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May 12, 2021 8:00 am
Golgotha was a grim place. He was a place of crucifixion, skulls, blood and death today on the Bible study our Dr. James Boyce will take us through the story of Jesus execution that Golgotha and he'll help us see past these gruesome images to the great hope it brings to us all and welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. Crucifixion was meant to be a terrible and shameful way to God.
Yet surprisingly we are not supposed to be ashamed of the cross. Let's deepen our understanding of this seeming contradiction is Dr. boys teaches from Matthew 27 about the cross of Christ. It's not so easy to find a king. Today was a very good reason for there aren't very many of them.
The King of Tonga. He shows up from time to time and special events for the British Empire, and I suppose there are a few other kings, but by and large they been replaced by Presidents Prime Minister's other elected officials. Some of been replaced by dictators so we don't get to see them very often. Sometimes we see the other officials by have seen an American president. On one occasion, Nixon was in Philadelphia years ago I was in the same room with him last summer I saw Margaret Thatcher was in London I was going into our restaurant rather late at night if she was coming out with the small entourage passed within two or 3 feet up man. I sort of incline my head very gently in her direction and she gave me a very gracious nod back. We didn't say anything as she went on her way and I went to dinner, but I have never seen a king and probably none of you have ever seen a king either. We were to find a king. I suppose it would have to be in the palace. Yet here in the 27th chapter of Matthew's gospel we find a king in the most unlikely place of all, we find them hanging on the cross.
Lowest place that man in there sin of baseness have ever devised their he is bleeding and beaten and left to die. Crosses great offense to the Romans with so much of an offense to them that they wouldn't allow any of their own citizens to be crucified. Cicero said on one occasion, the crucifixion is a most cruel and disgusting punishment.
He said it's a crime to put a Roman citizen and Shane Simpson enormity to flog one sure murderously one. What then shall we say, crucifixion it's impossible to find the word for such an abomination couple years ago in one of our Lenten services. Dr. Reich and tried to find the word for such an abomination in the acknowledge that there was no word for it, no polite word. At any rate, because he said the word for cross was blue and Roman society of swine. Cicero added let the very mention of the cross be far removed not only from a Roman citizen body but from his mind.
His eyes and ears. But if the cross was an offense to Romans it was even a more dreadful thing to the Jewish because they associated it with a verse in Deuteronomy 21 versus Deuteronomy 2122 and 23 verses read this way if a man guilty of a capital offense is put to death in his body is harmonic free must not leave his body on the tree overnight.
Be sure to barium that same day, because anyone was hung on the tree is under God's curse. Jews understood that to mean that anyone who was punished in this way any crucified person was abandoned by God that explains, of course, why crucifixions took place outside the city of Jerusalem. It was such a terrible thing that it couldn't take place within the walls of the sacred city of the early Christians knew all of this we know that they were fully aware of the old testament problem because frequently in the New Testament when they reported the crucifixion they refer not merely to lacrosse but to a trailer released by passages that do that.
So they knew living in the Roman world that the cross was an offense to the Romans they understood because of the Old Testament Scriptures how offensive the cross was to people in the Jewish tradition. And yet, in spite of all that they did not hesitate to proclaim widely that their Lord and Master, was crucified upon the cross were ashamed of that and neither are we, as a matter fact, like the apostle Paul were able in our day to refer to the cross, not as a thing of horror, but as our glory be used crosses in our cemeteries. We put crosses on the rules of our churches. People have crosses as decorations that they hang around their necks, and we use them in other ways besides what is it that has brought about that magnificent transformation. One answer. Christians know that it was by being crucified on the cross of Jesus took the curse of our sin upon himself all made it explicit when he wrote to the Galatians, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us words written person is everyone who is hung on the tree of the crosses in our shame crosses our glory. That's why we sing in the cross of Christ I glory, towering over the wrecks of time.
All the light of sacred story gathers round its head sublime.
None of the Gospels describes the actual crucifixion in detail and a very good reason for that.
It was well known was no point in dwelling on his horrors. Yet the Gospels do tell us what happened and Matthew in his account of the crucifixion begins with the fact that a man from the north African town of Sirena was drafted by the soldiers of the execution tale to carry Christ cross name was Simon was usual for a condemned man to carry his own cross. So if on this occasion, Simon was drafted to carry the cross for Jesus.
