This is an exposition of Luke 23:44-49. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, February 4, 2018.
It doesn’t make sense. Why would an instrument of death become the object of devotion? It sounds macabre doesn’t it?
If you were to see someone with a dainty electric chair crafted from gold and hung around their neck - wouldn’t you think that strange? If someone excitedly showed you a gold hangman’s noose wouldn’t you ask, “What’s wrong with you?” If you went to a meeting and the people stood and sang a song about cherishing the old lethal injection, wouldn’t you look for an exit? What is glorious or praise worthy about the death of a human being? Yet, here we are. Here we are glorying in the death of Jesus of Nazareth with a cross prominently displayed. What kind of people are we? We are a Gospel people. We don’t glory in death. We do not celebrate the indiscriminate taking of a life. We glory in that one death. That one, utterly unique willing sacrifice. Thousands suffered and died by way of crucifixion. We glory in that one, particular crucifixion because it is there the glory of the Gospel is on full display. Our text this morning is found in the 23rd chapter of Luke.
Text: Luke 23:44-49
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. He did so by His word. He spoke and it was. The crowning moment of creation was the creation of man, made in the image and likeness of God. That is made to be in relationship with the Creator. Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden, a perfect place. They were naked and unafraid. There was perfect harmony between Adam and Eve and between the human couple and their Creator. Adam and Eve were told the Garden was for their pleasure and enjoyment. Just one thing, don’t eat from the tree in the midst of the Garden. On the day you eat from it, you will die. You know the story. Through the temptation of the Evil One, Adam rebelled and sin and death entered the world. Now fear reigned. Harmony was shattered. Relationship was broken. Yet, even in the pronouncement of judgment there was the promise of hope. The seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. Fast-forward several thousand years to a hill just outside the walled city of Jerusalem and God is about to “make good” on that promise.
The Bible says, “There is none righteous, not a single one.” In fact, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” We are not what God created us to be. Further, “The wages of sin is death.” We are all deserving of death and God’s judgment. But, because God loves, He sent His son the Lord Jesus to redeem us from the curse. Jesus came to do for us what we could never do for ourselves.
I’ve said before and I’ll must say it again here, everything in us wants to look away from the cross. We do not want to look upon our precious Lord beaten, bloodied, disfigured and writhing in pain but we must look. And we must look because…
Thesis: The glory of the Gospel is dramatically portrayed in our Lord’s agony on the cross.
In our text we encounter 2 great miracles and an astonishing prayer revealing three great truths.
- The Miracle of Darkness: As Christ is made sin for us. (23:44-45)
- The miracle of The Curtain: As Christ secured direct, unlimited access to the Father. (23:45)
- An astonishing Prayer: As Christ, the Sovereign One lays down His life. (23:46)
Again our Lord is no victim here. This is not a mistake, not a tragic turn of events, not a mission gone wrong but rather the eternal plan and purpose of God to secure for himself a people.
Come to the cross this morning and behold Christ, your sin bearer.
Look to Christ who secured for you direct, unlimited access to the Father.
See the One who willingly laid down his life for you.