How did God prepare His people for Jesus’ cross?
- Hebrews 2:17 – For this reason he [Jesus] had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.
The Day of Atonement, also called “the day”
- 2 young healthy goats chosen as substitutes
- Sacrifice: 1 slaughtered for God’s wrath over people’s sins
- Scapegoat: 1 sent away for the taking away of the demonic, curse
- Jesus is our Temple, High Priest, sacrifice, and scapegoat
What is crucifixion?
- Isaiah 52:13-15 – Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. As many were astonished at you—his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind— so shall he sprinkle many nations.
The Bible gives few details about crucifixion. This is likely because the original audience had witnessed them. However, since few people in the modern era have personally witnessed a crucifixion, it is important for us to examine it in detail so as to fully appreciate the suffering of Jesus Christ.
What did Jesus say as He died?
- #1 Luke 23:34 – Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing
- #2 Luke 23:43 – I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise
- #3 John 19:26-27 – Dear woman, here is your son…Here is your mother
- #4 John 19:28 – I am thirsty
- #5 Matthew 27:46 – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Ps. 22:1)
- #6 John 19:30 – It is finished (loud voice)
- #7 Luke 23:46 – Father, into your hands I commit my spirit
How is the cross “good news”?
- Isa. 53:5 – “he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities…”
- Rom. 4:25 – “[He] was delivered up for our trespasses . . .”
- Rom. 5:8 – “Christ died for us.”
- 1 Cor. 15:3 – “Christ died for our sins . . .”
- 1 Pet. 3:18 – “Christ…suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous…”
1. Substitution for sinners
- Omission & Commission
- Thought, Word, Deed, Motive
- Condition & Action
- Lawbreaking – Autonomy – Pride
- Great problem – you
- Greatest enemy – you
- Gandhi said, “His death on the cross was a great example to the world, but that there was anything like a mysterious or miraculous virtue in it, my heart could not accept”
2. Great Exchange
1. Jesus died so you can live
- Colossians 2:13-15 – When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.
Sin = death soul/body
2. Jesus paid the ultimate price for your debt to God
- 1 Peter 1:18-19 – For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
Sin = debt to God
3. Jesus was cursed so you could be blessed
- Galatians 3:13 – Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
Sin = God cannot bless
4. Jesus became unrighteous so you could become righteous
- 2 Corinthians 5:21 – God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Sin = guilty
5. Jesus endured God’s wrath so you could experience God’s grace
- Romans 5:9 – Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him [Jesus]!
Sin = war from enemy
6. Jesus was rejected by the Father so you could be reconciled to the Father
- Romans 5:10-11 – For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Sin = relational betrayal
7. Jesus was shamed so that you could be unashamed
- Hebrews 12:1-2 – let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…
Sin = shameful
8. Jesus became unclean to make you clean
- I John 1:7-9 – “if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Sinner & victim = defiled/unclean
9. Jesus was hated so you could be loved
- Romans 5:8 – God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Sin = God hates
While ruling and reigning in Heaven, Jesus was experiencing our dream and left it all to enter our nightmare. Everything we want to get off of us is what Jesus put onto Himself by entering this world. Like a firefighter running into a burning building that everyone else is running out of, Jesus chose to put Himself in harm’s way to pull us out of harm’s way. He did not have to do this, and in doing it He showed us what love really is.