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Luke 23:33-47 A PLACE CALLED CALVARY

Intro: There were many places that played a part in our Lord’s earthly life. There was Bethlehem, Bethany, Nazareth and Jerusalem. There were the Judean hillsides and the shores of the Sea of Galilee. There were the synagogues in the villages and the great temple at Jerusalem. Those places were important places in the life of Jesus, but they were merely steps along the path to the place mentioned in our text today.

Every step Jesus took in His earthly life was leading Him to the place the Greeks called “Topos Kranion; the Hebrews called it Golgotha; and the Romans called Calvary. It was known to all as The Place of the Skull. All through the Gospels, Jesus had said this was His destiny, Matt. 16:21; 17:22-23; 20:28; 26:2. The very morning of His death, He told Pontius Pilate that Calvary was the place He was going, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world…,” John 18:37.

I would like for us to travel back to A Place Called Calvary. As we do, I want to point out three facts about that place which make it a special place different from all others. Join me today as I preach about A Place Called Calvary.

 

I. v. 33 IT WAS A PLACE OF UNBELIEVABLE TORMENT

   v. 33 the phrase where they crucified Him condenses over 18 hours of suffering into four words. Here is what He suffered during those hours.

   He had been arrested, tried and convicted in a mock trial. False witnesses had been called against Him and He had been abused by the Temple guards, Mark 14:65.

   He had been taken to Pilate where He was abused by Pilate’s soldiers: Scourged – Mark 15:15 (Ill. The Scorpion); Beaten – Matt. 27:27-35, John 19:2-5; Spit upon – Matt. 26:67, 27:30; Beard pulled out – Isa. 50:6; Crowned with thorns – Mark 15:17; Mocked – Mark 15:17-20.

   He was sentenced to die and suffered along the Via Dolorosa, (The Way of Suffering – 650 yards long). He carried His cross, (Ill. Patibulum, or cross bar – 110 pounds) John 19:17. (Ill. Simon of Cyrene Matt. 27:32.)

   He suffered at Calvary: He was nailed to the cross, Mark 15:25 (Nails were 7” long and 3/8” in diameter). The nails through the median nerve would cause massive spasm to wrack His body.

   He submitted Himself to the horrible death of the cross – Phil. 2:5-8; John 10:17-18. (Ill. Death by crucifixion!)

   Why? 1.) To demonstrate God’s love – Rom. 5:8; 2.) To destroy sin – Heb. 9:26; 3.) To defeat Satan, 1 John 3:8. (Ill. Napoleon & red spot.) He did it for you! (1 Cor. 15:3-4; Luke 22:20) (Ill. Isa. 53:4-6)

 

II. v. 34-38 IT WAS A PLACE OF UNSPEAKABLE TRAGEDY

   In every account of the death of Jesus in the Gospels, one little pronoun keeps appearing. It is the pronoun “they. Just a quick glance at this text gives us a glimpse into the heart of the people. 1.) v. 18 They chose Barabbas over Jesus; 2.) v. 21 They cried for His death; 3.) v. 23 They were determined to see Him dead; 4.) v. 25-26 They lead Him away to His death; 5.) v. 35 They even mocked Him as He died.

   What did He do to deserve this treatment? All He had ever done was good. He had healed their sick; raised their dead; fed their hungry; and told them the truth. Yet, they rejected Him and demanded that He be put to death, John 19:14-15.

   What makes this so tragic is the fact that Jesus was their Messiah. They had waited for Him, looked for Him and prayed for Him for 4,000 years and when He came they refused to bow to Him. Isa. 53:1-3; John 1:11. (Ill. Everything they did pointed to Him!)

   As tragic is that is, it is just as tragic that people still reject Him today. He is the only hope of salvation, Acts 4:12; John 14:6. Yet, people still mock Him, curse Him and refuse Him. How could such love be refused? (Ill. Heb. 10:29 - Why would anyone say “No?)

   Friend, He loves you! Have you returned His love? Ill. How?

 

III. v. 39-47 IT WAS A PLACE OF UNEQUALED TRIUMPH

   Yet, all was not tragedy that day! Yes, Jesus suffered a more horrible death than we can even imagine. But, He also accomplished something of eternal importance.

   It was a place of triumph for one of the thieves, Luke 23:39-43. It was a place of triumph for the Centurion as well, Luke 23:47. But, it was a place for “whosoever will.

   When Jesus died on that cross, He literally became sin, 2 Cor. 5:21. As sin, He was judged by God, Matt. 27:46. When Jesus died on the cross, He paid for the sins of everyone who will place their faith in Him for salvation.

   His triumph was so complete that He was able to declare salvation’s plan finished forever with His dying breath, John 19:30. (Ill. telestai Servants; Priest; Farmer; Artist; Merchant; Homeowner; and Soldier.) (Ill. May have been a whisper, but…)

   It is finished, now there is nothing to do but believe! You see, He died, but He rose again three days later, Matt. 28:1-6. Now, He lives forever to make salvation available to all who will come to Him by faith, Heb. 7:25; Rev. 1:18. (Ill. Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:13; John 3:16) (Ill. Not about what you can do, but what He has done!)

 

Conc: Ill. Never been to Calvary. Never seen the place of the skull! I have seen that place by faith! How about you? Salvation was purchased at Calvary, it can become yours today, Rev. 22:17; Matt. 11:28.

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