Summary: The crucifixion makes it look like Jesus is not God.
• SLIDE #1
• There are so many illusions we live under in life, things like we are in control of our own destiny, or that we did it all on our own. Men, we are under the illusion that run the home.
• We see folks around the word under the illusion that their god is telling them to send their children to their deaths, or that they are to kill anyone who will not follow their false god.
• For one to be drawn into believing an illusion, one must be willing to believe the illusion to be true.
• When it comes to illusions, some of the people who lived during the ministry of Jesus were living under an illusion that many people to this day still embrace, the illusion that Jesus was not God.
• People embrace the same illusion about Jesus that many embraces about Him during His ministry.
• When you think about it, believing that the person standing before you is God is hard to believe.
• People were susceptible to the illusion that Jesus was not God because the truth that He IS God is almost too incredible to comprehend.
• I used to watch the Show Cris Angel, Mind Freak. This guy was one of the best at making illusions believable. He did things that made me want to know how he did it because I knew the illusions he performed were too incredible to be real.
• Imaging watching Jesus perform His miracles, the miracles themselves could easily lead on to believe that He was God, but the thought of standing in the presence of God is almost too incredible to believe.
• So, the illusion that we will examine today, that Jesus was not God, is a much easier pill for many to swallow than the fact that HE IS GOD!
• People who want to reject Jesus believe they have a vested interest in Him not to be God, so any evidence they look at, they look at it with an eye toward not believing Him to be God so they can comfortable live under the illusion we will examine today.
• When I watched the illusions Mr. Angel would perform, part of me wanted to believe they were true, but in the end, I realized what he was doing was just an illusion. As incredible as the illusions he performed were, I knew in the end, they were just illusions.
• Believing Jesus is not God is simply an illusion also. Let’s turn to Matthew 27:35-37 to gain our first observation.
• SLIDE #2
• Matthew 27:35–37 (HCSB) — 35 After crucifying Him they divided His clothes by casting lots. 36 Then they sat down and were guarding Him there. 37 Above His head they put up the charge against Him in writing: THIS IS JESUS
THE KING OF THE JEWS.
• SLIDE #3
I. The crucifixion offered the illusion that Jesus was not God.
• Something that fed into the illusion that Jesus was not God was the fact He was being crucified.
• When you consider the concept of God, one of the attributes most folks give to whatever god they care following is that the god they follow is powerful and in control.
• I am sure there are exceptions to this. Not too many will follow a god who is weak and can be beat up by the town bully.
• One thing we need to keep in mind as we ponder the crucifixion is that more than likely, some it not many folks who were there, at some point either personally witnessed or knew someone who witnessed a miracle Jesus had performed.
• The miracles enamored people, they wanted more.
• Even Herod during one of the trials of Jesus wanted to see Jesus because he had heard that Jesus performed miracles.
• SLIDE #4
• Luke 23:8 (HCSB) Herod was very glad to see Jesus; for a long time he had wanted to see Him because he had heard about Him and was hoping to see some miracle performed by Him.
• Remember, last week during the arrest, Jesus secured the release of His disciples, who promptly abandoned Him and then ran away.
• Jesu has been beaten, He has been nailed to the cross and He and is looking pretty helpless at this point.
• There guards on duty, but they were there to ensure that no one would help get Jesus or the two thieves off the cross.
• Jesus had to look pathetic on the cross.
• It would not be unusual for Jesus to be naked on the cross because this was the normal Roman pattern. However, since Jesus was clothed on the journey to Golgotha, it is probable the mid-section of His body was covered with a loin cloth.