2.13.17 3.24.2024 Certain Because of the Cross Luke 23

Luke: Certain about Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Entice: How does one narrate a story which is as familiar as the crucifixion of Jesus?
We know the end.
We know the ultimate result,
yet we all still tremble at the
foot of the cross.
Engage: Perhaps that is why so many hymns focus on the cross.

At the Cross.

Jesus Keep me Near the Cross.

The Old Rugged Cross.

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.

Knowing what happened tells very little of the story.
Expand: Most of the available human emotions were displayed around the cross. Friend or foe, colleague, or enemy everyone tingled, some with delight some with terror. When we consider the cross, we are not just looking at facts, events, actions, and outcomes. Around the cross we come face to face with the hidden
emotions of human fallenness.
On the Cross Jesus gave His best for our worst.

Jesus was strongest when humanity was weakest.

Expand: Everyone around the cross saw Him differently. What about you? How do you see Jesus, how do you understand His cross? For some He is an
Body of Sermon:

1 Object of Anger.

Luke 23:1–5 ESV
1 Then the whole company of them arose and brought him before Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.” 3 And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” 4 Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.” 5 But they were urgent, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.”
His enemies were angry because of
1.1 His claims.
And His enemies were angry because of
1.2 His influence.
Others with an undeniable cruelty see Jesus as an

2 Object of Amusement.

Luke 23:6–12 ESV
6 When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7 And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. 8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. 9 So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11 And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. 12 And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.
Maybe one of the hardest facts to accept. To Herod Antipas Jesus was a plaything to satisfy his
2.1 Curiosity.
Jesus was just a source of
2.2 Entertainment.
Then we see Jesus as an

3 Object of Abuse.

Luke 23:13–25 ESV
13 Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15 Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. 16 I will therefore punish and release him.” 18 But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”— 19 a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. 20 Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, 21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” 22 A third time he said to them, “Why? What evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.” 23 But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will.
Jesus was abused out of
3.1 Cruelty.
Jesus was abused out of
3.2 Cowardice.
The good news is that while cowards abused Him and Herod laughed for those who believe His death becomes the

4 Object of Atonement.

Luke 23:32–49 ESV
32 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. 35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” 39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” 44 It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” 48 And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. 49 And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.
There is an odd comfort to the
4.1 Brute Fact.
They crucified Him.
And we see an important difference between
4.2 Human intent and Divine outcome.
Luke 23:34 (ESV)
34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
Those words in that context described His executioners. Yet they are also a commentary on the whole Gospel, as His death becomes the means for the Father to forgive all of us for our sinfulness and ignorance
Luke 23:43 ESV
43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Even in the throes of His own death Jesus never stops acting as God in flesh, offering salvation to those who seek Him. Here in the valley of the shadow of death we have hints of the coming offer of universal salvation to all condemned individuals.
Available to all of us by His
4.3 Sacrificial Death.
Even in His death people react to Jesus as an

5 Object of Anxiety.

Luke 23:50–56 ESV
50 Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. 54 It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. 55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
Joseph was anxious first because of a sense of
5.1 Injustice.
His anxiety was compounded by a feeling of
5.2 Propriety.
It was right and good for Jesus to be buried.
Finally, the ladies, who had been with Him so long felt anxiety regarding their
5.3 Duty.
They would go to sleep on one night, and then two not knowing whether they would be able to treat their teacher’s remains with the respect duty demanded…because of other factors they would not.
Shut Down
That was a busy day! Loud, obnoxious, smelly, and dangerous. We have a 2,000-year cushion on the terror, but still benefit from Jesus’ work that day.
The human sounds of that day should haunt us.
Snarls of anger.
Giggles of amusement.
Moans from abuse.
Whispers of atonement.
Murmurs of anxiety
All hanging in the balance of a half-remembered promise.
The way that holy week has evolved gives us 7 days to contemplate, meditate, pray, consider, and respond in gratitude to the sacrificial death of Jesus. Those who were there then, from His trial to the opening of His tomb had around 72 hours to go through the entire process. From the lowest low, to the highest of highs. I would never recommend that our Spiritual lives should be an emotional roller coaster. By grace the spiritual rollercoaster experienced then, gives us confidence, and certainty now.
Amid all the human emotions one, stark reality. His atonement makes forgiveness possible.
Beneath the cross of Jesus
I fain would take my stand,
the shadow of a mighty Rock
within a weary land;
a home within the wilderness,
a rest upon the way,
from the burning of the noontide heat
and the burden of the day.
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