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Amazing Love

Amazing Love

 

I.                   Our common picture of Jesus is lofty. Many times we envision a Savior who is high and lifted up, who has conquered sin and death, and who is in heaven at the right hand of God.

a.     Today I want us to focus on the humanity of Jesus, and specifically the amazing love that He had for us as He bore our sins on His cross.

 

1.     The Garden of Gethsemane: (Short lead in from the Last Supper to the Garden, Inner circle/Jesus going in alone to pour out his heart to God.)

a.     Three times Jesus prayed: Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not my will, but your will be done. Matthew 26:39.

                                                                         i.      Begging if there is any other way…

1.     Don’t let this happen to me.

2.     Don’t put me through this pain.

3.     Don’t put me through this humiliation if there is any other way.

a.     Nevertheless, not my will, but yours.

b.     Luke 22:44 - And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.     

                                                                         i.      Many theologians suggest that this a medical condition known as hemohidrosis:

1.     Hemohidrosis – Condition in which a person sweats blood.  It occurs when a person is suffering extreme levels of stress.

2.      There are numerous historical references to this especially when facing death.

a.     Leonardo da Vinci: describes a soldier who sweated blood before battle.

3.     Medically, this occurs under conditions of great emotional stress. Physically, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can rupture, and mix blood with sweat, and literally blood beings to roll down as though it is sweat.

a.     This shows how much stress Jesus was under as He thinks about giving His life for humanity.

c.      The garden reveals:

                                                                         i.      Jesus is human.

                                                                       ii.      Jesus is stressed.

                                                                    iii.      Jesus is afraid.

                                                                    iv.      But he is still willing to follow His Father’s will. (Even though that means pain, humiliation, and His death.)

                                                                       v.      Amazing Love

 

Fast forward to the trial before Pilate:

 

2.     The Scourging:

a.     Pilate gives the crowd a choice between a known insurrectionist, Barabbas, or Jesus, and the crowds cry out for Barabbas’ release and Jesus’ crucifixion.

b.     To placate the crowd Pilate has Jesus scourged.

                                                                         i.      John 18: 1-6 - Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3and went up to him again and again, saying, "Hail, king of the Jews!" And they struck him in the face. 4Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews, "Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him." 5When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!"  6As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, "Crucify! Crucify!" But Pilate answered, "You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”

                                                                       ii.      Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. (This is a short verse that many times we don’t give much thought.)

                                                                    iii.      Scourging – Eusebius - "Sometimes they were torn with scourges to the innermost veins and arteries, so that even the secret hidden parts of the body, the entrails and internal organs, were laid bare” (H.E. 15.4).

                                                                    iv.      There are numerous accounts of people dying during the scourging.  

1.     Ripping of flesh, muscle, and exposing bone.

2.     Cat of nine tails – single braded leather thongs with shards of sheep bone, or metal balls tied to the end. (Purpose was to penetrate the skin going in, and then rip coming out.)

3.     Two guards would do the scourging taking turns using the cat of nine tails to beat the victim who was tied to a post. No limit to the number of times Jesus was whipped. Romans could only receive 40 lashes.

a.     Jesus’ scourging seems to have been severe.

b.     Pilate presents Him to the crowd as though he is surprised by his scourging, and basically says He’s had enough.

c.      Jesus is unable to bear the cross to Calvary, but falls beneath the load.

d.     Jesus’ death is quick compared to the thieves who He was crucified with.

                                                                       v.      As Isaiah so beautifully says, by His stripes we are healed.

1.     What Amazing Love.

 

3.     On the Cross:

a.     The pain of the nails in His hands and feet.

b.     The dropping of the cross into a hole and suddenly being suspended between Heaven and Earth.

c.      The pain of the crown of thorn on His head, digging into His skull.

d.     The workout to breathe. (Pulling up against those nails in His hands just to get a breath of air, and then resting on the nails in His feet.) NO COMFORTABLE POSITION ON THE CROSS.

                                                                         i.      The pain is demonstrated by Jesus’ feeling that God had forsaken Him.

                                                                       ii.      His followers, except John, had forsaken Him, probably scared for their own lives.

                                                                    iii.      Peter has betrayed Him three times.

                                                                    iv.      The creator of the universe is alone with His creation screaming, "He saved others, yet He cannot save himself.”   

e.      Death by affixation or heart attack.

 

II.                Invitation: Jesus did this for you. Amazing love. Love through pain. No other way.

a.     Through His pain there is life.

b.     Through His love there is hope.

 

 

 




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