Read the crucifixion story: John 19:1- 20:18
Isaiah 53:7-9 “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth:
he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb,
so he openeth not his mouth. (8) He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who
shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the
transgression of my people was he stricken. (9) And he made his grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit
in his mouth.”
Today we celebrate Easter. For many in business this is a time to
merchandise and make gain. For others it is a day that eggs are boiled, colored and
hidden for our children to find. Still others would look to have family gather for fellowship
and food. To the child of God Easter means something totally different. It is the day we
celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This morning I want us
to consider Jesus as He suffered the cross. Together we will ruminate about Jesus as
he was on the cross.
Have you ever been accused of something you did not do? If you grew up in a home
with at least one sibling you definitely know what I am talking about. My parents were
very good at getting to the truth but oh how I dreaded that time from possible accusation
to the time that justice was properly served. I can remember how stressful it was as I
would plead my case that I was innocent.
Sometimes, we will read or hear about someone that was wrongly convicted. Much of
the time those wrongly convicted will spend years and even decades in prison. How
does this happen. In America today, there are at least six ways to be wrongfully
convicted. The first is to be misidentified by an eyewitness. This is the leading cause of
conviction. The other are; unvalidated forensic science, false confessions, jailhouse
informant testimony, police and prosecutorial misconduct, a poor defense lawyer and
That is what happened to Jesus some 2,000 years ago. He had not done anything
wrong. He had not committed any crimes. He had not hurt anyone. But those that were
in authority had decided he had to die. In order to do this, they had to make him guilty
so they falsely charged him and moved him from hearing to another. In the end they
were successful. Jesus was crucified on a cross between two thieves. But He did not
deserve to be there.
There is a common proclamation of those that have been wrongly accused. It goes
something like this, “I did not do it. I am not guilty. You have got the wrong person. They
are lying.” This is our normal human response. I can be very quiet at times but if this
were to happen to me, I would be talking to anyone and everyone that listen, explaining to them that I had been wrongly accused. But there was something different about
Jesus, the Bible tells us that…
1. He was silent.
“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as
a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not
his mouth.” Verse 7.
Someone said, “sometimes you are known by what you do not say.” Consider that
hundreds of years later this prophesy of Isaiah was fulfilled by Jesus as he was being
accused. We find these fulfillments of prophecy in the gospels. “But Jesus held his
peace…” Matthew 26:63. “And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he
answered nothing.” Matthew 27:12. “But he held his peace, and answered nothing.”
Mark 14:61. “But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.” Mark 15:5.
“Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.” Luke 23:9.
“And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But
Jesus gave him no answer.” John 19:9.
Jesus was standing before Pilate and Caiaphas as they accused Him and yet He did
not present a defense for Himself. It is interesting to note that Caiaphas had already
made up his mind about Jesus but Pilate had not.
Peter used Jesus as an example of how we are to respond when someone attacks our
faith when he wrote in 1 Peter 2:21-23, “For even hereunto were ye called: because
Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (22)
Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: (23) Who, when he was reviled,
reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him
that judgeth righteously:”
When we are insulted our natural inclination is to return insult for insult. But Jesus never
said a word. He was scourged, had a crown of thorns pushed into His head, had nails
driven into His hands and His feet, was spat on and cursed at, yet He never said a
If you ever want to know who you really are, just let someone mistreat you or mistreat
someone that you love. I am reminded of the saying, “love me, love my dog.” How many
times have you witnessed a normally calm person rise up in anger when someone has
misspoken or said something mean to or about their children? Many times, the real test
of our faith is what we do not do. Sometimes as a child of God, instead of saying
something, you should say nothing at all.
Jesus was silent and never responded to his accusers. Consider this is the same Jesus
that said, “…All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Matthew 28:19. He
could have called 10,000 legions of angels to Himself and yet He was silent. As Martin
Luther King Jr. once said, “We must say to our enemies, I love you. I would rather die
than hate you.” That is why Jesus was silent as He suffered the cross. He was doing it for all of mankind because He loves us. Not only was He silent as He suffered the cross
2. He Was Unjustly Sentenced.
“He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation?
For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was
he stricken.” Verse 8.
The Jewish leaders were determined to kill Jesus. They paid Judas 30 pieces of silver
and arrested Jesus by cover of night. Where were the protestors that Jesus was
innocent? Who came to His defense? The answer is no one. Romans put him to death.
Isaiah said about Jesus that, “…he was cut off out of the land of the living:” Simply put,
Isaiah was saying that Jesus was a young man when he died. Jesus had only been on
the earth, in human form, for a little more than thirty years.
If we were discussing someone that had died in their early thirties, we would probably
say something like, “they died before their time.” “They had so much potential.” “They
were destined for greatness.” That was not the case with Jesus Christ.
There has been only one person in the history of the world that never left behind any
unfinished business, the Man Christ Jesus. Remember when Jesus died, He said, “…It
is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30. He
successfully completed the work that He came to do. Jesus paid the full price for our
sins. The work of salvation had been completed. That is the “finished work” of Jesus
Christ. There was nothing more that Jesus could do. There is nothing we can do. He
has died and now…
3. He Made His Grave with the Wicked.
“And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had
done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.” Verse 9.
