Damariscotta Baptist Church
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Growing personal relationships with God and community

04/05/15 Sermon - Where are You?

“Where are you?”

Easter 2015

 

 

Today we are going to have a dramatic reading of the Bible story of the crucifixion of Christ. If I were to take a poll of everyone sitting in this room today, of how many of you have heard the story of Jesus’ crucifixion, I suspect I would get close to 100%. You know the story, or at least you have the major details down. Jesus was found guilty by the Jewish leaders, crucified, nailed to a cross, buried, and three days later rose from the dead. 40 days later he ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father, God, waiting until the appointed day to return.

Jesus did all this in order to be the perfect sacrifice needed to free each person who chooses the gift, from their sins and allows them the opportunity to live in heaven for eternity.

There you have it in a nut shell.

However,

Hearing a story, and experiencing a story, are two entirely different things. And this particular salvation story needs to not only be heard but needs your participation, in order for it to be understood.

So today, I am going to ask you to sit back, relax, and listen to the crucifixion story from a slightly different point of view.

As best you are able, I want you to strip your mind of any pre conceived notions or ideas you may have of the process Jesus went through during his crucifixion.

As you listen to the story being told today, I want you to focus on the characters mentioned in the story. Every character, EXCEPT Jesus. You see, you already know what happens to Jesus. That is the part of the story you hear every year.

Today, I want you to focus on the other characters in the story. And as you picture the individuals that are mentioned in the story, I would like you to choose which character or characters, you find yourself relating to most. Try to match your personality, your current level of spirituality, your identity with at least one of the characters revealed in the story.

Let me give you a quick snapshot of the characters you will meet.

Roman Governor Pilate – Finds himself stuck between a rock and a hard place. He believes Jesus is innocent, but in order to keep his position as Roman Governor, he gives the Jews what they want

Herod Antipatertitle of tetrarch ("ruler of a quarter") offended by Jesus, because Jesus refused to answer his questions

Barrabas – a rioter and murderer who gets to escape crucifixion because the Jewish leaders have convinced the Jewish people that Jesus deserves death, definitely a guy in the right place at the right time

Jewish Religious Leaders – jealous, pious, conceited men, willing to do anything to get rid of Jesus, as long as they don’t have to do the killing themselves

Jewish crowd – easily manipulated by public opinion

Roman soldiers – crude men, who in a sinister way enjoy their job of killing people, again, as long as they can claim they are just “following orders”

Two criminals being crucified next to Jesus – one curses Jesus and one defends Jesus and later finds himself in heaven with Jesus

Roman Captain – after seeing what happened when Jesus breathed his last, he believes

Joseph of Arimathea – a member of the Jewish council, was silently a disciple of Jesus,

Women who had been companions of Jesus - who never take their eyes of Jesus from the time he was crucified to the time he was put in a tomb

Peter – a disciple, who actually denied knowing Jesus, three times but when he hears that Jesus’ body is gone, wastes no time to run to the tomb to see for himself

John – another disciple, known as the beloved disciple, he also runs to the tomb when it is declared empty, but remains confused

Mary Magdalene – a woman who was relieved of seven demons after meeting Jesus, and because of the junk Jesus took out of her life, she followed him faithfully

 

As you listen to the story being told, try to put yourself in the story. Try to determine, Where are you in this story?

 

 

VERSE 1

 

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

 

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

 

Ohh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

 

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

 

 

 

[Luke 23:1-25The Message (MSG) Pilate]

23 1-2 Then they all took Jesus to Pilate and began to bring up charges against him. They said, “We found this man undermining our law and order, forbidding taxes to be paid to Caesar, setting himself up as Messiah-King.”

Pilate asked him, “Is this true that you’re ‘King of the Jews’?”

“Those are your words, not mine,” Jesus replied.

Pilate told the high priests and the accompanying crowd, “I find nothing wrong here. He seems harmless enough to me.”

But they were vehement. “He’s stirring up unrest among the people with his teaching, disturbing the peace everywhere, starting in Galilee and now all through Judea. He’s a dangerous man, endangering the peace.”

6-7 When Pilate heard that, he asked, “So, he’s a Galilean?” Realizing that he properly came under Herod’s jurisdiction, he passed the buck to Herod, who just happened to be in Jerusalem for a few days.

8-10 Herod was delighted when Jesus showed up. He had wanted for a long time to see him, he’d heard so much about him. He hoped to see him do something spectacular. He peppered him with questions. Jesus didn’t answer—not one word. But the high priests and religion scholars were right there, saying their piece, strident and shrill in their accusations.

