The Torture of Jesus
By Bobby Blakey on April 16, 2022
The Torture of Jesus
By Bobby Blakey on April 16, 2022
Welcome to our good Friday service as a special gathering for our church family. Because it was on a Friday, on a hill far away on an old rugged cross that Christ died for us. Can I get an Amen from the congregation? So, we are looking forward to being here today to remember the death of Jesus. And I've already met some family members, some friends who are here with us. Can we give them a warm welcome? Welcome to church on a Friday. Great to have you here. And we have just started as a church actually going through the book of Romans. And today we actually read Romans, chapter 5. Anybody here read Romans 5 today? Well, I want to put a few of the verses up here on the screen. This is Romans 5:6-8.
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
And in fact, that's something I would like for us all to be able to say together here today, if you want to, if you believe that to be true, that God showed His love for us, and that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. And that's what we're here to talk about. And it's so easy to say, it's just a few words, but there was nothing quick or painless about the death of Jesus. And my concern is for people who our entire faith is based on Jesus dying for us, I'm not sure we really get the fact that he actually died for us, that it cost him his very life. So, I want to make sure we take a moment, just a few minutes, and think through what does it mean that he died, because the Scripture doesn't even just say that he died, it says that Jesus suffered. This is what he said to his disciples in Matthew 16:21, because he knew what was going to happen. And he volunteered for it. He began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day, be raised. So, it's not just that he died. No, it says that he suffered. Now, if you've ever seen one of your loved ones suffer of maybe they were going through some kind of sickness, or they suffered some kind of injury, and you are watching your loved one suffer in pain. See, that will really get to you. But this is worse than that. Because it wasn't like Jesus was just suffering. No, it was like they wanted him to suffer. So that's what torture is. Torture is when we inflict pain upon someone so that they suffer, because we are trying to break them, we are trying to crush them. So, it doesn't just say that Jesus died or that he suffered and died, it says that he was killed. This is what he said to his disciples in Matthew 20:18-19. He said, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified.” Just a few words, easy to say. Nothing quick or painless about it.
How much time have you really spent thinking about what Jesus went through on that Friday for him to get mocked, and flogged and crucified? I want to do something here together. Well, we don't just read over the words about Jesus dying, but we actually take some time to read the words and see what he went through. And so, I want to invite everybody here, if you've got a Bible, well, you open it up to Matthew 27:24, and we're going to lift up the light so everybody can read along. And we're going to go through the account in the Gospel of Matthew, of Jesus, and then we're going to see there was a whole lot of suffering and torture before he even got to the cross. And so, we're dropping into the middle of the trial where the chief priests and the elders and the scribes, just like Jesus said they would, they've now brought him to the Roman Governor Pilate, and they're shouting, crucify him, like we need to kill this guy. And Pilate is having a hard time with this because he's thinking that Jesus is innocent and has done nothing deserving of death. And so maybe you know this story where Pilate is trying to say, well, I don't find any fault in him, but they want him dead. And we get to that part here in Matthew 27:24. Let me read these three verses here, Matthew 27:24-26. “So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves.’ And all the people answered, ‘His blood be on us and on our children!’ Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.”
