The Passion of the Christ.
APRIL 15, 2022
The Passion of the Christ. Let’s talk about it on this edition of Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. Our host and teacher is Steve Brown. He’s no guru, but he does have honest answers to honest questions about the Bible. God’s grace changes everything, how we love, work, live, lead, marry, parent, evangelize, purchase and worship. So here’s Steve with street-smart Bible teaching for real life.
Thank you Matthew. If you’re just joining us, this week, Justin Holcomb and I have been sitting around the table and devotionally looking at the last week, The Holy Week and the events that took place. This is Good Friday. There’s nothing good. Well, there is, there’s lot good about it. And we’ll get into that. Why don’t you read a text and then we’ll talk about it.
Justin Holcomb: We are at Matthew 27, starting at verse 32.
As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry Jesus’ cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when he they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you’re the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He’s the king of Israel; let him come down from that cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way. And Jesus cried out with a loud voice and yielded up his Spirit.
Now see, I jumped through a little bit and wanted to get the crucifixion part of just him being there, but, and get to the point that he died. There’s, there’s more, but the whole episode is not just me reading Matthew, especially with you in the studio, with your voice and me sounding like Kermit the frog.
I’m good looking too. And you didn’t even comment on that part.
Justin Holcomb: Yes.
And that’s really hurtful.
Justin Holcomb: That’s known.
It gets old just being a pretty voice. I just want you to know that, you know one of the, I have, I saw The Passion of the Christ, the movie, and I have friends who have copies of it at home. I don’t, I can’t go through that, but one time, I mean, that was it. That was so graphic and so clear that I cried for a week. And, but the gospel writers aren’t so much graphic about it. They, I mean, they say he died and they talk about the events that are taking place, about Mary and John on Calvary, about the thieves and who was forgiven and who wasn’t. But the blood and gore, there’s not a lot of that because a lot of people were crucified and Jesus died the way we’re all gonna die. But something far, far bigger than that was going on here. Talk A little bit about that.
Justin Holcomb: Well, crucifixion was for the scum of the earth. And I mean, you alluded to it, Romans, they were masterful at doing this and they did thousands, thousands, and thousands. And there, you could actually, at one point you could have just walked down the road and seen a bunch of people lined up crucified and it’s disgusting. I mean you have people, their bodily fluids, I mean, just think of the kind of filth would happen if your body was going through the kind of shock of being. And you’re right. There’s a lot more going on than just cause the Bible doesn’t want us to focus. Well, one, the readers would have known what was happening, they didn’t need to describe it. But the focus is not on the horror of that. I mean, it does describe it and we want to get that, but because there’s something else that’s happening there, as Acts says, he was righteous and he was innocent. This is a murder of an innocent man, but it was the plan of God to deal with sin. And that’s what’s happening. So, something about the crucifixion I want to hit on before we get to atonement and some other things. The Biblical image for shame before in the Old Testament in Genesis and other places is naked, dirty or defiled, and outside the camp. And so, the three images in the Old Testament are naked, defiled and outside the camp. And the way Jesus is crucified, actually addresses all of these. He, this is a picture of shame. This is a picture of, he is stripped naked. I mean, maybe a cloth, but probably not. I mean, just the humiliation of being stripped naked, the filth, they’re throwing stuff at them. There’s spit, there’s blood, urine, feces, who knows what was just thrown on him or coming from him. And he’s, this is in a garbage heap. And so, what the beauty of the crucifixion, of Good Friday is that it took this, so we would not be naked before God, but robed in the righteousness of Christ, that we are not defiled, but we are made clean. through washing the blood of the lamb. We’re not outside the camp. We’re adopted into the King’s family. So the picture of Jesus on the cross and all of its horror of naked, filthy, outside the camp is cause he was taking on the effects of our guilt and the sin done against us. He’s dealing with sin and sin has guilt and you need a sacrifice, but there’s also the shame that comes from that. And because of that, we look at the cross and say he was treated as if he sinned and we are treated as if we were like Jesus, pure, perfect and holy. We’re called pure, perfect, holy and righteous cause that’s imputed to us, given to us. That’s some great news because we need to be able to deal with the shame that comes from our sin. We have shame because of the sins we’ve committed. We feel shame from those, but also because of the sins committed against us. And Jesus deals with that and the cross is a centerpiece of that. The other piece about the cross is guilt. We’re guilty. And the whole image of the Old Testament was sacrifice. There needs