This begs the question, “How can Jesus be buried with the wicked and yet be rich in His
death?” Sometimes you wonder as the men of God penned the words provided them by
the Holy Spirit if they considered their meaning. It is easy to understand that a wicked
person would be buried in obscurity but the rich are buried and given headstones or
How then, could Jesus be counted with both the wicked and the rich in His burial? R. T.
Kendall, a Baptist preacher said that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy three ways: First,
when Barabbas, a genuine criminal, was set free, and Jesus quite literally died in his
place. Second, when He died alongside of the two criminals who were also crucified
that day at Calvary. Third, when He died for sinners everywhere by taking their iniquity
upon Himself. “…and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6. “But
God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the
ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:5.
Jesus lived a sinless life but upon His death was to be buried with the wicked but he
was actually buried in the tomb of a rich man, Joseph of Arimathea, Matthew 27:57-60.
Again, you have the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy in Jesus Christ.
So, how was Jesus to die?
4. He Was Bruised
Isaiah 53:10-12 “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when
thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his
days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. (11) He shall see of the
travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant
justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. (12) Therefore will I divide him a portion
with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out
his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin
of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
These three verses answer the question, “Why did Jesus die?” Each verse gives us one
part of the answer. We already listed the first part of the answer, He was bruised.
According to the Bible God takes responsibility for the death of Jesus Christ. “Yet it
pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief:” Is there one parent among us
that would take pleasure in putting their son to death? Yet is was the will of God that He
bruise His own Son. It was the will of God that His Son should be put to grief.
Revelation 1:18 reminds us, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive
for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
We must understand that the death of Jesus is not the end of the story. In fact, it is just
5. He Shall Be Satisfied.
“He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my
righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” Verse 11
After He has suffered, He shall see and shall be satisfied. Not only was there physical
suffering of our Lord, He experienced emotional suffering as well. Consider Matthew
26:39, “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my
Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou
wilt.” Jesus was fully aware of the physical pain, torment and death He would ultimately
suffer. This caused Him emotional suffering knowing beforehand what was about to
happen to Him.
The key to verse 11 is, “He shall see the travail of his soul…” Just as a mother travails
in giving birth, going through death’s gate, Christ knew the travail of His soul would cause many to be justified. Romans 3:28 says, “Therefore we conclude that a man is
justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
In an interview Michael Bloomberg said, “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to
heaven I am not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my
place in heaven. It is not even close.”
Whether you are a billionaire or the poorest of sinners going to heaven has nothing to
do with our goodness. The only way to heaven is to admit that you do not deserve to go
there. You must confess your sin to God and call upon His mercy by faith to save you.
6. He will be Given a Portion of the Spoil
“Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the
strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the
transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the
Because of His suffering, the servant shall be exalted. In military terms God says that
Jesus will divide the spoils of victory. Like a soldier returning triumphantly from the
battle. What does He mean when He says, “…and he shall divide the spoil with the
strong…” The strong are those that have been justified.
By way of illustration, recall the story of David and Goliath. David fought for the
Israelites and Goliath fought for the Philistines. David won and when he did the whole
army of Israel won with him. David won the battle and the Israelites shared the spoils of
victory. It is the same with Jesus and us. It has been said, “The devil could not stop
Him. The cross could not defeat Him and the grave could not hold Him.
Philippians 2:8 tells us, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and
became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” It is because of that truth
that God has exalted His Son to the very highest level. So that one day every knee shall
bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Read Philippians 2:9-11.
As we draw near to the end of this message the reader must consider what Easter truly
means to them. Jesus was the only righteous man to have ever lived upon the face of
this earth. In all my years I have been witness to many persons with different degrees of
moral integrity but I have never seen a perfect man outside of the Word of God. His
reward for living a perfect life was the Cross of Calvary. But He did it on purpose as
stated in Romans 5:8. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were
yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Make note of the word “yet” as Christ died for us while
we were sinners. You know why He did? Because that is the only way sinners can be
So, Easter, what does that mean to me? How does it benefit me to know that the
celebration of Easter truly means that we are remembering the death of someone who
died 2,000 years ago?
If I have not made it clear, let me do so now. Easter is not just about remembering the
death of Jesus Christ, but rejoicing in His power over death, hell and the grave and
rejoicing in His resurrection. You see Christ is risen; He is risen indeed. He is the
conqueror over death, hell and the grave. He is the giver of New Life, He provides
Living Water, He is the Justifier.
I have heard it said by preachers that, the door to heaven is marked, “For Sinners Only.”
If you are a sinner, you can come in. Christ died for sinners like you and me. “Come
now, let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be
as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18.
God promises that, “…the blood of Jesus Christ his Son Cleanseth us from all sin.” 1
Rejoice today in the Risen Savior. Remember what it cost Him.