Jesus Died in Our Place and Now We Live in His Place
A. Jesus’ death
1. Excluded from society (21-27)
21 A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. 22 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 23 Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. 25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. 27 They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. [ 28 ]
2. Everything about his life was repudiated (29-32)
29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 come down from the cross and save yourself!” 31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, 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.
3. Abandoned by God (33-34)
33 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
4. Left to die (35-37)
35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” 36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said. 37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
B. The God who died in our place
“The curtain of the temple was torn in two” (38)
The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
2. It was all part of God’s plan
3. The promise of resurrection
C. We live in Jesus’ place
1. Like Simon, the man from Cyrene (21)
A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.
2. Like the centurion (39)
And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
3. Like the women (40-41)
40 Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome. 41 In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.
Jesus experienced isolation on the cross. As he faced unbelievable physical suffering he was excluded from society, his way of life was repudiated, and all of his friends deserted him. It felt as though God did not exist, and even if he did, that he was indifferent to Jesus’ suffering. Jesus went through all of this so that we would not have to experience the same. No matter what the circumstance, God will never abandon us or leave us to suffer alone. He suffers with us and grieves with us. Jesus died in our place and we have been called to live in his.
- Because of Jesus’ cross, we no longer have to live in despair. Why, then, do we still despair from time to time? How can we encourage someone who is experiencing despair?
- What, specifically, does it mean to live in Jesus’ place?