Faithlife Sermons

10.16.22 - Mark 15:21-32

The Gospel of Mark  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  50:00
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Covenant Reformed Baptist Church meets at 10:30 am Sunday mornings and 6:00 pm the first Sunday of every month at 1501 Grandview Ave, Portsmouth, OH 45662.

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Open your Bibles to Mark 15:21-32. •We’re continuing our study of the Gospel of Mark.  •This morning we come to the first half of Mark’s account of the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ. In this passage, Mark gives us a fairly basic record of what happened to our Lord when He was crucified.  •He presents the facts of what happened that day.  •Unlike other pieces of literature, the descriptions Mark gives are pretty basic. He doesn’t give full detail of everything like a fiction author describes events in a storybook.  •But don’t misunderstand me: Mark DOES give details in this account.  •In fact, there are things he records for us that, on the surface, may even seem insignificant. •And they might make us wonder why Mark felt like he needed to record them.  •But when we remember that Mark was carried along by the Holy Spirit, inspired by God, as he wrote this Gospel, we are reminded that nothing is recorded by accident.  •And, because that is the case, there are usually things for us to see in the details.  There are two ways that we can read this passage: 1. We can do what many readers of the Bible do.  •We can read the account of Jesus’ crucifixion as if it were a newspaper reporting bare facts and that’s all there is to see.  2. Or we can read it in light of the rest of Scripture (both the OT and NT) and see a world of glory.  •We can read it in light of the fact that God inspired Mark to write and, therefore, be on alert that there may be truths bubbling underneath the surface and tucked away in the details that Mark records.  When you come to read and hear the Scriptures, remember a couple of things: 1. There is one divine Author of Scripture and history.  •So we shouldn’t be surprised to see references, allusions, foreshadowing, and fulfillments in the Bible.  •When we see connections between things, or one portion of Scripture bring to mind something found elsewhere, we ought not view that as a coincidence of Scripture.  •God directs history. And God inspired the Scriptures. There are no accidents.  2. Scripture is meant to be read and studied in the context of the Church and the teaching of Apostles in the NT.  •So there are things that we’re meant to catch. Especially in light of how the Apostles explained the Bible. (And especially Jesus and His work of redemption.) Brothers and sisters, there are many, many beautiful things for us to see about our Lord and His work of salvation. •Everything Jesus did, or had happen to Him, reveals something about who He is and what He was doing at the Cross.  •Everything (or almost everything) points to His Person and work of redemption.  •There are many pictures, many emblems, many things going on in this text that significant what was happening in the crucifixion, suffering, and death of the Lord Jesus.  •And they are there for those with eyes to see.  I’ll tell you at the outset of this sermon, that I probably won’t say anything this morning that most of you don’t already know.  •I will simply rehearse for you the truths of your redemption.  •I trust that God will bring these old, sacred, foundational, precious truths home to our hearts in a fresh way today.  The purpose of this sermon (and next week’s, Lord willing) is to stir up your affections for the Lord Jesus Christ as we consider what He has done for us at the Cross.  •And this is something that we ought to set our minds to frequently.  •And I say that because it is from a heart inflamed with love for Christ that all devotion, obedience, and proclamation of Christ flows.  •The whole of the Christian life flows from our love for Christ.  •And as we behold Him on the Cross, our love for Him grows. For at the Cross, we see that He loved us first.  If you would, and are able, please stand with me for the reading of the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God.  Mark 15:21-32 [21] And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.  [22] And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull).  [23] And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.  [24] And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take.  [25] And it was the third hour when they crucified him.  [26] And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”  [27] And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.  [29] And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,  [30] save yourself, and come down from the cross!”  [31] So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself.  [32] Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him. (PRAY) Our Heavenly Father,  Your Word is precious. For in the Word we see our Savior, crucified, dead, and raised for us.  