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April 25, 2022 8:00 am
When we consider Christ on the cross, we realize that we are seeing crucified mercy mercy incarnate and it was crucified. Such mercy even for his enemies as he was dying. Hanging on the cross Jesus made seven profound statements, each one on its own carries tremendous gospel significance. But when combined they create a blueprint of God's eternal plan of salvation through our Lord and Savior hello and welcome to the truth pulpit with Don grade founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati Ohio ideal right and today is done continues teaching God's people. God's word will begin a series called reflections on our Lord with part one of a message called crucified mercy and done as you begin this series tell us what our listeners can expect will bill this promises to be a deeply encouraging and edifying series as we consider the topic of all topics. The Lord Jesus Christ, my friend. We have a series of broadcast for you in the coming days that focus on the goodness of our Lord and his redemptive work for us on the cross of Calvary and you know nothing could be more important or practical for you because the cross reveals the love of God for your soul like nothing else, my friend. If Christ loved you enough to die for you and your sins he loves you enough to keep you until you are with him in glory. His mercy, his power, his generosity and his righteousness are all displayed at the cross. Let me encourage you to stay with us as we consider our Lord Jesus Christ today on the truth pulpit.
Thanks Don a friend if you're ready, let's get started.
There is our teacher. With today's lesson from the truth. Pulpit, the biblical writers. When you harmonize the Gospels we see that they recorded seven sayings of Christ on the cross that are recorded for us, taking them in the commonly accepted sequence by those who have studied such things Christ looked on those who were crucifying him and said father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing looked at the thief beside him and said today you shall be with me in paradise. In the Gospel of John, chapter 19, he looked on his mother and provided for her care.
After his departure when he said woman behold your son pointing to the disciple, John elected John and he said behold your mother the hour of separation. He cried out my God my God why have you forsaken me short time thereafter.
He said I am thirsty when he came time to breathe his last. He said it is finished. In other words, the work of redemption was done and at the end he said father into your hands I commit my spirit were only going to look at the first three of those for meditation, but I wanted to set the fullness of it in to your minds and set the context for us.
It's so very important for us to remember either as believers or as those of you who are not yet in Christ that God is a God of mercy, and he always has been. There is not a is not a God of wrath. In the Old Testament and the God of love in the New Testament. That's a false dichotomy that is that is taken place.
There is wrath in the New Testament, and there is much much mercy in the Old Testament as well. When we specifically contemplate Christ on the cross and when we specifically contemplate our salvation and even more so when we calm as we are about to do to the communion table. We must remember that God provided salvation from sin for us, in his mercy and his great great mercy upon us. Upon his people. Upon very undeserving sinners, Christ was on that cross is an active undeserved mercy for his sinful people in his words on the cross were going to consider, give us insight into that mercy.
Now let me first ask a question and answer it. What is what is mercy what does that term mean in the degraded society in which we live. It's word that is, I fear gradually slipping out of the public understanding and certainly out of public discourse. There is no mercy to be found in this wicked world. And if you're a sinner in this wicked world. It's easy to despair. If you're conscious of being a center you only look at the world around you.
All you see is condemnation upon condemnation. That's why the word of God in Christ himself is so important to us. What is mercy well.
The Greek word is Ellie's. It's defined this way. Mercy is his kindness expressed for one in need. It is kindness that is shown to someone in need. The verb form mercy in the Greek Elliott oh means this it means to to show concern for one who is in a bad situation or condition.
Those are those are simple definitions but you have the idea of kindness and concern on behalf of the one showing mercy and you have the object of that kindness and concern. Someone who is in a bad situation or a bad condition and so mercy speaks to us about the kindness of our Lord and his concern for sinners and in those first three words on the cross. Those seven sayings on the cross in the first three that were going to look at. We see this about our Lord Jesus Christ, mercy, true mercy. Christ's mercy sympathizes with those who suffer. But it goes further genuine biblical mercy is far more than a sympathetic emotion. It's more than just a passing feeling of some sort, genuine biblical mercy does something about the need. It does what is in its power to relieve the suffering to make the suffering go away and that's what our Lord Jesus did on the cross, even as he looked upon those who were with him and around him, even as we will see even for his enemies. And so this mercy which we rely upon for our eternal salvation. This mercy which alone can take away our guilt and sin before a holy God.
