Some time ago I preached a message on the Seven Sayings Of The Cross. There were some things that Jesus said while he bled and died on Calvary’s cross. Just in case you do not remember what Jesus said, I am going to do a bit of review for you to jog your memory. Each saying of Christ is a message in itself! Here are the statements that we know Jesus made, although they may not be in the order that He said them:
1. “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
2. “Today, thou shalt be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
3. “Father into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
4. “Woman behold they son” (Jn. 19:26).
5. “Behold thy mother” (Jn. 19:27).
6. “I thirst” (Jn.19:28).
7. “It is finished” (Jn.19:30).
What we are going to consider was not said from the cross to the people, but from the people toward the cross. Men have always harbored mixed emotions and varied opinions about who Jesus is and what He did while He was on the earth. Even the Lord Jesus Christ Himself did not please everyone. Human beings are very opinionated. Once some form a certain opinion they never deviate or change from it. (You may have already formed an opinion on this sermon!) This tendency can be either good or bad, depending upon what our fixed opinions actually are. I am so glad that Jesus was willing to come and die for sinners. If Christ had left us alone, we would have died in our sins and been lost forever. Thank God, He came our way first in powerful, persuasive conviction and then in personal salvation. I love that New Testament verse which says, “For Christ hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” ( 1 Pet.
Here are important considerations about the sufferings of Christ:
1. They were not in vain.
Many people have died in vain. Their dying never accomplished anything at all, while even in the death of some, others came to Christ partly because that person died. When Jesus died, He paid the price so that every believing sinner, could be freed from sin and Satan, to know and serve the living God. His death was overflowing with depth and purpose. No one could have taken His life, unless Christ were willing to lay it down. He loved us so much He was willing to die and bless the Lord it was not useless. Great things are accomplished because Jesus, humanly speaking, died in the place of sinners!
Author C.S. Lewis put it this way: “The Son of God became the Son of Man so that sons of men may become sons of God.”
2. They were victorious.
Jesus obviously did what He came to do when He died upon the cross. He said with a great tone of victory in Jn.19:30, “It is finished.” Christ had completed what He came to earth to do, that being, to provide salvation for man. We are saved today, because of the priceless value of what Jesus did for us upon Calvary’s cross. What were the people saying around the cross? I am glad you asked, so let’s find out for ourselves.
A Skepticism Displayed
Matt. 27: 39,40 says, “And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, 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.” They had heard Jesus say in Jn. 2:18-21 that a temple would be destroyed and that in three days it would be raised up. They thought He was speaking of the Jewish temple built by human hands where they worshiped God. What Christ was actually speaking about was the death, burial and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ had healed the sick, caused the blinded eye to see, raised the dead, multiplied the loaves and fishes, command the angry waves to lie down, and still men were skeptical of Him.
B. Skepticism Revealed
There was not only skepticism in Jesus day, but it is also alive and well today, some 2,000 years later.
1. It is revealed in disbelief of the Bible.
2. It is revealed in denial of a personal devil.
3. It is revealed in the deviation of the promises of our Great God.
The way we are on is a way of “faith” not skepticism. We simply believe God for what He says.
II The Voice Of The Sinful Preachers
Matt. 27:41-44 declares: “Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, “He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.” The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.”
How they verbally belittled the Son of God! They mocked him about coming down from the cross and delivering Himself. They said, “If you only come down we will believe.” I do not believe they would have believed. They were blinded by religion. Praise God, the Lord Jesus loved you and me more than that! Love compelled Him to go to the cross and love also held Him there. He could have called ten thousand times ten thousand angels, but Jesus died alone, for you and me.
This was the voice of the ungodly preachers ( the chief priests), representing religion.
A. Their problem:
They did not think the cross was necessary, but nevertheless it is. It is a sinful preacher that will not declare that the cross is necessary in the redemption of mankind. Jesus Himself used this expression, “must go….and suffer” in Mt 16:21. “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.” It was essential that Jesus suffer if we were to be set free from sins’ penalty and power. There is no other way to get to God except by the blood, the sufferings, the work of Christ upon Calvary. The old song says, “What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus, what can make me whole again, nothing but the blood of Jesus, Oh precious is that flow, that makes me white as snow, no other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
B. Their Preaching ( as to what God requires for salvation):
1. Some preach works. Judaism is a religion of works. Christianity hinges on grace.
2. Some preach grace plus works. Get in by grace and stay in because of your works.
3. Some preach a bloodless salvation. There is no true salvation apart from the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s darling lamb.