Your Word is full of peace. For in it, we see Christ who purchased our peace with God.  Your Word is full of truth. For in it, we see the one way of salvation through faith alone in your Son alone.  And so we ask you this morning to show us Christ. Open our eyes, ears, minds, and hearts to see, receive by faith, and glory in your grace given to us through Jesus.  Grant that seeing Him, we would be changed today. That our love for our God would grow, that our desire to glorify you in our lives would grow, and that our understanding of the rest we have in Him would grow.  Work in us today for your glory.  We ask these things in Jesus’ Name and for His sake.  Amen.  1.) Before we get into the text, I want to begin with a word about Jesus being crucified: 1. That Jesus was crucified is stated as a simple, unadorned, fact in the Gospel accounts.  •vv24-25 say, “And they crucified Him…And it was the third hour when they crucified Him.” •Mark just states it as a fact of history. Because it is. •Hear me: That Jesus was crucified for claiming to be the King of the Jews is one of the most certain facts of history, even from secular sources.  Brothers and sisters, our religion in rooted in HISTORY.  •It is not a myth set in some far away place.  •It is not a story full of embellishments meant to make it more interesting than it actually is.  •There are times and locations mentioned. There are real, historically verifiable people, places, and events.  •Our religion is NOT A MYTH. The Gospels do not read like myths because they ARE NOT MYTHS.  •Our religion is based in fact. It is true.  •The Scriptures are an account and explanation of what GOD HAS DONE IN HUMAN HISTORY TO SAVE A PEOPLE FOR HIMSELF.  •Remember that as you read and hear the Word.  2. As I said already, Mark simply mentions that Jesus was crucified. He says no more than that with regard to the act of crucifixion.  •And that’s most likely because everyone back then had a good understanding of what crucifixion entailed.  •They had seen it. They knew people who had suffered it.  •But maybe we don’t understand it so well.  •So allow me to give a brief overview of the horrors of crucifixion so you can better understand the bodily suffering of our Lord at the cross.  First, it’s good to note that crucifixion was so horrible and shameful and disgusting that Roman citizens could not be subjected to it.  •It was reserved for slaves, conquered peoples, and prisoners of war.  •Ancient writers record that Roman citizens did not often speak of crucifixion because it was so terrible and considered barbaric and impolite to talk about.  •Ancients are often considered to be hardened and indifferent to bloodshed, but crucifixion was too extreme even for them.  But what all did this horrible death involve? •Well, first, as I mentioned last week, the victim received scourging.  •This was a Roman beating where the condemned was whipped nearly to death with a whip made of leather strips with pieces of bone, metal and rocks tied into the strips. •After scourging, the condemned was made to carry his cross (a crossbeam that could weigh up to 100 pounds).  •And he must carry it to the place of execution. (In our text, it was a place called Golgotha.) After arriving at the place of execution, the soldiers would strip the condemned naked and lay his arms on the crossbeam.  •Then they would nail him through the wrist between the bones, or tie him to the crossbeam with ropes.  •The vertical piece of the cross was usually already placed into a post hole in the ground.  •The soldiers would then lift the condemned, nailed to his crossbeam, and fasten the two pieces of the cross together.  About halfway up the cross, there was a small piece of wood that stuck out for the victim to sit upon (if you can really call it “sitting”).  •This was there to prolong their time on the cross so they didn’t immediately asphyxiate.  •And as the victim hung there, the soldiers would then nail the feet to another block of wood toward the bottom of the cross, usually placing the feet on top of one another, or on either side of the block.  •They would usually drive a single 7-8-inch nail through both feet, either through the tops of the feet or through the heels.  The site of crucifixions were public places along highly populated roads outside of cities.  •This was so that people could pass by and see the condemned dying and fear the power of Rome.  •CRUCIFIXIONS WERE NOT DONE IN REMOTE PLACES. The Romans wanted people to see what happens to people who mess with Rome.  Crosses were usually only about eight feet tall. They were not very high off the ground.  •And the condemned only hung a couple of feet from the ground so that those who passed by would have to look them in the face.  •Being nearly face to face with those who passed by would also give people an opportunity to spit upon and mock the dying victim.  •Hear me: The images of Jesus’ cross high up on a hill are absolutely inaccurate. They romanticize what actually happened to Him and minimize His suffering.  •This was a very in-your-face, shameful thing to behold: A dying man, scourged, naked, and nailed to a cross.  The cause of death for crucifixion was usually asphyxiation (choking).  •As the condemned hung on the cross, their weight would bear down on their lungs as they slumped down.  •To breathe, they would have to pull themselves up, raking their torn back against the rugged wood (unimaginable pain), take a breath, and then slump back down.  •And they would do this for every single breath.  •Eventually, the muscles would give out and the victim would die from lack of oxygen.  And this was a slow process much of the time.  •depending on how severe the scourging was, a crucified person could die in a few hours or live as long as three or four days on a cross before dying.  •To speed up the process, sometimes the soldiers would take a metal rod and break the legs of the victims so they could no longer support themselves to breathe properly.  Truly, the Romans had perfect the cruelest and most torturous way to kill a person.  •Our word “excruciating” captures this well. It literally means “from out of the cross.” This is the physical agony that our Lord endured for us and for our salvation.  •Don’t romanticize the cross, brothers and sisters.  •It was a shameful, wretched, awful thing.  •Our Lord hung on a cross, suspended between heaven and earth, only a couple of feet off the ground, beaten, scourged, bloodied, naked, and suffocating, on the side of a road outside the city of Jerusalem, to the mocks and jeers of sinners who hated Him.  •And this was all done FOR US.  •Remember that and marvel at His great love for you.  Now, having said that, I want to now walk through portions of this passage and be something of a guide.  •I want to point out the pictures and emblems of Christ and His work that have been set before in Mark’s account of the crucifixion.  2.) The first thing we read is v21: “And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry His cross.” •John 19 tells us that, like all prisoners to be crucified, our Lord was made to carry His own cross.  •But Mark tells us that a man named Simon was later compelled (forced by the soldiers) to carry it for Him.  •In the narrative, Simon isn’t really important. (But we will come back to him later.) •What is interesting, though, is that Jesus cannot carry His own cross.  And there is something for us to see already: Jesus is a man. He is truly a man.  •He is so weakened by a sleepless night, standing two trials, being beaten with fists, scourging, and carrying a heavy crossbeam, that He simply cannot do it anymore.  •He couldn’t carry His cross because He probably could hardly walk by Himself.  •See here that your Lord is truly human. He is also truly God at the same time. But the divine nature did not swallow up His human nature.  •Jesus is weak. He is tired. He is physically unable to carry His cross any further.  •He is a man. Just like we are. Prone to the same weaknesses and infirmities, except without sin.  And what good news it is that He is truly human! •He is a man, going to the Cross on behalf of sinful men.  •A human, going to die for humans.  •If He were not truly human, He could not make atonement for us.  •If He were not a man, He could not make satisfaction for men.  •If He were not a man, He could not represent us before God, because we would have nothing in common. He wouldn’t be one of us. And only a man can represent mankind.  But as it is, He is truly a man. And His physical weakness here strongly reminds us of it.  •And as man, He is fit to be the covenant representative of His sinful People, for whom He goes to make atonement.  •Just as Adam, the First Man represented his children when he sinned against God in the Garden, so now we see The Last Adam representing His spiritual children (all who will believe) as He approaches the Cross in obedience to God.  •As man, He can lay one hand upon His People and stand in their place. And as God, He can lay the other hand upon God and make peace between the two.  •Because He is a man, He is able to go in our place to the Cross.  Brothers and sisters, remember this as you see Christ fall to the ground, unable to carry the Cross: •In His inability to carry His cross, He demonstrates His ability to be the Mediator for you.    “For there is one God, and there is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…”                       (2 Timothy 2:5) 3.) In v23, we read something else that reveals what Jesus was doing at the Cross: “And they offered Him wine mixed with myrrh, but He did not take it.” •Jesus was offered a drink. And it was a drink that He refused.  •I’ve always found this interesting. Surely, He was thirsty. Think of the fluids He has lost. He hasn’t eaten or drank since the Passover meal and it’s around 9AM.  •He was thirsty, no doubt. But He refuses this drink.  •Why? Why would He do that? Well, we know that wine mixed with myrrh is something of a narcotic. It has intoxicating and numbing effects on those who drink it.  •And there are Jewish records of pious women who would offer drinks like this to condemned prisoners before they were executed.  •And they did this in accord with Proverbs 31:6 that says, “Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress…” •Now, the text isn’t clear on who exactly offered this drink to Jesus.  •It could’ve been Roman procedure to ensure the least resistance from prisoners as they were nailed to their crosses.  •Or it could’ve been some women of the city who indiscriminately gave this to the condemned.  •Or it could’ve been some of the women who loved Jesus who are mentioned in vv40-41.  •But, regardless, Jesus was offered this intoxicating, numbing drink. And He refused.  But why? Why would He refuse this kindness? •I think one of Christ’s offices is in view in this verse. Who He is and what He is about to do is in view.  •There is something in the OT Law that this verse brings to mind.  •Leviticus 10:8-9 says this: And the LORD spoke to Aaron, saying, “Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations.” •What does this have to do with Jesus?  •The principle of the Leviticus passage is this: When priests approach God, when they go before God to do their priestly work, they are to be sober.  •And here we see our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ, approaching God to do His priestly work of atonement.  Jesus refuses this intoxicating drink because He must remain sober as the High Priest doing His work.  •He is about to approach God    on the Cross.  •He, the High Priest, is about to offer Himself, the Lamb of God, on the altar of the Cross in order to satisfy the wrath of God and sprinkle us clean with His blood.  •And so, He must remain of sound mind, as the Priest.  Any other man sentenced to die so horribly and being in such pain would’ve been just fine to accept this narcotic and have his pain eased.  •If Jesus were a mere martyr or victim of circumstance, He would’ve been fine to drink every drop.  •But He must not. He is doing His work as Priest and making a full atonement on behalf of the Israel of God, His Church, those who believe.  •And so, He must approach the Holy of Holies with a sober mind.  And, furthermore, as the High Priest, He will receive NO HELP in His dying.  •He will receive no assistance in His suffering.  •The Lamb must be slain. The Lamb must suffer the full weight of the wrath of God in order to take away our sins and make a FULL PAYMENT for us.  •He will suffer for His People. And He will suffer ALL that they deserve. All that we deserve.  •And so, He will accept no numbing of the pain.  •He is going to the Cross to make a FULL ATONEMENT. And He will do exactly that.  •So He must endure it all, completely unaided.  The Priest is making the sacrifice.  •The Priest is about to offer Himself.  •And the offering must be a full offering.  •And so He refuses the drink.  4.) And third thing we see in our text is that Jesus was stripped naked:  “And they crucified Him and divided His garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take.” •Our Lord was stripped naked at the site of the crucifixion. They took His clothes from Him before nailing Him to the Cross.  •And here we see that He was made naked in order to make a covering for us.  Brothers and sisters, we stand naked before God in our sin.  •Nakedness is a biblical symbol of shame. Nobody wants to be naked. Everyone wants a cover since the Fall into the sin.  •But we are all naked and exposed before God in our sin.  •We stand before Him clothed only in our shame for the things we’ve done, said, and thought that are contrary to His Word and will.  •And we need a covering. Without a covering, we are unfit to approach God. Without a covering, we will not be accepted by Him. In our nakedness and sin, we are vile in His sight.  •Even in the OT, there were to be no stairs going up to the altar, lest the priests expose their nakedness to the altar and offend God.  •In Jesus’ parables, He speaks of the necessity of having a proper wedding garment in order to attend God’s feast.  The point, brothers and sisters, is that we need a covering. We need someone to take away our shame and clothe us.  •And here we see our Lord stripped naked in order to clothe us with His righteousness.  •He was made naked in our place, bearing the wrath of God for us, in order to make a covering for us.  In Genesis 3:21, after man’s fall into sin, we read, “And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” •Now, how did God do that? Obviously, an animal had to die in order for them to be clothed with skins.  •I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that God Himself made the first typical sacrifice to cover the sins of fallen men in the Garden.  •And that sacrifice that clothed Adam and Eve was but a picture and a foreshadowing of what our Lord Jesus is doing on His Cross in our text.  •The Lamb of God is stripped naked and put on a cross in order to bear our shame and cover our sins before God.  •He endured the shame of nakedness before God that we would never have to be ashamed before God.  •He was made naked that He might clothe us with Himself.  5.) Next we come to what is probably the most blatant and clearest thing about Christ’s work in the text:  •“And they crucified Him…” Jesus was crucified.  •Obviously, this is important because His crucifixion is the means of His death. And it is by His death that we are saved.  •But Jesus being CRUCIFIED reveals something of His work at the Cross.  •The crucifixion itself, being nailed to a cross, being hung upon two pieces of wood, is significant to our understanding of His work.  The Cross itself reminds us that Jesus was bearing our CURSE as He suffered and died.  •Again, a Cross was made of WOOD. The Apostles understood it to be a TREE of sorts since wood comes from trees. The Cross, then, is a kind of tree.  •And, as the Apostle Paul reminds us, “Cursed is every man who is hanged on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13).  When Paul says that, he is quoting from Deuteronomy 21:22-23.  •There we read, “And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God…” •In this text, Moses is instructing the Israelites on how long a dead man is permitted to be hanged on a tree.  •This seems strange to us, but it was Jewish practice to sometimes take the body of the one who had already been executed and hang it on a tree. (Usually some kind of stake or wooden beam.) •This was done in order to disgrace the one who had been executed. Execution was generally reserved for some grievous sin and crime.  •And hanging the dead man on a tree was a sign that the one who died was condemned by God. He had died for some great sin like idolatry, blasphemy, or some other horrible breach of God’s covenant.  And there was symbolism in hanging someone from a tree: •They hang there, suspended between heaven and earth because they are rejected by BOTH.  •Rejected by man and God for their sin. Considered detestable by both God’s People and God.  And this tells us something of the intentions behind the religious rulers’ desire to have Jesus crucified.  •Being crucified, once Jesus dies He is already hanged on a tree.  •The Jews who passed by Jesus’ dead body on the Cross would look and see and know that He was cursed and condemned by God.  •And that’s why they demanded He be crucified.  And they were more right than they ever realized.  •The One who hangs upon the Cross, is hanging upon a tree.  •And He is on the tree because He is cursed by God.  •And He is cursed by God because He is bearing God’s curse for sinners.  •He is suffering God’s hatred in the place of sinners in order to pay for their sins in their place.  •He has taken the sins of His People on Himself and is now, at the Cross, being cursed by God for their sins. •In the Final Judgment, the wicked will hear, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41) •And at the Cross, Jesus heard something of the same spoken from Heaven as He suffered for sinners.    Jesus, the blessed man of Psalm 1, is the cursed man of Deuteronomy 21.  •He is hanged on a tree because He is being condemned by God at His crucifixion.  •He wore the crown of thorns, a sign of the curse of sin, and is now hanged upon a tree as the cursed of God.  •In His crucifixion, we see that Jesus is the Sin-Bearer for all who will believe on Him.  •Our Lord was made a curse for us, for “cursed is every man who is hanged on a tree.” •And He did this “so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit though faith.” (Galatians 3:14) •He did this so that we would be saved.  •He was cursed, that we might be accepted.  6.) Tied immediately to the reality that He was cursed for us is what Mark records in v27:  •“with Him they crucified two robbers, one on His right and one on His left.”  •Jesus was crucified among wicked men. He was placed IN THE MIDDLE of two notorious sinners.  •And this reminds us of the words of Isaiah 53:12.  •He “was numbered with the transgressors…” That Jesus was placed in between two sinners reminds us FOR WHOM HE WAS DYING.  •He was dying for sinners.  •As Isaiah continues and says, He “was numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.” •Hear this, sinner, and be glad! •He was numbered with the transgressors, and He died among them, TO BEAR THE SIN OF MANY AND MAKE INTERCESSION BEFORE GOD FOR SINNERS! Are you a sinner? Then you qualify.  •Jesus suffered and died to make intercession for BAD PEOPLE. FOR SINNERS! •He was numbered among the wicked in order that He might be MADE GUILTY for them and offer Himself in their place to take away their guilt.  •He was made guilty that He might intercede, that He might stand in the gap between God and sinful men in order to bring men to God.  There are few truths more comforting than the fact that Jesus was numbered among the transgressors.  •That means that there is hope for even the worst of us! (And even the best of us are still transgressors. Don’t forget that.) •See this and believe upon Him! He died for sinners. And that means that there is hope for whoever will come to Him in faith.  •He died between two robbers to remind us that nobody is beyond the grace of God if only they will look to Christ for forgiveness.  •He will save you! Just believe on Him and live! 7.) Another thing for us to consider this morning is how Jesus was mocked at the Cross.  •vv29-32 tell us that both common people, and the chief priests, and even those crucified with Him mocked Him both to His face and to one another.  •And they challenged Him to save Himself and come down from the Cross and prove that He is the Messiah.  •And in these mocks, we see traces of Psalm 22 being fulfilled.  •But there is one mock given by the chief priests and scribes that I want to point out to you: “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we see and believe.” They recognized that Jesus had “saved others.”  •They recognized His ability to perform miracles and save/heal others.  •But now, as He hangs on a cross, they mock Him saying, “He cannot save Himself.” Now, considered as a thing by itself, Jesus could’ve saved Himself.  •He had the power to do so.  •Remember what He said to Peter in Gethsemane? He said that He could call down legions of angels to come to His rescue if He so desired.  •But HE DIDN’T DESIRE THAT. He desired to fulfill the will of God and die for His People.  •He could’ve come down and righteously judged everyone involved.  •But He didn’t. He remained on the Cross, enduring the shame and mockery of wicked men.  Brothers and sisters, let me declare something glorious to you: •NOTHING BUT LOVE KEPT HIM ON THE CROSS.  •He could’ve come down to execute justice on the wicked who were present. But instead, He remained on the Cross because of His great love.  1. His great love for God kept Him on the Cross.  •He is the Servant of the LORD.  •He had come to do His Father’s will.  •He loved God perfectly. And so, His obedience that flowed from love for God kept Him there.  •For the glory of God, for the love of God, because God is worthy of all suffering, our Lord remained on the Cross.  2. And His great love FOR US kept Him on the Cross.  •He is the Savior of sinners. He came into the world to save sinners. And so, He remained there.  •He came into the world because He loved us and desired to make us His own.  •Hear me: He did not die for a nameless, faceless multitude. He died FOR YOU who believe.  •And so, I can confidently say that His love FOR YOU, for you in particular, kept Him on the Cross.  •He loved us and desired to take away our shame, our guilt, our sin, and our condemnation. And so He stayed on the Cross.  •We have never been loved like this before. But indeed, we have been loved like this, for Christ stayed on the Cross.  •To paraphrase RC Sproul: He was not about saving Himself. He was about saving us.  •So He stayed there to pay for our sins.  They mocked Him by saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself.” •And this was truer than they could’ve realized.  •If He was to save others, HE CANNOT SAVE HIMSELF! •He must die, and give His life as a ransom for many.  His refusal to save Himself is PRECISELY what saves others.  •And this is the glory of our Lord! He gives Himself up for others. He gives Himself up for the worst.  •He gives Himself up for us.  8.) There are other things that I could point out to you in this text, but time will not permit it.  •So let me end now by putting one last thing before you: •See Him. And trust in Him.  •Love Him. For He has loved you.  As you walk away from this text, take with you a greater appreciation for Christ.  •Leave this text with a greater understanding of His Person and work for you.  •Leave with a greater understanding of His love for you.  •Go away astonished at His work for your salvation.  •As JC Ryle said, “Let us leave this passage with a deep sense of the enormous debt which all believers owe to Christ. All that they have, and are, and hope for may be traced up to the doing and dying of the Son of God.” Hear me: •Your covenant Head, the true Man, the Last Adam, stood before God on your behalf at the Cross.  •Your High Priest offered Himself as the sacrifice to take away your sins.  •Your King was stripped naked to clothe you forever.  •The Lord of glory became the curse so that you might be blessed.  •The Righteous One was numbered among the transgressors to make intercession for you.  •Your Lord was mocked so that you would be accepted.  •And by His blood, you have been brought near to God in Him.  •Your God and Savior, Jesus Christ, hung upon a Cross because He loves you.  May God grant each one of us to love our Lord more and more as we remember His work at the Cross for us.  •Amen.   
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