The Promises of the Cross

What Jesus Promised When He Carried His Cross to Golgotha

Audio MP3


April 17th  2011 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (Matthew 27:22,23)


A.    The crucifixion of Jesus the Messiah on the cross is a pretty dark event. Nothing can take away the awfulness of that event. It, in its reality, can only be summarised as torture of the worst kind!


1.      Invented by the Persians about 300 years before the birth of Jesus

2.      And the Romans “perfected” it!

3.      In Matthew 27:22, Pilate asks “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?

4.      They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.”

5.      Crucified?

6.      In the next verse, Pilate asked, “Why, what evil hath he done?”

7.      But they cried out the more, saying, “Let him be crucified!”

8.      Just 12 verses later, the Bible simply records, “And they crucified him”


B.     What does it mean to be crucified?


1.      Publically flogged first.


a.       Jesus was publically stripped and tied to a tall wooden post and anchored so he couldn’t move away from the approaching whip

b.      Two Roman legionaires stepped forward each with a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each.

c.       The heavy whip was brought down from two different directions with full force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back, and legs.

d.      At first the whip would cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continued, they would cut deeper into the tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles. Finally, the skin of the back was hanging in long ribbons, and the entire area was an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it was determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner was near death, the beating was finally stopped. The scourging was intended to weaken the victim to a state just short of collapse or death.


2.      Absolute Humiliation and Mockery


a.       The half-fainting Jesus was then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with his own blood. The Roman soldiers saw a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be a king.

b.      They threw a robe across His shoulders and placed a stick in His hand for a sceptre. They still needed a crown to make their travesty complete. Small flexible branches covered with long thorns, commonly used for kindling fires were plaited into the shape of a crude crown.

c.       The crown was pressed into his scalp and again there was copious bleeding as the thorns pierced the tender vascular tissue.

d.      Dozens of grown filthy soldiers circle Him and laugh at Him, spitting huge amounts of spit upon Jesus’ face and upper body

e.       They ripped the hair from Jesus’ beard from His face (Isa 50:6)

f.       After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers took the stick from His hand and struck Him across the head, driving the thorns ever deeper into His scalp.

g.      Jesus stinks, is bleeding all over His face, is severely bruised, and yet not making a whimper!


1)      His hands have already been bruised by the ropes that bound Him tight in the Garden

2)      He was hit hard by an officer in Annas’ home (John 18:22)

3)      He has been beaten and spit upon already by the Sanhedren (Mt 26:67,68)

4)      By Herod’s soldiers (Luke 23:7-11)

5)      And now by Pilate’s best soldiers!


h.      Finally, they tired of their sadistic sport and tore the robe from His back.  The robe had already become adherent to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds, and its removal, just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, caused excruciating pain. The wounds again began to bleed. Jesus was handed his clothes again, and put on His own robe.

3.      Parading through the streets of Jerusalem. And then they have had their fun, and now parade Him through the streets of Jerusalem to Golgatha to be crucified with two other criminals!


C.     And then, the torture began. Everything that had already happened, just prepared the victim for the worst that was yet to come!


a.       The heavy beam of the cross was tied across His shoulders. The procession of the condemned Jesus, two thieves, and a company of Roman soldiers headed by a centurion began its slow journey along the route which we know today as the Via Dolorosa (the way to the cross).

b.      For 650 metres Jesus journeyed from the Fortress Antonia to Golgotha. There, the prisoner was again stripped of His clothing except for a loin cloth which was allowed the Jews.

c.       Jesus was offered vinegar wine mixed with myrrh, a mild pain-relieving mixture. He refused the drink.

d.      Jesus was quickly thrown backward, with His raw shoulders against the rough wood. A Roman legionnaire grabbed the wrist of Jesus and felt for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drove a heavy, square, 5 inch wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moved to the other side and repeated the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexibility and movement. The broad title “This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews” was nailed into place just above Jesus.