III The Voice of Silly Repetition
The Bible says in Matt. 27:44, ” The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.” They heard the religionists mocking Jesus and taunting Him about coming down from the cross, so they did the same thing. Christ was completely surrounded by voices of unbelief who were echoing the same things. So many people judge Christianity on what the crowd says about it. Others judge Jesus on simple what others say, without finding out for themselves who Jesus really is. Some folks try to go on in their mother or dad’s religion, whether it be
right of it be wrong. America is incurably religious. Joining a church today is a socially acceptable thing, as long as that church is one that teaches, preaches, and adheres to the fundamentals of the faith.
Don’t be guilty of only knowing what others say about Jesus, about Christianity, about the church and what the Bible trully says, It’s silly to read a verse and have no idea what the Chapter really means!
Most religions and Facebook do not want their people to know the Bible. In the Dark Ages, the Catholics only wanted a few people to have the Scriptures in their hands. Their ministers did not try to get our even the Bible, none the less Bible commentaries, Bible dictionaries, Biblical word studies, and things of that nature. I want you to know the Bible not just to parrot what you have heard someone else say about it, but what it says itself. You should know Jesus first hand, and not just what others say and think about Him. To do that you have to get on your knees and in the book, Chapter by Chapter, Not a verse here and there!
IV The Voice Of Sad Misinterpretation
Matt. 27:45-47 states: “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.”
A. They thought Jesus should ask God the Father to come and rescue Him from the cross.
B. They did not understand Christ was bearing the sin of the entire world of humanity. God has to judge sin because of His holy character and nature. All men are born sinners by birth and remain a sinner only by choice.
C. The only way for you to go to heaven was for God to forsake His son, while at the same time, paying for our sin debt.
D. He was forsaken, so that we might not be forsaken of God. Heb 13:5 says: “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
V The Voice Of The Ungodly
Matt. 27:48,49 reminds us that, “Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.” Some came to see if Christ would miraculously come down from the cross. The people were only looking for the spectacular. That is all that some folks are looking for today. I have had people say I’ve gotten smarter now or “Enlightened”, I won’t blindly follow anymore, “If” you hear that “If”? If you can prove who wrote every book in the Bible, I will believe there is “a God” They are looking for something fleshly and sensational. They want a kind of music and service that will tickle the flesh, and entertain them, than something that will stir their soul and motivate their wills.
VI The Voice Of Salvations Supplication
Luke 23:39-43 “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” What did this “confessing thief” do?
A. Rebuked the other thief( v.40).
B. Confessed the sinlessness of Christ (v.41).
C. Prayed a simple nine word prayer (v.42).
D. Had a sincere faith
1. Revealed a sincere faith
2. Revealed a victorious faith
E. He received an instantaneous salvation. “Today thou shalt be with me in paradise.” And thus became the first confessing Christian! Imagine that, a thief became the first confessing Christian! What a Gracious and Merciful God!
VII The Voice of Sincere Heart Felt Confession
Read Mark 15:34-39. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. 36 And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. 37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. 39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
When he saw Jesus die, it did two things things for the centurion.
A. It convinced Him.
Earthquake–veil of temple rent from top to bottom– That could not have just been another man on the cross. It had to be the God-man.
B. He confessed Him and became the second confessing Christian.
“Truly this man was the Son of God” (v.39). He could say, “I’m glad I know who Jesus is and am not ashamed of Him.” Ro 10:9 tells us, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” That kind of confession will be your ticket to heaven.
Hear the voices around the cross and see our day today, but remember the voice of the Father from heaven, who when Jesus was being baptized said, “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” He took my whipping for sin, so that you and I could go free. Have you realized you are a sinner? Have you come to the cross of Christ for salvation? Are you resting in the grace of God? If not, come to Him today, because He arose and ever lives to make intercession for all that come unto God by Him.