Summary: The crucifixion
THE CROSS OF CHRIST
Luke 23:32 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death.
33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. NKJV
1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. NKJV
A CROSS IN THE HEART OF GOD
We are going to be standing on holy ground this morning as we come to very heart of God’s word, the cross of Jesus Christ. God’s word proclaims the message of the cross as an eternal message that began long before the creation of the world and it will be the dominating and central theme of eternity.
The cross of Jesus Christ was God’s idea. It was not a mistake. The cross was God’s plan from the beginning and it is the only plan that God designed with the power to give us eternal salvation.
If I were to live 10,000 years, I would still never be able to adequately describe to you the triumph and power that comes to us from the cross.
Paul said if we are to glory in anything let be the cross of Jesus Christ.
In the days of Jesus, thousands of men hung from a cross to suffer a terrible death.
But there is one cross that stands out above all the others. It is the cross of Jesus Christ.
Upon this cross the creator of heaven and earth, the eternal Lamb of God poured out His royal blood to purchase my eternal salvation.
To the non-believer the cross is a place of suffering and shame.
To the non-believer the cross is a myth filled with foolishness.
But to the believer, the cross of Jesus Christ is a place of victory and triumph.
It is a place of life and salvation. It is a place of forgiveness and truth.
THE DESTINY OF THE CROSS
Picture in your mind Jesus as a 12-year-old young boy as He walks with His parents along a road in Jerusalem. On His left, He sees the temple Mount and its magnificent buildings. Down the road on the right, He sees the place called Golgotha…
And as they pass this place, Jesus sees it from the eyes of His heart and He knows this is His place of destiny. He knows that one day at this very place, He will lay down His life as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. He knew that all history and eternity would one day be determined at this place. Jesus knew all of this and He still choose to die for us.
Fast forward to the night of His betrayal and see Jesus and His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Listen to how John describes this moment in the garden.
John 18:2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, "Whom are you seeking?" 5 They answered Him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am He." NKJV
See Judas as he betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. See the temple soldiers as they march through the Eastern Gate and cross the Kidron Valley to arrest Jesus.
Get that picture in your mind and listen again to verse 4… Don’t miss this verse.
John 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, "Whom are you seeking?" NKJV
From His position in the garden, He could see the Eastern Gate. He could see the soldiers coming for Him and He knew what it all meant. He knew His time had come and that this was the purpose for which He was born and He would not turn away from it. He knew it was the Father’s will that He be delivered into the hands of sinners and die for the sins of the world.
He did not run. Instead, Jesus waited for them because He was determined to do the will of the Father which was to die for the sins of the world. When the will of God sends us into the fire, let’s go forward just as Christ did for us that night.
When He asked them whom they wanted, they said, Jesus of Nazareth. When Jesus said, “I AM HE” the power of His name so overwhelmed them that they were thrown to the ground. The point is this; He could have instantly stopped them, but He didn’t. Instead, He allows them to arrest Him and under the cover of darkness, He allows them to bind Him like a criminal and lead Him away into the night. (John 18:12)