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Summary: If he had come down from the cross every person living today would not have a chance to eternal life.

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What If Jesus Had

Come Down From The Cross

SCRIPTURE: "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." Matthew 27:40 KJV

THE MESSAGE BIBLE: 35-40 "After they had finished nailing him to the cross and were waiting for him to die, they whiled away the time by throwing dice for his clothes. Above his head they had posted the criminal charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews. Along with him, they also crucified two criminals, one to his right, the other to his left. People passing along the road jeered, shaking their heads in mock lament: "You bragged that you could tear down the Temple and then rebuild it in three days—so show us your stuff! Save yourself! If you're really God's Son, come down from that cross!"

Introduction

Have you ever played what if? "What if" is a mental game that people play in their minds in which they consider possible outcomes. Those who plan long range activities usually consider "what if" scenarios. These are the times in which plans are made in anticipation of certain actions by others. Emergency planners practice "what if" scenarios. Military organizations and police units often practice "what if" situations. In this way they are constantly ready to take action because nearly every possible situation that can occur has been anticipated and an appropriate response has been planned. "What if" is also a consideration of those who look back after the fact. Sometimes those who attend reunions see their old girl friends or boy friends from high school and they play the "what if" game. That's especially true if the person has become successful at what they do or has turned out to be everything you thought they couldn't be or if they turned out looking better than they did when they were younger .

Often "what if's" have a tendency to lead us full circle. When that happens, we are led to consider how a change in events could have affected our personal lives.

From a spiritual context, every Believer has to ask themselves, what if Jesus had come down from the cross?

Even though it sounds staggering can you imagine what might have happened if Jesus had actually done as he was asked by his critics and come down from the cross?

As Believers, we rejoice in knowing that by Christ staying on the Cross He as the 2nd Adam gave us a second chance.

1 Corinthians 15:45 Amplified Bible say's," Thus it is written, The first man Adam became a living being (an individual personality); the last Adam (Christ) became a life-giving Spirit [restoring the dead to life].

Jesus came to give us a chance to the tree of life!

Exposition

As we look at our text it focuses on the Christ at his crucifixion, as his critics urged him to come down from the cross. Jesus paid them no mind because He was fulfilling the Fathers will by staying there.

During His entire ministry Jesus was constantly bombarded by those who urged him to do things to prove himself to them. Regardless to what he did, most of them still did not believe him. Even some of those who were with him constantly found it difficult to believe what they were seeing and hearing , as he hung on the cross with nails in his hands and feet, his critics continued their attempt to assassinate His character and ministry. His words and claims were misrepresented and his ministry was questioned repeatedly.

His critics challenged him to come down from the cross and prove that he was the Son of God after all they said to Jesus "show us your stuff,save yourself! If your really God's Son, come down from that Cross!" This was just another instance where people wanted to see a spectacle, but still would not have believed even if he had come down. They probably would have accused the soldiers of sloppy work by failing to secure him to the cross completely. There was nothing for Jesus to prove by coming down from the cross. Those who would see him would not be convinced anyway. Besides there was much to be lost if he came down, too much to risk for the mere self satisfaction of showing off for those who criticized him.

The people at the cross wanted him to come down for their amusement.

This wouldn't be the first time Jesus would be challenged to come down there were other instances in His life where he met pressure to come down.

One instance was when he began his ministry, Satan wanted him to stoop down to his level.

In the wilderness for 40 days and nights, Satan came to Jesus with the offers of food, fame and fortune (i.e through these 3 areas: the Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the Eye and the Pleasures or Pride of life) if he would simply stoop down and acknowledge him. The chance to have food after a 40 day fast was tempting, but it would have required him to stoop down to the level of using his mission to satisfy his own needs and drives. The opportunity to have earthly fame and fortune was also given to him, but even that would have required him to stoop down to the level of pandering to the public to achieve his end. The possession of power, resources and influence was certainly admirable, but as Satan presented them, it would have required that Jesus stoop down and use his influence in a cheap and mercenary way that would have made him a subject of Satan rather than the Son of God.

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