Summary: According to Scripture (John 20:25) and Roman practices of the time, Christ was held to the Cross by three nails but I want to call this belief into question. Nor were the Jews, Romans, or Judas responsible for His death.
Lk. 23:32-34; Mt. 27:45-54
1. If you ever ask a preacher about his last sermon, he will give you the whole thing again! They usually think they did a good job. So sometimes you get more than you think!
2. D.C. Hightower was a missionary for the Methodist church and he hired interpreters to translate for him when he went to remote areas of the world.
3. When he was in Swaziland, south Africa, he noticed his translator going on and on, despite the short statements he was making.
4. Finally he stopped and said, “It seems to be taking you a lot longer to say what only takes me seconds to say. Are you sure you’re translating exactly?” “Oh, no sir!” he said proudly. “I am greatly improving upon what you are saying!”
32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with Him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified Him, along with the criminals—one on His right, the other on His left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up His clothes by casting lots” Lk. 23:32-34.
45 From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?” 50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He gave up His spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. 54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely He was the Son of God!” Mt. 27:45-46, 50-51, 54.
C. WHAT HELD JESUS TO THE CROSS?
1. USHERS PASS OUT 5” NAILS WITH RED RIBBON TO ALL.
2. According to Scripture (John 20:25) and Roman practices of the time, Christ was held to the Cross by three nails.
3. But this morning, I want to bring this belief into question, for I believe that although it appeared to be three nails, that it was actually forces far greater than a few nails holding Christ to the cross.
4. Now the nail you hold in your hand symbolizes the responsibility for Jesus’ crucifixion. We know the Jews were responsible, the Romans were certainly responsible, and Judas Iscariot was responsible because he betrayed Jesus. But we will find out that YOU AND I are more responsible than all of them!
5. The title of this morning's message is, "Three Nails." Notice first:
I. JESUS HAD THE POWER TO COME DOWN FROM THE CROSS ANY MOMENT HE CHOSE
A. HEAVENLY AID
1. 52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” Matthew 26:52-54.
2. "Pray to My Father" -- The Lord Jesus had a Grand Resource. The Father would answer His prayer!
3. "12 Legions!"
a. 12 x 6000 = 72,000 Angels!
b. Power of = one killed 185,000 of Sennacherib’s Army
= one struck down all the firstborn of Egypt.
4. If one could kill 185,000, then 72,000 could kill 13.3 billion, or almost twice the Earth's present population.
5. All Jesus had to do was issue the command and mighty beings would step from behind every rock and tree and would descend from heaven, in explosive power -- and take Him down from the Cross.
B. DID JESUS REALLY NEED ANGELIC HELP TO GET FREE?
1. One glance of those eyes of fire could vaporize nails, Romans and all.
2. One word from His lips would, like the word of His power which created the Universe, destroy them utterly. He could've spoken the nails out of existence at any moment.
3. One glimpse/revelation of His Eternal Deity would have consumed them as quickly as hair burns up in a fire!
C. JESUS WAS IN CONTROL!
1. AT ANY MOMENT, DURING THE ENTIRE TRIAL AND CRUCIFIXION, HE COULD HAVE STOPPED IT!
2. It was only by a sheer effort of His will that He decided, every moment, to refuse to take revenge and to face the grisly cross. Don’t let it escape your mind that every second of His ordeal, He restrained Himself from stopping it!
3. So those nails didn't hold Jesus to the Cross any more than cobwebs could hold you down.