Okay, so we have here the Roman Governor, doing a symbol to wash his hands, like, maybe that's just a phrase you've heard before? Well, I'm going to wash my hands of this. Well, Pilate is the one who's making that phrase famous right here. And what Pilate is doing because he's the Roman governor of the Jewish people here, and he is actually doing something from the law of Moses. This washing of the hands is described in Deuteronomy 21. And this was done when they found someone who had been killed or murdered, they find a dead body out in the middle of nowhere. They don't know how this body got there. And so, they're like, well, what do we do? So, they would get the elders of all the nearby cities, and they would measure this body? Which city is this body closest to? Okay, well, and then it was those elders, okay, well, your city now is the closest to this body. And so, they would do this washing of the hands, where they would go down to a river, and they would bring a heifer with them, a young female cow, and down by the river, they would break the neck of the cow there. And because, hey, a body's died and when there's bloodshed, there must be blood paid. That's how God set it up. Anybody who sheds the blood of man, hey, his blood that needs to be shed. So, we're going to offer this heifer and then all the elders of the city, they're at the river with this heifer that just died, they would wash their hands with the river water over the heifer to say, we don't know how this body died, we didn't see it happen. We are innocent of it. In fact, they would say according to Deuteronomy 21:8: “Accept atonement, O Lord, for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and do not set the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel, so that their blood guilt be atoned,” for we don't want the blood of this person who died, we don't want to be guilty of it. So, we're going to wash our hands and make sure that this is all clean. So, Pilate is doing this Jewish custom from their law. He's saying, you guys want to kill Jesus. I'm finding him to be innocent. I'm washing my hands of this. And they shout, can you imagine this, I have never seen anything like this in my life. They shout his blood beyond us and on our children. Like this is the definition of bloodthirsty. This is a violent crowd. They want Jesus dead and they're not leaving without it. Personally, I haven't witnessed anything like that in my life that these Jewish people would know when blood is shed, somebody's going to be guilty for it. And you need to make that right with God. And that they would say, yeah, we want Jesus dead so bad that his blood can be on us. And then to say that about your own kids. Yeah, we in fact, put his blood on us, put his blood on our children, like bring all the judgment for the death of Jesus on us. They said, this is a kind of scene I realize, I've never been in in my entire life. I've never been in a scene of violence like this, where people are demanding that someone be killed and right in front of their eyes. And here's the governor. He's just washing his hands and stepping back and letting it happen. And they're in verse 26. He released Barabbas. Everybody knows he's a bad guy. He's a notorious prisoner. Everybody knows that he has done bad things. And Jesus is innocent, even Pilate can see it. But the bad guy goes free and Jesus now is going to be crucified. But this is a part that I'm afraid we've probably read over a lot of times here. Notice it says here that he was scourged. At the end says, “having scourged. Jesus, they delivered him to be crucified.” I've just got three points, three points that I trust you will never forget. Three points. And they're all very sharp.
And this is our first point right here, everybody, and it is the kind of a replica of the whip they would scourge Jesus with right here. This is what they would have whipped him with. These are three leather braids here, and they've got a lead weight down here at the bottom. And what they've got kind of braided in are these pieces of bone. And so, when you get scourged, like, maybe we don't even know what scourged is, maybe whipped didn't even come to your mind. But what that means is before we even get anywhere near the cross, we take Jesus and we get his back, we take his clothes off his back, so his back is wide open, we get his hands tied so he can't block anything. And his back is just there and exposed. And then we go get one of the soldiers, one of these strong soldiers, and they take this whip, and they start going after the back of Jesus. And these little pieces of bone, they're in there because they are designed to rip the flesh right off your back. So, it's not just like you're getting struck by something, that something is digging into your skin and then tearing your flesh away. I started doing some reading about this. You're reading about looking into people and seeing their bones. But I had to look up the word entrails, because people's internal organs are being exposed through this kind of scourging. Now in Deuteronomy, it has a law about scourging. Like, if someone has done something and they're going to be whipped, you can only give them 40 lashes. That's what the law of Moses says. Because if you give them more than 40 lashes, you are degrading them, you are despising them. To give someone more than 40 lashes with a whip like this would be to treat them like less than a human being. That was the law. You can give them whatever punishment but only up to 40. Do not exceed 40 lashes. Because at that point, you're not even treating them like a real person made in the image of God with an eternal soul. You're just going too far if you go beyond 40 lashes. That was a Jewish law. I don't know if the Roman soldiers on that Friday, I don't know if they were abiding by the Jewish law of stopping at 40 lashes. So, somebody right from the jump, somebody, as soon as Pilate washes his hands, and they're saying his blood is on us, it got really bloody very quickly. With the whipping that started to occur with the skin in the flesh being ripped off of his back. I would imagine that you add … you would hear the sound of the whip striking. And you would probably hear a sound coming from Jesus in the pain that they are inflicting upon him, because they are torturing Jesus like a criminal who deserves punishment. So, I've never even seen a punishment like this, designed to remove flesh. And just that it must be just a bloody mass on the back of Jesus. And that's just our first thing that happens to him is they get this whip, and they take it to his back. Now pick up your Bible, and let's go back to Matthew 27. And we'll look at it and next here in verse 27. Because now what the soldiers do is they just start bullying Jesus, at this point. This is Matthew 27:27-31:
“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.”
