They Crucified Him

MEMORY SELECTION: “They feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.” —Matthew 27:54

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Matthew 27:33-50

THERE are many prophetic these being the statement: statements concerning Jesus and his death on the cross. One of the most remarkable concerns Jesus as the fulfillment of the type of the Passover lamb. In Exodus 12:46, the instructions concerning the Passover lamb were that not a bone should be broken. (Also see Num. 9:12) As Jesus hung on the cross and the Sabbath drew near, the Jews requested that the legs of those being crucified be broken so they would die before sundown and the start of the Sabbath. This was done to the thieves, but when they came to Jesus he was already dead, and his legs were not broken. The text reads, “But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs … for these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.”—John 19:33,36

Psalm 22 is a wonderful prophecy concerning Jesus and his crucifixion. Several details were fulfilled exactly, one of “They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” (vs. 18) The account of the crucifixion as recorded in John states, “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be, that the scripture might be fulfilled which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.”—John 19:23,24

Jesus came to take Adam’s place in death so adamic condemnation could be lifted from all Adam’s progeny. But Jesus was a Jew born under the Law. God’s promise to the Jews was that if they were obedient to the terms of the Law he would bless them in basket and store. On the other hand, if they were disobedient God promised to punish them. These punishments were referred to as curses. The Jews were disobedient and therefore if they were ever to come into complete harmony with God, it was also necessary that the promise of punishment be lifted from them. This according to God’s law required that Jesus die in a special way. The Apostle Paul explains, “Christ bought us freedom from the curse of the Law by becoming for our sake an accursed thing; for Scripture says, ‘A curse is on everyone who is hanged on a gibbet’ [cross].”—Gal. 3:13, NEB

In Numbers 21:4-9 is the account of the children of Israel in the wilderness when they spoke against God and Moses. Because of this the Lord sent a plague of fiery serpents upon them and they bit the people and many of them died. The people repented and God instructed Moses to fashion a serpent of brass and set it upon a pole. Any who had been bitten who looked upon that serpent would not die, but live.

Jesus tells us that this experience of the children of Israel was a picture of his purpose in coming to earth. The text reads, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:14,15) Then follows probably the best known text in the Bible, and one that is part of the foundation of every Christian’s hope, “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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”—John 3:16,17

In these texts we are reminded that it was God who designed the arrangement for the lifting of adamic condemnation from the world of mankind, and that it was at a heavy cost, for Jesus was his only begotten Son. But by this we are given a measure of God’s love for us. The Apostle Paul expresses the matter thus, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8) This is not to take away anything from the unselfish, loving sacrifice of Jesus who was so willing to cooperate with the Heavenly Father. “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”—Phil. 2:7,8

Dawn Bible Students Association
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