This mercy is the concern and care of Christ for us and we see it exemplified perfectly the cross of Calvary. When he suffered, bled, and died on our behalf and what I want to just highlight for you is as we consider his suffering on the cross and we remember it here that in the midst of his own agony, both physical and spiritual anguish that he was suffering as the wrath of God was poured upon him as he bore our sins on his back and suffered in our place so that we would not have to undergo such torment righteous torment for our wicked deeds, even as he was suffering in the midst of his own suffering. He was showing this marvelous mercy to those that were around him and we get a and inside the blinds are drawn back the curtain is drawn back to bed for us to see inside into just how deep and profound the mercy of God is that Christ was showing mercy even the midst of the suffering that he was undergoing. First of all we see his his mercy for his enemies.
His mercy for his enemies.
That's number one. Here we see the mercy of Christ on his enemies. You should be in Luke 23. Our Lord Jesus showed mercy to the very ones who were mocking and crucifying him. Those that had nailed him to the cross his enemies who were mocking him on the receiving end of his mercy, rather than a call for judgment upon their heads. Look at Luke 23 in verse 33 again when they came to the place called the skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying. Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing here they were, and then you see it in verse 35 just to remind you, the rulers were were sneering at him, saying he saved others, let him save himself if this is the Christ of God's chosen one.
The soldiers also mocked him in in the hour of his extremity. They are showing forth the evil of their harden and really giving us insight into the wickedness.
It is in the heart of every man, with their hatred of God absolute perfect holiness was there in front of them and they despised it and yet they were despising Christ in some measure of ignorance Christ says father forgive them. They don't know what they are doing and so I he is.
He intervenes in prayer before his father for the very ones whose hands and mouth were the source of his suffering in a human sense.
He intervened for them. This is immeasurable mercy and measurable concern in measurable kindness, even for the ones who were most hostile to them in the hour of his suffering is there anyone like that else in the universe is there anyone else like that who would find find it in his divine heart to shower mercy on the one showing such hostility toward him.
They were lost. They were ignorant they were hateful.
They despised him and despised the father you know what you and I were in precisely that same position. We are conceived in iniquity, were born into iniquity are our lives. We don't need anyone to teach us his children how to how to lie and get angry and to be spiteful and selfish because it all comes naturally out of our hearts. That's why it's so imperative for each one of you to be born again. You must be born again, because unless you are born into new life in Christ.
You are still in the sand in which you were born into. We were all like that. We were all lost and speaking to gathered believers here today in one way or another we were ignorant of our need of Christ. If you think back to your time before you were a Christian before God saved you, you had no idea of how desperate your spiritual condition was no idea how desperate the danger of eternal hell was for your sins and you were lost. You cannot find your way to God. You had no power to save yourself for some of us we literally lifted our fists against heaven in despite in spite and anger against the God we thought we knew. And yet Christ intervened for us at the cross, Christ wasn't simply intervening.
For those that were physically present with him simultaneous at the time of his death he was dying for his people of all time and the book of Romans chapter 5 verse 10 says if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. My brothers and sisters in Christ, don't ever forget. Don't ever forget that your salvation is an expression of undeserved mercy given to you by the hand of a merciful Christ and in some manner that I don't profess at all to be fully able to explain because Christ died for his people individually by name and as a as an exact substitute for us in some manner. In one way or another. He thought of you on the cross. Somehow, as he died for your particular sins, not a general atonement just making some kind of general sacrifice for general centers in a general way. No Christ. Christ was dying for us.
The apostle Paul said he gave himself for me. First person singular that somehow we were on his mind in and he suffered for us there at the cross. While we were enemies while we were enemies. Beloved is that not mercy and kindness beyond compare to use a different passage from Ephesians 2, we were dead in trespasses and sins, dead to the spirit of God, dead to spiritual things dead to our danger, dead to the word of God, just dead dead dead no life whatsoever no ability to respond in repentance or faith, none whatsoever. There is no life in a corpse. There is no spiritual life in an unredeemed center which we all were and what does Scripture say in that context in Ephesians chapter 2 in verses four and five, it says this but God, being rich in in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved.
Mercy mercy mercy on on the ones who mocked him at the cross. Mercy on the ones who would come generations later drawn by the spirit of God alone to faith in Christ.
