MATTHEW 27:39-44, key vs. 40, 42
We live in a world today that is very antagonistic to God and the things of the Bible. I thought about something that recently came across my desk from Answers in Genesis. They are a very successful Science group that promotes Creation and a literal interpretation of Genesis. Their newest project is a life sized replica of Noah’s Ark. There was a feature story on ABC’s “World News With Diane Sawyer, and article in the New York Times, and many other world-wide publications.
With this notoriety came a lot of negative backlash. Much of it came from the secular world, but some of it even came from the “religious” crowd who were against promoting a literal belief in Genesis. Why? Because to believe literally in Genesis would mean that mankind would be held accountable to its Creator and then would have to take the remaining Bible literally.
Most of religion today does not want to take a literal approach to God’s Word, especially to Jesus’ claim to be the only way to heaven. This was never more evident than at the crucifixion of Jesus, as we see in vs. 40 & 42 and the phrase, “let him now come down from the cross…” But if Jesus had not died on the cross, shed His precious blood for the remission of sins, and rose from the grave on the third day, then there would be no hope of salvation.
The sad truth is that the world is filled with people who don’t want to recognize Jesus as dying on the cross for their sins. Are you one of the ones groups of people who wanted Jesus to come down from the cross? This coming week, we notice from the text 3 groups of people who wanted Jesus to come down from the Cross, and we will look at the first group today:
SINNERS IN THE CROWD – 27:39-40
The first thing we observe about this group is that they Spoke Evil – reviled. The word used for reviled here is – blasphēmeō, which means:
1. to speak reproachfully, rail at, revile, calumniate, blaspheme
2. to be evil spoken of, reviled, railed at
They spoke all manner of evil and lies about Jesus as He hung there on the cross paying for their sins. We live in a world, and amongst people who can’t wait to blaspheme the name of Jesus. Whether it is taking the Lord’s name in vain out of anger, or making our precious Saviour the punch line of some crude joke on a television show – people are still reviling the name of Jesus.
They try to “tear down” the name of Jesus because the Bible tells us in Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
A second characteristic we notice about them is that they Stirred Emotions – wagging. This was a display of their contempt and a public insult. Job suffered the same response from his so-called friends, as he said in Job 16:4 I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. David felt the same shame and penned this: Psalm 109:25 I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads.
A final characteristic we observe is that they Spewed Error – saying. Here is a group of people who probably never read OT Scripture, or would have anything to do with anything else Jesus might have said, but are quoting Him now OUT OF CONTEXT because it helps their cause.
Just like those today who like to quote (Judge not…God is love…etc) but have no clue on the context of those verses and what they really are saying. There are a lot of “Bible experts” out there who never have even read the Bible from cover to cover before.
These SINNERS IN THE CROWD wanted Jesus to come down off the cross, but He didn’t! Stayed tuned as we will move on to the second group of people who wanted Jesus to come down from the cross.