The Cross - Part 4: A Vocabulary of the Cross

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The Cross - Part 4: A Vocabulary of the Cross MATT CHANDLER, April 1, 2007 If you have your Bibles, grab them. We will start in Luke 22. Verse 47, While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the
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The Cross - Part 4: A Vocabulary of the Cross MATT CHANDLER, April 1, 2007 If you have your Bibles, grab them. We will start in Luke 22. Verse 47, While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus said to him, Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss? I love that line. And I love that line because I think you see a lot of different layers in Jesus at Gethsemane and then on into the cross, and this is Jesus going, Are you sure about this? You re going to do it this way? You ve seen me raise the dead. You ve seen me command creation. You ve seen me feed thousands of people with some boy s lunch. Are you sure about this? You betray Me with a kiss? Verse 49, And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, Lord, shall we strike with the sword? And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, No more of this! And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness. Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest s house, and Peter was following at a distance. And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, This man also was with him. But he denied it, saying, Woman, I do not know him. And a little later someone else saw him and said, You also are one of them. But Peter said, Man, I am not. And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean. But Peter said, Man, I do not know what you are talking about. And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times. And he went out and wept bitterly. In every movie I ve ever watches about the passion of Christ or the crucifixion of Christ, this occurs separate from Jesus. Jesus is in like a dungeon or He s being beaten in a separate room, but according to this text, the betrayal of Peter occurs right in front of Jesus. Do you know why I love that? Peter is an absolute aggressive moron who runs his mouth like he s the bravest in the world and he s an absolute coward.. And even after the Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost, he still doesn t seem to figure it out. Paul still has to rebuke him in the middle of Acts for once again going back to things that were dead. And Jesus loved him. I love Peter. I love that Jesus loves Peter. It helps me believe that He can love me. Verse 63, Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, Prophesy! Who is it that struck you? And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him. When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said, If you are the Christ, tell us. But he said to them, If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God. So they all said, Are you the Son of God, then? And he said to them, You say that I am. Then they said, What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips. Then the whole company of them arose and brought him before Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king. Here s a lesson about religious people. Religious people will always, always lie to protect their religion. Christ never said not to give taxes to Caesar. In fact, someone asked Him a question on it and He said, Who s got a dollar? Who s on the dollar? Caesar s on the dollar. Then give the dollar to Caesar, it s his. If anything, Rome could have taken that, called it Scripture and taken all our money. Luke 23, verse 3, And Pilate asked him, Are you the King of the Jews? And he answered him, You have said so. Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, I find no guilt in this man. But they were urgent, saying, He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place. Now, I want you to remember the fact that the high priest, the scribes, the elders are saying, The problem with this guy is this. He s teaching us to rebel against Rome, and he s stirring up the people. Remember those two. When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he belonged to Herod s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other. Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. I will therefore punish and release him. Pilot s going, Okay, I don t want to kill this guy, so let me shame him and let me beat him so severely that the Jews will relent. But this next line is where it just gets surreal to me. Look at verse 18, But they all cried out together, Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas -- a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. Okay so this is what s just happened in this trial. The Jews have said, Put Jesus to death because He s leading a rebellion against Rome and He s stirring up trouble among the people. And so, since Jesus has done this, release to us instead Barabbas, who s led an insurrection against Rome and has killed people. I mean, this thing is insane. It s like God predetermined this or something. Let s keep going. Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, but they kept shouting, Crucify, crucify him! A third time he said to them, Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him. But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will. And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. But turning to them Jesus said, Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed! Then they will begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us, and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry? I wish I had time to get into that, but I don t. Verse 32, Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One! The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself! There was also an inscription over him, This is the King of the Jews. One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us! But the other rebuked him, saying, Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong. And he said, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. And he said to him, Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise. Do you know why that s such a phenomenal verse? Because from day one, people want to add to the cross of Christ for justification in front of God. They want to say, It s the cross and this...it s the blood of Jesus plus this...it s the sacrificial death of Jesus and this behavior or this action. This man has no opportunity to do anything but drown in his own blood. He makes nothing right, he doesn t get to go home and apologize to his parents, he doesn t get to slow down his chariot in a school zone, he doesn t get to stop watching rated-r plays, he doesn t get t clean up his mouth, he just gets to die. And Jesus says, By the end of the day, you ll be at the table with Me. That s such a great text, especially for your rule followers here. And I m not saying rule following is wrong. The Scriptures are very clear that certain things are sinful and wicked, but when you re trying to earn what s been freely given, you miss out on the awe and the worship that is the grace of Jesus. Yeah, this man doesn t get to behave, he just gets to die. And Jesus says, Come on home, man. Let s get some of the new wine. I love that text. If I was going to get a tattoo, I d get it. But I study for a living, and I just don t think I could pull it off. Verse 44, It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, Father, into your hands I commit my spirit! And having said this he breathed his last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, Certainly this man was innocent! And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. This is the same crowd that, five days ago when Jesus rode into Jerusalem, said, Hosanna, you re the king. Hosanna, you re the king, and they laid down palm leaves before Him. If you ll read that text, the triumphal entry, you ll find that they re praising the miracles that He did and not necessarily Him. But in the end, this people got caught up in a mob like mentality and then on the way home, they really regretted it. That s what this text seems to be saying. And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things. This is the crucifixion of Jesus. This is the arrest of Jesus. We said last week that what is happening in this text was preordained by God before the foundation of the world was laid. We looked at Acts 2, we looked at Acts 4, we talked about the fact that the Scriptures just say that all this happened by the foreknowledge of God, by the predetermined plan of God. In fact, even if you ll get into Revelation where Revelation begins to show you who Jesus is, Jesus is sitting next to God and an angel trumpets who He is. And he says, Behold the Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the Earth. Which means this was the plan from day one. Which means that before there was an Earth, there was the cross, it was coming. 