The Scene at the Cross
“And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, ’You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’” (Matthew 27:39-40)
“If he is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ’I am the Son of God.’” (Matthew 27:42-43)
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
“Likewise the chief priests, also mocking with the scribes and elders, said, ’He saved others; himself He cannot save.’ (Matthew 26:41-42)
Jesus Could Not Save Himself
“Do you not think that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He will provide me with more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53)
That’s one of the great paradoxes about salvation! He saved others, but to do that, He couldn’t save Himself.
It was His love for us that held Him there.
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
“Without shedding of blood there is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22)
“….You were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold….but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (I Peter 1:18-19)
The Mystery of Christ
“He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6)
Jesus knew what it meant to have people misunderstand His motives and lie about Him, to have His friends turn on Him and His best friend to deny Him three times, to stand up and say three times, “I don’t even know the man.” He moved into our smelly, stinky situation and He took our sin, our frailty, our weakness upon Him and He carried it to the cross.
We Cannot Save Ourselves
“If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
The love that Jesus showed us through His death is difficult to understand. But it is a death that deserves our full commitment in return. The question I raise as we close the lesson this morning is this: how will you react to the one who loved you so much?
He saved others, but He couldn’t save himself. That was true because He died for you. Won’t you make up your mind that you’re going to live for Him?