Do you see this is now the whole second scene that we have, a second time our reading ended with and now we're going to go “crucify him”? We haven't even got to the cross yet and he's already been whipped up and bloodied. And then that was to happen kind of out in public where people could see, well, now they bring him into the headquarters. They get all the soldiers there. I don't know how many were there, I heard up to 600 could be stationed there at a time. I mean, next time you hear the idea of bullying, this picture should come to your mind right here. This is Roman soldiers, doing whatever they want to someone who's being known as the King of the Jews, and the Romans are ruling over the Jews at this time. And they're going to join a long line of people throughout history that love to mock the Jews when they're ruling. And so, they're having sport. They're having fun as they torture Jesus. And at first, it seems like they're just going to mock him. They put a robe on him. They fashion this crown of thorns. And they, oh yeah, you're the king of the Jews, well, here's your crown of thorns. Here's your robe. Let's get him some kind of staff or rod and let's all mock him. Hail, let's all get on our knees. Hail. So, at first, it seems like we're just this is the worst locker-room you've ever been in. This is just a bunch of men mocking Jesus, but then they start spitting on him, and everybody understands. You don't spit on people. You're not treating a person like a person when you start spitting on them. We know about the idea that they're striking him. They're blindfolding him, they're saying, Prophesy who hit you. I mean, this is the kind of torture where they're trying to get him to break. They're trying to get him to cry for mercy. They're trying to make fun of him being the king of the Jews.
And the part that really, really bothers me is our second point that we want to think about. It's this crown of thorns that at first, they maybe just put on his head, like, oh, yeah, you're a king. But look at these thorns that we've got up here on the screen. Again, we've got a replica of what we think that crown of thorns was like, we're not talking about little splinters here, everybody. I mean, you can see here like, these are the kinds of thorns man, I wouldn't even want that that probably wouldn't even feel good to have it on my head. But there's this moment after they're mocking him, they take this staff, this reed that he has, and they strike him on the head with the crown of thorns on him. And the idea here in the Greek is not like they hit him one time with the reed. It's like they were the soldiers, they were striking him with the reed on the head. So now we are pounding these thorns into his skull. And I doubt they were striking lightly when they were hitting him. So, we are treating a human being like, we're not thinking he's going to recover from this, like his life has no value anymore. And so, I don't know if you've ever had something on your head that felt very constricting like a hat or a beanie, or you felt hot, or I don't know, if you ever got a cut on your head, and you start to feel lightheaded, and there's blood flowing down your face. Maybe you taste your own blood, and you're like, oh no, I wish I could see what's going on up there. How deep is it? How bad is it? Can you imagine people hitting with this reed this crown of thorns embedding it into Jesus' skull, and he's got that woozy feeling, the blood is flowing down, and all the time they are mocking and spitting in his face. He knew this was going to happen. He signed up for this. How many of us have really thought about him getting whipped, about him getting this crown of thorns pounded, like just one of those things would have been too much for me. Anybody else like me? I don't know where your pain tolerance is. Maybe you're like, oh, I can handle that. Maybe? Maybe that's what you think. I have, like on a scale of one to ten, how much pain can you handle? I can handle zero on that scale. I don't know if anybody else there's with me. Like, I get splinters, and I'm like, oh, this is a big problem in my life, you know.
There was just one moment in my family when I was growing up with my dad and my mom and my two brothers and I was not feeling well in the bathroom, and I shouted out for the whole family to hear. I can't live like this, which was clearly an overstatement because here I am. Right? And they never let me forget that I said that. Okay, so I want you to see that with this whipping on the back, and with this mockery and the pounding of his head that he is already in a severe amount of pain that has been inflicted upon him and we haven't even gotten to the cross. He has already been tortured. In fact, when they put that robe on him, think that through with me, they're putting a robe on his ripped up, exposed, raw tender back that just got who knows how many lashes, pulling the flesh out. So, it's all like one big wound on his back, then they put the robe on, and then they strip the robe off of him. I mean, some of us cry out when we take a Band-Aid off, right? I mean, this must have been the biggest Band-Aid removal to rip this robe off of the whipped up back of Jesus, laughing in his face, mocking him for being the King of the Jews. When we say Christ died for us, this is what he was going through, before he even got to the place where they crucified Him.
