Tonight, we remember the events of the day on which Jesus was tried, beaten, and crucified. We call this day “Good Friday” because of what it accomplished for our salvation. However, so many events surrounding this day were tragic and terrible. Consider the events of the last 24 hours.
Just the evening before, Jesus was celebrating his last Passover meal with his disciples. He washed their feet. He inaugurated the Communion meal which we will take part in later tonight.
He gave the upper room discourse in which he promises the coming ministry of the Holy Spirit, shares that he is the vine and they are the branches, and prays for them to the Father.
Jesus foretells the betrayal of Judas, and then hours later, after praying while his disciples slept, they all experience that betrayal that came with a kiss.
All of his disciples abandon him.
He endures a Kangaroo Court in the house of the High Priest.
He watches as one of his closest disciples repeatedly denies even knowing him.
This brings us to one of the most pivotal moments in the history of Creation
Chapter 27 begins with “When morning came…” But, don’t be fooled. The activities of this particular Friday will be very dark indeed.
We commemorate this day because it is perhaps the most significant in all of history. Think back to the time before there was time, before there was anything except God himself. Now think ahead to the farthest point in the future that you can imagine in the New Heavens and the New Earth in eternity. Out of all of those days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, and millennia, this particular Friday around A.D. 30 described in Matthew 27 is one of the most significant, perhaps THE most significant.
It is not only the pivotal day in Creation. It’s also the greatest day in the history of God’s plan of salvation. The events and promises that came before point to this day—this moment when God accomplishes our redemption. If we think of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation, we are right here at the point of “Redemption.”
Without the deeds of this day, there would be NO salvation, no redemption, no forgiveness of sins, no adoption into God’s family, no hope for change, no fulfillment of God’s promises for us.
As we consider the activities of this day, we’ll look at:
Father, help us see clearly what your son endured to purchase our salvation. Help us feel the weight of the price he paid for our sake. Increase our gratefulness. Increase our love for you. Increase our heart to share the good news that forgiveness of sins and eternal life are available to those who trust in you.
One of the evidences for God is the universal longing for justice. Every culture and every government has some understanding for justice.
One of the most difficult aspects of the Gospel stories is to see the incredible injustice that brought about the death of Jesus.
Matthew 27:1–2 (ESV)
Matthew 27:12 (ESV)
Matthew 27:20 (ESV)
Matthew 27:11–14 (ESV)
Pilate was amazed at how Jesus responded to the religious leaders and their accusations. Yet he still played along with their political game.
Matthew 27:15–18 (ESV)
Pilate knew that they were playing a political game, yet he did not lead righteously. Rather, he polled the crowd.
Matthew 27:21–24 (ESV)
Not only did Pilate not do the right thing, he also tried to avoid accountability and place the burden on the people.
Pilate knew that the chief priests and elders had brought Jesus before him because of their envy.
However, see how easily the crowd was persuaded to turn against Jesus, who had been teaching and doing miracles among them for years.
Matthew 27:20 (ESV)
Matthew 27:25 (ESV)
Here is a sober reminder that we are so easily influenced to do the wrong thing.
Matthew 27:15–16 (ESV)
According to Mark’s Gospel, Barabbas was a murder and insurrectionist. It’s possible that he had been scheduled for execution with the two robbers which were crucified with Jesus.
Matthew 27:26 (ESV)
Though we have a beautiful picture here for the undeserving receiving mercy because of what Christ has done, that does not remove the injustice of a murderer going free and the sinless Son of God going to his death.
We are accustomed to observing or experiencing miscarriages of justice in our fallen world. After all, in our courtrooms, we are often judging between sinners, and the case is never perfect.
That is what makes this the peak of injustice. The greatest tragedy and injustice was that the perfect, sinless one was sent to death unjustly.
Now let us consider the price of our redemption.
What is the most significant thing that you would endure for the sake of someone you love? Sadly, we typically measure this with the scale of inconvenience. Let’s adjust our scales a bit.
Would you do this even if they were NOT innocent?
Consider all that Jesus went through just in this one day alone!
Even apart from the acute suffering with Jesus is enduring on this particular day moving toward his crucifixion, we must consider what Jesus left behind to understand what he was truly experiencing.
Philippians 2:6–8 (ESV)
As I was reading this chapter over and over again, I was really struck by the audacity of those mocking Jesus. It’s bad enough that injustice is being perpetrated. But to add to that, nearly everyone involved felt free to mock the Son of God, who by one word of his mouth could call down myriads of angels against them.
He was mocked by the soldiers.
Matthew 27:27–31 (ESV)
He was mocked by the passers-by
Matthew 27:39–40 (ESV)
“If you are the son of God” sounds familiar doesn’t it? This phrase reminds us that Satan is still tempting Jesus even on the day of crucifixion. This was how he began his first two temptations in the wilderness at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.
He was mocked by the Chief Priests, scribes, and elders
Matthew 27:41–43 (ESV)
What a tempting remark. Consider the depth of love between the Father and the Son.
He was mocked by those being crucified with him.
Matthew 27:44 (ESV)
Matthew is so nonchalant about how he presents the suffering of crucifixion. He does not go into the gory details of what Christ endured.
He was scourged (vs. 26). This was whipping with a whip with many strands with glass and pieces of bone tied to them. It might have merely been 39 lashes, but the Romans didn’t necessarily have that limit. This was often done to shorten time that it would take for one to die by crucifixion, and often killed the victim.
He was given a crown of thorns and struck on the head repeatedly.
His hands and feet were pierced as he was nailed to the cross.
He was crucified.
Matthew 27:45–46 (ESV)
This is one of the deepest mysteries of the Christian faith. It’s possible that Jesus was bringing Psalm 22 to mind for himself and those that heard him. But, the exact nature of the interactions within the Trinity are difficult for us to understand.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV)
Matthew 27:50 (ESV)
It would be tragic for any person to suffer unjustly through crucifixion, but this was just any person, this was the 2nd Person of the Trinity, the Son of God.
And, he was not giving his life for good people.
Romans 5:8 (ESV)
I do want us to notice a few unexpected responses in Matthew’s telling of the Crucifixion narrative. We are certainly disappointed in what we see from the Religious leaders, but there are some surprising statements throughout.
First, we see Judas.
Matthew 27:3–4 (ESV)
Matthew 27:19 (ESV)
Matthew 27:23 (ESV)
Though the Romans were likely poking fun at the religious leaders, it is profound what they put as the charge above Jesus on the Cross.
Matthew 27:37 (ESV)
Okay, so here is a strange happening which we just can’t ignore.
Matthew 27:52–53 (ESV)
Of all the declarations, this is perhaps the most profound and surprising.
Matthew 27:54 (ESV)
Will you respond with equal certainty and greater faith than the Centurion. He declared that Jesus “was” the Son of God, but we declare that he “is” the Son of God.
Will you contemplate what Jesus endured for your sake?
Will you put your faith in this Savior who took our sins on himself to purchase our redemption?
John 3:16 (ESV)
Here are some other recent messages.
We are a church built on the Bible, guided and empowered by the Spirit, striving to make disciples, and pursuing holiness in the context of robust biblical relationships.
10am on Sundays
© 2023 Cornerstone Fellowship Church of Apex