Summary: There were all kinds of people at the Cross. What distinguished these groups of people? The condition of their souls, their spiritual heart attitudes. Around the Cross of Jesus, we can see people who demonstrated some contrasting heart conditions.
People At The Cross
1. A father and daughter we walking through a spacious prairie.
2. In the distance, they could see fire all around them. They knew they could not escape it.
3. The father knew there was only one way to escape: set fire to the ground near them and burn a large patch of grass. When the huge fire drew near, they could stand on this burned section and they would be safe because the grass had already burned there.
4. The little girl was scared, but her dad reassured her: “The flames cannot get to us here. We are standing where the fire has already been.”
5. May I suggest to you that this is an exact parallel to those of us in Christ.
6. We need not fear the wrath of God, because we are standing in Christ. And God’s wrath has already been directed toward Christ; we are safe in Him.
7. And the Cross is first and foremost about a loving Savior experiencing God’s wrath on our behalf so we can be forgiven.
8. Last week we spoke of Christ’s journey from Pilate to Golgotha, the Place of the Skull, a Skull-shaped hill outside of Jerusalem.
9. Jesus was nailed to the cross at His wrists and feet; He was weak and fainting from abuse before they crucified Him, with criminals at either side of Him on their own crosses.
10. There were all kinds of people at the Cross.
11.What distinguished these groups of people? The condition of their souls, their spiritual heart attitudes.
MAIN IDEA: Around the Cross of Jesus, we can see people who demonstrated some contrasting heart conditions.
I. We See the Passersby Who Demonstrated Hard Hearts Toward Jesus (Matt. 27:36-44)
1. Some of these people chose to intentionally misunderstand Him
(1) shaking heads
(2) “You were going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days…save yourself---come down off the cross
2. Others Understood Him Clearly---More Clearly Than Some Skeptics Do Today
(1) Teachers: He saved others, let Him save Himself
(2) Let Him come down from the cross--then we’ll believe
(3) A few days earlier, these men were afraid to arrest Jesus…they feigned teach
ability and tried to trap Him…now their hatred is no longer hidden…
(4) They understood clearly that He claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God a nd thus equal with God
(5) Ultimately, we all have to face that choice: Is Jesus Lord, Liar, or Lunatic. They thought He was a liar and referred to Him as “that deceiver.”
(6) It is totally absurd to think of Jesus as a good man but not God: He clearly claimed to be God and the Messiah; those who heard Him understood this because it was clear….if He is not God, He had to either be a horrible liar or insane….because His claims were clear (even more clear in the Jewish culture that in ours)
3. Although many modern unbelievers would not approve of the crucifixion, they identify with the crowd:
(1) He saved others….many believe that we are our own saviors…
(2) He will build the Temple in three days (John 2:19-21)…others do not believe He resurrected Himself….
(3) Millions agree with the mockers….s