Now go to the next part here, Matthew 27:32. And the way you can tell that Jesus is already in so much pain is he can't even carry his own crossbeam. That's apparently the way that it worked is that you carried your own crossbeam up to where you were going to be crucified? Well, because they've already whipped him, and because he's already had the crown of thorns pounded into his head, they’ve got to find somebody else to carry his cross. So let me read Matthew 27:32-37:
“As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, ‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.’”
Now it's a third time in Matthew 27, it's used that word, crucified him. And notice, I mean, there is so much pain and suffering and malice and evil in that one little phrase there in verse 35. And when they had crucified him. Reads so easy, must have hurts so much. I mean, this idea, when you start really studying this, this idea of crucifixion, of someone being put on a cross. D. A. Carson, in his commentary on Matthew 27, he said 2000 years of pious Christian tradition have largely domesticated the cross, making it hard for us to realize how it was viewed in Jesus’ time. Like when we say cross, we think have the symbol of Jesus loving me and dying for my sin. Like what he's saying here is that's a very domesticated, a very, like made nice, made nice for show version of what the cross actually was. Like, have we even thought through the horrific nightmare it would be to die on a cross? Parents, you wouldn't even want your kids watching anyone die on a cross. We're talking about something that is gruesome, that is ugly, that is twisted and evil is what crucifixion is. When you look up the word stauros, which is the word for cross or crucifixion in the Greek. If you look it up in the theological Dictionary of the New Testament, the first thing it says about this Greek word is the stauros is an instrument of torture for serious offenses. First thing that should come to your mind, when you think about the cross is that was torture. It wasn't just a way to kill somebody. It's how much pain can a person experience before they eventually die? That's what the cross is. The point of crucifixion was to inflict as much pain and as much embarrassment on a person as you possibly could, because usually the person was up there on the cross naked and exposed to everyone gathering around to mock them.
The Romans, you want to know what the Romans thought about crucifixion. They won’t crucify other Romans. That's what they thought about. If you were a Roman citizen, the only way that you could get put on a cross is if Caesar himself decreed that you should be crucified. So, the Romans, they thought this is only for other kinds of people, people less than us. This is not for one of us. The Jews, what did the Jews think about someone getting nailed to the cross? Well, if you go back to the law of Moses and Deuteronomy, it says in Deuteronomy 21:22, that if a man has committed a crime, punishable by death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him in the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. To the Romans, it was beneath them, and to the Jews, it meant that God hated you, and you were cursed by God. Like this is the worst-case scenario. When next time you hear that Jesus died, remind yourself, no, he was crucified. No, he was tortured. No, they got as much possible pain from Jesus, as much possible shame. He went through so much before he died.
That brings us to our third point. We've got a replica here of a hammer and some nails. And this is a best replica they could do of what it would look like, this kind of a hammer. Look at this nail, everybody. We haven't even talked yet about how we know Jesus got nailed to the cross because of the prophecies that they pierced his hands and feet because of the scars that he had to show off later. And I'm going to need a volunteer so we can really demonstrate how painful this is in torture. Do we have any volunteers here today? Any? Oh, front row, Ryan St. Pierre? Everybody, bring him on up here. Bring him on up, a volunteer. Come on up here, sir. Let me give you this microphone. Step into the light with me. All right. Ryan, I want to hand you this hammer. How does that feel on your hand?
Ryan: “It's um, it's heavy. It's rough. Rugged. It’s like it could do a lot of damage
Okay, you’ve got some good descriptive word choice there. I like that. Now, he doesn't know exactly what I'm going to say here. So, he knows he's coming up here. But he does is he's a little nervous right now, everybody. Okay, here. You want to hold one of these nails?
What do you think about that?
“Some sturdy metal, right there. Always thought about like, how could hold Jesus…”
Is this the biggest nail you've ever seen?
How would you feel if somebody was going to nail this right into your hand?
“I mean, I'm sure it's an amount of pain that I've never felt in my life or could imagine.”
