Friday, July 5, 2013

The Scene At Calvary

Mat 27:39  And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads Mat 27:40  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." Mat 27:41  So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, Mat 27:42  "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. Mat 27:43  He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, 'I am the Son of God.'"

Matthew has recorded the events of Jesus’s crucifixion with little scenes in which the way it is played out teaches us of what is really going on during this time.  For example as Jesus is forced to wear the crown of thorns there are a couple of things we see.  First of all by accepting the mockery and suffering of the cross he is actually doing what is necessary for him to receive a kingdom and wear a true crown.  As he stands before them bearing a crown of thorns, the irony is that he is their king whether they realize it or not; by pushing that cruel crown upon him they were helping him get a better one.  Secondly thorns speak of the curse of sin that came upon us at the fall in the Garden of Eden.  The crown of thorns on his head was a picture that he was bearing the curse for us so we could escape the effects of the fall.

In the verses quoted above we have more irony that depicts what is going on at the cross in a spiritual sense.  In vs. 40-42, they say to come down off the cross and save himself.  In vs. 42 they make a statement that rings throughout history, “He saved others; he cannot save himself”.  Actually this is a completely true statement.  If he came down off the cross and saved himself he would not be able to save anyone.  To save others he could not save himself!  They might have believed something about him if he came down off the cross but they would not be able to believe on him as their savior because saving himself would have made him an unsuitable sacrifice for sin.  If he came down off the cross we would not be saved.

Then in vs. 43 they unwittingly make another true statement.  “He trusts in God; let God deliver him now”.  He did in fact trust in God and the Father delivers him through the sufferings of the cross.  Ironically this is exactly true of anyone who will trust in God for salvation through Jesus Christ.  If you trust in his sacrifice on the cross as your only hope God will deliver you in the Day of Judgment. 

Surely Matthew 27 is the focal point of human history!

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