The Story 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • July 19, In the year of our Lord, 2015

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Kevin Michael – “I Love to Tell the Story” (275)


  1. Some have called it the Greatest Story Ever Told. 
    1. So I thought that I could title my sermon, “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”
      1. That would be true, but
      2. it did not set apart the story of Jesus as it should.
    2. Also, I want to focus upon the crucifixion and
      1. what happened prior to the crucifixion,
      2. thus, The Only Story, seemed better.
    3. However, the story of Jesus is The Story,
      1. even as the Bible is the greatest book ever written,
      2. yet we call it simply The Bible, that is, The Book, because
      3. it is The Book, so the story of Jesus is The Story.
  2. I Love to Tell the Story 
    1. We have a song that has a special place in the hearts of Christians.
    2. We sing, “I Love to Tell the Story,” (275),

      I love to tell the story
      Of unseen things above,
      Of Jesus and His glory,
      Of Jesus and His love;
      I love to tell the story
      Because I know ’tis true;
      It satisfies my longings
      As nothing else can do.

      I love to tell the story:
      More wonderful it seems
      Than all the golden fancies
      Of all my golden dreams;
      I love to tell the story:
      It did so much for me;
      And that is just the reason
      I tell it now to thee.

      I love to tell the story:
      ’Tis pleasant to repeat
      What seems, each time I tell it,
      More wonderfully sweet;
      I love to tell the story,
      For some have never heard
      The message of salvation
      From God’s own holy word.

      I love to tell the story,
      For those who know it best
      Seem hungering and thirsting
      To hear it like the rest;
      And when, in scenes of glory,
      I sing the new, new song,
      ’Twill be the old, old story
      That I have loved so long.

      I love to tell the story!
      ’Twill be my theme in glory
      To tell the old, old story
      Of Jesus and His love.

      1. It is hard to talk—and to preach—about the crucifixion
      2. without feeling the well of emotion overflowing within us.


  1. Think of the Trials of Mockery and Beatings 
    1. After they arrested Jesus,
      1. they put Him through five, perhaps six trials.
      2. Why did they bother to have trials, because
        1. they did not have much of a trial in the case of Stephen and
        2. when Saul persecuted the church,
          1. trials did not seem to be a concern.
      3. Perhaps the Jews thought after the death of Jesus,
        1. and the movement of Christ increased rapidly,
        2. that no time could be wasted on trials.
    2. John 18 records the first trial,

      12 Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him. And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year (John 18.12–13).
    3. John 18 records the second Jewish trial,

      24 Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest (John 18.24).
    4. Luke 23 records three Roman trials,

      1 Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate (Luke 23.1).

      8 Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him (Luke 23.8).

      13 Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, 14 said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; 15 no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing worthy of death has been done by Him” (Luke 23.13–15).

    5. Jesus did not eat or drink during His trials.
      1. He did not sleep.
      2. His enemies punched and slapped Him while blind folded.
      3. The Romans stripped Him,
        1. put a purple robe on Him,
        2. placed a crown of thorns on His head,
        3. bowed before Him,
        4. spit on Him, and
        5. smacked His head with a reed.
    6. They spit in the face of the Judge of judges.
    7. Isaiah 50.6 prophesied,

      6 I gave My back to those who struck Me,
      And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;
      I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.
      (Isa 50.6)

      1. The spitting hurt more than the physical beatings, because
        1. Jesus loved these people,
        2. even as He suffered on their behalf,
          1. doing something good for them
          2. that was beyond anything that they could imagine.
      2. Simultaneously
        1. He showed the greatest love and
        2. they showed the greatest hate!
          1. Have the forces of love and hatred
          2. ever had a greater confrontation than on that day?
      3. The beauty of it all is that Love won.
    8. What will it be like for these men—
      1. if they did not repent—
      2. when they must face Jesus on His judgment throne?
    9. Hopefully the Jewish men were among the 3,000 on the day of Pentecost, or
      1. among the Jews later who repented and
      2. sought the forgiveness of Jesus Christ, and
        1. hopefully the Roman men later turned to Christ,
        2. otherwise their judgment is exceedingly dreadful.
  2. The Scourging Jesus Endured 
    1. The cruelty of the trials did not satisfy His enemies.
      1. They wanted blood,
      2. even before the tortures of a Roman crucifixion.
        1. Matthew 27 says simply and briefly, that when Pilate,

