May 22: The Irony of the Cross (Matthew 27:27-44)
This Sunday Brandon Jordan will continue a series called Making Sense of Christ and the Spirit at 9:00am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the Old Testament book of Numbers).
As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way. (ESV)
Matthew gives precious little ink to the crucifixion of Jesus. In fact, Matthew’s explanation of the actual cross is only four words, ‘and they crucified him’. The details of the cross are brief as it is set in the context of mockery and irony. The mockery is comprehensive and reveals the rebellion of humanity against God, no different than in the rebellion in Genesis. The dark irony is that Jesus should have been crowned King as he entered Jerusalem. He should have been crowned King but was crucified instead. For too many of us this passage has become all too familiar. Please read through this text again and let the weight of our rebellion and rejection of Jesus lead you to gratitude over his sovereign mercy and grace.
Review and Apply
1. Describe what rebellion looks like in your life.
2. Discuss several ways in which the cross fulfills OT prophecies.
3. How does the cross impact your current view of sin and pursuit of holiness?
4. Explain how Jesus is not just a model for us but also represents us before God.
5. How does this passage encourage greater loyalty to God in the midst of a mocking world?
6. What change in your life does this passage call for?
7. How can you better serve your neighbor in light of this passage?
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