I can only be because Jesus was so weakened by the beatings that he had already suffered that he staggered under it and perhaps fell could imagine Jesus carrying the cross from the praetorian which was with in the city through the gates of the place of crucifixion, which was without him. Perhaps as he emerged from the city stumbling there falling and soldiers grabbing the first able-bodied man I saw who just happen to be. Simon was an interesting person. Mark calls Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus and Mark 1521. They may also be the persons referred to in acts 1913, which mentions Alexander and Romans 1613 mentions Rufus Dali's two sons must've been well known list of the Christian community to which Mark wrote of the wouldn't of been any purpose and Mark identifying them that way. William Barclay thinks that this is one of the greatest hidden romances of the New Testament. He works out a little bit to try to reconstruct what might've happened. He reminds us of Simon was a Jew, like all Jews he hated the Romans to be pressed in the service by a Roman soldier like this to carry across with the been highly offensive and a bitter experience, but he had to do it through this bitter experience something good must've happened to them.
He would've made his way to the cross for his burden would've been laid down. Presumably he stayed to witness the crucifixion impressed perhaps by the very person of Jesus is cross. He was carrying. As he stood watch that perhaps something wonder to what was going on impressed itself upon his mind and heart and either then or perhaps somewhat later.
He probably became a Christian after the Passover he would've returned to his hometown. He told his family about what happened in Jerusalem and by this time, perhaps also the early preaching of the gospel, presumably members of that family would become Christians to his testimony about Barclay who lays all of that out not been unreasonable wind of speculation goes a bit further because he reminds us that, according to acts 1120 it was men from Cyprus and so Irene, who first came to Antioch and preach the gospel to the Gentile world that I was rather early in church history wouldn't of been a great deal of time with the gospel to spread there in North Africa, so perhaps one of these men from so Irene was Simon and your ass was Rufus with him and saw was Alexander there mentioned later as Christians turned aphesis riot is instigated by the people that Harris or Diana of the Ephesians. The crowd would've killed Paul. If I could've gotten to him button stands out the face the mob.
It's a man named Alexander.
Acts 1933 when Paul sent readings of the Christians in Rome in the last chapter of Romans still with the people he addresses that everything in Rome are Rufus and his mother. These the same people we don't know, Simon, Alexander, Rufus, were common names but here they are in the Christian community stranger histories of unfolded may be that this chance encounter as it would seem about certainly ordered by God on the road to the cross from city of Jerusalem produce these astonishing results I was. Simon had remained by the cross that day as we might presume he did, he would've witness these various events that Matthew reports are actually six of them and Matthew's accounts and virtually all of them are fulfillments of Old Testament prophecies. Those strikingly Matthew doesn't call attention to that and he was very strong when referring Old Testament tracks are fulfilled in the life and death of Jesus Christ. But he doesn't actually refer to these tracks was he aware of them probably certainly was aware of the others was Simon aware of them, probably not. At least at this time but they do come in later. Some of the other Gospels actually refer to them that way. Let me just run through these various things that Matthew mentions first of all, verse 34 Jesus was fed wine mixed with gall which of the Gospels has a reference like this but there were probably actually two different things involved here. Matthew and Mark describe an offer that the Jewish sources say, was made by wealthy women is a compassionate attempt to deaden pain, they would mix gall with wine and give it to a victim soon to be crucified at the start of the crucifixion Matthew and Mark report that they say that Jesus refused to drink it. Presumably he wanted to experience the full extent of the suffering for Austin also because he wanted to keep his mind clear to the end of John also refers to something like that. But apparently it occurs later and did so as a fulfillment of Psalm 6921 Jesus seems to have inaugurated the set. I am thirsty when he said that the soldier soaked a sponge and cheap wine. They put it on the staff and they lifted it up to his mouth and this time Jesus took what was offered. It had come at the end of the ordeal because immediately after this, Jesus said it is finished and gave up his spirit.
So that's the first of these events. Second was the gambling for Christ's close which of the Gospels also reports of the soldiers divided rights clothing although only John explains that the gambling was actually only for his outer seamless rope. John is also the only one who says that this was explicitly done to fulfill Psalm 2218 says they divided my garments among them, and cast lots for my clothing. The third item was a written charge against Jesus, knowledge of the Gospels reports that solo the warning is given in slightly different ways.
