The Weight of Glory
A continuation of our sermon series in Matthew: The Messiah of Promise
32 As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36 Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37 And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38 Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. 51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” 55 There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, 56 among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
This is one of the most amazing passages in the Gospels. It shows us 3 things. One that we all iin our sinful hearts can and do reject and mock God and Jesus. Secondly, it gives us this amazing statement regarding Jesus’ Father rejecting Him as a result of the sin of the world that He would bare on our behalf. And lastly, it demonstrates the beauty and veracity of the person of Christ as we behold Him like this soldier who changed his position late in the day saying, “Truly this is the Son of God.” The same would be true for one of the criminals Jesus was crucified with since John reminds us that one of them changed their mind also too. A fallen heart hates God, but those that are touched by Jesus and who He is, and what He has done; the truth of His being and His work enlarges in our minds and hearts. We are also shown here that Jesus “Yielded up His Spirit” it was never taken from Him. French Philosopher, and hater of Jesus said that this account is proven false because Jesus would not have died of crucifixion in that short of a period, but this is ignorant of the fact that no one had taken Jesus’ life, He willfully gave it up on our behalf. And when He did the Temple’s curtain split in two, showcasing the reality that the gap between God and man was now removed in Christ.
- Why does our unbelieving heart hate God and Jesus?
- Why do people like mocking God?
- In what way(s) was Jesus able to persuade those around Him of His glory?
- What is the significance of the curtain splitting in 2?