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Luke 23:13-46


Intro: When we read the account of the death of Jesus on the cross, there is always a question that forms in my mind: that question is, Why? Why did Jesus leave Heaven to be born in Bethlehem? Why did the Creator come in the image of the creature, live in poverty, be rejected by those He came to save and then die a cruel death on the cross? Why?

Well, Jesus Himself answered that question the night before He died. If there had ever been any doubt as to why He came to this world, it was dispelled forever as He and His disciples observed the Passover together in the upper room. Look in Luke 22:19-20. There we find two small, seemingly insignificant words that solve the riddle as to why He came to die. Those words are: "for you". Jesus came for you. Jesus died for you and Jesus rose again for you. That is why He did what He did: just for you!

With that in mind, let's look into our text today and consider what He did just for you.


A. V. 18-23 See Him Rejected - (Ill. John 19:4-7; 34-43) The very people He came to redeem and deliver from their sin and bondage were the ones who turned their backs upon Him, fully and finally, John 1:11.

B. V. 35-39 See Him Ridiculed - (Matt. 27: 39-44) With one accord, His enemies mocked and ridiculed the King of Kings. Yet, He did not revile them! He endured their cruel mockeries because that was part of the price He was destined to pay for you and me, 1 Pet. 2:23; Isa. 53:7. (Note: It is interesting to recall what the Lord said about those who sinned against Him, Psa. 2:4; Pro. 1:26. The Lord promised to mock and laugh at those who sided with sin against Him. However, as part of the plan to redeem the lost, Jesus became a laughing stock before those He came to redeem! What irony! What utter depravity that would laugh at the Creator as He died for the creature.)

C. V. 34, 40-43 See Him Respond - When the Lord did open His mouth on the cross, it was not to condemn or to revile His enemies. When He spoke, He did so with compassion and love. He opened His mouth to pray for His attackers. He opened His mouth to salvation to a lost soul. He spoke to give comfort to a tormented mother. He spoke to give peace to fallen me. (Note: One word from His lips had brought light into being. One word from that cross could have abolished every molecule in the universe from existence. Yet, He responded in love! What grace! Grace that continues to this very day, Rom. 5:20!)


A. See His Crown - (Matt. 27:27-31) Never did a King wear such a cruel crown of mockery and infamy! Yet, He allowed Himself to be crowned as an amusement to the soldiers, because He was in fact a King! A King Who one day would wear many crowns upon His lovely head, Rev. 19:12. (Note: Those thorns were emblems of the curse that had come upon this world because of sin. As such they were symbolic of that for which He was dying on the cross. He died to remove the curse of sin from man and from the entire universe. He wore that thorny crown that day so that He might wear a royal crown in the future. He wore that crown for you and for me!)

B. See His Cross - (John 19:16-17) Never did a King occupy such a gruesome throne as He occupied that day! To die on the cross was to die the death of One cursed, Gal. 3:13. It was to die the most painful of deaths. It was to writhe in agony one a rough piece of wood, after having been beaten with a scourge, after having been tried and convicted, after having been beaten by the soldiers, after having been mocked and made to bear your cross to the place of your execution. It was a horrible death! Yet, it was this death that He was destined to die. Isaiah the prophet wrote of His death, Isa. 53:4-6. David the Psalmist wrote of His death, Psa. 22:1-18. It was a death reserved for Him before the world was ever framed together, Rev. 13:8. It was a death that He went to willingly, humbly and expectantly, John 18:37; Mark 10:45; Phil. 2:5-8. He occupied that throne for you!

C. See His Cause - (Luke 22:19-20; Rom. 5:8) Never did a King have such a noble cause as did Jesus when He set out on His crusade against sin. He went to the cross for others! Not people like, but for sinners! Not people who could repay Him, but for those to whom He could offer salvation freely, Isa. 55:1; Rev. 22:17. Not for the righteous, but for the dregs of humanity, Luke 5:32. He did what He did for people who were His sworn enemies! He did what He did for you and for me! He did what He did so that we might be able to come to an old-fashioned altar, fall on our knees, confess and repent of our sins and receive Him into our lives as our Savior. He died to open the door of salvation wide for you and for me.