Matthew says that the caption read, this is Jesus, the King of the Jews.
Mark has only the King of the Jews. Luke reports the word says this is the king of the Jews and John Wesley Polish version rights, Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews. Well, that's the sort of thing. The Bible scholars wrestle with trying to make sense of the slight variations, tried to explain them by pointing out that the inscription was written in three languages.
Was there an Aramaic Latin and Greek and so the Gospels are probably translating different versions of the text seems to be all that is highly unnecessary. All you have here really are short versions of what was there. In essence, a fulltext probably said something like this. This is Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews. But that isn't the critical thing important thing is that he was being crucified, executed because of his claim to be king Jews understood that as his claim to be the King of Kings. It was being executed for blasphemy. Romans perhaps understood it all up.
I didn't actually believe it is a claim to be an earthly king.
But in any case, that is what he wants. It was rejected as king by the Jews and the Romans, but he isn't getting a deed he is the king of kings and Lord of lords and is returning one day in that role and glory. The fourth of these incidents has to do with the Roberts.
Two of them crucified with him.
Each of the gospel also reports to others were crucified the same time, though only the first three Gospels: Roberts Robert is the same word that was used for Barabbas probably means more than just the feet refers to what we would call a guerrilla soldier are revolutionary and probably indicates that these men are being executed for rebellion against the political authority of Rome that is substantiated by the fact that stealing is what fiefs suggest us wasn't actually a capital offense. Two of them were executed for that we can't help but ask was Barabbas also intended to be crucified with the been the third one is that little cross actually intended for him. He apparently was the ringleader of the gang yes probably that was the case in Jesus literally took his place, just as the figurative sense he takes the place of all those who place their trust in him. I Luke tells us something interesting about those two things is the only one he does explains that at the beginning.
They were both cursing, but one eventually settled down and rebuked his friend what he was saying. He said to them that you fear God, since your under the same sentence were punished justly were getting what are deeds deserve. This plan is done nothing wrong.
Many turns the Lord and said Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom and Jesus replied I tell you the truth today will be with me in paradise. Wonderful promise that here's an interesting thought about that one Bible student said one thief was saved so that no one might despair but only one so that no one might presume the Gospels actually refers to Isaiah 5312.
At this point, but it's difficult to read these things and not think of that text. At least if we know what because Isaiah wrote. He poured out his life unto death, and he was numbered with the transgressors for thing was insults from the passersby.
Matthew mentions that in verses 39 and 40 insults of those who were passing by, seems to fulfill Psalm 22 seven all who see me mock me. They hurled insults, shaking their heads.
Sorry. Comment on our depraved nature that people are seldom more cruel than when they see somebody else suffering and certainly what was happening here. As these people passed by the final item. Indeed, something that Matthew emphasizes was a mocking by the chief priests, the teachers of the law. The elders versus 31 to 43. Whatever those three groups are put together. The indication is probably that these were members of the Sanhedrin because those are the three constituent elements of a Jewish High Court that was that very body that it arrested, tried and condemned Jesus challenging God to deliver them unwittingly fulfilling the taunts of Psalm 22 verse eight trust in the Lord, let the Lord rescue him, let him deliver him since he delights in him.
That's a straightforward account. This is where we need to stop back over it in our minds. Imagination, remembering that this is what Jesus did for us as a possible imagine it know it's very difficult to imagine what was going on in the gospel writers don't describe it in detail.
As I said perhaps we can think of a lacerated body bleeding from head to foot space so marred from the beatings that this form was unrecognizable even by his friends. Representation of Jesus crucifixion that I've ever seen has done justice to what I suppose was actually the case that all too cleanly are all too sterile.
This was blood in the vulgar, ugly and repulsive.
Yet, this was the very son of God into laughter and then try to understand something of the horror of your sin because of it in the love of God in Jesus Christ that actually brought about. You understand that that was for you. The Jesus did this didn't die simply to be an example for nearly died in your place. Cross was God's punishment for your sins.
