Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermoin
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
April 13, 2014 at 10:45 AM
At the Crucifixion with Jesus
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. Sunday April 13, 2014
At the Crucifixion with Jesus
“And Pilate answered and said again unto them, what will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews. And they cried out again, Crucify. “And when they had mocked him...led him out to crucify him.” ( Mark 15: 12, 13, 20
As announced last Sunday, a series of four interrelated
sermons will constitute the 2014 Easter Series. The one
last Sunday was entitled, “In the Upper Room with Jesus.
It will be followed today with the second sermon entitled,
At the crucifixion with Jesus. Just as Jesus had predicted
in the upper room, one of the apostles, Judas, betrayed
him. That act set into motion a series events that included
the arrest of Jesus, the apostles’ withdrawal, Peter’s
three denials of knowing Jesus, leading the Jesus - now
with ropes tied around his body - to various judgment
halls, innumerable insults and inhumane treatments, some
of which were spitting on him, slapping him, and lashing
him with a whip, and keeping him awake all night. Early, the
next day, Friday, the torture continued. Eventually, the time
came for a decision - in keeping with the Passover Feast -
to set a prisoner free. It was Pilate’s duty to preside over the
process and he faced a dilemma; he could find no fault with
Jesus and opted to chastise and release him. ( Lk. 23:16 ).
Sensing the mounting restlessness of the crowd, he gave it
an option by inquiring, “Whether of the twain that I release
unto you? They said, Barabbas. Pilate saith unto them, What
shall I do with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say
unto him, Let him be crucified” ( Mt. 27:22 ). In yielding to
the crowd’s demand, Pilate scourged Jesus...and delivered
him to be crucified. ( Mt. 27:26 ).
It is the reality of the crucifixion that will be the focus
of the sermon today entitled, At the crucifixion with Jesus.
It will include the following dimensions, namely: to illustrate
the speed with which human views can change, to highlight
some events on the pathway to Calvary, and to vicariously
experience the crucifixion and its immediate aftermath.
Prior to delving into these three concerns, an appeal
is herein made as last Sunday for you - hearers and readers -
to free your mind of the contemporary reality of today, some
of which are: numerous problems, elusive goals, personal
anxieties, and long range planning. Having attain a measure
of success in this endeavor, let us together explore
selective Scriptures to grasp the crucifixion of Jesus.
Undergirding the sermon is the desire for you to
imaginatively witness the crucifixion of Jesus. To
accomplish this objective, the sermon will entail three
realities, the first of which is frequently labeled as “The
Hosanna Crowd. This expression was used to characterize
the rapid shift in attitude of many people toward Jesus in
less than a week. Scriptures document that five days before
the Passover Feast, “... the people that were come to the
feast when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him,
and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that
cometh in the name of the Lord.” ( Jo. 12:12-13 ). What a
beautiful outcry of truthful adoration, but - sadly - it would
last for less than a week. As the news spread of Jesus
saying that he would institute a new Passover and that
he would be arrested, there occurred a major shift in
attitude toward him. Hence, many of his proclaimers shifted
from exalting to condemning him, a phenomenon known as
the Hosanna Crowd. Remember, this hostile shift in attitude
occurred in less than a week. Beloved that action, known in
Social Psychology as mass behavior, or group think,
occurred over Two Thousand Years ago, it leaps across the
annals of time to beacon a warning for us which is, don’t put
too much confident in people because their attitudes, often,
like the wind can take a radical turn in direction. This
somber fact leads to the second aspect of the sermon which
is - to highlight some events on the road to Calvary where
Jesus would be crucified. To give you a clear view of Jesus
on the road to Calvary, a request is made for you to imagine
yourself and standing on a dike above the road. There you
can not only see the progression, but freely move along
with the crowd below. From that level, you can see the
lead Roman soldier holding a rope that is tied around the
body of Jesus. But there is more yet to come; among the
inhumane events are: Jesus being forced to carry the cross
on which he will be nailed; Jesus, being exhausted from the
torture of Thursday; Jesus being repeatedly lashed with a
whip; Jesus who was wounded for our transgressions and
was bruised for our iniquities and with his stripes we are
healed, but he opened not his mouth. ( Isa. 53: 5, 7 ). But
this Jesus felt to one knee while being led to Calvary and
the soldiers noted a man of color, Simon of Cyrenian; they
immediately conscripted him to help bear the cross. ( Lk, 22:
26 ). Years later that Simon encounter would be the
inspiration for G. N. Allen’s immortal hymn - Must Jesus
Bear the Cross Alone?. Allen raised the question, “Must
Jesus bear the cross along and all the world go free?
He, then, answered his own question by stating, “No: there’s
a cross for ev -ry one, and there a cross for me”. Continuing
on your journey to the crucifixion with Jesus, you will now
note that the journey has reach Calvary, the place outside
Jerusalem and on an hillside from the city. Atlas, Jesus
and Simon are removed from under the cross: Simon is
released, but you will see that Jesus is retained and being
made ready for the crucifixion. This fact will lead to the
third and, final, aspect of your journey which is - for
you to vicariously experience the crucifixion of Jesus and
its immediate aftermath.
As a starting point, your eyes should now be gazing
down on the initiation of the crucifixion process. There you
notice that the cross has been removed from the shoulders
of Jesus and Simon. Jesus is now being made to lie on
on the cross flat of his back. He is tightly tied on the cross
in preparation for the agonizing process that will pierce his
fatigued body. The spikes and carefully placed and the
nailing is started. Jesus never said a word. When he was
fully attached to the cross, Jesus’ cross was lifted up and
dropped in the whole prepared for it. The impact of that drop
caused Jesus to lunge forward causing a shock wave of
agonizing pain to his fatigued body.
Jesus spoke seven times from the cross, but three of
them will be cited in this sermon; they are: “ Father, forgive
them for they know not what they do.” ( Lk. 23:34 ), “My God,
My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” ( 27:46 ) and “Father,
into thy hands I commend me spirit: and having said thus,
he gave up the ghost.” ( Lk. 23:46 ).
The death of Jesus was accompanied by an array of
irregularities, some of which were: the temple veil was rent,
or split from top to bottom, the earth did quake, rocks were
split, grave were opened, and the centurion uttered, “Truly
this is the Son of God”. ( Mt. 27:57 . Now that you have been
to the crucifixion with Jesus, it is time to cautiously
mentally walk down from Calvary back into this
contemporary world. Hopefully, the imaginatively trip has
more deeply instilled into your heart a gratefully
appreciation of the fact “... Christ died for our sin according
to the scriptures.” ( 1st Cor. 15:3 ). Amen!
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