A. See Him Redeeming - Matt. 27:45-46 As Jesus hung on the cross, something mysterious and divine took place. The sky was darkened and the precious Lamb of God literally became the sin of the entire world, 2 Cor. 5:21. He did not just take our sins upon Himself, He literally became our sin on that cross! God judged Jesus as if He were the literal sins that you and I were born in and commit day after day. God saw His Son as if He were my wretched sins and He was subjected to the wrath of God on the cross. His work on the cross opened the way to God, Matt. 27:51, (Ill. The veil in the Temple had stood as a barrier between God and man for centuries, Heb. 9:7, Lev. 16:2. Jesus removed all the barriers!) His work on the cross extinguished the wrath of God toward the sins of the elect and now those who are in Jesus are forever free from the threat and dread of an eternity in Hell fire! All because He won our victory on the cross.

B. See Him Rejoicing - John 19 30 You might not think of the cross as a place of rejoicing, but if you had been there that day, you would have listened as Jesus made seven utterances from the cross. Each time He moved His parched lips and breathed out the words He endured pain and deepened His agony. However, near the end of His time of the cross, when He knew that the way to God had been opened by the payment of the redemption price, He opened His mouth and spoke three simple words that still echo throughout the halls of eternity. He said: "It is finished!" As I have mentioned before, this was not the cry of a defeated Man! He did not say "I am finished!" This was not the cry of One Who had given up short of His goal of redeeming the human race. He did not say, "You are finished!" This was the cry of One Who had achieved true victory! He said, "It is finished!" When He did, it was the cry of a Champion! Just as a mighty lion will roar after he has made a kill, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah roared His great cry of victory so that you and I might know that there is hope! (Note: I have shared with you what this word means in the original and how it was used. But, if you will allow me, I want to share it again, because it is so precious and rich in its meaning to all believers.

1. A Servant's Word - Used when a task had been completed.

2. A Priest's Word - Used when a sacrificial animal was found to be worthy.

3. A Farmer's Word - Used when a perfect specimen had been born into the flock.

4. An Artist's Word - Used when the final touches had been applied to a masterpiece.

5. A Merchant's Word - Used when a deal had been struck and all the haggling had ended. Its usage meant that both parties were satisfied.

You see, the cross for Jesus wasn't a time of defeat and doom. It was a time of joy and anticipation, Heb. 12:2. He rejoiced when the battle was won, let us never be ashamed of what He accomplished on the cross! Let us rather glory in the cross of Jesus and bless His holy Name that He loved sinners to that depth and degree, Gal. 6:14.)

C. See Him Resurrecting - Matt. 28:1-6 Thank God His story does not end with Him hanging dead on a cross! No, three days after His death, He arose from the dead to become the first fruits, 1 Cor. 15:20, from the dead for you and me. He is the promise of eternal life for all who trust in Him.

D. See His Reigning - After He arose, He ascended back to Heaven and sat down at the right hand of His Father in glory, Acts 1:9-11; Heb. 10:12. There He lives today as out Intercessor with the Father, Heb. 7:25. From there, He will return some day to receive His bride unto Himself and take her home to Heaven, John 14:1-3. From there, He will return to establish His kingdom upon this earth, Rev. 19:11-21. (Note: What I am trying to say is that the same Jesus Who came from Heaven to this earth to die on the cross, is the same Jesus Who sits in Heaven today awaiting that moment when He will return to claim His people. He is the same One Who offers salvation to all who will come to Him by faith. He is the One Who died for you and if you will come to Him, He will save you by His grace and give you eternal life in Heaven!)

Conc: Just for you! That is why the King of Glory left Heaven, was born in Bethlehem, lived in poverty, died in shame and agony and arose in victory. He did it just for you! He did all that He did so that you might simply call on Him by faith and be saved by His grace. He did what He did just for you so that you might miss Hell and enter Heaven.

In fact, what He did provided the only way that anyone has or ever will be saved. What He did for you open an exclusive way into a saving relationship with God, John 14:6; Acts 4:12.

He did all that He did just for you. What have you done about in your own life? Have you trusted Jesus as your Savior? If not, you can by coming to Him by faith right now. If you have, then how long has it been since you said "Thank You!"?

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