Text: Matt. 27:35-50
Some time ago I preached a message on the Seven Sayings Of The Cross. There were some things that Jesus said while he bled and died on Calvary's cross. Just in case you do not remember what Jesus said, I am going to do a bit of review for you to jog your memory. Each saying of Christ is a message in itself! Here are the statements that we know Jesus made, although they may not be in the order that He said them:
1. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).
2. "Today, thou shalt be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43).
3. "Father into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46).
4. "Woman behold they son" (Jn. 19:26).
5. "Behold thy mother" (Jn. 19:27).
6. "I thirst" (Jn.19:28).
7. "It is finished" (Jn.19:30).
What we are going to consider was not said from the cross to the people, but from the people toward the cross. Men have always harbored mixed emotions and varied opinions about who Jesus is and what He did while He was on the earth. Even the Lord Jesus Christ Himself did not please everyone. Human beings are very opinionated. Once some form a certain opinion they never deviate or change from it. This tendency can be either good or bad, depending upon what our fixed opinions actually are. I am so glad that Jesus was willing to come and die for sinners. If Christ had left us alone, we would have died in our sins and been lost forever. Thank God, He came our way first in powerful, persuasive conviction and then in personal salvation. I love that New Testament verse which says, "For Christ hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God" ( 1 Pet.
Here are important considerations about the sufferings of Christ:
1. They were not in vain.
Many people have died in vain. Their dying never accomplished anything at all, while even in the death of some, others came to Christ partly because that person died. When Jesus died, He paid the price so that every believing sinner, could be freed from sin and Satan, to know and serve the living God. His death was overflowing with depth and purpose. No one could have taken His life, unless Christ were willing to lay it down. He loved us so much He was willing to die and bless the Lord it was not useless. Great things are accomplished because Jesus, humanly speaking, died in the place of sinners!
Author C.S. Lewis put it this way: "The Son of God became the Son of Man so that sons of men may become sons of God."
2. They were victorious.
Jesus obviously did what He came to do when He died upon the cross. He said with a great tone of victory in Jn.19:30, "It is finished." Christ had completed what He came to earth to do, that being, to provide salvation for man. We are saved today, because of the priceless value of what Jesus did for us upon Calvary's cross. What were the people saying around the cross? I am glad you asked, so let's find out for ourselves.
I. The Voice of Skepticism
A Skepticism Displayed
Matt. 27: 39,40 says, "And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross." They had heard Jesus say in Jn. 2:18-21 that a temple would be destroyed and that in three days it would be raised up. They thought He was speaking of the Jewish temple where they worshiped God. What Christ was actually speaking about was the death, burial and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ had healed the sick, caused the blinded eye to see, raised the dead, multiplied the loaves and fishes, command the angry waves to lie down, and still men were skeptical of Him.
B. Skepticism Revealed
There was not only skepticism in Jesus day, but it is also alive and well today, some 2,000 years later.
1. It is revealed in disbelief of the Bible.
2. It is revealed in denial of a personal devil.
3. It is revealed in the deviation of the promises of our Great God.
The way we are on is a way of "faith" not skepticism. We simply believe God for what He says.
II The Voice Of The Sinful Preachers
Matt. 27:41-44 declares: "Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, "He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God." The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth."