Apr 9, 2023. Easter 2023

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35 Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.”

36 Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. 37 And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 38 Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. 39 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, 42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. 43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” 44 Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.

1. A universal crucifixion

                a. Several things we know of the crucifixion:

                                a1. Preplanned from before the foundation of the world

                                a2. Purposely manipulated by Christ’s enemies

                                a3. Public where criminals are displayed as a warning to others

                                a4. Pernicious as a slow agonizing death of pain, dehydration, & suffocation

                                a5. Humiliating as the King of Glory endured mockery, insults, & ignorant accusations

                                a6. Prolonged as Jesus endured 6 hours of pain, recrimination, & punishment

                b. Representatives of all classes, ethnic groups, & known nations were represented at the cross

                                a1. Jews cried for his crucifixion & their leaders held mock trials

                                a2. The Romans carried out the deed, even though crucifixion was reserved for the worse of criminals (note sign over cross)

2. Three classes of torturers at the cross:

                a. Passer-byes – those who walk along the busy path to the entrance of Jerusalem

                                a1. A mixture of people (Jews, merchants, pilgrims, thieves, officials, peasants…)

                                a2. The passer-byes blasphemed Christ

                                                b1. Accused him of lying = he would destroy the Temple & then rebuild it in 3 days (they didn’t know that Jesus spoke of his own body)

                                                b2. Accused him of impotence (no power to save self) – it was omnipotence that held him there

                b. The chief priests – religious leaders of the people

                                a1. These were supposed to be the most holy of the people (closest to God)

                                a2. These were wolves in sheep’s clothing, jealous for their own power & prestige

                                a3. False religionists are cruelest of all

                                a4. Jewish leaders challenged Jesus to prove that he was God by coming down off the cross (same tactic as Satan in wilderness)

                c. The thieves on the flanking crosses

                                a1. Ironically, the thieves join in the mocked

                                a2. The wicked point their fingers at others

                                a3. Only when one of the thieves realizes that he was justly being crucified, but Christ was not, did he repent

3. For all people

                a. Ironically, Christ was dying for the sins of all the people who were crucifying him

                b. Their mockery was unjust & misguided

                c. Christ showed compassion, perseverance, patience, endurance, & forgiveness

                d. The 3 types of people mocking Christ are us

                                a1. They represent us

                                a2. Christ loved them & us

                e. He suffered once for all

                                a1. His great endurance paid great dividends

                                a2. We will never comprehend the price paid

                f. Only after the resurrection did it become clear