I mean, when we're here, Ryan, and we're saying that Christ died for us, I mean, what do you think when you know that? What Jesus went through for you?
“Yeah. Yeah, it's, it's extremely personal. Because I really feel, I still try to comprehend just the lengths that you went through to me. And just really, at the moment that I first believed it, it opened my blind eyes to see God's love for me. And I just know that Jesus, he was, he was innocent. He was the only person who had not sinned, and yet, I'm a wretched sinner. And he voluntarily took up that cross out of his love for me, and it's really, it's not just a moment, but hours in his life that defines my own life, and every day I have left, so it is extremely personal. Because it's God's love.”
It's not just personal for you. It's personal for us, because Christ died for us. Yeah. I mean, I mean, what would you I mean, when I think about Jesus, knowing he is gonna get whipped like that, knowing he's gonna get mocked like that, knowing that this is what crucifixion involves. I mean, to think that he's willing to do all of that for me. I mean, he really does want us to be saved from our sins. I mean, what would you be willing to do? What has God done in your life so that you would want to see people saved?
“Yeah, God has been extremely merciful and gracious to me. I'm just continually training me to walk and His grace. But um, Christ gave it all for me. He every single thing he had and every single bit of evil, betrayal, denial, pain, Jesus experienced so that I could be saved. And then here I stand as a free man as just as Barabbas was set free, so am I and with a mission to be his witness, and I truly don't think that there's a thing that I could reject going through because he gave it all for me. So, all to him I owe, I would go through persecution, betrayal…”
Would you go through a hammer and nails?
“Jesus did for me. How can I not”
So, I mean, can we get the sound of this on the microphone here? Because this I mean, I'm barely I'm barely tapping it. Right. So it would be really awkward. If Ryan volunteered, and I actually nailed, like, hit this hammer. Like that'd be wrong? I mean, you don't really want me to do that.
I mean, I don't think your pregnant wife right there in the front row wants me to do that.
So here, why don't you do it to me?
“That would just be wrong. It wouldn't be right.”
That's the point I'm trying to make. Give it up. Ryan St. Pierre, everybody. Thank you very much. Like, I want everybody here today to just feel for a moment with me how wrong it would be for someone to pick up a hammer and a nail and aim it at somebody. And the truth is, I think these Roman soldiers, I think they're aiming for the spot that they know, there's that nerve right there. That it's going to shoot a pain like that person has never experienced through the rest of their body. And they're going to nail them on the right hand, they're going to nail them on the left hand, and they're going to nail them on their feet. And it is so like, we should all be like, that would be so wrong. Like I'm afraid to hit a hammer, because I'm going to hit myself. Can you imagine trying to, like intentionally drive a nail like this through somebody else? Like when I told somebody, or in fact, our guy Ryan St. Pierre up here when I said, Hey, we're going to bring out the hammer and the nail. He's like, whoa, that's edgy. I'm like, there was nothing edgy about it. It went all the way through. It's like we I mean, can you imagine like, he is suspended in the air. And the only thing holding him up there is nails going through his own skin and bones. Like this is torture. This is evil what they're doing to our Lord. And yet, in all of that pain, look what happens next. Go back to Matthew 27:38, and you'll see that Jesus wasn't the only one who was crucified there that day. No, it says, “Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right, and one on the left,” and the robbers who were crucified with him also. Sorry, jump down to verse 44. Let me show you that we got two other crosses here. One on the right, it says, one on the left. And then verse 44, “the robbers who were crucified with Him, also reviled him in the same way.” So not only do they nail Jesus, and everybody's gathering around, and they're mocking him, if you're the Christ, save yourself, hey, where's your God for you now? Why don't you get down from the cross, then we'll believe in you. They're mocking him. And at the same time, they take two criminals and they put one on one side, and one on the other. And even these guys who are nailed up there on the cross, they jump in, and they start piling on in the reviling. And everybody's looking at Jesus, just heaping mocking and shame upon him.
