Summary: Jesus offers us power through His death on the Cross and His resurrection from the dead.
The Power of the Cross
April 20, 2003
Max Lucado – “No Wonder They Call Him The Savior”
“The cross. It rests on the time line of history like a compelling diamond. Its tragedy summons all sufferers. Its absurdity attracts all cynics. It’s hope lures all searchers… History has idolized it and despised it, gold-plated it and burned it, worn 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. It’s bottom line is sobering: …if the account is true, it is history’s hinge. Period. … If not, it is history’s hoax. That’s why the cross is what matters.”
What is Easter all about? What part really matters?
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 - For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures
Jesus Christ was known by many titles: Wonderful counselor, King of Kings, Prince of Peace, Lamb of God and the Rose of Sharon
This morning I want to look at the death of Jesus through the title Rose of Sharon.
I. We must realize the point His suffering
A. The flogging of Jesus
1. The scourge
a.) The scourge was a whip designed with nine straps of leather with weights at the end of each strap. This allowed each of the nine straps to wrap themselves around the body of the victim.
b.) On each strap were knots about an inch apart that held a sharp piece of metal, wood or even bone. These pieces were designed to cut and tear the flesh of the victim.
c.) Each strap was dipped in sheep’s blood and then rolled in broken pottery, this process bonded the pottery to the leather. This would cause every strap to scratch and cut at the skin. Needless to say, the scourge was designed to inflict damage on a massive scale.
2. The scourging
a.) The Romans used a scourging post for their floggings. The post was driven into the ground and stood between 10 to 15 feet high with a bronze ring around the top of the post.
b.) The victim would have their hands tied with a long rope that would be threaded through the brass ring at the top of the post. The rope would then be pulled to stretch the arms of the victim above the head to make the skin on the victims back tight. This allowed for even greater effectiveness of the scourge.
B. The humiliation of Jesus
1. Jesus took a beating
a.) The Roman soldiers decided that they were going to vent some of their frustrations about the Jews on Jesus because He was being proclaimed their king.
b.) The soldiers circled around Jesus and took turns stepping in and punching Him. To add further insult and pain they grabbed His beard and pulled it out by the fistfuls.
2. Jesus was mocked
a.) The soldiers placed a purple robe around Jesus to signify His “royal” status as king of the Jews.
b.) The soldiers took Judean thorns and weaved them into a crown for His head. Judean thorns were between three to six inches long and hard as nails. They then placed the crown on His head and drove it into His scalp with rods.
3. The crowds rejected Jesus
a.) Jesus was brought before the crowds in Jerusalem because Pilate wanted to set Jesus free by giving the crowds a choice. He offered them Jesus or Barabas.
b.) The same crowds that hailed Jesus as He entered Jerusalem were now condemning Him.
Jesus suffered to an extreme scale and He did so willingly, so that you would not have to suffer.
II. We must recognize the purpose His death
A. The process of crucifixion
1. The path
a.) The Romans forced each person being crucified to carry their cross from the place of trial to the place of execution. This made Jesus and the two criminals walk through at least one marketplace and crowds lined the street to watch the condemned, spit on them and try to trip them as they walked.
b.) The cross would have been dropped onto Jesus causing the rough wood to dig deep into His back and shoulder. Jesus was so exhausted from the beatings and the loss of blood that He collapsed on the way to Golgotha. Simon of Cyrene was then forced to carry the croos the rest of the way.
2. The place
a.) The place where Jesus was crucified was called Golgotha, which literally means place of the skull. This place was appropriately named.