First Cry From A Bloody Pulpit

Photo by Thanti Nguyen on Unsplash

Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

This is Jesus’ first cry from the Cross of Calvary. It is not recorded anywhere in the Scripture but here in the Book of Luke. Jesus has been beaten, flogged with razor tipped whips. He has been forced to the Cross. His dignity has been stripped from Him, along with His clothes. But look at His first cry from this bloody Cross. He doesn’t cry out in pain. Peter said,

Reviled, He reviled not again. Suffering, Jesus did not threaten those who hurt Him. Jesus committed Himself to the Father, for He judges righteously (my paraphrase of 1 Peter 2:23). Listen to His words:

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”

You, like myself, have probably been at time misjudged or betrayed by a friend. We do not like this, and often bear scars in our hearts from the betrayal. Yet Jesus does not rail against the seeming injustice of what He is going through. No, He pleads FOR US. He prays FOR THOSE WHO HURT HIM.

Jesus Christ had to die to bring us to God.

The Way Of The World Is To Be Self Focused

When Jesus preached His first sermon, He preached it to His greatest enemy, Lucifer, also called satan and the devil.

Where did satan come from? He was created of God to be an archangel. The beauty and power that Lucifer had, he had from the Grace of God. If you have talent, if you have beauty, if you have life, you have it of God. You are not better than others. You have been blessed. Lucifer – his name means “Shining One” – was greatly blessed of God. God said of Lucifer through the Prophet:

You, O Lucifer, are an anointed Angel that oversees Heaven. I put you in your place. I gave you charge over the other angels. I, the Lord Your God, made you perfect … but you found iniquity (my paraphrase of Ezekiel 28:14-15)

Lucifer was put in a perfect place, but wanted more. He was given the keys to Heaven, but wanted the Throne of God. When Lucifer was cast out of Heaven, his first mission was to bring humanity into his ways. “Eve, neither you nor Adam will die if you eat that which is forbidden. Oh no! God knows that when you eat of this fruit, you will be like Him, Triune, eternal, knowing good and evil” (see Genesis 3:1-5). Eve ate, and Adam ate. What is the result?

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

But God was not satisfied with this. He could have destroyed all things, but would not. So God sent His Only Son:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The devil taught Adam that the way forward was to do as he did. Seize control. Take the Throne of God. He tried to get Jesus our Lord to do the same thing.

Taken into the wilderness by the Spirit of God, satan tempted our Master (Matthew 4:1-11), just as he tempts us. In each of the three temptations, satan tried to get Jesus to put Jesus first. This is what we do, and what we are tempted to do every day, to put OURSELVES first.

Hungry, the devil tempted Jesus to feed Himself by turning stones into bread. Abandoned, the devil tried to get Jesus to tempt God by testing Him.
Exalted, the devil tempted Jesus to worship another god.

With each temptation Jesus rebuked satan. He refused to put Himself first, to follow Adam’s lead.

Hungry, Jesus preferred the Word of God. “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4).

Abandoned, Jesus would not anger His Father. “ It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (Matthew 4:7).

Exalted, Jesus would only worship the Lord our God. “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Matthew 4:10)”.

You May Think You Are Living, But If You Are Not Following God, You Are Following The Devil

Leaving the wilderness, Jesus went out and preached to all …

Matthew 4:17 Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Repent. Stop mimicking satan, and
turn to the God Who created you.
Follow Him!

As Jesus preached and healed, multitudes of people followed Him (Matthew 4:25). Jesus went up into a high mountain and preached what we call “The Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5,6, & 7), the longest sermon our Lord ever preached. Multitudes heard Jesus as He preached the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1).

At the beginning of His ministry, multitudes followed Jesus. Why? Because He healed them. Because He fed them. Because they thought that Jesus would overthrow Rome, and return Israel to it’s former power. But a people without God are a people in bondage.

Lucifer lost Heaven when he exalted himself over God.
Adam lost Eden when he exalted himself over God.
Israel lost her autonomy when she exalted herself over God.
America is being robbed of it’s freedom because
we exalt ourselves over God.

When it became clear that Jesus was not going to be a shortcut to restoration of Israel, the multitudes that once FOLLOWED Jesus now CONDEMNS Jesus.

Luke 23:1 … the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Cæsar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.

