04/10/2020 - By Pastor Todd Nathan
It's Good Friday, a day of deep contemplation, worship, and gratitude for the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. I feel overwhelmed at times thinking about the magnitude of His selfless sacrifice and love. My emotions run high and my grief and conviction great as I read the Gospel accounts of all went through - His arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, the unjust trials before Annas, Caiaphas, Herod and Pilate, the brutality of His scourging and beatings He had to endure at the hands of sinful men, and then the suffering and agony of the cross. Yet I quickly go to Hebrews 12:2-3. "looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted." Jesus willingly and obediently went to the cross knowing the pain and suffering He would have to endure. But He did it for the "joy that was set before Him." He did it knowing full well what it meant in providing the means by which the world would be reconciled to His Father. He did it knowing ultimately that sin is now atoned for - once and for all, and that He would overcome the grave as well securing eternal life for all those who will believe. Amen. Thank you Jesus! As you spend some time today thinking about Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, for you, and for the whole world, dig deep, worship with gratitude and thanksgiving, be in awe of the magnitude of Jesus love for you and the mercy, grace and forgiveness He has shown you.
Today, I am simply going to provide Scripture providing two different views of the cross in light of Hebrews 12:2-3 . Scripture to expand on Hebrews 12:2 - "the joy set before Him", His humility, perfect obedience and submission to the will of His Father, fully in control of what was about to happen to Him! Scripture to expand on Hebrews 12:3, "Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself" to remind us all of what He had faced at the hands of sinful men! Take time to think about each word. Think about Christ's heart and perfect trust in His Father. Think about His willingness to die and knowing the resources that were available to Him if needed (legion of angels). Think about His clear declaration to Pilate in John 18:37, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." Don't get stuck on the brutality of his beatings and suffering on the cross. Simply use that t remind yourself of what He had to endure because of your sins and the sins of the whole world that were being cast upon Him! That's why I am listing the Scripture related to Jesus' joy last - so we finish with hope!! Though I would be tempted to comment on each verse that is highlighted, instead it is better to let the Holy Spirit work in each of you to provide the insights and application to your lives. May God renew your love and heart for Him as you remember the sacrifice of Jesus for the glory of God and your salvation!
"Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself"
22 When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, "If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?"(Jn 18:22–23).
Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" 62 And Jesus said, "I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." 63 And the high priest tore his garments and said, "What further witnesses do we need? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?" And they all condemned him as deserving death. 65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, "Prophesy!" And the guards received him with blows.(Mk 14:61–65)
28 Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. (Jn 18:28)
4 And Pilate again asked him, "Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you." 5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed. (Mk 15:4–5)
8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. 9 So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11 And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. 12 And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other. (Lk 23:8–12).
Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, "See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him." 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” (Jn 19:1–5)
16 And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. 18 And they began to salute him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" 19 And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him. (Mk 15:16–20)
24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” 25 And all the people answered, "His blood be on us and on our children!" 26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. (Mt 27:24–26)
41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 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. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’" 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way. (Mt 27:41–44)
20 Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, 21 but they kept shouting, "Crucify, crucify him!" 22 A third time he said to them, "Why? What evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him." 23 But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted.(Lk 23:20–24)
"For the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame"
And he came the third time and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand." (Mk 14:41–42)
48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one I will kiss is the man; seize him." 49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" And he kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” (Mt 26:48–50)
4 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, "Whom do you seek?" 5 They answered him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am he." Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus said to them, "I am he," they drew back and fell to the ground. (Jn 18:4–6)
So Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?" (Jn 18:11)
52 Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?" (Mt 26:52–54)
53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness. (Luke 22:53)
36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world." 37 Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." (Jn 18:36–37)So Pilate said to him, "You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin." (Jn 19:10–11)
33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Lk 23:33–34)
39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!" 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." 42 And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Lk 23:39–43)
And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" And having said this he breathed his last. (Lk 23:45–46).
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), "I thirst." 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (Jn 19:28–30).
Striving together to please the Lord,