          26 “had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified” (Matt 27.26).
        2. A first century reader did not run over those words quickly.
    2. They stripped Him,
      1. tied Him to a post, and
      2. whipped His back and legs with the scourge.
        1. Scourges differed, but
        2. one variety had three strands of leather
        3. with metal tied along the strands to increase the force of the blows,
          1. tearing the skin even worse
          2. than a plain strand of leather.
    3. What will it be like at the Judgment for the Roman who scourged Jesus?
    4. Then they made Him carry His own cross.
      1. Imagine carrying the weapon of your execution,
        1. loading the rifle, or
        2. tying the knot in the rope, or
        3. filling the needle that will carry the lethal injection, or
        4. wiring the chair, or
        5. bringing the gas for the chamber!
    5. Not eating,
      1. not drinking,
      2. not sleeping the night before,
      3. enduring beatings and
      4. a scourging,
        1. Jesus could not carry His cross all the way, but
        2. the Romans found a man to carry it the rest of the way.
          1. Now wasn’t that nice of the Romans!
  3. See Jesus Crucified 
    1. Paintings often show Jesus high up and already dead.
      1. He could not have been too high up, or
      2. even the muscular Roman soldiers
        1. could not have handled the cross, because
        2. it would have been top heavy.
      3. The cross had to have been a foot or two off of the ground.
    2. Being just above ground
      1. His executioners and mockers
      2. could look Him straight in the eye and
      3. humiliate Him.
    3. When you see Jesus on the cross in your mind’s eye
      1. see Him still alive—for He was for six hours—and
      2. see Him experiencing fully the agonies of the cross.
        1. See Him looking and talking to the thief who defended Christ.
        2. See Him looking to the Father and praying for His enemies.
        3. See Him looking to His beloved mother and to His beloved disciple.
        4. See Him looking at you.
        5. Why is He looking at you?
    4. Jesus died sooner than most men during a crucifixion.
      1. The fact that He had died after only six hours
      2. shows in Pilate’s reaction to the announcement
        1. that Jesus was dead.
        2. Mark 15.44 says that Pilate marveled that Jesus was already dead, and,
          1. apparently not believing the report,
          2. Pilate questioned the centurion.
      3. The two others were still alive, and
        1. since the Sabbath approached quickly
        2. the Romans broke their legs
          1. with giant hammers or clubs
          2. to hasten their deaths
            1. so that they could not push up anymore and breathe.
      4. Most men took from 36 hours or several days to die!
    5. Was Jesus weaker than most men?
      1. Remember what He had already experienced.
      2. No sleep, no food, no drink.
      3. Beatings and the scourging.
      4. The emotional low from the people forsaking Him.
      5. The spiritual low from the Father forsaking Him.
    6. Jesus died when He wanted to die,
      1. when He had completed His sacrifice as the High Priest, for
      2. He had said that He had the power to die,

        17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father” (John 10.17–18).
    7. His last two sayings on the cross show
      1. that He held the time of His death in His hands,

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

        30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit (John 19.30).

    8. How did He endure all that He suffered?
      1. What is it like to be beaten?
      2. What is it like to be spat upon?
      3. What is it like to be scourged?
      4. What is it like to be rejected by everyone?
      5. What is it like
        1. to be nailed through the hands and the feet, and
        2. to be left to hang like a picture on a wall
          1. until you die from
          2. hunger,
          3. dehydration,
          4. asphyxiation, and
          5. the sheer pain of the nails?


  1. Why Did He Do It? 
    1. He loves us.
    2. He wanted to save us from our sins.
  2. He experienced the consequences of sin for us. 
    1. Now through His grace and
    2. our obedient faith
      1. He will forgive us of
      2. whatever we have done.
        1. He forgave His executioners,
        2. He can forgive you.