Jesus was not perverting the nation. He was calling the nation back to God. Jesus was innocent of what they charge Him with. There was no sin, no lawlessness in Jesus. When Pilate came to judge Jesus, we read:

Luke 23:13-17 And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: 15 no, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. 16 I will therefore chastise him, and release him. 17 (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)

Why is Jesus being accused? From the devil’s perspective, Jesus is being accused because He would not support the narcissism that satan loved. Jesus lived to please the Father. Jesus lived to do as the Godhead called Him to do. Neither Pilate the Governor, nor Herod the Roman designated King of Israel found fault with Jesus. “There is nothing worthy of death in Him”. Jesus Christ was without sin. The Bible says,

Romans 6:23 … the wages of sin is death

It is sin and selfishness

that brought death, destruction, disease, and the devil into the world.

It is sin and selfishness

that brought forth thorns and thistles (Genesis 3:18).

It is sin and selfishness

that brought pain into what should be the joy of child birth (Genesis 3:16).

It is sin and selfishness

that caused God to turn His face from us (Isaiah 59:2).

For every misery we have in this blessed world, it can all be traced back to sin and selfishness.

Jesus stands before Pilate. I find no sin in this Man. Herod found no reason the kill this Man. Jesus was innocent. Jesus is, as John the Baptist said,

John 1:29 … the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Pilate did not know this. Herod did not know this. “None of the princes of this world knew {this}: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:8). Jesus was, to them, no more than a “carpenter’s Son” (Matthew 13:55). Jesus was an innocent Man. Both Herod and Pilate, Gentiles, knew that He was without sin.

Luke 23:18-19 …{the multitude} cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas: 19 (who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.)

It was the multitude, following satan, that commanded Jesus’ death. But it was the Godhead – Father, Son, and Spirit – that orchestrated His death.

Jesus, Who was loved of the Father “before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24), was “foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20) “to put away sin by His self-sacrifice”.

Barabbas the murderer was released, and Jesus, the Innocent Lamb, was sacrificed. We who are sinners are released when we call on Jesus, recognizing Him as the payment for our sins. When we surrender ourselves to Him, He surrenders His death to us.

The first cry from the Cross was Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. But the night before at Gethsemane, our Jesus prayed three times

Matthew 26:39 O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

There was no other way that we could be saved. Jesus had to die for our sins. Three times Jesus asked for another way, and the Father willed His death. I find it interesting – and I do not believe it to be a coincidence – that Pilate asked the people three times to let Jesus go.

Luke 23:22-23 {Pilate} said unto them the THIRD TIME, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go. 23 And they {pressured Pilate} with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified.

There was no sin in Jesus. Jesus came to be our payment for sins in the eyes of God Almighty. Had Jesus had sin in Him, His death would have made little difference to the world. Had Jesus Christ been a sinner like the rest of us are, then His Blood would have been absolutely valueless. It would have been like another animal sacrifice. Yet Jesus Christ was absolutely without sin.

1 John 3:5 … And ye know that {Jesus} was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

The Lamb must be without spot or blemish. The Sacrifice cannot have spot or blemish (Numbers 19:2; 28:3, 9, 11). If Jesus were a sinner like us, He could no more pay for our sins than I or you could. It is the:

Hebrews 9:14 … blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

It is not our works that save us, but the works of Christ upon the Cross. We are redeemed from this fallen world to serve a Living God.

1 Peter 1:18-19 … ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Jesus Christ is without spot or blemish. He is Perfect, as Perfect as God become Man can be. He is from above, and we are from below (John 8:23). “Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world(John 8:23). Our Jesus was without sin.

Our Jesus Was Crucified In A Hell On Earth
Called Calvarius

Luke 23:32-33 And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. 33 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.

Word Study Calvary”. What an interesting word. This is the only place where “Calvary” is found in the King James. The word rendered “Calvary” is actually the Greek κρανίον, from which we get our word “cranium” or skull. Jesus was crucified at κρανίον, the place of the Skull.

The Jews called this place Γολγοθᾶ “Golgotha”, which also meant “A place of a skull” (see Matthew 27:33; Mark 15:22; John 19:17). The word “Calvary” entered the King James because the translators referred to William Tyndale’s translation of this passage – and Tyndale used “Calvary” in his rendering of Luke 23:33, borrowing it from the Latin Vulgate.

Place Of The Skull” Was “Golgotha” To The Jews, But Calvarius To The Gentiles.

Calvarius was a horrible place outside of Jerusalem. It was a place where lepers were banished. A place where Rome executed criminals, and left their bodies to decompose. This was a place where Israel, when she was not ruled by Rome, stoned those who broke the Law of God. It was on the other side of the wall that was around the Holy City. It was outside the camp (Numbers 15:36). It was outside the gate of the city. The Sin Offering was burned with fire “outside the camp” (Exodus 29:14). Calvarius was where justice was meted out for both Jews and Gentiles.

