Sermons

Summary: Stand along with the Roman Officer at the Cross of Christ and allow the Blood of Jesus to cleanse your sinfulness.

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IT IS SAFE TO SAY THAT ALL OF US MUST DEAL WITH SIN ON A DAILY BASIS. WHAT PROBABLY SCARES US THE MOST IS NOT THAT WE CONFRONT AND DEAL WITH THE SINS OF THE WORLD, BUT HAVE TO CONTEND WITH THOSE DARK SINS THAT LOITER IN THE DEEP RECESSES OF OUR HEARTS.

PSALM 36:1, “SIN LURKS DEEP IN THE HEARTS OF THE WICKED, FOREVER URGING THEM ON TO EVIL DEEDS.” JEREMIAH 17:9, “THE HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOUT ALL THINGS AND BEYHOND CURE. WHO CAN UNDERSTAND IT?”

ALTHOUGH WE ARE CHRISTIANS AND HAVE SOUGHT TO LIVE A HOLY LIFE, THERE ARE THOSE TIMES IN LIFE THAT FROM WITHIN THE DEEPEST RECESSES OF OUR SOUL, WE EXPERIENCE THE SURGING POWER OF SIN LEAP FROM WITHIN.

FOR EXAMPLE, A SUDDEN RUSH OF ANGER THAT MAKES US WANT TO SCREAM OUT PROFANITY. THAT OVERWHELMING SENSE OF HATRED THAT MAKES US SUDDENLY WISH THE VILEST FORM OF ILL-WILL UPON A FRIEND OR ENEMY. AN INCRIMINATING DESIRE TO STRIKE BACK WHEN WE ARE WRONGED OR SLANDERED.

THERE IS WITHIN US THAT DORMENT BEAST CALLED SIN THAT CAN, SUDDENLY AND WITHOUT WARNING, ARISE FROM ITS SLEEP, ATTACK WITH A VENGEANCE, AND CAUSES US TO PAUSE AND SAY MOMENTS LATER, “WHERE ON EARTH DID THAT COME FROM?” “WHY DID I DO THAT?” THAT’S NOT ME! THAT’S NOT WHO I AM!”

IT IS THE BEAST OF SIN THAT CAUSED EVEN PAUL TO EXCLAIM IN ROMANS 7:15-16, “I DON’T UNDERSTAND MYSELF AT ALL, FOR I REALLY WANT TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT, BUT I DON’T DO IT. INSTEAD, I DO THE VERY THING I HATE. I KNOW PERFECTLY WELL THAT WHAT I AM DOING IS WRONG, AND MY BAD CONSCIENCE SHOWS THAT I AGREE THAT THE LAW IS GOOD. BUT I CAN’T HELP MYSELF, BECAUSE IT IS SIN INSDIE ME THAT MAKES ME DO THESE EVIL THINGS.”

LIKE FRESH MEAT TO A HUNGRY LION, NOTHING CAN BE MORE FRIGHTENING TO US THAN WHEN OUR HUMAN NATURE PICKS UP THE SCENT OF SIN AND BEGINS TO SALIVATE AT THE OPPORTUNITY TO FEED IT PASSIONS.

NOWHERE WAS THIS EVIL BEAST OF SINFULNESS MORE RAW AND UNTAMED THAN ON THE DAY CHRIST DIED. THE DISCIPLES WERE FIRST FAST ASLEEP, THEN FAST ON FOOT. JUDAS HAD ONCE FOLLOWED CLOSE TO JESUS AND THEN CAME EVEN CLOSER TO HIM FOR A KISS OF BETRAYAL.

HEROD WANTED A SHOW AND GAINED A CONVICTED CRIMINAL NAMED BARABBAS. PILATE WANTED OUT, GAVE IN, AND THEN WASHED HIS HANDS. THEN THERE WERE THE SOLDIERS. THEIR THIRST WAS NOT FOR THE LIVING WATER THAT JESUS COULD PROVIDE, BUT FOR THE BLOOD HE COULD SPILL FOR THEIR ENJOYMENT.

IRONICALLY, WE CANNOT FAULT THE SOLDIERS FOR SCOURGING JESUS AND TAKING HIM TO HIS CRUCIFIXION. THEY WERE SOLIDERS AND THEY WERE JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS LIKE ANY GOOD SOLDIER WOULD DO.

BUT, THERE IS A FAULT AT HAND. THERE IS A BREAKDOWN IN THEIR PROTOCOL. THEY WERE SIMPLY TO TAKE THIS NAZARENE TO GALGOTHA AND EXECUTE HIM.

SO IT IS RATHER HARD TO UNDERSTAND WHY THESE LOYAL SOLDIERS WOULD DIVERT FROM THEIR GIVEN ORDERS TO TAKE IT UPON THEMSELVES TO ADD EVEN MORE PUNISHMENT TO CHRIST’S SENTENCE OF DEATH.

THE SOLDIERS HAD ANOTHER IDEA. A SINISTER IDEA. AN IDEA THAT COULD ONLY COME FROM THE BEAST OF SIN FROM WITHIN. DESPITE THE FACT THAT JESUS HAD ALREADY BEEN BEATEN WITHIN AN INCH OF HIS LIFE, THEY FELT THERE NEEDED TO BE MORE. THEY FIRST HAD TO HAVE A LITTLE FUN.

BEFORE HEADING OUT TO THE HILL, THEY FIRST STOP IN THE COURTYARD OF THE GOVERNOR’S RESIDENCE TO ABUSE JESUS PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY WITH THE VILEST FORMS OF INSULT. COMBINING LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS HUMOR WITH CRASS AND SARCASTIC SALUTATIONS, THEY ADULATE THIS “KING OF THE JEWS” WITH THEIR SPITTAL AND THEIR FISTS.

THEY GO ONE STEP FURTHER AS ONE SOLDIER REMOVES HIS CAPE AND DRAPES IT AROUND THE SHOULDERS OF JESUS. ANOTHER FORMS A CROWN OF THORNS A PLACES IT UPON CHRIST’S HEAD. YET ANOTHER HUMOROUSLY QUESTIONS HOW A “KING” COULD RULE WITHOUT HIS SCEPTOR AND QUICKLY FORCES A LARGE WOODEN REED INTO JESUS’ HANDS.

WHAT A SITE TO BEHOLD IT WAS INDEED. THERE IN THE COURTYARD BEFORE A BATALLION OF NEARLY 600 SOLDIERS, JESUS IS FORCED TO HIS FEET AND MADE TO STAND AMONGST THE SPLATTERING OF HIS OWN BLOOD TO DRINK IN THE DEAFENING ROAR OF APPROVAL AS THE CROWD EGGS-ON THE ABUSERS TO INCREASE THEIR PHYSICAL DESTRUCTION.

MADE TO LOOK LIKE A CLOWN-PRINCE OF A DEBACLED AND CAPTURED KINGDOM, JESUS IS FORCED TO STAND BLEEDING, BRUISED, SWOLLEN AND ALL DRESSED UP IN ROBE, CROWN, AND SCEPTER FOR THE AMUSEMENT OF OTHERS.

BUT, THAT WASN’T ENOUGH AS A CROWD-FUELED SOLDIER YANKS THE WOODEN REED FROM JESUS’ HANDS AND WHOLLOPS HIM UPSIDE THE HEAD. OTHER SOLDIERS WHO HAVE TIRED OF THE MOCKERY STRIP JESUS OF HIS “ROYAL CLOTHES” AND BEGIN TO LOAD THE CROSSBEAM ON HIS SHOULDERS TO BEGIN THE MARCH TOWARDS EXECUTION.

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