A few days ago, I woke up early in the morning with the words of the hymn, Jesus keep me near the cross, going through my spirit. I found that as I sang that song that morning, I was broken in the presence of God. I felt the Spirit of God challenging me to continue to proclaim the centrality of the cross of Christ. That “Christ died for our sins according to the Scripture and he rose again according to the scripture and was seen by many witnesses.” See 1 Cor. 15:1-10. For the very power of God is released to bring salvation as this message is preached and accepted by faith. 1Corinthians 1:18 and Romans 1:16. May God make the message real to all of us in a fresh way and then let us proclaim the message of the cross both near and far.
SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 53; Luke 23:33-47; Luke 24:1-12; Galatians 6:14; 1Corinthians 1:18, 2:1-5; 1 Corinthians 15:1-5.“And when they were come to the place called CALVARY, or (Golgotha) there they crucified Him…” Luke 23:33.“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…He was buried, and He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures”. 1 Corinthians 15:3 hat I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” Galatians 6:14.
INTRODUCTION: What really happened 2000 years ago when the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary and then rose again from the dead the third day? In this message we would like to draw your attention once again to what really happened at Calvary when Jesus was crucified on the old, rugged cross, and then rose again triumphantly from the grave 3 days later as He had promised.
A Hymn writer wrote: “Lest I forget Gethsemane;lest I forget thine agony!Lest I forget thy love for me;lead me to Calvary”!
1. CALVARY WAS THE PLACE WHERE JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED AND DIED IN OUR PLACE FOR OUR SINS.
As our text says, “And when they were come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him”. Luke 23:33. It was at Calvary (Golgotha) that the Lord Jesus Christ, the spotless Lamb of God was crucified in our place to “take away our sins as well as the sins of the whole world” (John 1:29; Isaiah 53).
Crucifixion was one of the cruelest methods of execution ever devised by sinful man. Jesus Christ who was without sin died in our place by crucifixion. Read 1 Peter 2:22-25. There is a central theme that runs through the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. It is the centrality of the cross. All the Old Testament sacrifices offered for sin pointed ahead to when Jesus would die in our place as God’s sacrificial Lamb, for the sins of the whole world. An example of this is Genesis 22 where God provided a ram to die in the place of Isaac on Mount Moriah, near to where, many 100’s of years later, Jesus would die in our place. Another example is in Exodus 12 where every household in Israel had to slay a Passover lamb and apply the blood on the doorposts of their homes. This pointed ahead and was a picture of Christ our Passover lamb. 1 Corinthians 5:7. Compare with 1 Peter 1:18-21.
The crucifixion of Jesus on the cross as our sacrificial lamb was planned before the foundation of the world (see 1 Peter 1:18-20). For God knew that all of humankind would need to be redeemed from sin. Note the phrase “lamb slain from the foundation of the world” in Revelation 13:8. I once heard Dr. E. Stanley Jones say, “there was a heart on the heart of God from eternity.”
The Old Testament Prophets also foretold our Lord’s cruel death by crucifixion in our place (Psalm 22; Isaiah 53), and Jesus also told His disciples that He would have to suffer, die, and rise again. Read Matthew 16:21; Luke 9:22; John 3:14; 12:32-33. All four Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) describe in detail our Lord’s rejection by the Elders and Chief Priests, His ‘mock’ trial before Herod and Pilate; and then His cruel execution by crucifixion, as well as His glorious resurrection.
Christ’s sacrificial death on our behalf, the shedding of His precious blood for our redemption and cleansing, as well as His glorious resurrection are emphasized throughout the New Testament. Note again what Paul the Apostle said in 1 Corinthians 15:1-5. Paul also exhorted Timothy, his spiritual son in the faith saying, “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel.” (2 Timothy 2:8).
2. CALVARY WAS ALSO THE PLACE OF A CURSE.
The Bible says, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.”) (see Deuteronomy 21:22-23), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that wemight receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:13-14). “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
2 Corinthians 5:21. When the Lord Jesus took upon Himself our sins and the sins of the whole world, He also took upon himself our guilt and judgment, and His precious blood was shed, so that we could be redeemed, justified (acquitted of guilt), and go free. He became a curse as He hung on that cruel cross, so that “we as believers can now be blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus”. Galatians 3:13-14 & Ephesians 1:3. Christ wore a ‘crown of thorns, the symbol of the curse, (Genesis 3:17-18) so that we as believers may now be blessed in Him. Both Salvation from sin and divine healing were provided for through Christ’s atoning work at Calvary. Read Isaiah 53:5-6; & 1 Peter 2:24-25.
Christ also bore our sicknesses and pain on the cross so that we might now be healed and made whole (Isaiah 53:3-5 & Mathew 8:16-17; 1 Peter 2:24-25). This includes both spiritual as well as physical healing from all the effects of the Fall in Genesis and includes our future glorified bodies at the second coming of Christ. This will be the ultimate healing.
During our Lord’s earthly ministry, He also healed the sick and diseased, and set people free from demonic oppression. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God waswith him.” (Acts 10:38). Salvation, deliverance, as well as divine healing, are included as part of the gospel to be preached in the entire world (Mark 16:15-20), and the early church carried out this commission of Christ as recorded in the Book of Acts.
Jesus Christ continues to save from all sin, as well as heal the sick and set people free from the oppression of the enemy, for “ He is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Note: We thank God for all the help that is received through doctors and nurses, hospitals, medical science, as well as natural means provided by God, to relieve pain and suffering. But Jesus Christ is still the Great Physician, and He also heals the sick in answer to believing prayer. James 5:14-16. Some may not experience healing down here, but thank God in Heaven there is no more sickness, no more pain, or suffering. This is the ultimate healing in every way, paid for by Christ on the cross. What a glorious hope. The Chorus of the Beautiful Hymn “The Healer” expresses this truth!
“He was wounded for our transgressions.He was bruised for our iniquities.Surely, He bore our sorrows!And by His stripes we are healed”(Lois Irwin)
3. CALVARY WAS ALSO THE PLACE OF DREADFUL CONFLICT (SPIRITUAL BATTLE).
We read in Luke 22:53 “But this is your hour and the power of darkness”. Satan and his hordes of demons were gathered against Jesus the Son of God that day. See also John 13:26-27. Note–Satan entered Judas who betrayed Jesus. In Psalm 22:12-16 these evil powers of Satan are described as ‘bulls ‘and ‘dogs’ who surrounded the cross where Jesus was crucified.
In Luke 22:43 we read “Then an angel appeared to Him from Heaven, strengthening Him”. Thus, we see the forces of darkness and the forces of light locked in dreadful conflict. Satan had held mankind in terrible oppressive bondage for thousands of years. Now Jesus the Captain of our Salvation went into battle that day at Calvary to defeat Satan and all his wicked hordes of evil spirits, and redeem lost, fallen, oppressed mankind from the bondage of sin and Satan.
Jesus Christ our emancipator came “to preach the Gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted: to preach deliverance to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind …. To set at liberty them that are bruised… to preach the acceptable year of the Lord… The year of Jubilee… or year of release.” (Luke 4:18-19).
But to redeem lost, fallen, enslaved mankind, it would mean a battle, indeed a battle unto death! Christ would have to go all the way to Calvary and give his life’s blood upon that cruel, rugged cross to redeem us. This is the price He had to pay! But Jesus the Son of God came into this world to redeem and save lost sinners; so, He set His face like a flint and entered that battle to win, regardless of the great cost.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you went all the way to Calvary that day in that fierce battle. We read in Colossians 2:15 “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”
4. BUT CALVARY WAS ALSO THE PLACE OF GLORIOUS CONQUEST (COMPLETE VICTORY)!!
“It is finished” was His triumphant cry that day on the cross! John 19:30. We also read in 1 John 3:8 “For this purpose was the Son of God manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil”. In Hebrews 2: 14-15 we read “In as much then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage”.
God promised in Genesis 3:15 that ‘the Seed of the Woman (the promised coming Redeemer) would bruise the head of the serpent’. NOTE AGAIN In Colossians 2:14-15 we read, “Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, Triumphing over them in it”.
In John 12:31-33, we read; “Now is the judgment of this world, now will the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, Will draw all people to myself.’ This He said signifying by what death He would die”. Jesus was here foretelling His death on the cross of Calvary and His great victory over the world and the devil. The Lord Jesus said in John 16:11 “The prince of this world is judged.”
In Ephesians 1:18- 23 Paul prayed for believers “that their spiritual understanding would be enlightened that they would come to know what is the Hope of His calling, what are the riches of the Glory of His inheritance in the Saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all”. Oh, the Glorious Conquest that day at Calvary!
Oh, what a victory Jesus won overall of Satan’s power that day at Calvary and through His glorious resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God. Jesus Christ is truly Lord today. Acts 2:32-36. He has all authority today in Heaven and in Earth. Matthew 28:18. Note the devil’s final doom: Satan the devil and his wicked fallen angels will one day be cast into the Lake of fire. See Revelation 20:10 & Matthew 25:41. In Revelation 12:7-11 we are taught that “we now overcome the devil on the basis of the shed Blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony and not loving our lives to the death”.