e.       The left foot was next pressed backward against the right foot. With both feet extended, toes down, a nail was driven through the arch of each foot, leaving the knees moderately flexed. It is at this point, that the entire wooden structure was raised at an angle into a square whole almost 2 feet deep, when the victim, attached to his cross was dropped.

f.       And at that moment, every joint in Jesus’ body went out of place (Ps 22:14) – because of the tension holding Himself still against all the pain as the cross moved and jerked!

g.      Jesus looks like raw hamburger mince meat hanging on that cross (Isa 52:13,14)

h.      Jesus was now crucified.


2.      From here on out, it takes every bit of strength just to breath!


a.       As Jesus sagged down, the weight on the nails in the wrists was excruciating. Fiery pain shot along the fingers and up the arms and exploded in the brain. In order to avoid this stretching torment in His wrists, He placed His full weight on the nail through His feet and pushed upwards. Again there was searing agony as the nail tore through the nerves between the bones of this feet.

b.      At this point, another phenomenon occurred. As the arms fatigued, great waves of cramps swept over the muscles, knotting them in deep relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps came the inability to push Himself upward.  Hanging by the arms, the pectoral muscles, the large muscles of the chest, were paralyzed and the small muscles between the ribs, were unable to act. Air could be drawn into the lungs, but could not be exhaled. Jesus fought to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, the carbon dioxide level increased in the lungs and in the blood stream, and the cramps partially subsided.

c.       This would continue for hours, and sometimes DAYS, until the victim finally had no further strength to breath, and died!


3.      Remember, all of this was done in front of a speachless crowd of thousands who watched in silence for four hours!

4.      And remember, that it was during those final hours, that instead of screaming and crying out in pain, Jesus spoke forgiveness, assurance to the thief on the cross next to Him, prayed, took care of His mother!

5.      Now we know that Jesus wasn’t killed by the crucifixion. He had a job to do, and He was going to stay on that cross until that job was done! He stayed on the cross until EVERY sin was paid for. Every sin of MINE, of YOURS, and YOURS too! And then He shouted “IT IS FINISHED!”


D.    That was only the surface event. Something else was happening a promise was being kept – as a matter of fact, several promises!

E.     Turn to John 16:20-22


1.      You see, the cross was not the end! It was the conclusion of a chapter yes, but not the last page of the book.

2.      Something else was finished! Something only the cross could accomplish!

3.      Something bigger, and better than anyone could have ever imagined!

4.      It was the resurrection! And that was just ONE of the promises of the cross!

5.      Jesus said that there would be such sorrow for the disciples at the cross, but He PROMISED that their sorrow would be turned to JOY!


F.      Let’s look at the JOY of the many promises of the cross – the many results of the cross!


II.    Message


The first promise fulfilled on the cross was…

A.    That God’s Righteousness would be Satisfied (Isaiah 53:11)


1.      This is THE most important promise of the cross – it is the one thing we, as a human race have to worry about

2.      The wages of sin is DEATH – no escaping it!


a.       You will see people live ungodly, and wickedly, and live sometimes pretty long lives

b.      But in the end, they all die! Every last one of them!

c.       And then they face the judgment (Heb 9:27) of God!

d.      The wrath of God is what all of us will face because of our sins.


1)      John the Baptist shouted to the crowds that came to him every day, “Who hath warned you to flee from the WRATH of God?”

2)      It doesn’t matter who you are! Doesn’t matter how few sins you have committed

3)      God said in Ezek 18:4, “The soul that sinneth, it shall DIE!”


3.      But because of the cross, that horrible event of 2,000 years ago:


a.       God’s wrath has been emptied out

b.      God’s justice has been satisfied


4.      How?


a.       Because Jesus took our place (1Peter 3:18)


1)      He became forsaken and abandoned by God (Psalm 22:1)

2)      HE was wounded, bruised, chastised FOR US “all WE like sheep”

3)      He finished the requirements of the law (Col 2:14) – there is no more any of us have to do to be perfect in God’s sight except accept the free gift of forgiveness at Christ’s expense!


b.      The cross reconciled sinners to God (Eph 2:16; Rom 5:6,8)

c.       It actually made peace between TWO enemies – God and ME (Col 1:20)!


