Crucifixion was designed to mock to the max the victim. A good successful crucifixion was when the victim didn’t just die, but became a laughing-stock. It’s difficult for us to imagine this, but crucifixion, as hideous as it was, actually encouraged people to laugh. The Roman death squads were trained professionals. With Jesus, they staged the crucifixion and leveraged the laughter taking the theme from the written notice given them by Pilate to be nailed to the cross above the head of Jesus (Luk 23:38). ‘THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.’

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE CHAPTER 23

Crucifixion This Is The King Of The Jews (Luke 23:25-39)

By Pastor Delbert Young

Audio

Crucifixion This Is The King Of The Jews (Luke 23:25-39)

By Pastor Delbert Young

 

Scriptures: Mark 15:16-20, Luke 23:27-31, Luke 23:30, Revelation 6:16-17, Luke 23:32-33, Luke 23:35-39, Matthew 27:39-44, Mark 15:32, Isaiah 53:4-5, Isaiah 53:7, Isaiah 53:10

Our journey with Jesus today will go from Pilate to the cross where we will leave Jesus hanging and dying for our sins. Next time we will finish studying the crucifixion. I love we are able to study the cross on a day other than Palm Sunday. Crucifixion! Man has never created anything as hideous as crucifixion. It reveals the depravity of man and how potentially low you, I, and our children could go. Though we’d never physically crucify anyone, we have no trouble crucifying people who anger, disappoint, or disagree with us. We’ve all crucified many and we get good at it. We’re experts.

As we’ve discussed before, a huge part of crucifixion was the humiliation. There were three aspects to every crucifixion: humiliation, excruciation, and death. Which do you think when you ponder the cross? Likely all three somewhat, but we’re mostly trained to think about the excruciation and death. Surprisingly, these are the two least discussed by the gospel writers. One verse is given concerning the death, i.e. “It is finished. Father into your hands I commend my spirit.” Only four words are given about the excruciation, i.e. “There they crucified him.”Humiliating and dishonoring Jesus are the primary aspect written about by all four gospel writers: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Crucifixion was designed to mock to the max the victim. A good successful crucifixion was when the victim didn’t just die, but became a laughing-stock. It’s difficult for us to imagine this, but crucifixion, as hideous as it was, actually encouraged people to laugh. The Roman death squads were trained professionals. With Jesus, they staged the crucifixion and leveraged the laughter taking the theme from the written notice given them by Pilate to be nailed to the cross above the head of Jesus (Luk 23:38). “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

Mark 15:16-20 The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And WHEN THEY HAD MOCKED HIM, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

Then through the streets of Jerusalem they went continuing the diabolical satire. A good crucifixion turned the most inhumane execution into a bloodthirsty burlesque bringing the audience into its sick humor. This death squad did an excellent job. Father God had the absolute best death squad for Jesus. He had to receive absolute humiliation if he was to be crushed by God taking our humiliations, sorrows, and grief (Isa 53).

Luke 23:26 As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.

We talked about Simon from Cyrene in our Palm Sunday study called This Man. The sermon notes, audio, and video are available at page.html. Though a good study, we won’t cover Simon again.

Luke 23:27-31 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, “DAUGHTERS OF JERUSALEM, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then “‘THEY WILL SAY TO THE MOUNTAINS, “FALL ON US!” AND TO THE HILLS, “COVER US!”‘ For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

What do you think Jesus is speaking about? Isn’t it interesting this is the only recorded statement Jesus made on the way to be crucified? These women were not the women who followed and aided Jesus during his ministry. These were “daughters of Jerusalem” and professional mourners. It’s interesting how no woman was ever hostile toward or spoke negatively about Jesus. Why? Jesus treated women with respect. He never taught or treated women as lesser. Because of his teachings women are not viewed as lesser in Christian nations today. Women, you need to thank Jesus for this. You are not lesser.

Jesus didn’t turn to these wailing women and say, “I appreciate your sympathy.” Instead he saiddo not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. I shouldn’t need to explain this to our church. He referenced the coming slaughter and destruction in A.D. 70 upon Jerusalem. Those very women and their children world experience the horror of horrors (Mat 24:21). I do want to point out one important thought to help you if you quest for biblical truth. Jesus said,

Luke 23:30 Then they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”‘

If we go to the Book of Revelation, we see:

Revelation 6:16-17 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

“Delbert, are you telling us the Book of Revelation is about the desolation of Jerusalem in A.D. 70?” I’m not today. I don’t have time, but if the “Great Tribulation” of Matthew 24:21 was to come upon that generation (Mat 23:36; 24:34) and these women saw it in A.D. 70 would it not make sense this is what the Book of Revelation was concerned, at least in part? Or were those women going to be alive thousands of years later? Just give it some thought.

Though he appeared to be, Jesus was not the victim. Jesus was the plan. They and their children were the victims. Jesus, on the way to his own execution gave yet another announcement and warning of their coming demise. The coming of the Son of man was on the mind of our Christ and his only recorded words on the way to the cross. He would not allow them to miss it. I won’t allow us.

Jesus said, “For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”If Roman soldiers do these things – cruel things – in times of peace, what will happen to the drydead nation in a time of war? In A.D. 70 those women and their children were slaughtered, women were raped, men were crucified until the Romans ran out of lumber. Bodies were placed in piles and the vultures feasted (Mat 24:28; Rev.14:20).