11-12 Mightily offended, Herod turned on Jesus. His soldiers joined in, taunting and jeering. Then they dressed him up in an elaborate king costume and sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became thick as thieves. Always before they had kept their distance.

13-16 Then Pilate called in the high priests, rulers, and the others and said, “You brought this man to me as a disturber of the peace. I examined him in front of all of you and found there was nothing to your charge. And neither did Herod, for he has sent him back here with a clean bill of health. It’s clear that he’s done nothing wrong, let alone anything deserving death. I’m going to warn him to watch his step and let him go.”

18-20 At that, the crowd went wild: “Kill him! Give us Barabbas!” (Barabbas had been thrown in prison for starting a riot in the city and for murder.) Pilate still wanted to let Jesus go, and so spoke out again.

21 But they kept shouting back, “Crucify! Crucify him!”

22 He tried a third time. “But for what crime? I’ve found nothing in him deserving death. I’m going to warn him to watch his step and let him go.”

23-25 But they kept at it, a shouting mob, demanding that he be crucified. And finally they shouted him down. Pilate caved in and gave them what they wanted. He released the man thrown in prison for rioting and murder, and gave them Jesus to do whatever they wanted.

 

 

VERSE 2

 

Were you there when they nailed Him to a tree?

 

Were you there when they nailed Him to a tree?

 

Ohh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

 

Were you there when they nailed Him to a tree?

 

 

[Luke 23:26-46The Message (MSG) Skull Hill]

 

26-31 As they led him off, they made Simon, a man from Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside, carry the cross behind Jesus. A huge crowd of people followed, along with women weeping and carrying on.

 

32 Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution.

 

33 When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left.

 

34-35 Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.”

 

Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God—ha! The Chosen—ha!”

 

36-37 The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it. They toasted him with sour wine: “So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!”

 

38 Printed over him was a sign: this is the king of the jews.

 

39 One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”

 

40-41 But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.”

 

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”

 

43 He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.”

 

44-46 By now it was noon. The whole earth became dark, the darkness lasting three hours—a total blackout. The Temple curtain split right down the middle. Jesus called loudly, “Father, I place my life in your hands!” Then he breathed his last.

 

VERSE 3

 

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

 

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

 

Ohh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

 

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

 

 

[Luke 23:47-56The Message (MSG)]

 

47 When the captain there saw what happened, he honored God: “This man was innocent! A good man, and innocent!”

 

48-49 All who had come around as spectators to watch the show, when they saw what actually happened, were overcome with grief and headed home. Those who knew Jesus well, along with the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a respectful distance and kept vigil.

 

50-54 There was a man by the name of Joseph, a member of the Jewish High Council, a man of good heart and good character. He had not gone along with the plans and actions of the council. His hometown was the Jewish village of Arimathea. He lived in alert expectation of the kingdom of God. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Taking him down, he wrapped him in a linen shroud and placed him in a tomb chiseled into the rock, a tomb never yet used. It was the day before Sabbath, the Sabbath just about to begin.

 

55-56 The women who had been companions of Jesus from Galilee followed along. They saw the tomb where Jesus’ body was placed. Then they went back to prepare burial spices and perfumes. They rested quietly on the Sabbath, as commanded.

 

 

VERSE 4

 

Were you there when the stone was rolled away?

 

Were you there when the stone was rolled away?

 

Ohh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

 

Were you there when the stone was rolled away?

 

[John 20:1-2The Message (MSG) Resurrection!]

 

20 1-2 Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance. She ran at once to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, breathlessly panting, “They took the Master from the tomb. We don’t know where they’ve put him.”

 

 

 

VERSE 5

 

Were you there when He rose up from the dead?

 

Were you there when He rose up from the dead?

 

Ohh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

 

Were you there when He rose up from the dead?

 

 

 

[John 20:3-18The Message (MSG)]

 

3-10 Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb. They ran, neck and neck. The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter. Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in. Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there, and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself. Then the other disciple, the one who had gotten there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed. No one yet knew from the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. The disciples then went back home.

 

11-13 But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus’ body had been laid. They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?”

 

13-14 “They took my Master,” she said, “and I don’t know where they put him.” After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t recognize him.

 

15 Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?”

 

She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.”

 

16 Jesus said, “Mary.”

 

Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!”

 

17 Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’”

 

18 Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: “I saw the Master!” And she told them everything he said to her.

 

 

VERSE 6

 

Where are you with Jesus today?

 

Where are you with Jesus today?

 

Ohh, sometimes I think we ought to tremble, tremble, tremble.

 

Where are you with Jesus today?

 

 

 

It’s my prayer, that like Mary Magdalene, who went, telling the news, that you too, will leave today saying, “I saw the Master!” and will tell others everything He said to you.

 

 

Let’s pray.