Summary: The treatment of Jesus during and after His trial was awful. And yet if was normal for people who are in darkness. Because when it is dark, you miss things you should be able to see.
Passage: Matthew 27:27-46
Intro: Lightning is more impressive at night.
PP lightning in the day
PP Lightning storm at night
1. we see spiritual darkness all around us in many ways.
2. but there are few examples greater than what went on during the torment and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
PP Luke 22:53
3. from soldiers to Pharisees, rejection of Jesus Christ as God’s person, God’s plan and purpose is clear.
4. really, this sin-darkened rejection of Jesus sets the stage for next week.
5. it is the darkness that sets the stage for the greatest lightning show in history!
6. going deep into the darkness shows us why we proclaim the truth.
7. spiritual ignorance promotes deceptive darkness. The cure is the light of God’s truth.
8. what does the darkness look like?
I. Darkness is Blind to God’s Who
1. Pilate was almost done, sent Jesus to be flogged. V26
2. only mention in Gospels, terrible torture that quite often killed the victim.
3. and then Jesus became a victim to torment for a large group of soldiers.
4. “cohort” or company = 600 men
5. everyone who was there was called to form up around Jesus.
6. notice that they mocked him as someone who claimed royalty but was not, in their view.
7. “scarlet robe”, color of royalty, but probably a soldiers tunic. (red)
8. “crown of thorns”: real crown made of gold, this one of the most worthless of materials.
PP Genesis 3:18
9. “staff” for a scepter, typically sign of great power and authority.
PP Esther 5:2
10. but soldiers used it to beat him, repeatedly.
11. King of the Jews? Ha!
14. they treated Him in a most unkingly way.
12. at the cross, others took up the mocking cries.
13. v40: …”if you are the Son of God.”
14. v42: …He is the king of Israel” Not!
-Pilate made the same mocking reference. V37
15. v43…”I am the Son of God”
16. complete rejection of who Jesus claimed to be, and had proven Himself to be.
17. for the Jews among them, the suffering of Jesus should have reminded them of something.
18. but this is the mark of darkness.
II. Darkness is Blind to God’s What
1. it’s a logical progression. Who is it, and what is he doing?
Il) watching building go up, different trucks pull up with signs on the side. So knowing the “who” tells you the “what”
3. these guys missed the who, so also missed what was going on.
4. to look at Jesus during this time was to see absolute helplessness in the physical realm.
5. completely outnumbered, bound, object of complete humiliation.
6. and to it all, He made no response, no defense, no display of power.
7. after soldiers got tired to mocking him, they nailed him to the cross in a position of complete helpless. Affixed with nails, able only to breathe, and that was increasing hard.
8. then the mockers took over, interpreting his helplessness as proof that He was a liar.
9. v42: “come down from the cross, we will believe.”
10. v43: “let God rescue him…”
11. and if not, He is not God’s Son
12. so they looked at the evidence they had and misinterpreted it.
PP Isaiah 53:3
13. despised even by God, apparently.
14. and because they were blind to who
God was using and what God was doing, they missed the why as well.
III. Darkness is Blind to God’s Why
1. the soldiers had no idea that they were tools of God’s wrath
2. Jesus was just another victim, though the king of the Jews angle enabled them to change the usual routine a little.
3. but the Jews were more vocal because this was a religious issue.
4. they defied Jesus to give them proof of His claims.
5. v.40: “come down and prove you are the Son of God”
6. v42: “come down if you are the king of Israel”
7. “why are you staying up there if you have the power to come down.”
8. “you have the perfect opportunity to make us believe you.”
9. but if they had read their Bibles and believed them, they would know why He stayed up on that awful cross.
PP Isaiah 53:4-6 Suffering Servant
10. remained there to free us from the same spiritual darkness that caused Him to be nailed to the cross, to bear unimaginable agony
11. and no one got it; then.
12. even the faithful women who saw where he was buried brought spices to anoint Him for a long-term burial.
13. in the face of such terrible darkness that is the universal state of man, we can thank God for giving us the light.