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Outline and Audio Sermons:
Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

www.thischristianjourney.com


To Seek And To Save

A Suffering Savior

Luke 23.26-56

 

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We Notice In This Suffering Savior:

 A.     The Shame Of The Cross [- If there is anything to be said about the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, then it must be said that it was shameful.  There was nothing honorable or glorious about the Cross.  It was the worst kind of punishment, intended to completely humiliate and shame all who hung upon one.]  As Jesus went to the cross we: 

[Luke 23:27 27 And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.]

[Galatians 3:13 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: ]

1.      Notice His Rejection (Isa 53.3; John 11.49-51) [- "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: . . ."] 

a.       [He was rejected by the religious leaders - From the earliest moments of His earthly ministry the religious leaders had determined to reject Jesus Christ.  They rejected Him because of:] 

(1)   [Power - Their personal authority and position in life was challenged.] 

(2)   [Politics (John 11.49-51)] 

[John 11:49-51 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; ] 

(3)   [Pride - They just could not let this lowly man from Nazareth become a great leader for Israel.] 

b.      [He was rejected by the people - Many blindly followed their religious leaders in rejecting and condemning the Lord Jesus Christ.  In the end they would be heard crying, "Crucify Him!  Crucify Him!"] 

2.      Notice His Humiliation (Isa 53.3; Gal 3.13) [- ". . . He was despised, and we esteemed Him not." - The Humiliation Of The Cross]  

[Galatians 3:13 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: ]

a.       [He was stripped of His dignity – As Jesus Christ, the Lord of all Glory hung naked on the cross, a spectacle for all to look upon and mock, He was stripped of His dignity.] 

b.      [He was stripped of all respect (vs 32) – As Jesus Christ, hung between two criminals, so as to infer that He was some kind of criminal Himself, He was stripped of His respect.] 

3.      Notice His Determination (Isa 53.4; Philip 2.5-11) [- "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted."] 

[Philip. 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ] 

a.       [Jesus willingly took the shame of the cross, so that you and I might receive the hope of eternal life.] 

b.      [We could not have known the love of God apart from the shame of Jesus Christ.] 

c.       [Notice the incredible determination of our Lord Jesus Christ.  When the crowds mocked him and humiliated Him, He did not come down off that cross to pridefully defend Himself, as you or I would have.  Instead, Jesus incredible, unspeakable love held Him to that Cross that you and I might be saved through His propitiatory and finished work.] 

B.     The Suffering Of The Cross [- What did Jesus endure when He hung on that cross?]  Jesus Endured: 

1.      An Extreme Physical Torment (vs 33) [– And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.]  

a.       [Roman Execution - It has been suggested by many Bible scholars that crucifixion was the result of the Roman governments desire to visibly torment and torture any and all who would resist their government through insurrection. It has been estimated that by the time of Christ’s death over 30,000 people had been crucified in Palestine alone.] 

b.      [The Torment of the Cross] 

(1)   [They fastened Jesus to the Cross - They then took Jesus, whom they have scourged, buffeted, pierced with thorns, battered with reeds, plucked out his beard and hair, and spit upon.  They took Jesus and laid him upon that cross.  His body now cramped, his muscles contracted, they forcibly stretched his arms out so they could drive those nails through His palms and his feet.] 

(2)   [They reared the Cross - They raised the cross dropped it into the hole.  As the heavy wooden cross dropped 3 to 4 feet into that hole and came to the sudden stop at the bottom it is said that this impact would have pulled many of Jesus bones out of joint and pour another form of pain and suffering upon the already tormented body of our Lord.  Now Jesus hung there suspended by torn and cramping muscles, pierced hands and feet, and disjointed bones.] 

c.       [The Terror of the Cross] 

(1)   [In his book The Lift of Christ, Frederick Farrar describes crucifixion as follows:] 

[A death by crucifixion seems to include all that pain and death can have of the horrible and ghastly-dizziness, cramp, thirst, starvation, sleeplessness, traumatic fever; shame, publicity of shame, long continuance of torment, horror of anticipation, mortification of intended wounds—all intensified just up to the point at which they can be endured at all, but all stopping just short of the point which would give to the sufferer the relief of unconsciousness.]

[The unnatural position made every movement painful; the lacerated veins and crushed tendons throbbed with incessant anguish; the wounds, inflamed by exposure, gradually gangrened [when a victim took several days to die]; the arteries—especially at the head and stomach—became swollen and oppressed with surcharged blood, and while each variety of misery went on gradually increasing, there was added to them the intolerable pang of a burning and raging thirst, and all these physical complications caused an internal excitement and anxiety, which made the prospect of death itself— of death, the unknown enemy, at whose approach man usually shudders most—bear the aspect of a delicious and exquisite release.]

[One thing is clear. The first century executions were not like the modern ones, for they did not seek a quick, painless death nor the preservation of any measure of dignity for the criminal. On the contrary; they sought an agonizing torture which completely humiliated him. And it is important that we understand this, for it helps us realize the agony of Christ’s death. (Vol. 2 [New York: E. P. Dutton, 1877], pp. 403-4)] 

(2)   [Dr. Truman Davis gives this description of the crucifixion:] 

[At this point another phenomenon occurs. As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.…]

[Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber; then another agony begins. A deep crushing pain in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.]