Now turn with me in your Bible to Luke 23. If you can turn over a few pages, to Luke 23:39, because there's a conversation that happens between these two criminals that I want to make sure we all hear here today as we're really trying to think through what Jesus went through being whipped. All right, and, and having that crown of thorns, so he's bleeding down from his head, he's bleeding from his hands, he's bleeding from his feet. And then it says here, this is Luke 23:39: “One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, ‘Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!’” like this is the irony here, it’s so thick because they're mocking Jesus, like, aren't you the Christ? Why don't you save yourself? Why don't you save me while you're at it? Like he's saying that to mock Jesus, when Jesus is the Christ, and he is dying to save us, but they're mocking him. I mean, can you imagine you're a criminal, you're dying, and even as you go down, you're like, saying bad things about Jesus. And something happened in the criminal on the other side. There was some kind of change your mind because Matthew made it clear. Both of the criminals were reviling Jesus, but all of a sudden, there's this moment where this thief on the cross, he has a change of mind and look what he says in verse 40. so, the two thieves now having a conversation from cross across in front of Jesus, “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.’”
Like, I don't know what happened in this guy. I mean, maybe it was all the pain shooting through his body, all the blood coming out of this criminal, he started to realize I am about to die. See, this is something that I've seen happen to people, people can live their whole life rejecting Jesus, mocking Jesus, some people say they believe that he died, but it doesn't seem to really stop them from sinning in any way. Oh, he died for my sins, but they keep living in them. And you can believe that about Jesus your whole life. But when you realize that you are about to die, when you get to that 11th hour, sometimes there's that moment where things just change in your thinking. That's what happens with this thief. He's like, don’t you realize we're about to meet God, and we deserve to be crucified? We are criminals. We're getting what we deserve. What did he do? He didn't do anything wrong.
Finally, I mean, Pilate won't stand up for Jesus, the people won't stand up for Jesus, none of the soldiers will stop the bullying and the mocking of Jesus, like no one is saying anything to stand up. And finally, a criminal on the cross next to him says, why is this all happening to this guy, he's innocent. See, I've seen this happen. When people get this diagnosis, hey, you have cancer, you only have so long to live, hey, you've got COVID, and you're in the hospital. And we're not sure if you're going to make it, hey, there's some kind of message that comes down. Your days are numbered. In fact, hey, you don't have years, you don't have months, you may not even have weeks left. I have seen people when they get to that moment that they realize they are going to die. I have seen people change their minds about Jesus Christ. That's what this thief does. This thief, he realizes, wait, this guy, the guy covered in blood, the guy with the crown of thorns, the guy with the nails in his hands and his feet, that guy really is the King of the Jews. And look at what he says to Jesus in verse 42, he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” See this guy, not only is he willing to admit that he's a sinner, and he's wrong, and he's getting what he deserves, but he's ready to make a confession. Now, here when he's confronted with his own mortality, when he comes to the end of his allotted days, when his time is up, he's ready to say, hey, I want to actually say, Jesus, you have a kingdom, please, Jesus, will you remember me? And see, this is the part that really gets to me, because if I had my back whipped up, and I had my crown of thorns pounded into my skull, and I was bleeding out of both of my hands, and my feet, and really, I don't know, if you realize what happens there on the cross, but really the way that people die, maybe they die from blood loss. But a lot of times they die because they can't keep breathing. So, you kind of slink into yourself, when you've just got three nails holding you up, you start kind of falling into yourself. And then you have to like try to move with your legs. And you have to kind of lift yourself up to get a good breath of air, otherwise, you can't really breathe. And so can you imagine the whipped up back of Jesus kind of rubbing up against that old rugged cross, pulling himself up by the strength of whatever strength he has left through the nails that are holding his body to that wood, trying to get a breath. If I was in that condition, I'm here to say I would be thinking about myself. And yet this guy cries out to Jesus, remember me. And this is what's amazing to me is that when Jesus was on that cross, and that amount of physical suffering, he was remembering us. They didn't break him when they torture Jesus. And you know why he stayed true to the very end? Because what this guy said, remember me. See, it wasn't a question of whether Jesus was going to remember that this guy or not, this guy is the reason Jesus did this. And it's so awesome that God put this guy on the cross next to Jesus, because this thief on the cross He has become our representative, he has become one that moment that we all have that Ryan was describing, when your eyes are open, and you know that Jesus died, and you know, he got beaten up and bloodied. And you know he got made fun of: hail King of the Jews. And you look at him, and you realize, he really is the key. And you make the confession that Jesus is Lord, and He cries out, look what Jesus says, I love this response. And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” So, we're here today, to remember that Christ died for us. And for some of us, we may never have really thought through the pain that Jesus went through. And the reason that he did it was so that we could be with Jesus in paradise. Can I get an Amen from anybody on that?
