Summary: 1. Trust Jesus for the misery of His cross (John 19:1-6). 2. Trust Jesus for the miracles of His cross (John 19:23-24). 3. Trust Jesus for the mercy of His cross (Luke 23:32-43). 4. Trust Jesus for the mission of His cross (John 19:28-30).
The Compelling Cross of Christ
(Reading: John 19:14-30)
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Prepared June 7, 2020
*Please open your Bibles to John 19. Last time, in John 18, we took a close look at the trials of Jesus Christ. And the Lord's trial before Pilate is still in process as this chapter begins. In coming weeks we will take a closer look at the events in John 19 to see God's lessons for life today. But right now we will take a big-picture look at the darkest day in human history: The day that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins. To help us get started, let's read John 19:14-30.
*Max Lucado wrote: "The Cross: It rests on the time line of history like a compelling diamond. Its tragedy summons all sufferers. Its absurdity attracts all critics. Its hope lures all searchers.
*My, what a piece of wood! History has idolized it. And despised it, gold plated it and burned it, worn it, and trashed it. History has done everything to it but ignore it. That's the one option that the cross does not offer.
*No one can ignore it! You can't ignore a piece of lumber that suspends the greatest claim in history: A crucified carpenter claiming that he is God on earth!
*The cross. Its bottom line is sobering. If the account is true, it is history's hinge. Period." (1)
*But why is the cross history's hinge? Why is the cross so important? The Word of God shows us. And today we will explore four facets of the cross, four features that compel us to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. FIRST: TRUST IN JESUS FOR THE MISERY OF HIS CROSS.
*Trust in Jesus for the pain, suffering and humiliation He went through for us. We see part of the Lord's misery in John 19:1-3:
1. So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him.
2. And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe.
3. Then they said, "Hail, King of the Jews!'' And they struck Him with their hands.
*They scourged Jesus. They scourged Him. Even the word sounds ugly, but no word can capture the brutality of the beating that Jesus took from a whip laced with scraps of metal and glass. Then, the mocking with the crown of thorns, the purple robe, and their cruel praise: "Hail, King of the Jews!" It meant, "Rejoice, be glad, fare well! Good health to you! Peace to you King of the Jews!"
*They mocked Jesus with their cruel praise. And they struck Him with the palms of their hands. Matthew 27:30-31 adds that they spat on Him, and took a reed and struck Him on the head to drive those thorns deep into the Lord's scalp. Then they put His own clothes back on Him, and led Jesus away to be crucified.
*Those Roman soldiers were vicious and cruel. And it's easy to think, "I'm glad I'm not like that." But it never would have happened without our sin.
*It surely wasn't the Lord's sins that took Him to the cross. Jesus was innocent. The Roman Governor Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent from the start. Mark 15:6-15 gives us these details:
6. Now at the feast (Pilate) was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested.
7. And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow insurrectionists; they had committed murder in the insurrection.
8. Then the multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do just as he had always done for them.
9. But Pilate answered them, saying, "Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?''
10. For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy.
11. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them.
12. And Pilate answered and said to them again, "What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?''
13. So they cried out again, "Crucify Him!''
14. Then Pilate said to them, "Why, what evil has He done?'' And they cried out more exceedingly, "Crucify Him!''
15. So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.
*Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent. Look at John 19:4. "Pilate then went out again, and said to them, 'Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.'" Now look at vs. 6: "Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, 'Crucify Him, crucify Him!' Pilate said to them, 'You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.'"