5.      Take a look at the promise of the cross in Isaiah 53:3-5, 10,11


a.       Only Jesus’ blood, dripping down the cross could satisfy the demand that somebody die for all the sins of the world

b.      Only the punishing death of the cross would open the flood gates of forgiveness (Zech 12:10-14; 13:1)!!!


6.      All because God was satisfied – He was pleased with His Son taking the place in punishment for all mankind!

7.      Thank God for the promise of the cross!

8.      Thank God that Jesus could confidently cry out IT IS FINISHED!

9.      But the promises don’t stop here! It just gets better!


B.     That Sin would be Unplugged – and it still is


1.      Sin has a power, doesn’t it? an attractiveness


a.       It wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t so much fun and so enjoyable

b.      Sin is like a magnet – tell a person to not do something, and from that moment, all they think about is doing it!

c.       Sin has power of our thoughts, it has power over our chemicals – all you have to do is see something or someone dress immodestly and something “turns on!”

d.      It has POWER


1)      It has power to numb you and ruin your brain

2)      It has power to confuse you

3)      It has power to kill you! Name me a sin that doesn’t kill


a)      Smoking…?

b)      Pornography? Let your wife or girlfriend see you watching it

c)      Stealing? Just try and run from being caught

d)     Drinking? Liver failures, oesophageal cancers, stomach cancers

e)      Lying?

f)       They all ruin your life, and kill you in the end!


4)      It has power to draw you into more sin

5)      Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.


2.      But thank God!


a.       The cross promised that SIN would be unplugged

b.      What happened on the cross was actually the fulfilment of a promise that SIN would lose its power there (John 8:36; Gal 5:1)

c.       Praise God that a Christian is freed from the BONDAGE of sin – from the dominion, the power, the control of sin (Romans 6:6-14)

d.      Hey! A Christian lives not sinless, but free!


1)      Yes Christians do sin, and grieve terribly

2)      But we live free of sin constantly controlling our lives like it used to

3)      Why can we say that? Because of the cross!


3.      Jesus didn’t take sin away from you – He just unplugged it


a.       He took away the power source behind sin in the life of the believer


1)      It still looks pretty and fun

2)      It still pulls on this flesh and on this mind


b.      But thankfully, it does NOT have the power over us like it used to!


4.      If any of you Christians have problems with any sin in your life, it is simply because you keep trying to plug it back in for old time’s sake! Which is stupid! Why would you try and enjoy what was killing you before?!!!

5.      Thank God sin’s power has been unplugged in my life!

6.      Start living free of the sins that used to control you! By just obeying God’s word by faith instead of by your own strength and feelings!


C.     That Satan would be Defeated (Gen 3:15) – and he was!


1.      Like I said, it just gets even better!

2.      I love it when the devil loses!

3.      Satan is the god of this world – the prince and the power of the air, the prince of darkness


a.       He runs this world

b.      And up to the crucifixion, he had little to no competition


4.      And then Jesus laid His mighty arms across the main beam of the cross, and pressed down his feet onto the supporting beam, and with every strike of the hammer, Jesus crushed Satan’s power!

5.      Jesus, by DYING, destroyed “him that had the power of death” (Hebrews 2:14)

6.      That’s the power of the cross!


a.       It is not a charm, or a good luck piece

b.      Not a crucifix that people wear around their necks

c.       It is the REAL cross of 2,000 years ago that defeated Satan!

d.      Satan was always trying to kill off Jesus

e.       But Jesus death was no victory for Satan – it was his defeat!