PREACH When man wanted to work his way to God, our Creator had Moses scale Mount Sinai to receive the Law on stone tablets. But when God wanted to save mankind, He sent His Son Jesus from Mount Zion to a place the Romans called Calvarius and the Jews called Golgotha.

Calvarius is a hopeless place. The Stepson of a Carpenter, I am sure Jesus helped Joseph drive nails as a young boy. The Stepson of a Carpenter, the Son of God now has nails driven into His flesh. In His earthly ministry Jesus often healed lepers, lepers who were banished to Calvarius, in obedience to the Law of God.

Leviticus 13:46 All the days wherein the plague (of leprosy) shall be in him, he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; WITHOUT THE CAMP shall his habitation be.

Jesus healed many lepers, restored many to their homes, bringing them in from without the camp back into the city by cleansing them. But now Jesus, this innocent and righteous man, He hangs in Calvarius. Jesus used to use this place to illustrate hell and eternal judgment. Calvarius was a place where bones were littered about, and fires constantly burned to keep the decay from the city. As Jesus once taught His disciples, pointing to this place as a place that illustrates eternal damnation, He told us:

Luke 12:4-5 I say unto you, my friends, be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: fear Him {God}, which after He hath killed, hath power to cast into hell; Yea, I say unto you, Fear HIM!

Is there a hell? Yes, just as sure as there is a Heaven. Jesus preached of Hell to His disciples. Our God is a just God, a Holy God, and Heaven is a holy and wonderfully righteous place. It will not be religious people who occupy Heaven, but people who are redeemed, righteous in the eyes of God. There is a hell just as there was a Calvarius, a place where justice is finally met. Hell is the spiritual equivalent of Calvarius.

Why is our Jesus, innocent Jesus, on a cross in this “Place of the Skull”, this hell on earth?

Because Jesus Is Making Payment For Our Sins

Luke 23:34-38 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. 35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. 36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, 37 and saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. 38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

People say, “I’m not a sinner”. No? Look at your life. Look at those around the Cross of Calvarius.

Look at the soldiers, kneeling at His feet. They are not there to worship Jesus. No. The Bible says:

Luke 23:34 And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

They part His clothing, and cast dice for it. Jesus is on the hill of Golgotha, the hill of punishment, making payment for their sins. But the soldiers, dotted with Christ’s blood, are unconcerned. A poor man’s clothing is more to them than what Christ is doing. Oh, do not be too quick to judge these men, for many of us are the same. We love things more than God. We love stuff, more than the Creator. What shall it profit a person, if you gain the whole world, but lose your own soul (Mark 8:36)? These soldiers have no eyes for Christ. He is no more to them than the thieves on either side. They just want His clothing. They just want His stuff.

Luke 23:35 And the people stood beholding.

Word Study The word “BEHOLDING” is the Greek theōréō, {pronounced theh-o-reh’-o}. If you think of the word, it is close to the English THEATER. That’s what it means. The people were watching Jesus, being entertained. They were spectators. They were watching Jesus, unconcerned over His suffering, entertained by His suffering and bleeding. Jesus was not dying to be an attraction. The Bible says:

2 Corinthians 5:21 {the Father} hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

He is dying not to entertain, but to save. He is dying so that we can stand in God’s Heaven, and walk in His Presence every day.

Luke 23:35 … And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.

Jesus could not save Himself, if He was going to save us. “It pleased the Eternal God to bruise Him for us; the Father put Jesus to grief. Jesus’ soul was an offering for sin” (my paraphrase of Isaiah 53:10).

Jesus cannot save Himself, because we cannot save ourselves. He dies, so that we might live.

Are you a child of God by faith in Christ?

Our Lord Jesus died a lonely death outside the camp and outside the gate for us. Would you be saved? Then you must go outside the camp and outside the gate to the Cross of Christ. So many lose eternity because they are too PROUD to come to Jesus. “What will my friends think? What will others around me say about me?” Beloved, that is of little concern. We are told in …

Hebrews 13:12-15 Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. 15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

You will not find salvation from sin and eternal life following the pattern of this world. You will not find the glory of God’s presence in your daily lives unless you go with Jesus outside the gate. Put away your pride. Give yourselves to Him Who loves you this very day. Do not wait, nor hesitate. You, like I, am a sinner. Let us run to Him Who says,

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!

May God draw you into union with Him this very day. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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