This blog is the combined effort of four senior pastors of different churches. Their desire is to point you toward living a God-centered, gospel-focused, Christian life.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Worship, not pity

For quite some time now, I have resisted calls to preach "medical messages" about the cross, that is, to preach about the fairly well documented details of what a body experiences while being crucified.  My resistance is not because such information is wrong to pursue or because we should avoid gruesome facts.  Rather, my resistance is because the New Testament writers are also sparse in their details of Jesus' crucifixion.  I fear that if we dwell on the physical aspects of crucifixion, we might end up pitying Jesus rather than worshiping Him.

My father told me something when I was a boy that I have not forgotten.  He said that it is well likely that other human beings have suffered physically as much as or more than our Savior, but none suffered as sin bearer.  The sparse testimony of the New Testament on the details of crucifixion and its long record of detail on the nature of Jesus Christ's atonement incline me to believe that my father was right.  So, you won't hear much from me about blood loss, subcutaneous tissue, hematidrosis,  respiration, hypovolemic shock, exhaustion asphyxia, etc.  But you will hear things like this, "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed."(Isa. 53:5) and "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed." (1 Peter 2:24) and "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Here is the sparse way in which each Gospel writer describes the crucifixion:

Matt. 27:32 When they had crucified him,
Mark 15:34 And they crucified him.
Luke 23:33 they crucified him there
John 19:18 There they crucified him

Worshiping our Savior,


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