You at the Cross Small

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You at the Cross 

Did you see who was there?

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • July 27, In the year of our Lord, 2014


  1. In May, I preached a sermon, “A Mother at the Cross.” 
  2. In June, I preached a sermon, “A Father at the Cross.” 
  3. In both sermons, I wanted to honor our respective parents 
    1. by seeing how Mary felt and how the Father in heaven felt
    2. at the crucifixion of Jesus, because
      1. as a mother and as the Father,
      2. they would have felt massive pain that day.
        1. That just comes with being a parent,
        2. as all of us know, because
          1. of the deep love we have for our children.
          2. Knowing the pain a parent can have increases our love for them.
  4. In July, let us just see ourselves at the cross. 
    1. There is going to be a crucifixion today, and
    2. everyone is going.
      1. Who is going to be crucified today?
      2. It shall be this man from Nazareth,
        1. a carpenter turned preacher/teacher,
        2. whom many people claim is the Son of God.
          1. The Jewish authorities demanded
            1. that the Romans crucify this man for such blasphemy,
            2. as they understood it.
          2. Therefore, we have gathered to witness His crucifixion.


  1. By the Way, Are You Comfortable? 
    1. It is never comfortable at these crucifixions.
    2. The temperature is never right in here.
      1. It is too hot.
      2. No, it is too cold.
    3. As they bring this carpenter/preacher/teacher to the place of crucifixion…
      1. oh wait, I got a text on my cell phone.
      2. Who is it?
        1. What did she say?
        2. No way, you tell him.
    4. No one greeted me. No one does anything for me.
  2. Luke 23.34 – “Father, forgive them…” 
    1. What are those hypocrites doing here?
    2. Look at those leaders over there,
      1. are they not the ones Jesus rebuked?
      2. What are they doing here?
    3. This is the last crucifixion I attend;
      1. there are hypocrites at crucifixions, you know.
      2. Besides, this is BO-RING!
        1. The man just hangs there.
        2. Nothing exciting happens at these crucifixions.
    4. You know, these clothes are old and ratty, I need some new ones.
    5. Then, Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang,
      1. as the Roman soldiers drive the nails
      2. through the hands and feet of Jesus of Nazareth.
    6. And Jesus said,

      34 “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” [And Luke said] And they divided His garments and cast lots (Luke 23.34).
  3. Luke 23.39–43 – “You shall be with me in paradise” 
    1. The union better make sure that I have enough for retirement.
      1. The government should do something about corporations.
      2. When is the government going to do something about my retirement.
    2. The president and congress have no idea what they are doing.
      1. How much longer before this crucifixion is over?
      2. There goes my cell phone.
        1. [Answer it]
        2. [Go off to the side]
        3. [Talk loudly on it]
    3. Then
      1. as Jesus hangs on the cross,
      2. as He feels the splitting pain rushing through His hands and His feet,
      3. as He struggles to breathe,
      4. the three men being crucified talk,

        39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” 40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” 43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23.39–43).
  4. John 19.26–27 – “Behold, your mother” “Behold, your son” 
    1. You know the church needs to do a better job of visiting my family.
      1. My elderly mother needs the deacons to look after her.
      2. Why don’t the people at this crucifixion go clean her house?
    2. Who is visiting the widows?
      1. What do we pay that preacher for?
      2. Are not the elders supposed to visit?
    3. Who is going to teach the children?
      1. These crucifixions take sooooo long.
      2. I wish they would clean it up around here.
    4. Doesn’t anyone care about me?
      1. No one greeted me.
      2. I can go find another crucifixion where the people are friendlier.
    5. Where are the elders? Where are the preachers? Where are the deacons?
      1. Can’t we sing more exciting music at these things?
      2. This just keeps droning on and on and on.
    6. Can’t they keep those kids quiet as we watch this crucifixion?