1 Peter is going to talk back on all of the Old Testament prophets who said, It was going to come this way. The Old Testament, over and over again, points outside of itself to the cross. From the Levitical sacrificial system to Isaiah talking about the servant being suffering and meek and lowly to even Psalm 22. It s not coincidence that Jesus, in John 5, says You study the Scriptures in vain because you think that in them, you have life. And yet, you refuse to come to Me, to whom the Scriptures testify. He s saying, You ve read Isaiah. You ve heard that the Messiah was going to be meek, that He was going to heal the lame, give the blind sight and care for the poor. I m doing it, and you still don t want to admit that I m the Messiah. In fact, even on the cross, He screams out, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Now, there are a lot of people who say that in that moment, God s turning His back on Jesus. I find no biblical merit for that. What I do find is the beginning of Psalm 22 that says, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? And if you ll read the rest of the Psalms, it talks about His hands being pierced, His feet being pierced, His garments being gambled over and Him being mocked. Does that sound familiar? Maybe on the cross, He s not saying that God turned His back, maybe He s once again pointing back to the Old Testament saying, See? It had to happen this way. And then we said last week that the cross was for the atoning work for our sin. Romans 3:8 says it was for sin. 1 Peter 3:18 says it was for sins, plural. 1 Corinthians 15:3 says it was for our sins. John 1:29 says His death takes away the sins of the world. In Romans 8:3, He condemns sin. Hebrews 9:26 says He put away put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says He was made sin for our sake. Hebrews 9:22 talks of forgiveness of sins by His blood. But this atonement idea is just one idea of twelve in the New Testament to create weight and understanding of what s occurring in the cross of Jesus in its relations to us. I m going to cover as many of them as I can. Let s go over to Hebrews 9. We ll pick it up in verse 25. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. This is the first word picture and is probably honestly going to be remiss on the majority of us because we haven t been a part of a sacrificial system that required bloodletting. So, let s chat a little bit about what they re hearing and what this means. To the Jew in the 1st century, the death of the two goats at Yom Kippur symbolized all their shame and all their guilt being removed from them. And so what He s saying when He says, On the cross, I became the sacrifice. In that darkest moment of the soul, when you actually felt spiritually dirty, when you were a part of something you can t believe you were a part of, when you re ashamed of yourself, either consciously or unconsciously, I have come and I have bled to take that away. This is why people who have an encounter with Christ in the New Testament are very vocal about their shortcomings and historic failures. There is an honesty in the New Testament that modern church misses out on over and over again. Like the apostle Paul, he goes, I m the chief of all sinners. I was a blasphemer and a violent, wicked, horrible man. Now why? I ll tell you why, because he s not ashamed. He s not ashamed because, despite that, Christ saved him. And so, Christ then becomes glorified in saving such a scoundrel. So now there s no shame. That s why even later on, Paul s going, We were all once like them, we were all once homosexuals, we were all once witches, we were murderers and the like, but praise Christ. You even see some shadows of this in the Old Testament when David says, I do not keep quiet about my sins in the great assembly. Have you ever thought about the fact that Psalm 40 is a song that would have been sung in temple? He s like, My sins have overtaken me, I cannot see. A chipper little ditty for a Saturday morning. They outnumber the hair on my head. You should kill me now...but You won t. This is the removal of shame, and people who have a real, genuine, deep encounter with Christ if they re discipled and loved on get to walk out of the shame of their secrets and their past and they get to say, Yeah, I was addicted to porn. Praise Christ that He saves the porn addict...you know, I was an adulterer. Praise Christ that He saves the adulterer...you know what, I struggle with homosexuality. Praise Christ that He can heal, that He s healing...yeah, I was a violent man...yeah, I was drunk through the 80 s...yeah, it cost me my marriage and my kids. Praise Christ that He would redeem the drunk. So, He s going, I m the sacrifice. What they would have heard is, He takes away our shame. And in fact, Hebrews would say for all the goats that we killed, our conscience was still working us over. Let s keep going. Let s go over to Ephesians 5. Verses 1 and 2, Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. So now it s not just this sacrificial idea, but it s also an offering, a presentation. By the death of Jesus, Christ presents us to God as an offering that the Scriptures say smells good to Him. In the cross of Christ, you and I cease to wreak of death and begin to smell of life. It s great imagery. I m going to skip over a couple, so let s go to Mark 10. You ve got sacrifice, you ve got offering, we skipped over blood or blood of the new covenant and we ll skip over a couple others just for time. Verse 45, For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. When my daughter was about a year and a half old, Lauren went to the mall. She had to get another white shirt. I didn t know this until I got married, but girls need a white shirt that s full long sleeved and quarter right there one that s here and one there and then one that s sleeveless. Apparently, one of those was missing. So, she went to get a white shirt and she got the shirt and she paid and she turned around and Audrey was gone. And so, she panicked and looked around. My daughter s surly, so we thought that she was just hiding in one of the bins, watching us panic. After we looked through all of those and couldn t find her, we went out into the mall itself and couldn t find her. And about ten minutes later, we see this woman holding our daughter s hand coming down the escalator. And I think parents will really be able to follow me here. There s this really weird moment where you ve just had ten minutes of panic where you love your kid so much you want to hug them, but at the same time you want to just beat the mess out of them. Like, Don t you ever do that to your daddy again. It s just this weird kind of mixture of love and the need to whip something. And here s something that that ten minutes taught me though. I don t have anything more valuable to me than her, my son and my wife, nothing. If someone took her and said, To get her back it would cost you all that you have, honestly that s an easy decision. I d be like, Okay, you want my 01 Impala wi
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