Monthly Archives: February 2011

He Did Not Come Down–Part 3 of 3


Posted by Brad Gilbert on 2/17/2011
MATTHEW 27:39-44, key vs. 40, 42

As we finish up this study on these three groups of people who were present at the crucifixion of Jesus and how they all wanted Him to come down from the cross, we look at the final group:

SENTENCED ON THE CROSSES – 27:44

The first thing that we notice is that the Two were Critical – 27:44. Matthew’s Gospel account clearly shows us that both of the thieves who were on the cross, suffering from the death penalty for their sins and transgressions against society, were critical and blasphemous when the process of the crucifixion started. Both of these men were just like the scribes and chief priest in that they were under conviction for their sin.

And when we go to Luke’s gospel account, we see that there are two ways to respond to conviction.

One thief was Calloused – Luke 23:39. This thief was looking for what just about everyone else is looking for – some sort of temporal relief from their current situation. Many people come to church, or begin to pray, not because they seek to worship a holy God and repent of their sin, but because they are expecting some magical genie to grant them their wish so they can go back to living their life they way they had before.

This thief was not seeking forgiveness of his sins, but just a pardoning from his punishment. He was bitter at his lot in life – though it was well deserved. Some people are so obstinate to their need of a saviour, even till the bitter end.

But we notice a change in the other thief, he was Convicted – Luke 23:40-43. This second thief shows us a couple of truths:

1. It is never too late to turn to Christ as long as you have breath.
2. When under conviction, we can choose to either get better or get bitter.

Too many people today are under conviction about their sin, yet too prideful, scared, or confused to turn to Christ.

We read both in Matthew 27:50 and Luke 23:46 – HE DID NOT COME DOWN!

A great theologian of old Matthew Henry said in relation to this portion of Scripture – He {Jesus} was, at His death, numbered amongst the transgressors, that we, at our death, might be numbered among the saints.

We are all one of the thieves on one of the crosses because we are all sinners who deserve an eternity in Hell and the Lake of Fire. I am glad that in June of 1999 it was not too late for me and I called out to Jesus in repentance and faith and He saved my soul!

How about you? Which thief are you?

He Did Not Come Down–Part 2 of 3


Posted by Brad Gilbert on 2/15/2011
MATTHEW 27:39-44, key vs. 40, 42

In our last post, we took a look at the first group of people who were present at Jesus’ crucifixion. This post, we will study the second group:

SCRIBES & THE CHIEF PRIEST – 27:41-43

The scribes, Sadducees, Pharisees, and chief priest were always at odds with Jesus during His earthly ministry. There are certain characteristics we notice about this group.

The first characteristic we observe was that they were often Copycats – 27:41. These religious leaders were acting more like politicians than they were prophets or preachers. We observe this from the word “likewise.” They were not leading the way like they were supposed to have been doing, but just following the crowd.

It is a sad truth that many preachers and teachers will change, or soften, what they believe in order to gain a larger crowd. Most do not proclaim what they believe based on conviction; but test the wind to see what is the popular and follow after that. Beware of those who claim to be preachers, yet will not stand against anything. It has be aptly said before that, “If you won’t stand against anything, you will fall for everything.”

Another truth we notice is that they were Compassionless – 27:42. We know that they had no compassion on those in need. How? Because they knew of all the people Jesus helped that they themselves often ignored. They did not believe in Jesus while He was amongst them healing the sick and lame; they wouldn’t have believed on Him had He came down from the cross.

The measure of a man’s faith can been seen in how they help others less fortunate than himself. The religious leaders always had to have the attention focused on them, and thus had no time or desire to help others. When the spotlight must always be pointed on us, even while helping others, reveals a real deficiency in our character. It is during those times when we are more worried about our reputations and what we can gain from “helping” someone that we are following the lead of the religious rulers of Jesus’ day in showing our lack of compassion.

The final characteristic we notice is that they were Convicted – 27:43. By making the statement, “for he said, I am the Son of God,” these religious rulers reveal to us that secretly, they were under conviction. They wanted Jesus to come down from the cross because they did not want to admit that they were sinners in need of Redeemer.

When under conviction, you have one of two ways to respond, as we see from the final group in the upcoming post.