7.      And next time Satan tries to convince you that he is pretty powerful, with fear, and nightmares, and worries and anxieties, just remind him that he is defeated! He has LOST the war!


D.    That Jesus’ Stripes Would actually HEAL (1 Peter 2:24) – and it HAS!


1.      By His STRIPES – what does that mean?


a.       The whipping

b.      The lashes across almost all of His flesh

c.       The beating, the bruising

d.      The PUNISHING for all MY wrongs, and things I have done both against other people AND against an all holy God!


2.      Those gashes criss-crossing across the flesh of Jesus, HEAL…


a.       Broken minds

b.      Broken marriages

c.       Broken hearts

d.      They heal every abuse, and bitterness, and guilt


3.      Do you realise why most people in the world are only coping with life through drink every weekend, and drugs throughout each day of every week?

4.      Because they rely on every other possible help besides Jesus! And none of those “helps” actually HEAL!

5.      Some of you this morning in here are still in bondage


a.       Wrapped in the bondage of bitterness, and unforgiveness – JESUS DIED ON THAT CROSS to free you from that bondage!

b.      Some of you are trapped in lust and pornography – JESUS DIED to pay for that wicked filth coming into your head and heart!

c.       Some of you are trapped by sinful habits that the Bible clearly says you have been made free from, and you won’t accept it by faith!


6.      It’s time you started believing the promise that the CROSS healed you the moment you believed in the Saviour that hung there, bruised and bleeding for you!


E.     That Death would be Swallowed up in Victory (Isaiah 25:8) – and it was!


1.      What looked like absolute and total defeat, was actually DEATH being defeated!

2.      Jesus promised over and over that not only would he be cruelly tortured and crucified, but that He would RISE AGAIN three days later very much alive (Mt 16:21; 17:22,23; 20:19; 27:63)

3.      The cross was not the death of a Man – it was the defeat of DEATH


a.       John 5:24

b.      John 6:67 – I got ETERNAL life

c.       John 8:51


4.      That’s why Christians don’t fear death – because we will never die! Our flesh my die, but this sinner has been GIVEN eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord!

5.      Hey! Jesus will never die again (Heb 10:9-14). He is alive forevermore!


a.       More about that next week!

b.      Which, by-the-way is NOT Easter –it is RESURRECTION Sunday!


F.      Lastly, That Sinners would be Drawn to follow Him (John 12:32,33)


1.      Not the gruesomeness of the crucifixion, but drawn to the promises of the cross


a.       That LIFE, both eternal life, and abundant life are found at that old rugged cross

b.      That the Man who died there, cried out “Father Forgive them, for they know not what they do!”

c.       That the same Jesus who died on that cross, rose again, and loves every sinner, and asks them to look unto Him and be saved (Isaiah 45:22)


2.      How do you draw nigh to God?


a.       Repent of your sinful life

b.      Gladly believe that He is all you will ever need to be forgiven and made able for heaven!

c.       He will refuse NO ONE (John 6:35-37)

d.      IF they will just come as a sinner, ready to be changed!


3.      Those of us who have gotten to know all about what happened on the cross, glory in the cross, and get blessed just reading about it!


a.       Gal 6:14 “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

b.      1Cor 1:17,18, 22-24 “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”


III. Conclusion


A.    The crucifixion of Jesus the Messiah on the cross is a pretty dark event. Nothing can take away the awfulness of that event. It, in its reality, can only be summarised as torture of the worst kind!

B.     What did it mean to be crucified?


1.      Publically flogged first

2.      Humiliation and mockery

3.      And then, torture.


C.     But that was only the surface event. Something else was happening a promise was being kept – as a matter of fact, several promises!


1.      God’s Righteousness was Satisfied

2.      Sin was Unplugged – and it still is

3.      Satan was Defeated

4.      Jesus’ Stripes actually HEAL

5.      Death was Swallowed up in Victory

6.      Lastly, Sinners are still Drawn to follow Him