Yes, Calvary was indeed a place of glorious conquest and triumph! Always consider the devil as a ‘defeated foe’! Christ defeated him at Calvary, and in His resurrection and ascension. Christ’s glorious resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God confirmed (proved) that great victory! Note: However, believers need to remember that although the devil is a legally defeated foe, he continues to go about ‘as’ a roaring lion seeking to deceive, to tempt, to frustrate and discourage God’s Children. We are to “resist him steadfastly in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
We must also “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” and ‘take the whole armor of God so that we may be able to stand and withstand in the evil day’ of spiritual battle! (Ephesians 6:10-19). Note: The great victory that He won that day at Calvary, and then in His glorious resurrection, was for the benefit of us His Church which is His body.
That victory is also for each and all of us to enter and enjoy as believers in Christ. Our enemy, Satan, and his demonic hordes have been legally defeated through Christ’s death, shed blood, and glorious resurrection. Stand fast in this glorious fact by faith. “Be strong in the Lord and in the Power of His might”, and “put on the whole armor of God so that you may now stand and withstand in times of spiritual battle”. Note- Christ has also given believers the right – the authority to use ‘His Name’ in spiritual battle against the enemy and be victorious. Luke 10:17-20; Mark 16:17. See Acts 16:16-18. Today, Satan the devil, works through lies and deception. Therefore, we must know the truth, stand in truth, and preach—teach–speak the truth of God’s word.
The Importance of the Word of God: Read 2 Timothy 3 & 4. Read, memorize, obey, and PREACH THE WORD! Speak the word of God as Jesus did when tempted by the devil in the wilderness! (See Matthew 4 and Luke 4). PRAYER is also especially important in living a victorious life in Christ, and in spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:18-19. James 5:16. Jesus was in earnest prayer in the garden of Gethsemane as he faced the agony of the cross, and he was victorious against the forces of spiritual darkness. See Luke 22:39-46 & Matthew 26:36-46.
Note–Jesus exhorted His disciples saying, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18), And “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His Might” (Ephesians 6:10). Guard against fear! 2 Timothy 1:6, 7, 8. Now lost—fallen–enslaved humanity can be set free through faith in what Christ has done for them at Calvary. But all need to hear and believe this truth. You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” John 8:32. Therefore the good news about Jesus must be proclaimed to all! Mark 16:15-20; Romans 1:14-16.
5. CALVARY IS THE PLACE TO WHICH ALL MAY NOW COME BY FAITH.
• (However, we must remember that Jesus is no longer on the cross but is alive today! We now come by faith to the living Christ who died for us on the cross at Calvary and rose again and is alive forevermore!)• You can come now to Christ for cleansing from all sin through repentance and faith. The blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin. If you come to Him just as you are, He will receive you, cleanse and save you from all sin. Isaiah 1:18; 1 John 1:7-9; John 6:37.• We as believers need to remember our union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection to a new life of victory through Him. Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 6:14 also states, “But God forbid that I should boastexcept in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” See also Colossians 3:1-6 and 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.• You can also come to the Lord Jesus for healing for your body. Read Mark 16:15-20. Acts 3:1-16. James 5:14-16. He will also heal your broken heart. Luke 4:18• You can also come to the Lord Jesus for deliverance. Read Revelations 12:11; Mark 16:17; Luke 10:17-20; Acts 16:16-18; Acts 26:18; Colossians 1:13-14; James 4:6-7; 1 John 4:4; 2Timothy.1:7. (Read these Scriptures.)• We can come to Him, our ever-living High Priest, for help in time of need. Read Hebrews 4:14-16. 7:25.• We should come to Him in complete dedication. Read Romans 12:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.• We can come to Christ and receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit, the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Read these Scriptures: John 7:37-39; Acts 2:17-18; Acts 2:37-39; Galatians 3:13,14; and Ephesians 5:18.• We should come to Him and dedicate ourselves for His service. Each of us has a place to fulfill in the body of Christ, the church. Read Romans 12:3-8: each of us are to be Christ’s witnesses. Acts 1:8.• We should come to the Lord Jesus Christ the glorified Lamb of God on the throne and worship Him and give Him all the glory, for He alone is worthy. Read Revelation Chapter 5.
CONCLUSION: Let each and all of us share the good news of the Christ of Calvary with others (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 1:14-16); for Jesus Christ the Lamb of God died on Calvary’s cross, and His precious blood was shed, and He rose again from the dead victoriously,so that one day there will be a redeemed multitude around the throne of God and of the Lamb from “every kindred and tongue, and people and nation” worshipping Him. Read Revelation 5:9, 10 and Revelation 7:9-17. Have you personally come by faith to the Christ of Calvary who died for your sins and rose again; and fully committed your life to Him? Do so today without delay!
“The Man of Calvary has won my heart from me!And died to set me free!Blest man of Calvary.”
—Word in Season by: Lloyd Schuetz
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