Temple Baptist Church - 3-28-2010
Introduction: Passion Week.
A. It is of no little interest to this preacher that, when speaking of the crucifixion of Christ in the New Testament, John said little of the suffering of Jesus Christ.
B. The Old Testament gave a much more vivid description of these sufferings.
C. The Old Testament Jew was very familiar with the sacrifice of the Paschal lamb and found the antitype in “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
D. Thus, the Old Testament dealt with the sacrifice while the New Testament dealt more with the substitute.
E. In the crucifixion of Christ, the Bible gives the ultimate fulfillment of Genesis 3:15.
1. The Scourging
New Testament - John 19:1 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.
Old Testament - Isaiah 52:14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
The Physical Description Of The Scourging - Scourging, practiced by the Romans was a cruel punishment that usually preceded crucifixion. The only ones exempted from scourging were women, Roman senators and soldiers except in cases of desertion. Normally there were between one and six trained Roman officer called lictors who were responsible for dispensing the blows to the victims. The lictors chosen to administer the scourging had previously received special medical training. They knew how to wield the whip so as to open bruises which had already formed. The instrument used for scourging is a short whip called a flagrum or flagellum to which was attached several braided leather thongs of variable lengths. Knots were tied in the ends of each thong, and sheep bone or iron balls were inserted into the knots at the end of each thong. This whip is called a flagrum or flagellum. The person to be scourged is stripped of his clothing and his hands are tied to a post. Roman soldiers repeatedly strike the victim's back, buttocks and legs with their full force causing deep contusions. Lacerations from repeated blows cut into the underlying muscles and rip the overlaying skin of the back to a point where it hangs in ribbons of bleeding flesh. The capillaries and veins were often torn causing intense bleeding and at times leaving the entrails exposed. Even once the victim fainted, if the lictors could feel a pulse and detect sufficient respiration, the beating would continue. Once the centurion in charge determined that the prisoner is near death, the beating is halted. According to Jewish law the prisoner was to receiver no more than forty lashes. The Pharisees, always making sure that the law was strictly kept, insisted that only thirty nine lashes be given in case an error occurred during counting.(Deuteronomy 25:3) The Roman law did not have any set limit on the number of blows which could be administered. The object of the scourging was to weaken the victim to a state of collapse and bring them as near to death as possible without killing them. Many did not survive this punishment and it was given the name "half death." The extent of blood loss may well have determined how long the victim would survive on the cross.
2. The Smiting
New Testament - John 19:3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.
Old Testament - Psalms 22:12-13 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
3. The Crucifying
New Testament - John 19:16-18 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
Old Testament - Psalms 22:14-16 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
The Physical Description Of The Crucifixion - Klauaner, the Jewish writer, writing of crucifixion says, “Crucifixion is the most terrible and cruel death which man has ever devised for taking vengeance on his fellow-men.” Cicero called it “the most cruel and the most horrible torture.” Tactitus called it “a torture only fit for slaves.” It originated in Persia; and its origin came from the fact that the earth was considered to be sacred to Ormuzd the god, and the criminal was lifted up from it that he might not defile the earth, which was the god’s property. From Persia crucifixion passed to Carthage in North Africa; and it was then from Carthage that Rome learned it, although the Romans kept it exclusively for rebels, runaway slaves, and the lowest type of criminal. It was indeed a punishment which it was illegal to inflict on a Roman citizen. Goguel quotes A. Reville’s description: “It represented the acme of the torturer’s art: atrocious physical sufferings, length of torment, ignominy, the effect on the crowd gathered to witness the long agony of the crucified. Nothing could be more horrible than the sight of this living body, breathing, seeing, hearing, still able to feel, and yet reduced to the state of a corpse by forced immobility and absolute helplessness. We cannot even say that the crucified person writhed in agony, for it was impossible for him to move. Stripped of his clothing, unable even to brush away the flies which fell upon his wounded flesh, already lacerated by the preliminary scourging, exposed to the insults and curses of people who can always find some sickening pleasure in sight of the tortures of others, a feeling which is increased and not diminished by the sight of pain—the cross represented miserable humanity reduced to the last degree of impotence, suffering, and degradation. The penalty of crucifixion combined all that the most ardent tormentor could desire: torture, the pillory, degradation, and certain death, distilled slowly drop by drop. It was an ideal form of torture”
THIS IS WHAT THE WORLD SEES IN THE SUFFERINGS AND CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST.
Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971), pp. 805-806, fn. 44.192 “John describes the horror that was crucifixion in a single word. As in the case of the scourging, he simply mentions the fact and passes on. Popular piety, both Protestant and Catholic, has often tended to make a great deal of the sufferings of Jesus, to reflect on what was done and to dwell on the anguish He suffered. None of the Gospels does this. The Evangelists record the fact and let it go at that. The death of Jesus for men was their concern. They make no attempt to play on the heartstrings of their readers. It may be a challengeable opinion, but I think the Church of God has suffered more than it knows by pictures of the crucifying of Jesus; and sometimes by very honest and well-intentioned sermons, trying to describe the matter on the physical side. I am not denying the tragedy and the pain of it physically, but the physical suffering of Jesus was nothing compared to the deeper fact of that cross.”
THIS IS WHAT THE CHRISTIAN SEES IN THE SUFFERINGS AND CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST.
1. We See Sin With Its Ultimate Consequence - Matthew 27:46 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?
a. Sin Brings About Separation From A Holy God - Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
b. Sin Brings About Both Temporal And Eternal Death - Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
2. We See Religion Exposed For What It Really Is - John 18:28 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.
John 19:4-6 Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.
Luke 23:20-25 Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go. And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required. And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will.
Matthew 26:59-68 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?
3. We See The Gracious Forgiveness Of God - Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
4. We See The Simplicity Of Salvation Manifested - Luke 23:39-43 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
5. We See The finished Work Of The Cross Of Christ - 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.
John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Isaiah 53:10-12 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
6. We See The Personal Substitution Of Christ For The Sinner - John 18:38-19:1 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber. Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.
John 19:17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: (Barabbas’ cross became “his cross.”)
Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.