Sunday, February 14, 2016

7 Sayings Of The Cross – Part 1 - Father, Forgive Them; For They Know Not What They Do!

Temple Baptist Church - 2-15-2016
Luke 23:26-34

A.  As we quickly approach Resurrection Sunday, 2016, I want our hearts and minds to center upon Calvary.  My pastor, Dr. Harold B. Sightler, advised his preacher boys to stay close to the cross in our preaching. 
John 12:32  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
Romans 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
1 Corinthians 1:17-18  For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.  (18)  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:22-25  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:  (23)  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;  (24)  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  (25)  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
B.  Seven times our Lord spoke from the cross.  These seven sayings speak volumes concerning our salvation. 
1.  The first saying of Christ from the cross was a petition for forgiveness.  How appropriate! 
2.  The cross of Christ is all about the reconciliation of sinful man with a thrice holy God.
C.  At Calvary, we find the love of God for each and every one of us. 
1.  Calvary is the ultimate proving of the love of God for sinful mankind.  If you want to know how God feels about you, go to Calvary!  Greater love hath no man than this:  the one should die for his friend. 
2.  Calvary’s love is the greatest and most compelling of all loves as the Worthy died for the unworthy; the Holy died for the unholy; the Righteous died for the unrighteous.
D.  The reason for forgiveness is sin.  The fact of sin is what compelled the Father to send forth His only begotten Son.  This morning, I want to look at the forgiveness of God.  “For they know not what they do!”
1.  Some believe that ignorance brings forgiveness.  As ignorance of the law is not excuse in our judicial system, neither is it an excuse in the court of heaven!
2.  Their ignorance was not that they did not know that the man they were crucifying was innocent. 
a)  Judas Iscariot declared Him to be innocent.  Matthew 27:4  Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
b)  Both Herod and Pilate had declared Jesus to be innocent.  Luke 23:14-15  Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:  (15)  No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.
E.  “For they know not what they do!” What was their ignorance?  Their ignorance is the same as the ignorance of modern men.  I want to look at three areas of ignorance that will lead mankind to hell instead of to heaven.
1.  They were ignorant of Who He was!  Matthew 27:29  And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! (He was almighty Jehovah God in the flesh!  King of kings and Lord of lords!)
Hebrews 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
a.  “without faith”  Saving faith is based upon faith, not sight!  God cannot be seen but fully reveals His person through nature and the Bible!  That is the only revelation that man will ever get.  It was and is enough for me!
b“that He is”  Man cannot deny Him for He is!  Man cannot ignore Him for He will not go away!  God existence is not nullified because man chooses to turn away from Him.  Jesus Christ is “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
c.  “he is a rewarder of them”  Jesus Christ is not only the Saviour of the world but He will also save all that come to Him by faith.  He is not a “saviour;” He is THE Saviour.  The One and Only!
2.  They were ignorant of what He was doing!  John 1:29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.  (He was paying for the sins of the whole world.  He was dying for them!)
John 3:14-17  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:  (15)  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  (16)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  (17)  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
a.  “as Moses lifted up … even so must the Son of man be lifted up”  Calvary paid for sin’s consequence.  The wages of sin is still death and has never changed!  In Genesis, chapter 3, God took the life of the innocent to cover the sin of the guilty.  That’s Calvary!
b.  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son”  At Calvary, we find propitiation.  Appeasement!  God looked upon His Son’s sacrifice and was satisfied.  Calvary covers it all!  Calvary is sufficient! 
c.  “the world through him might be saved”  God is not willing that any perish and gave His Son to die for the sins of the whole world.  “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)    “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”  (1 John 2:2) 
3.  They were ignorant of what they were!  Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.  (Sinners that would one day be in the hands of an angry God!)
a.  They no doubt knew that they were not perfect men as they were soldiers and had done many things worthy of death.  They were “sinners” BUT not lost sinners.
b.  They no doubt knew that they had sinned against mankind BUT not that they had sinned against a thrice holy God.
c.  They did not realize that, because of their sinfulness against God, they need to be saved from their sin.
4.  They were certainly not repentant of their sins against our Lord Jesus Christ!  They scourged Him, they beat Him, they spat upon Him, the placed on His head a crown of thorns, they crucified Him, they railed on Him, they gambled over His robe, and—as far as the Bible is concerned—they never got right with Him.  He forgave them anyway!
a.  Our Lord’s forgiveness was personal and temporal, not eternal!  If they remained lost, they still faced their works at the Great White Throne Judgement.  Revelation 20:12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
b.  Our Lord’s forgiveness was an example to us!  Forgiveness is as much for the victim as it is for the perpetrator!  When people hurt us, they may never get it right with us but, if we forgive them, we have done what we can and we can live with it.  “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”
Conclusion:  Father, Forgive Them; For They Know Not What They Do!” 
John 15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (The Lord Jesus Christ died for the sins of all men and will forgive those who come to Him by faith.)
Matthew 6:12  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  (We are to forgive those who sin against as God forgives us.)

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