This message’s purpose is to get a proper understanding of what happened on the cross and because of it.
All throughout the Old Testament there are hints and prophesies about the cross. The cross of Christ is where the mercy and justice of God meet. Therefore, in John 19, we will see not only what happened but why it happened.
What has happened so far? Judas betrayed Jesus, so did Peter. One ran away in shame and one run to Jesus and was transformed.
John 19:16 says, “Then he handed him over to be crucified.”
“He” is Pilate. Pilate has been talking to Jesus, and Pilate knows Jesus is innocent. He tries to release him several times, “I find no guilt in this man.” Pilate’s last try to free Jesus was to use the governor’s custom to release a prisoner during Passover.
Matthew 27:17 says, “So when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Who is it you want me to release for you — Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”
Their answer was Barabbas. We are Barabbas in this story. We were the ones who deserved to be on the cross, and just as Jesus took his place, He took our place.
John 19:17 says, “Carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called Place of the Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him and two others with him, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.”
The brevity of the crucifixion account is amazing. Why is that? Crucifixion was one of the most humiliating and brutal ways to die. Rome would crucify people often. So, Jesus’ crucifixion was nothing new for them. It is important to understand that the primary work of Christ was not to be crucified, but to take the wrath of God’s wrath on our behalf.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
This is called the Divine Exchange. 700 years before this took place, the prophet Isaiah said, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
All our lies, all our rebellion, all our sin is being laid upon Jesus. He came to this world for the glory of God and the forgiveness of sin. John does not spend too much time describing what happened at the cross. Luke gives more information. There were two criminals crucified next to the Son of God.
Luke 29:39-42 says, “Then one of the criminals hanging there began to yell insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other answered, rebuking him: “Don’t you even fear God, since you are undergoing the same punishment? We are punished justly, because we’re getting back what we deserve for the things we did, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
This is the pure unmerited grace of God. This is the gospel. This is the gift of the cross!
Three amazing gifts the cross displays:
- Caring for the physical needs of those He loves
John 19:26-27, “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”
It is obvious that Jesus is busy paying the sin debt of all humanity. However, he is still caring for the needs of those He loves. This shows that the Sovereign cares about our issues.
1 Peter 5:7 says, “Casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you.”
- Even when everything is in a wreck, Jesus is in control
John 19:28 says, “After this, when Jesus knew that everything was now finished that the Scripture might be fulfilled, he said, “I’m thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was sitting there; so, they fixed a sponge full of sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it up to his mouth.”
They are attempting to shove 1st century toilet paper in Jesus’ face. Everything seems so out of control, out of order.
Do you ever get overwhelmed and think, this globe is a dumpster fire? God is in control!
Look at this, 1000 years earlier, Psalm 22:14-18 says, “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are disjointed; my heart is like wax, melting within me. My strength is dried up like baked clay; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You put me into the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded me; a gang of evildoers has closed in on me; they pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people look and stare at me. They divided my garments among themselves, and they cast lots for my clothing.”
We can see that the situation is not out of control, this is the fulfillment of God’s plan.
John 19:30, “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then bowing his head, he gave up his spirit.”
The debt was paid. What is finished? The sacrifices.
- In Christ, we can be remade
Your sins have been transferred your account to His. It means the enemy does not define you anymore. God has given me a new heart; I am who Jesus says I am.