 (NLT) Many were amazed when they saw him —beaten and bloodied, so disfigured one would scarcely know he was a person.
• I don’t particularly want to dwell on the violence but I would like to ask this question
Why do you think Jesus chose to die such a gruesome, horrible death?
• Just take a moment to discuss this with a couple of others and see what reasons you come up with
1. To show us how much He loves us
• Let me ask you, if your parents really wanted you to know that they loved you, what would they need to do to show it?
• Think back to when you were a kid for a moment
• What about if you had been really, really bad and you deserved the biggest whooping of all time, and your dad goes to get his big stick but when it comes back, he says to you, instead of you receiving this punishment, I’m going to take it for you
• Well that’s exactly what Jesus has done for you and me
• We deserved to suffer the punishment of the cross, but Jesus comes along and says, “I’m going to suffer it for you”
There was a school with a class of students that no teacher had been able to handle. Two or three teachers had been run off from this school in one year by the unruly students. A young man, just out of college, heard about the class and applied to the school. The principal asked the young man, "Do you know what you are asking for? No one else has been able to handle these students. You are just asking for a terrible beating." After a few moments of silent prayer, the young man looked at the principal and said, "Sir, with your consent I accept the challenge. Just give me a trial basis."
The next morning the young man stood before the class. He said to the class, "Young people, I came here today to conduct school. But I realize I can’t do it by myself. I must have your help. "One big boy, they called Big Tom, in the back of the room whispered to his buddies, "I won’t need any help. I can lick that little bird all by myself."
The young teacher told the class that if they were to have school, there would have to be some rules to go by. But he also added that he would allow the students to make up the rules and that he would list them on the blackboard. This was certainly different, the students thought! One young man suggested "NO STEALING." Another one shouted "BE ON TIME FOR CLASS." Pretty soon they had "10" rules listed on the board. The teacher then asked the class what the punishment should be for breaking these rules. "Rules are no good unless they are enforced," he said. Someone in the class suggested that if the rules were broken, they should receive "10" licks with a rod across their back with their coat off. The teacher thought that this was pretty harsh, so he asked the class if they would stand by this punishment. The class agreed.
Everything went along pretty good for two or three days. Then Big Tom came in one day very upset. He declared that someone had stolen his lunch. After talking with the students, they came to the conclusion that little Timmy had
stolen Big Tom’s lunch. Someone had seen little Timmy with Big Tom’s lunch! The teacher called little Timmy up to the front of the room. Little Timmy admitted he had taken Big Tom’s lunch. So the teacher asked him, "Do you know what the punishment is? Little Timmy nodded that he did. "You must remove your coat," the teacher instructed.
The little fellow had come with a great big coat on. Little Timmy said to the teacher, "I am guilty and I am willing to take my punishment, but please don’t make me take off my coat." The teacher reminded little Timmy of the rules and punishments and again told him he must remove his coat and take his punishment like a man. The little fellow started to unbutton that old coat. As he did so, the teacher saw he did not have a shirt on under the coat. And even worse, he saw a frail and bony frame hidden beneath that coat.