Here we are today. Those of us that are truly in Christ we are on the receiving in of incalculable mercy and you get an idea of what that mercy is like and how free and generous and gratuitous it is when you realize that while he was nailed to the cross and physically unable to move. He looked down on the ones who were crucifying him and he interceded for them with his father and said father forgive them. In the book of acts we see that the father answered that prayer is as thousands of Jews came to Christ at the preaching of Peter and so when we consider Christ then when we consider him on the cross we we realize that we are we are seeing with our mental understanding, we are seeing crucified mercy mercy incarnate and it was crucified.
And yet it didn't stop being merciful at the time such mercy even for his enemies to look at a second saying the second saying on the cross. When we see his his mercy for the repentant is mercy for the repentant and just a final word before we completely turn our attention away. Christ showed mercy to those enemies while they were enemies. The mercy was at his initiative.
They didn't ask him for that mercy. They were hating him. They were mocking him.
They were crucifying him and in while they were hostile like that Christ showed mercy.
That's an example of what he does for every sinner, the initiative for salvation always comes from God, not from the center always first John 419 says we love because he first loved us.
Our love for Christ is in response to a prior active prior level prior movement of the spirit of God on our hearts to open our eyes to sin and open our eyes to Christ and I love that about biblical salvation because it means that God gets all of the glory, for it understanding of biblical salvation magnifies the glory and mercy of God, because it's mercy on those while they were hateful toward him. That's real love. That's real mercy. That's real kindness. Now moving ahead here. Point number two mercy for the repentant mercy for the repentant Christ showed mercy to a repentant sinner that verse 39 of Luke 23 and as you compare Scripture with Scripture as you read all the gospel accounts you realize that a short time earlier. Even this repentant thief had been mocking Christ as well and hurling abuse at them, but there was a work in his heart as he as he read the inscription that was above the head of Jesus. This is Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews he read about this king. He saw the way that the king was showing mercy in the spirit of God worked in his heart as well and let's look at this verse 39, one of the criminals who were hanged, there was hurling abuse at him, saying, are you not the Christ, save yourself and us that the other answered and rebuking him said, do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation, and we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our sins. But this man has done nothing wrong and he was saying Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom.
Has there ever been a more obviously helpless man calling out to Christ than the thief on the cross.
Death was a short time away from him. He was by his own testimony. A man guilty and worthy of death, he had nothing to offer to Christ whatsoever. He simply understood his sin and called out to Christ and how did Christ respond to him what was the thief doing here.
Beloved, do you see it in a positive sense in a confessional sense.
He says we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds. He is acknowledging his guilt. He says I am on this crossed and deservedly so. I deserve condemnation and so he has nothing of merit to bring to Christ whatsoever is not in any position to perform any religious rituals is not in any position to do any deeds of mercy, or to give any money to the local synagogue it's over for him as far as what he can do in life and all he has all he had. He hangs there stripped of his clothing as a guilty condemned center and he knows it and he knew his need and so in utter humility.
He asks this merciful Christ for something that he knows he does not deserve.
He says Jesus verse 42.
Look at it again with me Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom.
You see, the first person singular. Again you see how personal and individual.
It is as he's drawing some of his dying breaths. He cries out in Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom and what did Christ do. He responded in mercy. He looked on this one in unspeakable need unspeakable helplessness and with great concern with great kindness. He makes a promise to them.
He says to them. Truly I say to you today you shall be with me in paradise and the torture of a guilty conscience. The torture of a body wrapped in pain is suddenly replaced with the shining bright flaming hope of paradise just on the other side of the suffering. Speaking of the thief on the cross and on that day Jesus, as it were, carried that thief into paradise with them. That's mercy that's just an unfathomable mercy you been listening to the truth pulpit with Don green.
We hope you been blessed by today's message just before we go. Here's Don to tell us about a special upcoming event, let's write Bill, my friend.
I want to extend a special invitation to you to join us for a special evening with John MacArthur Tuesday, May 17 on the campus of Northern Kentucky University which is just minutes north of downtown Cincinnati. John will be with us live and in person will be wonderful music and warm fellowship with thousands of believers from all over the country. Here's all you need to do to attend.
Go to our website by April 30. Truth Community Church.org and register for your free tickets.
The tickets are no cost to you but you must register to attend. That's May 17 with John MacArthur. Register by April 30 at our website. Truth Community Church.org. I look forward to seeing you there.
Thanks God and friend were out of time for today Pineville right inviting you to join us next time on the truth pulpit as Don green continues teaching God's people. God's word