We See Jesus On The Cross
Written by Jay Yeager
Thursday, 12 February 2009 03:14

We See Jesus On The Cross

No event in human history can begin to compare to those witnessed and recorded at Calvary. The relationship between God and man (past, present and future) would undergo a change that only Jesus Christ, the Son of God could bring about.


Undoubtedly, the pressing need of our time is to get all men from every race, every background, and every nation to see Jesus on the cross dying for their benefit (Hebrews 2:9). To that end, our study will focus on three avenues that we may fully see Jesus on the cross:

  1. From the standpoint of a student - the Old Testament being fulfilled.

  2. From the standpoint of a person - an individual in need of salvation.

  3. From the standpoint of a Christian - a tremendous message to share.


Seeing Jesus on the Cross from the standpoint of a student – the Old Testament being fulfilled

No one can truly appreciate the magnitude of the cross without having an Old Testament background. That background would make it abundantly clear that the crucifixion of Christ was anything but:


  1. A random act of violence. Both David and Zechariah made it clear that Jesus would be betrayed and wounded by his friends. “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me” (Psalms 41:9; Matthew 26:14-16). “And one shall say unto him, what are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends” (Zechariah 13:6; John 1:11).


Further, Jesus knew that he was going to be put to death and even tried to prepare his disciples for his death. “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day” (Matthew 16:21).


  1. That Jesus was a helpless victim forced to die, rather than a death he willingly endured (Hebrews 2:9; 12:2). That Jesus offered no resistance or defense is not a sign of helplessness, but of actions foretold. “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken” (Isaiah 53:7-8).


This is the very section of Isaiah 53 that the eunuch was reading when Philip approached the chariot. After Philip ask the eunuch if he understood what he was reading, and the eunuch confessed that he did not, Philip was invited to sit with the eunuch and he began at the same scripture and preached unto him Jesus (Acts 8:30-35).


  1. That the cruel rejection of Jesus Christ by the Jews was a surprise unforeseen by God. Friends, nothing could be further from the truth; “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23). The suffering and death of Jesus is prophesied in vivid detail in the Old Testament. I offer the following as a sample:


  1. He would cry out “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Psalms 22:1; Matthew 27:46). The fulfillment of prophecy certainly, but is there more here?

    1. God is of purer eyes than to look upon sin (Habakkuk 1:13).

    2. God made Jesus to be sin for us who knew no sin (II Corinthians 5:21).

    3. Jesus bare our sins in his own body on the tree (I Peter 2:24).

    4. Was it the anguish and burden of sin that caused Jesus to cry out “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”


  1. “…They pierced my hands and my feet” (Psalms 22:16; Luke 23:33). The utter cruelty of crucifixion foretold by David more than a thousand years before crucifixion was ever practiced as a means of capital punishment.


  1. They parted my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture” (Psalms 22:18; John 19:23-24). Little concern or compassion is evident from those who crucified the Christ. Did the claim of Jesus to be the Son of God (John 9:35-38; 19:7) even enter their thinking? Or were they, like those in Job 21:14-15, so self-absorbed that it did not matter?


  1. “…He was numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12). All involved with the trial of Jesus knew he was innocent of any wrong doing. The Roman authorities: Pilate-“I find no fault in him” (John 19:4; 6). Herod-“Nothing worthy of death is done unto him” (Luke 23:15). Even those who delivered Jesus to trial were forced to bring false witnesses to testify against him, hardly the actions of those seeking truth or justice (Matthew 26:59-60).


Even the comments of those not officially involved in the trial are of interest as well, for their statements were made without fear of harm or advantages to be gained. Pilate’s wife-“Have nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him” (Matthew 27:19).


One thief railed on Jesus while the other defended him-“Doth thou not fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we received the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss” (Luke 23:40-41).


The centurion present at the cross simply out of duty, neither a follower of Christ nor a hater of him- “Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, truly this was the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54).


  1. They shall look upon me whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10). There is a connecting truth given here, but one needs to look back to see forward. The passover lamb was to be without spot or blemish (Exodus 12:5; Leviticus 22:22-24), without a bone broken (Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12). Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29; 36). Jesus is our passover (I Corinthians 5:7), he was without spot or blemish (I Peter 1:18-19), and not a bone of Jesus was broken (Psalms 34:20; John 19:31-37). Why did they pierce his side? That the scriptures might be fulfilled!