      26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home (John 19.26–27).
  5. Matthew 27.46 – “My God, My God…” 
    1. Why are they letting that man lead a prayer?
      1. He goes soooooooo long!
      2. I can’t hear him.
    2. Can’t people be quiet during prayer at a crucifixion?
    3. I hope we get away from this crucifixion in time for lunch.
      1. Otherwise, we will have to wait in line.
      2. Come on.
    4. I think I am going to fall asleep.
      1. This is so old-fashioned.
      2. Why do they always ask for money when they crucify a man?
    5. Over all the complaining, Jesus of Nazareth speaks,

      46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt 27.46).
  6. John 19.28 – “I thirst” 
    1. Man, I’m hungry.
      1. When is this going to be over?
      2. What’s for lunch?
    2. Is this crucifixion going to go on forever?
      1. Why don’t these guys on the crosses just die?
      2. This is killing me.
    3. I’m thirsty.
      1. I wonder if I would disturb anyone if I got up and got a drink of water.
      2. Watching those guys being crucified makes me thirsty.
    4. Where does the Bible say I have go to crucifixions anyway?
      1. Oh man, there are so many other things that I could be doing.
      2. This is a waste of time.
    5. After almost six hours on the cross,

      28 Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” (John 19.28).
  7. John 19.30 – “It is finished” 
    1. Is this Jesus ready to die yet?
      1. Yes, it seems like this thing is almost over.
      2. Oh man, then my family will hang around here forever.
    2. I will never make my kids go to crucifixions.
      1. We’ll have fun.
      2. I will let them do whatever they want.
    3. What time is it?
      1. This is for old people.
      2. Those young people need to hear this.
    4. The end appears near for Jesus,

      30a So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” (John 19.30a).
  8. Luke 23.46 – “Father, into Your hands…” 
    1. The hospital,
      1. the doctor,
      2. the government,
      3. Social Security,
      4. the bank,
      5. the psychotherapist,
      6. the police,
      7. the corporations,
      8. my representative,
      9. the preacher,
      10. the elders,
        1. had better be there when I need them.
        2. Someone needs to pay for all this.
    2. I want a free education…free food…free medical care…
      1. Make the rich pay for it.
      2. make the corporations pay for it.
      3. make the government pay for it.
        1. I don’t want to pay for other people.
        2. I earned what I have.
      4. I do not want to live with my kids when I get old.
      5. I want this and I want that.
    3. I can’t stand the rain; I can’t stand the sun.
      1. Grip, grip, grip.
      2. This is ridiculous.
    4. Then the deed was done that shook the Earth and veiled the sun,

      46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having said this, He breathed His last (Luke 23.46).


  1. While heaven suffered, 
    1. what was the world doing?
    2. Paul said to the Ephesian elders
      1. that Jesus purchased the church
      2. with His own blood (Acts 20.28).
    3. Yet, what occupies our thinking?
      1. Are we only thinking of our comfort?
      2. Are we bothered by the people we see in the worship service?
        1. Where is our attention?
        2. What is our focus?
  2. What does God think? 
    1. Does He question why we think we are better than others?
    2. Does He grow weary listening to our endless criticisms?
    3. How does our endless complaining affect Him?
    4. Should He accept us, if we cannot accept others?
  3. How would you conduct yourself at a crucifixion? 
    1. Why do we think a worship service is different,
      1. especially since we eat the Lord’s Supper and
      2. remember His crucifixion?
    2. Have we forgotten what Someone suffered that we might have what we have?
  4. At this very moment the God of heaven pours His grace and mercy upon us. 
    1. He has not ended the world.
    2. He has not taken us.
      1. He has left us here.
      2. He has let the world see another day.
        1. What shall we do with what He has given us?
        2. Did He give us those things simply for our comfort?
          1. Do you know what it means to be a Christian?
          2. It means that we live as Christ lived.
            1. Did He seek His own things first?
            2. No,
              1. He glorified God and
              2. He served others.
  5. Living and dying as Christ did 
    1. guarantees that you will enter the gates of heaven.
    2. He stands ready to forgive you of your past, and
      1. to help you begin a new life.
      2. What will you do?