So, for some of us, this is a reminder, or maybe we're thinking through the details more, or we're thinking through them in a fresh way to say, wow, look at how Jesus loved me. And I hope you are more compelled to love Jesus leaving here today than you ever have been. I mean, is it real to you that he went through this? And he had a purpose, he had a goal, and it was your soul being saved. Like he got whipped. He got thorns pounded into his head, the crown of thorns. He got nails in his hands and feet, because he is going to die for your sin, to pay the penalty, to pay it in full, so that you could be forgiven, so that you don't have to go through torture, pain, punishment for what you've done. You get paradise, Jesus gets torture. That's what love is.
That's our hope you're compelled to love Jesus. And I want to appeal to some who are here today that maybe today is the day as we remember his death that you change your mind. Some of us here, we're here to remember Jesus. There are some people in this room right now, you need to ask Jesus to remember you. You need to pray what is prayed right here. I mean that a real-life prayer with a thief on the cross looks at Jesus, and he's aware of who Jesus is. He's aware of who he is in his sin. And he realizes I'm about to die, and I'm getting what I deserve. But you're Jesus, you haven't done anything wrong. And he's believing that Jesus is the Lord, and he has a kingdom. And look at that statement of faith. Will you remember me, Jesus? Jesus, was I on your mind? When did you really die for me? Remember me, when you come in your kingdom? I mean, Jesus would do all of this for us, for us to say, no, thank you, Jesus, I'd rather keep my sin when this is what he suffered for us. Now, if you've never really changed your mind about your sin, and you've never really called out in faith in the name of Jesus, this is your chance here. Good Friday, 2022. For you to say, Jesus, please remember me. I want your death for my sin. I want to be one of the people who is able to say that God showed His love for us in this in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Are you one of the “us” that can say that? And if you are, let's remember what Jesus has done. And we're going to give you a moment to pray just between you and Jesus, right now. So I'm going to pray for all for us. They're going to come and sing a song about the thief on the cross and his prayer, and you're going to get a chance to pray while they sing. So let me pray for us right now.
Father in heaven, we just need to confess that many of us have said, oh yeah, Jesus died for me this I know. Yeah, I know about it. And we didn't really think through what it actually meant. That he suffered, that he was tortured. That he willingly signed up for severe pain, mockery, and, and shame, and he did it because he was remembering us, because he wanted us to be with him in paradise. Jesus died to pay for our sin. And we want to say thank you, Father, thank you for loving us, and that even though we are sinners, who have fallen short of your glory, who have done things against you, even then you would love us by your son dying in our place. He was our sacrifice; he was our substitute. Father, we've talked so much about the physical pain, and it wasn't just that kind of suffering that Jesus went through. But he cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Because you Father, we're pleased to crush your son, you poured out your wrath for our sin on your son Jesus. What suffering that must have been for him to be judged for our sin. As a father, we are thankful for this time that we could think through what Jesus really went through. And I pray for my brothers and sisters on this day, a day that was not good for Jesus. But it's so good for us. But I pray that we would love Jesus, we would really be able to see what he's done for us, that the work is finished, that all of our sin is now forgiven, that it's been paid for, and we are right with you because Jesus was treated so wrongly. We now have His righteousness on us. As a father, I pray that we would love Jesus, that we would thank Jesus. I pray that there would be a response from your people here, that we would be like I can't believe I get to go to paradise with Jesus Christ. And I pray for those who have not yet changed their mind, who have not yet seen Jesus on the cross and said that's my Lord, that's my king, that's the one who's remembering me. I pray that today you would change their mind Father. I pray that today you would open their eyes, and they would stop with the mocking and stop with the idea I'm just going to keep sinning. No, I pray that today they would see Jesus and they would call out on him, on his name, to be saved.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.