to be a sacrifice of the wrath of God is going to this substitute, who’s going to die in your place. And you’d have the priest in Leviticus 16 place the hands on the animal and transferring the guilt. And so, in another sense, Jesus is the sacrifice for our sins. That’s why where our sins are forgiven and we are declared righteous, that the wrath of God, all of God’s no, on the cross all of God’s no is being poured out on Jesus. That way it’s not going to be poured out on us. For those of us who were in Christ. There’s no more. There’s an illustration in one of our friends, Paul Zahl writes about this, you know, two men are out duck hunting, I think. They’re doing something, and there’s a brush fire, and it’s going to take over. And you probably told them this illustration, knowing how well you guys are friends and share stories. And they were going to try to outrun the fire, they realized the winds coming too hard and we can’t outrun the fire. So the hunter just gets his lighter out and, and lights a fire right in front of them. And the guys are going, what are you doing lighting a fire? We’re trying to get away from a fire. And he lights a fire and the fire that he makes burns all of the dry grass that’s there. And then he puts it out and then he stands there. And as the fire that that could not outrun, overtakes them, they realized the fire, that place has already been burned. And the fire is going to go around them. The picture of what’s happening with Jesus, all of God’s no and wrath for you, if you’re in Christ has been poured out on Jesus, there’s no more no for you. And we’re always waiting for that other shoe to drop. The other no, is there an ounce of God’s displeasure, an ounce of his no? Not if you’re in Christ because that’s all, he dumped the whole bucket of no. So, all we got is yes and blessing, we get the blessing of the covenant eternal life and blessing, all of that stuff because of the cross. That’s why the cross is not just a sentimental, like, I guess he loves us. So, he died. That’s a weird way to show love. Hey honey, I love you. I’m going to go kill myself. Like, it’s not just in some type of sentimental thing. There’s something going on. A price was paid. And our shame is covered. So, I’ll stop there because I could keep on preaching.
Oh, and you should. That’s, by the way, if you’re listening, you’re flipping across the dial and you heard us talking and you said to yourself, you know, they sound sane, but what they’re saying is crazy. You just heard the best news you’ll ever hear. And before you go to bed tonight and I don’t care what anybody else tells you. This is so simple, a child can do it. Listen to what Justin just said, and then get down and in the best way you can say, Lord, I heard an old guy and a young guy talking about what you had done on the cross and it sounded so good. And I’m so messed up. Would you accept me that way? That’s it. And if you do that, he will, I promise. And, you ought to let us know and we’ll send you some stuff that’ll be helpful. Now, do you want to sing Just As I Am and we will invite people to come forward?
Justin Holcomb: Not yet.
Not yet. There’s more.
Justin Holcomb: I’ve got one more thing.
Okay. Let’s talk about it.
Justin Holcomb: Let’s talk about it. So, we just talked about how the cross is a picture of shame and how God deals with shame and because of Jesus’ experience that he gets it, we’re not naked, dirty, and outside of the camp. We’re also guilty. He deals with that. This is also where Jesus is a Victor. This is the irony, is the Lord is crucified. Crucifixion is for the scum of the earth. And somehow this is also his throne. So Revelation 5, the picture is a slain lamb on a throne. And so, I’m thinking of Romans 5 or Revelation 5, a slain lamb on a throne, on a king’s throne. But when you read like Hebrews 2, Hebrews 2 is amazing. It says that by the power of the cross, Jesus conquered Satan, who has the power of the fear of death. This is victory at the same exact time. This is not just a funeral dirge. This is also a victory moment where because he, because of the resurrection, but because of his death on the cross and his resurrection, which we celebrate in a few days. The fear of death is no longer anything we worry about. We still weep at death. We’re still angry at death. It’s not the way it’s supposed to be, but the fear of death for those who were in Christ, it’s teeth have been kicked in, to think of Paul mocking death. Death where’s your sting? Well, the Paul can talk like that because Jesus is conquering death and he has taken the major tool that Satan has. Read hebrews 2 everybody, Hebrews 2, the one who has the fear of death, the evil one, no longer has power because Jesus kicked in the teeth of the fear of death because he overcame death. And if you’re in him, you will live for forever. So, shame is fixed, guilt is fixed, fear of death is fixed because it’s a sacrifice, but it’s also a victory.
Oh man. That’s so good. It’s like what Tony Campolo says, it’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming. And, that’s what we’re headed for. You know, that’s why Good Friday really is good. It’s good news. It’s amazing news. It’s old news. And it’s your news. If you want to make it that way, it’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming. And a good prayer to pray is Lord, remind me in the darkness of the light. Remind me in the pain about the joy. Remind me in the tears, the laughter. And the victory. You think about that. Amen.