Summary: Crucifixion sermon
“The Soldiers’ Spit”
March 11, 2001
Intro: This morning, we begin a series about Jesus and some of the accompanying aspects of the crucifixion. Each time I read about the crucifixion, I become overwhelmed with how much Christ loves me. We sang last week, “Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.” I want us to look in our Bibles this morning to see just how great the love of the Savior is.
This week Billy Graham was on TV. We think, wow, wouldn’t it be great just to sit and talk with Billy for a few hours. We often idolize him. Yet, Billy tells publicly of some of his failures as a father. Ruth Graham shares that she never thought about divorcing him, but sometimes she did think about shooting him. When we get to know someone well, we see all the flaws and sins that they hide so well. This morning, we don’t have a church full of glorious saints, but pews filled with horrible sinners, as well as a pulpit filled with a horrible sinner. We know this to be true, because often we hate the sin that we do the most! We see it, and despise it, and sometimes even hate ourselves. Yet, when God looks at us, he sees us as we are, yet he loves us.
Jesus is headed towards Jericho. He is teaching the people, blessing the children, offering parables. And he gives his disciples a picture of what is ahead. Yet they don’t understand it. Luke 18:31 (quickview)  - Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be turned over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again." The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.
Jesus knew what awaited him. He knew what kind of people he would confront. Yet he walked that road to Jerusalem, because of love. Have you ever done anything that you really didn’t like doing, yet you do it because you love someone?
#Tim Brown - Chuck E Cheese - Good News - “you couldn’t pay me enough” - for the Lord
As we look at Jesus, compelled by love to face what awaited him, let’s see what he endured.
I. We see our hopelessness in the soldiers.
What was the order given to the soldiers? To take Jesus and have him crucified. These were soldiers, men under orders, and we don’t fault them for the act of the crucifixion. They were following orders. But what do we see here in this passage. Before the crucifixion, there is a period of beating and mocking and spitting. They spit on Jesus. Why?
In this terrible scene, we see all the filth and corruption that is in the hearts of the soldiers. This degradation showed their evil hearts.
*They take him into the praetorium, the courtyard of the palace where the soldiers “hung out” - they take him into a safe place, where they can act out their sins in secret.