*THE GUILT, THE GRACE, THE GLORY*
According to the scripture read, this is the day of the crucifixion of Christ. A lot has taken place in a short time. Just 33 ½ yrs before, God Immanuel was born of a virgin in a stable. 3 ½ years before this day Jesus Christ began His earthly ministry. During that time He healed the blind, the cripple walked, the deaf were made to hear, the dead was raised, the hungry was fed, storms were made calm, the sinful were forgiven, but now He is being crucified, put to death between two thieves.
(I Pet 3:18 Read)
*Three hanging that day between heaven and earth:
One dying in sin
One dying because of sin
One dying for sin
*Much has taken place during the early morning hours before Jesus was led to Golgotha Hill.
*He had been questioned, beaten, spit upon, His beard plucked from His face, dressed in a royal robe and mocked.
*Now hanging upon the cross, He is stripped before all, His robe gambled for as people mocked Him. (vs 35-37 Read)
*According to scripture both thieves also mocked Him. (Mark 15:32) “and they that were crucified with Him reviled Him”
*Yet thru all this Jesus cried out to God for all those people (vs 34 Read).
1) Before He said “I thirst” he said “forgive them”
2) Before He said “My God, my God why has thou forsaken me” he said “forgive them”
3) Before He said “Father into Thy hands I commend My spirit” he said “forgive them”
*Because of this cry of love, of compassion, of mercy, a thief’s heart is broken and his eyes opened.
(Three things to notice about this thief):
(1) His Guilt.
*He was out of Christ that morning (vs 39-41 Read)
*This same man earlier that morning was mocking and ridiculing Jesus the same as the others, but now sees himself guilty and condemned justly.
*Sin brings guilt to:
1) To the married man or woman in adultery there is the guilt of betraying their spouse.
2) To the drunkard there is the guilt of hurting family.
*To those who have not believed upon the Son of God, there is the guilt, the condemnation of unbelief (John 3:18 Read)
(2) His Grace
*He was in Christ at noon.
*This man in the previous verse recognized his own guilt and unworthiness to live.
*But in Jesus Christ he saw hope, peace, forgiveness and life.
*Though he once mocked Jesus to save him from the cross: he now asked Jesus to save him by the cross (again read I Pet 3:18).
(3) His Glory
*He was with Christ at evening (vs 43 Read)
*This thief condemned by man and without God who faces eternity in hell and anguish separated from the Lord, will now be with Him beholding the glory of Jesus for all eternity.
(John 14:1 Read)
*We don’t know much about this man, we do know he probably had a mother and father somewhere that loved him very much but maybe he was told he could never come home again because he was a thief.
*But now he has found him a new home. He has gone from quilt to glory by Jesus Christ.
*THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE*
According to (Matt 26) Jesus had come to the house of Simon the leper, but I believe he had been healed before this time. John tells us that the person doing the serving was Martha and Lazarus who had been raised from the dead was present. When the meal is completed, Mary took a very expensive ointment and anointed Jesus as preparation of His death.
*The ointment is in reality a very costly perfume, equal to a year’s wages.
*Mary’s sacrifice proved that she thought there was nothing too good for her Lord.
(Three thoughts on sacrifice:)
(1) What is sacrifice? Dictionary defines it in various ways:
1) The act of offering the life of a person or animal in the place of another.
2) Selling or giving up something for far less that it’s value.
3) In baseball a person sacrificing himself in order to advance a runner.
*A sacrifice means different things to different people.
*I read a story of a father who, through great sacrifice, gave his daughter a very generous weekly allowance on the condition that she keep good records of how she spent it. At the end of the month he inspected her expenditures and noticed that about 25% of her money spent was list as OTLK. He asked his daughter about this. “Well, its this way, sometimes I forgot to write it down immediately and when I did go to record it, I could not remember the exact amount so I wrote OTLK.” The father asked “But what does OTLK means”. She replied “Only The Lord Knows”.
*This is also true when it comes to sacrifice. We think we have sacrificed but the Lord knows.
(Psalms 4:5) “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness and put your trust in the Lord.”
To live righteously means we must sacrifice some of the activities of this world.
(2) What constitutes a sacrifice?
*In order for a sacrifice to be classified as such, it requires three things:
1) It must be freely given. If you are forced to do something it is not freely given.
(Psl54:6) “I will freely sacrifice unto thee, I will praise thy name, O Lord, for it is good.”
*A sacrifice from an unwilling heart will not be accepted.
2) A sacrifice must be completely given.
*We have too many “Let’s make a deal” Christians. God is not looking for your ability but for your availability. We cannot try to meet God halfway. He doesn’t work that way. (Rom 12:1 Read)
(Mark 12) “widow who gave all she had”
3) A sacrifice must be given at cost
*It may not be much of a sacrifice to give $100.00 but what if asked to give $1000.00. (II Sam 24) King David has a tremendous desire to make a sacrifice to the Lord to save Israel from God’s judgment. He sees a great estate of a man named Araunal and seeks to buy it. After hearing what David wanted it for the man tries to give it to him plus the animals but David refuses and answers (vs 24 Read).
(3) Does Jesus’ sacrifice meet these requirements?
*Let us look and see if the sacrifice that Jesus made at Calvary qualifies.
1) Was His sacrifice freely given? (John 10:15 Read)
*Could Jesus have come down from the cross? Listen to His words in (Matt 26:52,53 Read)
*His love for us caused Him to freely lay down His life.
2) Was His sacrifice completely given? (Rom 5:6-8 Read)
*Even though we did not love Jesus, even though God knew that we would reject Him, He laid down His life.
(Heb 10:5) “A body thou has prepared for me”
3) Was His sacrifice given at cost?
(Matt 20:28) “Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give His life a ransom for many.”
(I Tim 2:6) “Who gave Himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time.”
*We understand ransom, when a person is kidnapped and a person demands money to release them. Satan holds men in bondage, Jesus paid the price to set us free.
4) Christ’s sacrifice is that it required the shedding of blood. (I Pet 1:18-20 Read)
*It cost Jesus the gold of His blood to bring about our salvation.
(Heb 9:22) “and without shedding of blood is no remission”
Beloved: Whether you realize it or not, you have broken God’s law (Rom 3:23) “for all have sinned” and punishment is demanded. But the law allows for an innocent substitute.
(Jesus Christ stepped out of eternity and died for you. The Ultimate Sacrifice.)