Matthew 27:38-44

A. In addition to all the physical pain Jesus endured, He also endured taunts and reproaches while on the cross from sinners whose real issue was with God in heaven. ROM 15:3. 1. These were part of His soul-sufferings of exceeding sorrow. MAT 26:38. 2. These were part of the hell He experienced before death which culminated with the Father’s forsaking Him. MAT 27:46; ACT 2:27.

B. They taunted His Sonship, “...If thou be the Son of God...” (v. 40). 1. Jesus’s public ministry began with that doubt-provoking insinuation. MAT 4:3. 2. The spirit of Satan taunts us continually with that same doubt. 3. It was not for lack of miracles that they didn’t believe Him. ACT 2:22; JOH 12:37. 4. Their underlying disorder was their unbelief of God’s word. JOH 5:45-47. 5. Not even a witness of bodily resurrection can cure this unbelief. LUK 16:31. 6. The only miracle that can persuade natural man to believe is a new birth by the Spirit of God. 1CO 2:14; JOH 3:3.

C. While on the cross in weakness (2CO 13:4), His detractors suddenly found the bold speech they could not muster when He walked among them and spoke boldly. JOH 7:26. 1. In previous challenges Christ had stopped their mouths with sound doctrine. TIT 1:9-11 c/w LUK 13:17; MAT 22:41-46. 2. Cowards deride and threaten when they are safe. Give them a keyboard and a room in the basement and they are very bold. 3. Pray for boldness in witness. ACT 4:29; EPH 6:19-20.

D. Compare v. 43 with PSA 22:7-8. 1. These Christ-deniers virtually spoke verbatim what was prophesied of the Christ. 2. Some of the strongest proofs that Jesus was the Christ were provided by His enemies who did to Him what the Scriptures said would be done to the Christ. ACT 13:27. 3. God made their wrath praise Him. PSA 76:10. 4. They mocked the fact that Jesus trusted in God to deliver. c/w HEB 2:13. a. This was a long-standing problem with Israel: trusting in other than God to deliver. JER 11:12; 17:5; 7:4, 8; ISA 28:15; JOH 8:33. b. Jesus did not only trust God to deliver from evil, but through and out of evil. ACT 2:27 c/w ROM 8:37; 2TI 3:11. c. Jesus believed that joy was beyond the cross and so endured their contradictions. HEB 12:2-3. 5. Mockers not only proved Whom Jesus’s Father was by their folly, they also proved who their father was. c/w JOH 8:44. a. Like Satan at the beginning of Christ’s ministry (MAT 4:1-3), they baited Jesus with a suggestion to save Himself contrary to God’s will. b. Like father, like son. They didn’t even need to have been in the wilderness with Satan in the temptation: his spirit works everywhere in the children of disobedience. EPH 2:2.

E. They taunted, “He saved others; himself he cannot save...” (v. 42). 1. This insinuated that His other miracles were likely shams. c/w MAT 12:24. 2. They unwittingly spoke truth in their mockery but they had a corrupt twist in it. 3. Christ’s power to save was not limited by His ability but only by His covenant duty. MAT 16:21. 4. He could have forsaken His duty, come down from the cross and saved Himself but to what value? a. They still wouldn’t believe, and He would have been disobedient, a sinner. b. It was more important that the Scriptures be fulfilled. MAT 26:53-54. c. One of the greatest expressions of power is not using it. d. Without His death there is no New Testament, redemption or eternal life. HEB 9:15-16. 5. Christ was not only “...not easily provoked” (1CO 13:5), He was not oppressively provoked. a. In this He was, thankfully, greater than Moses. PSA 106:32-33. b. Life and death are in the power of the tongue (PRO 18:21), and our salvation hung on His power of restraint. 1PE 2:22-24.

F. The taunters also wanted Him to prove He was the King of Israel by coming down from the cross. v. 42. 1. But the proof that Jesus was God’s Son and Israel’s King was not by coming down from the cross but by coming up from grave! ROM 1:4. 2. David had an eye on His resurrection when He saw the Messianic Son of God coronated. ACT 2:29-32. 3. God was not lying to David about the certainty of his seed’s reign---from heaven! PSA 89:35-37. 4. There was a great deal at stake by Christ not coming down from that cross: eternal life by His death, justification by His resurrection (ROM 4:25), a New Testament for all nations, reign over all things from heaven (1PE 3:22), victory over death and Satan, and a lively hope for all believers. 1PE 1:3.

G. We prove that we are sons of God by embracing His cross and His resurrection. 1. We forsake all denial of the finished work of redemption from the cross. HEB 1:3 c/w GAL 3:13. 2. We glory in it to the exclusion of our own merit. GAL 6:14. 3. We bear our own cross of submission to God after His model. MAT 10:37-39. 4. This is Christ’s death and resurrection in action in our lives. ROM 6:4, 10-11. 5. The life of submitted obedience is called walking after the Spirit. ROM 8:1. 6. Submitted saints led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God and kings of His Israel. ROM 8:13-14; 5:21; REV 1:5-6 c/w GAL 6:15-16.

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