“Crucify Him!”

“Crucify Him!”

The Crucifixion is the very center of Christianity. The truth of the cross ensures the truth of the Christian message and the essential difference between Christianity and all other religions. It reveals that God’s way is to reach us (not vice versa). The Allah of Islam, in contrast, requires good works first to even be considered a worthy creature.

What makes Christianity even more remarkable, aside from it not being extinguished right then on the hill of Golgotha, was the extraordinary challenge that lay ahead for the apostles once the resurrection had taken place—yet the message thrived. It was not easy to preach a crucified savior to people who had witnessed crucifixions. Death on a cross was a humiliation usually reserved for slaves and the lowest of criminals.  For Jews, crucifixion defiled the land and was evidence of God’s curse on the crucified (Deuteronomy 21:23); for Gentiles, the idea that a divine man or an immortal could be crucified was foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:19). There could be no way for Christianity to survive without God’s direct involvement and inspiration of His messengers.

For Christians, Jesus’ crucifixion reveals God’s understanding of our deepest pain like no other occurrence could. He watched His only Son suffer excruciating, torturous pain, finally even dying for man’s sin, of which He was never even guilty, and in which He never took part.

This sermon excerpt from Charles Spurgeon paints an exceptional portrait of a love that is beyond our comprehension:

“I want you to admire, next, your Saviour’s strong resolve, his resolute purpose to go through all this suffering that he might effect our redemption. If he had willed it, he might have paused, he might have gone back, he might have given up the enterprise. You know how the flesh, in sight of all that pain and grief, cried, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me;” but here we see, before the Passion came, that strong and firm and brave resolve which, when the Passion did come, would not, could not, and did not flinch or hesitate, much less turn back. He could sweat great drops of blood, but he could not give up the work he came to do. He could bow his head to death, but he could not, and would not, cease to love his people whom he loved so much as to end his life for their sakes upon the accursed tree. Here are no regrets, and no faltering.
At any rate, I want you to notice how true it is that our Lord Jesus Christ is our Passover: “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” What the paschal lamb was to Israel in Egypt, that the Lord Jesus Christ is to us. Let us think of that for a few minutes. Put the passover and the cross together, for indeed they are one.
O beloved, let us bless our Lord for the true Passover! It was a night to be remembered when Israel came out of Egypt; but it is a night to be remembered even more when you and I, by the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus, are once for all passed over by the angel of avenging justice, and we live when others die;—a night to be remembered when our eager lips begin to feed on him whose flesh is meat indeed, and we eat and live for ever. Is not that the teaching of this text? Did not the Saviour mean this when he said, “Ye know that after two days is the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified”? These two things are bracketed together; as in mathematics, there is a sort of mark of “equals” put between them to signify that the one is equal to the other,—the feast of the Passover, and the fact that the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.”

Spurgeon, C. H. (1897). “After Two Days Is the Passover.” In The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons (Vol. 43, p. 291). London: Passmore & Alabaster.