[It is now almost over… the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy; thick, sluggish blood into the tissues. The tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. ("The Crucifixion of Jesus; The Passion of Christ from a Medical Point of View" Arizona Medicine, vol. 22, Mar. 1965, pp. 183-87)]

[The Physical Torment of the Cross is more than we can reckon in our minds.  Some of us have experienced a single disjointed bone, and recall the incredible pain.  Others have experienced the pierce of a knife or the misfortune of torn flesh.  Few of us have had to bear multiple physical misfortunes all at the same time, but some do.  Yet, Jesus bore it all in His flesh as he hung upon that cross.] 

2.      An Extreme Emotional Torment (vs 35-39; Matt 27.41-43;) 

a.      [There were those that Purposefully humiliated Jesus (vs 35; Matt 27.41-43) - He was humiliated by the religious leaders.] 

[Luke 23:35 35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.]

[Matthew identifies these rulers for us.]

[Matthew 27:41-43 41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42 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. 43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. ]

b.      [There were those that Passively humiliated Jesus (vs 36-38) - Pilate, Herod and their soldiers knew little about Jesus and were not much concerned with Him. Yet in their quest for political power they were willing to punish even an innocent man.  But it was not enough to punish Jesus, they had to belittle Jesus.] 

[Luke 23:36-38 36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, 37 And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. 38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.]

c.        [There were those that Presumptuously humiliated Jesus (Luke 23.39) – Even the thief on the cross, dying next to Jesus found it in his corrupt heart and mind to mock and ridicule the Lord Jesus Christ..] 

[Luke 23:39 39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. ]

[People in our day are not much different than those who actually watched the physical crucifixion of our Lord.  They are no different than those who mocked Jesus as he hung upon that Cross.  They do not know what they scoff at.  They do not recognize the incredible Love of God represented by that cross.  They just laugh and mock because their corrupt hearts and minds are just too callused to see how much Jesus was willing to endure for them.  Jesus endured it all that even these scoffers might be saved.]

3.      The Extreme Spiritual Torment (Matt 27.46; Isa 59.2) 

a.       [When we are sick or afflicted it is always helpful to know that your family and friends are there to encourage and support us.  Perhaps they cannot bear your pain and suffering for you, but somehow their presence, and prayers make the pain a little easier to bear.  Matthew’s account of the crucifixion does much to help us understand the spiritual torment Jesus Suffered on the cross.  Matthew recorded:]

[Matthew 27:46 46 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? ]

b.      [On Calvary’s Cross Jesus was all alone.  The penalty of all our sins were placed upon Christ and our sins caused a separation between God the Father and God the Son, as sin does.] 

[Isaiah 59:2 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. ]

[Jesus was all alone on that Cross, just as the condemned will be when they are writhing in torment in the eternal confines of the Lake of Fire.  Was Jesus alone because the Heavenly Father did not love Him?  Of course not, Jesus was alone because the sin of our lives and world had cause a separation between Him and God.] 

C.     The Salvation Of The Cross 

1.      The Condemned on the Cross (vs 40-43) [– But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. – This thief, condemned by mankind and human government, was not forsaken by the Lord Jesus Christ, but by calling out for help to the Lord Jesus Christ was given the promise of an eternal paradise to come.] 

a.      [There is no sin that is beyond the redeeming power of Calvary’s Cross except one.  The sin of rejecting the saving grace provide by the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross.] 

b.      [Recognize what the Lord Jesus Christ did for you on Calvary’s Cross, call out to Him as your personal Lord and Savior and you will be saved.] 

c.       [You may deserve the judgment of this world, this malefactor did, but God still has grace that is greater than your sin.  God, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ stands ready to forgive your sins and save you for all eternity to come.] 

2.      The Centurion by the Cross (vs 47) [– Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man. – Notice also this man standing by the Cross.  As the centurion standing next to the cross most likely this was the military authority responsible to oversee this crucifixion.  He was the man responsible for inflicting the excruciating pain of the crucifixion upon our Lord and all those who were crucified and he had once again succeeded.] 

a.       [There are none beyond the redemption provided by the Cross.  Even this man, possibly responsible for the terror inflicted upon our Lord, found that grace and redemption was available.  You may think you have committed the unpardonable sin, you may think you are beyond salvations hope, but if you are able to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, and physically arose from the grave, and you can call out to the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior then you too can be saved.  The only unpardonable sin is the sin of failing to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.] 

3.      The Christ of the Cross (John 19.30) [– When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. – Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost.  Jesus suffered horribly before He went to the Cross.  Jesus suffered tragically as He hung upon the Cross.  Jesus died a painful death on the Cross.  Jesus did it all so that you might be saved.  He finished His purpose, He paid the full cost for your sins.  Will you accept what Jesus did for you on Calvary’s Cross.] 

 

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