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Beneath The Cross Of Jesus

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Beneath The Cross Of Jesus. April 13, 2003. Introduction. No matter where we may work, there will always be different people, but similar attitudes such as: Lazy, hard-workers, integrity, honest, dishonest, caring, ethical, unethical, can-do, can’t-do, etc.

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  • No matter where we may work, there will always be different people, but similar attitudes such as:
    • Lazy, hard-workers, integrity, honest, dishonest, caring, ethical, unethical, can-do, can’t-do, etc.
  • Even though we were not physically present beneath the cross of Jesus, we see the same attitudes exists today.
  • Objectives:
    • Examine the people and attitudes physically present beneath the cross of Jesus.
    • Determine what type(s) of attitude we may have today.
  • Golgotha was:
    • Strategically located on a hill outside the city.
    • Close and near some public through fare.
    • In a spot visible from afar.
  • Due to the Passover, many people were present and “passed by.”
    • “And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads.” (Mt. 27:39)
  • For many, the cross made no real impression. Jesus was just another criminal executed.
  • Many are passing by the cross today and display similar attitudes. Let’s look an example.
  • The people killed Jesus.
    • “But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” (Lk. 23:21)
  • What sinful conduct motivated the people to kill Jesus?
    • Envy
      • “For he knew that it was for envy they had delivered Him.” (Mt. 27:18)
      • “…Look, the whole world has gone after Him.” (Jh. 12:19)
      • Self-preservation - “If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe Him, and the Romans will take away both our place and nation.” (Jh. 11:48)
    • Ignorance
      • “Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did your rulers.” (Ac. 3:17)
      • “…which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (I Co. 2:8)
  • Because of our sins, we all had a part in saying “Crucify Him, crucify Him!
    • “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” (I Jh. 3:4)
    • “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Ro. 3:23)
    • “… Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and arose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (I Co. 15:3-4)
    • “Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” (Ac. 2:36-38)
  • Bottom line: We are guilty of killing Jesus and must remove the guilt of our sins by obeying Jesus’ commands.
  • Let’s Explore the people and attitudesbeneath the cross of Jesus.
scoffers and mockers
Scoffers and Mockers
  • “..and saying, ‘You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise the chief priests, also mocking with the scribes and elders, said, He saved other; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him come down from the cross, and we will believe Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, I am the Son of God…The rest said, Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.” (Mt. 27:40-43, 49)
  • Well-educated religious people mocked Jesus because they had a different idea of a Messiah and truth of God. Today, many continue to ridicule and insult Jesus and His followers.
  • How can we mock Jesus today? By not acknowledging the simple truth and “total” teaching of Jesus.
    • Heed The Warning!!!: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth…” ( I Tm. 4:1-5)
scoffers and mockers1
Scoffers and Mockers
  • The sincerely religious people mock Jesus by practicing lawlessness.
    • “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not…done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Mt. 7:21-23)
  • The zealous establish their own system of righteousness.
    • “…they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.” (Ro. 10:1-4)
  • Bottom Line: There will always be scoffers and mockers. Don’t ignore, neglect or be ignorant of the “total” teaching of Jesus!
    • “…knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?…all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (II Pt. 3:3-4)
unconcerned and indifferent
Unconcerned and Indifferent
  • “Then they [Soldiers] crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots…sitting down they kept watch over Him there.” (Mt. 27:35)
  • Many are as close to the cross of Jesus as the soldiers, yet are “num” to pain and really “don’t care.”
  • We can become de-sensitized to sin and its consequences. We can sear our conscience by persisting in doing wrong.
    • “Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron…” (I Tm. 4:1-3)
  • Our lifestyle is a reflection of our indifference and lack of concern. Some examples are:
    • Lukewarm – “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot, I could wish that you were cold or hot, so then, because you are lukewarm….I will spew you out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:15-16)
unconcerned and indifferent1
Unconcerned and Indifferent
    • Lazy – “But the lord answered and said to him, You wicked and lazy servant….And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness.” (Mt. 25:26)
    • Worldly - “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” (Mt. 23:22)
    • Lack of love - “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” (Rev. 2:4)
    • Disobedient - “…in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (II Th. 1:7-8)
  • Bottom Line: Those who “don’t care” will care on Judgment Day. We will be held accountable for our life!
    • “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what we have done, whether good or bad.” (II Co. 5:10)
  • “Now when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that happened, they feared greatly, saying, ‘Truly this was the Son of God.’” (Mt. 27:54)
  • Their faith surpassed those who had opportunities.
    • Many saw the miracles and heard His teaching but did not follow.
      • “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (Jh. 12:42-43)
    • Some would not believe unless they physically saw or touched the Lord.
      • “Jesus said to him, ‘Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed…but these are written that you might believe that Jesus us the Christ, the Son of God…” (Jh. 20:29, 31)
  • Bottom line: We must take advantage of the opportunity to believe God’s word.
  • Family, friends and loved ones of Jesus were present. They followed Jesus to the cross.
    • “And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were looking on from afar, among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.” (Mt. 27:55-56)
  • God’s spiritual family is always near the cross.
    • “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God… For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” (I Co. 1:18, 2:2)
    • “…only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Jesus…But God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ...” (Ga. 6:12, 14)
  • Without a physical heart we ceased to live, so is Christianity without the cross. The cross of Jesus is our cross to bear.
  • Jesus demonstrated the love of God and man on the cross.
      • “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given me to do…He said, ‘It is finished!’” (Jh. 17:4;19:30) His work: “to seek and save the lost” (LK. 19:10)
      • “And being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Ph. 2:8)
      • “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”(Lk. 23:34)
  • Bottom Line: Everything we say or do points to the cross.
      • “We love Him because He first loved us.” (I Jh. 4:19)
      • “…because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow in His steps.” (I Pt. 2:21)
      • “…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hb. 12:1-2)
  • John, the beloved disciple, was present after being discouraged to the point of forsaking the Lord.
    • “…Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.” (Mt. 26:56)
    • “When Jesus saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, Woman behold your son! Then He said to the disciple , Behold your mother! And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” (Jh. 19:26-27)
  • When we forsake the Lord, we have two choices. We can remain in sin or return to the Lord.
    • “..for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world…” (II Tm. 4:10)
    • “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as is the manner of some…” (Hb. 10:25)
    • “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.” (Ac. 8:22)
  • Bottom Line: Jesus loves those who forsake Him and wants them to return.
    • “For you were like sheep going astray, but now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (I Pt. 2:25)
  • Everyone is “passing by” the cross of Jesus:
    • What is your attitude as you look to the cross of Jesus?
    • Which class of people do you fit into today?
    • Does the cross of Jesus impress you or will continue to pass by?
  • We know Jesus died Once, but we can:
    • Crucify Him again:“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened…If they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucified again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.” (Hb. 6:4-6)
    • Trample Him under our feet:“For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins…Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God under foot, counted the blood by which he was sacrificed a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?…It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hb. 10:26-31)
  • What are you saying to God about Jesus today?
    • Crucify Him, crucify Him!“But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” (Lk. 23:21)
    • Crucify me, crucify me!“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Ga. 2:20)
  • Which choice will you make today?
    • “Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” (Ac. 2:36-38)