Seeing Jesus on the cross from the standpoint of a person, an individual in need of salvation


The love of God


There should not be one person able to look at Jesus on the cross and not see the love of God for every soul. That there are those who fail or refuse only speak to their shame, for the love of God is on display for all the world to see. “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we love God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:8-10).


Beloved, it is not because we were good and pure, but in spite of the fact that we were not.

For when we were yet without strength (unable to save ourselves), in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6).


But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).


For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10).


The love of Christ


Seeing Jesus on the cross, I see the love of Jesus in his willingness to die in my stead. Now in order for that to occur Jesus left the grandeur of heaven (II Corinthians 8:9) to take upon himself human form. “Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:6-8).


Please understand what that means. Five times in the New Testament the word “tree” is used in reference to the death of Jesus (Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29; Galatians 3:13; I Peter 2:24). Beloved, there is absolutely nothing desirable about hanging on a tree; in fact, beyond the complete cruelty, there is a curse connected to hanging on a tree. Jesus became that curse for us (Galatians 3:13; Deuteronomy 21:23). Did Jesus endure the cross? Yes! Did he despise the shame? Yes! (Hebrews 12:2). Then why did Jesus voluntarily go to Calvary? And it WAS voluntarily, no one could take his life (John 10:18).


Here is the answer, to save us from sin. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (I Peter 2:24).


To see Jesus on the cross is to see the terribleness of sin and our need for a Savior. Every person who is of the age of accountability needs to see that scene, because every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Ecclesiastes 7:20; II Corinthians 5:14) and because of what sin does. Sin separates a soul from God (Isaiah 59:1-2), kills us spiritually (Ephesians 2:1), and if we remain in that condition we will be lost forever (II Thessalonians 1:8-9).


What’s the answer? Friends, no matter how hard we try we cannot be good enough to remove our own sins (Ephesians 2:8-9). We cannot borrow someone else’s righteousness, Ezekiel 14:14 list three men: Noah, Daniel and Job, men commended for their righteousness. But their righteousness could not deliver neither their sons nor daughters (Ezekiel 18:20). The next time you are studying Matthew 25:1-13 will you please apply these verses, righteousness can neither be borrowed nor lent!


We cannot buy our salvation (I Peter 1:18-19), nor can anyone else buy our salvation for us “They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him” (Psalms 49:6-7). Jesus Christ is the only answer, he is the Saviour of the world (John 4:42; I John 4:14), the only way to the Father (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).


Every accountable soul needs to know what Jesus requires to be saved (Hebrews 5:8-9), it is neither complicated to understand nor difficult to obey:

  1. You must hear the word of God (Romans 10:17).

  2. You must believe the gospel (Mark 16:15-16).

  3. You must repent of your past sins (Acts 17:30).

  4. You must confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:10).

  5. You must be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).

  6. You must faithfully serve him all of your days (Revelation 2:10).


Seeing Jesus on the cross from the standpoint of a Christian with a tremendous message to share


  1. At the cross, the Old Covenant was dying (Romans 7:4) as Jesus was nailing it to the cross (Colossians 2:14).

  2. Through the death of Jesus Christ the New Covenant was coming to life (Hebrews 9:16-17).

    1. God’s complete and final revelation to man (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:5; Jude 3).

    2. A covenant that would be the standard of judgment (John 12:48).


  1. The blood, the purchase price of the church was being shed (Acts 20:28).


  1. Remission of sins, not a pushing forward to be remembered year after year (Hebrews 10:3-4; Leviticus 16), but the remission of sins as a reality. That would take blood (Hebrews 9:22), the blood of Christ shed for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28; Revelation 1:5). That blood would go backward as well as forward (Hebrews 9:15; Romans 3:25).


Seeing Jesus on the cross as a Christian carries a responsibility (Ephesians 3:10-11), and a privilege (Romans 1:14), to carry the message of salvation to a lost and dying world (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). Through Jesus Christ, one can become a part of God’s family, an adoption to be sure (Galatians 4:4-6), but sons and daughters no less (II Corinthians 6:17-18).


The offer by Jesus to come unto him is genuine (Matthew 11:28-30). The conditions of salvation unchangeable (Galatians 1:8-9). The promises are sure (Titus 1:2). The freedom to choose is there for each of us (II Corinthians 2:15-16; Acts 10:34-35). If you choose to serve God, do not tarry, today is the day of salvation (II Corinthians 6:2)!