So Evidently Crucified

Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. 47 Now when the  centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man. 48 And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned. 49 And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.

So evidently crucified among you was the wording used by Paul to the Galatians church. Teachers who didn’t know what they were talking about came in after Paul left. The people forgot about the real foundation Paul preached. They were swerving away from whom they had trusted. The false teachers were saying yes people needed to accept Jesus but that wasn’t enough. The people were told that the Law of Moses had to be added. These were mostly Gentile people and they were told to live under the Law.  No. That’s not it. The lesson we learn from the Old Testament is that we are sinners who cannot please God in our own righteousness. We cannot keep the Commandments in a perfect way as required by the Law. We all fall short. We need to understand the rightful place of the Old Testament. We realize we’re sinners and thank God for the New Testament that shows us the Son of God who gave himself on the cross.

Paul asked who had bewitched them. The church was falling apart. They got the cart before the horse. He wanted to know how this could have happened when Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?  Maybe there were some who had actually seen it, but Paul had shown it to them with the Word. They were saved only by faith in God through Jesus Christ. They were delivered, born again. That’s how we’re saved. Jesus died, was crucified, and rose again. Whether you accept it or not. If you die and go to hell, it will still be with a Savior who gave his life for you.

Going to Luke we see what the people did. Luke 23:35 says And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.  This tells us they saw what was going on. Jesus was lifted up on the cross.  All could see him. Jesus said that if he was lifted up he would draw all men to himself.  He was nailed on the tree and lifted up. There was no mistake about it because everyone could see it.  They could see Jesus bleeding, hear his cries, see the torture. Moment by moment they watched him lose his life. Yet Jesus said to God Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. God could have come down in wrath because of what the people were doing to his Son, but Jesus wanted to save them, us. Jesus was like us in that he had a body. We suffer but never like Jesus did. And he did it because he wanted to. Shame on us if the cross is boring or if we hear the Word and it does nothing for us.

What did the people do? They smote their breasts and went on home. Are you saying today “I can’t wait to get home. Can’t wait to get to the TV. Can’t wait to get back to my old life.” Don’t treat the cross like that!  How can we not think of Calvary? The evidence is there. When he reaches his hand to us, it is nail scarred. His brow is scarred. You cannot get around Calvary, yet the people turned and went on. How? Jesus died. It was over. Never get over Calvary! It took Jesus six hours to bear our sin. He did it all to his last breath and last drop of blood. He said it was finished. It was our sins that killed him. We need to repent and acknowledge that we didn’t deserve it. We can’t take care of our sin; we need Jesus. We need the cross.  “At the cross. At the cross where I first saw the Light and the burden of my heart rolled away. It was there by faith I received my sight.” Without the cross we are all lost. It’s hopeless. The church is meaningless. Without the evidence of his crucifixion among us and around us, we might as well throw it away. The Old Testament shows us how sinful we were but also gives us the promise. Eve sinned and God said to the serpent, the old devil: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. A couple of times I’ve come across a snake and had to kill it by stepping on it. I didn’t step on its tail because it could twist around and bite me. No, I stepped on its head and soon it would die. I’m telling you the head of the serpent has been crushed. There is victory in Jesus!  Never sin by turning away, by walking away, from Calvary.

Calvary was accomplished. The work was finished. Then Jesus arose from the dead. It may be over as far as the event, but what Jesus did will never be over. He’s willing to save. See him bleeding on the cross. Hear him moaning. It was awful, yet Jesus wraps it up in his love and grace and presents it to us.  The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Do as they did in verse 49. Some of his followers beheld it all. They didn’t turn away.  Now is the time to be like they were. Even if others turn away, stand your ground with your face toward the cross.

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