The Christ of Calvary
This was one of the most tragic days in all of history; a day of man’s greatest hate but the day of God’s greatest Love. Notice some important things about the Christ of Calvary.
I. Man of Courage.
I know that some have depicted Christ as a very feminine man with long, flowing, golden hair; a face with delicate feminine features, soft and fragile. BUT, He was Every Bit a MAN! Jesus was not feminine, not dainty, not delicate and fragile. He was a Man of Strength and Courage.
Its amazing what our Lord went through physically:
- Prayed all night; was arrested illegally in early morning hours; was hustled off to Pilate; then from Pilate to Herod and back to Pilate. He was totally fatigued.
- Then he was beaten and scourged. A crown of thorns was pressed down into his head. He endured more beating; he was spat upon; he was reviled and abused. And, all of this punishment was Before he was actually crucified.
- He was forced to carrying his heavy, rugged, wooden cross. We never read in the Gospels that he stumbled beneath the cross or fell under its weight. Its possible that he did, but there is no Biblical account of it. It is recorded that a man named Simon was compelled to help him bear his cross.
- Then Jesus was Crucified. Nails were driven into his hands and feet; the cross raised and dropped into the placement hole.
- At this point, as was the custom during a crucifixion, someone brought him a drink, which Jewish history states was either frankincense or myrrh mingled in strong wine, for the purpose of deadening some of the pain; a pain killer, to make the pain more bearable. Both Matthew and Mark record this incident and both say that when Jesus had tasted what the drink was, he deliberately refused it. Believe what you want, but I believe he refused it because he refused to make his suffering any less by artificial means. He intended to pay the price for sin without any diminishing of the price; without any lessening of the pain that it required. He was a man of Courage and would not accept any drug to dull his senses. He was fulfilling prophecies by the score and still had much to do and say before death came. He courageously took on the Pain; took on the Suffering; took on the Torment with no Short Cuts. This was amazing Courage; especially for one who could have called for thousands of angels to come to his rescue. Jesus could have had his tormentors destroyed and he himself delivered but he endured to the end.
In Isaiah 53, we read of a man who is despised, rejected, stricken, smitten, wounded, bruised, chastised, scourged, oppressed, afflicted, cut off, his soul made an offering for sin, and the passage concludes with this verse: 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.
Yes, Jesus was a man of Courage!
II. Man of Compassion.
Never has a man loved like Jesus Christ Loved. He had already declared that there was no greater love than that of a man who would lay down his life for his friends. But Paul reminds us in Romans 5:8 that God commended his love toward us in that WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, Christ died for us.
The Account here in Luke 23 especially displays the great compassion of our Lord even when he was in incredible pain and agony.
Vs. 27,28- And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. 28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.
-33,34- And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. 34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
Some say Jesus was referring to the Roman soldiers who were just doing their duty and really did not know what a terrible thing they were doing; however, I feel that Jesus was praying not only for the actual executioners, but for the Jewish people who should have known who he was and what they were doing but really they did not.
One writer said, With this one statement, Jesus Christ reduced the charge against these people from murder to manslaughter.
-39-43- While Jesus was dying in physical agony, he had compassion on the thief who cried out to him and saved him.
Jesus was a man Compassion!
III. Man of Conquest.
While it seemed to all those present that day that Jesus was being Defeated; that his Teachings were being Defeated, that his Ministry was being Defeated, that his Followers were being Defeated, that his Purpose was being Defeated, Everyone found out that in reality Jesus Christ had not Conceded Defeat, He had Conquered. Calvary was not a Catastrophe, Calvary was A Conquest.
John 19:30 records that Jesus cried out, IT IS FINISHED. He was not saying, “I Give Up, I’m Done in, I am finished, I Surrender, I’m beat.” NO- He was not waving a white flag of surrender and defeat, He was Celebrating Victory and Triumph.
Sin Had Been Defeated.
Satan Had been Defeated.
Hell Had been Defeated.
The Sin that had separated man from God ever since the Garden of Eden (approx. 4000 years), was now conquered. No man need ever again to suffer under Sin’s terrible dominion. The Curse of Death had been conquered. The Way to Life had been created.
Mt. 27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
Sinful Man could now be reconciled to a Holy God. Saved Man now had Access to a Holy God.
The New and Living Way had been Opened. What a Conquest!
Have you taken advantage of the Victories won by this Wonderful Christ of Calvary?
His Courage, Compassion, and Conquest are your ticket to Abundant Life here on the earth & Eternal Life in the forever after.