Luke 23:32-33 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, THERE THEY CRUCIFIED HIM, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left.

The humiliation humorous burlesque continued. One criminal was purposefully placed on Jesus’ right and one on his left as his key right and left hand assistants. Jesus as a king was laughable. He had no domain, no army, meager followers, and seemed weaker by the minute. The Jewish leaders knew Romans made a comedy and mockery of crucifixion. This is why they demanded Jesus be crucified. They didn’t want Jesus taken seriously.

There is a traditional location to where the place called the Skull was, but no one knows for certain. All four gospel writers were extremely restrained in describing the actual placing of Jesus on the cross. There they crucified him is two Greek words – ekei {ek-i’} stauroo {stow-ro’-o}. That’s all it says in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. There’s nothing about the nails, hammers, placement, nothing. No one needed to be told in their time. Josephus said it was the vilest of deaths. Every single person knew exactly what a crucifixion involved. Tens of thousands of people were crucified before it was outlawed in the fourth century AD, but the information we have on how it was actually done is minuscule. The point is the excruciation was not the emphasis of the gospel writers.

A drink of wine and gall was given the victim to sedate them in hopes to stop them from fighting. Jesus rejected this drink (Mat 27:34). He did not want sedation. I see him willingly placing his hands and feet for the Romans to drive the spikes through. Archeologists found one of these spikes for certain still in the heel bone of a crucified victim named Yehohanan in his ossuary. Instead of feet being crossed and nailed together as is usually projected, they were placed on either side of the upright beam and individually nailed through the heel. We can only imagine the relentless bolts of pain from nerve damage induced from hanging from the spikes in the hands/wrists and the spikes in the heels of the feet. Yet, nothing is said about it. We only get,“there they crucified him.”

It’s been projected death came by suffocation, but studies have proven this wasn’t the case. Hanging from one’s arms does not cause suffocation. In some instances, the victims hung for days. Death sometimes came from shock and blood loss, but usually death came from the breaking of the legs (femur) with a large mallet (sledge hammer) immediately allowing blood clots to hit the heart causing a heart attack. No one ever survived crucifixion.

The crowd, the Jewish leaders, the death squad, even the thieves were all in a blood sport stupor. Something had come over them.

Luke 23:35-39 The PEOPLE stood watching, and the RULERS even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” The SOLDIERS also came up and MOCKED him. They offered him WINE VINEGAR and said, “If you are the KING of the Jews, save yourself.” There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. One of the CRIMINALS who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

Matthew 27:39-44 THOSE WHO PASSED BY hurled insults at him, shaking their heads… In the same way the CHIEF PRIESTS, the TEACHERS of the law and the ELDERS MOCKED him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” In the same way the ROBBERS who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

Mark 15:32 Let this Christ, this KING OF ISRAEL, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” THOSE crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

The word mocked is empaizo {emp-aheed’-zo} – to play with, trifle with. The execution of Jesus became a comedy, a big joke, and an insanely funny comedy show. Not including before reachingthe place called the skull, 18 verses in Matthew, 16 verses in Mark, 14 verses in Luke, and 8 verses in John are dominated by mockery. Four words say “There they crucified him.” Over fifty verses tell of the mockery, humiliation, and dishonoring of Jesus.

But, in actuality this was God the Son and what was done was blasphemy at its apex. No blasphemy or sin by anyone was more heinous than this. They sneered at God as they humiliated the creator and redeemer. It would seem it was time for God to react. It seems this would be the moment a fire-ball of God’s wrath would come from heaven releasing every ounce of anger, vengeance, and fury possible. Was God going to tolerate this? If he is God then certainly he should react and strike and smite and slaughter and crush. If ever there seemed to be a time when God’s wrath was justified, this was it.

It was time to crush and it did come swiftly, but not on the Jewish leaders, crowd, or Roman soldiers. It came on Jesus.

Isaiah 53:4-5 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our SORROWS, yet we considered him STRICKEN BY GOD, SMITTEN BY HIM, and AFFLICTED. But he was PIERCED for our transgressions, he was CRUSHED for our iniquities; the PUNISHMENT that brought us peace was upon him, and by his WOUNDS we are healed.

Isaiah 53:7 He was OPPRESSED AND AFFLICTED, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the SLAUGHTER, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

Isaiah 53:10 Yet it was THE LORD’S WILL TO CRUSH HIM AND CA– USE HIM TO SUFFER

What came over these people was the plan of God and God’s purposes. The Lord crushed him with humiliation. In the strangest of ironies all this was the plan of God from the foundation and creation (Rev 13:8) written so clearly by Isaiah 750 years before as the sins, infirmities, and sorrows of mankind were hurled upon Jesus.

When we experience times of humiliating crushing do we see it as God’s plan, or do we see it as Satan? It would be so easy to say the most humiliating and crushing times of my life were of Satan, but when I look back I see it was God crushing something out of me so I could come to my destiny and his purpose. Some of you have gone through and are going through crushing times. I want to encourage you to look for God in it. You will ask, “Why?” but remember Jesus did too. From the foundation there’s a plan for you and me. Let’s find it.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-a-stone-box-a-rare-trace-of-crucifixion/