Lessons to be Learnt from Christ’s Crucifixion

Matthew 27:32-50

As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry His cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered Him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when He tasted it, He would not drink it. And when they had crucified Him, they divided His garments among them by casting lots.
Then they sat down and kept watch over Him there. And over His head they put the charge against Him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”
Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked Him, saying, “He saved others; He cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him. He trusts in God; let God deliver Him now, if He desires Him. For He said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” And the robbers who were crucified with Him also reviled Him in the same way.
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to Him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him.”
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up His spirit
. (ESV)

Christ’s Crucifixion was the most terrible event in human history but also the most gracious from the heart of God. It was a shameful way to die – mocked by those who watched, crucified with common thieves. Along with the physical suffering was the spiritual agony that we read about.
Jesus did not want people to weep for Him, but for themselves (Luke 23:28-31).
He also had more concern for His persecutors (Luke 23:34) than for Himself.

Humans have hard hearts – by nature we are not like the Lord Jesus.
There are great lessons to be learnt from His Crucifixion.

  1. The Condemnation of Sin
    Jesus died because of our sins (1 Cor. 15:3). He was wounded for our transgressions (Isa. 53:5). That’s why He said that we must stop picking at the splinter in our neighbors’ eyes, while ignoring the mote in our own. Jesus wants us to see why He died – that He was bruised for our iniquities, and that by His stripes we are healed. All of us, like sheep have gone astray – we have turned, everyone to his own way. Jesus was wounded for the sin we commit and for what we fail to do. “He gave Himself for our sins that He might deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Gal. 1:4, see also 1 Pet. 2:24).
    We tend to ignore our own sin and focus on the sins of others, shaming, blaming, scapegoating, and gaslighting them. But we deceive ourselves if we think we have no sin (1 John 1:8-10). Narcissism is to love yourself all the time at the cost of everyone, seeking after your own glory and trying to fix others.
    We are Christians because we are not good enough not to be Christians. It is eternally dangerous for a human not to be a Christian! It is deadly – not just a different choice or freedom of religion. People of other religions find themselves in eternal mortal danger in the face of the God of glory! They (false, lying religions) tell us wrong things about God and ourselves. We like to hear them and ourselves and what humanism says to us. If you’re honest about that, your life is going change for the better. That’s why I am a Christian – why I came out of atheism – because I saw that I can’t stay the way I am.
    He bore our sins on the cross so that, having died to sin we might live for righteousness. By His stripes we are healed. I pray that the thought of Christ’s Crucifixion will remind us of our own sinfulness and need for redemption.
    Jesus killed sin on the cross – we don’t have to be in bondage to it anymore. He condemned sin in the flesh through His death (Rom. 8v3). It’s not our keeping of the Law, but the blood of Christ that killed sin – not us (own good works).
    The greatest Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, as he faced the enemy on the battlefield said: ‘I am the enemy’. The first one that needs to be defeated is yourself. Until you defeat yourself, you will lose every battle that comes at you through life.
    It is wrong to be judgmental – always trying to fix everyone around you – never on the face before God: “Show me, Lord what is wrong with me and how You fix it”. That sin that He killed we need to hate and work with His Spirit and His Word to heal it.
    “The crucifixion of Christ is the ultimate demonstration of God’s justice and wrath being satisfied.” – Jonathan Edwards.
    “Through the crucifixion of Christ our sin is revealed in it’s true ugliness and depravity, as we see the depths of human rebellion and the immense cost of redemption.” – Thomas Watson.

  2. The Revelation of Love
    Jesus not only died for sin, but also for love – the love of the Father for a lost world (John 3v16). God demonstrated His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8). He loved them in their brokenness – before a thing was fixed, and then He fixed everything. That’s the Gospel, by which He demonstrated what true love is: “…He lay down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16). Christ’s love serves as a pattern for ours (John 13). Knowing everything that was wrong with us, He went to the cross – He didn’t try to fix us first. This was a love for the unlovable and unloving. The cross is a demonstration of the love of Christ.
    It is people who understand the doctrines of grace – who understand what total depravity means and how unlovable that makes us – who know how to love. The biggest problem with sin is not what it does to your budget, but what it does to your soul. Sin and the devil hates and screams against the very fact that God is love. Sinners want to be worshipped instead.

  3. The Redemption of the World
    God wants all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, for there is one God and one Mediator between God and man: the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all (1 Tim. 2:5-6). Peter also says that “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). The beloved Apostle John wrote: “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2). The world has no hope but Jesus Christ. There’s nothing out there that can save us. Jesus is our only hope.
    The Good News is that it doesn’t matter how rotten you are. You can be the greatest charlatan who walks on this planet – there is hope for you. You are welcome here, because we all know that we need Jesus – can’t make it on our own.

  4. The Inspiration of Sacrifice
    We’re lying to ourselves through pomp and circumstance. We are not like we dress up, but like Christ sees us. We don’t generally like it to sacrifice self for others, but Jesus provided the example. He did not consider equality with God something to be held on to, but emptied Himself unto death, even death on a cross – for us – suffering patiently in our place!
    We need to learn from Him how to live for others, and not for ourselves (1 Pet. 2:20).
    The point of application is: Be a little more patient with one another – especially the weak ones among us. The one who needs the most help spiritually among us is the worst one. We need to forget about ourselves and look at others – turning the other cheek as our Lord did – the example of the cross.

Jesus’ sacrifice was to inspire us to walk in humility (Eph. 5:2, Phil. 2, 1 Pet. 2:20, 2 Cor. 8:9).
“Christ’s sacrifice serves as the supreme example of selflessness and love inspiring believers to emulate His willingness to lay down His life for the undeserving.” – Richard Baxter.

Have you taken advantage of what the crucifixion of Jesus means for you?
Have you been crucified with Him? Are you putting to death the deeds of the flesh?
Are you growing in love?
Are you concerned in doing something about the redemption of the world?
Are you praying for them more than you criticise them?
Are you inspired in your service to your brothers and sisters and the lost by the example of the Lord Jesus’ sacrifice?

In the words of the Apostle Paul: “We then as workers with Him, also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” (2 Cor. 6:1)