And when Jesus called out my God my God why have you forsaken me it was for you that his eternally strong bond with the father was temporarily broken can't read the Bible without finding that again and again think of first Peter 224 he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness by his wounds you will been healed. First Peter 318 Christ died for sins once for all the righteous for the unrighteous to bring you to God. Second Corinthians 521 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Galatians 313 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. Hebrews 928 Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people wrap best of all these verses from Isaiah 53 he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and with his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep have gone astray.
She was his turn to His Own Way, God has laid on him the iniquity of us all is what the great Anglican Bishop John Charles while said, driving to drive this point home. Yes, a series of questions was Jesus scourged answers. It was that through his stripes we might be healed as he condemned, though innocent.
It was that we might be acquitted, though we are guilty that he wear a crown of thorns. It was that we might wear the crown of glory. The script of his raiment was that we might be clothed in everlasting righteousness as a box and reviled it was that we might be honored and blessed is he reckoned a malefactor numbered among the transgressors. It was that we might be reckoned innocent and justified from all sin, he declared, unable to save himself. It was that he might be able to save others to the uttermost that he die, glanced back the most painful and disgraceful of deaths was that we might live forever more and be exalted to the highest glory. Remember these things never forget substitution, atonement, vicarious atonement, that's what it's all about that is that very heart of the gospel in Christianity is what was taking place upon the cross, Jesus the son of God dying bleeding in your place that you might live all the Gospels tell about Jesus crucifixion course the chief point of the narratives and yet each one has its own special emphasis in Matthew's emphasis seems to be upon the mocking that took place verses that we are studying today number only 13, but five of those 13 verses are about the taunts the passersby than the leaders had Jesus in the last verse even adds that the robbers also keep insults on them. Interesting thing about these insults is that they're all highly ironic person was about Jesus claim to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days. That was the accusation that they had made early in the trial but were unable to substantiate the couldn't get to witnesses at that late date in the middle of the night to agree precisely what they heard Jesus say that he had set it accusation seems to been floating around among the people because as they drifted by the cross with what came to their mind you're going to destroy the temple and build it in three days. Well then you can do that, save yourself, come down from the cross of the son of God, ridiculed him for his words was by his death there on the cross that he was destroying the temple of his body, which the disciples later came to understand was by his resurrection. Three days later that he actually build it up again.
The leaders also had their marketing it would seem that they wanted direct thing there words to Jesus directly.
They were speaking among themselves undoubtedly_he saved others, but he can't save himself. Ha ha.
He's the king of Israel, let him come down from the cross. I will believe in any trust in God save them.
Now they want to save Embury said I am this God the sponsor ironic and ironically these were the very words that were used by Satan in two of the temptations of the Lord recorded earlier in this very gospel in Matthew four. If you are the son of God Kelly stones to become bread and again, if you're the son of God, throw yourself down. His men were saying the same thing now. I didn't realize what they were doing that they were echoing Satan. If you are the son of God and ask God to save you. They thought they were so get the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, precisely by voluntarily going to the cross, Jesus was destroying this temple temple of his body and in three days.
It would be rebuilt and precisely because he was the son of God, he would not come down on the cross is a double irony in all of the mockery he saved others, but he can't save himself a continent. One level they were questioning the legitimacy and reality of this prematurely. The real Messiah would be able to come down from the cross and save himself from suffering a deeper level of atonement was largely right Lord Jesus Christ was to save others.
He had to sacrifice himself and he could not say himself.
Surely God's wisdom is greater than ours is ways are infinitely beyond our understanding, never been able to think up gospel like this among us could possibly imagine such a thing.
This is true Christianity, Jesus the son of God dying in our place.
Much as our place your place my place if we really do believe on him without that death, none of us could have been saved.
God paid the price of that salvation in Jesus Christ.
Praise the Lord and to God be the glory sprayer father we bow before you, and we bow him on wonder at the price necessary for our salvation and redemption from sin.
We are so bow down in sin. We hardly understand what was required by your spirit working in our hearts and our minds are clear enough to begin to grasp it in our hearts are opened enough to receive it. Father we pray by your grace exactly that might happen in many parts today minds until this moment have been close to the truth might be opened up to perceive that perhaps the very first time and wonder parts that have been hardened against the sweet drawing of your grace might melt go out in love and gratitude to Jesus Christ and paid such a price for that father, bless us in this hour. Bring many to fight, strengthen the faith of those who already know you and grant because we see such great love at the cross of that love might draw forth from us.
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