Summary: an exposition on Matt ch 27
THE REACTIONS TO THE CROSS
Matthew 27 v. 26 - 56 - v. 36 "and sitting down they watched Him there"
1. The Soldiers saw the Rectitude of the Cross i.e.to them Christ was a criminal
v. 27 - 31.so they stripped Him v. 28 , crowned Him (with thorns) v. 29, mocked Him v. 29, spit upon Him v. 30, smote Him v. 30, and then crucified Him v. 31. What they did seemed, lawful, but logical, a warning to others, and a public show
2. The Women saw the Wrongs of the Cross, i.e.to them Christ was a benefactor,
His innocence was attested by Judas - v. 4, by Pilate’s wife - v. 19, by Pilate - v. 24, by Herod - Luke 23 v. 15, by the dying thief - Luke 23 v. 41 "this man hath done nothing amiss.", by the centurion - v. 54, "this was the Son of God"
3. His Mother saw the Rigours of the Cross i.e.to her Christ was her Son,
(a) Her firstborn Son
(b) Her faithful Son
(c) Her faultless Son
4. The Disciples saw the Robbery of the Cross i.e. to them Christ was their Master. They were robbed of their Master, of their Messiah, of the Miraculous, of their Mission, and of their Motivation
5. The unrepentant thief saw the Reality of the Cross i.e. to him Christ was a malefactor, Luke 23 v. 39 - "if thou be Christ, save thyself and us" - looking with the wrong attitude v. 44 (and so reviled him)
6. The repentant thief saw the Royalty of the Cross i.e. to him Christ was a deliverer Luke 23 v. 42 - "Lord remember me" - His affliction was painful, it was purposeful - "his due reward", but it was passing "thy kingdom"
7. The Centurian saw the Revelation of the Cross i.e.to him Christ was the Son of God v. 54, His confession was Reasoned - v. 54 "He saw the earthquake", Respectful - "He feared greatly", Real - "truely this was", and Revealing - "the Son of God"
8. The Priests saw the Reproof of the Cross i.e. to them Christ was an imposter
v. 41 & 42 "He saved others"
(a) The bitterness of their mockery
(b) The blindness of their mockery "come down from the Cross"
W. Booth said "because he didn’t come down from the Cross, we believe Him",and
(c) The blasphemy of their mockery v. 43 "for He said, I am the Son of God"
9. The Angels saw the Radiance of the Cross i.e. to them Christ was the greatest sacrifice of love ever seen - John 3 v. 16, God’s love revealed in its fulness, it’s freeness, and it’s faithfulness
10. The Devil saw the Results of the Cross i.e.to him Christ was the victor - Genesis 3 v. 15 -now the devil’s head is bruised He saw :-
(a) The measure of his defeat - complete
(b) The method of his defeat - i.e. by dying Hebrews 2 v. 14 "that through death He might destroy him that hath the power of death, that is the devil"
(c) The meaning of his defeat v. 15 "and deliver them" i.e. the emancipation for the captives, and the eradication of the Captor (ultimately, he knows he is a defeated foe.)
11. The Father saw the Resignation of the Cross i.e.to the Father Christ was the obedient one, He obeyed personally, perfectly, and precisely, all that God had given him to do - wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him