|Tweet||Printable Version||Email This|
The narration of Jesus’ agonizing journey towards crucifixion has it’s own lessons for the modern church. This good Friday lets analyze these in detail and see what we can learn so that we can take another step in our Christian walk with Jesus.
Text: Matthew 27:32-54
1. Discipleship – Simon from Cyrene, (Matthew 27:32)
A. Who is Simon?
I. The Bible tells very little. My assumption depending on historical facts is,
II. He was a man who came from city called Cyrene in North Africa.
III. An African proselyte.
IV. Probably he made the pilgrimage to the holy city during Passover.
B. Why was Simon reluctant?
I. As they were going out, they found a man from Cyrene named Simon, whom they forced to carry his cross.
II. It was an unclean task: The cross was drenched with Jesus’ blood and other body fluids.
III. It was a difficult task: The weight of the cross beam (200-300 pounds)
IV. It was an embarrassing task: only the worst criminals carried a cross.
V. It was an inconvenient task: Simon wanted to have nothing with this gruesome incident. He came on a pilgrimage – not for this.
I. The qualifications of a true disciple: Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. (Matthew 16:24, NET)
II. Deny yourself: Man’s selfish nature. “I – Me – Myself”
III. Repent of your self centeredness: “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfishness in your hearts…” (James 3:14, NET)
IV. Carry your cross: Have you ever served in the shanties (unclean task), would you let yourself be humiliated because you are a Christian (embarrassing task). In ancient days to be called a Christian was an insult. Would you go out of your way to help others (inconvenient task)
2. Jesus’ commitment – refusing the drink, (Matthew 27:33-34)
A. Jesus refused the easy way out
I. Myrrh (goal) was used as a pain killer
II. Jesus refused it
III. He was determined to suffer up to the full extent
IV. Determination (definition): the act of coming to a decision or of fixing or settling a purpose.
B. He was committed to take our pains and sorrows
I. He thought of us more than he thought of his pain and shame, (Isaiah 53:4-5, NET)
II. Jesus would feel better if he drank the pain killer – but then our salvation will be incomplete.
III. Jesus came for a purpose. He didn’t give up until it’s done!
I. Is your determination to follow Christ controlled by external factors of life? (persecution, peer pressure, problems etc.)
II. What’s your degree of commitment? A Sunday school teacher skipped the church for three weeks in a row without any prior notice. When asked he said, first week my wife had a cold, second week, we had no water at home, third week we had guests at our place.
III. Pain: makes us or brakes us. God has a purpose for the pain you are experiencing right now.
3. Crucifixion – The burden of universal sin, (Matthew 27:35)
A. The physical agony of crucifixion
I. Brings a slow and painful death accompanied by dehydration, blood loss due to flogging and shock from the pain.
II. The actual cause of death: suffocation, cardiac arrest, loss of blood or all of these!
III. The agonizing posture: The victim endured paroxysms as he pulled with his arms and pushed with his legs to keep his chest cavity open for breathing and then collapsed in exhaustion. Finally exhaustion takes over and causes suffocation.
IV. Humiliating: usually the victims were crucified naked and in public.
B. The spiritual agony of crucifixion
I. Crucifixion was a symbol of God’s curse, (Deuteronomy 21:23)
II. The Israelite law: The corpse of judicially executed criminals were hung up for public exposure. These dead people were called to be cursed by God.
I. Read: Isaiah 53:1-12
II. It’s a curse that lifted the curse from the believer
III. It’s a curse that brought healing into the believer’s body, soul and spirit
A. It’s much easier to be a follower. But God called us to be His disciples and discipleship has a cost.
B. Is your faith wavering? Then thrive for commitment.
C. Is any one among you sick. Believe that Jesus has healed you – and you will experience God’s healing power.