DPTD from Phil Sanders, Concord Rd. CoC, Brentwood, TN


Reading: Isaiah 53:4-12


When some folks think of a cross

               they may think of something

                              that's polished gold,

                              something attractive and shiny,

                              something beautiful.

They may think of a beautiful cross

               hanging from a gold necklace

                              or perhaps on gold earrings.

They may think of something to decorate

               something appealing to the eyes.

               something that people wear proudly.

Others may think of a white cross on a headstone in a cemetery

               Maybe they have seen a cemetery

                              where all the headstones

                                             have a white cross on the top

                                             all lined up row upon row.

This morning, when you think of a cross

               I want you to think instead of something

               more nearly related to

                              a gallows,

                              a hangman's noose,

                              a gas chamber

                              a syringe carrying a lethal injection,

                              an electric chair,

                              or the guillotine.

That's more like the cross where Jesus died.

Not something pretty, and shiny,

               but something designed to kill

                              and execute

               with the greatest of pain

                              and agony

               in a most horrible,

                              and terrible,

                              and shameful way.

Luke 9: 23  Jesus applied it to you and me when he said:

“If anyone wishes to come after Me,

               let him deny himself,

and take up his cross daily,

               and follow Me.


Crosses were not meant making life easier

               They were designed to die upon.

In 70 AD the Romans destroyed Jerusalem

30,000 crosses in Jerusalem

Crosses were made for dying

               A humiliating death

               an agonizing death:

Sometimes a man would linger 2-3 days

               That's why Pilate was amazed

               when it was reported

                              that Jesus had died

                              after only 6 hours on the cross.

However, A Roman citizen could not be crucified

Cicero, was a great Roman orator who died in 43 BC:

He wrote,

               "Not only let the cross

                              be absent from the presence

                              of Roman citizens,

               but it's very name

                              from their thoughts and ears."

Romans didn't want to THINK about a cross.

               They didn't evem want

               to HEAR about a cross.

In anothe place CICERO wrote that crucifixion was

"the most terrible and most cruel torture."


In the Roman Republic,

crucifixion was

               the ultimate punishment

                              for someone who committed

                              a capital offense,

               --but ONLY for those

                              who were not Romans.

Roman citizens who committed such crimes

               might be sentenced to work in the mines,

                              which was itself

                              it's own kind of death sentence.

But Crosses were for the scum of earth

               for the worst of criminals,

                              yes, and for slaves,

               but not for Roman citizens.

In 71 BC, Spartacus was a Roman slave,

He was being trained

               in the gladiators' school at Capua, Italy.

But he escaped

               and led a slave revolt,

               and gathered many runaway slaves about him,

In 72 BC

               he dominated much of Southern Italy.

But finally he was killed in battle.

               and they crucified some 6,000 captured slaves.

Perhaps you saw the movie Spartacus:

               There were lines of crosses

                              as far as the eye could see

                              with the slaves who were crucified on them.

Many thousands died on crosses in the Roman Empire

But there's a difference between those,

               and the death of JESUS

                              on the cross:

In the first place

               when Jesus died,

                              He died for us.

The others may have been punished

               for their OWN terrible crimes,

                              but ONLY JESUS died for us.

                              Only Jesus died for OUR sins

And secondly,

               Jesus is the only one, who,

                              after he was crucified,

                              AROSE AGAIN from the dead.

A Moslem once mockingly said to a Christian

               "We know where OUR prophet is buried,

                              and we can see his tomb

                              in the great mosque at Medina.

               but you don't even KNOW where

                              your prophet is buried.


The Christian replied,

               Well, yes, there is a difference there.

                              but that's because

                                             3 days after Jesus died,

                              He rose again from the dead

                                             and went back to heaven.


He Suffered Physically For You And For Me

I Pet 2:24