Cross of Christ

Matthew 27:11-61, Luke 23:27-49

The cross itself was a stigma. It was the most horrible form of death ever devised. A reference to the cross execution was not mentioned in polite circles.


The "Via Dolorosa", the "Way of Sorrow"

The Road to Execution

  • The road that criminals walked who had committed such awful crime that they were sentenced to die
  • It was a way of sorrow for the criminal.
  • It was a way of sorrow for his loved ones.

The Whole Road From Heaven’s Glory to Golgotha’s Gore Was the Via Dolorosa to Jesus.
       "God had one Son without sin but none without sorrow." "He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows…" Isaiah 53:3  He knew that at journey’s end was the cross. John 1:29; John 3:14.

When He worked in the carpenter’s shop,
          The wood reminded Him of the Cross and
          The nails reminded Him of the spikes.
          When Satan tempted him He knew He had to remain sinless to be a fit sacrifice on the cross.
          When He performed miracles He knew that when people would later reflect on them, they would have evidence to know it was the Christ Who died on the Cross. 
         When the crowds followed Him because it was popular He knew that many would forsake Him because it would become unpopular at the Cross.
          When He forgave sins He knew He could do this only because He would die for sins on the cross.

In Hebrew the word "Golgotha" means "the place of the skull." In Latin it is "Calvary".

Outside the Gate – Hebrews 13:12.
Not because He was unfit for the city, but because the city was unfit for His sacrifice.

The Northern Portion of Mount Moriah.
     The Mount where Abraham went to offer Isaac. Genesis 22:2
     The Mount where sacrifices were offered at Solomon’s Temple.  2nd Chronicles 3:1

     Discovered by a British soldier named Gordon, who was not satisfied with Helena’s Calvary. As he walked guard duty above the Damascus Gate his eyes were attracted to a formation on the northern portion of Mount Moriah that bore the shape of the skull. Later research revealed that just beyond the brow on the far side was an ancient garden owned by a wealthy person and in that garden was a tomb. It had been prepared for a family but was used for the burial of one person, --and that hastily. That body was gone.

A Place of Punishment.
A place of human punishment for sin. It also became a place of divine punishment for sin.  ith all its repulsiveness it became an altar where the punishment of the sins of the world was carried out and the justice of God was satisfied.


Religious Leaders Who Condemned Him 
     Outwardly they were religious and moral.  Their confrontation with Jesus Christ. Especially Matthew 23.

Duped and Deceived People
They followed Jesus when it was popular. Many had perhaps cried four days earlier, "Hosanna To The Son of David."  They cried for His blood when that became popular.

Curious Onlookers
They just wanted to see all the excitement.  They didn’t want to get involved. Matthew 12:30.

Soldiers Who Crucified Him
Heartless, cruel, and insensitive to suffering.  Their one concern – who would get the garment off his back.
Many today are just as insensitive to their need of salvation. Their only concern is material possessions and pleasures.

His Friends
His mother,
John the Disciple,
Mary Magdalene. John 19:25-27
Although no gospel tells us Peter was also there. 1st Peter 5:1.

Secret Believers
Joseph of Arimathaea –"A disciple, but secretly, for fear of the Jews" John 19:38.
     He was a member of the Sanhedrin and "had not consented to the counsel and deed of them" – Luke 23:51
     Who, up until this time, was much the same as Joseph.


"This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews"

Threefold Language
     Hebrew – the language of the scriptures.
     Latin – the language of the law.
     Greek – the language of the common man.

The Purpose
     From man’s standpoint – to identify the crime for which He was being punished.
     From God’s standpoint – to identify Jesus as to Who He actually was.
     His Messiah-ship
     The Hope of the World


Supernatural Darkness – Luke 23:45
"And the sun was darkened…"

     This could not be an eclipse because it was Passover which fell on the full of the moon.
     Was it the supernatural presence of demonic hordes? 
     Did God in mercy veil the sun while His Son suffered before men?

Supernatural Rending of the Temple Veil
     The Holy of Holies was previously entered only once each year by the High Priest with the Blood of Atonement.

     With the shedding of Jesus’ blood the way into God’s Holy Place is open to all who will appropriate Christ’s blood and come there by faith.

"…there were two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left." Matthew 27:38

Without Jesus They Were United
     In crime, in condemnation and consequence.

Jesus Divided Them
     One continued to mock, the other began to pray
     One continued to only be interested in physical salvation; the other became interested only in spiritual salvation.
     One died in sin and went to perdition; the other died out of sin and enjoyed salvation.

"And they crucified him…" Matthew 27:35a

This is the God/Man
     Fully God –
     Fully Man.

Here Is The Completeness of His Obedience And the Depth of His

Humiliation. Philippians 2:5-8

Here Is The Awfulness of Sin
God’s justice pours out the condemnation wrath of the law upon His

own Son when He became sin for us. Romans 8:32a

Here Is The Justice of God Satisfied
Every penalty of the law for every sin ever committed was fully carried out here.

Here Is The Zenith of Love
     The greatest love of man is to die for his friends, but Jesus died for His enemies.

Here Is The Basis of Salvation. Hebrews 9:22
"…and without shedding of blood is no remission"

     The old song is true…

"There's room at the cross for you
There's room at the cross for you.
Though millions have come,
There's still room for one.
Yes, there's room at the cross for you."

     "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God…" 1st Peter 3:18

Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scripture quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted